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The story of a Peruvian mother in Holland


Hello! My name is Nathaly, Peruvian by birth, Dutch by choice, communicator by profession and mother by vocation. 8 years ago I started this adventure changing my warm South America for cold Holland.

Like many other women, I changed residence for love. And that's where I had my children. I tell you my story.

November 2007: I set foot on Dutch soil for the first time in order to make this country my home. That same Christmas, she was already pregnant. I had not yet learned 20 words in Dutch when the midwife filled me with information about all the pros and cons of this wonderful stage. Why yes, ladies and gentlemen, in modern Holland, it is very common to give birth at home, with the help of a midwife and a nurse.

At 20 weeks of pregnancy you have the right to an ultrasound and if everything is under control, it is the only one that would be done throughout the pregnancy. In this same period, you have to book postnatal care, a special nurse who will help you after delivery and will teach you how to take care of the baby (by the way it is the same nurse who helps you during delivery). If Holland has something very well thought out, it is this, this nurse is an infinitely valuable help for new parents.

A few weeks before my first-born was born, we had a visit from this, until then, kind nurse. Who after settling down on our couch and having a coffee, started the review process. He reviewed everything about the baby, EVERYTHING, from the clothes to the quality of the mattress, and began to make his notes. By then I had expanded my vocabulary to about 100 words, so we could communicate. Back on the comfortable sofa, we understood what the purpose of his notes was. Sudden death (something I had never heard of until that day) is apparently a universal terror in this cold country. Inappropriate words for a new mom to the point of a nervous breakdown after this not-so-pleasant visit.

As expected, and confirmed by the size of my belly, me so small and the father of my son so big, we would have a baby of more than 4 kilos. I had to give birth in the hospital. At 39 weeks, between tears and a lot of pain, I gave birth to a chubby and very healthy baby whom we call Stefano.

Once at home, with a baby and a nurse, this new adventure began ... to be a mother! ... How wonderful to see that tiny little person sleeping next to me (when she finally decides to fall asleep). What no one warned me about was that rain, storms, rainbows, lots of sun and even lightning were going to fall from that pink cloud I was in. That they would have, a year later, the confirmation of my suspicions: paternity was very heavy and he decided (without my knowing it) that he wanted a more 'calm and relaxed' life.

Devastated and without energy I started the divorce process in this strange country, which became my hell. But being a mother, there is no option to fall, you have to be well standing to be able to hold your puppy.

My little one would have to go to kindergarten. New dilemma, what type of nursery to choose ?. In the Netherlands you have two options: nurseries in the home of a qualified caregiver and institutional nurseries. Although the cost of childcare is very high, as a 'single mother' (well, divorced), the state subsidizes a part of the costs, making them more accessible.

But these stories always have a happy ending, and this is also my case. I have a new partner who I married and we had a baby. Uhmm, sorry, we had a baby first and then we got married. Something had to learn from all this tragedy. First I needed to prove that we would 'survive' parenting through thick and thin.

Nathaly Saucier Livano

Peruvian mom in Holland

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