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 :)


  1. Bottle feeding? I'm disappointed...

  2. @mehitabel: You have no idea why this decision was taken and I find it extremely disappointing that you would choose to judge a situation without knowing the background. It was not a decision taken lightly.

  3. Congratulations! Our kid theoretically could have access to America, Europe and China :)

  4. Congratulations! Kraamzogenden sound absolutely fantastic. With a start like that, I'm sure Lilly-Rose will have a fantastic life ahead :)

  5. I am Curtis Wife:

    @ Mehitabel: Who the heck are you?

    How can you be disappointed, when you do not know me or the current situation?

    How can you allow yourself being judgmental without any background ?

    How can we failed to meet your expectation while you have no right to any?

    Do not forget what, who you are. Just a stranger to us. Therefore, please keep this kind of comment for yourself, or at least next time try to do so without hiding behind a pseudo.

  6. Many many congratulations! Gefeliciteerd en Gelukwensen... or something :-)

    They should mention the whole Kraamzorgende thing on the job ads ;-)

  7. You guys are in for it! Aquarius girl & you guys as parents? I smell very intelligent, world-changing, life-altering trouble! I look forward to meeting her at the end of the year! Ps: hi Lilly!

  8. Congratulations to both of you!

  9. Congrats! So wonderful and so happy for you both!
    The Kraamzogenden is a fantastic idea, another reason Amsterdam is better than us.
    Love to you all and hope to visit again soon to meet her!
    Love, M

  10. 1) Congrats.
    2) "Kraamzogende" is a cute misspelling - it's not a real Dutch word, but if it were, it'll be the baby. "Zogen" is the past tense of "zuigen", which means "suckling". "Kraamverzorgster" is correct.
    3) Now that you're a new parent, be sure to read
    4) Congrats again ;-)

  11. Congrats! What a beautiful daughter!!

  12. Ohh, and for your lovely wife, whom I have not had the honor to meet (here is to hoping I do not slaughter her language):
    Félicitations pour votre nouveau bébé!

  13. Congratulations. Don't let the breast-is-best zealots get you down. It's your own damn business.