Surprise! | Scheduled ceasarian of a third baby in Goes


Nothing is more fun than photographing a birth at which even the parents do not know the sex of the baby. When I met Christianne and Julian, they had their two sons with them: Lorenzo (just turned 4), and Milow (2 years old). Both were born by caesarean section, and the third baby would also be born by scheduled C-section at ADRZ in Goes. The sex of the baby in Christianne’s belly was a surprise!

I recommended a gynecologist with whom I have photographed a scheduled C-section before, and when Christianne went to the hospital for a check-up she was told that there would be no problem with having the photos taken. Wonderful! Her official due date was 56 March 2015.

Once in the hospital, the suggested date for the C-section was 24 February 2015. However, this was the day that Lorenzo would turn 4. Christianne and Julian had to think about it but ultimately decided that it wouldn’t be a problem that Lorenzo and his little brother or sister would have their birthday on the same day.

On the 23rd of February Christianne went for her intake, and the C-section was planned for 12:45 the next day. We agree to see each other on the 24th, and to meet at 11:20 outside the hospital to start taking photos.

On the 24th it’s really busy in the hospital parking lot, and I have to search for a spot to park the car. Christianne and Julian had the same problem. They’re already inside, and we walk back outside to take a photo. Both are relaxed, and have slept well. Christianne knows what to expect after 2 previous C-sections, and is ready for it. They report to the delivery rooms, and have to wait to hear which room they’ve been assigned to. In the meantime we chat about nothing in particular, and Julian says, “It’s nice having a third person here, so you’re a bit distracted and not focussing on what’s coming.” After that I keep chatting happily, so that things don’t get any tenser than they need to be.

Soon they’re allowed to the room, and Christianne is given a bed by the window – always nice from a photo-technical point of view! Her lovely OR suit, and gorgeous socks are lying ready. Everything goes smoothly and calmly. We quickly take a belly photo, and then a nurse comes and asks whether everything was clear during the intake they did yesterday. It definitely was, Christianne and Julian don’t have any more questions. The nurse takes the time to talk them through the whole procedure again, and in the meantime Christianne’s blood pressure is checked, and the baby monitor is set up to check baby’s heart rate. It’s not yet clear whether everything is running on time in the OR, but we’ll find that out soon enough.

After the baby has been monitored for a little while, Christianne can get changed. It’s now 11:30. We continue to chat about all kinds of things. Also some more serious things. As Julian said, chatting helps keeps the nerves at bay, so I’m doing my best. 🙂 They can put out the baby clothes in the meantime. I’ve already asked them what they think baby is going to be, but they have no idea. Christianne assumes it’s a boy, even though she’d really quite like a girl. Me too. 🙂 After 2 boys a girl would be a big surprise!

As time passes, the amount of chatting lessens, and you can tell that the nerves are starting after all. Julian seems to find it especially nerve-wracking. Christianne still seems very relaxed. We know that if the C-section is going to happen at 12:45, we’ll be fetched by 12:00 at the latest, so the conversation seems to dry up slowly once 12:00 has passed by. Christianne and Julian check on their mobile phones, as do I, and suddenly at 12:30 they come and fetch Christianne. It’s going to happen!

First Christianne is taken to recovery, where her outfit is completed with that well-known OR cap, and then it’s time to wait (again ;-)) until the OR is free. Julian and I can get changed in the meantime.

We can go straight into the OR, and while Julian watches nervously, Christianne (who was still smiling happily 3 minutes ago) is given the epidural. It’s now almost 13:00, and the epidural is effective immediately. Christianne is ‘prepped’, and then the C-section can start. Because I became as bit unwell last time, I’ve now eaten more beforehand. Apparently it was a once-off incident, because during this surgery I feel just fine. Unlike Christianne, because her blood pressure suddenly drops dramatically (which is normal and often happens after an epidural is placed). I briefly move to the other side of the ‘screen’, and squeeze Julian’s shoulder to let him know it’ll all be ok. It’s not nice to see your wife with such low blood pressure, because she turns absolutely white!

After that it all goes quickly. The head is born, and the umbilical cord is around the neck. The gynaecologist first removes it in slow-motion (so that I can take photos – so sweet!), and then the baby is lifted out of her belly. It is 13:12. Julian has gone to stand in another position so that he can see everything. I can’t see what it is, but then the doctor says, “It’s a girl!” Oooooh! It’s a girl! Christianne has a smile from ear to ear behind the screen. After 2 boys, it’s a girl! Julian has tears in his eyes as he watched his girl. This little girl, the proof, is shown to Christianne over the screen, and then taken with her daddy to the little room next door to be checked by the paediatrician. There Julian is asked what her name is. He has to think about it – he has their boy name choices in his head, but it’s really a girl! 🙂 Her name is Denthe, but Julian tells them to check with Christianne whether the spelling is correct. 😉

Denthe makes herself heard. She has very little vernix and seems very ready for the outside world. She is carefully studied and checked over! Daddy cuts the cord short, she is weighed (3330g), and then she can lie with her mummy. Mother and baby are no longer separated, and it’s so great that this is possible! For Christianne it’s the first time that it’s been done this way. At the births of Lorenzo and Milow she had to stay behind alone in the OR to be stitched.

After the stitching is done we go to recovery. Christianne is very happy, has no pain, and looks great – unbelievable! Denthe is already searching for a drink, and so a bottle is fetched which she immediately guzzles down. Ultimately we’re in recovery for 40 minutes, and because Christianne’s epidural was placed quite high, they want to make sure she has some feeling in her legs before they’ll let her leave, so she has to stay there for a bit longer. The nurses do have to return to the ward though, so Julian and Denthe have to go with them. So they are briefly separated after all.

When Julian and Denthe are back in the room, Denthe has some skin-to-skin time with daddy. She’s only just lying there, and we hear that Christianne can be fetched from recovery. That’s quick! At 15:00 Christianne is back in the room, and in the meantime Julian has phoned home and the big brothers are on their way! Before they arrive Denthe is dressed by daddy – he hasn’t forgotten how to do it.

The big brothers come in looking a bit dazed, and the IV is just as interesting as their baby sister. Milow is immediately ready to give his sister kisses, but Lorenzo is just watching carefully for now. A short while later the proud grandmothers come in! The big brothers eat ‘beschuit met muisjes’ in the meantime (well, Lorenzo eats the beschuit and Milow eats the muisjes). They’re brought presents which they want to give their sister, and then they can hold her, just like the grandmothers!

I take a few more photos of the new family, and then I leave them, happy and full of energy.

Dear Christianne, Julian, Lorenzo and Milow, I wish you much happiness with your cute little sister!!


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