The process that led to the birth of
Thomas Daniël Dilling
born on
6 July 2002
From his Fathers perspective


From birth journal:
He indeed came 3 1/2 weeks early and a bit small, but for the rest seemingly healthy and really already attentive and curious! But before I tell you that he is “of course” the worlds’ most beautiful baby ever, I will take you back over the process that led to this wonderful birth.


Luckily everyone had chipped in to get the house and rooms ready for the newborn!
(just a couple pictures, so much more was done!)

Friday evening, 5 July 2002 we were tired but happy. We thought about going out for Greek, but instead order-out and relaxed. Bianca was especially happy, for she was feeling good (even though pretty big with pregnancy) and had just early this day visited the hospital where she/we would deliver ‘Junior’- ‘Reinier de Graaf Ziekenhuis’ in lovely Delft. (By-the-way, just now this hospital is celebrating 750 years caring for people! Started as a ‘gasthuis’ and now a full modern hospital.) Bianca was very happy with the tour and especially one series of rooms in the remodeled wing and asked me to help her with something when we go to the hospital. That was, “Try to make sure that we get put in delivery room 6 or 7, for they are really nice, OK?” We ate our ‘shoarma’ and then went to bed as normal.

Around midnight I was awoken by that all too familiar moaning sound our cat makes when it has a live creature in the house. Mouse, our cat, had brought in a real mouse, which I had to chase out, Mouse that is with the poor little mouse in her mouth!


Bianca with Mouse in around late March this year and Mouse climbing around, as usual!

Then around 2:00am I was awoken by more noises, Mouse I thought, maybe with a poor helplesss bird this time. Then I realized that Bianca was also not in bed. It sounded as if the noises where coming from the bathroom and that Bianca was in there talking to someone… on the phone… at this hour! But with who was she talking and why?

Now I was awake, just then she came out of the bathroom, saw me and spread a big smile over her face and said, “My water has broken and the birthing nurse is on the way to check me out.” So, she lay down peacefully on our bed, while I packed her bag. (I had ‘my bag’ ready for this moment, but Bianca was still planning for hers!) And then after the birthing nurse confirmed that it was indeed the water that broke and because it was more than a couple weeks earlier that we had to go to the hospital. So off we went, back to the hospital that Bianca had visited just hours earlier.

The drive was peaceful, filled with excitement and fear of the un-know. The hospital at this hour was very quiet and once again that word peaceful comes to mind. It was actually in a strange way relaxing! (Easy for me to say, isn’t it!)

We were now heading up to the second floor where the nurses were waiting for us to check things out. It was 3:00am now. They hooked Bianca up to listen to the baby’s heartbeat and to monitor her contractions, which were starting more and more but at 3:30am still manageable.

Around this time we realized that the contractions were coming more and more and Bianca started to need support with this (hand holding, massaging the back, the feet and all kinds of other strange requests that you just do not even think about but just do!) Keep in mind that the coming Monday was to be my first time to go, with the rest of the fathers-to-be, to the birthing class. Thus, I was going on feeling, common sense and, well, a little coaching from Bianca on what she felt she needed to help get over the 45-60 second contractions, that by 3:40 were coming about every 3 or 4 minutes! (This means for the Father, up down, up down, up-down… Sit in chair and chat and then up doing what ever was needed!)

Junior’s heartbeat was good, but because everything was moving along, we ‘officially’ now had to stay (sometimes if the contractions are starting slowly, they will send you home to go through this early stage, which normally takes hours!). We got moved to one of the birthing rooms, for it was not that busy tonight anyway, so they may as well get us settled in… we got moved to ‘kamer 7’ (room #7!)!!! Lucky 7?

The room was big, clean and a nice light blue color. Complete with separate shower and bathroom, sink and a nice stereo! It was great, and in between contractions we actually had what I would say was a very nice time! We talked a lot, made many jokes and gave each other a lot of support and love- I can truly say it was great!

Before long though it was 6am and then 7. I was now sweating a bit and helping with what little support I could offer. The contractions were now heavy, clearly painful and all those tricks I was learning the last hours had no effect. Around 7, Bianca really started to have terrible pain and often we cried together.

Then seemingly all at once the very nice nurses were all in the room at once and a new lady, stern but friendly, who took control of the situation- Dr. Janszen and she instructed Bianca that she had to stop screaming and save her energy for any time now she would need to start to push.

This pushing was incredible and now I was given the ‘ole cool wet towel to wipe Bianca’s forehead, hold her hands tight and soon I was pushing her back up to help her give it her all and then some. Bianca was really giving it her all and at one point we could see the top of juniors head. Then after about 15 minutes of heavy pushing and very little breaks in-between, she gave one big last push- so big she closed her eyes and laid back still pushing… and then all at once out came Junior at 8:04 am! They placed this wonder on Bianca’s chest and we made our first contact with him. We were crying openly and Bianca kept saying something like, “Oh my sweet baby, oh my sweet baby, you’re so small.” I kept saying he is not that small and looks like he has all the needed parts!

Now, keep in mind that Dutch I can speak, but it is not on a top level. So all of a sudden they want to take Junior away and check him out a bit more carefully, for he is indeed a bit smallish (4.3 Pounds). And they ask me to follow yet another person whop appeared in the room a nice Dr. whose name I do not know. Once in another room he asked, ‘What are you naming him?’ [Ahh, I thought, hope that Bianca has not changed her mind, I thought this was a joint thing!] I replied, “Thomas, Thomas Daniel.” (I did not know about the dots over the last ‘e’ in Daniel at this time!*) After some basic checks he was deemed not in serious trouble at this time, back to Mamma to say hello and then off we went to the 5th floor to the ‘premature’ unit to check Junior in. Again I am off on my own…

Basically they prick him here and there and all seems fine- only he needs to get a bit more fat on his bones. For the rest he appears great, handsome already even! Thomas will stay for a while, or so they think, just to get his weight up and to fully monitor him. Bianca will also need to stay in the hospital for a few days as well- she got a few stitches. She is soar, but for the rest OK.

One of my first bonding moments with Thomas came just 15 minutes after birth and up on the fifth floor when they started pricking and checking him. Young Thomas started to moan a bit when they were doing this pricking, so I started to talk to him, like I did when he was in Bianca’s belly. And wow, he sort of flopped his head over, stopped the whining and opened his eyes wide and started in my direction! It was lovely and sent shivers up my back! Even the nurse said/asked, ‘so did you talk to him a lot when he was in the womb? For he seems to already know your voice!’


[Left] First Photo of Thomas, moments after arriving on the 5th floor! And other photos thereafter...

It is just incredible this whole experience. Indeed this is the core of who and what we all are. We all came out of a Mother and have God to thank! Everyone here is so helpful and takes too Thomas like their own. May God bless Thomas Daniël Dilling; keep him healthy, happy and prosperous.

We Love You Thomas!
Love,
Dad

* Two days later, on Monday morning, we had to sign Thomas into the Delft city hall. A town clerk comes to the hospital, which made it easier. We told her the name, Thomas Daniel and she asked, “With or without umlaut’s?” (dots above the ‘e’). I looked at Bianca and she at me… And we quickly decided that the ‘umlauts would be nice, for it would give Thomas a European bond, even if one day he moves to America or who knows where. Note for Thomas: Thomas is the name of one of Dadddys very good childhood friends from MA, who know lives in NH, Thomas Herling. Also another childhood friend, who passed away at a young age of 22 was Joesph Thomas Boucher. One of my Uncle's from my Mothers side is named Daniel! And your Greatgrandfather is also Daniel, I called him 'Pop!'

Signing Thomas Daniël Dilling in as an official person!

Looking Back
After looking back on what I wrote above and the whole labor adventure I can say that I am proud. 100+% of Bianca and Yes, also a bit of myself, but really the mans role is pretty clear in this situation. Support, support and more support. We can’t debate on who is going to do the contractions and who will do the pushing. In a way this non-choice can make things all quite normal.

If Bianca would have asked me to suck her big toe on her right foot, while massaging the little toe on her left, I would have done so. And so would any other man, for when you see your wife or partner in such pain it is really a natural thing. The strange thing is, that in everyday life Bianca and I would normally gently probe each other and try to get our own opinion in on various things that need to happen, like hanging a picture or painting a room. But in this case, the boss is clear. Maybe more things in life should be just as clear? Maybe they are and we just complicate them!

Thus, if I am even a bit proud of myself and thinking that I did a good job in my supporting role, then the truth is and with out a doubt that Bianca did a fantastic job and I am even more proud of her! It was a rough birth, for it went so quick with long and quick after one another contractions and no pain medication was used at all. We joked later, “Imagine if Junior was 8 pounds!” Really, if that was the case she would have really been in pain- and instead of 12 it would mean 24 stitches. So, this was another of God’s silent wonders.

She was great Thomas, you can be real proud of your mama!
This, I can say, was a great bonding experience for Bianca and I. Better then sex, I mean making love, itself. Now lets see if I can remember this for the coming years and help to bring up a wonderful young man who will love God and his Son Jesus, care for ALL people and love ALL living things.



The First Smile from Thomas! Thursday 29 August 2002

3.5 weeks early, so he's a bit small, but for the rest fine! Thomas came home with us on Sunday evening! We were very excited, but of course a bit nervous as well. So, as of tonight (Monday at midnight), he has eaten fantastic and slept very well. What is also nice is that he sometimes 'stays up' with us after eating for 40 minutes or so, which is just SO COOL! I have to say, it is still hard to believe that we created this little, helpless but very much living little man!

Thomas is doing very good today, Saturday 20 July. He got visits from his Great Aunt Trace, Oma, Opa, Marc, Igne and Bodi! He is eating great today and was sleeping quite well... till now (10pm) for he is having a little trouble with cramps- Bianca is trying to help but cramps are tough to combat they say. He is really handsome!

Today, Sunday 28 July, just 4 days still before his due date, Thomas had his first barbeque! It was a lot of fun, although actually it is pretty warm and muggy, whih made us all a bit sluggish. Thomas on the other hand is doing fine and eating more than ever! This afternoon once he ate 100ml in one go and quick!



day 1

day2

day3

Day 6-7


Day 9 - Home Coming !!!


Day 10 & 11

Day 12 - Thomas meets Nephew!

Week 3

Week 3 cont. First Barbeque!

week 4

Week 5

Week 6- Heat Wave!

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Mom & Al Visit Thomas!

Linda Visits Holland/Thomas

Linda's last week/Week 16

Thomas at 4.5 Months!

Make sure you also visit
Lukas' Page

&
4 months up till 1 year old.

 

 
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