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I need to catch up…

Can you believe we have been here over 7 months now?!

Since we moved to Buenos Aires…

…Our baby girl was born!…
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…Grandma and Grandpa Malone visited…
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…Grandma and Grandpa Kempf visited…
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…Friends from Cedar Rapids have visited…

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…my sister Rachel came to visit…. and then decided to stay…

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…our friend Megan from San Diego has visited…

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…our friends Jessie and Isaac from Cedar Rapids have visited…

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…Claire is officially Argentine! and has received her Birth Certificate, DNI and Argentine Passport!…

…Claire is officially American and received her US Passport…

…and lots, lots more!

We have been very busy with visitors and figuring out this city even more! I have so much to tell you all, and now that my sister is here and I have a live-in-babysitter YAY!, I will hopefully be getting more stories and updates to all of you soon!

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Malones in BA

When Claire was born, we really wanted to be able to show her off in real life and not just on Skype! We got our first chance when my parents visited in July (yes, July. It has taken me that long to write this!). They were here for two jam-packed weeks and we had a blast!

My parents arrived Saturday morning after a long, but thankfully uneventful plane ride. They were loaded with luggage full of goodies from home! YAY! It was Christmas in July! More Ranch dressing, Buffalo Wild Wing sauce, Red Hot, new clothes for me and Claire, tools and toys for Chris, video games, Jack Daniels!!!, candy, games and much more! We spent the first afternoon just going through the suitcases and playing with everything, while my parents relaxed and cuddled with Claire.

We spent the first weekend walking around Buenos Aires and checking out the sites in Palermo and Recoleta. Claire was a real trooper and slept almost every time we put her in her stroller!

We saw some of the classic BsAs sites, including the famous steel flower. This flower apparently closes at night and opens in the morning by solar power, but according to a friendly taxi driver I had recently, it is currently broken.

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We started off the weekend with lunch at Buller. Buller is one of the only local microbreweries, so obviously Chris is a big fan. The first time I went to this restaurant, I thought the food was pretty awful, but apparently my tastebuds are adapting because it has grown on me a bit. (Or maybe its the beer consumption has gone up so the food has started to taste better? 🙂 )

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After lunch we wandered around the vendors that set up shop every weekend outside the cemetary. They have all sorts of Argentine goods. From leather purses and belts, handmade jewelry, carved wooden objects, and other random goods. We stayed away from the food carts, but you can also find people selling candied almonds and apples (with popcorn stuck on it?), cheese filled bread, and cakes and coffee/tea.

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There was also a puppeteer putting on a show this particular weekend. If only we understood what he was saying, it would have been pretty funny. Everyone was laughing. 🙂 You can also see the lineup of tables with random stuff for sale behind the puppeteer.

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While they were here we also did a TON of walking. The weather was still a bit chilly, since it was winter here in BA, but nice enough to get outside for some fresh air.

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Of course we did plenty of eating as well. We took my parents to one of our favorite restaurants, Las Cabras. In the picture below you can see the grill loaded with tons of meat. Nummm! The steaks and ribs are fantastic here.

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Mom and Dad definitely enjoyed the feast. You may notice the massive tray of meat my dad has in front of him. This is called the Gran Bife, and has a huge steak, rice, french fries, roasted peppers and onion, pumpkin puree, fried egg, and cheese wedge. Tons of food, and totally delicious! Mom and I both had the barbecue ribs, which are equally delicious in my opinion. Of course the bottle of wine we shared, and the fact that Claire slept through the whole dinner that added to the overall amazingness of the meal. 🙂

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While my parents were here, Claire also got her first bath. She wasnt quite sure if she actually liked it or not, but I think that was my fault. I think I was a little too cautious about the water temp and left it a bit too cold for her. Oops! Now that she is older, and I make sure the water is warm, she absolutely loves her baths.

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Apart from all of the outtings and walks, we also did a lot of this. Since Claire was only a few weeks old, she was still a champion sleeper. 🙂 And of course the dogs are nearby still trying to figure out who this little creature is that has invaded their house.

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There was plenty of Grandma snuggles as well! (Ignore Claire’s funny face. It is not easy to catch a normal baby expression on camera. haha)

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Another one of the Buenos Aires attractions we checked out was the Japanese Gardens. These gardens were put together a few decades ago in honor of a visit from Japanese officials, and continues to be a popular attraction in the city. It is only a few blocks from our house and only costs $2 to walk around. They have beautiful trees and flowers as well as a pond full of giant koi fish. Unfortunatley, most of the trees and flowers werent blooming since it is winter here, but it was still nice to imagine what they would look like when blooming. 🙂

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Japanese Garden

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They have some pretty cool bonsai trees at the gardens as well. This particular one is 45 years old!

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One of the weekends they were here, we went on a bit of a road trip to see where Chris works. Driving out to the country and getting out of the city definitely shows a different side to Buenos Aires. You go from seeing the richest neighborhoods to the poorest in a matter of a mile or so. I have posted a video and pictures previously from Chris’s drive, but showing someone the real thing was important to Chris since it is such a huge part of his experience here.

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Virrey del Pino – Neighborhood where the plant is located.

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We did stop at a fantastic Parrilla (Grill Restaurant) for lunch and had steaks (once again!). I was a bit worried when Chris told me the restaurant was attached to a gas station, but when we walked in and saw this awesome grill, I was impressed. The food was great!

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Lesaffre plant

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So much touring around tuckered the little munchkin out! (I’m very sad as I write this because I can see how much she has grown! Those cute little pj’s havent fit her for over a month. 😦 )

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My parents also took a little adventure on their own and went to the cathedral here for Sunday mass. I was slightly worried that they would end up lost in this big city, but they did great catching a cab and getting to the correct location. I think they were living out their dreams of being on Amazing Race. haha

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The cathedral is located at one of the corners of Plaza de Mayo, which is downtown Buenos Aires. Around the park are many old, more European style buildings (plus graffiti and homeless people).

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At one end of Plaza de Mayo is Casa Rosada. This is the Argentine equivalent of the White House.

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One day we headed down to Puerto Madero, which is the newest part of Buenos Aires. They have redone old warehouse buildings into restaurants and shops, and you can see lots of sailboats, and muddy water. I really love this part of the city because it always seems cleaner and quieter. Puerto Madero is also home to the famous bridge pictured below. Being the awful tour guide that I am, I dont know what the significance of the design is, but it can be found on lots of postcards and books. 🙂

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Of course there was the obligatory picture by the very old Frigate that is parked in the port as a floating museum. It was cold and rainy though so we didnt actually tour the boat, but did get a bit of a ship vocabulary lesson from dad.
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In Puerto Madero we stopped for lunch at my favorite restaurant here in BA, Central Market. (Once again, ignore the awkward baby face. haha She was happy, I swear.)

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Delicious cheese plate at Central Market.

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After lunch we went to my friend, Kristina’s house for a Mom’s group playdate. We have get togethers at least once a month, and this was the first time Claire got to attend from outside my belly. 🙂

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Towards the end of the playdate, dad asked to borrow Kristina’s husband Greg’s guitar. This was the first time a live musician was present at a playdate and he was a HIT! The little ones absolutely loved dancing and singing along. Its too bad its such an expensive plane ticket because I’m sure he would have otherwise had more gigs after his moms group performance!

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Mom and dad were also here to celebrate Chris and I’s 3rd wedding anniversary! Claire was only a few weeks old, but when Grandma and Grandpa offered to babysit, we jumped on the opportunity. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner out just the two of us!

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After two very full weeks, it was really hard to say goodbye to my parents. 😦 It was so nice to be able to show off Claire and have a little extra help. It was also really nice to finally be able to show someone what our world is like here, from the apartment, to our neighborhood, and beyond. At least we have Skype, now that they are back home, but we will never forget being able to share Claire with them when she was still so new!

We miss you guys, and we love you very much!!!!

Our new routine

Hello again….

I’m going to try to squeeze in as much of an update as possible while Claire is napping…. And since she is the new boss around here, I’m just not sure how much time I’ll have. 🙂

She’s a a pretty cute boss though.

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Now that Claire is almost 2 months old we have a pretty good routine figured out here. Really, she is the one that figured it out and I just go with the flow. 🙂

(By the way, she already woke up so the rest of this post if from nap number 2.)

Our day starts out pretty easy. She wakes up around 6-7, eats, poops, stares at me for a little while, and goes down for a nap around 9ish. This cycle continues until about 6-7 at night when Chris gets home. Then she is awake for a few hours, eats, poops, and naps until 10ish. Then she eats, gets a bath, and goes to bed until 6-7 in the morning. (Yep, thats right! She has been sleeping through the night for the past week!)

Of course she throws a curveball in this routine when anything else is happening during the day, which happens the majority of the week. haha We became pros at going out and messing up this routine when we my parents were visiting, but it was totally worth it. I’ll tell you all about their trip in my next post.

Overall, everything is going really, really well with Claire. She eats like a champ, poops like a champ, and sleeps like an angel (most of the time). It is definitely an adjustment to having her run my schedule for the day, but she is so darn cute that I dont mind.

Before I move on to the next post, here are a few more Claire pics. 🙂

Such a fitting onesie! She absolutely loves laying on her changing table and kicking. She will giggle and talk a ton while laying there.
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Notice the hairdo? Apparently she went from 6-week old to 70-year old in a few days. After her bath a few weeks ago, she suddenly had zero hair on the top of her head. haha Thankfully it is already starting to grow back a bit. 🙂
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Even though they say not to put your baby down for a nap on their tummies, I thought I’d try it one day to see if it would calm her down. She may look peaceful here, but about 30 seconds later she was hollering again.
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We love going for walks! She usually falls asleep in her stroller and gives me a little time to work off this baby flub. 🙂 Thankfully there are some parks very close to our house.
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She also loves sleeping in the Baby Bjorn. This is my view of her before a little stroll. 🙂 She gets all cozy and falls asleep (as long as I am moving!).
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This is Claire and our cleaning lady, Erica. Erica helps out with Claire as well as the cleaning, two days a week. Its amazing how much it helps to have a shower and breakfast at my own pace. 🙂 Plus, Claire absolutely loves Erica and will smile and lauch while she is holding her. She is a pro since she has 3 girls of her own.
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Hef felt a little left out. 🙂 Of course, after holding Claire, Hef feels really heavy!
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Our First Visitors

So once again I’ve gone MIA for a little while, and while part of that is because there is a brand new baby in the house, it is also because we have our first visitors!

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My parents flew in last week and are here for two weeks. We have been out and about almost everyday and have had a lot of fun! I have lots and lots of pictures and stories to share. (That is a bit of a teaser since I’ll wait til they are gone to spend more time sitting at the computer. 🙂 )

We are off to find some souvenirs today and check out some more sites.

I have loaded a bunch of new pictures to Flickr, if you’d like to check it out. The link is on the right-hand side of the page.

Updates coming soon…….

Claire’s Birth Story

So to start with, I promise that I will keep this PG and leave the blood and guts up to your imagination. 🙂

 

 

I’m writing this story for two reasons. First, I want to share with you guys what it was like to have this baby in Argentina! And secondly, I want to make sure I have all the details recorded so when she is a teenager and is “misbehaving” I can remind her what it took for me to bring her into this world!

 

 

You may want to grab some popcorn and get cozy, this is pretty long…..

Highlights:

– 82-year-old midwife!
– Anesthesiologist literally helped push the baby out.
– Apparently Claire had a freakishly long umbilical cord.
– Claire vs Clare…. Chris and I had never really discussed spelling.

 

 

Okay, here goes.

A few weeks before my due date, Chris and I went to a Labor and Delivery class taught by one of the midwifes that my doctor works with. It was in Spanish, but we were able to understand the majority of what she was saying (mostly since we had already been to an almost identical class in English). The main point that she stressed for almost 30 minutes was that you are in pre-labor until your contractions are at least 5 minutes apart, about 1 minute long and painful. Well…. On Monday around 4am, I woke up having some painful contractions. I played on the computer for awhile and started timing how far apart they were. For a few hours they hovered between 7 and 10 minutes apart and were only about 30 seconds long. They were painful, but bareable.

We decided that Chris should stay home from work since it is an hour and a half drive and we didn’t know when my contractions might pick up. We just hung out for awhile and kept timing. No change, still 7-10 minutes, 30 seconds, but still pretty painful. (Painful = had to stop talking until it was over.) We decided to take a walk and see if they would pick up at all, so of course we headed to Starbucks. Just to remind us that we were in Argentina, when we walked out the door of our apartment, we saw two motorcyclists laying in the middle of the intersection that had just been hit by a car…. The ambulance hadnt arrived yet, and it initially looked like one of them wasn’t going to make it. Not exactly a pleasant thing to see, to put it mildly. It took about 10 minutes, but an ambulance finally arrived and took them to the hospital. By that point both guys were “awake” and at least moving a little. Okay, back to the story…

The contractions picked up considerably on our walk, but when we got back home they went back to being 7-10 minutes apart. At 5:30pmish, I finally sent an email to my doctor to give her a heads up that I may be calling her later in the evening when my contractions got closer together. I got an email back immediately, stating that I needed to call her cell phone asap. Hmmm… okay. She told me that I was laboring for a really long time and needed to go to the hospital by 6:30pm to be checked by her midwife, Aurora. Chris and I were both surprised since we figured we had awhile to wait yet.

Chris took the dogs outside while I quick showered and finished packing a few things in my bags. We decided to leave the dogs out of their kennels and only bring one of the bags we packed because we were pretty sure we were going to be coming right back home for the night.

We got to the hospital and met Aurora. The doctor had told me that she was 82-years-old and didn’t speak any English, so at least that wasnt a shock when I met her. She reminded me of a white version of the older lady in Touched by an Angel (for those of you that may have watched that show back in the day.). She was very nice, but very hard to understand and communicate with. She took me back to an exam room and hooked me up to monitors to check my contractions and the babies heartbeat. She also checked me and said I was 2cm dialated. Okay, 2cm, I thought…. we must be going home then, cause that isn’t much progress after having contractions for so long. She had me get dressed again and sent Chris to the front desk with some paperwork. Here is where I start getting really confused.

Chris goes through the check-in process with the folks at the front desk (while I am still convinced they are sending us home). They then bring us to this little room that has lockers for our bag and sets of scrubs. They tell me to change into scrubs first, and then Chris to change after I am ready. Hmmm…. even more confused. Why does Chris have to wear scrubs? Especially if they are sending us home. (You think I would have figured out at this point that they were not sending me home, but nope, it hadnt clicked yet.) They bring us back into a delivery room and start hooking me up to an IV. The room is just down the hall from the surgery rooms for the folks that are having c-sections and looks incredibly sterile. I start to worry even more about what the heck is going on. Is something wrong with the baby? with me? Do they think I need surgery? a c-section? Hmmm… where is my english-speaking doctor? Then one of the nurses starts telling me (in Spanish of course) that they will be coming in to do an epidural shortly. What!? I’m pretty sure I told her about 4 times that I am not having a c-section, and why an epidural now? I wasnt in that much pain yet. And where was my doctor? And then I lost it for a few minutes….. Chris was equally as shocked, confused, and as helpless feeling as I was. Whoa.

Finally, my doctor shows up around 8:30pm. By this point, my contractions are really close together and very intense. Chris’s poor fingers! My doctor, Doris, was finally able to explain that they were keeping me because my contractions were so strong and now they had gotten closer together on their own anyways. The epidural was on its way, and she would be there for the rest of the time so she would be able to explain everything in English from here on out. Phew!! As soon as the anesthesiologist got the epidural going, I was like a new woman. Wow, I cannot imagine going without one of those!

Now that I was comfortable and understood what was going on, we sat and chatted with my doctor for awhile. We also decided that it was a good time for Chris to run home really quick and put the dogs in their kennels since we obviously werent going home at that point. I was a little leary about him leaving at this point, but the doctor was confident that he would have time and that we wouldn’t start pushing things along until he got back. So off Chris went….

While he was gone the doctor broke my water to get things moving a bit, and we started doing some “practice” pushes. The baby was still pretty high up in my stomach so she wanted to see how she would respond to pushing.

Chris came back about an hour later, and the doctor started having me do more and more “practice” pushes. At this point the midwife kind of took over the show and was having me try different positions while pushing and she was pushing around on my stomach to try to help the baby move into a different position. They told me at this point that the baby was coming forehead-first, and her shoulders were at the wrong angle. This was why she was staying so high up in my stomach. The midwife was trying all sorts of “tricks” to help her move into the right position so that they wouldnt have to do a c-section. After an hour so of manuevering her, she finally ended up in the right position and they had me start pushing. Seriously, pushing is a really awkward kind of thing. You really expect me to push that out of there? Ha! Seemed impossible at the time.

After about 30 minutes or so of pushing, the doctor kept telling me that she needed 2 more good pushes or we would have to make a decision about surgery…. Yikes! I pushed with all my might! Apparently it was good enough to avoid a c-section, but they needed to get the baby out soon, and decided that I needed help getting her out… They called the anesthesiologist in, and had him kneel up on the bed while pushing his forearm down on the top of my belly. At this point, they also have Chris pushing my side with his fists, while the doctor is pushing the other side, and the midwife and helping pull out the baby! Holy Scary! The anesthesiologist was pushing so hard that there is no way I would have been able to take a breath if I needed one. Thankfully they only needed to do this for 2-3 pushes… I think… my memory at this point is a little fuzzy…. Finally, the doctor says that she has dark hair and that she just needs one more push! Whoa, was that ever motivation!

Finally, she was out!

Claire Lillian Kempf

Tuesday, June 21st @ 11:56pm

7lbs 10 oz (translated, of course, from the official measurement in kilos)

19.5 inches long (translated, of course, from the official measurement in cms)

They laid her on my chest immediately, and my first words were “She’s so little!”, followed very quickly by, “She’s not crying… why isnt she crying… she’s turning blue… why isnt she crying…” The nurse that was holding her on my chest took her away very quickly to help get her to breathe. Chris followed her at this point to make sure everything went okay. (So, I’m not sure if it isnt customary or if it was because of her breathing issues, but Chris wasnt able to cut her cord. The doctor had already cut it when she was being whisked away.)

In the meantime, the doctor finished up with me. (Warning: blood and guts mentioned next) She held up the placenta and umbilical cord for me to see. (Not that I had requested this!) Gross and weird. She was quite enamored by the length of the umbilical cord. Considering I have never seen one before, it looked pretty normal to me, but she was really quite amazed. At this point she mentioned to me that the baby came out with her hand and arm by her face (ouch!), and her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, shoulder, and body! So apparently that is why they needed all of the extra help pushing her out! Normally with a cord that tangled, they would have to do a c-section, but she said that the long cord meant that the baby didnt show signs of distress even though she was so tangled so they were able to continue without surgery. She did say though that without Aurora’s help in getting the baby positioned correctly I would have absolutely needed a c-section. She said that I was incredibly lucky to have her there for that delivery because of her experience. She didn’t need to tell me this though…. I already knew this based on watching them work together throughout the delivery. The doctor actually took most of her cues from the midwife during the majority of the delivery. Aurora was very clearly running the show, and was running it very well!  (Side note: Aurora “retired” from the hospital at 60 because there is a mandatory age limit, but continues to work as a private midwife alongside my doctor. When my doctor was going through her residency in medical school, she learned how to deliver babies from Aurora. My doctor has been delivering babies now for over 30 years. Together they have over 90 years of experience delivering babies! 90! They joked that Aurora has delivered an entire city, while my doctor has only delivered a neighborhood.) I felt incredibly blessed to have found them to deliver our baby in Argentina! Quite the experience!

I have no idea how much time has passed at this point, but Chris was with the baby while I was brought to a recovery room. Chris joined me at some point (I was pretty drugged up) and a nurse came in to tell us that the baby was having issues breathing because she still had a lot of fluid in her lungs. They were going to bring her to the NICU to monitor her and put her on oxygen. They wheeled her into my recovery room for about a minute so I could see her before they brought her to the NICU, but she was under an oxygen hood and I wasnt able to touch her at this point.

Claire under the hood. A few hours old…

It was really hard having her wheeled away, but since I was so exhausted and still feeling the effects of the anesthesia, I was pretty out of it. Chris went with when they brought her to the NICU to see where she would be. He came back to the recovery room shortly after and we both passed out for a few hours. That afternoon we were moved to our official hospital room that very closely resembled a hotel suite. It would have been a really nice room for entertaining visitors. haha

View from our hospital room

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The next day was really, really frustrating for us! Long story short, I wasn’t able to see her until 2pm! and Chris wasn’t able to hold her until 6pm! This was a combination of issues with communication because of the language as well as medical issues with the other babies in the NICU! (Parents arent allowed in the NICU if another baby is having serious issues.) Thankfully, Claire was doing much, much better very quickly. She only needed to be under the oxygen hood for a few hours and was just working on slowing down her breathing to a normal pace. We still didnt know, however, how long they planned on keeping her in the NICU.

Finally getting to see Claire!

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Finally, after a day of Claire being in the NICU, we finally understood the process of how and when we could go see her. One of my nurses tried to console me at this point, by saying that this was only 1 day I had missed of her whole life…. yeah, but it was HER FIRST DAY!!! Needless to say, I was not consoled. At least at this point, I was able to go see her every couple of hours, even during the night, because they had me start feeding her. She had 3 conditions she had to meet before they would release her. Her breathing had to be consistently under a rate of 60 (If I remember correctly), she had to be able to breastfeed, and of course I have already forgotten the third thing.

Finally on Thursday, Claire was released to our room! Yay!!!

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And on Friday we were released to go home! Yay!!!

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First family pic

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A few sidenotes:

  • I mentioned in previous posts that we had a nurse from the states that would be joining us for the delivery to help out with understanding the process etc…. well… we found out as she was on her way to the hospital to join us, that the hospital would not allow her in the delivery area. They would only allow one additional person, which was obviously going to be Chris. My doctor knew that we planned on having her come and said that would be fine beforehand, but apparently the hospital had a different policy. Robyn was, however, Claire’s first visitor! and was an absolute godsend being just a phone call away for random questions. Even though she wasnt able to be there for the actual birth, I was really glad that I was able to talk to her afterwards!
  • All-in-all the process of having a baby at a hospital in the States and in Argentina wasnt too terribly different, but not knowing what the process was here, was the tough part! The biggest difference was the delivery room vs the recovery room setup here, vs the setup in the states where you deliver and recover in the same area.
  • Pecho is the word for Breast in Spanish. I’m pretty sure I heard this word about 1000 times during my hospital stay….
  • Someone comes into your room at least every 20 minutes, whether it is to check on you, the baby, your “pechos”, clean the bathroom, deliver food, etc.
  • Chris went back and forth from our apartment to the hospital every day to let the dogs out and give them some attention while we were in the hospital. They could tell something was up! But didnt destroy anything or act out while we were gone. Phew! 🙂
  • It was an absolute godsend to have the internet and our laptop while we were still in the hospital. Even though we are so far away, we were still able to share Claire with lots of people.

 

Lots more updates and pictures to come when I have a few spare minutes. 🙂

 

 

 

She’s Here!

As most of you have already heard…. our baby is finally here!

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Claire Lillian Kempf was born Tuesday, June 21st at 11:56pm at Sanitorio Los Arcos in Buenos Aires.

She weighs 7lbs 10oz. Is 19.5 inches long. And is absolutely perfect!

 

She spent two nights in the NICU before coming to join us in our room, due to extra fluid in her lungs, but everything is perfectly fine now. We were released from the hospital Friday morning and have been enjoying every second with her at home with us. Chris had last week and this week off to be able to enjoy the new addition and help out.

It was definitely an interesting experience, and I will absolutely be writing up the details to share with you all before they get fuzzy. Dont worry, I’ll keep it PG. : )

 

 
Leaving the hospital –
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We have a bunch more pics posted on Flickr. Use the link on the right-hand side of the page to see the album.

Thanks everyone for the well wishes and congratulations!

Winter in June

So there have been a lot of baby updates lately, so I figured you’d all like to know how everything else is going here. As of today, we have officially been here for 3 months! It has gone fast and slow in many ways….  We have certainly learned alot, but have a LOT more left to learn. 🙂

The main question that we get from family/friends back home, new friends here, and random taxi drivers is: Do you like it in Argentina so far? Our answer: Meh…..  It’s not that bad, but it certainly doesn’t feel like home. We are getting used to how things are done here, and certainly experiencing a lot! Thankfully we have met some really great people here, so we don’t feel alone in this big city, but we also miss our friends back home like crazy! At least we know that the next couple of months are going to fly by incredibly fast! First, the baby arrives… then my parents are visiting. Two weeks after they head out, Chris’s parents are visiting. Then some friends are coming the beginning of September! Followed by my little sis… then followed by some more friends in October! Then at the end of November, baby and I are headed back to the States for Thanksgiving and Chris will join us before Christmas! We are so excited to have so many visitors so we can share what we have experienced here so far!

Below are a few more notes about the main stuff going on around here:

Weather –

So we knew when we moved here that we were missing summer back home and heading into yet another winter. We consoled ourselves with the fact that the temperature here would be like spring back home. It has been averaging about 50-60 degrees here, which has been quite nice. It also hasn’t rained very much lately (based on our Iowa standards anyways). I’m not sure, however, that the Argentine’s have gotten the message that it is still really nice out! Even on a 60-70 degree and sunny day, people are walking around in winter coats and scarves. I even saw snow pants for sale at the store. Hello people, it hasn’t snowed here in over a decade!

We miss summer! Barbecues, boating, bonfires, Uptown Friday Nights, camping, margaritas on the porch…oh the margaritas!….. I could go on! Even though the weather here is quite nice, the people have that winter-type hibernating attitude. Boo!

Learning Spanish –

The language is possibly still the most frustrating part of being here. We definitely anticipated it to be difficult, but it can be frustrating when the simplest tasks turn into drawn out events. Chris continues to have Spanish lessons twice a week at our apartment with his tutor, Maria. The classes are going really well, but learning enough Spanish to communicate in the plant environment is definitely different than your typical conversation Spanish that I’ve been working on. I don’t envy him in the slightest! It’s very exhausting and frustrating for him to deal with every day, all day. We just have to remind ourselves that we’ve only been here for 3 months and it will get easier! Heck, I remember even just going to a restaurant the first weeks we were here and being totally clueless as to what they were saying. Now we can handle that like champs!  I get my weekly Spanish “lessons” from our new cleaning lady, Erica. 🙂 I think she may be my new best friend. Erica doesn’t speak any English so our twice-weekly conversations about soap, the dogs, our families and kids are definitely a big help for me!

Argentine Food –

Always a big topic for a hugely pregnant woman! I was hoping that after being here a few months I would find some Argentine food that I absolutely love. Hmmm….not so much. I guess its a good thing for our waistlines, but not exactly fun! Heck, I’m pregnant (obviously) and have only gained 14 pounds…. and the baby is estimated at 8 pounds. I totally thought I’d be that lady that gained 50 pounds while pregnant! HA! We have found a couple of restaurants that are decent, thankfully. I have been making the majority of our dinners at home. I even started making my own salsa, hummus, and spaghetti sauce. 🙂  The biggest complaint about Argentine food is the lack of flavor or spice. The restaurants all seem to serve incredibly similar menus with lots of beef, cheese, and pasta.

Health Care –

Some of you may remember my original posts about trying to find a doctor here. Thankfully the second doctor I met with, Dr. Doris, has been really nice so far! Things are definitely run differently here, but I feel like she is checking all the right stuff and is very competent. She did inform me last week, however, that the midwife that she works with during the delivery is 82-years-old. Anyones jaws on the floor?! haha Yep, 82. When she told me this, she joked that she has “given birth to the whole city”! No kidding! Since the midwife doesnt speak English, the doctor will be at the hospital during the entire birth. Phew! I’m sure at 82 this other lady has seen just about everything, but it definitely makes me a little nervous!

Take Care! We miss you folks back home!  More updates to come soon…

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