Refilwe Madumo


Celebrity mom Refilwe Madumo shares her fears and joys of child birth with Sowetan moms with a personal diary entry. Madumo’s role in Scandal as an HIV infected young mother Palesa Letswalo has thus far taken her career to great hights. Refilwe paid our baby steps blog a visit and shared her experiences.

 When my husband and I decided to have a child, we went in with guns blazing! He went to the gym 6 times a week, got on vitamins and started drinking fruit shakes every morning to make sure his body was at its optimum. I had already been exercising, but I decided to lose some weight to make sure I wasn’t too big once I conceived. I went on a diet and was eating the healthiest I ever had in my life. I was already a vegetarian so my war was half won. I lost about 10 kg’s and was feeling really good! So good that when I conceived, I did not know until 2 months into my pregnancy! Going to the doctor for my first ultrasound was so incredible. Hearing my son’s heartbeat was magical.

I took up yoga, got on vitamins and still managed to keep up my gym routine well into my third trimester. I had such an easy time! No morning sickness, cravings or cramps. The only weight I gained was the baby’s. I assumed the delivery would be the same. So when I was in labour for days and days, I couldn’t understand how things could turn out that way. I couldn’t accept it, so I refused a c-section until my life was in danger.

My midwife had to make the choice for me so they could save my life and my son’s. I was devastated! I had always wanted a natural birth and thought I had done all I could to make sure I had one. I felt betrayed by my body. But once I held my son in my arms; my perfect baby; that was made and grew in my belly for 8 and a half months, I knew that all the pain and strife was well worth it. That it was no only about what I wanted. That from now on, his best interests drive my life. I kissed him and made peace with what the process had been because it was for the best.

When we left the Clinic, we went to my mother’s house inMontanaPark,Pretoria. Our family is not very traditional so there were no rules as to how long I had to be there. I had planned to stay for only 2 weeks; but after a few days, I realised how much I did not know. I was insecure about being responsible for this life.

When my 2 week deadline arrived, I did not even make a move! I stayed under my mother’s guidance for another month. I only left once I was sure that we would be okay alone, in our own home. My husband had come with us to my parents’, so he didn’t miss out on any milestones. We both thought that was very important.

I was lucky enough to be able to stay home for 5 months. Scandal was very generous with the time that they allowed me to stay off duty. I knew I wanted to spend as much time with my child as possible, when the day arrived for me to go back to work, it was very difficult.

Luckily My mother-in-law was there to take care of him so I knew he had the next best thing, besides myself. I would still call home every hour, on the hour! and would rush there during lunch breaks just to watch him sleep.

I couldn’t believe my luck! That the Universe picked me to bestow its greatest blessing upon. I’m still so grateful.. My love for him grows more and more everyday. There is nothing more precious to me than him peeling my eyes open and planting wet kisses all over my face every morning.

Hearing him call his father, ‘Baba’ is like a song. Watching him dance and hearing him laugh give a light that can never be dimmed to my world. He teaches me everyday how to live in the moment, because everyday is a milestone for him. Everyday he learns something new.

Seeing his joy as he grows makes it clear to me that the most natural state, for all human beings, is happiness. My only son, Makhosini Loapi Kunene is 8 months old now. Every day that I breath is to make sure that he is happy.

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