Hospitals and Heartbeats

Most of my experience with hospitals has been from the practitioner end. As a Physio I’ve worked in various hospitals from government to private, in South Africa and abroad.

But the last few days I’ve experienced things from a different perspective.

My pregnant wife of 27 weeks was admitted on Friday morning with severe abdominal pain, only to discover that she had a kidney stone. With the risk of early labour, our little baba was injected with steroids to strengthen the lungs, and we were given the option to wait it out and bear with the pain, or go to surgery (with further risk to baby).

My courageous wife decided to wait it out till Sunday morning. If nothing passed by then, then we’d face surgery.

So, during the long days of waiting, sitting quietly alongside her bed, walking around the cold corridors, chatting with friendly nurses, visiting the nursery, and watching others come and go, I have a new-found appreciation for hospitals.

They are places of great sorrow, but also of great joy. Places where people are at their most vulnerable and desperate. Where masks are dropped, tears are shed, prayers whispered, and new life enters the world. They are places where I think we see the best of humanity. Where trivial worries are forgotten and families are brought together.

Back in our little room, every few hours the nurses would come to check the baby’s heart-rate. They would strap on a CTG machine and the room would fill with the most glorious sound I have ever heard. The sound of our child’s beating heart. Going full ball at 150 beats per minute! The sound of new life!

Unfortunately we couldn’t avoid surgery, and last night Jess had a stent put in to her right kidney. Everything went well, and praise God baby is safe!

I am so proud of my amazing wife and the way she handled the pain. I am so grateful for all the support we had from friends and family. And I am so grateful for these places that show us our true colours.

I asked Jess how I should finish off this blog, and she said, and I quote, “Kidney stones suck!”

6 Replies to “Hospitals and Heartbeats”

  1. Hey Tom Tom, it was great to hear your words in this blog, i can only imagine the frustration you must of been feeling of helplessness and in just having to sit on the other side of the hospital experience. It is these moments like you say that the reality of life hits hardest and clearest. I love Jess quote, kidney stones do suck, along with every other illness or pain anyone should go through – it is our constant reminder that we were never created for any of it. My thoughts and heart have been with you both in prayer and i am SO relieved all has gone well. Love u both


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