Monday, August 29, 2022

Moncurs in Amsterdam- Nana & Papa visit!

At the end of August my parents came to visit Amsterdam,  a year exactly from their first visit here. A year later, there was a couple things different this time: we were moved out of temp housing in central and officially in our home (they helped set up bunk beds first visit)... and we had baby Lucy! She was born the beginning of the month, so was three weeks old when they arrived. It was so great having them and so, so  grateful for the time together and all the help. It was so nice having a live-in cleaning crew and entertainment for little kids, and handyman fixing various things around the house and shopping for us. Right after they left, it was so obvious how much they did and big void missing them! Come back soon. 

We had a lot of fun, soaking up the final days of summer and Luke outta school and enjoying the nice weather. A few highlights from our time in Amsterdam:
 - kayak rides and magnet fishing
-canal museum & tonys chocolate 
- Amsterdam beach day and bike rides
- Day trip visiting Gouda, the capital of cheese
- having some date night time! Seeing Top Gun 2.
-trip to Belgium (another post)
- quality work time together with my mom
- lots of lucy snuggles :)

Thats a wrap!

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Love Letters to Lucy- Birth Story!

 Lucy Holland Stevenson 

August 3, 2022

Just wanted to share Lucy's birth story! It is written with too much unnecessary details of the day and very long, but I'm realizing how fast I forget things so wanted to include everything to hold-on to this day in time :) 

Our littlest, big love came into the world much after the anticipated due date. We expected her here mid-July, but she just kept us waiting. . .  and waiting. Time was creeping by and the anticipation to find out the gender and meet her was real. I guess she just needed more time in the 'Dutch oven' here to make her extra sweet! 

On August 3rd, I spent most the day at the splash pad with my friend Tessa and her mom who was visiting. Our kids played really hard all day and so good together. It was a great day and knew the kids would sleep good.   

a photo from that splashpad day

After our play date, I swung by midwifes to check blood pressure and have a membrane sweep at 4:30pm, they tried a couple days before to do a membrane sweep but wasn’t even close to dilated enough. So when I went in this time I had fingers crossed that things were further along and body was doing it’s job and baby was okay.  When the midwife checked me though she said lots has changed in past couple days and head was engaged and was able to do a sweep and said she wouldn’t be surprised if baby came tonight or tomorrow…!!

I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so many days had passed thinking the baby would come the next day and so tried to just carry on as usual. The boys were requesting chicken nuggets for dinner (our friends had those for lunch at splash pad) and Luke wanted them real bad and I had nothing else in mind, or didn’t feel like cooking and eating at this point in pregnancy (maxed out) and so thought chicken nuggets would make the perfect easy dinner. I walked to grocery store (down the road) and in line with chicken nuggets the contractions started!!!  I texted Riley that baby might really come tonight or tomorrow. I was so excited body was doing it’s job as I was convinced I might never go into labor on my own. 

The contractions continued in regular waves, I made dinner and bedtime was on the horizon and knew the boys were so tired from the full day in the sun so wanted them in bed. The boys were a really great distraction from the pain. We were getting them ready for bed and Riley got on the timer and would tell him when the contraction was happening and we started timing them ready to call the midwife when they were a few minutes apart.

At 7:30pm both the boys were in bed and contractions were 3 minutes apart and called the midwife and she came over to house and told me I was dilated to a 4. She called the birthing center to make sure there was a spot available to deliver (if not we would call around to different place or have at home) and we called a friend to come hang out and listen for the boys. Thankfully there was a spot because I wasn't ready for a home-birth with a teenager midwife. 

The midwife that came, was named Inge and a midwife I hadn’t met ever before during my pre- appointments. She looked 21 years old max, honestly like 18! So young! She told me I was the third baby of the day though, she carried herself with confidence and was kind and chill and really was perfect.  I kinda had a vision that midwifes were to be old wise grandmas, but she was young and hip with her flared jeans and top and guaranteed no children of her own. I really didn't know what to expect at that point, but she was perfect and wouldn't take any other midwife and so glad it was her! We got into her car and we all drove together to birthing center.

We arrived just after 8pm. We were the only ones on the floor at the time and given a nice room with a big bathtub pool. There was dim lights and candles and the halls were painted pink to apparently be familiar to the inside of the uterus haha. It felt good to be there as the place to delivery was uncertain through my pregnancy where I would deliver.  Caren was the midwife (also very young early 20s) at center and together they got me through the rest of labor and birth.

We filled up the bathtub, and tried it for a few minutes and felt good. The contractions as soon as we arrived at center increased in intensity and made me fold over. I felt the urge to push, or use the bathroom and really didn’t want to do that in the bath if it was the latter and wanted to know how far dilated I was as the pain was intense.  I got out and tried to used bathroom but nothing came and Inge had me get on bed and checked how things were going.. She said I was a 9 which is why I was ready and feeling like pushing because it was almost time to push! 

My water hadn’t broke and she said she could break the water and then the baby would come out  very quick after and asked if I would want them or to break on own. I debating for two seconds, but ultimately wanted the pain to stop and told her to break water. "Let's do this!" After that, things went fast as predicted. In a matter of minutes I was pushing and the babies head was out. The pain was so bad, but felt very in control and more aware than ever feeling the head out and body and contractions work together. My eyes were closed a lot through it and remember feeling shakes, sweaty, and just squeezing Riley’s hand so hard as he was by my head I’m sure his hand lost circulation. Apparently I apologized a lot and told everyone I never want to do this again over and over. 

When the baby was out I opened my eyes, anxious to know gender I asked and she flipped the baby to face me and Inge said…. “You tell me mama!” …. “A girl!!” I remember saying vocally tearing up and also rechecking in disbelief as I was sure it was a boy snd she handed her to me to hold against my skin. Then I said “hello Lucy” we honestly didn’t talk much about girl names together, but was liking Lucy and just came out of my mouth without a discussion. 

It was my first skin to skin with any of my babies and she was so clean and calm and got to hold her through the rest of the delivery and cutting the cord. She was chunky and had dark hair like her brothers at birth. I insisted Riley cut the cord, he never did before with others and I knew there was some hesitancy on his end, but you can’t say no to someone who just gave birth so watched him cut the cord in front of me. She was born at 9:17, just over an hour had gone by since we arrived in the hospital. The midwife showed us the placenta and where the baby was and after that lovey visual we took turns holding Lucy, both in disbelief she was here and a girl and how things happened. She weighed almost 10 pounds, they never took her height at birth (apparently its not good to stretch out the baby like that).

We were rolled out a tray of food and given “Beschuit met Muisjes” which is a Dutch birth tradition. It is translated, little mice on a rusk. Basically it’s a little hard pasty with colorful candy covers licorice seeds.

Then as fast as we came, we left! There was a change in shift and a newmide came and she rolled me out to the uber driver and we all got in.  Making it home by midnight and sleeping in our own beds, officially a family of five! 

A little skin to skin with dad too :) 

cutting the cord

I didn't get as many pictures of the birth as I would have liked, none of the midwife! But I took this one at our followup 7 weeks later. I loved Igne! My favorite birth experience by far.