A True Tale
Author: Bruce Coetzee I have been a cannabis smoker for many years; in fact, I sometimes fail to remember a single day where I've not woken before the crack of dawn and rolled a Marley in my humble 40 years on this planet! Needless to say, as a dad of three handsome boys and a husband for the past eleven years, this has sometimes produced some hysterical moments in my life. One such day presented itself almost ten years ago when my first son came into this world. My wife knew I was a smoker the day I met her; in fact it was she who provided me with a "mix" one cold winter night outside our local pub. I function pretty well when I'm stoned and often get involved in various technical projects that are easily handled.
After nine months beset with challenges no mortal man is equipped to deal with, my first son decided it was time for his arrival. That being said, I was already adequately “medicated” when my wife's water broke at 3 am that fine Sunday morning! Since it was our first child, and we were going to be those perfect parents, every possible preparation had been made, barring the sudden confusion that comes after waking to what can only be described as hell on earth.

With bags in hand and a vague sense of where and what was about to happen, I quickly loaded her into the car and proceeded back out of our driveway like Will Farrow in Talladega Nights! At this point, it occurred to my wife that we should possibly grab her camera because, as every young mom-to-be knows, the world must bear witness!
Pulling up the handbrake while simultaneously flinging the door open proved to be more than expected as I rolled down the grass embankment which constituted our pavement. Battered and covered in snail slime and mud, I jumped the gate and launched through the front door like a chicken on fire. The discord that usually exists between my brain and feet went silent as I tripped over the step leading to the lounge and incurred a level of carpet burn that would destroy even the mightiest of men. Nonetheless, with what remained of my pride in hand, I located the camera and set about returning to the car, where events had taken to the tune of a horror story; the frightening sound of a woman in pain. In that moment, I realised that my beloved was indeed a formidable weapon capable of rendering me completely useless in the wake of every scream that accompanied each contraction.

I suffer from blood sugar issues and, as such, keep a chocolate bar or a pack of sweets in the car in case of an emergency. Through some contorted mechanism, I had left a pack of infused jellybeans along with my usual snacks. As if guided by the supreme forces of nature, I proceeded to gulp down a generous handful as I drove us to the maternity hospital. We finally traversed the 2km distance after what seemed like an eternity, and by the time I negotiated with the hospital security, the jellybeans had taken hold!

What transpired is difficult to surmise, but in essence, my body gave in to the onslaught, and my brain simply turned around and went home! The experience was life-altering and somehow reminded me of Lewis Carol's story about a girl named Alice. I honestly failed in every attempt to collect my senses and be the supportive, understanding husband my dear wife needed.

The graphic details shook me to the core. Although I have a resilient constitution, I believe my entire perception of womanhood and the gift of childbearing, which comes so naturally to them, convinced me that perhaps women are from Mars. My son was born just after 5 am, and the relief I felt in seeing my first child come into this world is a memory I will not easily forget.

What I experienced and believed to be very real is now my bit of comedy, as I recall the shape-shifting nurse and reptilian-faced doctor who stood waiting to snatch our child as I recoiled and paused in terror. Not to mention the betrayal by my physical body in response to what my brain processed in that instance, to be the most disturbing image of my beautiful wife I had ever seen!
Edibles and childbirth are not a good combination, and following the experience, I made sure to get myself organised, as my second and third son has blessed our lives. My wife often recalls the day her first boy was born, and I still sit and smile quietly as I remember the reptilian doctor and those delicious jellybeans!

Trailblazing Partners - Issue 6


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Issue 6 - Cultivation