Monday, February 7, 2011

Our Daughter is Born

On Saturday morning, at 1 AM, our daughter, Lilly-Rose was born.

Our daughter's first meal

She's going to have a world full of possibilities ahead of her. With an American father, a French mother and being born in Amsterdam, she'll be able to live and travel throughout much of the world if she wishes. Fortunately, unlike some children of expats, her legal status should be perfectly clear. This morning I'll be heading down to register her birth with the Dutch authorities.

We're also in the very fortunate position that the Netherlands has a very interesting concept called the kraamverzorgende, which is sort of a combination maternity nurse and personal maid for the first 8 days of the baby's life. While in most countries the new parents are often exhausted and floundering, trying to understand the best way to change diapers or bathe the child — and facing a wealth of often conflicting advice on how they "should" be doing it — the kraamzorgende comes to your house and helps you learn all of these things. He or she also watches the child for you, giving you time to sleep, cleans the house, takes care of laundry, and even does shopping if need be.

As this is the first, and probably only, child for my wife and myself, our kraamzogende has been a huge help. She's friendly, resourceful and has made everything so much easier than it would otherwise be. Our neighbors have also been wonderful, several of whom have newborns and have showered us with many extra supplies for our daughter. Of particular help have been Jillali and Yvonne, two wonderful people who've really gone out of their way to welcome us and our daughter. This is a great country with great people.

Update: needless to say, this might impact the posting schedule for a bit :)