My check ups had been going well at the Johannesburg General Hospital. The only concerns were my low sugar levels and the combination of our blood groups. They were incompatible. I didn’t understand it all, but went for lots of injections and blood tests.
I had decided to be a “midwife’s patient” and to have a natural birth in the active birth unit. It was a lounge area with lots of big cushions, comfy chairs. There was also an area for tea, coffee and snacks and we couldn’t wait to try out the jacuzzi.
One Sunday evening we were all in Bryanston listening to a very funny preacher called Gerald Coates. I laughed so much that my waters broke. We went home to pack my things and to wait for the right moment to go in. Tiffany was staying with us at the time and she helped to calm us down.
We went in too early but the room was ready for us. It was lovely lounging around between contractions. Tony found it so comfortable that he fell asleep. I wasn’t happy with that and I let him know. He saw a different side to his lovely, sweet wife.
The midwife kept checking on me and insisted that I drink a litre of Pepsi before I could give birth. During one of her examinations she found that the baby wasn’t in the right position. I got into the Jacuzzi with the jets right on my back and it wasn’t long before it turned around. Tony serenaded me with his guitar while I went from one contraction to another.
It was a sixteen hour long process. When the time came, all the pretty décor disappeared and before I knew it I was on a sterile bed with 6 medical students watching me giving birth. At that stage I didn’t care who was watching. All my dignity had long gone. I just wanted to see my baby. Tony stayed calm while I told him his breath stank.
Our little girl was born on 21 September 1987 weighing 3.23 kgs. She was beautiful. Her eyes were unusually huge. They were like pools. We were so happy, we cried more than she did.
Tony liked the biblical name “Asher” but thought it sounded like a boy’s name. He changed it to Asha thinking he had made it up. Her second name was Christy. Like mine. An Indian friend was staying with us and asked what we were naming our baby. When Tony said “Asha” he said, “Oh do you know that’s an Indian name? It means ‘Hope.”
We had no idea. NO idea.
Song for Asha:
“Two swirling pools of life swim in front of me,
Drawing me into caring for you
Am I given an option, maybe a choice?
What if sometimes I don’t feel like meeting the demand?
Would it make a difference?
Would this tug towards you go away?
The memory of pain is dying
The depth overwhelms
I want to swim
I want to dive
I want to get into the deepest part
The source of the great demand
And live there always
(Song written by me. Tony put music to it and recorded it on his album – Colours)