EthioExpedition: Some More Questions from Our Peeps

Well now. Who knew people wanted to know so much about our trip to Ethiopia! More questions!

Well, we here at The House of Peevish are MORE than happy to answer questions. It’s like a talk show. Only without the celebrities. Well, in fact, without any interesting guests whatsoever. I’m kind of like that old lady who knits medieval armor that they bring on to fill the last two minutes before the show ends…

Okay. So on with the questions:

From Ricki —

  • What size of clothing is she in?

Well right now, she’s in 0-6 or 3-6 month clothing (depending on manufacturer). She’s still finding them quite roomy. I suspect we’ll find that the length becomes an issue before weight ever does, because I think she is going to be a tall, skinny kid.

  • How much does she weigh?

At last week’s doctor’s appointment, she weighed 12 pounds, 8.5 ounces. But I suspect some of that was poo. Girlfriend can load a diaper like nobody’s business.

  • Is she smaller or bigger or just the size you were expecting?

She’s just the size we were expecting. She is tiny, but then we were told by everyone at the agency to expect a tiny wee babe. The babies are generally smaller in Ethiopia than they are here — as evidenced by the growth charts, where she is off the charts in Ethiopia but just in the 10th percentile in Canada.

  • Has she gained some weight already?

I would suspect she has gained a little bit, because she gets cereal twice a day, but not much. We’ll find out at her doctor’s appointment on Thursday. We are still transitioning her off the Ethiopian formula, which should take another week or less, and I also want to start her on some vegetables if the doctor says it’s ok. And then I expect she’s going to chub right up.

  • Does she use a soother?

She does not use a soother. In fact, not a lot of the babies do, according to most of the parents we spoke to while we were there. Which is funny, because every parent was told that their child likes a soother. The nurse told us that our daughter likes a soother after she has her bottle, and yet she absolutely refuses to take one. Oh sure, she’ll play with it and wave it around and stuff — she even tossed one out of the bassinet at us on the flight home — but she won’t actually USE one.

  • Do you think size 6-12 months clothing will be what Yonnas is wearing when we pick him up (around 8 months old)? :)

Definitely. I would take the last height/weight report you get before you go, and chart it on the Canadian growth chart. That will give you a feel for how big he is by Canadian standards. And that should help you know what size to pack.

  • How many diapers did she go through in a day?

I’d say she goes through about 7 diapers on average in a day. It really depends on the poop. That girl can do two poopy diapers in a row in the hour after she wakes up in the morning. It’s a Poo Shop in here.

  • And finally, as a first time mommy will I know what the heck I’m doing??????

No, but then none of us do. 🙂 I would say you’re going to know a lot more than you think you will. Rely on the advice of other moms you know — in our case, Auntie Sherri, Grammie and Auntie Heather have been a lifeline for questions and concerns — as well as his doctor in the first few weeks, and you will be just fine.

From Kelly —

  • What was the moment you first saw her like?

It was good. I thought we’d cry or be all emotional or something, but no. We were totally calm and peaceful. I guess that’s because we just knew this was the last step in the journey, and that she was ours. She was meant for us, so it just all fit together nicely.

  • How has the bonding been going, for you and for her?

It’s going well, I guess. It’s so hard to tell because she’s just such a happy, smiley baby. She grins from ear to ear when she sees us, so I think she kinda likes us.

  • What part of having your daughter home has been the most surprising? What you not expecting?

It’s all been so good. She’s such a good baby. I think I am surprised at how easily she transitioned and how easily we’re all adjusting. I was prepared for the worst case scenario and it all went so smoothly.

  • In going from a married couple to a married couple of parents, what’s been the biggest change for you and BDH? How has your relationship changed? Were you expecting this, or was it a surprise?

I think we surprised each other in how well we each stepped into the role of parent. We both took to it pretty easily and quickly, but then, we’ve been waiting five years for this.

  • How would you describe your first few weeks as a full time hands on Mom?

Exactly as I wanted them to be. Except for the sick bits.

  • Which parts of having her home are very different from your imagination and which parts are exactly like you expected?

It’s all going pretty much as expected. I think tucked away in my romantic imagination there was this vision of the perfectly clean and decorated house, the yummy mummy, the videos of bringing her home and the up to date baby book… but that is TOTALLY not reality, and I tossed that ideal pretty quickly into the process. We are who we are, and that’s not always picture perfect. So I was actually expecting THAT reality. You have to set realistic expectations, and we did that.

  • How has the adjustment to the time difference been for you all? If you could go back and redo things, what would you do/plan differently?

It’s actually been not too bad. She’s a trooper, and her schedule was in 3-4 hour increments, so switching her was pretty straightforward. For us, we spelled each other off when we were tired or too sick, and we shared the first two week’s middle-of-the-night feedings, so that helped a lot. The biggest thing we did, though, that really helped establish a routine, was to make sure that right from day 1, every feeding/diaper change after bedtime and until morning was done with a minimum of light and talking — we wanted her to know that night time was for sleeping, not for playing, so we fed her and changed her in low light and with no talking and then put her back to bed. And she took to it right away, and knows that night time is for sleeping only. It really worked well.

So that’s the next batch of questions and answers. Hope they’re helpful!

I’ll try to get the next list posted soon, too.

3 thoughts on “EthioExpedition: Some More Questions from Our Peeps

  1. Yes, I concur – some sort of reference book, with tabs at the side, saying things like: “Sizing: Ethiopia vs Canada” or “Poop Frequency”, “Adjusting to a schedule”, “Long Haul Flights with an infant & a stomach bug – a how-to”. Seriously, though, all of this information is invaluable.

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