Scary stories from a lovely place

The birth story part 3: the aftermath

Thus began an hour of stitches. I wasn’t refusing the drugs now! Stephen held me and distracted me. Silas lay quietly on his little electric blanket, whimpering now and then. Stephen claims that his cries matched mine.

Then we were done. I had a shower. Stephen dried and dressed me. Ntombi came to say goodbye, offering me a zip-lock bag whose contents looked like some kind of evidence from a murder investigation. “What’s that?” I asked.

“The placenta. I have to offer it to you.”

“What do I do with it?”

“Some people like to bury it and plant a tree. Some people believe eating it is a good remedy against post-natal depression. It’s up to you.”

Laughing “I don’t think I want it. But thanks anyway.” Seeing the bloody, lumpy mass that is/was Silas’ placenta in a zip-lock bag was the most macabre thing I had seen in the previous hours. And I had seen a lot of blood. Ntombi acquiesced and took it with her.

Finally Silas and I could lie in bed together, cuddle, breastfeed, take some photos, kiss noses, and doze.

Over the afternoon visitors drifted in and out. Nurses advised us on all aspects of Silas’ care. Stephen went home to have a shower and pull himself together. He came back with a gift; the BBC adaptation of Bleak House. I have known Stephen for about 2 and a half years and I think I have spent that whole time hinting subtly and not-so-subtly that I loved that mini-series. Stephen came through. Again.

I can’t write more. I don’t want to remember more of the aftermath. It was painful and hard. And I don’t have time to rehash it all. It turns out baby’s are really intense. Even now Silas is draped across my arms as I type. It’s hard to find time to do anything for myself, even just watering the garden or reading the Monthly with a cup of tea, let alone anything else that I used to do. But he sleeps peacefully and that’s all that counts.


One comment on “The birth story part 3: the aftermath

  1. Bill Rogers
    June 24, 2010

    And so begin the joys of parenthood. It does get better, I do assure you. The first twenty five years are the worst, it does get better. ;->

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This entry was posted on June 24, 2010 by in Baby, Home, Life in South Africa and tagged , , , , .
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