Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Surprise for Xiang

Guess what? There's going to be a surprise today! That's right - nanny told me I had to to finish my bath, and then if I wait here she's going to get it for me. I wonder what it is?

Oh, it's a package for me! From my family! They said they can't wait till they can come to China to meet me, but it will be a few more months so they wanted me to have something special for Easter while I wait.

And how did they know that a ball is my favorite toy?

And a book too? I love books! I have a box of books that are just mine downstairs in the office. When I am ready to go to school in the morning I usually have a few minutes to look at my books. It keeps me busy till the bus gets here. Now I have another book for my box!

And a little purse! I'll have to find something to put inside. Maybe my new book will fit in there.

Oh look, I got a new sippy cup! I'm very picky about my cups, but I like this one already.

And there's more - a bunch of plastic eggs. They make a rattling noise; if you open those up, they have little jelly beans inside. I've never seen jelly beans before. I wonder what you do with them?

Nanny is showing me what you do. You eat them! When she put one in her mouth I decided to copy her.

But I'm not so sure I am ready for that!

I'd rather feed them to her for now. Maybe next time I'll taste them.

But there's still more in the box. New dresses and hair clips! I love trying them on!

Look at me! Aren't I pretty?

I'm not so sure this purse matches my dress. What do you think?

And another one! This is better than Christmas!

Wow, so many pretty dresses! I wear a uniform to school every day, but when I get home after lunch I have plenty of things to wear now. I think this one is my favorite; it looks just like a princess dress!

Dear Mom and Dad (and brothers and sister too!),
Thank you for the ball! And the pretty dresses too.
Is it OK if I share the jelly beans with my nanny?
I'll keep practicing with the sippy cup.
I can't wait till you can come to China. I hope you hurry!
Love from your little princess,
Rose Xiang

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Embrace - Helping Tiny Babies Grow Strong and Healthy

We were first introduced to Embrace nearly two years ago, when this innovative product was still in the design and testing phase. Embrace is a simple, low cost, easy to use alternative to incubators for helping tiny fragile babies maintain a stable body temperature.

We've been anxiously waiting for Embrace to begin distribution of their warmers, and were delighted to receive our first unit less than two weeks ago. Incredibly enough, less than 48 hours later we received a call about a very tiny baby, just 930 grams (about 2 lbs), asking if we could help.

We transferred baby Long to our baby home the very next day.

Instead of bundling tiny Long up in layers and layers of blankets with hot water bottles to help him stay warm, we put him in the Embrace warmer. The warmer is a huge improvement over our old method of hot water bottles because it can maintain a constant temperature over an extended period of time. Hot water bottles begin losing heat immediately when filled, so we would need to monitor the temperature closely and re-fill them with hot water often.

The Embrace warmer consists of a padded, insulated, hypoallergenic "sleeping bag" which has a special pocket for the Embrace warm pack. The warm pack can be "recharged" to the perfect temperature with or without electricity. The warm pack helps the baby maintain a stable temperate for 4 or more hours before needing to be reheated; it can be used over and over again. You can learn more about how the Embrace system works here.

Just 4 days after we put little Long in the Embrace warmer, another tiny baby arrived. Baby Feng was just 1150 grams (about 2 lbs 8 oz)

Here is Feng with her nanny, staying warm with Embrace:

And then the very next day another tiny girl arrived. Baby Zhen was only 1660 grams (3 lbs 10 oz).

Her previous caregivers told us that had a very hard time stabilizing her body temperature, so we were even more thankful that we had the Embrace warmer on hand in case we needed it.

Right now, baby Long is experiencing health complications not associated with temperature regulation (pneumonia and anemia), but Feng and Zhen are stable and growing well. We are grateful to Embrace for helping to make this possible.

UPDATE on baby Long can be found here.