I found out that I was pregnant in the same week that my husband found out he got a travel grant (Rubicon; NWO) from the Netherlands. This is a grant which allows you to perform research and gain experience at a foreign research institute (in his case: Stanford University) that is specialized in your field of study.
I had mixed emotions about both. Yes, I really wanted to have a child but I also wanted my family close during the delivery (at home instead of in a hospital) and of course also in the following months / years. At the same time I was very proud of my husband. He achieved to get the grant, he is successful at his job and he knows what he wants career wise. I just really wished it wasn’t a grant for working in a foreign country!
Most of the negative emotions originated from fear. I’m not really comfortable around needles, blood, tubes etc. When I get confronted with those things I tend to faint. You might think you run into these in the Netherlands too. Yes, that’s correct but there you have the possibility to deliver your baby at home. Which I prefer over labor in a hospital where there’s a good chance you might run into a needle or two.
In 2010 we went on a holiday to Coastal California and drove the Pacific Coastal Highway from San Francisco to LA. We really loved this part of the country and its nature. The additional advantages of working at Stanford for my husband’s career made us decide to go for it.
The six months before our big move were quite hectic because of the appointments I had with the midwives, the ultrasounds, preparing the home for rental and working at our jobs and on top of that we also had to plan our wedding (finally after 12 years..). This combined with my “morning” sickness (which I experienced all day) took a lot of my energy.
We eventually moved to the Bay area when I was 23 weeks pregnant. By then I already had had three sonograms in the Netherlands; at 8/9 weeks just to check if you are pregnant, at 12 weeks to set your due date and at 20 weeks for the medical examination and the determination of the gender of the baby.
If I would have stayed in the Netherlands and no problems would occur there would only follow some appointments with the midwives to check blood pressure, heartbeat of the baby and my weight, and finally hopefully home birth. In the USA I had to start all over again…
Stephanie Segeren moved here in September of 2014 from the Netherlands. In January 2015 she gave birth to a brand-new American citizen. For the time being she has decided to be a stay at home mom. Stephanie has a lot of hobbies which are mostly creative: Interior decorating, baking cakes and take photographs (currently only of her baby of course).
Next Thursday, Stephanie will go over her adventures with insurance and the medical system!