process that led to the birth of
6 July 2002
From his Fathers perspective
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!
with Mouse in around late March this year and Mouse climbing around,
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
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
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
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?
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
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!’
First Photo of Thomas, moments after arriving on the 5th floor!
And other photos thereafter...
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!
* 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!'
Thomas Daniël Dilling in as an official person!
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
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
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!
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!
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