Friday, September 27, 2013

Make My Saturday Sweet - Blog Hop #51

Welcome to my weekend blog hop! Here you get to link your favorite post of the week and share it with other bloggers. Just remember to visit the last two links before yours and leave a comment and make their Saturday sweet!

I'm joining two other great hops today and I've taken the challenge of answering their writing prompts for this Friday. My own hop doesn't have a theme, so you are welcome to link your family friendly blog below.

Warning: My second writing prompt has a heavy personal story and might not be suitable for sensitive readers.

My four kids: Jessica, Samantha,
Amanda and Jeremiah

The theme on Friendship Friday is Favorite Things

What book do I never tire of reading?
At the moment, I don't have a book that I can read over and over again. I used to read books all the time, but I slowed down once I had kids. After having said that, there is, however, one Book that I pick up on a regular basis; it gives me strength for the day and that is the Bible.

What song do I never tire of hearing?
The very first song that Barbra Streisand sang on Yentl, "Where is it Written?" It's my all time favorite song and the theme song to my life since becoming a mom. The lyrics are posted at the end of this first writing prompt.

What movie do I never tire of watching?
I'm never tired of watching the Bourne Trilogy. There's enough action, story line, and romance to keep my mind engaged.

"Where is it Written?"
There’s not a morning I begin without
A thousand questions running through my mind,
That I don’t try to find the reason and the logic
In the world that God designed.
The reason why
a bird was given wings,
If not to fly and praise the sky
With every song it sings.
What’s right or wrong,
Where I belong
Within the scheme of things...
And why have eyes that see
And arms that reach
Unless you’re meant to know
There’s something more?
If not to hunger for the meaning of it all,
Then tell me what a soul is for?
Why have the wings
Unless you’re meant to fly?
And tell me please, why have a mind
If not to question why?
And tell me where-
Where is it written what it is
I’m meant to be, that I can’t dare
To have the chance to pick the fruit of every tree,
Or have my share of every sweet-imagined possibility?
Just tell me where, tell me where?
If I were only meant to tend the nest,
Then why does my imagination sail
Across the mountains and the seas,
Beyond the make-believe of any fairy tale?
Why have the thirst if not to drink the wine?
And what a waste to have a taste
Of things that can't he mine?
And tell me where, where is it written what it is
I'm meant to be, that I can't dare-
To find the meanings in the mornings that I see,
Or have my share of every sweet-imagined possibility?
Just tell me where- where is it written?
Tell me where-
Or if it's written anywhere?

Now It's Time for Finish the Sentence Friday

The bravest thing I've ever done is...
give birth to my third (and fourth) child in a government hospital in South Africa. The third child's birth was the worst experience of my life. (The fourth child's birth was in another town and a much better experience, but still rough at certain moments.) Although I've done many other brave things, this was the hardest one of all. The staff was horrible, the sanitation was not up to scratch, the many other moms who shared a large room with me ignored me, and the doctor that did his rounds lectured me.

When we first arrived, the nurse on duty decided to break my waters. Then she told me not to push, so that I wouldn't tear, but once my waters broke, the baby began moving down and pushing was inevitable. 

My husband was allowed to stay with me while I gave birth, but we had to almost demand it. He was then told to leave once the baby was born. He was the only one who was there for me through the pain.

After the baby was born, she gave me a few stitches. I was given no anesthesia or pain killers for any of the birth process, not even for the stitches. The door was left open, so there was no privacy. Whenever I screamed from giving birth or getting stitches, the staff laughed from the doorway. 

I was then told to carry my bag to the only shower for that room, which had blood in it from the previous patient(s). The bag couldn't stay where it was, because they told me things could get stolen. I couldn't lift my bag and the staff were too proud to help (it was a race issue). One lady, the only African one among them, got annoyed with them and helped me. I couldn't find the hot water, so I had to have a cold shower. I only put the bottom half of my body in the cold water. 

Then I had to wait in a passage with cushioned chairs, which had dry blood stains on them from previous women, for them to bring my baby to me. It was at night, so I was alone there. Thankfully, they used a wheelchair, so that I could hold my baby while they wheeled me to the maternity ward. I don't think I could have walked many more steps other than the ones that I had already taken. I kept asking when I would be given pain killers. I was told the lady who administers medication was off duty and that I could ask for two paracetamol tablets once I was in the ward.

Once I arrived in the large communal room, which was filled with about 20 women, I still had to ask the nurse on duty for pain killers. Every four hours, I watched the clock, so that I could ask for my two paracetamol tablets as the contractions that came with breastfeeding were very painful.

I'm a naturally friendly person, so I tried to smile at the other moms in the room, but they ignored me. Apartheid hadn't been over for very long and I was the only white woman there, so that divide between races could still be felt. I didn't live in South Africa during the apartheid and I wasn't raised racist, but they couldn't have known that.

The bathroom in the maternity ward (with toilet and bathtub stalls) was used by all of us and not cleaned after each use, so I was still worried about sanitation. I didn't take a bath and I never sat on a toilet seat. That little cold shower I had taken a few hours earlier had to sustain me.

A doctor came in the morning to check on the women and their babies. He saw on my form that this was my third child. He then went on to say why having two kids is enough and that I need to think about college and how would I be able to afford it for them. We were also all given a contraception injection in our rear ends by a nurse, so that none of us would fall pregnant again too soon. I felt like a cow.

I left with my newborn before 24 hours were up with the doctor's permission. I wished that I had written an article for the local newspaper, but I felt too much shame by the way I was treated to say anything at the time. Now I feel differently, but that was almost 13 years ago.

My daughter and I survived the government hospital experience. (She's the second one from the left wearing a black dress in the photo above.) It's the bravest thing I've ever done. I think I'd rather have a home birth, though, if I had the choice and could do it over again.

(Sorry for this negative report. I prefer telling happy stories.)


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