22 October 2010

Kraamzorg

It's been eight weeks since Adrian's birth. The early days are already a fog. Like any woman who has given birth, I can tell my story in excruciating detail. But I also stop and wonder - was that really me? The experience was so intense that it almost seems unreal.

I think about heading home from the hospital. I hadn't really slept in three days, and they were putting me in charge of a newborn? I didn't need to worry, because we were only alone with the baby for about 45 minutes. Then the kraamzorg stepped in.

For the next week for about six hours a day, I was cared for completely. Our kraamverzorgster Sonia would show up around 8am each morning. She would chat with me for a while about how the night went, answer my questions and give advice, and then our routine began. If Adrian was hungry, she handed him to me. When he was finished eating, she took him and burped him and laid him down to sleep. She did the laundry, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, and ran errands. She made me food, sandwiches and fruit cocktails all cut into easy to eat bites, which is handy since I could barely walk and was constantly breastfeeding. She taught us how to bathe Adrian, how to file his nails and comb his hair.

My dependence grew, and by the end of the week I found myself handing a glass of water to a visiting friend, expecting her to fill it for me. Oops. As I apologized profusely I realized with alarm that Sonia's was almost up. How on earth would I cope without her?

I'll admit I did appreciate more time to myself once Adrian and I were on our own. But I will always remain grateful for that care in the first week after birth.

3 comments:

  1. I think the kraamzorg service is absolutely wonderful, especially for first time moms. I love the photo of Adrian with Sonia - he looks so tiny in her arms, especially after seeing him just the other day. How quickly they grow!

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  2. I agree, Natalie - for first time moms it's especially wonderful but great for anyone getting used to a new baby in the house. I was thinking the same thing about Adrian when I put this up. He's so much bigger already!

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  3. I think it's great too. Magari it would happen here in Italy (no way!) I actually think it would be even more useful for second/third etc time mums as they have older children to take care off along with the little one. The Kraamzorg could make the older kids' breakfast while the mum breastfed the new baby for example...

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