On Monday, baby Stephanie had her first doctor's appointment at the Consultation Bureau. You may remember from Ellie's visits there that the Consultation Bureau is a well-baby clinic for children in The Netherlands. Given Ellie's complete immunizations when we arrived, we thus far haven't visited the Consultation Bureau often. We should start a whole new record of that with Stephanie, who will begin her immunizations next month. This particular visit was just a first meeting and check-up. She weighed in at just over 9 pounds, nearly a whole kilo gained since birth! Yes, I realize I've mixed measures there, but she's weighed in kilos which means little to the average American reader of this blog (and me, to be honest). She is right on Dutch average for weight, height and head circumference. I'm not sure how that relates to the American growth scale, but Dutch people are quite tall and their babies are a good size, so at least we know the breastfeeding is working out for her! Her feet, which curled toward each other at birth due to position in the womb, are straigtening out and she's very strong. She can lift up to standing when she grips our fingers; I guess she knows it's best to hit the ground running in this house!
As detected by my excellent nurse mother during her recent visit, baby Stephanie has a small umbilical hernia. The doctor looked unconcerned and told us to expect it to heal by 3 months. Given the stalwart Dutch medical profession, I did research of my own and it assured me that this is relatively normal and not to worry. For those of you unfamiliar with the terminology, an umbilical hernia is an opening in the abdominal wall around the belly button that was present before birth to allow blood flow through the umbilical cord; the hernia just indicates it didn't close right away. In Stephanie's case, the opening is very small, so unless it starts to bother her, the best course of treatment is no treatment; it should heal itself. Our sweet little baby is in the throes of baby acne right now (caused by maternal hormones in the breastmilk), but that should clear up soon too. All in all, she is a healthy, happy baby. That's how we like it!
Ellie continues to be a model big sister! She is very sweet to the little one she usually refers to in full as "baby Stephanie Grace." We are counting our blessings that there haven't been any jealousy issues to date. We suspect this is partly because there has been little disruption to Ellie's routine, which is very important to her. The only real disruption she's had lately has been daylight savings, which started in Europe this week. Now, Ellie has a hard time getting to sleep at night, particularly because it is still light out at bedtime. This seems a widespread problem among wee ones in her set. One of her classmates summed it up perfectly when she announced to her mother: "No dark, no sleep." Oh dear.