I’m sitting under a coffee tree on the grounds of the Groote Schuur hospital, Cape Town waiting to hear any news of my newborn granddaughter who is in there.
I feel like Mordecai.
Her window is the one that looks over the balcony with the stork sculpture on. I go with my brave daughter everyday by train from Fish Hoek to Observatory to visit her baby. I can’t go inside and wait outside for my daughter till night, when we have to leave her baby behind.
Last year in July I had a dream that I was pregnant. I was 45, and worried that my baby would be deformed. I was single so it happened supernaturally. In my dream there was someone else pregnant too, like Elizabeth and Mary.
I told my cousin, Susie in Cape Town and she said she had been having dreams of looking after a baby and changing nappies.
Then in August last year, my daughter Dakota had a dream that she was pregnant and that she had her baby girl in a bath in a squatting position.
Dakota fell pregnant in January this year and was living in Kwazulu Natal at the time and thought she’d choose a caesarean, under the guidance of the gynaecologist, when it comes to labour.
After our holiday in Victoria Falls this year in June, Dakota started thinking about her dream she had and that she’d prefer a natural birth. And then a home birth. There was only one midwife practising in her area, who was going to be away in October for the baby’s due date. So Dakota thought about a free birth. I was looking up YouTube videos should I be left delivering the baby. And I thought if that’s the case then I’d want the support of my cousin, Susie.
Then in September I asked Dakota if we should go to Cape Town to have the baby there and looked up a midwife in the area where my cousin lives. I found one who is highly qualified. And then thought Dakota could have the home birth at my cousin’s house. Dakota wondered what her bathroom looked like to compare to the one in her dream. And it was exactly the same layout except the tiles were an orangey-brown. When she said that, I immediately got an impression of my parent’s lounge suite being that colour which we had in Zimbabwe and took to Cape Town. Susie thought she better confirm with her landlord if she can have a home birth there.
Dakota flew to Cape Town at 36 weeks and met her midwife and stayed at the Airbnb that I had booked for her. Somehow out of all the Airbnb’s in the area, I coincidentally booked one that Susie’s landlord owns. When I arrived there, the first thing I noticed was the rocky steps up to our room which were the same ones that were in my vision (Blueprint blog).
12 years ago I left our home in Mafikeng to go to Media Village, Kalk Bay to do a YWAM DTS and put Dakota in a school in Sun Valley, Fish Hoek. I wanted to be equipped to go home to Zimbabwe and write stories about God being alive in Zimbabwe. I didn’t complete the outreach to Uganda as I was worried about finances, being a single mother to Dakota and not knowing what our plans would be thereafter. I was told by the leader that God will provide but I panicked and backed out. I went to Zimbabwe with my daughter and have spent the last 12 years going to the UK to do housekeeping for elderly people in their lovely homes.
So did I spend 12 years a servant for a purpose or because I ran? Or was God preparing us for such a time as this.
Dakota gave birth last week at the midwife’s birthing room. My cousin was there too, as well as another highly qualified midwife. Dakota used a birthing pool and got out to squat on a mat and after six hours of labour birthed her daughter without any medication for pain. The baby came up to her shoulder and I could immediately sense something was wrong with her. Dakota could too and kept asking the midwife. The baby went blue and was laid down and flopped her head to the side and they started CPR and she started breathing again.
Paramedics arrived and took her to a small hospital in the area and my daughter travelled with them in the front seat. My cousin and I followed by car. On entering the hospital, the appearance and feel of it reminded me of one in Zimbabwe and I had a flashback of the Pariyenyatwa hospital, Harare that I went to when I was having panic attacks due to trauma. And for a moment I thought it would trigger. My daughter sat down in a wheelchair and I ran pushing her to her baby. After the doctors left the baby I went to talk to her and kiss her over and over. And I knew then that I can’t be shaken, I could cope just as I always had prior to – being prescribed 60mg of Prednisolone – and the trauma after my mother took my daughter from me.
My daughter is so extremely brave and strong. Straight after giving birth, there was no time for rest. Praise God she didn’t tear. She spent the whole day on her own in ICU with her baby, while we waited for her downstairs.
It’s heartbreaking to watch how brave she has to be. And especially when she breaks down in tears, telling me about some of the nurses – who don’t understand the trauma she is going through – and hurt her so much by criticising her when she is learning to breastfeed and care for her newborn. And for judging her when they ask where the father of the child is, saying, ‘I didn’t know whites were like that’. Thankfully there are caring ones too.
Dakota is so sweet and forgiving. I’m not, I’m so untamed and swear and throw the donkey jawbone. God told her this baby would be born even before conception. And her baby put Dakota’s life back on track. So that I could baptise her in the pool at Victoria Falls Hotel in July when she was pregnant. Praise God for her. Her mother is born again.
When Dakota’s contractions first began God told me, ‘I’ve got this’. Then when the baby’s heart beat was being monitored during the labour, it sounded like, ‘I’ve got this, I’ve got this’, I reminded Dakota, while she sat in the pool, what God had said earlier. Then He told me He is her strength, which I told her. And He most surely was.
The baby had inhaled meconium and has been on antibiotics. She is almost coming home. She is the most brave. And our hearts break for her pricked, bruised skin. I can’t wait to kiss you, my love and for you to never be separated from your beautiful mother again.
Dakota and I ponder what this is all about, God. The dreams and being back in Cape Town. Do I run back to being a servant and leave my daughters behind, so that I can provide for them or do I serve You and do what I set out to do 12 years ago and has it taken this long for our preparation?
My Great-great grandfather was born in Zuurbrek, Cape Town in 1844. He went to study at the London Missionary Society where he met his wife. They travelled to the Cape and later journeyed six month’s in a wagon to Matabeleland, with a toddler and a newborn baby, where he remained at Hope Fountain Mission station as King Lobengula’s missionary.
Oh God, are you sending us there?
I don’t know how you provide.
I don’t understand.