“…sometimes to go as you expected with a pregnancy and then you have to seriously consider termination”, these are the gynecologists words after a routine scan when my girlfriend was about 6 months pregnant. What? Huh? Please note that this dude just said this out of the blue.
“Terminate? Why would we do that?” I asked,
“Well, I have reason to believe your child has Downs Syndrome”, he replied.
I felt my heart sink into my stomach and my head started spinning. My mouth opened but I couldn’t say anything. I turned to my lady and her eyes were starting to shine. Your brain smashes hard into the wall of worst-case scenarios and everything starts feeling like a dream. Unfortunately for us, the doctor wasn’t done.
“We will have to do an Amniocentesis. A procedure where we take some of the liquid in the womb and send for testing. Now, you have to know that the fetus could die during the process. So you have decide what you feel should be done.”
The acronym WTF comes to mind. I mean, what choice do we have? Door No. 1: We carry on with the pregnancy and possibly have a disabled child. Door No. 2: We do a test to find if the child IS disabled while risking the babies life in the process? Sound the buzzer because this game is rigged. Which possibility would you be prepared to live with? A disabled child or a dead child?
Eventually we did make a decision. We had come too far to just “terminate”. Our baby needed a fighting chance. We opted for the test. Coincidentally, it was during this test that we found out the sex of the child. My dad got his wish. The test results were to come after 4 weeks. It’s funny how, when you focus on something you begging seeing it everywhere. Every day I saw a disabled child somewhere. I would always look at the parents’ faces, I wanted to see how I would look. Most looked miserable. I was bleak. The family got behind us. It was quiet something.
A few days before the end of the 4 weeks I got a call while I was at work. It was my girlfriend. She was crying so much she couldn’t even talk. “The doctor just called”, she sobbed. I felt a knot in my stomach like I was going to be sick. I didn’t say anything. She cried some more and said, “he’s fine, our baby’s ok”. I’m not going to tell you I cried.
When my girlfriend was around 7 month she went to jozi to stay with family because with me working it was getting difficult to look after her 24/7. The next 2 months were down right debaucherous. I was on a mission to eat my youth. I partied like it was Armageddon. It all culminated into two day before my son was born. It was going to be a C-Section because he was too big for natural birth so we knew which it was going to be. My friends had a farewell for my non-father days and it was epic. Actually, too epic. To this day I have never been that smashed. I boarded the plane with so much Rum in me Captain Sparrow had Jack on me.
I was due in the operating room 6 hours after I landed. Yes fam, by the time I got to the hospital I felt like I had just come out of Satan’s rectum. But I was there. I got hooked up with those blue threads doctors wear. They even had one that fit MY dome. They made my girlfriend sit on operating table while they inserted a spinal block anaestisia effort. Ladies, that needle is HUGE!
Within minutes she was lying down, paralyzed from the neck down. I was preparing to sit down by the head of the table when my girlfriend started shaking violently. She told me she couldn’t breath. I nearly rugby tackled one of the nurses to get her to help. The nurse gave her that oxygen mask to breath into and she started coming down. I looked up towards the doctors and I saw blood everywhere. These bastard had not even noticed the drama. They had gone on gutting her like a fish. I ducked.
I sat down and began mumbling something to my girlfriend. Within ten minutes of walking into the theatre an Afrikaans accent exclaimed, “DAAR SY!”. In his hands he had this mess of grey and fluids. My girlfriend started crying. The grey mess cried too. Me and the Captain were still sailing and I had no idea what was going on. One of the nurses summoned me to come take the baby as she put him inside the incubator. I was to wheel him to the nursery. I flatly refused. I was not about to kill a new born with my bad incubator driving skills. So I just followed her.
We got to the nursery and I was to stay with him until they finished stitching up his mom. I was there for just over an hour. I just sat there staring at him. Tiny hands. I counted the fingers to make sure. He had a giant afro. He was so small. He was sleeping now. I watched as his grey complexion started to warm up. In time we was reddish orange. He jolted from his sleep and started crying. A beautiful cry. Like Jesus, I wept.