We were sitting in our OBGYN’s office on a Monday afternoon. Usually, our appointments start with a bit of banter (her wit was one of the reasons we loved her), but today was different.
“Sorry, guys. We have a bit of time crunch now – we need to get going right away”.
She had just got the final blood and urine results back, and they confirmed what she had suspected for the last few weeks: my wife had preeclampsia, and even though her due date was still a month away, we had to get the baby out of her sooner rather than later.
“Oh, so later this week or early next week?” I asked.
“More like later today” she replied.
My wife and looked at each other as the panic crept across our faces. We had nothing planned. We didn’t have a babysitter for our son, we hadn’t arranged to take leave from work and our hospital bag wasn’t even packed.
“It’s going to be okay. Go home, pack a bag, and come straight back here. We’ll talk more when you get back”.
So we rushed home, my wife calling her mother, my mother, our neighbour and our Doula. This was the moment that our support team was going to come into play in a BIG way – and we were so fortunate that they did.
Our neighbour came down to help my wife pack and to stay calm, the moms came around to babysit and by the time we got back to the hospital, our Doula was waiting for us there.
Our OBGYN raced home to settle her family and came back to talk us through our options. Ultimately, we decided that C-Section was the wisest route – but I can’t imagine making that decision without the support of a doctor and Doula who we trusted.
We called my wife’s best friend who was supposed to be our birth photographer but who was in Durban on a family holiday at the time to break the news that she was going to miss it.
She told us that she was NOT going to miss this, and got on to the first plane back to Cape Town.
Again, we were blown away by the support we had around us.
She managed to get to the hospital a few minutes before my wife was wheeled into surgery.
And then everything was a blur. Our Doula helped me support my wife while she was getting her epidural, and then I watched as my second son arrived in the world, and I cut the umbilical cord. To me, it seems like all of that happened in moments, and before I knew what was happening, I was sitting next to my wife, who had this tiny little person sleeping on her chest. It was well past midnight by then, and let me tell you, that was the craziest, most emotional, exciting and nerve-wracking 8 hours of my life.