It’s already an amazing profession to be able to see and help babies being born every day. Now imagine the baby being a family member. Your little baby cousin. Seeing your aunt deliver and being by her side. I haven’t seen nor done a delivery in months. Heck, I don’t even remember the last delivery I did and saw. Actually wait.. I scrolled through my pictures and found that the last delivery I assisted was on January 9th of 2020 with midwife Els. Wauw, I knew it was some time ago, but I didn’t expect it to be over a year and a half ago. It was too, a beautiful birth of a baby girl.
January this year one of my best friends, Suail, told me she was pregnant. OMG wait.. I just scrolled through our Whatsapp pictures and saw it was on freaking January 9th of 2021! Haha, how awesome! Ok, back to the story. So, of course when my best friend told me about her pregnancy I started planning right away to be with her for the last days of her pregnancy, the delivery and her first postpartum days. I booked my ticket to LA (that’s where she lives) and my tickets to and from the Netherlands (where I wanted to fly to coming from Portugal, so that I also could visit my family). Then on March 9th of 2021 my aunt told me she was pregnant too! And I thought “perfect!”, maybe I’ll manage to be there for my aunt as well (who lives in the Netherlands). I could then at least make it for her final trimester days or arrive back in the Netherlands right on time for her delivery or a couple of postpartum days.
August came and it was time to fly to LA. But unfortunately due to covid traveling rules changing so fast, that even the countries don’t know how to keep up anymore, I wasn’t allowed to fly to the USA. I cried, I was pissed, I was pretty heartbroken and had a dip for a couple of days. I think it hit me hard because I was looking forward to it for so long and then literally seeing the plane in front of me (because I was about to board the plane, in Paris by the way, as a transfer from Amsterdam to LA) but then the flight attendant telling me I wasn’t allowed to continue. That I wasn’t allowed to pass the line, to enter that hallway getting to the door of the plane. Yeah, that was painful. Somehow it was also unique; flying back and forth to Paris from Amsterdam on the same morning. It kind of felt like having a private jet, but with no free food or the freedom to sneeze without people thinking you have covid. Back in NL, I stayed a couple of days with family and then went back to Portugal. Suail gave birth to her son Moshé on my first days back in Faro. I’m grateful I was able and allowed to assist and accompany her delivery through the magic of Video-calling. And it was beautiful!
September arrived and my aunt was nearing her due date. My mother also booked a ticket to come and visit me and family. So I booked a ticket to go back to NL to pick my mother up, but of course also to spend time with my either pregnant or recently delivered aunty. The days pass, it’s almost time to travel and my aunt hasn’t delivered yet. She even passes her due date! And this is her third child. And her second child was born 2 weeks too early. So that she hadn’t delivered yet, was really out of the ordinary. It’s time for me to board again and my aunt is now 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I arrived in Eindhoven, drove to Den Bosch and then went on to my aunt’s house in Rotterdam. I arrive at 17:20h and no sign yet of the baby nor the labour. I fried some slices of pineapple in castor oil and gave my aunt to eat to hopefully get the labour starting. And it helped! About an hour after she started getting hard bellies and at a half an hour passed midnight she started getting proper contractions. Around 4:45h I checked how far along she was. With a dilation of 4cm we decided to call the midwife and go to the hospital arriving at 5:30h, where my baby cousin was born at 8:21h! A total of 15 hours after I arrived, a total of 8 hours of labour and a total of 10 minutes of pushing! My aunt did amazingly! I’m so proud of her. Just like Suail, she also did her delivery without any pain medication and went in very controlled through every contraction.
I feel honoured, that in some psychological and natural way my aunt decided to wait for me to deliver her baby (even though she was fed up since the 7th month). And I feel blessed, that although I missed being there personally for my besties first delivery, I was allowed to help deliver my baby cousin. Not only seeing her be born, but taking her in my hands, gently pulling her out of my aunt and feeling her lungs take their first breath. What a blessing, what a beauty and how blissful this moment has been. For sure and forever a highlight in my midwife life.