The year was 2017.
My husband and I were in our home, watching movies and eating junk food, while the children had their friends over to play.
My husband had just gotten home from the shop with my favourite stuff (literally anything edible) and some other necessities. I snuck off to the bathroom and asked him to pour me a glass of wine.
(I say ‘My Husband’ way too much)
I thought I would be able to drink it and have a nice relaxing afternoon.
Bitch, I thot.
The ‘bytheway’ home pregnancy test had other plans for me. (I decided to take one because I had been gaining so much weight and craving peanut butter and yogurt combined, but I was still wholly convinced that this was a side effect of my Prozac.)
And suddenly, the nausea I had been feeling all week made sense.
I walked out of the bathroom, straight into Riyaahd’s arms….
Riyaahd looked at me in a way I had never seen before, and whispered…
“I told you I’ma get it right first time.”
Now, I want to be honest with all of you.
I wish I could say that I felt happiness at the two pink lines that were staring up at us. I wish I could say I finally felt the joy of “having a baby in the sanctity of the covenant”.
I looked at Riyaahd’s smiling, reassuring face, and all I felt was complete and utter dread.
I was absolutely terrified.
I knew exactly what the next 9 months had in store for me. I have been here before.
I have been here before.
I have been here before.
I cried several times that day.
My blog is late. My period is late. My credit card payment is late.
I honestly just couldn’t find the time between eating and urinating to sit down – and put the awfulness of the last 9 weeks on paper.
But my need to remain relevant has bested me, once more.
I am kidding. And I don’t just mean ‘having too many kids’.
I am trying to make light of a situation that has no apparent silver lining… At least not while I am in it. This is a darker part of my journey that I have been battling internally, especially regarding whether I wanted to share it with my readers.
I wanted to keep everything a secret and only show you the happily married, employed, ‘I got this’ Shana. But an interview this week about my STI reminded me that I promised to show you everything. Even the side that doesn’t glitter.
After my last blog post’s unnecessarily ceremonious ending, with myself in the arms of my impregnator, I want to get you up to speed.
- I have vomited to the point of pissing on my bathroom mat (Yes, Riyaahd witnessed this).
- I have had diarrhea, which nauseated me enough to make me vomit, causing me to do a windmill mid bowel movement. (No, the bathroom mat was not spared this time either).
- Four separate people told me I look kak.
- Sidney-Jonah asked me to explain sex (I will elaborate on this excruciatingly awkward conversation in full. You know how much I enjoy re-living the cringe-worthy moments of my ‘life’.)
- I refrained from vlogging because the camera adds 800kgs.
- I nearly lost my Imaan at Victoria Hospital.
Please brace yourself. This is going to be long and tumultuous.
I’m too mal for this.
Telling people that I am pregnant has never gone well for me. As my history suggests, my loin is the bearer of bad news and unsolicited fertilization.
This is my fourth pregnancy.
But if this pregnancy reaches fruition (and I am aware that it may not), this will be my third child.
Let’s do a quick recap:
“You a naai”.
“I’m pregnant again”
So, please understand why I didn’t release doves and red balloons when I became aware of Pregnancy number four.
Everyone seems to think that I should be happy right now.
And the truth is, I should. But my humanity slapped me in the face when the dreams started coming back.
To give context, for those who do not know, after my daughter’s father’s death, I was plagued with several recurring dreams. In them I would always be in the same imaginary places, trying to get to him, and save his life.
I also dreamt that he was still alive, and trying to get to me to beat me.
Because I am bipolar, and have been diagnosed with OCD and depression, I needed to be medicated in 2016, because of the toll the stress was taking on my personal life.
Then, when I got married, the dreams returned. The difference this time was that in my dream, Riyaahd is trying to get to me, so that he could hurt me.
I also had the recurring dream that he was cheating on me. The women were random, and not from my waking life, but it was enough to wake me, weeping.
Again, my prescription was changed, and my doctors confirmed that trauma from my previous relationships, and unresolved issues were manifesting in my sub-conscience.
It turns out that writing jokes about being abused isn’t a permanent cure.
And then, when I thought that Riyaahd and I had finally exited the night terror phase of our honeymoon….. the dreaded demon from my past raises its ugly head…
I am at my old home, in Pelican Heights. I am looking through the window, trying to find Riyaahd’s number on my phone. I am pregnant, in my third trimester. I try to call him but he doesn’t answer.
And then, I see him, in a very fuzzy location. And he is having fun. I shout “Riyaahd, we live together! We are married. Why are you doing this to me?”.
But for some reason he doesn’t acknowledge me. He just keeps talking to other women and laughing at me.
Time passes and I have the baby and I am alone with all three kids and I live in my old room.
*Each time I wake up… I cry*
This is my weakness. This is my damage. I am actually embarrassed.
“Mama, how did you get pregnant”.
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck .
“Well, baby. When two people love each other, the dad decides to put a special seed in the mommy’s tummy…”
Everyone thinks that they are a cool and progressive parent, until they have to admit to their 7 year old that you had bareback sex.
“Okay mama, but how does he get it in there?”
“Erm… through… through the private parts, baby…”
Jonah sat pensive for the longest, most awkward time…….
Finally, he said, in his most serious voice…. “Oh, okay…….. the front or the back?”.
We did, however make it through this conversation with most of my dignity intact.
And just as I thought I was handling things as an adult, enter: yesterday.
Anyone who has read my previous work (Just a Hoe with babies), knows that I have a deep-seated hate for admin officials.
Working in admin comes with power. I am yet to meet an administrator who doesn’t have a God-complex. Let’s not even start on the ones who work for government.
Therefore, I have pledged to refer to admin employees as staplers, HB pencils and clipboards. They need to humble.
But one particular file binder tugged at my already irritated genitalia, when I attempted to pay my bill at Victoria Hospital.
Now, if you don’t have medical aid and you live in Cape Town, I am sure that you are all too familiar with the ‘facilities’ presented by the ‘party’ that runs the WC, the Problematic Alliance.
Refer to my previous musings, regarding shoving said facilities up Helen Zille’s hol, and then insisting that she be admitted to her own creation to have it removed.
I digress. Yesterday I sat in the line of doom (and I say doom, because of all the insects I spotted, trekking across the windowsills), and sat with my seven year old son and very old father, waiting for our turn.
“Simney- Jornah!!??!” someone shouted over the intercom.
(This reminded me of that old Telkom advert in which the person making the phone call is used to beckoning his neighbor by shouting his name over the field, but when he receives a phone line, doesn’t exactly understand how speakers/electronics work, so he just shouts ““Molo Umsamwam”!!! Over the receiver”.
(And to clarify, the person shouting my son’s name abysmally incorrectly was a coloured. Apparently I need to clarify that. This isn’t about race. This is about training.)
I go up to window two, behind which floated a lovely old-ish aunty speaking binne-bek, through what I assume is bullet proof glass.
God Bless the flats.
Several exchanges of “huh”, “say again” and “now what is your son’s name? Not Jonah? Okay. The Doctor wrote Jonah. Oh, it’s Sidney- Jonah! Okay.. One name? Oh…….”, and we finally left, fifteen minutes later… with a file full of stickers that say “Jonah Genever”.
I am still fairly chilled at this point. I am a child of the Lord. I am a chilled of the Lord.
Off we go to Pediatrics. Fokkol instructions on what to do with this file of inaccuracies.
“Hi Sister, do I give you the file and wait outside?”.
Ï swear, in what I assume is the condescending whisper she saves in her arsenal for when she has to answer the dumbest of dumbest questions, she says “Okay, give me the file hey. And Sit down, thank you … sit inside okay sweety? Then I weigh him then you do what I tell you to do okay?”.
There was almost no wheel left for the Lord to take.
I sat down, right in between every child in the Western Cape suffering from the stomach flu. I could taste the light brown watery popo on my preggie super taste buds. No amount of liquorice in the world could stop the mamok bubbling up my throat.
“Mama this is gross”.
“Be quiet, Simney!”.
She weighed him, and gave us the green light to sit in the line, outside in the passage.
I put Sidney in my father’s care and found a café a few passages down.
I ordered the safe options, and sat down almost defeated, when an unfamiliar voice, said a very familiar thing.
“You mos that blogger ne?”.
She may as well have shouted ““Molo Umsamwam”!”.
I wanted to die. But I took my order and creeped back to Diarrhea Alley.
We sat for an hour.
“Sidney- Jonah Genever”… The doctor beckoned from behind the magic curtain.
Now, I will skip all the tests and boring small talk that commenced.
The doctor was nice.
The doctor was polite.
The doctor was white so I felt reassured.
That’s how we are supposed to feel right?
I hated the way she spoke to me.
I hated the way all the doctors spoke to all the patients.
When in a government hospital, I think it is safe to say that all the medical staff assume they are working in the same setting as ‘Doctors without borders’.
This isn’t a war torn facility, Jasper, you live two suburbs away. Relax, Superman.
“So your son’s little tummy is aching okay?”…
..ÿou gonna come see me in a month okay? I know you said you wanna take him to a private practice but I mean, I already saw him, so just book with us again for next month ok? Okay hehehhe”.
They always mention “normal prices” like it’s a taboo thing they shouldn’t say in front of the less fortunate.
“Imagine you took him to a private pediatrician, it would have cost you R700! You know? Shame man”.
You will be proud to know that I swallowed her “your ma se poes” with a sip of the Fanta I bought at the Café of the stars. I did not, however, taste the fun.
I wanted to tell her I was a journalist.
I wanted to gain her respect.
I wanted her to see me as an equal, that I was worthy of her “money talk”.
I wanted to laugh at the less fortunate with her like the educated duo we were, instead of defend my mense.
It was just for a second. But the repercussions in my head are eternal.
We/I have a long way to go.
Sidney was finally ‘discharged’, and that isn’t a joke about natural birth.
We were almost in the home stretch, when I got to the payment counter- and came face to face with my nemesis. A moerse bottle of Tippex lamming behind the glass.
Me: “Hi there. (I smiled guys. I tried). Where do I pay this bill”?
Tippex: “Yes you can pay with me”.
Okay, no greeting. Cool. Kumbaya my Lord, we are one.
Me: okay great. What do you need?
Tippex: The money.
Me: Haha, I mean which document, so that you know how much I owe?
Tippex: Where is your receipt?
Me: I didn’t get one.
Tippex: I need a receipt ma’am.
Me: But I didn’t get one.
Tippex: Rolls Eyes…… Just give me the case number. (I hand it over)… Okay, is R95.
Me: Okay. Here’s my card.
Tippex.:No card facility ma’am.
Me: A payment window with no card facility. What year is it?
And now, the whoremoans bubbled, and I felt the wrath of Satan emanate from every orifice. I almost pansula’d from not knowing how to keep my body anymore.
We spoke, though. In a civilized manner. Turns out I can EFT.
As I left, she released the Coupe de Gras…..
I turn to my dad, who is next to me, and I say “I am not making him another appointment”…..
Dis highlighter-hoe shouts from the other side of the window… “Excuse me. You can’t do that. The doctor said she wants to see him”.
My “Het os twee ge naai vir die laaitie?” face game was strong.
By the time I turned back around, my dad and child had run out the room. Niggers was halfway to the car. They weren’t bout to be casualties in the stoning of Soraya.
But I politely explained that I planned on taking him to a private paed, and she said “Okay good, then it’s fine”.
Is die ding befok?
I walked away, though. I promised Riyaahd that in this pregnancy, I will remain calm.
But I never forget a face.
And I know where she works.
May maand is ommie draai.
And I do take receipts
To be completely frank, I took this long to write this sequel, because I wasn’t sure if I wanted my ‘haters’ to know that I struggle. I don’t think I wanted anyone to know that I still struggle. But then, how would my readers know that they aren’t alone if I didn’t tell them I understood their pain?
I am getting the help I need though.
And I am taking this pregnancy and the emotional turmoil that has come with it one day at a time.
That is all we have, anyway.