16 june 2008:
hi, everyone. we just got back from the consultatieburo a couple of hours ago, and i wanted to give you an update on gracie's progress.
we saw the nurse this time (the same one who came to our home shortly after gracie was born to do an intake and to meet us both) -- it seems like each time we go to the buro, we swap healthcare practitioners. one time we will be with the pediatrician, and then the next time the nurse (who i learned is named inge -- she said it so fast the first time that i didn't catch it, but when she introduced herself to adam, who had never met her, i learned her name again), and then the next time is the pediatrician, and then the nurse, etc. they both give the same level of care -- the pediatrician gives gracie a more thorough examination, checking her hips, spine, heart, etc. but otherwise it's pretty much the same. they're both REALLY friendly and very helpful, and answer all of our questions, no matter how silly the questions are, in a very thorough and patient and caring manner. i love them both!
the buses are still on strike, but lucky for us we live only a few kilometers from the hospital and the day is nice here. a good late-spring day, with lots of sunshine and clouds and a cool breeze and blossoming flowers and trees. so we chose to walk, instead of calling a cab. it only took about 35 or 40 minutes to walk there, so it was some good exercise and fresh air for all of us. we would stop occasionally along the way so gracie could admire the pretty gardens as we passed them. some gardens had very low fences and bushing flowers that hung over the edge, so that they were right at her eye-level when she sat in the stroller. it was neat to see her reach for the pretty flowers, and when she let go and the branches would bounce about, she just thought that was the coolest thing ever. it's so amazing to watch her learn how to interact with the world. we also saw some roosters and hens near the consultatieburo, as the hospital and surrounding healthcare buildings are kind of at the edge of town. so we stopped to look at them for a while, which was also pretty cool. it makes me wonder if gracie might like going to a zoo this summer -- but i'm not sure how i ethically feel about zoos, so i'm torn. i think she'd probably enjoy it, but would i? and would the animals? hmmmm...
so we got to the buro and got her undressed, as is usual. the assistant (who is also extremely friendly and sweet and knows just enough english to make us feel welcome) weighed and measured gracie and got our next appointment all set up for us. gracie's growth has slowed down a little bit in the past month, but she's still at the top of the charts. as a reference, she was 3.9 kilos when she was born and i think 53 cm??? i think? i don't remember, i was a little preoccupied when they gave me the numbers. (8.6 lbs and 21 inches) anyway, as of her 3-month checkup she had doubled her birth weight. this time she tops the scales at a hefty 8.65 kilos (19 lbs!!!) and 69 cm (27 inches). what a big girl!
we told the nurse about gracie's developmental milestones in the past month -- most notably that she rolled over for the first time yesterday! woohoo! she rolled over from her front onto her back three times yesterday (what a nice father's day present!), but still has not rolled from back to front. she can get as far as rolling onto her side when she is on her back, but hasn't seemed to figure out how to go the rest of the way. but the nurse was happily surprised, because apparently that's not "supposed" to happen until she's about 6 months old! way to go, mary grace!
even though gracie was tired (she didn't get her nap before we left because we had to leave early because the buses are on strike, as i said, and the walk was so entertaining for her that she didn't want to close her eyes for a minute!), she was playing happily with nurse inge and kicking her legs and turning in circles on the mat in front of us. we talked about when to start her on solid foods, what to expect from a jet-lagged baby (we leave for america soon!), and about gracie's nap schedule (which isn't much of a schedule since she really only takes catnaps during the entire day -- but since she's always happy, and DOES fall asleep when she's tired -- it's apparently very healthy and normal FOR GRACIE, and that i shouldn't be worried that she doesn't sleep for hours at a time at a very predictable time of day. that's just how mg likes to take her naps.).
and then... it was time for her shots again. i believe this was the last round of the shots she has been getting for the past few months (Hib, pneumococcus, DPT, and something else i think...). the nurse said that if gracie gets sick/run down from the inoculations, that she should be healthy again in a few short days. a good thing, too, since we're leaving soon for our flight home! i held brave miss mary grace on my lap and sang to her as she got her shots. adam was on binky and blankie duty, ready to hand them to her as soon as she was finished with her shots. the poor thing! she cried and CRIED for the first one (of course, because she was tired too!), and calmed down for a second, but then SCREAMED right before nurse inge injected her again with the second shot on the other leg. that surprised me, because she was actually able to ANTICIPATE the shot coming -- inge hadn't even poked gracie yet when she started to cry, cuz she knew it was coming. oh! it made me tear up a bit too, which of course made gracie cry even harder. poor baby girl!
we got her dressed, and i sat in the waiting room and nursed her a little bit to help calm her down and put her to sleep. she drifted off almost right away and adam was so helpful and got us all packed up and ready to go while i fed her. then we put her in the stroller and walked home, and she slept almost the entire time. she played very happily and energetically when we got back, which gave adam and myself time to eat some lunch. then adam changed her diaper, went to work, and gracie is now napping peacefully on the couch next to me.
our plan for the rest of the day is to take it easy, take a nice, warm, relaxing bath before bed, get a yummy massage, and go to sleep. (oh, by the way, she slept until 8:15 today! yay! adam and i got like 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night! woohoo!)
anyway, gracie is healthy and HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY, and adam and i are excited and thrilled to be heading back home soon, and to bring gracie with us too!
love,amber, adam, and mary grace