Thursday, August 14, 2008

On Childbirth in The Netherlands

I do hope to have some time to write all about my incredible birthing experience here in the Netherlands... how I begged for an epidural - but wasn't "granted" one by my drill-sergeant midwife, how her refusal made me realize that I was capable of doing something I never dreamed possible, and how oddly, yet beautifully natural the whole thing was -- from the downright excruciating pain and burning of the last few pushes, to her telling me to reach down and grab him - just as he was making his grand entrance into this world - and encouraging me to pull him onto my chest and hold him... in a hard-earned moment that I will never forget. And then there's the awesome fleet of little "Kraam" helpers (a cornerstone of Dutch postnatal care) that cook for me, shop for me, clean for me, and gently remind me to slow down... and the home visits by the family doctor, to check on Alexander and I, and make sure all are well.

Two thumbs up these incredible aspects of the Dutch health care system!

But my main priority for now is to admire this incredible little masterpiece... for the next few minutes, hours, days, months and years. Only now do I truly realize how much Lukas has grown, and how quickly this moment shall pass.


Anonymous said...

Well said Liz. I'm so pleased you had such a wonderful birth experience and that you realise how fleeting these moments are. Enjoy the precious gift you have been given. Aren't womens bodies wonderful? Carol XX

Unknown said...

Liz - I've been lurking on your site for a long time without commenting. I just wanted to say congratulations to you and your entire family! I admire your willingness to try even this most ultimate of mothering experiences in a foreign place.

Do we have a name yet? I'm very curious!

Anonymous said...

Aw, congratulations! He is beautiful!

I had my second baby au natural - not that I set out to, mind you; it just worked out that way. I too was begging for the epidural. :)