It was worth the wait |Birth photography Rotterdam

Geboortereportage Rotterdam Chloe

On the evening of Sunday the 14th of July at 9 o’clock I get a text message from Edwin: Anastatia has period type pains and slight blood loss. This could be practice contractions, but is could also well mean that things have started! Exciting! They’ve been trying to get pregnant for eight years and after six artificial insemination attempts and two IVF attempts later they are there! Finally pregnant!

And now…all those years of waiting, testing, uncertainty and then the months of enjoying being pregnant, all the fantasies, it looks like they are about to meet their little wonder. It’s a little girl. I know that, and Edwin and Anastatia know that, but other people don’t; it will be a surprise.

I go to bed, full of anticipation.

At 2.50am Edwin’s call wakes me up. The contractions are coming nicely one after the other and they’ve called the midwife. It’s all going well. We agree that he’ll ring again once the midwife has been. That’s half an hour later, Anastatia is 2cms dilated. The midwife says she’ll come back at about 6 or 7am. I roll over again in my bed.

But three quarters of an hour later my phone rings again. I see straight away that it’s a different number and I’m already swearing inwardly before I’ve even answered it. I’m right in my initial response too: this is a different Daddy, another birth that’s started and for this one I have to get straight out of bed. They’re giving birth in Goes, and it’s a second child. I’m feeling so fed up! Will this be the first time that I miss a birth because two women are giving birth at the same time? I hope not! I hope that it goes really quickly in Goes so that I can go on to Rotterdam.

Just before 8am Edwin rings me again. Anastatia is 5cms dilated and they are on their way to the hospital. This seems to be the right time to tell them that I am at another birth. There is however, no baby yet and here too there have been tests and the dilation is also 5cms. I feel terrible. I suggest to Edwin that I can send backup if I don’t make it. They’ll think about it. He rings back to tell me that they want it to be me that comes and they hope that I’ll make it. In the meantime, Anastatia has been given some pain relief at the hospital because she is exhausted. She wants to do it without an epidural, so she’s been given a morphine pump.

At 9.21 I get a text to say that the dilation is still at 5cms. Here in Goes there’s still no baby, but I don’t think it’s going to take much longer and I start to hope that I might just make it. At 10.40 the midwife breaks Anastatia’s waters. There’s still no progress with the dilations and they’re hoping that this might just be the spur that the dilation needs to get going. Here is Goes the baby is born, so once I’m finished here I’ll go straight through to Rotterdam, that’ll be about an hour so it looks like I might make it!

Just before midday I’m in the car, I understand from Edwin that not much has changed. That’s not nice for Anastatia, but it does mean that I can be there. At 12.38 I get a text to say that she’s 6cms dilated but that Anastatia doesn’t have the strength or breath left to get through the really strong contractions. On top of that, progress is just too slow and they want to make the contractions even stronger by putting her on a drip. Therefore, they’ve asked for an epidural. I know that Anastatia really wanted to do it without, but the fact that they’ve been labouring all night and all morning and the dilation is not progressing means that an epidural is a sensible choice at this point.

At 13.30 I walk into the room. I was expecting an empty room because I’ve just heard from the nursing staff that they’re still downstairs for the epidural. I hadn’t thought that Anastatia’s mum might be there and perhaps even Edwin’s mum too.  And, yes as I walk into the room they are sitting together on the sofa. The curtains are closed and the TV is on. We introduce ourselves. Anastatia’s mum has come over from Suriname specially and is staying a few months to help with the baby. She’s also been up all night. Edwin’s mum has been here since 11am.

At 14.30 they get back to the room. Anastatia is tired and pleased to be able to get some peace. The epidural has turned out okay, thankfully. We open the curtains and I know straight away why I like this hospital so much. What a vista! The baby is still really active. You can actually see that she’s still kicking. It’s fascinating to watch Anastatia’s bump. That child has so much energy J . In the following hours we chat a bit, Anastatia and her mother try to rest a bit, we watch television, the drip dosage is increased three times because the dilation is still not speeding up, the computer in the room is replaced (a strange moment), Edwin get a delicious hospital meal (which his mother finishes off) and we all begin to ask ourselves what this baby might look like. 🙂 Their baby is doing great in the meantime! She seems to be having no problem with the contractions and hasn’t reacted to the increase in the drugs from the drip. This is a tough girl (and she keeps kicking).

At 17.45 Anastatia says for the first time that she feels need to go to the toilet. That’s a good sign! But given that they’ve been to check twice in the last hour, it’s hard to believe that we’ve got that far yet. The words C section have already been heard because the dilation is going so slowly. A midwife comes to examine her and says, almost casually, you’re 10cms dilated, you can push.  The atmosphere in the room changes at once. Everything is made ready around us. Edwin takes up a spot next to the bed. Anastatia is given instructions about how to push and the grandmas watch from the sofa, full of expectation and excitement! At 18.15 Anastatia starts to push.

An hour later she is still going! But the little one is still doing great and there really is progress to be seen, even though it’s going slowly. Edwin is supporting her well! He helps her to calm down again in between each contraction and you can see that this is good for Anastatia. It costs her so much energy. Anastatia’s mother looks like she’s saying a quick prayer and I can only imagine what it must be like as a mother to see you daughter lying there like that and not be able to do anything. But then the head appears. She has a lot of hair! Edwin wants to take hold of the baby and pass her to Anastatia, and he does! With the guidance of the midwife he takes hold of their little girls with the upmost control and gives her to Anastatia! There she is!

The grandmothers hug each other snivelling. Anastatia looks like she can’t believe it and Edwin is immediately crazy about his daughter. Her name is Chloë and she is beautiful! ♥ She immediately start to take in the world around her in a knowing way. She has absolutely no problem with the fact that the birth has taken so many hours. The umbilical cord is cut and shortly after the placenta follows. Chloë is soon rooting for food and she’s put to the breast for the first time. She drinks straight away! Goodness, everyone is proud!

Once the stitches are done Chloë is thoroughly examined. Ten fingers, ten toes and all the reflexes are good. She weighs 3268grams. After that, Daddy Edwin shows us how she was lying in the womb and she is so calm that he can even hold her with one hand! Dare-devil 😉

Obviously, before I go I take a number of photos of the whole family and the grandmas and the first time that each grandma holds her granddaughter.

You can certainly say that everyone has had to wait a long time for this little girl, but that it was more than worth the wait! I wish you every happiness with you beautiful little girl.


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