Long live the stork!

Long live the stork!

Time is the greatest gift we have received at Hackland.

Sandra Larriva Henine traveled from Oslo to Bergen to give birth at Storken, Haagland University Hospital. Now the daughter is one year old.
  • SANDRA LARRIVA HENINE

    A mother of young children

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There was only one It’s less than a month until I, my husband, the family’s four-legged friend and my growing belly board the train from Oslo to Bergen. With the womb pillow and birthing ball packed together in the box, we left our home in Oslo.

I was 40 when I got pregnant with our daughter. Even though my health was completely normal, my age alone led me to put the label “high risk” on an otherwise uneventful pregnancy. More and more “no’s” became a huge source of stress: I couldn’t make it past the due date. I did not get it Delivery at ABC Clinic. I will not be born in water; I had to be constantly monitored electronically.

In the months that followed, my anxiety grew and I mentally prepared myself for battle. Fear took over and gradually I moved from my body into my head – the perfect recipe for a stuck birth.

Sandra Larriva Henine is in Floen two weeks before giving birth.

So, Christmas in spaceWith family in Bergen during the Christmas holidays, we called Bergen’s Surrogate Maternity Ward.

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“My wife wants to give birth in Storken,” said my husband.
“Do you have a higher age limit?”
“How old is she?”, they asked.
“Forty,” he replied.
Then something happened that changed everything.
“Great. You’re most welcome here”, came the reply.
“You don’t need to apply. Just call her when she’s having contractions and we’ll take it from there.

From that moment on, I calmed down. The head rests and the heart rejoices.

Then it rained Every hour of every day in January in Bergen. But, for the first time in weeks, the light returned. The sunset on February 14, 2022 – Valentine’s Day – was so spectacular that my phone was flooded with photos all evening.

A few hours later contractions started and we knew who to call.
When we arrived at Storken in the morning, we were greeted with a safe silence and the room we were given was ours for the entire four shift duty. Thirty-two hours after the first contraction, our daughter was born.

We stayed at Storken in the days after the birth. We had the opportunity to completely lose ourselves in the magical bubble of love as first-time parents, with time and space to heal the body and carefully observe the fragile, new life around us.

Only a few can travel 460 kilometers to have the birth experience they desire, as Sandra Lariva Henine, who photographed her husband and daughter in Storken shortly after birth, realized.

On the birth certificate In mine I wrote that I wanted a “very experienced midwife”. I imagined someone who could show me how to give birth. I was wrong there. After giving birth, I realized that there was an underlying belief that a truly experienced midwife knew how to deliver their own baby and only intervene when help was needed.

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Today, with a one-year-old daughter, as I look back on our experience at Storken, I realize that the greatest gift we received was not a bigger room, acupuncture needles, or an extra bed for my husband. That was the time we were given, the unreserved time. Time given in absolute confidence only.

So much anticipation Mothers cannot travel 460 kilometers to have the birth experience they desire. We were lucky to be able to rely on my husband’s family in Bergen before and after the birth. But for everyone who lives in Bergen and the surrounding areas, I hope Storken lives on forever.

Now that the ABC clinic in Oslo has closed its doors, I think a lot about all the women who are refining their birth certificates at the time of writing, hoping that their wishes will be carried out and respected. My hope is that, if nothing else, they are given the time and confidence they need, and that they so deeply deserve. A lot has been done then.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

"Music geek. Coffee lover. Devoted food scholar. Web buff. Passionate internet guru."

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