Yet there comes a point in your life that you feel obligated to consider whether or not your children want. 33 years, in a relationship, a house. Almost complete. My partner already wanted children half a year after starting the relationship. 33 years, that is the time to think about it. Facing reality. What would give me satisfaction and joy in the longer term than the short-term pleasures. We wanted to go for it to save a lot of effort and to save money (I remain a scales). Whether it would work out is a second, but it is not in my nature to worry about anything, at least ... not yet.
Looking back, I think I can say that I could not have wished for a smoother pregnancy.

Everything started to run after the pregnancy tests (well actually all 5 tests on 1 day) were positive. The result was "more than 3 weeks". I remember well. Nothing afterwards was the same again. I told my partner, very subtly I know, over the phone. He was extremely happy. And I, I still had to get used to the idea. It was more or less planned, but we left it to nature. 17 years on contraception (pill), never expected that it would happen within half a year.
Then you open the internet. It says "make an appointment with an obstetrician". I was standing with one leg in a moving move so decided to go for Midwifery Practice Maashaven. This was close to me when it was really going to get heavier and I moved to Rotterdam. New house, new city, new seen so a new life.
This was also the main reason for my choice in the various obstetric practices. After my first appointment and the next one I didn't regret it. Our family would be enormously mixed. I am half Dutch, half Filipino and my partner Serbian. So it felt great to see so many different cultures that would require some flexibility from the practice. This is what I like, flexibility. Not too stiff, relaxed (even if you are pregnant). We were received super and accompanied with a lot of humor. Serious issues concerning the pregnancy were clearly talked about, but what I mainly remembered and what I should not forget is that it is said that I should mainly enjoy it. All agreements were made with a nice conversation. All checks were in order; neat vital functions relaxed and above all no worries. I could go with all my questions, especially about sports. Can I still ride a horse? and until how long? I enjoy it very much and bring enormous peace and relaxation with it. Fortunately this was still possible if justified. It was good to do as much as possible as before, provided your body allows it. 
Looking back at the pregnancy: From the beginning to the end of the pregnancy I was not nauseous, not noticeably tired. I ate healthy and had enough exercise. I gained 9 pounds and had a modest stomach. Incidentally, the only ailment, probably outside of my hormones (partner denied this very safely –wise-), was my bladder. Every 15 minutes to the toilet, or when I just got rid of it, I immediately feel my bladder filling up.
I was already looking forward to every appointment with the midwife to be able to hear something again. I never really worried because I often felt the little one in my stomach.
At the 20-week ultrasound we were very curious about the gender. It became a girl. It was no secret either. The only thing we wanted to keep to ourselves was her name. But we already knew that (although we had discussions about the spelling). Subsequently, I still received a medical ultrasound with 32 weeks. The placenta could possibly block the exit as it was low at the last ultrasound. 
I entered my last weeks carefree. I could still wear my own clothes, tie my shoelaces and even paint my toenails (after all it's summer). I decided to work up to 4 weeks before the calculated day so that my leave afterwards would be longer. No sooner said than done. Only our little girl came a week earlier ...

"You can call the midwife when the contractions come every 5 minutes and hold for 1 minute"
It sounds so easy. Stopwatch and counting. It could take hours.

Earlier that day I had loaded the dogs and I had driven to the dunes for a nice walk. Once back home everything went as normal. I was easily bored of course. Everything was already arranged. Flight case, baby room ready, maternity package in the attic. 
In the evening I sat on the couch and lost a little bit of moisture. I thought it would be my bladder again. The not charming side issues in pregnancy. I cleaned it and told my partner that it was amniotic fluid. He saw that it was a joke and he also joked that I had wet my pants and said that it would fit in two days when he returned from a business trip to Belgium. I went to bed to sleep. At night I woke up at half past 3. I broke in pain. I woke him up and we both knew the moment was there. He filled the bath and started counting.
He measured 20 seconds every 5 minutes. All kinds of questions emerged: “Can you already call? It is every 5 minutes but not 1 minute long. " It was quite intense, but I had the feeling that I could no longer wait. Because you do get to know each other at appointments with midwives, she was also able to estimate that it might be time soon. It took us longer than the midwife to go to the hospital. I had previously indicated that I would like to give birth in Ikazia. Purely because it is our first child and it feels "safe" to give birth in the hospital, although I don't think it matters much when there are no complications. On the way to the car, during the drive to the hospital and in the long hospital hall, we had to stop again because the contractions seemed to come every minute. Severe pains too, from the start. It really felt like stopping. I was met by the midwife (Charity) in the corridor and led to the room.
I took off my coat and immediately came back on. I told this too and I could immediately lie down on the bed so she could see how far I was now.
I was allowed to press on immediately. However, this felt like a relief rather than having to stop for so long.

And there she was. We were busy for a minute, a few minutes in the hospital and there she was already. Very fast, very beautiful and very healthy. The pain is very painful in a moment, but you also feel that you have to go through it. Go through it, together with your partner, midwife and the nurse. No way back and you know that the relief does not take long. There was Alyssa, all fingers and toes, and yes, as you can see on the ultrasounds, there was still a girl. A pretty average girl of 3305 grams born at 5.01 am. It has once again appeared that a small one does not plan; Dad couldn't go on a business trip this morning anymore, But that doesn't matter, that doesn't matter at all.

After 3 hours we were already on the way back, with the three of us. When we arrived home, the dogs were upset. The owners had suddenly left in the middle of the night and normally they always say hello. Now they came back with someone else. Animals are wonderful how good they feel that the baby is a new member of the family, our pack now. Even today they watch over her. They are crazy with her and even seem proud at times!

The following weeks, Alyssa was really an exemplary baby. Soon slept through the night, ate and drank well and arrived well again after a week. She still looks a lot like Dad. This is a nice feeling, he is just that little bit more involved. From fiddling in the beginning to already reasonably experienced parents, all thanks to the obstetricians of practice Maashaven and Kraamzorg Rotterdam. I also don't want to forget to mention my mother, who I often had on the phone in the beginning if I didn't know and became uncertain.
Alyssa is now 4 months old. Appearance of daddy and character of mom! She neatly follows her curves in weight and height and we are still very proud. How is it possible that pregnancy and birth went so easily until the first few weeks? I am convinced that it is because of 1 word; relaxation. 
We hardly worried about anything, our lives were as good as possible as before. Sports, a lot out of the house, work and especially humor. These properties were also found in obstetric practice. This only strengthened the relaxation that led to the laughter in the crowd to this day.


Jessica, Milan and Alyssa