Giving birth with a lollypop | Birth photographer the Netherlands
Almost 2 years ago I was present at the delivery of Tijn, the first baby of Romy and Donja. A birth I’ll not likely forget, not only because I know Romy and Donja in private as well, but mostly because Donja really wanted a “rocket” popsicle while she was almost 10 cm dialated. The title of the first birth therefore was “giving birth with a rocket”. Can you guess what this story is about according to the title?
Donja’s due date of her second pregnancy, also a boy, was April 17th of this year. De birth of Tijn went smooth but he pooped in the amniotic fluid and had to be helped at the last moment with the pump. Romy and Donja therefore wanted to deliver in the hospital again. If there would be a complication, everything would be available. Tijn came 6 days early so they secretly hoped this baby would arrive a little sooner too.
A few weeks before the due date we did a really awesome maternity shoot with Tijn as well. Tijn has become this little boy you instantly fall in love with, such a sweetheart! The maternity session was a success 😉
Then the big wait for the baby began…
It started to rumble a bit from 37 weeks on and off. One day worse than the other. A few times it seemed to really have started but turned out to be a false alarm. Donja is getting a little out of heart; it really can pull through now! She’s trying everything (some things with a little aversion 😉 ) to get the delivery going. Finally on April 14th she sends me “bad menstrual cramp-feeling; check! It’s 14.12h by then. Will this be it?? Half an hour later she writes: “feeling small little waves but going to try to take a little nap, just in case this might be it” Eventually at 16.12h : “if this isn’t it then I will call you when he celebrates his first birthday!” I just finished a photo shoot, fill my tank up and go home to grab a bite to eat. Middelburg to Oost-Souburg (where they live) isn’t that far apart so I can be there in a bit. When the delivery of Tijn really kicked in, he was born soon after, so I have a suspicion that this one might even be faster. I therefor don’t want to wait too long otherwise I can hardly take any pictures at all 😉 At 17.28h I get a picture of a list with timing of contractions and they are looking good!!!
Romy calls me to say that the midwife stopped by to check up on Donja and she is 2cm dialated (it’s 18.28h) I tell Romy I will finish my dinner and then will head on over. I arrive at 19.30h. Donja is lying on the couch and I advise her to get off the couch and change positions as much as possible instead of being on her back. She stands over at the playpen to take in her contractions. There’s nice music playing, an old-fashioned record, Eric Clapton. In between contractions, Donja is quite chatty and when she hears I finished the birth story of my little niece, she asks if she can read it. In between contractions she tries to read the story 🙂 (she will read the end of it only after the baby has arrived). At 19.50h Tijn comes home, together with grandma. Donja is having a contraction right at that moment and he really notices something is going on, although the feeling goes as soon as Donja gives him some attention in between contractions, then all is ok again. He’s going to watch some TV with grandma on the couch, they’re watching Dora. At 20.15h the midwife arrives again (a different one this time as it is really busy with woman in labor tonight, might be because it’s a full moon?) We walk upstairs so she can check on Donja’s dialation. In the meantime Tijn goes to bed. It’s quite a little situation for him; a house full of woman at bedtime! Donja is 4 cm dialated and we decide to go to the hospital. It takes a while though because Donja has to get dressed again –contraction-, then give Tijn a kiss –contraction-, walk down the stairs –contraction-, put on her coat –contraction- and another one and another one. Slowly they shamble to the car –contraction-, and then she’s finally in! It’s 20.32h by now. Romy is very nervous I think because he pulls it off to slowly walk around the car after he has put Donja in it, to light up a cigarette and to take a few big whiffs before he gets into the car as well. On the way to hospital you can see that it will be a full moon tonight. When we arrive at the hospital the same process repeats. Doing something – contraction-. It takes a little while to arrive at the delivery room as she has contractions one after another. I see Donja has a lollypop now and I can’t help but laugh! No popsicle this time but a lollypop. Romy gets a wheelchair fast. He comes running back with one and in between contractions, and taking little stops, they walk to the delivery room.
We arrive at 21.03 exactly. The contractions are getting stronger and stronger. Donja is still very quiet but you can tell she’s struggling, as there is no more talk in between contractions. Only a little sucking at the lollypop every now and then. She says her back is hurting and I advise Romy to give some backpressure. He looks at me with questions in his eyes, afraid to press too hard but I assure him that the contractions are so strong you can’t easily hurt a woman at that time 🙂 . At 21.40h the midwife asks Donja “shall we check how far along you are now? “ Donja: “NO!” “Aren’t you a little curious?” “NO!” LOL! We are looking at one another and I think she’s totally done with it! Romy asks if he should help her with undoing her pants but Donja says: “I don’t know, I’m going home!” We have to laugh again although Donja really can’t laugh any more. She’s totally done with it! She lies down on the bed and it turns out she is already 7 cm dialated! I ask her if I should hold her popsicle for her, but I also get a very strong “NO” to that, so I back off and don’t dare to touch it!! The midwife decides to break her water. It’s 21.50h and it turns out the baby pooped in the amniotic fluid as well, just like Tijn. It could mean the baby isn’t at easy anymore and according to the heartbeat that is exactly the case here. Because we are in hospital, the midwife has to consult a gynecologist and it will then be a medical birth which it was not till this point. She walks out the room and Donja gets another contraction, she needs to push!
“I have to push! “she calls. And while she says that, I can see her whole body starts pushing on its own, there’s no stopping it now, no holding back, this is serious! I run down the hallway and call “Nikki, Nikki, Nikki she needs to push! She doesn’t hesitate and all and comes back, puts on her gloves and before we know it he’s already here! It’s 21.57h and we aren’t even in hospital for 1 whole hour!
His name is Abel ♥ and he looks all green due to the fact that he pooped in his amniotic fluid. Little hulk 😉 Romy looks dazed so I really have to give him a hug and I see he’s tearing up. He says “I thought this was more scary than the birth of Tijn”, sweetheart! Then he sits by his wife and newborn son, full of pride and a big smile on his face. Now they’ve got two sons, such a blessing! Abel arrived with a folded ear, Donja saw that too. We check under his hat but it looks like it already has unfolded!
It takes a little while before the placenta is fully born as the membranes stay behind and come out piece by bit by bit. The midwife needs to make a whole puzzle out of it to see if it’s complete, but eventually it turns out it is! Romy and Donja check Abel out in the meantime. They think he looks exactly like Tijn but I can’t see it yet. Therefore Romy gets his IPad and looks for a picture of Tijn when he was just born and keeps it up to Abel. Wow what do you know, he looks exactly like him! So nice to see that!
Abel soon finds his way to the breast, this also works perfectly well and then it’s daddy’s turn. Abel does a little skin-to-skin time with daddy. Time for some hugs! Donja is calling around to tell Abel has arrived! From her friends she gets a picture, they are all at McDonalds with blue balloons waiting to come over to see Abel, how cute is that!
After Donja is stitch up again, Tijn enters with Romy first. Big blue eyes appear from around the curtain. He looks a bit confused, but still is very happy and wide awake even though he has been woken up. He walks with Romy to Donja and Donja says “do you know who this is? “ He immediately answers, “baby”, and pulls a dirty face and says “dirty dirty” So funny! Abel is covered in peels of skin, his hands and feet are all covered and still look a bit greenish because of the fluids. Tijn often finds something dirty, so that’s what he says all evening when he sees his brother “dirty dirty”
Soon after Tijn, the other visitors arrive, grandma, great grandma, friends, aunty, you name it. Very soon the room is packed and everyone wants to see Abel and take pictures. Tijn is in a chair with big eyes watching it all happen. While the visitors are there, Abel is weighed. We can all guess and most people thinks he’s heavier than Tijn, as he looks bigger. When he’s on the scale it turns out he weighs less, 3395 grams. He’s being examined under the watchful eye of Tijn and Romy and is being dressed after. I take a group shot and a photo of the little family and this bit everyone finds interesting and before Tijn even realizes, he’s being surrounded by all visitors and their phones! A wonderful moment!
Because Donja has to shower and Abel has to be latched on again, visitors are asked to leave. At that moment Romys parents arrive, a little too late for the group shot, too bad, but they at least are here when it’s more quite. Abel is in his crib now. These are the last photo’s I take before going home myself.
Dear Romy and Donja, congratulations on the birth of your son Abel, when he will be as cute as Tijn, you can lock up your doors as woman will be in line for them!!! 😉