A trip to the Doctor

I hardly slept last night…don’t know why. The beds here are extremely HARD!! Several degrees past “firm”. I think it’s starting to get to me 🙂 We also had a lot of strong winds last night so I kept getting up to adjust the windows. Our room gets strangely warm. We’ve learned a couple of things.. a) never trust anything in the weather forecast at all and b) there are no thermostats anywhere that do what they are supposed to. Selecting Heat or Cool, high or low means nothing or does the opposite of what you’d expect. Fortunately we can open the windows in the hotel but there’s a lot of honking through the night and I was worried that SK would get cold since she’s closest to the window and refuses to sleep in one position under a blanket.

The winds were actually productive and blew all of the smog away! Today felt like a veil had been lifted and we were back to Technicolor. The sky was actually blue! The air smelled great although it was quite cold. If we’d gone to the Great Wall today we would have had much better views – yesterday was warm and sunny but there was still that haze hanging over everything.

Our day started very early, meeting at 8:15am but since I didn’t sleep it was no problem getting up at 6:30. Katie had another excellent sleep but is still having some nasty stomach trouble that continued through the day. Fortunately our appointment this morning was with the doctor at the International Medical Clinic. This is necessary for her to obtain her visa to Canada.

The clinic was gorgeous, spotless, modern and felt like home. The doctors are Western trained. We hung out in a small, immaculate children’s area with toys and books. Did some more paperwork (of course) and Katie was first up. She was not her usually happy self this morning, very quiet and clingy so when we had to remove all her clothes so she could be weighed and measured she was NOT a happy camper.

So it turns out the weight and height updates we were given back in December were somewhat embellished for all 3 babies…at the time they said Katie was 8.8kg but now she weighed exactly 8kg. We even weighed her twice (poor thing) because I was sure it was incorrect. Nope, 8kg on the nose. Her height is now 72cm and she was 70 back in December so I guess that’s ok. She is not quite as long as the other 2 babies (& one is 2 months younger) but she weighs a bit more. That being said, the doctor wants her to gain more weight. She feels that Katie will be a good size (judging by the size of her head…she does have a big noggin’ 🙂 but right now she is in the 10th percentile for height and just under the 10th percentile for weight. This is based on the Western charts, not the Asian charts.

The doctor was thrilled with Katie’s progress so far. She said she sees no delays at all (which we knew) and that it was wonderful that she was being comforted by me (allowing it) and that she makes great eye contact and is so strong physically…walking, imitating, good dexterity, etc. She has some very sensitive skin (like her mom) so we have to cut back on the soap and kick up the moisture. The scratches on her legs should heal up fine and her Mongolian Blue spots will definitely disappear as she gets older. Apparently it will take about a month until Katie starts to understand that food will always be there for her and she doesn’t have to eat constantly but in the meantime we should give her food if she wants it, just stay away from sugary snacks. Need to find more protein and fat to help her feel more full – I would kill for an avocado right now! Haven’t seen them anywhere. She suggested yogurt which we’ve seen a lot of here – it surprised me. Most of it is liquid and served with a straw. We have to cut back on her fruit to help settle her stomach and get a bit more adventurous with the buffet tomorrow 🙂

I was feeling very emotional at the clinic…I felt such relief to be told that Katie was doing great although I absolutely knew that she was. Couldn’t help crying in the doctor’s office (Mom too) because Dr. Chen was so happy for us and said there was nothing to worry about, just enjoy her! I carried this feeling around all afternoon – like something released in me that I didn’t know I was holding onto.

After the clinic we went to a charming tea shop where they did a demonstration and tasting for us of the tea produced in China. It was interesting and fun…just our group in a pretty room and even Katie enjoyed some tea. We bought a few of the ones we tasted…especially liked the Lichee tea and a special fruit tea (which I normally don’t enjoy but it was amazing). We were back at the hotel by noon.

Mom and I had a beautiful afternoon walking in the sunshine with SK in the stroller (sort of sleeping) and having a delicious meal at a local restaurant with Sara. She took us there and helped us order…made all the difference. We’re going back tomorrow, it was so yummy. It also has a non-smoking section which is great except that as we were leaving there was a man sitting right under the No-Smoking sign…you guessed it…smoking! We passed this guy who had set up shop on the sidewalk with a special sewing machine just for shoes. Random people would walk up and have him fix their sole or something…very cool.

We needed diapers so tried at the local supermarket but the selection was awful. I now have a bag of 50 diapers that are too big and have already leaked. No idea where to buy more but will ask Sara tomorrow. We passed by a bakery we’d wanted to try – there are beautiful bakeries here! I grabbed some little cakes for us to take back and have with tea and I spotted some yogurt that seemed unsweetened so bought some for Katie. She sucked back the entire large container of it through a big fat straw and couldn’t have been happier…we’ll be going back tomorrow!

Since we were up so early, we managed some afternoon play time, and dinner (what a concept!).
Every day we see changes in how Katie plays…something new that she is interested in or understands. Today she sat quietly for a long time with the cloth box of toys and instruments playing with each one, removing it, putting it back etc. I showed her how the finger cymbals made the ringing sound. I held one and she grabbed the other and banged hers onto mine to make it ring 😉 She also played ball with us. Very consciously rolling to Bibi and then to me. We couldn’t believe it. She also voluntarily shared her cracker with me…kept feeding it to me. It’s so nice when we aren’t busy all day so we can enjoy some quiet play time together. I gave her belly raspberries and got huge giggles. And she still loves to pull the dirty laundry out of the laundry bag 🙂 She continues to make the most hilarious sounds…now I’m quite sure her Sumo sound is more like a Jimmy Durante impression.

Katie was still awake around 6pm so we tried running downstairs for dinner – none of us had managed a real dinner for days it seemed. We loved what we ordered…especially the doughy red bean pancake thingy dipped in honey…to die for!!! Katie demolished several veggie dumplings and then crashed into a deep sleep the second we got back to the room.

All in all a very wonderful day and now the only official thing left to do is get her visa…wow!!












5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sydney
    Mar 18, 2013 @ 15:32:18

    you certainly pack a lot into one day!!!


  2. Robert Creighton
    Mar 18, 2013 @ 15:36:06

    Just enjoying so much reading about your adventures with Katie. I get teary every other time . I can’t think of one way in which this isn’t a life altering experience/trip for you. So so happy for you, Risa. BC


  3. scrappinginontario
    Mar 18, 2013 @ 15:52:09

    What a wonderful day! Love hearing how she’s growing, changing and trusting more every single day! Way to go Katie…and Mommy! Bibi’s are the best too!!


  4. Bette Smith
    Mar 18, 2013 @ 18:28:46

    Risa, They have a blanket sleeper that my grandaughter uses and still does under her quilt, this way the little ones are always warm if covers come off….She is lovely – Katie so happy for u all. Bette


  5. Genevieve Wolfe
    Mar 18, 2013 @ 19:37:13

    Wow, Risa, what a fantastic day. Hearing how well Katie is doing, I can almost feel your relief. It makes me a little teary! So wonderful. We send lots of love and all best wishes from Boston! xxoo


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