Friday, May 4, 2012

For my American friends...

Olivia was welcomed into the world at 9:46am, and this was the time we left the hospital (!!)  - just over 3 hours later.  I thought it was at least 4 hours for some reason, but then we found this picture that Richard had taken in the car as we were leaving the hospital.  The Dutch way had me feeling like a pioneer woman, giving birth then hopping back on her horse to continue foraging berries for her tribe.  It was liberating to be free to go home and the BEST part of the Dutch way is the Kramzoorg system, which follows once you arrive home.

You wouldn't believe it if you didn't experience it with your own eyes, but a trained baby nurse (kramhulp) comes to your home the afternoon you've given birth and visits for a week - all day, each day.  In our case, we were fortunate to have Wilma as our kramhulp.  I get the feeling she went above and beyond her normal call of duty, but in general a kramhulp is there to take exclusive care of mother and baby.  She's not a doctor, but she does things like bring you bowls of cut fruit and endless cups of tea (or whatever appeals to you).  Ensures you get rest and is the voice of reason when you have questions or concerns about pretty much anything.  She keeps the house tidy and even does laundry and ironing.  (What!?)  She does regular checks on you and the baby (temperature, weight, etc.) to ensure all is going well and is just all around AMAZING.

The only thing is, these Dutch can be quite strict with their rules.  I was literally in my bedroom for 3 days before I was allowed to go downstairs.  For those of you that know me, this was not easy for me.  I started to get cabin fever and after taking a bazillion photos of Olivia, began taking pictures of freedom life outside my window and bad self portraits.  Can you say bored??

But as soon as my 3 days were up and I was given the green light by Wilma to carry on, we were on to birthday party planning for Sebastian.  Wilma helped with so much - not only did she carry on with all of the mom & baby things, but she helped in a big way with planning Sebastian's birthday party (which was 6 days after Olivia was born) and taught me all about Dutch traditions that go along with having a baby.  (Like the puff pastries with pink muisjes on top to celebrate Sebastian's little sister in his nursery class...)
Our wonderful nanny, whose been with us for some time now
and is a homemaker extraordinaire, made the puff pastries used for
Sebastian's nursery treats.  Amazing!  Thanks Chris!
Wilma directed the decorating while Olivia looked on...
Dutch muisjes treats approved by big brother.
Midwives come to the home to check on you periodically, and the Consultatiebureau
come to see the baby and do things like the hearing test and heel prick - all
done at home.

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