Isaac Mwaura made headlines for being the first Member of Parliament with albinism to serve in the August House. In June 2015, he won even more hearts when he said ‘I do’ to longtime girlfriend Nelius Mukami.
The newlyweds got even more buzz when 254 learnt the pair were the first to hold a wedding photo shoot at State House, which was graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Their wedding got nationwide coverage and was splashed on every form of media.
Since then, they have become media darlings, with many keeping up with the Mwauras. A year later into marriage, news broke that the pair was expecting not one baby, but three. Mwaura and Mukami woke up to thousands of congratulatory messages over their soon-to-be bundles of joy.
At the time, Mukami was six months pregnant, when a photo showing the baby bump landed on social media. Mukami had been working as a Programmes Officer and Public Relations Manager at the Centre for Public Health and Development.
What was meant to be the happiest time for the Mwauras soon became a nightmare. She went through various scares, including cramping and spotting, leading to her being put on bed rest until delivery. “I was admitted twice for dehydration and pain.
Complications arose earlier on in the pregnancy, and I was often on bed rest. I can count the number of times I went to work after learning about the pregnancy.
At some point, I wasn’t allowed to walk and could only be involved in minimal activity,” recalls Mukami. Like many parents expecting multiples, the two were excited when the scan showed three different sacs and heartbeats. Unfortunately, the joy was short lived, as the couple suffered the loss of the two babies.
Since the unfortunate ordeal befell them last year, the Mwauras have since been out of the limelight raising their son.
BUNDLE OF JOY
For Mukami, her first motherhood experience was not easy and will remain something she will never forget. She delivered the triplets on January 19, 2017 while on her 28th week of pregnancy, two months earlier than term. The premature state of birth could not allow for normal delivery because the babies were too small and could not handle a normal procedure.
“When my babies were born, I did not have the luxury many women have; settling down back home enjoying the new bundle of joy. I was up and down all the time to ensure that my babies were alright. It was emotionally draining, not to mention walking around with a fresh CS wound was not easy,” says Mukami.
On the day of delivery, Mwaura was holding a fundraiser for mass voter registration at the Windsor Hotel in Nairobi when he received a call from Mukami informing him she was unwell.
They drove to Nairobi Hospital, where she was rushed to theatre. “The thing that shocked me most about the babies was that they did not even look fully developed. However, what broke my heart more was that I could not even hold them.
The doctors told me they were too fragile. It was a devastating experience to see them all like that,” recalls Mwaura. As if that was not enough, Mwaura at the time had a knee injury, which prompted doctors to admit him, and he joined the rest of his family in hospital.
Their triplets named; Mwaura Maigua Junior, Njiru Mwaura and Njeri Mwaura were all born prematurely, below 1.2kg. Njeri was the first to pass away two days after birth. The babies had been exposed to a number of infections including pneumonia.
A week after Njeri passed away, Mukami was discharged from the hospital, so she could recuperate from home. Mwaura Junior and Njiru were still at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and the pair spent almost every waking minute watching their progress.
Njiru and Junior were on breast milk, per doctor’s instructions, but this was hard for Mukami, due to the stress. On March 28, two months after his birth, Njiru was finally discharged from hospital leaving his big brother Mwaura still at NICU.
He passed on on April 5, adding to the couple’s heartache. The pair was later served with a hospital bill of Sh11.2 million. “Baby Njiru was doing well by steadily making steps. He did not struggle and seemed to be having an easier time.
He was successfully removed from the ventilator with no issues and moved on quickly to using oxygen and slowly went on from oxygen to just being a cartoon in the incubator,” says a smiley Mukami.
According to Mukami, Njiru was at some point the “fattest” in the NICU when he weighed 1.35 kilogrammes, affirming that he was making progress beyond his tendency of being in relaxed mood all the time while in the hospital.
To doctors, Njiru’s survival was miraculous as he was born with the lowest weight compared to his siblings. “I got a lot of support from friends I needed around at the time. I cannot really explain the NICU journey because it is like eating a sweet, you have to be there to experience it.
Like when a baby took a turn for the worst, it was scary as we would all be told to leave the room and we wouldn’t get any news until later,” Mukami explained.
Njiru, a calm and composed boy, celebrated his first birthday this year on January 19. “Mourning never stops. The world moves on, but you are left stuck. My journey to motherhood has come with pain, but it is also filled with being loved and loving unconditionally,” says Mukami.
To the couple, 2017 was not a rosy year as it was the same year Mwaura missed a Jubilee Party ticket to vie for Ruiru parliamentary seat and at the same time was roughed up during the political campaigns.
Mukami tells PD Wikendi that the situations they faced last year seemed not to be ending as one after another kept cropping up. However, she adds, the adversities have made their relationship even better.