Today our »little« girl turns 16! OMG, time has flown by. 16 years ago, that I was waiting with a big belly. All very exciting. Especially, because this time I was going to give birth in Slovenia. When I was giving birth to Larsen, 5 years earlier, I had to undergo an unexpected cesarean, because my cervix didn’t dilate more than 3 centimeters. But that was in the Netherlands.
Although the pregnancy actually went quite well, I did get tired of the almost weekly check-ups. Because I had high blood pressure, according to the nurses of the gynecology department at the hospital in Kranj, I had to have a check-up almost every week and also give urine and blood every time. All in all, such a check-up took 2 hours, if not more. Waiting, waiting, waiting …… You have to have a lot of patience here. In general, but certainly in healthcare. And having patience is just not my strong point ;).
Due to the high blood pressure, at a certain point, I was also referred to a specialized clinic. There I was told by the internist that my blood pressure, due to my »bigger« upper arms, had to be measured with a larger size band. When she did that, I turned out to have good blood pressure. So at the next gynecology checkup, I told them to use a larger band. But they said they didn’t have one and so they used the normal band, which made it look like I had high blood pressure, which made them decide to have me come back again a week later …… argghhhhhh!
However, I must honestly admit that I am (was) generally satisfied with the health care here, although it is, of course, a lot more pleasant in the Netherlands in terms of ‘luxury’. But you will send you to a specialist much faster here than in the Netherlands. Doctors here prefer to take precautions rather than »wait it out«, as they do in the Netherlands. And although it can be annoying to have to undergo all kinds of examinations with different specialists, you immediately know where you stand. Unfortunately, it is true that, in recent years, there have been increasingly long waiting times, which was not the case here in my early years. And unfortunately, I have had a few lesser experiences in recent years. I will elaborate on this in a later blog.
To continue with my story ….. of course, the gynecologist knew about my previous c-section and I had asked whether it was possible to give birth with a (planned) c-section this time. I just did not have a good feeling about it. But no, that was not necessary according to the doctor. I would certainly be able to give birth naturally. Unfortunately, that did not happen. On the 14th of July, around 10 p.m. contractions started and Bine and I drove to the hospital. We left Larsen with the neighbors because my parents were in the Netherlands, they would start driving when Bine would call to say that I had given birth, and Bine’s family did not live nearby. That night I stayed in the hospital and Bine was sent home. I did not sleep for a minute because I felt a contraction every 5 minutes and had to pee all the time. I walked up and down to the toilet, which was down the hall, dozens of times. By 5 am, they put me on the monitor and told me I wasn’t having contractions! I thought I was going to pass out ….. how was that possible?? At 8 o’clock I was put on the monitor again and my cervix was dilated 3 centimeters. Fortunately, Bine had also arrived in the meantime.
We were taken to the delivery room and I lay there until 2 pm with severe pain and hardly any further dilation. At 2 o’clock it was 5 centimeters according to the doctor. Then another doctor came because they changed shifts, and that doctor said I had 4 centimeters of dilation. So somehow it went back instead of forward!? I just wanted to cry, which I probably did. The new doctor decided it was time for a cesarean delivery, as it clearly wasn’t going to work naturally. Suddenly everything went very fast. Bine had to leave, I was driven away and was put under anesthetic in no time. I completely panicked at that moment. When Larsen was born I got an epidural and Bine was allowed to be present at the C-section. That all went very relaxed. Now it was all very panicking and it scared me. There appeared to be a reason for that.
The next thing I remember was waking up and feeling a stabbing pain in my stomach. I had my eyes closed and tried to protect my belly with my hands. My hands were pushed away. Suddenly I heard Bine. I opened my eyes and looked to the side. I was still in the operating room and Bine was sitting next to me, wearing some green scrubs. I don’t remember what he said but I just asked, “am I going to die”? Bine immediately denied and said that the baby was fine and that everything would be fine with me as well, but they had to remove my uterus to save me. I don’t know if I thought it or said it out loud, but I didn’t really care at the time, as long as I lived and everything would be okay with me and my little girl.