Tuesday 4 August 2009

Fries with that?

We've ordered an off the rack, self-service, no frills birth.

Somewhere, hopefully in mid February next, we'll grab a bag and head off to the Mcternity ward and pick ourselves up an extra value happy kiddie meal.

What am I rambling on about? Dutch births is what.

Yesterday we met with a midwife for the first time. To be technical, she was a stand-in midwife, but a mid-wife none the less.

We will be dealing with a nice local practice, which oddly has the most steep spiral staircase I've ever seen leading up to it. Lets just say I won't be walking up them behind ET once her balance comes into question. I'm convinced many a male partner has met their fateful end at the bottom of those stairs, the last life breath flattened out of them by a combination humongous pregnancy bulk and unsuccessful attempts at defying gravity.

The practice has 4 midwives, all of whom we will be meeting in the coming 6 months, so that we are all familiar and happy with each other. When the big day comes, it could be any of the four that throws me dirty looks and tells me to grow a pair.

Our first session was an overload of information, things we must do, when we must do them, things we could do, and when we could do them. Our choice is for a hospital birth, which remarkably is not the most common choice here in Holland. Home births are first choice, coffee shops are the second favourite location, with among the tulips and canal births joint third preferred birthing venues.

I may have made some of that up.

There not being a medical reason for being at the hospital, means that we will really only be using their space, drinking their coffee, and messing their bed linen instead of our own. The midwife will be there of course, but all going well, there will be no appearance from a doctor whatsoever.

In fact, if all goes to plan, the first time a doctor will attend to this kid will its first snotty nose, or its first bar fight injury, whichever comes first.

Ironic really, considering the number of medical professionals who've taken a spanner to ET's undercarriage just to get us to this point.

In one way I find this a little freaky, but I'm surprised at how calming the Dutch approach to pregnancy and birth seems to be.

Of all the things I learned yesterday, the coolest of the cool is that if there are no complications, we would all be home again within two hours of the birth.

We are going to a bloody baby drive through!


..al said...

LOL@ Dutch approach to pregnancy ...

Valentine's Day baby then! You better be tying red roses to Little Fitz's baby carriage.

You can come back home within two hours of the delivery? Wow!

Sarah said...

You've such a way with words.

Sarah said...

I'd like to recant my previous comment and replace it with a resounding...


There. Better?

Nadine said...

Hahahaha! You are hilarious!

I recommend the coffee shop birth.. It has some amazing sedatives.

Seriously though, with the first I choose home birth (after I always said I would go to the hospital). I thought it was pretty relax that we didn't need to go out and were in the comfort of our own home.

Anonymous said...

Two hours!?


Ms. Moon said...

Let me ask you to consider this- wouldn't it just be EASIER to stay at home? I mean, speaking as a woman who has given birth more than once, I know that getting up and getting dressed and getting my child dressed and all of us transported back to my own bed is the very last thing I want to do within two hours of giving birth. I would rather be there in my own bed to begin with. Which yes, the sheets would have to be changed on before I could get back in it but that's not a big deal.
I am a practical woman, you know.
Plus, I worked in a birth center where people went home a few hours after giving birth and it was not an easy thing for them to do.
Of course, this is yours and ET's call and that's all there really is to it so I'll shut up now.

Anonymous said...

Be sure to check the package when you leave ... they always forget my fries ... You wouldn't want to drive off without all ten toes.

Jenni said...

sounds lovely. I think American's often forget that pregnancy is not an illness - it's a natural part of life. Sounds like you are on your way to a fantastic birth.

Sadia said...

I fell in the "high-risk" category; I wonder if that sort of pregnancy would be handled more, I dunno, medically? The upside of "high-risk" was ultrasounds every other week. :)

Rob Monroe said...

Ha ha. You said "bloody" and you didn't shiver. I'm willing to bet you re-read this post differently after witnessing childbirth. :o)

Mwa said...

You know if you're going to be putting stuff on the internet you are going to get some unsollicited advice, right?

Well, I'm kind of with Ms Moon on the part where the two hours after giving birth you will NOT be wanting to go anywhere. Because you will be wanting to do a lot of ooh-ing and ah-ing and maybe start breastfeeding.

However, I'm also with the medical people on the hospital birth. Could you not stay a night? My first birth (well, actually my second if I count when I was born myself) I got four days in the hospital and asked for one extra to help with breastfeeding. The next birth I got five days and went home after four. (I'm difficult and fickle.)

By all means tell me to butt out.

moosh in indy. said...

I want to say something bad about my country right now.
But instead I'll continue to revel in you successfully knocking up your lady.

Kori said...

Well hell, it isn't like you have to decide what to do today; you have a few months yet to really explore all the different options. Could oyu perhaps combine a tuilp-field/coffee chop venue, followed by going home in two hours? Because really, that sounds like heaven to me.

Liz said...

You couldn't get the Hamburgler in there somewhere?

Kim said...

Moving everyone back home in two hours? I'd go with the coffee shop. They let you hang out as long as you like.

I am estatic that things are going smoothly for ET and Little Fitz!

Claire said...

I'm with Mwa - once they kick you out you're on your own! I ended up having an emergency c-section and had no choice but to stay but even if I hadn't, after hours of exhausting labour it was kinda nice having people around to help with the baby. People who actually had a freakin' clue what they were doing - because we didn't.

Russ said...

Dude, you will be walking behind her, up those stairs. Remember, that she is carrying you child. If she needs you to be a human cushion, so be it.

Two Hours?! Please say that is a joke! The Wife wasn't even ready to sit up after two hours.

And birthing is messy, definitely do it in the hospital.

Heather said...

Oh man - my husband is great, but I think he needed the two days of nurses training before he could take care of me and baby at home! We would have been scared shitless to bring our first baby home just two hours after the birth.

May I suggest a waterproof mattress pad? ET will be rather messy for the first 24 hours after birth.

I'm sorry - now begins the onslaught of unsolicited advice. I hate getting it, and yet look at what I just did.

Ms Avery said...

Two hours? Scary.

Anonymous said...

Home, home, home, home, home. If it's all uncomplicated it will be so much nicer to do it at home. Honest.

Ash said...

Two hours ? Wow, you probably won't even have changed little Fitz first nappy in that time and they think it's a good idea to send you home ?

Ian Newbold said...

I would prefer a stand up midwife.

mammydiaries said...

As always, love reading your post:) Brought a smile to my night (and a slight chuckle as well) :)

Nikki aka Widdle Shamrock said...

Here in New Zealand, we take the placenta home and bury it and plant a tree over it. (well, we have that option and I took it) Maori custom.

Watched a programme the other week where women hit the big 'O' while giving birth (don't ask me how, it was all a bit much for me)

Interesting how different countries have different protocol.

Deb said...

Two hours? Dude. I know this is very American of me to say, but I was really looking forward to my three days in the hospital with the second kid. It was the only time I was ever going to have full-time staff to help me take care of my kid ever again. :)

James (SeattleDad) said...

At least you will be in a hospital if anything goes wrong. It happened with us. We had midwife and when things got tricky we had 9doctors there when Lukas was actually born. It'll all be good.

Mwa said...

My daughter came out all blue and lifeless - I was very happy to be in hospital, too.

Anonymous said...

2 hours?? Not to be a scare monger here, but after my second child was born I had a major bleed..5 hours after she was delivered. Needed emergency surgery and was in hospital for an extra 4 days...I really think there is something to be said for spending a day or two in hospital. And new babies are daunting, especially when they are the first! Good luck with whatever you chose though :-)

Bonnie B. said...

But "bsouth" you've exactly nailed it when you said "If it's all uncomplicated." That's a mighty big IF in my humble opinion, that's why I like the hospital idea. But I didn't do the "at home" thing myself with my 2, so what the hell do I know, right?

Will said...

No medical reason to be at the hospital? I hope for your sake nothing goes wrong. Especially after everything it took to get here.

Mellie said...

oh my, 2 hours after the birth you can go home?! I would have been overjoyed to go home that soon. I don't like hospitals! But at the same time, the postpartum care was excellent and it was nice to have nurses to help for a few days.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't be a huge fan of going home 2 hours after giving birth. After mine, I didn't want to walk or move for a good week. I could barely stand long enough to take a shower the next day! As long are you're close to a hospital, I would maybe reconsider having it at home. Just my two cents :)

A Free Man said...

Yeah, going home early is better. S got home the next day after out first - a few complications - but in Oz they make you stay in hospital for a few days. The hospital just isn't that nice a place.

Karen MEG said...

A midwife in a hospital sounds like a good plan. Not so clinical, and yet in hospital "in case".

My mom was a midwife in England in the 60's... she used to ride to homes to deliver babies totally on her own. Neat concept; mind you, I didn't want her with me when I had my kids... go figure.

But I agree with the others... 2 hours? Whoa! I stayed overnight for #2 so that we could be home for Christmas, and I thought that was short!

Proseaholics said...

You're an idiot

Martin said...

@WiseGuy - I somehow can't see that happening.

@Sarah - kissass.

@Sarah - That's better.

@Nadine - I can see the benefits.

@Christa - it's possible.

@Ms. Moon - Easier? no. Having to pack everyone up and bring them to the hospital within 24 hours of a home birth and bring them back again is a more complicated logistical event.

@iamstacey - :-)

@Jenni - It feels like a good comfortable compromise.

@Sadia - yeah absolutely, any sign of complications or a higher risk pregnancy would be handled appropriately.

@RobMonroe - I said 'bloody baby' even!

@Mwa - Do you have kraamzorg there?

@moosh in indy. - Thanks :-0

@Kori - at the end of the day, the decision could be taken out of our hands anyway!

@womb for improvement - for shame.

@Kim - yeah so far so good!

@Claire - That's not the case, if you go home immediately or after a week, you are entitled to 8 days of having a personal nurse at your home.
The nurse will do everything that the mother & child needs, cooking, cleaning, care for other children, help with the baby, advise on breastfeeding, and tending to the mother.
Most definitely not on your own.

@Russ - No joke!

@Heather - heh, so you did!

@Ms Avery - possibly.

@bsouth - and if its not you need to make a dash... not a nice idea to me.

@Ash - why not?

@Single Parent Dad - ba-dum-dum-tish !

@mammydiaries - I'm glad :-)

@Nikki aka Widdle Shamrock - Hmmmmmm.

@Deb - that's one way of looking at it.

@James (SeattleDad) - Exactly. Best of both worlds.

@Mwa - I can imagine.

@Anonymous - hahah 'but'...

@Bonnie B. - I tend to agree

@Will - there's no reason to believe that there would be.

@Melanie - the nurse will spend several hours a day at the mothers house here for over a week afterwards.

@myndful - Considered and swiftly dismissed!

@A Free Man - Exactly, home for comfort.

@Karen MEG - If there's no reason to hang around, why stay I say.

@Monty - Yes, and?

Edith said...

Can't you just go through the drive-tru?

River said...

I had hospital births for all of my four. With the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, I could have just stayed home and kept on doing whatever it was I was doing at the time, with a minor pause to pop out the baby.
Still, a hospital birth for your first is a good idea, just in case.

Mwa said...

We do have kraamzorg if we want it. I'm actually not that big a fan of hospitals either.

I think you should absolutely just do what you think is best. I was just wondering if you could have a couple of extra hours so you can enjoy the very first hours. Maybe you would prefer to go straight home.

I think it will be lovely no matter what you decide. I say just go with your gut.

MissyBoo said...

I love the Dutch approach to birth. I think they have it right :)

Momo Fali said...

Two hours? I've had pedicures that lasted longer. Poor ET!

Hockeyman said...

I think you should make all the midwives wear some form of silly party hats. All different too.

Erin said...

Is it weird that this makes me want to have my next baby in Holland?

Anonymous said...

Poor ET - no chance to have some peace and quiet afterwards. I enjoyed my day or two on the ward.

Putz said...

ARE you GOING to observe the bIRTH of your CHILD/???????????????????????

Putz said...

ARE you GIING to help IN the bIR th of YOUR CHILD???????????????

Putz said...

ARE you going TO survive THE BIRTH of yOur cHIld??????????????

Putz said...

bUrMa shave

I Am Emily... said...

Wow...you make it sound so easy lol.

I had a very normal labour for the first 7 hours, then everything went crazy and I ended up in theatre getting a spinal block.

But you do whatever it takes to get baby here safely.

Are you still going to find out the gender? We didn't find out and it was completely and utterly worth it to get a surprise at the end.

Jill said...

Going home 2 hours after the birth??

Wow... all I wanted was to be waited on by the nursing staff... change the diapers, keep the catheter in so I didn't have to get up to pee during the first night... bring the baby to me.

NH Yocal said...

Hmm...this sounds like a vacation, not a birth! Boy, you just wait to see what is ahead of you. Hey, are you guys going to find out the gender?

Tiff's Mum said...

Congratulations are in order at long last! Such great news, you two! I'm sure everything will go beautifully & I do hope the yellow booties fit!

Dto3 said...

So, this is what we have to look forward to in America when Obamacare is initiated? Thank God I'm neutered!

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

2 hours?

Holy shit.

So, are you gunna eat the afterbirth for dinner that night?

Martin said...

@Edith - They always get my order wrong!

@River - Yes I do think so.

@Mwa - Exactly, its about being comfortable with how it will happen.

@M+B - They are winning me over, that's for sure.

@Momo Fali - No pity required at all

@Hockeyman - one way to identify them, lala, po, etc...

@Erin - go for it!

@Tismee2 - our house is definitely quieter than a hospital word

@Putz - Lie down Putz.

@Tanya - We will find out, yes.

@Jill - gah, laziness...

@Melinda Zook - yep, we are!

@Tiff's Mum - well we still have them! thank you.

@Dto3 - One where a baby can be born in the very finest of care regardless of how much money it's parents have? I hope so.

@Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo - Don't be ridiculous, ET should be back in time to throw on a roast.

V said...

Wow, a home nurse to take care of you, ET and the baby? That's great!

Could you maybe ask ET and Fitz to hold out till the 17th of Feb? That's my daughter's birthday and a fabulous day of course. Plus it's Mardi Gras season then! Woo hoo! Maybe you can dress up in a costume for the birth of Fitz!

Martin said...

@Kathryn -I dont get included in the help I'm afraid, but everything for the mother and child, and any other children would also be taken care of.

17th Feb is the revised due date.

Anonymous said...

What a nice and mellow attitute towards birth. Personally I freak out at the thought of not being in the hospital (and thank goodness I were, or I would have bled out in a matter of minutes, very surprising turn of events...), but I can see how other people could feel differently.

Go with your instincts, enjoy the ride and in all likelihood you'll have an amazingly positive experience to treasure forever.

Martin said...

@expatswede - yeah, I'm glad we will be at the hospital, but I'm also glad we won't be forced to stay longer than necessary.

merinz said...

We too have had an experience that made us glad that our family member had chosen to be in a hospital rather than a birthing clinic across town! In the 20 minutes it would have taken for ambulance etc to transport her there she may have died. Not to mention a baby under stress.

Good choice - a hospital every time for our family.

Sinead said...

I just can't believe that anyone would want a home birth. Or maybe it is just because I am a scientist and a pessimist and know too much about what could go wrong. I am pretty sure with Z that an ambulance would have been called and I would have ended up in a hospital in the end. I was just grateful to be there in the beginning. And drugs, why not use the drugs. I mean seriously, the baby just needs to be born healthy and the women just needs to get through it. No-one has to be a hero.

Iota said...

Just hope it doesn't get supersized along the way, before it comes out.

Malky B. said...

2 hours after the birth - that's very fast. I've left as early as 10 hours after giving birth and everyone thinks that's way to fast.

Martin said...

@merinz -Yeah, things can turn quickly, and not always for the better.

@Sinead - I don't disagree at all!

@Iota - Well on its way!

@Malky B. - ONLY if everything is fine, and its what the parents want. no one is kicked out!

Anonymous said...

HOSPITAL is GOOD, hospital IS good...I would MUCH rather be in a hospital GOD FORBID anything goes awry...and FUCK that send you home in 2 hours bullshit...she should stay overnight at least....I can't tell you how many NORMAL babies end up with jaundice and have to stay an extra day because of it...and I can tell you from personal experience that it is FRICKIN HARD to breastfeed...I needed to be taught how and it still didn't work...HOSPITALS ARE GOOD! :P

Martin said...

@hotmamamia - an awful lot have absolutely NO problems either, don't forget.

hotmamamia said...

True, and I honestly hope that you are one of those couples given all that you went through to get here...I'm just a worrier and always need to have Plan A-B-C ready to go!