thefamilia .info

©Robert William Baker

Send suggestions to


The most beautiful gal in the world

I love listening to my Mom speaking about the day I was born. How her water broke and they had to rush me to Vincent Polotti hospital. I wrote this page to ensure that the details of 'Bella's birth don't fade.

The induction

The gynae (Johan van Heerden) had let Karen know that if she didn't go into labour by the 14th March 2007, they would induce her; and she had an admission ticket for 8pm on the 14th March. When we got into the car, Karen was very emotional and it was only at that point I realised how scared she was of the birth process. We arrived at the Milnerton Medi-Clinic in my Toyota Yaris Spirit, armed with a camera, a suitcase and my laptop! After completing the admission red tape we found our way to Karen's room B3-4 in the maternity ward, which we shared with another couple. I started getting tired, and at 11pm the Sister, Elsie, suggested I go home and come back in the morning. Eventually after finding the special late-night exit at the emergency entrance I drove home bleary eyed and slept...until a 2am conversation with my mother-in-law and then a 0400am phone call with Elsie....labour had started...bleary-eyed I travelled back to the Medi-Clinic. My instincts started justifying that speeding was ok under the circumstances...but my brain told me to arrive alive and I stuck - more or less - to the speed limit.

Epidurals make you happy

You make my heart go...

Last childless moments

Back at the Medi-Clinic

On arrival back at the medi-clinic I couldn't find Karen. I eventually discovered she had been moved to a labour room, with a big spa-bath in it (which we didn't use). Karen wasn't in good shape. I asked her whether we should arrange for an epidural, she said yes and I went and organised with the nurse...unfortunately organising an epidural isn't a matter of clicking your fingers and presto the anaethetist arrives to administer it...there's a delay. Meanwhile they hooked up some gas and a mask for Karen to use just as the contractions arrive...this helped marginally (Karen described it as making you dizzy). Another lady was in labour in the room next to ours, and Karen and her were in competition (at least in my mind) over who could suck the most in their gas maks. It was time for Elsie to go home and our new nurse, Delmarie, arrived. Eventually Dr Bowden (no relation to Billy) arrived for the pain relief. From here there was a marked change - Karen was upbeat and happy again (and numb!). Every now and then the medical staff would spray stuff on her and ask if she could feel it (and I'd twiddle her toes...which she could feel!).

Birth of 'Bella

Johan van Heerden eventually arrived (he'd just done a c-section for Erin's new sibling - Erin is a friend of Chelsea). Johan and our Nurse, Delmarie, decided that they needed somebody else to collect the stem cells (yes, we decided to store the stem cells from the umbilical cord...never know when you'll need to grow a liver or kidney). To our delight, the extra nurse called in was none other than Joey, our ante-natal class teacher. 'Bella was struggling to get out, and Johan used a vacuum piece of equipment to latch onto her head and pull her out...and we discovered what was holding her up - the umbilical cord around her neck and arm. There was very little amniotic fluid spilling out, and Johan told us if we'd waited much longer, the birth would have had to be a caeserian section.

A newborn 'Bella

I've got lungs

Mother's love

'Bella's first moments

After I cut the umbilical cord (feels rubbery) Karen and I spent a few moments in awe, marvelling at our new arrival. 'Bella in turn spent the first 5 minutes of her life crying - a good thing too, for all the liquid in those lungs to be expelled. Johan reminded me about my camera and I started snapping some shots. For the record book:






Thursday, 15 March 2007





Bonding as a family

Delmarie, Johan and Joey then left and Karen and I spent some moments together with Bella, and she also got her first feed (appetite excellent!) - it felt great spending moments alone together, bonding as a family. After a while Delmarie came and helped Karen (she was still feeling numb from the epidural) to her ward bed, I wheeled Bella to the room and Delmarie wheeled Karen.

Sister Delmarie

Stem Cells

Back in ward

In between feeds 'Bella slept like the dead, in fact we had to wake her up for her last feed (the nurses were worried her blood sugar might drop too low if she wasn't fed). We got loads of flowers (thanks thanks!) stacks of calls and SMS's. Grandparents' visiting hours were 1900-2000, and my jet-setting Dad and Marcia came to visit - I say jet-setting as they were leaving for Singapore the next morning.

Mom & 'Bella

What a Babe!

the jet set

Full photo archive of Bella's first day

Back to Isabella Rose Baker Main Menu