My mother was pregnant again that year and had started showing around June. So the house was once again being made ready for the arrival of another baby. From about August the house was turned upside down and given a complete clean. Father spent more and more time away from home, if he was not away in Europe he was looking after his other branches. He had opened a new one in Durban as well.
One evening when my mother was just over seven months pregnant they returned home together rather early. The top of the driveway was blocked by a new delivery of building sand, so they were forced to use the front entrance. They exited the car like champagne corks and sort of argued quietly as they climbed the stairs to the veranda, the next thing my father spun round, I have never been sure if he was attempting to grab her or whether he pushed her, but the nett result was that she tumbled head over heels down the stairs and landed on her extended stomach. She picked herself up making use of the hand offered by my father and proceeded to her bedroom and lay down. A week later she was admitted to hospital in order to save the baby.
Before my mother left for hospital, she prepared frozen meals for my father and left instructions for Hubby as to what to feed us while she was gone. The evening following my mother’s departure to the hospital, Caroline arrived home with my father. We were introduced to her as an overseas visitor, trouble being that I recognised her from the tennis club. She was ensconced in Granny’s old room where all our visitors stayed and was to stay until after the birth of Kern. During her stay it was amazing to see how she tried to interfere in the routine of us children she only stopped when Hubby told her “That her Madam had given her instructions and when she, Caroline was the Madam of the house would she, Hubby, change those instructions”.
The day after Kern was born she disappeared faster than she had arrived. Kern was born two months premature, and was declared clinically dead a few minutes after his birth. The doctor that had just delivered him had also given my mother a hysterectomy and left the closing up to others when he rushed through to the baby and did enough to resuscitate Kern. Kern was kept at the hospital for a few weeks and mother only returned home about a week after his birth. When Kern was finally brought home he fitted into my mother’s shoe boxes, I know as I tried it and he fitted.
After Kern arrived home a sort of truce descended over the household as Kern needed peace and quiet to enable him to sleep and grow without unnecessary crying that would take away what energy he had for growing.
Lots of Hugs and more,