Ode to Emma – her 21st (5th August 2011)


I wrote this blog for Emma (aka Igz) for her 21st birthday – this year she will be 28! It is an account of the day she was born. Reason I am posting it here again is because (a) blog.com where I originally posted it has long since died and (b) it was the last time I was in hospital for myself. Let’s face it – I went to hospital and came out with exciting new stuff (little did I know quite how exciting that stuff would be – lol)… tomorrow will be a bit different.

The 21st key I made Em

How it all began – hmmm…. you probably wouldn’t want to know those nitty gritty details so let’s skip along to the day you were born 5th August 1990.

I woke up. Erk. Had a fat whinge to myself that my tum was so full of baby there was no space left for me. Decided to rearrange the piano a bit. A little shove to the left. Nope. That did not look great – put it back where it was in the first place.

Your dad sold cars. Thank goodness he also bought cars. Three days before you were born we had a beach buggy with no roof. It was the middle of winter.  He’d put Markie in charge of looking after me during the day when he went off somewhere and was not readily available around the corner to dash me off to hospital. I said I’d rather knuip, thanks very much.

It was a Saturday. There was a car to be seen. I said I’d go with him. Was a bit worried I might have started something by moving the piano. (The same piano had done a pretty good job with Lauren 10 years earlier.) Plus we were being hounded by bastardly estate agents. Were renting the house in Myburgh Street with an option to buy, but the owner of the house decided he wanted to sell then, right then. We didn’t really have the money to buy it right then, so I was busy sabotaging all the prospective buyers.  Being a pregnant knitting needle (that wretched Faithy’s description, when she was not calling me a pregnant grasshopper) I managed to get away with all sorts of beastly hormonal crap. Think they were a tad terrified of me.

So we went off to Milnerton and checked out the car.  Uneventful.

Perhaps I should mention here that I was only eight months preggy. Was not exactly time for you to arrive yet.

In all honesty, can’t much remember what happened for the next few hours, but I do know that some dude was boxing that night at Sun City and your dad thought he was tops. Markie was coming over and they were going to watch the match. Then we were having a braai.

I sat on the stoep – had a nice relaxing brandy and soda (sorry people – yes I had the odd drink when I was preggy – so shoot me) and made fire whilst they watched. Big fire.  The match didn’t last long – two rounds I think. Can remember that we had ribs. They smelled delicious and there was still no space in my tum.

Went to bed. Woke up around midnight with cramps. Bugger. Should not have eaten anything at all. Was very tired. Tried to go back to sleep.

Wait a bit – these are odd cramps.

Nah… can’t do this now.

Tried to go back to sleep.

Sighed… oh crap. Baby time!

Poked your father in the ribs. Oi! Wake up. Baby’s coming!  He leapt up and dashed off to wake Lauren.

Lolla thought she was late for school and promptly climbed into her uniform. We only noticed that later – on our way to drop her off at Gran’s house. Lucky we had a car with a roof by then. Was a chilly early middle of the winter morning.

Of course, we’d never been to HH hospital before so we went to the wrong entrance. This dude sat at reception. Not sure his lift went all the way to the top floor. He totally failed to see any urgency in the situation.

Started filling out a form… uh duh name?  Address?  I kept doubling over with contractions. Your dad and I could not stop giggling. Eventually he gave up and said we could fill it in later.

We had about two miles of corridors to sneak down to the maternity ward. Every few steps I’d stop, grunt, top it off with some stifled giggles and we’d carry on sneaking.

They slapped me into a bed, did their measuring to see how dilated I was and said oh oh – better call your doctor.

Par for the course, the bastard was out.

So they tried somebody else who was standing in for him. Hmmm… unavailable too. (Remember kiddo – there were no cell phones 21 years ago.)  Could hear the nurses mumbling in the doorway, getting a little worried. I piped up between ever increasing contractions – just get any friggin’ doctor wouldcha!

In the mean time, your father, who knows half of the Helderberg basin, was wandering around the maternity ward chatting. Of course he’d bumped into an old friend of his who’d eaten something nasty and had food poisoning. They were worried about the baby so she was waiting to have a C-section.

The pain was getting quite interesting by this time. Could manage it if I lay on my side and your dad rubbed my back – hard.  The nurse came along and put a stop to that. Apparently you were in a bit of distress – I should lie on my back instead.

Not surprising – really had gotten to the stage where I was knuiping, waiting for the wretched doctor.

They hauled the resident dude out of bed – luckily he lives just across the road – and he came skidding into the operating room, literally just in time to catch you. Your dad, who had been quite a star whilst I pushed and grunted, took one look at his little blue smurfie and promptly keeled over in a dead faint. On his way down he knocked over the stool – kadoef – making one hell of a noise in the relatively silent hospital.

Oh shit! Thought I – he’s died.

Promptly tried to get off the bed to check him out. Many hands held me down. A nurse took over and dealt with the last gory bits, whilst the doctor checked your dad was still alive. Not really dead after all, merely a bit overwhelmed. A lot overwhelmed actually.  He came round a while later and sheepishly sloped off with the nurse to get a drink of water.

By this time it was around threeish. They put me in a clean bed – I fell into an exhausted achy slumber. Your dad went home to catch a few hours sleep. He was back by eight the next morning.  At ten the doctor (the one I’d never seen in my life before up to a few hours ago) pitched up to see us.

We were pronounced fine.

That’s great, I said… then I can go home! The nurse stood smugly in the doorway. She’d been telling me how I’d have to stay at least a day or so. Stressed the hell out of me.  Think he read the fire flashing in my eyes and erred on the side of safety – his safety. He let us go.

We went home. You were very very tiny. I climbed into my own bed and snuggled you on my chest under the duvet.  A thousand people came to meet you.

On Monday morning that fuckwitty estate agent called up bright and early wanting to bring prospective clients around to view the house.

See! She said. You’re still at home – you have not had your baby yet!

Hah! I retorted. I’m home yes, but I’ve had my baby!