Top midwife, to be Frank

2016-09-20 06:00
Frank Cedres sits proudly with the newest baby he helped midwife on Monday 12 September. He also proudly helped midwife his nephew Leonardo (7) and niece Claudia (9). His first midwife experience was assisting his wife with the birth of their daughter Junika (13) and his son Chesy (11). PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

Frank Cedres sits proudly with the newest baby he helped midwife on Monday 12 September. He also proudly helped midwife his nephew Leonardo (7) and niece Claudia (9). His first midwife experience was assisting his wife with the birth of their daughter Junika (13) and his son Chesy (11). PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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He can’t read or write and is labelled as the “black sheep” in his family, but despite all this, a 38-year-old man from Lotus River has midwifed five births – the most recent on Monday morning – and two of them were his own children.

Frank Cedres recently brought a healthy baby girl into the world and says he couldn’t be happier to be known as the resident “midwife”.

“It was after 02:00 on Monday morning when my sister-in-law went into labour and I had to assist her. It is such a great feeling knowing that I can help these mothers bring their children into the world. When doing so it makes me feel happy that I have basically saved two lives,” he says.

About the four-day-old baby he recently birthed, he says they called the ambulance “but they took too long”.

“It’s my brother’s daughter who was born on Monday morning. When my sister-in-law was in the process of giving birth, they called the ambulance, but they responded only about an hour later. If I had all the necessary equipment I would even cut the cord for them because I know how to do that as well,” he says.

His first midwife experience was 13 years ago when he assisted his wife in giving birth and bringing their daughter Junika into the world.

“I don’t have any medical experience at all. I went on what I have seen and all of it is self-taught. I also assisted with our second child, our boy Chesy (11),” he proudly says.

His mother, Avril Cedres, says they are “so proud of the gift Frank has been blessed with”.

“You know, we always thought of him as the one that’s always in trouble and making trouble, but on the other hand there is this really good thing he is doing. It really just makes me feel proud as a mother,” she says.

Cindy Cedres, Frank’s sister-in-law, says she couldn’t be happier when she gave birth to her son Leonardo (7) and daughter Claudia (9) and Frank was there to assist during the pregnancy. “I was so nervous while giving birth and I gave birth at home as well. When I heard Frank’s voice inside I just shouted for him to come and help me. I couldn’t be more grateful that he was there at that moment. He really helps one through the process with breathing properly and telling you when to push,” she says.

Frank says he has become well-known for his midwife duties in their community.

“Other women in the area are saying they would rather have me deliver their babies than wait for an ambulance,” he laughs.

Frank says he “wishes” to complete a course in midwifery.

“Because I have no experience I am not able to do this professionally, but I really enjoy it so much. It gives me great pleasure to bring a new life into this world. I would love to do a course in midwifery. I have always wanted to do something related to it, but the only thing that hinders me is the fact that I am illiterate – I can’t read. But if there was a way for me to complete a course in it, I would be extremely happy,” he says.

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