Thursday, 10 December 2009

The kraampakket

We knew it was due to arrive.

Every pregnant woman in Holland gets a package from the health insurance companies as she approaches her due date. The package should contain everything needed for a home birth, lots of items for after birth care, and a few other bits and bobs. This is known as the 'kraampakket'

Ours arrived yesterday.

ET sat at the kitchen table as I removed the tape and started to unpack the contents of the box.

With every item I removed she turned a whiter shade of pale. It seems they are fully expecting her to bleed to death, or at the very least be guided through the birth by hungry wolves.

Pack after pack of bandages. Box after box of gauze compresses. Mattress covers, bags of cotton wool, pads, protectors, and plasters.

By the time I pulled out the bottle of 70% proof swabbing alcohol I was shaking with laughter and ETs jaw was resting on her belly.

The contents of the box were like something Florence Nightingale would be concealing beneath her petticoat.

It seems that our insurance company don’t think ET will be going into labour, she’ll be going into first world war trenches.

Clearly, the hope is we never have to use any of this, and if we don’t we can use the umbilical cord clamps to keep our Doritos fresh. I’m not sure what we will do with the baby sling they included, which could easily accommodate a large sow, a 7lb baby would be lost for a fortnight in it.

It wasn’t all doom n'gloom and nightmare inspiring paraphernalia though. Right at the bottom, underneath the hacksaw and incontinence pads, was a fluffy blue dinosaur.

Altogether now, awwww.

9 weeks, 6 days.


54 comments:

Gina said...

so why was it blue and not pink HUH?

WeaselMomma said...

I don't understand why anyone would want to try a home birth. For no other reason than the tremendous mess that would need to be cleaned up.
Just wait a few weeks and you'll know what I mean. It's beautiful, but it's not pretty.
Good luck getting to the hospital with all wipe off surfaces when the time comes.

Susanica said...

I never heard of such a thing. Wow, that must have been odd opening such a package. Some actuary scientist must have done a cost benefit analysis to determine that it was cheaper to send that kit to every pregnant woman in the country rather than pay for the cost of one expensive hospitalization if something went wrong and wasn't properly treated.

Oh, and I agree with the first commenter. A blue dinasour must be a clue. Because the government there must know right ;-)-M

Edith said...

hahaha, told you so! :)

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

You're so lucky to live in a place that cares about baby's births.

awwwwwwwww.....

Bonnie B. said...

The blue dinosaur was a dead giveaway to the baby's sex. But what actually sealed it was the "Horizontal Stripes" title of the last post. Gotta be a boy. Women KNOW horizontal stripes are not flattering to the figure! (even if you're only 7 lbs 6 oz!)

battynurse said...

Seriously? What are they trying to tell everyone "just have it at home to save on costs"

Ms. Moon said...

Okay. I have to violently disagree with WeaselMomma and BattyNurse. Birth is not THAT messy and home birth is far from just being a cost-saving measure. Check out the statistics for infant mortality rates in countries that encourage and support it as opposed to countries (like the US) which do not.
I think the kraampakket is wonderful and I agree with Angie- how great to live in a country that cares about babie's births.
Sorry. I am feeling very curmudgeonly today.

Jenni said...

I think it's pretty cool that they included a sling and a dino! My home birth kit was not nearly as glamorous. And, it's not all for blood, friend. There are lots of fluids and such spewing forth during a birth, though it's not nearly as messy as you'd expect. The water breaking is the messiest part by far :)

Just over two months - YIPPIE!!!!!

Jenni said...

And, ditto Ms. Moon - there are lots of reasons to give birth at home that have nothing to do with cost. You and ET were lucky to have the option.

Hockeymandad said...

What? No mop?

Tara R. said...

Sounds like you and ET are all set for the arrival of Little Fritz.

rachelbk said...

Wow, all I got from my insurance company was a reminder to add the kid to my policy as soon as he was born or they wouldn't cover him.
Imagine my excitement a few weeks later when I got a bib from the governor!!!

And anything that helps me avoid stale Doritos is a true gift from heaven.

Mwa said...

Uhm, you realise there will be blood, right? And quite possibly a lot of it?

annb said...

It's way too early to confront the messy business of birth - just ignore it 'till you can't - that's how I got through it lots of 'la la la can't hear you..' conversations for 9 months! Rock on!

The Sheila said...

Did all the paraphernalia make you feel scared or happy and excited or both?

areyoukiddingme said...

I'm with WeaselMomma...birth is messy. I believe the baby and placenta only make up a third of the total weight gain (generally speaking), and much of the rest is fluids! And let's not forget that the oven in which your bun is cooking will engage in self-cleaning for several weeks. Yep, messy. The hacksaw will come in handy, though.

Sarah said...

Hmmmm, a BLUE dino you say?

frogpondsrock said...

The most important piece of equipment that ET will need at the birth will be you. Either for hand holding and back rubbing or for loudly swearing at.

(Blood,vomit and shit are all part and parcel of the birth experience and they are all easily cleaned up and just as easily forgotten about.)

Ginny said...

Was there weird mesh underwear? Because I never could have predicted them, but be damned if they weren't the handiest little buggers in the day or two after. Let me know if you need me to track some down for you.

Well, not you. E.T. But I suppose if you WANT some, I could maybe...

mammydiaries said...

I'm with Ms.Moon. I had a homebirth on my second and it was the best decision I could have made. As for the mess, it really wasn't that bad and the midwife took care of it all anyway :)

Veronica said...

Just think, you're equipped if there is ever a car accident on your front doorstep. Or if you cut your finger off during dinner prep.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Gina brings up a good point.

Awwwwwwwww!

geeksinrome said...

Love the idea but why is it called a cramp-packet? a box full of cramps? which is labor, for sure.

Another vote for homebirthing. My two were conceived, born and live in the same home. It's safe and way more comfy. I could shower and eat and the midwife did all the cleaning up. But then we did a water birth and that contained a lot of the fluidy stuff.

Ginny is right about the mesh undies (disposable). you will need them to go with the sheep-sized kotex pads you wear for a month post birth!!

no one warned me about that! your utey basically needs to shed 9 months worth of detritus that little fitz needed to be comfy.

River said...

Awww, a dinosaur. and enough bandages to see you through quite a few years of scraped knees and elbows as your child learns to ride a bike.

Monty said...

Women in petticoats are kinda hot.

Sadly for Florence, she didn't quite live up to the standard.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Gina - Dunno, I can give you the insurance companys number if you like and you can ask

@WeaselMomma - There are lots of reasons why I'd imagine.

@Susanica - Yes, the insurance company have been secretly running DNA tests.

@Edith - Yep!

@Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] - Still sounds sarcastic...

@Bonnie B. - unless we actually DON'T want to raise a child with those ridiculous notions of course...

@battynurse - 70% of births here are home births.

@Ms. Moon - Deep breaths...

@Jenni - Not that it will be used!

@Hockeymandad - I wouldn't hacve recognised it anyway

@Tara R. - gauze and all....

@rachelbk - Child is automatically insured with the same cover as the mother free of charge from moment of birth.

@Mwa - Noooooo! really?

@annb - That seems to be the approach up to now!

@The Sheila - Made ME laugh...

@areyoukiddingme - it will come out either way...

@Sarah - yes I did.

@frogpondsrock - dunno about easily forgotten...

@Ginny - there was lots of that kind of stuff...

@mammydiaries - Hired help eh!

@Veronica - Exactly!

@James (SeattleDad) - Gina is demented!

@geeksinrome - Love the way you keep saying 'you'... I won't be wearing any of it :-)

@River - That should do nicely!

@Monty - Hotter out of them....

peggy said...

Holy Crap...You mean to say I was wrong and it's a boy?

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Peggy - Did I say that?

Gina said...

Demented or just smart, I'll let you make your own conclusions!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Gina - Well one of us must not be the sharpest if you think I'd just give it away like that ;-)

Jill said...

Holy-time-flew-by batman! Seriously, only 9 + weeks left? Wow... Funny how fast everyone else's pregnancies go! :)

Russ said...

At least they ended on a high note!

I thought you were doing the birthing in a hospital? (By you I mean she, and you will be getting blessed out and having your hand crushed.)

~Tanya~ said...

It's up to you guys whether you choose to home birth or not. Both have their advantages.

I chose to go to Hospital so I would feel safer. I'm glad I did because I had every drug they could give me. I'm a sook.

Jayne said...

You'll be using up the last of that lot just as your youngest celebrates his/her 21st :P

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

Awesome name, you should totally call the kid Kraampakket.

And where are the damn pictures of it?

I believe the sling is a sex toy. Santa brought me one last year.

Alexicographer said...

Everyone's assurances notwithstanding, is it in fact a matter of choice to have a homebirth in the Netherlands, or is this pretty much the only option for low-risk pregnancies? Just curious, and definitely not criticizing ... the US of course comes nowhere close to achieving the healthy birth rates that the Netherlands has.

Looking forward to reading the birth story!

Amy said...

Bloody hell, you know how to bring up all the hot topics, don't ya? I'm thoroughly jealous of ET's homebirth. I should've had one last time round - the trip to the hospy was excruciating and a complete waste of time.
I actually apologised to the midwife for the mess after we left the birth suite, LOL!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Jill - yep yep yep!

@Russ - Yes it's hospital, they send everyone this stuff in case you change your mind, or if it happens early.

@Tanya - Yep, thats our thinking.

@Jayne - yeah, probably the 70% proof alcohol!

@Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo - The contents are in the wardrobe, the box has been resued to post stuff to Ireland.

@Alexicographer - Yes it's 100% choice to have a home birth if you want one, equally you can choose a hospital or birth center and no one causes a fuss, there is no pressure either way, your insurance covers everything.
70% of births here are home births, if there are any signs of problems during pregnancy you will be brought to the attention ofthe hospital immediately.

@Amy - She's not planning a home birth at all! They just like to make sure everything is prepared for.

Jane G said...

Florence Nightingale's petticoats....LMAO!

Arjan said...

I wonder how that word sounds pronounced in English :P

I've been away a bit too long to correctly remember if you already knew it was gonna be a boy or a girl.. they might have pink-dino packages and some neutrals for those who don't know yet/don't wanna know?

*this shows how little I know about babies at all.

AnnD said...

Wow! I can't imagine living in a country that supports HOME BIRTHS! Amazing! I want to move!

In the U.S., you would get an eye-roll and a lecture about how having a homebirth is the earliest form of child abuse or some ridiculous thing like that.

I'm just blown away by a government that cares so much about their people!

steph said...

"we can use the umbilical cord clamps to keep our Doritos fresh"

Chortle... chortle

Putz said...

get more specific 8 weeks 19 days 6 hours 7 minutes and 6 seconds

GJ said...

Both mine were born at home and there was lots of blood :)

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Jane G - Seriously, the stuff of the battlefields of France!

@Arjan - WE know what it is, no one else does ;-)

@AnnD - I do like the approach here I must say.

@steph - they really look like those bag clips!

@Putz - Are you allowed to bet? ;-)

@GJ - Ah jaysus. Think of the sofas! (Welcome!)

Momo Fali said...

ET has officially made it farther than I did with my firstborn. My daughter was born 10 weeks early. She is now a healthy, happy, eye-rolling 5th grader. Congrats!

Chelsea Lietz said...

sounds a bit frightening... good luck!

I was hoping the BLUE dinosaur meant something...

Jo said...

There is no tremendous mess, it's easily cleaned. Homebirth rules.

Lovely post, love the dinosaur surprise!

The sow aspect of the sling is maybe to accomodate the mother? No offense to ET, thinking more of myself :)

hotmamamia said...

echhhhhh! Out in a field or in a hospital...nothing in between! Sorry--I hated dealing with menstrual blood when I had to...my vote is for the hospital where they can repair those episiotomy tears and deal quickly with unexpected things that happen...I mean, you guys are ahigh risk pregnancy anyhow.....almost done too...amazing!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Momo Fali - Cool. I think.

@Chelsea Lietz - It does mean something, that it's blue :-)

@Jo - Dragon! not you, the thingy...

@hotmamamia - High risk? no we are not. Not in the slightest. We haven't even set eyes on a doctor since the checks after the procedure.

darcie said...

Wait - I haven't been here in awhile - are you having a home birth???

tomi said...

All the information we received came from different departments and some were actually confusing.

9 weeks will flash by.. Have a lovely Christmas!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@darcie - Shame on you! ;-)

Nope, they give this to everyone, in case of a change of mind, or other emergency.

@tomi - it can be very confusing!

Thanks, many happy returns.