Tag Archives: Having a baby in India

Post 126. ” It’s a boy!”


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.


Tiffany with the girls

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.

Post 125. Overwhelmed by kindness


From Jordan’s scrapbook. Bottom left: In the town hall, the night before going into labour.

The next big event in our planner was an outreach in the town hall in the last week of March. My due date was the 9 April.  Rob Rufus had agreed to be the main preacher and we were expecting 101 people from Nepal, India, South Africa and other parts of the world, to pitch up.  We booked buses for them from Delhi to Mussoorie.

The plan was that they would go out on prayer walks in areas where church members lived.  We mapped out Mussoorie and were so happy with ourselves for being so organised.  When we showed it to our local friends, they looked at us as and asked us if we were deliberately trying to give our visitors a hard time.  We hadn’t given much thought to how many kilometres or how many hills they were going to have to walk and climb.  We started all over again.

When people found out I was pregnant, they called Sue to ask her what I needed.  She called me to ask me.  There was very little I could get in Mussoorie.  There were no baby grows or onesies, no waterproofs, no light cotton clothes, actually there wasn’t anything.  I mentioned some of those things to her and didn’t think about it again.  Newborn disposable nappies were number one on the list.  I was planning to use towelling nappies after the first couple of weeks so I just needed a few.

We got to the town hall on the first night of meetings and people started handing me bags.  Most of them said, “I’m so sorry I couldn’t fit more in my bag, this is all I could carry.”  I was overwhelmed with baby things; carry cot, clothes, hundreds of nappies, vests, honey dummies and everything I needed for my baby.  It was incredible.  We packed it all into our jeep to take it home and it filled up most of the vehicle.  It was amazing.  We didn’t have any cupboards but managed to pack it all in behind the curtains in our makeshift wardrobe in our room.   I had already worked out I was going to be able to share my nappies with Champa who was six months behind me in her pregnancy.  We were so amazed at the generosity of our friends.  Some didn’t know us at all.

The town hall was packed to capacity for four nights in a row.  It had never seen such chaos.  The worship times were wild and noisy.  People from all backgrounds danced and sang Jesus songs.  Rob preached his heart out and many were prayed for.   We had people in our house all day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Most of our visitors were staying at the Brentwood Hotel, which was at the end of the busy alley where I would be having my baby.  Doctor Goldmith’s Nursing Home was in the bazaar near Picture Palace.  The stairway was narrow enough for one person at a time.  There were surgical gloves hanging on a string outside the window and there were three small rooms.  One surgery/delivery room and two room for inpatients.   Each room had three hard wooden beds with thin, just as hard mattresses and pillows. The blankets were the heavy, rough type. There was an attached bathroom, which needed a good scrub before it could be used.  It wasn’t unusual to see a rat running down the passage.  There was no oxygen or incubator if anything went wrong.  The closest one was forty-five minutes down the mountain in Dehra Dun.  Mrs Goldsmith was a lovely lady from Mizoram, North East of India.  She had delivered hundreds of babies.  I felt comfortable with her. She was the old fashioned type who didn’t need an ultra sound machine to tell her the position of the baby.   There was no fuss.  Pregnancy and birth were treated like the most natural thing on the planet.  I was happy with that.  We had made sure Tony could be with me during the birth even though it wasn’t an Indian practice.

My pregnancy had been great and I had been healthy and strong.  We had a few ultra sounds done down the hill in Dehra Dun and everything was good.  We were quite eager to know if it was a boy but were aware that it was illegal for a radiologist to inform patients about the sex of the baby.  There was so much female foeticide.  In the 6th month we had seen “something’ that made us think it was a boy.  The doctor wouldn’t tell us but he had smiled and told us that there was a 90 % chance that it was what we were wanting.  We still weren’t totally sure.  Whatever it was, we were going to be thrilled.  I felt so close to our baby and so excited to finally meet.

Sue was booked to arrive a day before my due date.  We were hoping she would be able to be in the delivery room with us.   I had been feeling tightness in my inner thighs for a week and lots of Braxton Hicks.  At 4 a.m. on the 26 March, right in the middle of the outreach, my waters broke.  Two weeks ahead of time.