What went through your mind that day when you walked into Black's and first saw Sin?
She was striking with her long red hair and she moved in a confident way that suggested a devil-may-care attitude. I thought she looked smart, like someone who would be interesting to talk to and fun to be with... Oh, and I thought she was hot :-)
Why did you migrate to Canada from South Africa?
I had just finished High School & my mom was planning to come to Canada (parents were divorced) so I thought it would be a good opportunity to further my education.
When Sin's labour went into distress, how did you react?
Mostly I just felt helpless - I had tried the breathing - thing: counting , etc. but nothing seemed to work. I tried to find encouraging things to say, and I tried not to worry or appear worried, but I had the suspicion that something wasn't right. But this was my first time attending a pregancy so I didn't really know what was normal, so I deferred to the advice of the midwives, doula, nurses & doctors.
At what point did you know that everything would be ok and what did you feel in that moment of Swee'pea coming safely into the world?
I was never really sure that everything would be OK... I just didn't think about the possibility that it wouldn't be. But once it was announced that Kate would be having a C-section, I became more emotional as I knew that soon our baby would be born. When I saw him presented to me on a table, wrinkled and pink, I was overwhelmed. He seemed so vulnerable. I just remember crying a lot.
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After I read his answers, I reminded him of the email he sent to his dad shortly after Swee'pea was born, which I thought worth sharing here, and he complied.
We are at home now -- we came back yesterday -- and we're settling into the parenting routine of feeding and sleeping when possible. The hospital turned out to be a more positive experience than anticipated: the staff were very helpful and considerate. So much has happened since Tuesday that it is overwhelming to contemplate. I had no idea becoming a parent would be so amazing, so uplifting. Of course there is much responsibility, but some kind of instinctive parental trigger has been pulled and there's never any reluctance to perform the necessary duties, only joy in serving one who is so loved. So euphoria competes with exhaustion, and time flies by. The birth was difficult and stressful for sure... home birth is only an option in low-risk births, and that ceased to be the case from early on in labor when the meconium was detected in the water.. not in itself dangerous but it necessitated monitoring and controlled position. It just didn't seem to be going right - the labor was too painful early on, and so an epidural anaesthetic was given. Although there was significant progress, the doctor in charge (care had been transferred from the midwives earlier) decided that C-section was the best option... they allowed me in to the operating room, and Kate was conscious though physically anaesthetized, and we were both quite emotional - indeed crying - at this stage. Fortunately I didn't see the actual surgery -- there was a curtain shielding us from the undoubtedly gory process, but we could hear the surgeons talking. Suddenly we heard a squawking cry and 'it's a boy!' ... they cleaned him up and took him over to a table where his vital signs were checked and found to be good. I was given a pair of scissors to trim the tough and stringy umbilical cord and he was then taken to the nursery in the neighbouring room. He was kept in a transparent incubator, but I was allowed to reach in and touch him which I gingerly did. He was alert and we stared at each other uncomprehendingly for a while. They had to monitor him for several hours but he was able to visit Kate, who was immensely relieved to see and hold him, and we cried some more. That night he had made enough progress that we were able to keep him in our ward room with us overnight, where I watched him with paranoia at every hiccup or cough. I held him a lot... he didn't spend much time in the crib. We spent the rest of the week at the hospital, learning to look after, change and feed the baby (fortunately he is breastfeeding) and recovering... Kate was not very mobile of course, and so I was very involved in looking after Ezra, and this continues...