We’re bleary-eyed and love-drunk. So this is going to be short and sweet… a few observations from our first week… things I don’t want to forget.
– We stayed in the hospital longer than we anticipated. Cora was fine and dandy. Momma had some bladder issues. We didn’t go home until Sunday. That was hard, but at the same time good for us as we got to rest in the hospital a bit more. I know that seems like an oxymoron, but we were the only patients in the whole hospital, and the nurses bent over backwards to help us. I think we left more rested than most people feel when they leave the hospital.
– Cora is officially a citizen of the USA. She has her passport – issued yesterday. There were some tense moments with that, as we found out the whole system is being upgraded and is therefore shut down for the month of January. But we needed a passport for her this month. After many phone calls and emails, the Embassy had us come in and issued an emergency passport in 1 hour. I’m not the most patriotic person in the world, but for once something was pretty straightforward. God Bless America.
– Not many 3-day-old infants get passport pictures made, but our little gal did. When Jacob took the photo to the shop to get printed, the lady behind the counter felt like she needed a bit of “touching up” – so she photoshopped the red spots off her face. Thanks to her, my daughter is even more beautiful. Heh.
– Speaking of leaving the hospital. That was funny. In America, they wheel you out in a wheelchair and check your car seat. In Beijing, you get lectured for having wet hair (that was me) and given a surgical cap to wear to the car so you don’t get too cold. And then the number of blankets you brought for your baby is carefully evaluated and deemed insufficient. So you are escorted down to the lobby by a nurse who brings extra blankets and then she sends your husband to the car to get more blankets so that you can switch out. And you quickly learn that the Chinese are on to something – warm babies = sleepy babies. (No one ever asked about a car seat.)
– Today we had to go back to the doctor for a final bladder check. We first went to a closer Chinese hospital to get the sonogram needed. Hit a brick wall. They were too busy to do it. So then we decided it’d be better to go all the way back to our hospital than to go home and have to try to go back tomorrow. But our driver for the day couldn’t go into the city due to a license plate restriction. (Have I mentioned Beijing’s bad traffic? One thing they do to try and solve the problem is restrict drivers from going into the city one day a week… today was our driver’s day that he couldn’t go.) So we ended up taking the Subway. With a one-week old baby. And wouldn’t you guess it, but she got hungry on the subway. So add “inexperienced mother attempts to feed hungry infant on crowded Beijing subway without flashing entire car” to the list of things that I’ve now done but never anticipated doing.
– A friend loaned us one of these amazing bags. It has been a lifesaver these last couple of days, as it’s a portable little bed and she’s snug as a bug in a rug! (We’re huge fans of it now, and are wondering if it is something we’d use when we go back to America…) But it does look like we’re carrying our baby in a duffel bag. And no one knows we have a baby in the bag, so they keep asking us to do things like put it through x-ray machines in the subway stations. You should see their faces when they realize there is a baby in there. Crazy Americans.
– If you ever happen to find yourself out and about in China with a newborn baby and someone asks you how old he/she is. Lie. Don’t feel guilty. Just add at least 4 weeks to whatever answer you feel like giving. Today I told a person on the Subway that Cora was one week old, and proceeded to receive a 15 minute lecture about how she didn’t have enough blankets (again with the blankets!), I wasn’t wearing enough clothing, the bag was not warm enough, etc. It went on and on and on. And then on some more. A sympathetic man sitting next to me racked his brain and finally came up with two English words that he kindly uttered – “culture differences.” In China a new mom stays home IN HER ROOM for 30 days. She doesn’t leave. She doesn’t bathe. She doesn’t brush her teeth. She certainly doesn’t go out into the city with a one-week-old infant. Someone should take a child away from a parent as inept as that.
– LeLe is a little alarmed by the new arrival. And maybe a little jealous. She spends lots of time doing this. And sniffing her head and feet.
– She snores, grunts like a pig, sighs, squeaks, and smacks. I love her sounds.
All things considered, we’re doing really well. Thank you for your prayers. I have so many emails and Facebook messages that I haven’t responded to. Please know I’ve read each one and have been encouraged and comforted… thank you for your prayers and your love. Keep them coming!!