It is not the kind of news we like to break on a blog, so apologies for those of you hearing it for the first time. We tried to tell most everyone in a much more personal way...but now we just cannot restrain from referring to Spruitje (or Sprouty according to Pops Briggle) on our blog. Baby Briggle is our new star and will play a leading role from now on in our lives, and thus in our blogging tales.
We have been blessed so far with a very smooth pregnancy. Amber has been feeling fabulous lately and has not been sick at all (except for some mild naseau and now headaches for some reason...oh and fatigue). Adam is hanging in there, and, not to be outdone, has developed more food cravings than Amber. He is now on a cornbread kick. Adam dotes on Amber and even cleans up her spills when she drops stuff, which seems to be another side-effect of the pregnancy. We are reading lots of books about nutrition and other health advice. And our families and friends have been very supportive - thanks to you all!
We are naturally just a wee bit nervous about the whole having a baby in a foreign country thing. However, we would not have gotten ourselves into this if we did not feel like we could do it. We are comfortable here in Hengelo and we know enough of the language to get by. There is a nice American gal who lives nearby who had her baby in Hengelo and has offered us advice as well as old baby clothes. We have a midwife all set up and have already had three appointments (including one in the U.S.). At these appointments, we get to hear the baby's heartbeat - whoosh whooshing in a submarine world. The midwife says that we get an echo (ultrasound) at twenty weeks (two weeks away now).
Amber has lined up some birthing classes for us, in English, and we are both starting the process of getting the baby's room put together. Out with the old wall-paper and in with some fresh paint. We are also starting to look out for furniture (crib, changing table, rocking chair, etc.) - it looks like Ikea or marktplaats.nl (a Dutch-style Craig's list) are going to be our best bets. If everything goes as planned, we should be able to have some family visit us shortly after the birth, which will be a great comfort and a joy.
The Dutch typically deliver their babies at their homes, and we are warming up to this initially frightening idea. If all goes alright with the pregnancy, then we will take this option, which requires getting a bunch of equipment including bed heighteners! But there is also always the hospital option - we live about five minutes from our local hospital.
Spruitje will not, unfortunately, be a dual citizen. In order for Sprouty to be a Dutch citizen, one of us would have to be Dutch, which in turn would entail relinquishing our U.S. citizenships. No thanks. But we will have to take baby Briggle to the consulate in Amsterdam to get a passport and make sure there are no international snafus.
As for names, if it is a boy, we are leaning towards Leopold, which is a family name on Amber's side (her great grandfather was named Leo and he was the first generation to come to the U.S. from Germany). Adam likes Leopold in honor of Aldo Leopold the great poet defender of nature. Girl names have been a bit trickier and we are still open to suggestions. Amber, however, is certain it is a boy, because all the old wive's trickes point in this direction. She also has friends and family who get the "boy vibe" from her. And she has dreamt vividly of a little boy twice. Adam does not know what to make of all this as he is getting no "vibe" one way or the other and his latest dream was about a cool car chase. He is thrilled either way and ready to coach Spruitje's first hockey team (or even soccer team).
Check the right-hand sidebar of our blog for some links with information about baby stuff in Holland for those who are interested to learn more.