I’m not sure how we got so lucky, but I’m grateful we did.
One of our concerns about having a baby was who was going to look after Miss A whilst I was in hospital. The doctors had scheduled a c-section for 3 March, but in my heart I always knew the baby would come early.
We had a list of people who had volunteered to be on stand by to take Miss A. The plan was to call my mate in the same street as us (part of the Marnixstraat Massif) and we would go from there. So, at 5am, I gave her a buzz. She was at the door before I even got down the stairs.
It was such a good feeling leaving Miss A with her. I knew that Miss A would have a great time, that she knew the family and that the family would treat her like their own. In the end, Miss A had to stay with them until 4pm.
I didn’t recover as expected, and the hospital is no place for a toddler. We were very lucky to have another mate offer to take her on Saturday and Sunday. Miss A went in the morning and came home home in the afternoon, fed, showered, in new pyjamas and with a big smile on her face. Unbelievable.
Then on Monday, when I was sent home (yes, 3 days after having my baby ripped out of my belly and then having 3 layers of uterus, muscle and skin sewed up), there was a mix up with Kraamzorg (nurse, midwife, cleaner, cook, general godsend! another post to come on this) and the company had sent a lady who didn’t speak English. Calling from my bed, in the only position I could sit in without crying, I asked if it was possible to supply someone who could speak English (as originally requested and promised). To which, the reply was – No, but the nurse tomorrow can speak slowly…. Mmmm Hmmmm.
Anyway, at a loss as to what to do, I called my friend K, who herself had a 1 week old newborn, and asked if her Kraamzorg was available – explained the situation and then burst into tears. K instructed me to hang up the phone and hang tight. She called back in 30minutes. She had called the company, told them it was unacceptable, told them she had another Krramzorg that could do it, and they then agreed to employ the freelance Kraamzorg (thus not affecting insurance etc). Her nurse would be here at 9am.
What a girl! She organised everything! So helpful.
Another friend, offered to take Miss A to Playgroup. This was an enormous help – just 2 hours alone with Miss E and Miss A gets to hang out with her friends.
My friend B has collected Miss E from school this week (which means Dave can work from 930-230) and fed her lunch and hung around, looked after Miss E whilst I napped with Miss A. She also kindly vacuumed, washed, cooked dinner, emptied the dishwasher and generally kept our house functioning.
We haven’t cooked a meal in 2 weeks.
We are very blessed. Many friends have offered to help, and there’s a genuine desire to assist. I’m not sure if it’s because we are all expats and all in the same boat – limited family support etc. but whatever it is, Dave and I are thanking our lucky stars.