Sunday, July 6, 2008

30 Weeks

Last Wednesday I went to the hospital for another check-up and the doctor decided that I'm only at 30 weeks. This comes after last months visit when she said she wasn't sure. Prior to that another doctor said my due date was August 10 (so now I'd be about 35 weeks). The uncertainty is annoying.
She was happy that I gained a good amount of weight since last month. I previously gained about 6 pounds total, now I've gained another 8. She says it should be easy to give birth since my hips are so wide and when I asked how long I have to stay in the hospital (since home births are not an option here) she said that if all went well I could go home after two hours! I was expecting something like two to three days since c-sections require a seven day stay.
It will be good to get home quickly so I can use the air conditioner as Chinese believe that fans and air conditioning are not good for the mom or baby. Luckily we just found out that a friend's mother allows the daughter-in-law to use the AC. My husband told his mom this and she still wasn't sure, but when he told her that I routinely sleep with the fan beside me and drink water with ice, she decided that maybe I'm just different and I will be okay. As soon as it cools off to a decent temperature, 60 degrees or so, I'll quit drinking ice water but not a moment sooner!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Trip Back in Time

When I first found out that I was pregnant, one thought that quickly ran through my mind was "where am I going to get clothes?" During my first two years in China, I've mostly bought clothes in Beijing at a market geared towards foreigners. There was one time I bought a fall coat, size 5XL, here in town, but it didn't even button around my hips!

Since I was in 4-H for 12 years and took sewing for about nine, I decided I could sew my own. I knew my mother-in-law had a sewing machine but it turned out to be an old fashioned one which uses no electricity! I was confident that I could learn, but after a failed attempt at learning she decided it was easier to just sew the shirt and dress for me. I thought it was a good choice, I have a habit of getting frustrated when sewing and shedding many tears in the process.

In China women sew without patterns and she was puzzled by the pattern and how to sew the pieces together. She wasn't interested in following the directions and started sewing pieces together the way she wanted to. Of course I quickly checked to make sure that it was okay according to the pattern. I started to silently panic when she took out the tailor tacks (markings from thread which are a bit tedious to put in). The sewing went pretty quickly since she didn't press the pieces or measure the hems, she just relied on finger pressing and eyeballing. I was quite nervous about the end result.

In the end, both the shirt and the dress turned out pretty well. One concern I have is that they have to be hand washed. I guess this is because the stitching isn't as durable as if it were on an electric machine. I'm not eager to wash them by hand, but I don't want to have to confess my "sin" of using the machine when the stitching comes out! (Side note: my in-laws only use their washer once or twice a year and that's pretty common here) Until I buy my own electric sewing machine, I think this is the end of my sewing career.

Monday, June 30, 2008


I've been contemplating starting a blog for awhile and have finally found the motivation. At least I think so. I hope that this will help me keep in touch with family and friends more effectively. I also have hopes of sharing all of the recipes that I've learned from my husband, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law, as well as what life is like as the only resident foreigner in a small (by Chinese standards) Chinese town.
Up until yesterday there were two foreigners here. My good friend (and former roomie) has returned to the US for a few weeks and in the fall is moving to Beijing for a year. The school she (and I) used to teach at decided they didn't want anymore foreign teachers, at least for now. My school has said they will rehire me, but they can't seem to figure out how to fill out the new online forms! So maybe I won't have a job next year. I honestly wouldn't mind. However financially, it would be good to have one. We'll just have to wait and see.