Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Difference #5

Myra being weighed...I love her little feet poking out!
#5. Kraamzorg : Postnatal Care

Kraamzorg is a program unique to the Netherlands. For the first 8-10 days after the birth of the baby, a trained maternity nurse comes to help the mother and baby. Most (if not all) of the costs are covered by the insurance. The amount of hours you receive varies depending on your situation. I was given 49 hours of care throughout 8 days.

The nurse is there to help with all sorts of things. She does pretty much everything: changing diapers, checking stitches and the uterus, weighing the baby every day, checking temperatures, making meals, doing grocery shopping, cleaning the house, washing laundry and dishes, giving advice, etc. She even writes in a special diary for you with notes about your and your baby's progress.

It was nice to have extra hands to snap pictures like this one and the ones below.

Here is Glade, my little helper, tickling Myra and "showing" her the bunny!

I have to admit, I was a little nervous to let a complete stranger into my home and have her care for me and my children. I worried that it would be awkward or annoying to have someone always there. But I couldn't have been more wrong in my worries. Gemma, my nurse, was absolutely amazing! I created such a wonderful friendship with her and it's sad that today was her last day here.

She just looked for things that needed to be done and did them (I was nervous I would have to order someone around and tell them what I wanted done. "Will you please go clean my toilet!"). She spoke a lot of Dutch to me, which was nice, but she also spoke English so I wasn't totally lost! She made sure I napped every day and watched the boys for me while I did. She even taught me a few Dutch recipes.

I held it in while I hugged her and said goodbye today, but after she left I cried. She has been kind of like a mother to me for the past 8 days and I will miss her. It has been so hard for me to not have either of my moms here, but Gemma made it much easier.

Now why doesn't the U.S. have a program like this? It explains why the women who do give birth in the hospital often go home just hours after giving birth. I've concluded that the Netherlands is an exceptional place to give birth!


mikensi.jimmy said...

aw.. sad! that's great you were able to have such a bond w/ her, though!

Rob and Jill said...

I had NO idea! That's awesome. How sad not to have your mom (or any of your family) around when having a baby, but I'm glad you were so well cared for. She is a doll!

Katie said...

Why can't we be more like the Netherlands?! I'm so glad you had her there to help!! How are you adjusting now, on your own? I hope you're doing okay! LOVE YOU!!

the speers said...

Aw, she's cute--and sounds SO nice!! I hope your days are easy with out her! I love the pictures she took of you and your cute babes! ps, how much does Myra weigh now? Do you take her to monthly check-ups as a newborn like you would here? so fun, er!! love your guts!

Kim said...

NO FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!
I want to be Gemma!
It's killing me not to get to be grandma and mommy.
My tears are ruining this blog entry!
Guess I gotta look forward......
maybe that's how Heavenly Father feels at times:
Hoping we'll come home!
Connie is singing.....
think of my favorite things....
then I won't feel so bad.
Seems elementary? Ya, but this is hard. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Shanna said...

She is so cute!

Liz said...

Still reading your "differences". This one I remember- I've told lots of people about it! I wish they did this in the U.S., that'd be such a wonderful experience, so much better than the horrible madatory 2+ days in a tiny, noisy recovery room in a hospital! It also solves the problem of what to do with your other kids, and where your husband sleeps . . . such a good idea. I'm jealous.