When we first arrived in Bombay in 1991, we visited some friends who had a newborn baby. Zoë held it’s hand and asked me, “Mummy, when we get to our house can I have a pet like this one?” I had given her a half baked smile and a half hearted nod.
I had been taking caulophyllum again. I was convinced it had made all the difference with Zoë’s easy birth. We left the girls with the amazing Tiffany (who always seemed to be with us when I went into labour) and drove up to Dr Goldsmith’s Clinic. I had no pain, just tightness in my groin.
Tiff brought the girls up at lunchtime and they spent the day with us. Before long, the room looked like a playground. There were colouring books, crayons, dolls and puzzles everywhere. It felt like home. All through the day people from the outreach were calling from the road below asking if anything had happened yet. People popped in all day and sat and chatted about how the meetings were going. The Town Hall was filled to overflowing every night and Rob Rufus was preaching his lungs and heart out.
I had no pain all day and I was beginning to wonder if anything was happening. At about 3pm I had a few mild contractions but nothing I had to use my breathing skills for. When the midwife examined me at 4 pm she told me I was fully dilated and ready to give birth. Doctor Goldsmith arrived. She informed me that because I wasn’t having contractions, I would have to be induced into labour. One shot in the leg did it. Rigby was outside the door shouting “Push, Lin, push!” and push I did. Tony was so supportive. He had learnt from the other two births how to not irritate me in transition. Twenty minutes later, we were holding our little boy, Jordan. We cried with joy. My first words to him were, “Hello, I know you”. I felt I knew him so well.
I was shaking from the shock of the rapid birth. The midwives helped me to our room down the corridor. Tony carried Jordan behind me. Rigby was sitting on the bed waiting for us with a huge smile on his face, as if he had helped in some way. He was the first one to hold Jordan.
Tiff brought the girls back after dinner. They were so excited to hold their baby brother. Within an hour, the room was filled to overflowing with people. There were children sitting on the window ledges and climbing on the bed to look at Jordan; people with viral coughs covering their mouths and complete strangers from the shops and street coming in to celebrate the birth of a boy. Anil Kapoor, owner of the Brentwood Hotel, sent me breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was so different from the quiet, sterile environment of Johannesburg General Hospital. It was a real celebration of life. After about two hours we put a, “Please do not disturb” notice up on the door in Hindi and English so we could get some rest. Everyone presumed we must have put it there for someone else.
The outreach continued through massive hail and thunderstorms. Tony stayed with me. When it was all over and our visitors were boarding the bus to leave for Delhi, I managed to persuade the doctor that I was strong enough to go home. Jordan was two days old. We went to see the bus off. I stood there trying to look brave and strong but I could feel the blood rushing into my feet. I nearly passed out. I was so happy to be going home.
Jordan had come two weeks early so Sue had missed it all. I was bathing him when she walked into our bedroom. When we saw each other and she saw Jordan we both burst into tears. Tony’s sister Jan and brother in law, Allan also came to visit. It was a lovely time with all of us together. Asha was amazing with Jordan and Zoë was happy to finally have a pet.