Thursday, August 10, 2017

And Baby Makes Three

Well, the title of this post should give it all away, I think...

Michael and I are expecting a baby in early December of this year!  If all proceeds on schedule, this will be our biggest Christmas present ever!  I just hit my 23 week mark this week, and according to my various apps, the baby is the size of a chinchilla right now, or a papaya - take your pick.

We are completely excited, in awe and also kind of in denial (as I firmly believe all first time parents are, because really, what the heck do we know?) that this is all really happening.

It's been (knock wood) a pretty smooth journey so far, with no morning sickness or nausea, and really nothing more serious than fatigue (though that was mostly in the second half of the first trimester and the first half of the second trimester), the need to go to the bathroom at all times (it's about to get more real, I know) and some light insomnia / inability to sleep in.  I wonder if my body is preparing in anticipation for the future??

We did an early scan (called the NIPT test here, but also frequently referred to as the Harmony test), which is done pretty frequently by private clinics in Hong Kong even for women below the age of 35 (I think it's because it costs more, hence more money!) and then went in for a morphology scan at 21 weeks.  Baby is measuring spot on for everything so far, fingers crossed, and has recently really started to pack a powerful wallop or kick. 

Lots of women here hire what is called a "pui yet" or a "confinement nanny," who is a person (well, woman, really, as I have never heard of a man doing this!) that will come to your house six or seven days a week for about 8 hours or so, and cook three meals full of nourishing, healthy ingredients and help you take care of the newborn (changing, feeding, bathing, etc.).  Their only job is to focus on the mom and the baby.  During this confinement period (usually lasting about a month or two) there is a pretty traditional practice where mothers don't shower or wash their hair for the first month after giving birth (it's believed that the body has suffered a lot of stress and cold, and so it needs to heal properly) but this is pretty extreme and I actually really don't know anyone who has done this without some modification!  A common compromise instead is to wash with hot water boiled with ginger (which is believed to be warming for the body).

These women get booked up pretty early in advance.  I've hired one based on the recommendation of a friend, and I really liked her demeanor and attitude when I met her.  Mostly, I am basking in the luxury of knowing that I will have someone cater solely to my eating and sleeping needs for 2 months on end (but of course, I will ultimately be catering to the eating and sleeping needs of a new little one, so...).  Anyway, already, I am pretty certain I want this woman for three months.  Michael has talked me down from that for now, but we'll see.  It will very much depend on if we can get a full time helper hired in time for a smooth transition.

I stocked up on some baby stuff while I was in the U.S. (although I neglected to look for maternity outfits as much as I should have, doh) - for things that I thought would be hard to buy in Hong Kong, or just more expensive - but I also didn't go crazy buying too many big ticket items because there's a pretty healthy baby products exchange in Hong Kong, and the thought of lugging a car seat or crib across the world was enough to make me give up.

My parents gave me a few newborn clothes, which are tiny and adorable.  I got the guava bassinet/travel crib, which seemed like a really nice combo unit that could be used for a long time.  I got the keekaroo peanut changing pad, as we won't really have room for a full changing station.  I also purchased the original ergobaby, figuring that baby carrying is pretty essential in a city as crowded and compact as Hong Kong.  We also got a white noise machine.  For a stroller, car seat, diapers, bottles, pump... these are all things that are too hard to drag over, unless we want to get a crate.  It's at this point that I'm really wishing Amazon were available in Hong Kong!  I don't really know how one survives as a parent without Amazon prime and the ability to just buy and return things to try them out??

And finally I have started to buy maternity clothes.

The first toe dip down this slippery slope (mixing metaphors, I know) was getting maternity underwear.  Wow!  These things are amazing and should definitely be for everyday wear.  They are soft and wide and comfy and have a nice big stretchy band on top for the ever-expanding belly (you know, useful for a growing baby, but also amazing for accommodating a huge meal).  I wish I had bought 10 more pairs of these.  Woe.

I also bought a pair of leggings with a big wide soft stretchy belly band, which is great because I'm starting to run into an elastic issue with all of my pants and yoga pants.  The elastic hair trick pretty much stopped working for me right away.

Then I bought a few big, looser A-line dresses in a slightly larger size than normal from Zara.  I haven't worn a sheath dress in a while!

And now, I've completely succumbed.  I just ordered these maternity pants in black (there is something both frightening and liberating about buying pants that are "one size fits all"??), this dress in poppy and this dress in black from the Hatch collection.  I also just sized up in my yoga/workout gear, and I'm also planning on getting a pair of jeans, a skirt and maybe a few more dresses.  At least it's an excuse to go shopping?!

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