Monday, March 03, 2008
Meet Stephanie Grace
Here we are at day six, and our little family is still doing great! Our new bundle is named Stephanie Grace, after Jennifer's mom. The suspense on the blog was necessary delay-time until the Mimi could be told her name first. Baby Stephanie is a sweet and easy baby thus far, and we are all happy and thankful. Ellie continues to be in a terrific mood and is thrilled to be a big sister, though her mood could also easily be attributed to Papa taking this time off and spending it with her. She's such a Papa's girl!
Yesterday was our last day with the kraamzorg, Astrid. Astrid was wonderful, and we are really impressed with this service. As I blogged before the birth, the Dutch have a system in place whereby mother and baby recover at home with personal care from a kraamzorg (maternity nurse). On average, the kraamzorg comes for 8 days, 6 hours each day. As this is our second baby and Markus is taking time off, we reduced that to 5 days, 4 hours each. The kraamzorg takes care of the mother and baby, providing not only post-natal care but also instruction on all new parenting skills from diapering and bathing to breastfeeding and maternal recovery. Astrid arrived each morning at 7:30 and made sure I took my vitamins and ate a healthy breakfast; then she bathed/weighed/looked after baby Stephanie and did some light chores (starting laundry, organizing baby items, etc.) to make sure I stayed in bed and rested as much as possible. Markus took Ellie out to play and do special activities while Astrid was home with me, and everyone was a winner! This morning is our first day without Astrid here, and we're doing just fine. It was an amazing service, and considering that it's standard and nationally provided is pretty incredible. Plus, we really liked Astrid (excellent bonus!), who also was here to assist with the home delivery.
Yesterday we also had a follow-up check-up with our midwife Christine, who was the lady here to "catch" when Stephanie arrived. Christine was a lovely, calm presence during the labor and the birth, and we are so happy she was the person on call that night! I hadn't had an appointment with her prior to that day, so THE night was the first meeting...but we were lucky to have her. She has been a midwife for 17 years, and she instinctively melted into the background and let that night be all about me and Markus and birthing our baby. The midwife practice has sent someone to check in with me four out of the past six days, but it was especially nice to see Christine again.
In the coming days, we'll just be waiting and watching for baby Stephanie to meet the three criteria for going out and about (cord stump fallen off, birth weight regained, at least 8 days old) and trying to rest and relax as much as possible. We should also be getting her started with the Consultation Bureau soon too, and we'll update on that as we have appointments to note. Ellie had school holidays last week, but she'll go back to that schedule tomorrow morning. Our new routine has begun!