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!


Karly said...

Hello baby Stephanie!!! Love the name, and how sweet to name her after your mom. I bet Mimi was thrilled! The kraamzorg service sounds amazing, and how nice to get visits from the midwife service again sounds like things are going really well. We hope all goes well as you settle into the new routine and can't wait to see all the pictures and hear all the stories!

Also, we were remiss in not congratulating one person last week...Congratulations Ellie! You are such a fabulous big sister!!

Much love to you all!

azure said...

Welcome to the world, Stephanie Grace! What an honor to be named after your Mimi. From the few times I've had a chance to meet her, she's a very nice lady.

I'm glad to hear that everyone is settling into a routine. Hopefully Big Sister Ellie's good graces will remain once Markus goes back to work.

I'm still curious about this whole home birthing thing. I guess because it's so different than what I've heard about. I think it's incredibly cool that you could even have a home birth.

Thanks so much for sharing. (Even though I have no idea how you're finding the time.)

Gail said...

What a cutie! I'm glad that you are somehow finding the time to update as we've been compulsively checking the blog for some pics and a name.

The picture of Ellie in the goofy-eye glasses made me laugh, Jennifer, because I have a picture of you and I wearing those exact glasses in an arcade (skee ball!) back in Mass. all those years ago!

Meghan said...

Lovely update! Fantastic photos!

As soon as I saw "baby Stephanie" I yelled out "MIMI!!" - Thank you so much for keeping us up to date via the blog, it's so wonderful being able to read about this process and catch up on the family.

How is miss Stephanie? Is she adjusting alright? Sleeping alot? Eating alot? Mellow or fussy? I'm excited to meet sooner than later!

I'm also excited for Mimi to arrive soon and spend time with her wonderful little ladies. I hope you're getting you're rest and enjoying the time with the family.

We're deep in wedding plans with the wedding dress ordered and our first tasting tomorrow but all is going well!

Miss you and wish we could see you!!

Mimi said...

Yes I must tell you ALL that Mimi is so proud, so flattered, so amazed, so humbled, so thrilled, so surprised, so delighted, so speechless (uh, well maybe not) to have the baby named after her!

What a beautiful family! And such sweet friends to write such beautiful and loving messages!

I love everybody!

And I say to myself, what a wonderful world...

Chris, Chris, Amelia and Matty said...

Welcome to Stephanie Grace - lovely names!
I must take baby Matty shopping tomorrow for a card now we know her name! The service in the Netherlands sounds fantastic - I wish we'd still been there and not had to endure the Houston "service" still Matty is worth anything...
Luckily though no one told us to wait till he'd regained his birthweight before going out or I'd still be stuck inside! I was out and about on day 3 - as soon as I'd "escaped" from hospital... can't believe he's 3 weeks now. Looking forward to ichatting sometime so Ellie and Amelia can compare big sister experiences! lots of love and congratulations again

Chris, Chris, Amelia and Matty said...

forgot to say you look fantastic - and Stephanie is beautiful!
C x