Alida Adjusting

Many have asked and continue to ask how Alida is adjusting.  She is doing great. She has not stopped being happy and healthy.  She has already experienced the hot and sticky as well as the cold and wet.  She has slept in just a onesie to stay cool and in a fleece sleeper with a sleep sack on top, gloves, and a hat to stay warm.

The biggest transition we have had to deal with is the time change.  It is only a 2 hour time difference so relatively speaking not a big deal.  Alida was on a great routine going to sleep at 9pm and waking around 6-6:30am.  So…she of course did a great job to sticking to that by going to sleep a 7pm here and waking at 4:00am.  She also started waking around 2:30am for the first few nights.  We have slowly adjusted her timing and are doing much better.  She is going down around 8-8:30 and waking up at 6-6:30.  We knew we needed to establish a routine & consistency with Alida from the time she was born because nearly nothing else in her life is consistent.  She and we have thrived on consistency.  We are thankful for wise advice that we were able to tap into as far as raising her.  It has not been easy.  Many days in the past 5 mo. we were ready to break down and pull our hair out, but it sure pays off.  She has settled back into her morning and afternoon naps, an evening castnap, and 9-10 hours of sleep at night.  This has extremely helped us keep our sanity!  

The other transition was feeding.  Stacey has been exclusively breastfeeding her.  When we moved here the sudden change in diet, stress, and activity did affect her milk production which sent us into a spiral for a few days until we were able to get more fruits, veggies, and meat into her diet.  Even with Alida eating more than 8 times a day she was not getting enough, Stacey’s milk production plummeted.  With no veggies, fruits, dairy, or meats it is hard to produce the milk needed for a 5 mo. old.  She is now back up to speed.   Pray that it will stay that way and we are able to get a hold of the food she needs to keep up production. 

We think it was a great experience because we, again, by living with the people and like the people very quickly understood why most of the women are not able to exclusively breast feed.  People continually told us how “gordita” (chubby) they thought Alida was, they would ask us what we feed her.  When we responded just breastfeeding they were shocked.  It is very hard for women to exclusively breastfeed on the local diet and no refrigeration.  Not many people are starving here, they get food.  But, it is just not the right kinds of foods.  Rice, beans, and corn tortillas are not enough to keep up with a hungry baby.  This has opened the door to talk with the other women in the village who are breastfeeding about the importance of a healthy diet for mom.

Many asked ¨How are you going to have your baby there with no electricity?”  We figured plenty of people all over the world do it every day, including all of our neighbors, so we would adjust.  The reality is that it hasn’t been very different.  Really, we don’t need electricity for anything related to her.  We have flashlights to care for her after dark and a battery powered breast pump. The only thing we miss is being able to store breast milk in a frig/freezer.   So we just have to be sure to use the fresh breast milk within 6 hours.

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