My Story of A Late-Term Prenatal Checkup
Scene: It is is the peak of Hong Kong summer, through which I have (obviously) become larger and more noticeably pregnant every day. It is 40ºC and 95% humidity (seriously). The weather is torturous. My curly hair is enormous and unruly. I constantly sweat like a criminal on trial and need to shower at least twice a day. All I want to do is sit in a pool and drink margaritas for the foreseeable future, though it seems this is frowned upon during pregnancy. I don’t sit in a pool; instead, I go to my regular checkup at the public clinic.
Me: [feeling good about myself] I’m 2000 weeks pregnant, and I am still walking from my office to the clinic. You go, Mama! [staring jealously at every red taxi that passes me] I am smart and fit. [hoisting up the sagging, soggy waistband of my maternity shorts] I am a capable, healthy pregnant woman.
I arrive early for my appointment but still have to wait an eternity because they book ten people for each time slot. I’m not exaggerating. My hair is plastered to the back of my neck and I am certain my butt sweat is visible. Thank goodness this place has air conditioning.
By now I know the drill. I check in then go into the little room to get weighed and submit my urine sample. I step off the scale and the nurse writes down the number on a little piece of paper, handing it to me to share with the next nurse.
Nurse #1: You have urine sample?
As many of you have read, we’ve enjoyed living in a tiny, cozy apartment here in Hong Kong. A while back I shared our little slice of Canada that we created in 440 square feet (if you missed it, read up: here). Knowing we were expecting a baby we needed somewhere with a bit more space and began a hunt for our next digs in Hong Kong late last spring.
As we’ve grown to love our Wan Chai neighbourhood and gotten to know the area (and we’d likely starve if we weren’t within a block of Motorino pizza), we were compelled to stay close by. We love our convenient commutes and knew the lack of hills would make getting around with a baby in a stroller much simpler. We explored various buildings in the vicinity and, in the end, found an option in our current building that was too good to pass up.
Not knowing whether we were having a boy or a girl meant we faced a minor challenge when planning the nursery for our little baby-to-be, namely narrowing down a colour scheme that wasn’t gender specific. When I learned I was pregnant I created a (secret) pinterest board with images for inspiration, but struggled to decide on a colour scheme that would suit a boy or a girl. Especially because we are renting and can’t make a bunch of changes to the room, it seemed simpler to do something monochromatic. I also read some articles, such as this one here, that suggest strong contrasting images or patterns, such as black and white, provide the best sensory stimulation for newborns as their eyesight develops. I also realized that many of the inspiration images I had pulled together featured quotes. These ideas became the basis for the final design.
We spent an interesting Sunday exploring Tai O fishing village, an incredibly unique part of Hong Kong. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine that you’re still in Hong Kong when you’re there. Located here on Lantau Island (close to the International Airport and Disneyland), yet feels like a million miles from modern civilization. In contrast to the soaring skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island, Tai O is quaint, charming and small scale.
Hooray! We are FINALLY sharing our news! Braden and I will become parents early September – and we are so excited! When we first moved to Hong Kong we weren’t sure what the move would mean for us starting a family. We knew we wanted kids but didn’t know how we’d feel being so far from our friends and family in Canada, or what our lifestyle would be like here. Once we moved and settled into our new Hong Kong routine, we knew having a baby here was something we could wrap our heads around. Before we knew it (literally…it all happened quite quickly!) I was pregnant and we were making plans to become a family of three. We’ve had quite a few questions about how things are going and how this is all going to work, so read on for some details.
We have been operating a 440 sq ft Wan Chai Bed & Breakfast for the last few months, as both sets of parents have been visiting! They timed their visits to alternate weeks, as 4 is the MAXIMUM capacity of our little flat. It’s been so fun having family here to show around Hong Kong and we got out to explore quite a few new areas! My parents arrived in early March when the weather was still quite cool but we braved the chilly weather and went out to search for monkeys!
Braden and I do our best to take advantage of all of the long weekends we get here in Hong Kong, and one of the “best” in terms of days off in a row is Chinese New Year. With Monday through Wednesday as government holidays, we took two extra days and jetted off for a week of relaxation in Thailand. This was back in early February (apologies for the long delay between posts…between visitors and lots of travel I’ve gotten behind!) Believe it or not, winters in Hong Kong are chilly, and trust us to relocate here just in time to experience the coldest winter on record in close to sixty years. After months on end of wearing my down vest, several weeks of regretting not bringing a down jacket, record setting low temperatures and the eventual purchase of a space heater (remember, we don’t have heat in our apartment and it was around 4°C outside and 15°C inside for days on end!) we were ready for some sunshine.