Fare Thee Well!

Thank you all so much for following my blog for the past ten months! As you know, this blog has to come to a close because, after all, I’m no longer “Preggers In China”! The end of my moon month is here and that means that Little Spark (now named “Ruyi Echo”) is one-month old. It’s been an adventure already, to say the least, and the culture clashes continue…

Just recently, I was informed by my MIL that while the moon month has come to a close, the baby shouldn’t go outdoors until the springtime. You can imagine my response. As I’m her source of food, that would also keep me indoors for another two months save the occasional two-hour jaunt to a local supermarket or a quick coffee with friends while she naps. But, to leave WITHOUT my baby?? I can’t imagine not having her near me.

Anyway, after successfully completing my long month at home, hearing that there will be another two of them expected of me (because they’re expected of the baby) made my heart sink. Needless to say, we will be re-negotiating these terms!

Last week, I was allowed out on a “get-out-of-jail-free” pass to attend a La Leche meeting here in Beijing, just a ten-minute walk from home. The baby came with me and is just fine. She was wrapped in a million layers and held in an additional wrap against my body. She was warm and cozy.

The next day, however, I came down with a brutal chest cold and now I’m coughing and hacking and getting many “we told you so” glances from my partner and MIL. And, I have to say, feeling crappy does make a person more apt to believe that maybe all this talk about the “evil wind” has some merit? I’m weakened by phlegm and forgetting the science of germs; I’ve found myself just nodding and agreeing with them. Yes, winter wind is evil. That evil, evil wind.

My partner, Guo Jian, is gone now on his overseas tour, as of yesterday, but my MIL is taking additional good care of me with all natural medicines and holistic healing on top of the regular foods that are good for milk production and uterine recovery, etc. She’s certainly incredibly caring and means well in all ways, I know. I’m lucky to have her even if we do sometimes butt heads on things like taking Echo outside before April! Just now, she brought me more medicine to drink. At this point, I’m accepting all forms of assistance with high hopes that I’ll kick this cold quickly! <cough, cough>

But, I wasn’t going to use this blog space for all of that stuff… more dramatic complaining regarding more of the same. It will just continue in this way. As Echo grows, there will be more and more crossroads and decisions to negotiate with my in-laws. We will have conflicts. We will have to figure out compromises. That’s the nature of this cross-cultural union and our inherent differences in child rearing practices.

It’s what I’ve signed up for.

And when I look at my amazing, beautiful, ever-growing, wonder of a daughter, I know that every moment is worth it.

I could probably keep a new blog about raising a kid in China, but I’ve decided to transfer my energies to my new “Mom Column” that will be featured in Beijing Kids Magazine monthly. I’m sure I’ll have lots to say in that! I’ll refer you (via tweets) to the online versions when they’re released so that you can keep up with the adventure, if you’re interested!

Once again, thank you SO MUCH for all of your support.

-es

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RESOURCE SECTION:

I really want to provide some resources for anyone who may be heading down the path towards parenthood, particularly in China.


BIRTH PLANS

Here is a copy of my birth plan. It’s in both languages and also includes the responses to some of the requests (in red) in English:

EmbersBirthPlan-revised

Here is a copy of the two sample birth plans that I used to build mine. You can see that I lifted quite a bit from the “An Tai” hospital sample plan as it was so detailed. The second plan came from a generous friend and is a simpler, one-pager. Both could be useful to you!

Sample Birth Plan Antai Hospital
Sample Simple Birth Plan

 

MY AMAZING DOULA

If you’re based in Beijing and you’re looking for a doula to support your birth, I highly recommend Robyn Wexler. She was a calming, knowledgeable, veritable rock in both the labouring and birthing experience for us. Without her, I’m not sure what we would have done. Both Guo Jian and I may have “lost it” and shown our instability and insecurities much sooner, for sure! She kept us focused and conscious. She was the salve that all major life struggles need to ease us through such a significant gateway.

Thank you, Robyn, for taking us through so skillfully. We are now parents, thanks to your guidance at the threshold.

To reach, Robyn, you can email: robynwexler(at)gmail(dot)com.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

I found this document really valuable and read it several times before I went into labour. There’s just something about how it is written that I found compelling. I was very moved and I hope that reading it helps any of you who are mentally and emotionally preparing for the amazing rite of passage that is giving birth. If nothing else, it helped me to fear less and open my mind to the wonder of what was coming.

2011 1023 The Holistic Stages of Labor

This website was really helpful to me. Set up by someone like myself who was just hoping to pass along some info to those who need it, it isn’t always up-to-date with every detail, especially since it’s supposed to be for all of China and so it isn’t complete for Beijing. My hospital (Mary’s Women’s and Infant Hospital) isn’t even listed in its directory, for instance. Regardless, the best feature on this site is the glossary of terms. It’s fantastic to have some extra vocabulary during those prenatal visits!

http://www.havingababyinchina.com

Finally, I am on a list serve called “Beijing Mamas” and I LOVE IT. Whenever I have a quick question or I’m looking for a product or I’m wondering what other Western mommies are doing about certain things in Beijing, I can just post to that list serve and watch the kind advice pour in. While I was pregnant, I posted regularly and had lots of support. Now, since then, I feel I’ve met some great people thanks to that list serve who I consider new friends! I really recommend joining up!

Beijing Mamas Yahoo List Serve

 

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If I think of other resources, I’ll add them here. If you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to make them!

Once again, thank you everyone for your amazing support.

All the best,

Ember

Winter Layer Cake
Pink Puke
   

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