Thursday, 23 August 2012

Giving birth

Busy growing Cole

Giving birth
23 August 2012

I think that there is a vital and fatal flaw in the female form.  A design error if you wish.  How can one possibly be expected to expel a child into this world through that???

Of my three kids, only my eldest, namely Luke, entered life through the conventional “channels”.  I know for some this might be a rather sensitive subject, but just get over yourself already.  Most of us made our appearance for the first time in this manner. 

Luke’s birth was painful and ridiculously long.  Yet, a traumatised Grant clearly remembers Luke being placed in my arms for the very first time and me beaming up at him, saying “I want to do that again”.  Clearly post birth euphoria was still reigning supreme.  Grant said that after what he had just witnessed, it led to him seriously questioning my sanity.  To this day, he still shakes his head when he recalls it.

When I was pregnant with Amber, my doctor, who is a dear friend, put his foot down and said that he was not prepared to go through that again and that I would definitely have to have a Caesar.  I literally beamed at him.  Natural delivery is really painful and unpleasant – at least my experience of it was.  My mom and grandmother had no problems, and literally popped their kids out while they were hanging washing on the line, and just continued pegging clothes again, once the baby was out.  After which they did a few flick-flacks, rotated the tyres and washed the windows, I’m sure.

So in comparison to the “natural” way, in my opinion a Caesar just seemed so civilised.  None of that pushing, shoving and panting.  There was also no uncertainty.  I knew exactly when Amber was going to be born, prepared myself for the event and was ready and rearing to go when the time came.  Now, the bit I had not anticipated was the pain after the Caesar.  Uh, hello!!!  As stated before, I am not very bright.  And surely this should have occurred to me before the time?  But in hindsight I was also in terrible pain after Luke’s birth.  The big difference being that I could put a bandage over the wound after Amber’s birth, but could not quite do the same after Luke’s. 

And then when I fell pregnant with Cole, my bonus baby, I was filled with optimism.  Were we not witnessing medical miracles on a nearly daily basis?  Was Carte Blanche not featuring at least one story a week, about some or other new miracle cure or medical development or innovation for some or other illness?  I was convinced, that by the time the requisite nine months were up and Cole was due to be born, medical science would step in to my rescue and save the day, so to speak.  Perhaps for the actual birthing process they could use a laser type device to shrink Cole until he was really, really tiny.  That way the doctors could maybe tickle my nose and then I could simply sneeze him out.  And then the second he’s out, they could just take a little medicine dropper and put 2,73ml of “quick-grow formula 531” on him and he would instantly grow back to normal size again.

Imagine my disappointment though, when the time came near and no such cure seemed to even vaguely appear on the horizon.  And this despite my frantic scanning of medical journals and scouring the internet.  I had to face the inevitable – it would yet again be a Caesar for me.  But this time, I was waaayyy clever.  We invited my mom along for the ride and she was in the delivery room with us.  It was actually a case of me applying foresight.  A rare occurrence for me.  And the reason for my unexpected foray into planning ahead, was my previous experience with Grant in the delivery room.  He means really well and is very thoughtful, attentive and sweet.  The problem is that he faints all the time.  When Amber was born there actually came a point when everyone stopped faffing over me and had to focus on him.  The anaesthetist deftly caught him and he was surrounded by a barrage of medical personnel holding his head down and encouraging him to breathe deeply - I even vaguely recall murmurs of fetching him a little brown paper bag so he could hyperventilate into that.  I was a little miffed at the time.  There I was lying with my stomach open, but hey, no, don’t worry about me. 

But having my mom there, what an amazing and special moment.  I clearly remember my mom at one point saying “Oh, I can see your tummy”.  Me-thinks it was perhaps a bit more than she had bargained for.  The experience will live with me forever.  As will the births of my other babies as well.  Nothing quite compares with finally having your first peep and cuddle with your new baby. Simply breath taking!

My three kids all love the stories of their births and when I was pregnant with them.  And to this day, to the great mirth of Amber and Cole, they tease Luke mercilessly about how he was born.  “Shame Luke”, they say, “you came out of Mommy’s …..”.  Needless to say, Luke does not find this amusing.  In his opinion he has suffered the ultimate indignity and humiliation with his less than glamorous entry into the world.  He gets a bit annoyed and sadly he just simply doesn’t have a good enough comeback for this one.  It truly can’t be topped.

16 February 1998 - Luke, weighing in at 3,145kg
13 December 2001 - Amber, weighing in at 3,04kg
17 June 2004 - Cole, weighing in at 3,275kg
Mom, showing off our Moenkie, a.k.a. Cole
Me, thinking I'm very clever
Delighted with our latest bundle


  1. Well just understand, according my wife, Natural Child birth is without makeup and pleanty of drugs!

  2. Een van daai goed wat vir my ook wonderlik was. Ek is net so bly ek hoef dit nie weer te doen nie....

  3. Being at Cole's birth is one of the highlights of my life, Helene. I still cannot believe that you asked me to share incredibly special moment with you and Grant.