Since we are getting closer to Christmas day, I thought this would be the perfect timing to bring you the little present you've all been waiting for.
One month has passed since Eva was born and I cannot believe how fast the time flew and how bigger and cuter (if any possible) she got.
Be warned that this may become a long post, so grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and get comfortable. Let's begin!


First, let's go back in time for a while.
Eva was due to be born on November 12th, but instead on that day I had another weekly appointment with the midwife and came back home to my regular nothing much to do besides waiting, feeling a bit under the weather with the possibility of being induced, even though everything was going well and this was only a thought on my mind.
I can't really explain but something was telling me that the 17th would be somehow an important day and indeed it all started on the November 17th. I woke up that day feeling a bit tired so, after replying to the overload of messages from people who kept asking every day if there were any news, I took a nap on the couch and was woken up by my lovely team calling me from the conference room. It was something unexpected that cheer up my morning.
After lunch, feeling much like a jumbled penguin, I went down the street to take Einstein and Yoko to the vet and again that feeling of something big will happen today strike out. It was a funny appointment because the vet and the assistant were so thrilled saying something in the lines of "Wonderful! So it can happen at any time now!" and telling me stories of their friend's deliveries. By this time it was already afternoon and that huge feeling of hope had completely disappeared transforming the day into another boring one.
Again, there I was chilling out on the couch this time talking on a group chat with David and two friends and while Ana wrote "Come on Eva" I started feeling a different kind of cramp/contraction. As I had spent the last couple of weeks feeling Braxton Hicks I decided to keep quiet and let the day pass by.
At around 18h30 while I was unpacking the groceries, David came back from work and by this time the contractions were a bit stronger so I told him what I had been feeling throughout the day. We were both getting excited and anxious but I was trying to keep my cool and the hopes down as it could be just as the other days.
We had codfish with potatoes for dinner. It was so good and even though I wanted to have more I decided to eat as less as possible afraid that I would feel nauseous in case something happened.
David was working on his computer next to me on the couch and while I was trying to watch some Netflix the contractions were becoming annoying to the point that I had to close my eyes and concentrate on my breathing.
I still couldn't believe it was actually happening and, because I was afraid to call the midwife for nothing, I decided to take a shower and wait for David to be free from work, to then see if the contractions were consistent enough to call her in the middle of the night. At around 23h30 I called the midwife and half an hour later she was at my door with the student who was actually the one taking care of me under the midwife's supervision.
We had a tea and spoke for a while. With every past contraction, I was still smiling and saying "Yey! Another one was gone, a couple more to go!". We went upstairs to the first room where we slept in this house, that was now prepared for the delivery, and after a check up I was told I was 3 cm dilated. Both the midwives went home and returned around 03h30 in the morning.
By this time every contraction was so strong and close together that I could barely speak. I remember the midwife joking with me saying "Oh now I don't see you smiling saying another one gone!", I wanted to laugh but could only look at her and make a weird face like "Yep... No do".
After being checked again I was 7 cm dilated and in order to try speeding up the process the midwife broke my waters and that's when we heard "It's a shame but you'll have to go to the hospital because the baby pooped in the amniotic fluid and is best if we keep it under control.". If you read this post you know that I wanted the delivery to be as natural as possible and at home. Well, I was lucky to have had at least the chance of starting the delivery at home and I am so grateful for it. But it was time to go.
With this being said, we rushed to the hospital. David grabbed Eva's bag and a change of clothes for me and there we go. I remember that before leaving home the midwife and David asked me if I wanted to bring my shoes. To be honest, with my water broke, I just wanted to rush everything up as I was feeling the urge to push with every contraction, so I said no and ended up going and coming back home with only my fluffy socks. No regrets there though. I remember I even tried to go to my room to grab something and half way with another contraction I thought "well f*ck it, let's go!". With all this, our camera stayed at home and the first pictures were only possible with our mobiles (both with the battery dying).
It was a very windy night and morning and with every bump on the way and the strong contractions I couldn't feel happier once I reached to the hospital.
It was in room 16 that it all happened and where to begin...
I lay down in bed and saw many people coming in and presenting themselves. Beside me, there was David and the midwife student who both stayed by my side at all times giving me such a huge support throughout everything.
I remember asking for a glass of water (that I actually only took after the delivery because I didn't feel I had strengths to do anything besides focusing on delivering Eva) and hearing David agreeing to a cheese sandwich when asked by the midwife if he wanted anything to eat.
After settling in and being wrapped up in wires, and most of my orifices being pierced by who knows what, I could only hear the doctor, the midwife, David and everyone in the room telling me that I couldn't push and remembering me to breathe.
Eva had her head badly positioned so I had to turn around a couple of times in bed to see if she would be in a good position to start pushing. I can say that from all of the process this was the hardest part because I completely lost control of my body and at every contraction, it really didn't matter if I wanted to breathe deeply, I could only ventilate and push trying my best not to. This lasted for about three hours. I was so concerned to be doing something bad to Eva due to not being able to control the urge to push that I asked for something to help and I got a bit of morphine, that to be honest only made me sleepy.
I guess I had a mean face at all times, at least that's the impression I have because every time someone was calling my name and I had to open my eyes I could only think "what the hell are you going to ask me right now, huh?", but that was not my intention at all.
And then f-i-n-a-l-l-y I heard the magic words "With the next contraction you can start pushing". Oh, what a relief! You know when you really, but I mean really, have to go to the toilet and then you're finally there? Now multiply that by a thousand, that's how I felt! In my mind, I could only jump around happy and make a whole party out of it. But that was not it, I still had to push her out.
The pushing part was quite OK. There was a part when I thought "She is never coming out this way" and another when I felt like most of her was already out when David says "I can see a bit of her head" and I just told him "Pff... A bit? I thought it was almost all out", then I heard him translating what I had said to the doctors who laugh. Then again the words "don't push" and after another contraction and a big push, at 07h21 of November 18th, I am placed with the most gorgeous little human being on top of my chest.
It is the most insane feeling! I was so amazed that I couldn't even cry and could only welcome her to the world. I looked at David and he was by my side with this face, if only words could describe, completely static, with his mouth half opened, completely amazed by everything. I just felt like hugging him and thank him for sticking around. I felt so much proud of him, Eva and myself. And then the doctors called him back to reality to cut the umbilical cord, and a couple of minutes later we were left alone.
After a couple of hours, and a well-deserved shower, we went to another room so that we could rest for a while more comfortable since we had to stay for 9 hours after delivery for monitoring purposes in order to make sure that she didn't have any respiratory difficulties. There was always someone coming in the room to bring us food, water and check if we were doing alright. David was sleeping in a bed next to me and at around 18h00 we were free to go home.
To everyone I know complaining about the Dutch health system and care in the hospitals of Amsterdam, I can only say I am sorry. Everyone from day one was completely amazing with me, from the midwives, the midwives students, to the people at the hospital. To every single one of them, I can only say thank you. You were all super amazing and I am super grateful to have had such a great experience and to have had you making part of all this process.
You didn't make me feel like a number or just another women having a child. I felt like myself, Inês having Eva and the craziest and most amazing experience of my life so far. So thank you from the heart!

I hope you enjoyed reading this personal and intense experience of our lives and, if you get to this part, thank you so much for sticking around!

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