I write this after coming back from having a chat with the gynaeocologist Dr. Asbeck. What a lovely, wise woman she is! I thought she was older than she is a she seemingly knows everything, and arent doctords always ‘older’? She is but 35! Of course, as a medic she went to shake my hand; I dived in a gave her a kiss on the cheek like old friends. Well she did share one of the most important days of my life; the birth of baby Eve on 4th February.

We arrived seperatley at olvd west hospital – formerly St. Lucas Andrea hospital where I had wanted to go with Lucie’s birth but they were full. Toine took Lucie to creche by bike at 7:30 am as I was being induced at 8am, what a ridiculously early time to manage to get out of the house with a toddler, but we made it without a squabble. I cycled (LOL at 38 weeks pregnant). He was a bit late but I was only lying on the bed ready for my CTG test . All was fine and a little over an hour later we were brough to my delivery room. Yes, both our mouths hung open ‘what? No Im not staying, we are just getting a balloon and going home’. Like a trip to hema for party stuff haha. Well, we were wrong and I must stay. After quite a few chats to some very lovely doctors and nurses who said it was ‘protocol’ we decided to get the balloon and go against their ‘protocols’ and leave. They did say it’s not a prison and Dr. Asbeck had said it might take 4 days (!) so what on earth were we going to do for that long? I couldn’t foresee Eve arriving on her own as Lucie came at 41 +4 days and I didnt imagine Eve was going to show up any time soon. Anyway after a little check Asbeck  said baby had raised and now there was a danger that the cord would fall out if my waters broke if at home, enabling babys head to sit on the cord and subsequently receive no oxygen. So we stayed.

It was ok, I wasn’t going to put our baby in danger. Lucie had her door keys, I had put them in her rucksack ‘just in case’ and Opa Piet came to collect her around 5pm. He had said ‘now I need to hurry!’ on the phone to Toine. It was noon when we called. And Oma Marlies would come on the saturday and they would swap shifts.

Just after noon I received the inducing balloon; a balloon placed in my cervix which would hang down hopefully putting pressure on to dilate and getting things going on its own. It didnt do much and it didnt hurt, I just felt like I had 3 phone chargers hanging between my legs! One cable they said…

Ilena, our doula came and did some body work. For me to get to know her, and her hands which is important when trusting someone during birth. I must add that me ‘hiring’ Ilena was very much a last minute thing! (I am a kind of craig david client; I literally emailed her on tuesday evening after seeing Oda during the day for foot relexology, she came by on wednesday, I was induced on friday and delivered Eve on saturday!) I was so pleased she had time to help us.

We had some chats and she suggested we both go for a walk so around 5 we walked to Sloterplas for a wander and to look at the water, it was lovely a little bit of time together. That cafe on the corner is still not finished! I used to run over that terrace with Merle in those running days when we were in training for the 1/2 marathon. Then I hugged a tree much to my surprise, was quite nice, on Ilena’s reccomendation. I thought of Lucie and Eve.

Later Oda came later to do some foot refelxology. She is another amazing woman, she came to our house on the wednesday and did some body work too, she asked me to envisage my baby, ask her to come down; invite her. Tell her we are all ready for her and would love to see her. I envisaged little Eve with a head of dark hair and this was SUCH a nice and very important thing to do which i hadnt made time for at all and I was so pleased to have seen Oda before Eve arrived. Normally its no visitors after 8 but she said she was Ilena’s assistant doula, good thinking! I went to sleep at 9.

Early saturday morning around 4:30am I woke, as usual with leg pains, and hunger! So went to the loo, had a bit of a museli bar and swapped beds with Toine back to my birthing bed. Toines bed was way more comfy! Almost as soon as I got into bed I had a tummy ache and shivers. About 45 mins later i decided we had to tell someone as I couldnt warm up and had cramps and didnt feel all that good. My temperature was 38, and Eve’s heart rate was extremely high at 200 when its supposed to be 130-160.. I was given anti-biotics and gave myself a suppository.. and we were told that if my fever didnt go down and Eve didnt relax then I would have a c-section at noon. I wasn’t even that worried or scared, due to my hypnobirthing techiniques I was pretty relaxed and calm actually, quite surprising. I really felt quite fine.

Toine called Ilena around 7 and she arrived at 8am by taxi. We did a lot of relaxation techiniques to calm the baby, by this point I was obviously connected to all their monitors. I naturaaly wanted to sway standing up. I leant against the wall with my head so baby could hang but this made me dizzy,  I leant over the bed and let my tummy hang down, Eve really liked this. At some point I was actually singing Jingle Bells, or Sinterklaasje Bonne, Bonne, Bonne, as Eve had obviously heard all those months of xmas songs with Lucie and they did seem to calm her down.

At 11 I lay on my side and Ilena did some back body work. At this point I became very panicky, fearful, scared and worried that I would get a c-section and would die on the table. This had been a fear of mine already for the previous few weeks and I ran out of time/kept forgetting to ask my medium friend, Joke, to think about me while I was birthing and look out for me. May seem silly to some but I was so scared that Lucie and Eve would have no Mummy, and was very upset that we had both said we’ll collect you later, Lucie had said ‘see you later Mummy’ and neither of us had collected her from creche the night before as we had to stay in. Ilena asked what I’d like to do and Toine texted Joke for me asking her to watch us, and this made me feel much better, and we skyped Lucie :) All good! Ilena asked if it ended as a section how would I like the room; ‘with her and Toine in the room, the candles, a warm room, and kind anaesthetist!’. She said ‘ah a dimmed operation room’ and we laughed :)

I felt much better after calling Lucie.

A little after this Mw Asbeck came in and checked me, the balloon had basically done nothing and while she was examining me she asked if she should break the waters. I was quite surprised at this as felt tricked! But after speaking wiht her later (I went to see her when Eve was 9 weeks) she said she didn’t mean to trick me but was surprised how soft the sack felt and thought it a good idea to break it. Then she said ‘we need to make a decision soon as I need to do a section in 15 mins!’. We were all shocked and thought she meant me! But she didn’t.

At noon everything was going well, Eve was chill and I had no fever anymore and felt totally fine! So at 1pm Asbeck allowed us to continue doing what we were doing and relaxing but I did start receiving fake Oxytocin, very small amounts gradually building up. At around 4pm it was getting pretty heavy, the surges and all. I was still moving around in different positions , we tried having a shower together but the bathroom was so cold it wasn’t really nice, and the shower not a very steady stream of water! So pretty crap really! By now I was about 4cm dilated. I asked if we could go in the room with birthing pool, as if I couldnt I didn’t think I was going to make it much longer without pain relief. To my joy the lady currently in it wanted an epidural so agreed to leave the room and Ilena made the room as lovely and warm, smelling as nice as my current room! I forgot to add the room was filled with frankincense, and we had battery powered candles on. It was very beautiful and the whole corridor smelled amazing! At 4:30pm I went into the pool and around 7pm got out again. I went from 4cm to 10cm in 1.5hrs! The water was amazing, I will never forget it! I knew it would be my pain relief. So wonderful for my body exactly the pain relief I needed. I felt great in there, and would recommend it to anyone!  I knew it would feel good as I had sat in a bath with Lucie but then was nowhere near as relaxed as with Eve. I threw up almost as soon as I got in the pool, Ilena quickly grabbed a ‘hat’ and I filled it with all the cola and juice I’d been drinking all day.. I was actually ‘nil by mouth’ in case of the section but needed some sugars so Ilena gave me coke and juice. I threw up a lot with Lucie too so I expected this to happen again and it did.

I must mention that Toine had a headache all day and Ilena was giving me washclothes with nice scents on and his with peppermint to help his head..

At 5:30 I felt the urge to push! Toine had just got back from having a bite to eat, and we were all surprised, me completely!! It happened pretty quick I must say! Ilena was amazing, she ‘puffed’ her way with me through all the surges, she mustve been shattered! And at one point pushed apoint in my chest with her fingers which felt great – moving the pain focus to somewhere else in my body. I can remember her saying ‘relax your shoulders’ a lot! All the time, but EVERY time i forgot so was so greatful she reminded me. And when going down into the water completely relaxing and feeling the water all around me was so great, I often had a mouthful of water and blubbed my way up again. It was so refreshing the water, just right not even cold, lukewarm swimming pool perfectness. Its odd because my recollection of the room was all orange glow (salmon was my birthing colour) and darkish but  a lot of the photos are very bright and unatmospheric.

I did give it all I could and Eve was coming ‘down’ but at around 7 she had a low heart rate so I got out of the bath, an ordeal in itself those steps omg, I had to use climbing technique with my feet so I didn’t slip and fall.. I did actually think of climbing when getting out of there… ! I had a surge on the floor so there I was crouched down sheet around me bending over the loo. Got onto the bed lying down, then after a while went on the ‘baarkruk’ which did help a bit, then had another panic attack that it was the same as Lucies birth and Eve wasnt going to fit round the corner, exactly the same. Up until I actually saw her come out I didnt trust my body ONE BIT that she would come out that way. For me it was all the same, same problem ‘the u-bend’ I seemingly have! Ilena leant on the bed, told me some things that it wasnt the same, that it was actually all different and that she IS coming. After that it went much better! I dont even know how but all the staff wondered what she’d said to me as the progress after was amazing! They asked if I want to see but I just didnt, not believeing she was actually coming out ’til I could see her myself!’. Edit: just before I moved to the bed again to be onn all 4s I remember saying ‘come on Luice!’ a few times, then toine and I both shouted “i mean eve!’ come on EVE! He also kept calling me Lucie all day , which we and Ilena laughed about.

A little after that Asbeck suggested i get back on the bed on all fours/leaning over the headboard. This was blimmen near impossible; I felt like I had a square wooden box/train in between my legs half coming out!! I dont think anyone can imagine this if they havent done it before! It did feel like trying to get a square box out of a round hole..

After some jiggling and help from Asbeck on all fours I was asked to turn over on my back again. Asbeck said I was so athletic, well yes I felt that too! The head and shoulders came out soon after that and Eve was born at 20:49!

I said ‘get her Toine!’ and he helped lift her out into the world, all slippery ‘covered in chip fat’ he said. Beautiful, I can still remember his face, so proud and emotional and very happy she was here! The photos said it all, I plopped my head onto the pillow and a second later couldnt wait to see her my new baby girl.