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Rosa's birth, #2
For #1, read here!
And then that cold morning of december the 13th arrived... We left home at 7.30 in the morning, with a little suitcase with all those things we could possibly need (okay, and with two more large plastic bags filled with stuff, cause I had no idea how many things I would have to bring for a few days in hospital. A whole bag filled with baby's clothes was way too much, I quickly learnt!). In the car on our very short trip to the hospital -we live only five minutes from the city hospital- I looked at all the commuters that were already on their way heading somewhere, looking all important in their business suits and expensive cars, and I couldn't help but think: 'but we're the only ones on our way to a real goal today...'
Wow, it all felt so special, even the boring road to the hospital that I walk and drive all the time seemed to have a special glow this morning, the glow of looking forward to great things.
That morning I had dressed in my most comfy pajamas-style clothes (well, there weren't many other things I could wear anymore by that time in my pregnancy), but I noticed Helmut had put on one of his newest and most expensive button-down shirts. He usually dresses very informal (in just a t-shirt and jeans) and had only worn this shirt to a few weddings so far, so surprisedly I said: 'Why would you put that on? You'll have to wear a special suit in the surgery room and after that, once the baby is there, your shirt will probably get dirty anyway!' 'But I want to look good for the baby when she arrives', Helmut replied. I thought that was so sweet!
We checked in at the hospital, and a nurse directed us to a small room, dominated by two hospital beds. So this terribly uncozy place would be my room for the next few important days of my life... The nurse told me I would share the room with another woman who also had a c-section later that day, but she would arrive a bit later, so at least for the next hour the room would be all ours. The nurse left us alone in there, feeling quite uncomfortable. What should I do? Was I supposed to lay down on the bed already, or could I just sit in one of the chairs on the side? We sat down and started reading the pile of old magazines that we found in the room, just to kill some time.
Waiting, killing time...
But the nurse came back faster than estimated, telling us that our c-section was already planned for 9 o'clock. That would be so much faster than we had thought! Now I had to lay down on the bed for some last checks and preparations. I had been feeling quite calm, but now my body started to fill with excitement and expectation. But not for long: a little after nine, the nurse came back to tell us that my c-section had been postponed because of some emergency cases, and she had no idea how long those would take. Hours, maybe.
After this anti-climax it almost felt like this whole idea of giving birth today was some sort of joke that was never going to happen, and we started feeling quite relaxed again. Somehow the tension was gone, and I guess I almost expected that they would send us home again. We chatted with our roommates that had by then arrived, and with all this getting-to-know-one-another-conversation time went pretty fast. So fast, that I was rather surprised when the nurse arrived again at about half past eleven, to tell us that this time we really had to prepare for the c-section. 
A little later I was in the bed wearing one of those very uncomfortable surgery jackets, and a nurse pushed the bed that I was on through the corridors of the hospital. It's so weird that you always see nurses push beds with people on them forward through the hospital (in real life and on tv shows), and then you always think: 'those people must be very ill'. Now I was one of those 'ill folks' on those beds... How bizarre to see the hospital from such a completely different perspective!
When we arrived at the floor where the surgery would take place, they told us that we still were too early: all the surgery rooms were still occupied. They sent Helmut away to the restaurant to eat some, while I was taken to another room for some more preparations. Now I started to feel quite alone and nervous: they put me in a room with a lot of other people waiting for surgery, and connected me to all kinds of medical devices of which I had no idea what they were for. It was cold in there and combined with the nerves I started to shiver; no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't keep my legs still anymore! I guess somehow so far I had sort of blocked the knowledge that I would actually have to undergo real surgery, but now that I was all alone in the middle of this medical universe filled with all kinds of bleeping devices and people in surgery uniforms, all of a sudden I started feeling pretty helpless and scared. I managed to keep my calm, but my shivering legs told me how I really felt!
Finally I was taken to one of the surgery rooms, where I met a huge amount of people that would apparently all take part in my surgery. How strange to be the centre of all this medical attention! You really feel like you have to give away all control of yourself, which is pretty easy to do once they've given you the epidural, but before that it feels strange, since you're perfectly fine and could still walk away from the bed any minute if you wanted to. However after the epidural all control of my legs was gone (though I wasn't so sure of that myself...I still thought I could move everything, but when they asked me to lift my legs I had to admit that was impossible!), and then all I could do was wait and let go.
After I had the epidural Helmut arrived and sat next to me. All we could do was look at each other and wait, and I believe we even talked some. I had some trouble breathing normally (they gave me extra oxygen through my nose which felt pretty weird), so I really had to focus on my breathing. Meanwhile I heard the gynecologist describe what he was doing: he was saying things like 'now I remove the next layer, then I put aside the abdominal muscles, then the bladder...' Rather strange to hear them talk like that about your body, but all I could think was 'whatever'.
The clock said 12.14...
And then, real quickly after the surgery had started, we heard the gynecologist say: 'Here we have the legs and bottom, next thing the baby will be out.' The next moment we heard a baby screaming pretty loudly, I heard people say 'Wow, it's a big one, probably at least 3.5 kilograms!', and then during just a few seconds they showed us our baby.
The very first look...
I can't really describe what I felt at that time, I guess I was so 'in the moment' that I can't even remember anymore, but one thing's for sure: my fear that giving birth through c-section instead of normal birth would be 'less emotional' turned out to be totally unnecessary. Of course I have no idea what you feel like after a natural birth, but I do know that this was an emotional moment that I can't compare with any other. Normally I don't think I ever cry when I'm happy, but in these minutes around Rosa's birth I just felt the tears flowing from my eyes constantly without being able to control them.
After this short moment they took Rosa away for some health examinations, and Helmut went with her. This was another moment that I had feared beforehand: I had been worried that I would feel scared and lonely when they would take our baby away, while I would be left behind for the surgery to be finished. But to my surprise I felt really calm. Somehow I wasn't worried about Rosa's health at all: I could feel that there was a happy and relaxed atmosphere in the room, and somehow that assured me that Rosa was okay. Besides that I could hear her scream pretty loudly in the room next to me, so that also seemed a good sign... I also felt I had to work pretty hard to remain conscious (I believe that has something to do with your blood pressure being low as a result of the epidural), so I was pretty busy with just that, and I didn't even have the energy to feel lonely or aware that I was missing moments with my baby or something like that.
The finishing of the surgery must have taken about thirty or forty minutes, but it felt much shorter and in my memory it lasted hardly longer than a few moments. Helmut came back to me with Rosa in her little crib, and he kept asking me: 'Can you see her? Can you properly see her?' Meanwhile I was basically thinking: 'I don't mind, let's finish this surgery first, then I can really concentrate on meeting our baby...' They say that with an epidural you experience everything consciously, but I guess I was pretty far away. When I tried to say something to Helmut my voice sounded weird and slow, and I had a lot of trouble concentrating on the sentences that I was trying to make.
The first closer look...
But a little after we arrived in the recovery room, it felt like all of a sudden the light in my head was turned on again, and in just one moment I felt super clear and conscious again. Now I could finally really see, meet and feel our little Rosa... Those moments felt like our real first moments together, and though we were in the middle of that surreal recovery room filled with people in beds recovering from all kinds of surgery, it felt like the three of us were the only ones in the room. We put Rosa on my breast, and she laid there so calmly...
And after those special first moments with the three of us, we were ready to introduce Rosa to the rest of our world!
ps Some great pictures of Rosa's birth were taken by the hospital personnel, we're really grateful to them for documenting these precious first moments with Rosa!


Sarah on 2011-01-02 21:56
Woow.. emotional rollercoaster! En dat jullie nog tijd hadden om zo'n mooie foto's van jullie en jullie prachtbaby te maken - lucky us :-)
Maaike on 2011-01-02 22:07
Mooi hoor!!! En een heel hekenbaar verhaal. Aan een natuurlijke bevalling mis je niet veel hoor, ik heb het allebei gedaan en aan weeen mis je ook niks!!! Succes met herstellen, onderschat het niet, die weken rust heb je echt nodig om later weer normaal vooruit te kunnen, al lijkt het nu soms net alsof je alles al kunt. en wat bettreft minder emotie bij een keizersnee: grote onzin inderdaad! Ik heb ook de hele ok ondergejankt! Ik zou bijna zeggen: welkom bij de club!
pamela on 2011-01-02 22:21
i've so enjoyed your/her birth story!  what a beautiful baby.
Nina on 2011-01-02 22:53
@ Sarah: een deel van de foto's is gemaakt door het ziekenhuispersoneel! We waren zelf erg verbaasd dat er zulke mooie foto's bijzaten, want mijn spiegelreflexcamera met lastige lens erop is niet echt makkelijk te bedienen voor wie er niet mee bekend is. Misschien krijgt het personeel op zo'n operatiekamer niet alleen les in chirurgische ingrepen, maar ook in fotografie? ;)
read me... on 2011-01-02 23:07
It's so lovely to hear your birth story Nina. I had a c-section also, but as an emergency because my little man was in distress which, in turn, made me very unwell and a little delirious. My memory of the birth is very hazy but reading through your experience has brought to mind some memories which I do have. Sadly, given the situation we found ourselves in we don't have so many pictures. Indeed, it is so nice that the hospital took these wonderful shots for you! Happy New Year to the three of you. X
ingrid on 2011-01-03 00:03
Wat een mooie verhalen (ook deel 1) en geweldige foto's. Dat is een bonus, want zulke momenten koester je en wat fijn voor Rosa dat ze deze foto's heeft. Jullie staan er ook nog eens prachtig op en dat kun je ook niet van alle 'bevalling/geboorte foto's zeggen...
Kom snel een keertje kijken als het mag. Liefs, Ingrid
Yvonne on 2011-01-03 09:47
Wat een mooi verhaal Nina, bedankt voor het delen. En ja ... mooie foto's zeg met een 50 mm lens? Vakwerk hoor. En zoals Ingrid al schreef jullie staan er echt prachtig op.
hinke on 2011-01-03 10:29
oooo, snif, ik word altijd emotioneel van dit soort verhalen. Mooi Nina!
marloes on 2011-01-03 10:32
Wat een ontzettende mooie foto's zijn er gemaakt door het personeel! Heel wat anders dan bij mij!
Wendel on 2011-01-03 12:18
Wat leuk om te lezen dat alles goed is verlopen! En vooral dat je geen vervelende gevoelens hebt overgehouden aan het hele ziekenhuis-bevallen. Zelf had ik ook geen last van al die mensen rondom zo'n bevalling, ze verdwijnen gewoon een beetje naar de achtergrond ofzo... Mooie foto's hoor, zo intiem. Hierdoor krijg ik wel een beetje spijt dat ik zo'n strikt no pictures beleid heb gevoerd tijdens mijn bevalling... ;-) Heel veel succes, liefde en plezier gewenst de komende tijd! (Ik ben bang dat het gebrek aan tijd voorlopig nog wel even zo zal blijven ;-))
gail on 2011-01-03 13:00
You are so very fortunate! I had two c-sections, but both after quite long labors--2 days for the first, 3 days for the second, so by the time I met my daughters I was so exhausted I couldn't help but feel very detached, and I had to develop and nurture the intention to bond over the next several days. Luckily, both girls did have their father present and holding them, etc. Physically, I did recover very easily, but the emotional recovery took much longer, I think because the need for the c-sections was not as clear cut in my mind--I felt I had failed. It is so healthy for you to be writing in such detail about the birth while you can still remember so clearly all that happened. I wish now I'd done the same--it helps to honor the event, but it also clears the way for what's to come, and meanwhile leaves a record that Rosa will some day very much appreciate having. Thank you for sharing your birth story, it helps me heal my own--and my "girls" are now 26 and 31 years old!
Maartje on 2011-01-03 14:40
Wat bijzonder dat je het hele verhaal hier plaatst. Heel mooi om te lezen ook. Ik ben blij dat alles goed met jullie gaat!
Sacha Albinus on 2011-01-03 17:02
Beste Nina,
Natuurlijk gefeliciteerd met jullie mooie dochter. Ze heeft trouwens ook een hele mooie naam, maar ik had niks anders verwacht :)
Wat fijn dat alles zo goed is gegaan in het ziekenhuis. En wat een ontzettende mooie foto's zijn er gemaakt. Mijn zoon is al bijna anderhalf, maar ik kijk toch zeker nog elke week naar alle foto's die er in die eerste weken van zijn geboorte zijn gemaakt.
Ik was blij om te lezen dat jullie er voor gekozen hadden om eerst eventjes met z'n drietjes van elkaar te genieten voordat jullie haar gingen showen aan jullie familie en vrienden.
Heel veel geluk met jullie dochter!!!

Groetjes Sacha



Anki on 2011-01-03 19:48
Wat een prachtig verhaal Nina. En uiteraard een schitterende dochter!!
Susan on 2011-01-03 20:56
Thank you for sharing your story,  Nina. Tears welled up in my eyes as it brought back so many memories. Rosa is absolutely beautiful!
Julie on 2011-01-03 21:37
Jeetje wat mooi allemaal en wat blijft het toch bijzonder. Heerlijk voor jullie!!
sakunee on 2011-01-04 08:42
congratulation for your gift from heaven.
from your 'Fan'
Wien on 2011-01-04 09:53
Wat heb je dat mooi beschreven Nina, prachtig! En geïllustreerd met zulke mooie foto's. Echt een mooi verhaal. Fijn dat je na de eerste zorgen: "op welke manier ga ik bevallen?" deze keus hebt gemaakt en dat die ook bijzonder goed is uitgepakt!
Mia on 2011-01-05 20:09
Hallo , hoewel je me niet persoonlijk kent (ik ben de jonste zus van je Oma)Kon ik niet nalaten om jouw en je vriend van harte te feliciteren met jullie prachtige dochter . Alles wat je schrijft is zo herkenbaar ,maar het is en blijft altijd weer nieuw en een wonder .
Geniet ervan !Met mijn hartelijke groeten. Mia Boots.
P.S.Wat een mooie dingen maak je !
nandini on 2011-01-07 04:51
Hi Nina, thanks for sharing rosa's birth story, i found itso moving andbeautiful x
Victoria on 2011-01-10 22:31
Dear Nina! Your first part of your delivery sounded rather ghastly, being a former midwife and mother of four I know a little about it! Especially being put on hold like that... Well you managed wonderfully and your daughter was born healthy, right? All else will fade a little over time and I hope your memories of Rosa's birth will be good ones. Your husband is a darling to dress up for his daughter! I so appreciate this in fathers! To be aware of that moment. Lovely! Those pictures are so precious! These first minutes of getting to know each other! Oh, there is nothing like that! All the best for all of you! Greetings from a snowy New York! Victoria
Masami on 2011-01-11 20:42
Omedetou! Congratulations, Nina! 
Welcome, Rosa, to this world! I hope your life will be full of fun, happiness and laughter!
Masami XXX
jokemijn on 2011-01-12 17:32
oh, ik lees nu pas dat je een dochtertje gekregen hebt! heel erg proficiat! 
Thereza on 2011-01-13 13:34
welcome to the world Rosa! you are beautiful :) congrats Nina!!! i'm so happy for you
karin on 2011-01-14 10:44
congratulations and all the best for you and your baby.
Kim B. on 2011-01-30 11:15
Nina -- What a beautiful account of Rosa's birth!! And to think you wrote that in not-your-first language -- so that many more of us could share.   I'm just checking back in and have seen all the photos and life since Rosa has arrived -- she's absolutely beautiful.  I'm not a mom myself so I have no advice but only to say that although caring for a baby is very demanding, it looks as though you're doing a wonderful job!  Congratulations to you and Helmut (so cute that he dressed up to take you to the hospital and welcome Rosa!!)
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About Ninainvorm

My name is Nina, I'm a ceramics and paperwares designer and mom of Rosa and Julie. This blog is about making, living, liking, loving and so much more!

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