Our cover choice for the Africa issue, 27-year-old Pearl Thusi, is not only astonishingly beautiful but impossibly lively. It is this very energy that radiates from the images of her on this month’s pages, an energy that not even a marathon cover shoot with some unplanned surprises like loadshedding could dampen. This month’s cover is therefore a tribute to possibilities from our cover star’s fabulous personality and generous soul to the elegant, strong and peaceful images produced in spite of everything the day threw at us. It is you and me and all of us, standing proud and grounded against all odds, every day, and loving every minuscule morsel of it.
Thankfully, she was staying on the antenatal unit, only a few feet from the c-section operating rooms.
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Once her son had stabilized, she came back to antenatal for visits, watched TV, and took much needed breaks with us. She told us how much she valued having the opportunity to chat with other moms who had been with her through the hard part of her pregnancy. We each took turns visiting her baby, which also helped us become more familiar with the NICU and its staff.
When my son was admitted, this mother and her son were two incubators down from us. It was reassuring to have an NICU veteran help me in the early days. She showed me where to get the breast pumps, how to sterilize the equipment, and where to get clothes for my son.
It was also great to have a friend to grab a coffee with between breast pumping sessions. While hospital life can be unpredictable it can also be rewarding. One mother of twins found out she was going to have a c-section, even though she had planned for a vaginal birth.