after realizing that MORE than just the grandparents and godparents might be interested in this information, i've decided to post updates about gracie's growth and progress in this blog. here is the email that i wrote for gracie's first appointment to the consultatieburo when she was 4 weeks old. i'll post the other updates separately. enjoy!
march 3, 2008:
hi, everyone! today was gracie's first "consultatiebureau afspraak", or consultation bureau appointment. at the consultatie bureau, they check her progress every month or so -- similar to what your family doctor would do for a child, giving vaccinations and doing the physical exams and such. if gracie ever gets sick, we call our "huisarts" (our family practitioner), but if we have a question about breastfeeding or teething or the quality of her diapers, etc, then we call the consultatiebureau. but if she has a fever or diarrhea or is otherwise ill, then we notify the huisarts.
anyway, we took her to the consultatiebureau today. we took the bus there and knew exactly where it was located because it was the building right next to where our midwife office was located, nearby the hospital. when we got there, we undressed gracie and the assistant weighed her and measured her length and the circumference of her head. then we wrapped her up and tried calming her down (she was sleeping and then we undressed her and handled her with our cold hands and she was NOT pleased) and then saw the physician lady.
the dr. lady was suuuuuper nice and spoke very good english, and really really took her time with us and answered every one of our questions thoroughly. we were both really pleased with her. she checked gracie: listened to her heart and lungs, looked in her eyes, checked her skin, opened her mouth, felt the bottoms of her feet, palpated her glands, examined her bottom... i think that's it. she did it all. and everything looks good!
gracie now weighs 4.8 kilos (10.6 pounds!) and measures 58 cm (23 inches). she was 3.9 kilos (8.7 lbs) and 53 cm (21 inches) when she was born, so we're really pleased at how much she has grown. she is at the top of the charts for growth, but still in the normal range. i suppose it helps to have a baby that's already 2 weeks "older" than other newborns her age. plus she's a REALLY good eater (nurses for about 30 mins at a time!) and sleeps really well too.
we asked the dr. about gracie's pimples since she's been breaking out lately. we wondered if my milk was too fatty or if i was eating something i shouldn't be eating, or maybe we weren't keeping her clean enough??? the dr. said basically that i shouldn't constantly blame/question my milk production if there is something "wrong/abnormal" with gracie (nice to hear because i'm CONSTANTLY wondering if i ate something that i shouldn't have, etc.), and explained that gracie is starting to produce her own hormones now, which is what is making her break out. same thing happens at puberty and during menstruation, she said -- increased hormone production = more pimples. it's common for babies 4 - 6 weeks old to start breaking out because of this, but there's nothing that needs to be done about it and it will clear up on its own. that's good to hear. i thought i was eating something that didn't agree with her, or that we were keeping her too dirty!
we go again on 7 april for her 2-month checkup, and she'll get a series of vaccinations at that time. we'll of course let you know how that goes when it happens.
well she's starting to fuss now after a long afternoon so i'm going to try to get her to nap before dinner time. we love you and hope you all are enjoying the increased light and warmth! trees and shrubs are blooming beautifully out here -- welcome spring!