Today I'm taking a trip down Memory Lane and back to the Labour Ward!
Christina was pregnant...........................with twins.
Christina also had a psychiatric disorder, which had been made worse by the fact that she was pregnant.
Her husband had brought her into the hospital because she became delusional at home and he was concerned.
"Hello Doctor. You have to help me! I want these babies out of ME! They must come out now. I don't want them anymore."
"But Christina, the babies are still too small and won't survive on their own. They need to stay in your tummy and grow a bit more." I explained.
"No. I don't care. You must take them out or I will."
Christina ended up spending 3 weeks in the ward, as we were worried about what she would do.
Eventually the day of her caesarian section arrived. Christina had coped quite well up until this point, despite her delusions.
In the theatre, she started to become agitated and demanded water. We explained that she couldn't have any right now but after the operation we could give her some. I was doing the caesar and she started to wriggle around and scream....
"...water Water WATER!" but the way she said it, it sounded like wa-TA, wa-TA!
"Please Jesus help me! I need wa-TA!"
Our senior doctor, who was very religious, then proceeded to tell her that Jesus would not help her, unless she behaved, and acted like a good mother. This sent her off into a complete spin.....
"Je-SUS, Je-SUS JE-SUS!"
She continued this crazed chanting........
When the operation was finally over and she was handed her two beautiful baby boys, she started to sing to them and kissed each one gently on the forehead. This just proves how motherhood can change you.
Ten months later, I came across Christina again, one night in the Emergency Room. One of the twins was sick.
"Hello Christina. How are you? Do you remember me?" I asked, not expecting much.
"Yes, yes. You took my babies out. Thank you! But now one of them is sick. Bandile has been vomiting."
In the Swazi culture, twins always had similar names. Dudu and Gugu. Siphokazi and Siphosethu. And Bandile and Andile.
The two boys were healthy and well looked after, and Bandile recovered quickly. Christina had completely transformed into a stable and competent, loving mother. That is the one part of my job that I love...seeing the same patient later on and finding that everything is perfect.