By Michael Kanaabi
Daudi Buyondo and his wife Allen Natukunda are an amazing couple to behold.
Not because they are so glamarous, talented or opulent, but because of their undying and endearing commitment to each other against all odds.
Oftentimes when making vows before a priest in Church, couples repeat the same almost rhetorical promises: ‘for better for worse, in sickness and in health, in wealth and in poverty I will be by your side’ but as soon the tide turns, they are nowhere to be seen.
However, Buyondo and his wife Natukunda, have fulfilled each one of those vows fully in their 14-year-old marriage, and that is nothing short of a miracle.
The Buyondos are a Christian couple who are staunch followers of the Isa Massiah denomination. They received a blessing from their clergy to seal their holy matrimony in 2008.
Like all couples, they were looking forward to starting a family and bearing fruit in their marriage, which Buyondo says is God’s blessing of children.
However, after two years in the marriage, a few questions started to be asked about children not showing up.
“By the fourth year of our marriage, many people including ourselves had started wondering what are really wrong.
“The murmurs, and stares from family and friends had become incessant, but we chose to hold on and trust God,” Buyondo says.
He says: “We had had a few checkups with doctors and they hadn’t discovered anything substantial that was stopping us from conceiving.
“Some doctors told us all was well, but the children still weren’t coming.”
After over five years together, despite the lack of clarity, it was in plain sight that something was not right.
While most men would straight away load it on their wives and run off completely in some instances, Buyondo stayed loyal to his wife. He remained determined to have a happy marriage with her even if it meant staying without children.
However, things were to change for better when one day Buyondo and his wife were watching Light House Television and came across a show where Arthur Matsiko of Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre, was discussing infertility and how couples without children can be helped medically.
“The difference about this particular TV show was that the person who was being hosted, Dr Edward Tamale-Sali, is an expert in the field of fertility treatment. You could see he was speaking from a point of expertise and authority on the subject,” Buyondo says.
He adds that this gave them confidence that he was the right person to consult.
As the TV show proceeded, the testimonies from people who had been helped by Dr Sali gave them more hope and they made up their minds to try him.
Previously, Buyondo and his wife had heard about the services of Dr Sali, but felt they were out of reach for them because they could not afford the cost.
However, on watching this show, they got the courage to try one more time and see how far they could go.
From the show, they got the contact of the hospital and found out the requirements they needed to start the process.
Even when finances remained the biggest stumbling block in the couple’s quest to become parents, they did not let this stop them as they took a step of faith and reached out to the hospital.
With the direction of Matsiko, who turned out to be the contact person from the TV show, they finally came to the hospital for an appointment with Dr Sali the following day.
Natukunda vividly remembers that Monday like it was yesterday.
“Having watched the show the previous evening on LTV, we made it to the hospital the following Monday with all our hopes up and ready to go against all odds to finally get a child,” she says.
“God must have had it already laid out because Dr Sali has been God-sent to us. From our first meeting to date, he has fathered us in so many ways,” she adds.
The couple, on this first visit to the hospital, was personally checked by Dr Sali who confirmed that their problem could be solved and would be able to become parents.
From interacting with them, however, it was clear the Buyondos could not afford the cost of the full procedure.
The first procedure carried out by Dr Sali was an operation to remove fibroids from Natukunda’s uterus that were making it hard for her to conceive.
He did the procedure himself in preparation for an In vitro fertilization (IVF).
Thereafter, the couple were required to raise some money for the IVF process to be started. This took them a couple of months, given the strained nature of their income.
Natukunda says: “From May, we looked for the money bit by bit. We were scheduled for August because he was fully booked for June and July.”
On returning in August, they were told the doctor was fully booked till November. But they were patient enough to wait for their time, November 9, 2021.
Natukunda says on this very joyous and unforgettable day, she was worked on and had three embryos implanted in her womb, beginning her journey to motherhood.
The first scare
The couple was to return for review on December 6.
However, something bizzare happened on December 4; Natukunda started the day feeling thirsty beyond what she usually did and ended up taking lots of water.
She later found herself bleeding as if to remind the couple of their greatest fear which is losing what would be their children.
Immediately, they rushed to the hospital. On arrival, they were informed that the medication they needed to stop the bleeding would cost about Shs 450,000, which they did not have.
They made a number of phone calls as they prayed fervently for divine intervention.
God heard their prayers and an acquaintance later helped them get the medicine somewhere in Wandegeya, Kampala.
This, Natukunda says was nothing short of a miracle because they almost had no money completely at the time.
“It was raining heavily that day”, Buyondo vividly remembers.
But they had to brave the heavy downpour to salvage their only chance of becoming parents.
Due to the weather, the couple could hardly find anyone to administer the injection. Frustrated, they chose to move back home. Thankfully, they got a nurse who administered the injection later in the night.
On return for review at the hospital on December 6, they got mixed results from the scan; two of the embryos were gone.
While the news was partly sad, it was also okay given the one baby left was still going strong and healthy in the womb.
The baby is born
In April 2022, Natukunda started on antenatal. She was given a delivery date of July 8, but on July 1, she got labour pains and was rushed to hospital.
When she was checked, the baby looked 39 weeks old and on Saturday July 2, she was taken into theatre and delivered a bouncing baby boy by C-section at 12:30 pm.
“Thanks be to the Almighty God we finally have our own baby. It has been a long and painful struggle but our God has remembered us and we are now happy parents,” she says.
The couple is grateful to Dr Sali, who took them in with compassion.
“Dr Sali has been our run-to person, our pillar and father figure to the extent that he even took care of the room costs where we were accommodated before and after delivery,” Buyondo says.
Buyondo says men have to love their wives and support them in all circumstances, whether they have children or not.
And you have to stand with her against all odds, especially when going through the challenges of having no children in the meantime.
“This is so because usually as the wife or lady in the marriage she takes almost all the heat from the family, friends and whoever else has something to say, so as the man you have to be her comfort and defender,” he says.
He says people should come with faith and hope when seeking help with fertility and childbearing, for without faith one may give up.
“You have to have determination and resilience when facing this challenge because it takes a lot of energy, restraint and patience for results to finally come through,” Buyondo says.
Daudi Buyondo was born in Budo in 1972 to the late Jeremiah Bakulu Mpagi and studied up to secondary school level.
He met his wife Allen Natukunda Buyondo while the two were working at Rabi Kaswabuli’s home in Jinja.
While Buyondo was working as the clergy man’s personal assistant, Natukunda was one of the domestic workers.
The two kicked off a hot relationship that blossomed into a marriage in 2008.
But after 14 years of patiently waiting on God, they were blessed with a bouncing baby boy on July 2, 2022.
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