Scary stories from a lovely place
We’re here. And when I say ‘here’ I mean Australia not South Africa – the cities of Wollongong and Sydney, not Johannesburg.
How was the flight? It was okay, and it’s done. We gave Silas an antihistamine before boarding in Joburg in the hope that it would calm some of his masculine enthusiasm and perhaps even help him to sleep for an extended period of time. It didn’t really work. He was calmer but miserable. He was dopey and bleary eyed and pissed. So we didn’t give it to him on the second leg. He slept for about half an hour out of the first 9 hour flight, 2 hours at Malaysia airport and maybe 2 hours in 2 blocks on the second 7 hour flight. Stephen managed to watch one and a half movies, I dozed a little and read a little. Otherwise we read great books like Gorilla Space Shuttle, played with toys and finger puppets, let Silas pull our hair and whack our faces and fought him into subjection and eventual sleep.
How is home? The same. My friends are the same. My family are the same. My sister was toting a new, cute son and my friends had new handsome boyfriends or their own burgeoning baby bellies. But in essentials, they are the same wonderful people I left in 2008. It amazed me as we drove from the airport to my parents house how little things had changed. Shops were much the same, some new street signs adorned the road side and the coast is as beautiful as ever. Even my parents house looked the same as my nose was greeted by the same, family home smell. That must be something we all love about home – it’s comforting familiarity.
What have we been doing since we arrived? Actually it’s been rather more exciting and less beachside-peaceful than hoped. We slept in until 10am (Silas too!) on the first day. We unpacked. Stephen and Silas went to the rock pool. We surfed the internet. We ate a delicious barbeque (not quite as tasty as a braai but ready in half an hour rather than 4) that my dad cooked and tried to get our heads around our new lives. On Tuesday morning I woke from a crazy dream about being in labour to the familiar feel of contractions. They were regular but only slightly painful. I waited for about half an hour for things to progress and then woke Stephen. It was about 5am. I’m only 33 weeks pregnant so this was cause for concern and action.
We procrastinated a little but eventually left to go to the hospital, waking my poor dad to look after Silas. I thought we’d be home in a couple of hours. After a boring day sitting in an airless examination room, a few invasive tests and an ultrasound they concluded that I was indeed leaking amniotic fluid so had to be admitted. Comfortingly the ultrasound showed that the baby was “looking great” and well developed. The doctor said I would have to stay 24 or 48 hours and they wouldn’t want to deliver until at least 34 weeks at the earliest. Silas x2 has managed to flip right way up, which is also the wrong way for a natural delivery.
Now I’m waiting while nothing happens. Contractions stopped at about 10am yesterday morning and the leaking too sometime this morning. I’m enjoying lounging around reading while my poor husband tries to look after Silas, find his way around a new place, obey the strict road rules and do seemingly insurmountable things like buy a pre-paid SIM card and open a bank account. But frankly I want to go home. I could lounge around there and watch Stephen do everything, at least there’d also be a sea view.
And that’s been the last 72 hours in the lives of the Joburg-Sydney Reids. In conclusion: missing Jozi and my blase midwife there but appreciating the good, free healthcare I’m getting here. And trying to think of ways of making up my absence to my kind husband.