A few months went by while I lived alone. Having left my fiance and now living with complete strangers. Most days his dad would call me from Perth, to see if I was okay, sometimes it was the only conversation I’d had, his caring tone always set my racing mind at ease. He knew things between his son and I had been fractured since we reported my father to Child protection together. He knew I was alone and I had no family now, he understood I was hurting.
My mother made a few desperate attempts to reconcile things and she would call the house I was staying in, tracked me down, got the number from some one. I couldn’t bare to hear her voice, my anger would rise like stomach acid in my throat, and my hands would shake. I hung up once or twice then she stopped calling me.
My ex-fiance was working overseas a bit since we had broken up, went to china for a few weeks at a time. He called me one day when he got back , crying on the phone, he said ‘he was sorry, sorry for emotionally disconnecting from me which had forced me to leave’, said ‘he was sorry he had hurt me even more since I was going through so much already after the crime my father had committed.’
He came over the next afternoon, I was resting on my mattress on the floor of my tiny room upstairs after a late night of assignment writing for my Degree. He stood on the street corner next to a lamp post and started calling out my name to get my attention, I woke to the sound of his voice from below my small balcony. I came out to find him standing below with a smoothie and a brown paper bag in his hand, looking up at me he said ” I brought you lunch, please can we talk?”. Tears welled up in my eyes seeing him there in that moment on that day , finally reaching out to me. I had missed him terribly but knew I had to wait for him to want to connect me with me again to fix things between us and that moment had finally arrived after months of sleeping alone on my tear soaked pillow.
We went to counseling, it was all initiated by him of course. The therapist was hard on him, interrogated him, pushed him to talk about his feelings towards me after the child abuse was reported. He said he felt like I was a “black widow spider”, he felt he couldn’t trust me as he struggled to disassociate me from my father and the crime he had committed.
Months later we moved back in together. I still had cut off all contact with my entire family, my mother, my father , my brother and all the extended relatives in South Africa as well. We were engaged again, but we knew the wedding was off the cards in the short term future given the trauma we had suffered. We decided to have a baby instead, to skip the wedding and move onto starting a family.
I had graduated from University with by Business Degree and got a position as an Assistant Buyer for a major retail chain. We were both working full time. We were happy together but alone, with no family support and only a few friends. He bought me an Apprilla scooter to get to work out near the Airport every day, he managed to get his first BMW through work as an Operations Manager of a food processing plant, something he had worked hard for over the last few years in Queensland.
A few months later I fell pregnant with our first child and we decided to leave the state and go to Perth Western Australia, where he was from, where his family were.
We sold all our furniture out of our rental apartment in the city, packed a small pallet of cardboard boxes to send across along with the only baby item we had acquired yet, a ‘Porta cot’. We sent his car on a train and we took our suit cases and boarded the 5 hour flight to Western Australia.
I was 24 and he was 29 when she was born. A healthy, big baby,chubby with creases on her arms and blood on her head. The labor had been slow , days in fact, 3 to be precise.
We were living with his parents at the time, I had walked kilometers around the suburb blocks trying to tell her to hurry up and arrive. I had spend two nights seated in an arm chair watching countless re-runs of Tv episodes, the contractions too strong to sleep through. Every time we called the hospital the mid-wives said ‘please wait until the contractions are at least 5 minutes apart before you come into the labor ward’. What I didn’t know was that they would never be regular even after all the books I’d read, I didn’t know they could be totally irregular.
My fiance stayed home with me those days , working on his laptop for work while I wailed and walked.
On the third day, totally exhausted from no sleep for two nights and from endless walking we decided to go to the hospital. We drove in peek traffic, for an hour, through multiple traffic lights and school zones doing 40 km/h. When we arrived at the hospital at 8am, the midwives assessed me, told us I was 3cms dilated and labor was established. All I remember is thinking ‘oh thank God cause I need all the help I can get to get this baby out’. After countless showers and heat backs on my painful lower back because she was “posterior” of course ( facing the wrong way). Minus any epidural and pain relief and after pushing for almost 2 hours with words such as forceps being used I knew it was now or never. She finally graced us with her birth at 7:57pm. Beautiful and screaming.
An hour later after this life changing moment of child birth ,my nightmare started.
I was hemorrhaging, and fast. ‘Code blue’ was called and medical staff started pouring into the room. The registrar had arrived with many other people and I started shaking uncontrollably. The pain well beyond the child birth experience i had just endured, as they manually tried to stop the bleed. They kept telling me to breathe in the gas from the mask I held in my left hand and I remember turning and looking at ‘my husband to be’ holding my hand tightly in his and thinking ” This is it, isn’t it, this is bad, this is where I say goodbye to you, you and our new baby, I am so sorry.” After 2 hours and almost 2 Litres of blood loss they had brought my body under control. I was still breathing, alive and I was a mother.
Apparently in the minutes that followed he asked me if he could call my mother in Queensland. I had not communicated with her for over a year now. I don’t even recall this conversation with my fiance. Exhaustion and hunger had fully set in, they brought me toast with jam at midnight my first meal in two days or so.
I stayed in hospital with our new baby girl for 5 days and during that time my mother arrived. She came in to see me and I remember feeling nothing really, nothing but disconnect and coldness. She said ‘she adored my new baby girl, I should be proud, and she held her wrapped in her arms on the bed beside my wary body’.I still hated her I think, I still felt angry that she had sided with my father after he confessed to abusing her niece, my 9 year old cousin. She had turned her back on an innocent child, a victim of crime and she had also turned her back on me.
I wanted her to leave.