Pregnancy is unkind. She is a heartless bitch who takes your self-confidence and grinds its bones to make her bread.
A bread she then force feeds you, till one day, at 30 weeks gestation, you look in the mirror and aren’t sure if you’re looking at your chin or your ass.
I am not handling this very well.
I started this pregnancy at the healthy weight of 81kgs. For the first four months, I couldn’t eat. My morning sickness made everything I attempted to ingest eventually curdle and escape my body through my nose. Even liquids made me queasy.
Then, from the beginning of my fifth month, suddenly I was scoffing down burgers, bacon, and family share boxes from Mac Donald’s, and before I even blinked, the scale at Alnisa Maternity Home read 105kgs.
And then I ate more to ease the pain.
I was tested for an array of pregnancy related diseases to ascertain why I had experienced such rapid weight gain.
After numerous blood and urine tests; I do not have gestational diabetes. I do not have an under-active thyroid. I do not have pre-eclampsia.
I am just good old uitgevriet.
And lazy, apparently.
Many of the preggo mamas I have encountered in the last few months have been doing yoga, Pilates and walking for half an hour a day to ensure a healthy labour. Apparently my several trips to pee between 12am to 5am don’t count as exercise, even though I would argue my heart rate is significantly elevated every time I try to lift my gargantuan ass off the toilet seat.
A few days ago I found myself at a crossroads that has changed my thinking, and I am now willing to try harder to eat a bit less and move a bit more before my elective C-section.
It was 2am. The house was asleep and I was making my way down the passage, to free myself from the immense pressure I can only describe as Naai-Agro falls pressing on my damn uterine walls.
I sat down in a hurry, and released the flow, with my eyes closed tight, trying to suppress a scream of relief.
Once I had been emptied, I opened my eyes, to see a site that would catapult me into absolute horror.
There was no toilet paper.
One of the inconsiderate fucknuts I live with (Read: My husband and two small children) had once again experienced the joy of getting to wipe their private parts, without fulfilling the responsibility of replacing the roll.
I was appalled.
Appalled and wet. (If you are familiar with the mechanics of a 30 week pregnant vagina, you will understand that the stream has now changed from a Tivoli tap to a council sprinkler).
There was no way that I was going to stand up and make it to the toiletry cupboard without residual.
I looked around.
And for a second, I considered taking an item from our dirty laundry basket as an interim solution.
What would I soil?
My husband’s beloved God Over Money sweater? He would never forgive me.
Jonah’s PT shorts? I couldn’t look at my son the same if I did. I am also pretty sure that if anyone found out that I had rubbed my wet clit on my son’s clothes at 1 in the morning, a child abuse case would be in full pursuit before I could say UTI.
None of Rosie’s clothes were an option, unless I want the baby to be born bedazzled.
And then I saw it, Riyaahd’s black work sock.
I reached in, smelled it and decided that if I was going to survive this ordeal without shame, it was probably not a good idea to become the first ever documented case of athlete’s poes.
I laid a dirty towel on the floor, and stood on it as I shimmied to the bathtub and soema took a full on soak.
Pregnancy can take my body, but she won’t take my dignity.
I have always been intrigued by death.
There is a reason I am telling you this.
I remember her being a very quiet, polite young girl.
She was the best worker, always in the good graces of teachers and students.
The popular girls let her sit with them, even though they were nothing like her.
She was never in trouble. I know she had a younger sibling.
When we finished Standard 5, I remember hugging her goodbye, and thinking of what a nice child she was. She never ever made fun of me.
In the holiday before high school, my mom told me that we were going to a very special mass.
I remember being very excited to see my old school friends one more time, even though the occasion wasn’t very pleasant.
At the funeral, Amelia’s dad, sibling and she stood there, motionless. I didn’t go and look in the casket. I had seen quite a few dead bodies before. But we will get into that later.
Apparently, after a long battle with cancer, Amelia’s mother had shot herself in the mouth.
Her younger sibling had listened from the other side of the bathroom door.
I never went up to her to extend my condolences.
I never actually said anything. This was the first time I noticed that I didn’t hold the same type of empathy that other people did.
Everyone was hugging her.
Everyone was crying.
I really just wanted to ask about the details.
I wanted to see pictures of the scene, or at least have it described to me.
I really just wanted to play with my friends.
My previous brushes with death were not very close to me, and fortunately for a long time, no one close to me would die.
But my first encounter with death happened when I was five years old.
I don’t really know the full story, but I have heard snippets over the years, and recently asked my aunty to fill in the blanks.
I remember the drive to my grandma’s home in Lenteguer. My parents were being very hush-hush about why exactly we were making the trip in haste. All I gathered was that something very bad had happened, so bad that they couldn’t explain it to me.
When we arrived in Skilpadbessie Street, the ambulance was outside my ma’s home. The neighbours from each house were standing outside, and my family was there. My extended family, all of them.
My cousin Louis and I were the youngest, so we were sent to the room.
We were speculating about what was going on so naturally when we heard, “Moetie laat hulle sien nie, hy’s agter innie yaat”, we jumped up and peaked through the curtain.
And then, I looked directly into his face.
I still wished I hadn’t looked, because I still dream about it sometimes.
A young man, in his mid-twenties was laying in my grandmother’s yard. I remember the blood trickling out of his mouth, onto the blue stones. I remember there being lots of ants around him.
The story goes that he was a friend of well-known gangsters in the area, but he himself had not been a hooligan of any kind. He was merely a kid in the wrong place at the wrong time, who had been mistakenly recognized as a gangster, while playing cards in park. He was shot at, and ran for his life, into my ma’s property. He apparently shouted for help, but no one came to his aid.
As he was about to jump the second gate, that led to the back yard, the men chasing caught their target.
The men ran away.
He bled out in a random family’s backyard.
Stories like these intrigue me more than they upset me. I have to admit that they satisfy a part of me that I haven’t always suppressed. Yes I am a Christian, but as you can tell from my illegitimate children, and track record pre2010, I have not always feared God.
I hated him.
The time the only thing easier than a Sunday morning, was my vagina.
The real reason I started these last few blogs, highlighting my experiences with the supernatural is because I want to be honest about who I was, before finding Christ.
It is a side of me most of my close friends knew, but mostly a secret… though in order to talk about God’s grace in my life, I need to explain to you a time in which I didn’t even believe in him.
My time of dabbling in the occult.
And of course, speaking to ‘Dark energy’ and ‘the universe and its powers’, instead of Him.
I have even indoctrinated some into that way of thinking.
Regardless, I don’t know how many installments this phase will have, but I want to tell all of the stories, or as many as I see fit to bring my point across.
In the last few blogs, I spoke of being plagued by many things, mostly a spirit that has shown its face several times, whenever significant things would happen, or my life would enter a new phase.
You see, being a ‘sensitive’ person, who saw things that others couldn’t see can be very confusing when you haven’t found yourself.
I started to research ‘being psychic’ (cringe), and speaking to ‘the other side’.
And to be honest, the more I dabbled, the easier it was to find scary things.
A trick I picked up in my teens was the art of reading palms. (I understand at this point that some may laugh, and some may roll their eyes. I get it. I am embarrassed, but I promised I would write the truth).
I read the palms of some girls at my high school. My accuracy both scared and irritated them. I read the palms of my friends.
Then, I met a girl in my area who asked me to read hers.
I didn’t really know her that well.
One evening, she, my best friend Fozia and a few other people came back to my house. My mom and dad were sleeping in their room and we were all just chilling, as girls do… Speaking about random mutual acquaintances.
We ventured back onto the subject of reading palms, and I eventually agreed to do it. The girl in question was disabled, and I didn’t want to seem rude or as if I was scared.
I sat down in front of her and with the mood still light, held her hand and closed my eyes.
I saw nothing.
I giggled a bit, I started feeling silly.
But the room went silent. I opened my eyes to very concerned stares.
The room had gone cold, and In the middle of the eerie silence a voice came from the girl, not in sync with the way her lips were moving.
“Don’t fucking touch me. Get away from me”.
Foz and I stared at each other. She nodded to confirm to me that she had witnessed what I had. I would later find that everyone else did too.
Almost immediately, the girl was smiling at me and laughing and said “What happened?”
I never spoke to her again really, just the odd passing by, but activity in my life shifted that night and many strange things (stranger than before started to happen).
Now, in my new house, we have had some new things happen.
Besides the lady in the doorway, my children have said some strange things, but I don’t chalk everything up to the supernatural.
I know that besides having overactive imaginations, children sometimes, misinterpret things, or straight out tell lies.
Jonah and Rose spin tall tales about children living in the attic, and kids walking through walls, and many times I will entertain them, and then use it as a great segue into talking about prayer, and calling on God when we feel scared.
Many times, they stop telling the story after a few days. That is when I know I can let it go.
Except, that one night Jonah started telling the story of the uncle with a top hat, whom he sometimes talks to in his dreams.
Now, any uncle visiting your kid at night, even in his imagination is alarming.
Even after the talks of praying to the Lord, and me trying to investigate the event that planted the seeds of the thoughts of this uncle in his head, he was adamant that the uncle, was indeed his friend.
Time passed, as it does.
One weekend the kids were at my mother’s place for the night, and Riyaahd and I were home watching movies until late.
Eventually we picked ourselves off the couch. Riyaahd went to bed, and I went to pee. I switched off the lights and did my final OCD checks of the locks and the doors. I walked down the passage, and my heart sank as the passage grew longer, and my chest tighter.
In the corner of my eye, in what should have been the children’s empty room, a man with a top hat sat at the edge of my children’s bed.
The passage floor had turned to quicksand, but I pretended not to have seen him and casually walked to my bedroom.
I woke Riyaahd, and the tears ran down my face.
“Riyaahd. I need you to wake up. We need to pray”.
Riyaahd’s eyes were wide. His face was white.
He jumped up, and we prayed. But he didn’t see anything.
The next night, I went to bed earlier than he did. I watched a few YouTube videos, but must have dozed off without knowing, when I felt a hand on my foot.
I opened my eyes, to see Riyaahd standing at the end of the bed.
“Shana, who are you talking to baby?”
I had no idea what he was talking about.
“You called me, but when I came in you were talking to someone”.
I was still in a sleep daze, and I just remember him covering me with a blanket.
At around 3am, I awoke, sweaty and frozen. I sat up. Someone had again touched my foot… but Riyaahd was lying next to me.
My eyes hadn’t quite adjusted to the light and I assume that my brain hadn’t quite adjusted to reality.
My thoughts were as follows.
Riyaahd is laying next to me, on my left.
The kids aren’t at home.
Who is standing on my right?
I turned and looked straight into the face of a man and I screamed.
Riyaahd jumped up. He adjusted, held me and said quietly:
“Baby, I can see him”.
Immediately, my husband held my hand and we prayed and prayed. We rebuked, we prayed the blood of Jesus. When we switched on the light there was no one there. The heaviness had left the air.
Except that the heaviness hadn’t left my heart.
I knew exactly what I had just seen.
I knew who I had just seen.
I turned to my husband…
“Baby… I need to tell you what really happened the night Lyle died”.
To be continued.
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