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SHOWERed with love (part 2)

Baby shower number2

After a wonderful baby shower in China, we made our way back to the States. We spent one short night in San Antonio, dropping off our excess luggage and saying a quick “hello” to the family, before heading to Minnesota the next morning.

I was born and raised in Minnesota and that is where the vast majority of my family still lives. Every year we try to go there at least twice (usually once during the summer and then a second time during the winter) to visit everyone. This year people were particularly happy to see us, since it had been a full year since we had visited. People were curious to know about China and how our travels had been. I also got to have another baby shower! This time, I was 21 weeks pregnant… just past the half-way point, and at least showing a bit.

This time, my sister, my mom and my Aunt Sandy threw the shower. Whenever we go home, we usually stay at my sister’s house, and she graciously offered it up to be used for the shower. My auntie Sandy lives in Wisconsin but happened to be in town that weekend.

When the day came, Sandy brought some games and her famous brownies (drool), my auntie Barb brought her chicken salad, Deb Barger brought her delicious Andes Mint cookies, and my friend Cassie brought lemon bars. My grandma had cut up tons of apples and brought her tasty marshmallow dip. My sister Christie and my mom had meatballs in the crockpot, a delicious salad and other tasty delicacies laid out for everyone to eat.

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As people trickled in, Trent and I greeted them and tried to get some much-needed catch-up time with them. It was hard to be able to talk to everyone… it felt like our wedding… we saw a lot of people at once but it went by so fast that we hardly got to really talk with anyone!

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My handsome hubby was rocking his “The Sympathetic Pregnant Husband” shirt and wandering around with the camera taking photos.

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We used the same beehive drawing that Catherine had made for my China shower and the same guest book for people to write messages in. As people came, they added their thumb prints and messages and then got food and mingled about for a bit. It was a warm day, but the majority of us ended up outside on the patio (my sister has a lovely backyard).

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As always, we had quite the mix of people there… mostly family, church friends, and school friends (from High School and College). After we ate, we did a quick round of introductions and people shared how they knew me. Then the games began!

My aunt Sandy had organized a few games. We began with a baby word scramble. I love these kinds of word games! The second game was based on the game-show, “The Price is Right,” where we had to guess the prices of several baby items and then whoever got the closest to the correct total got a prize. I did astoundingly well (probably only because I had just done my Target gift registry), at least far better than I thought I would do! Then, as part of her gift to me, I got to keep all of the baby stuff she used for the game. Thanks Sandy!

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After the game, we were all quite hot and so we migrated inside to where the A/C was (thank God for air conditioning!). Then it was time to open gifts! I passed my camera off to Jamie, who graciously took photos for us, and Trent, Christie, and I sat down on the couch to get down to business! We opened up so many wonderful gifts! It was very cool this time around because we knew that we were having a boy and everyone knew his name would be Jedidiah. This allowed for some more personalized gifts like this beautiful blanket from my auntie Sandy.

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We had lots of beautiful hand-made gifts- gorgeous crocheted or knitted blankets, hand-made burp cloths, etc.

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We got all sorts of goodies and it was so much fun to open them. It just made meeting Jedi seem all the more real!

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Then, before we knew it, the shower was over. People began to leave and we took lots of photos. Trent and I (and baby Jedi) are all very thankful for everyone who came!

A special thank you to my hosts!

My wonderful Auntie Sandy

My wonderful Auntie Sandy

My dear sister, Christie, who was also pregnant at the time, just passing the 13 week mark!

My dear sister, Christie, who was also pregnant at the time, just passing the 13 week mark!

…and to my photographer(s).

Jamie and Trent both took over camera duties for the afternoon.

Jamie and Trent both took over camera duties for the afternoon.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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“Bumpdates:” weeks 28-29

I’m trying to post my “bumpdates” more often so that they’re not as long! Here are the last two weeks:

Week 28:
Baby boy is almost 15 inches long and weighs two and a quarter pounds. I’ve been using two different websites for my weekly fruit/vegetable size comparisons, and this week I couldn’t use the suggestion on either one. The first one said that Jedidiah is the size of an eggplant (but the other said he was an eggplant weeks ago), whereas the other said he was the size of a Kabocha squash… whatever that is! HEB (our local grocery store) had never heard of them, neither did they carry them.

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So… I ended up looking for another fruit or vegetable that doesn’t get used again in the next 12 weeks and I came up with a papaya. It is most likely bigger than my baby really is, but the length is probably pretty accurate, so that’s what I went with! Jedi can open his eyes now (they were fused shut until 27 weeks) and blink. He even has eyelashes! His brain and lungs are continuing to develop and he’s still fattening up for his final appearance!

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This week was kind of sad. We went to yet another funeral for one of Trent’s family members (the second funeral since we’ve been back in TX). I was reminded again of how short life is, and how we really need to live every day as if it were our last. Thankfully she was a believer, so we have the assurance that she is in a better place. We were able to see a lot of family members at the funeral, but it was still very sad. Live with no regrets and seek to repair and restore broken relationships… you never know when it might be too late.

In addition to the funeral, one of my closest friends had a miscarriage this week. It feels like it wasn’t long ago that we were celebrating this new life growing inside of her, and now that joy has been replaced by a season of sadness. Again, I was reminded that life is short, but that we should celebrate it while it is here! Life is a gift and a blessing!

This week wasn’t all sad… we had our third baby shower this Saturday! The first one we had was in China right before we left, the second was in Minnesota with my family and friends, and now we’ve had one back home in Texas. 🙂 It was a really nice time to (kind of) catch up with family and friends. I got to meet a few new people that I hadn’t met before- one of Trent’s good childhood friends, Antonio; our friend Beau’s fiance, Karrin; and Trent’s cousin, Maggie, that I’d never before had the chance to meet. We also got to meet a few new kiddos who weren’t born quite yet when we left to return to China last July. We ate lots of food and cake and opened lots of awesome gifts for baby Jedi. Our nephew Cohen was a very good helper when it came to opening presents!

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We were able to continue using two very sweet gifts that Catherine made for me for my first baby shower: the beehive for “Baby L” and a special book that she made me for notes and such. Thanks Cat!!!

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Our little helper, Cohen!

Our little helper, Cohen!

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One of my favorite gifts... "Daddy's Little Jedi"  Be still, my heart!

One of my favorite gifts… “Daddy’s Little Jedi” Be still, my heart!

Another blessing of that day was that our good friends Zach and Heather came. We know Zach and Heather from our time in China and they left only a few months before we did. Lucky for us, most of our closest friends from China live in MN or TX (what are the odds???), and this couple lives just north of Austin in Georgetown. They made the trip down and even took photos of our big day. After the baby shower, they helped clean up (thanks guys) and hung around for a bit of local Mexican food at our favorite local restaurant, Garcia’s. We spent a little time showing them our house and the boys played a bit of guitar together while us girls chatted. It was really nice to have them here!

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The delicious ice cream dessert we shared at Garcia's.

The delicious ice cream dessert we shared at Garcia’s.

On Sunday we were able to meet up with another friend, Ana, and meet her new husband (lots of things changed while we were away). We went to eat at Chuy’s (can you tell we like to eat Mexican food?!?) and spent the afternoon catching up. Before we left, Ana gave us a gift for sweet Jedidiah since she hadn’t been able to make it to the shower. It was really great to see her!

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Symptoms this week:
I have been so much more tired than normal! The first two weeks that Trent was back at school I got up and did my devotions and then, typically, stayed up and tried to make the most of my days. This week though I’ve gone back to bed EVERY morning and slept all the way until my zumba class at 10. I’ve also noticed that I have to pee more (already?!?). I was hoping that it wouldn’t kick in until much closer to the end of pregnancy but I guess my baby likes to push on my bladder.

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Week 29:
This week Jedi is the size of a butternut squash! He weighs about 2 and a half pounds and is a bit over 15 inches long. His brain is continuing to develop and so baby boy’s head is growing (hopefully not too big… I still gotta push him out of me!). His bones are continuing to harden and so he needs a lot of calcium in the upcoming days and weeks. His lungs are continuing to prepare for breathing outside of the womb and baby boy’s muscles are getting stronger too.

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This week we went for another check-up and I learned that I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions. I didn’t have any idea that they were happening, but as my midwife lifted up my shirt to begin the exam, she showed me that my uterine muscles were contracting. I guess I noticed this last week too, but never thought that I was having a contraction! Everything looked fine for baby Jedi and we attended our first birthing class at the NB Family Birth Center right after our appointment. It is fascinating all the things we’re learning about (and I thought I already knew a LOT). Women’s bodies are pretty amazing! We will continue attending natural birthing classes for the next 6 weeks.

This past weekend, we went to Canyon Lake to celebrate the baptisms of two of my good friends, Hallie and Andrea (Dre). A friend of their pastor has a lovely home on the lake that they let us use for the day. We swam and hung out most of the afternoon, and then around 5:00pm, we headed down to the lake. Ken Hicks, their pastor, prayed over them and then we all prayed over them. It was a beautiful time. Then, one by one, they were baptized. In addition to my two friends, Hallie’s oldest two kids were baptized along with a few others (that I didn’t know) from their church.

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Baptisms always get me. I can’t help but to cry (and it has nothing to do with me being pregnant). Baptism is such a beautiful celebration of life change; it is a celebration of what Jesus has done in them and for them, and the public declaration of their faith in front of so many others has always been extremely powerful to me. I can only pray that they can share about their baptisms and thereby be a testimony to others of the incredible grace of God.

After the baptisms, we went back up to the house for some food! It was a potluck but they had the grill going too- there were burgers and hot dogs (which I can’t eat) and sausages… so much deliciousness. One good part about being pregnant is that I can EAT without being judged. It’s awesome.

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Andrea, Hallie and I

Andrea, Hallie and I

We spent the rest of the evening hanging out and taking some belly pics before heading back home.

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We were particularly thankful for the long weekend! Trent had Monday off which gave us an extra day together and it gave him a much-needed break (yes, already) from his crazy life at school. He’s been spending long hours there and so we haven’t seen too much of each other (which is really hard for us because we’re used to doing everything together). This long labor day weekend was a nice reprieve for both of us. We were able to get a lot of small things done around the house, like hanging photos, paintings, artwork, etc. We finally got around to these little things that had been on our to-do lists for a while now.

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Another highlight of my week was on Wednesday when Heather (my friend from China) and I went to Dallas (yes, again) to visit our other friend Catherine (also from China) one last time before she heads to North Dakota for her brother’s wedding and then back to China shortly thereafter. We arrived around 1:00pm and thankfully got to see and play with Elijah for a few minutes before we headed out to get lunch. The three of us went to Ernesto’s for lunch and enjoyed chips, queso, delicious Mexican food and great conversation. I love these ladies so much. We’re not just friends, we’re sisters in Christ, and that makes our friendships so much more powerful. I’m really going to miss Catherine when she returns to China, but am super thankful that Heather lives fairly close to us! We spent all afternoon there and then began the trip back. On the way, we stopped in Waco to see Heather’s brother and to interview him for a Bachelorette party game that would be happening this coming weekend. It was nice to meet him. Then we drove back. The rain didn’t start until we were nearly to Heather’s house, but my drive home was basically in a torrential downpour! I went about 30 mph on the highway for nearly an hour because the visibility was so bad. Everyone was just crawling along! It was pretty scary actually, and a bit stressful, but I was thankful that Heather had prayed over me and my car before we left her house. I knew that Trent was praying too. It took me longer than I would have liked to get home, but Jedi and I made it in one piece! So thankful!

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Symptoms this week:
Again… SO tired!!! I feel like I could sleep all day! The Braxton Hicks contractions have continued (but they’re nothing to worry about). I’ve also noticed that my balance seems off this week… apparently that’s normal too. Baby is growing and so is my belly, which causes some shifting of my center of gravity. My belly keeps growing bigger and sometimes I forget how big it is. The other day I opened a door and started to walk through, but apparently I hadn’t opened it wide enough because I walked my belly right into it. Ouch! Sorry Jedi!

week 29

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Midwives vs. Hospitals: Our decision

how will baby boy make his entry

I know that China and America are worlds apart (literally) but their views on birth couldn’t be more different. In China, most births happen by C-section. The doctors there are most comfortable performing this procedure; it is faster and more predictable and so this is how births usually go in China. That’s not to say that you CAN’T have a natural birth there, but it sure isn’t encouraged!

The closer we get to Jedidiah’s arrival, the more time I’ve had to reflect on how I want him to be born. I guess I have always been sort of a “hippie” when it comes to natural things. I am really picky about foods that we eat (non GMO, organic all the way) and about the products that we use (minimal chemicals, etc), so it’s no surprise that when it comes to Jedidiah’s entry into the world, I would choose the more “natural” route (no drugs, minimal intervention, the use of aromatherapy, massage and hydrotherapy for pain relief).

The more I read and learn about midwives, the more I think that they are in an underappreciated profession. These women care deeply about the people they serve. They listen to their preferences and offer the best possible ways to have a healthy pregnancy and birth. They use simple but effective remedies to ease the pain of labor and offer the least intrusive entry into the world.

Now, I should say before I get too far in, that I know many people who have had successful hospital births and who love their Ob GYN, but I also know a fair share of people who have had horrific hospital births, being pushed and even bullied into making decisions that they didn’t really want to make, feeling like they had no other choice and leaving feeling defeated. This post is in no way to belittle the choices of others when it comes to the birth of their child, it is simply to explain our choice for the upcoming birth of our son.

Trent and I toured several birthing centers in and around San Antonio. There is one IN San Antonio, another in Stone Oak and another outside the city limits in New Braunfels. We enjoyed our visits to all three. Each of them had very nice facilities and all of the midwives we spoke with were very kind and helpful. Trent and I would like to have a water birth and all of the facilities offered this as an option and were well-versed in performing them. The more we read about water births, the more convinced we are that we want to have our baby this way. The water has been shown to relax the mother as well as reduce the pain of contractions and labor, and babies who are born in the water still get the benefits of the flora and bacteria in the mother’s birth canal. Water births increase the skin’s elasticity, thereby reducing the chances for tearing. It also increases the release of endorphins while decreasing blood pressure and reducing the release of stress-related hormones (which means that complications are less likely to arise during delivery).

There are other reasons we wanted to choose a birthing center over a hospital birth. Birthing centers are more open to letting mothers eat and drink while they are in labor, they allow women to walk around and allow gravity to assist in the labor process. They intermittently monitor the baby’s heart and don’t attach you to IV’s and machines. Because of this, women are able to give birth in many different positions. They also really encourage the spouse or partner to be a part of the birthing experience. Daddy will be able to be in the tub with me and he can catch our baby as he is born, which is another cool and exciting part that we are looking forward to. Another thing that we like about midwives is that they walk through the pregnancy with you; they get to know you and your preferences. It is much more personal.

Another thing we really wanted was delayed cord clamping. We decided not to do cord blood banking, but instead to let our baby get all of those important stem cells from the umbilical cord before it is cut. Again, this is just our own personal decision.

Another thing we really appreciate about birthing centers over hospitals is that they give us time with our baby after the birth instead of whisking him away for all their necessary testing. They allow an uninterrupted time for bonding as a family before stepping in. They do all the testing right next to us, so we can see everything they are doing (and they explain it as they go), and baby boy will never have to leave our side. There are no required overnight stays, although we are not limited to a specific time frame before leaving (we could stay the night if we so chose).

They also come to our house to check on us within 24-48 hours of leaving the center. This visit is to offer breastfeeding advice and tips as well as to make sure that the transition into home life is going smoothly. They are there to answer any questions as well. I like how personal it all is.

Anyways, after all was said and done, we chose the New Braunfels Family Birth Center as our delivery choice. Like I had mentioned before (in another post), one of my close girlfriends had her last two babies there, the last of which was a water birth. It is also the closest in proximity to our house and the easiest to get to. We felt very comfortable with the midwives there and these midwives also provide the services usually offered by a doula… double whammy! They were also willing to give me a discounted price since I was coming in so late in my pregnancy. Another thing I really appreciate is their later office hours, so that working husbands (like my own) can be there for the prenatal visits and check-ups. This way Trent doesn’t have to take extra time off of work to be there. 🙂

The day that we went for our initial visit and tour, it had already been nearly 7 weeks since we had seen a doctor (because of a lapse in insurance during our move from China to the States). The ladies there knew that I was anxious to know if everything was progressing normally and so they offered to examine me right then and there, no strings attached. “Examine” might be too harsh a word, actually. Their “exam” room, for lack of a better term, is a bedroom, decorated comfortably as if you were at home. I didn’t have to get naked and don a stupid robe lying on a cold, metal tray; rather I lied down on a comfy bed for them to check my blood pressure, uterus and the baby’s heartbeat. Everything measured well and it was a very comfortable, un-intrusive check-up. Leaving that afternoon, I felt so relieved! It was that extra step that made me even more confident in their services and we look forward to continuing to work with them! Another plus for us, is that they are Christians too, so we are coming from similar worldviews and it helps us feel more connected to them.

Now, some of you may be wondering about the cost of midwifery over hospital deliveries. In the end, when all is said and done, they cost about the same. Most insurance companies won’t cover births outside of their “in-network” hospitals, but the research is beginning to show a trend towards birthing centers and the job that midwives do is starting to get more credit and backing from medical and scientific communities. Even without the help of insurance, birthing centers offer an affordable way to give birth to your baby. They put you on a payment plan so that by the time your baby is born, you have already paid for all the necessary services. Many birthing centers also offer discounts for people whose insurance won’t cover births there (which is most of them). They are certainly an option I would encourage looking into!

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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“Bumpdates” weeks 23-27

Wow! I can’t believe I just finished my second trimester of being pregnant! Now we’re entering the home stretch and I am so excited to meet our little guy!

Week 23:

This week Jedidiah is the size of an eggplant- measuring about 11 inches long and weighing just over a pound. He can feel my movements now and I can certainly feel his! This was the first week I could actually see my stomach moving as he moved inside of me. It is a strange, but cool experience. His little lungs are still developing and are busy preparing to breathe outside of the womb. His hearing is fully developed now, but of course, things might sound a bit muffled since there’s lots of other “stuff” going on in there.

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I was reminded this week how important it is to write Jedidiah’s story down and make sure that it is shared. He already has a unique story and purpose in life and we can already see how God’s hand has been at work in making him. Amber White, my pastor’s wife, took some time to share with Trent and I the stories of her two babies and how they had to trust God with both of those pregnancies. It is always good to be reminded of how God brought us through the tough times (I’m thinking back to the stress and confusion of my early pregnancy). I want to remember that my Jedidiah is deeply loved, highly favored, greatly blessed, totally righteous and destined to reign all because of what Jesus did on the cross! He has already been created by and for the creator of the universe. He has a purpose and a future! We were blessed by hearing her story and reminded to be thankful for ours.

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Pastor Zak, Amber and their two kiddos

In other big news this week, we bought a second car! We bought it used, with cash, so that we can save the majority of our money for baby boy. A very worthwhile investment, indeed! Ironically, we bought the same make and model that we sold right before we left for China. Apparently a 2005 Dodge Neon is destined for us even though our other one is being used by a ministry somewhere in Mexico. We also paid off our CRV, so we are officially debt free (except for our house)!!! FREEDOM!

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Other highlights of the week included meeting with my Bible Study again. I have been meeting with the same core group of ladies ever since I moved to San Antonio 7 years ago, and we’re still going strong! This core group in many ways reminds me of my house church in China; it is an intimate group of believers with one heart and one mind- to glorify Jesus in all that we do.

Some of my core Bible Study girls

Some of my core Bible Study girls

We also got to go swimming with Trent’s sister Katey (and baby) and our nephew Cohen. It was (and always is) so much fun to watch Trent interact with Cohen. The two of them had so much fun together, which allowed Katey and I to relax! It was awesome.

Trent and I went for a game night to celebrate my dear friend Abby’s birthday. Abby is the reason I moved to San Antonio in the first place and has been a big part of my life ever since. We had a great night celebrating her birthday and having fun, playing games and eating yummy cupcakes!

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We went out to dinner one night at the BBQ place right down the road. They catered our wedding and we always enjoy their food. Harmon’s BBQ- if you’re ever in Cibolo, that’s the place to go!

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Symptoms this week: Nothing… I feel like I have a lot of energy and I’ve been trying to work out and walk more often. The San Antonio heat sure zaps me though and makes me pretty tired, but only if I’m outside for long periods of time. I’m still craving (and eating) a lot of pancakes (…and pickles… but not together). Preggo brain is in full swing!

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Week 24:
Wow, 6 months pregnant! That’s HALF A YEAR! In some ways it seems like it’s flying by and in others it seems to be going slowly. This week baby boy is the size of an ear of corn. He is about a foot long and weighs just over a pound. He is starting to fill out a bit more and get more “baby fat” on his little body. His brain is continuing to grow as are his taste buds and lungs.

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This week we began looking at birthing centers in and around San Antonio. We toured three different ones: San Antonio, Stone Oak, and New Braunfels. All of the centers were very nice and we enjoyed chatting with each of the midwives, but in the end, we decided to go with the New Braunfels Family Birth Center. My friend Abby (the same Abby who had a birthday last week) had her last two babies there, and not only is it the closest to our house, but we felt most comfortable there. They even checked me out while we were visiting, just to give me some peace of mind (We hadn’t been to the doctor in over 6 weeks… since China). They took my blood pressure and all my measurements and made sure that Jedidiah and I were doing well before we left. That extra care goes a long way in a mommy’s mind! I’ll write another post soon about why we chose to go the “Birthing Center” route instead of the typical OB-GYN/Hospital route.

Daddy and I have been reading to Jedidiah every night out of The Toddler’s Bible. We bought it last week at Barnes and Noble and have decided to start reading one story a night to our little guy. What I really like about this Bible is that it is simple and that it is bilingual. So Trent reads the story in English and then I read it to Jedi in Spanish… and then Trent tries to read to him in Spanish too. It is good practice for him. Lol.

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Mommy started taking zumba classes this week at DeVoir Fitness just down the road from our house on FM 78. I really enjoy the music and the movement, and now Jedidiah should be able to feel it too. It has been a fun way to make sure I’m getting the exercise I need for a healthy pregnancy.

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Some highlights of this week were going to the river for Trent’s best friend, Casey’s, birthday. We floated all day long, ate some amazing BBQ, and then headed back to their campground for a dip in the pool. The sunset was beautiful and we got to watch some deer wander along the side of the lake at dusk.

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trent in the pool

You can see at least one deer by the lakeside... at one point there were 6 or 7 of them.

You can see at least one deer by the lakeside… at one point there were 6 or 7 of them.

We also got together with my bestie, Traci, and her family for dinner at Genghis Grill. Yum! We had a family dinner at Trent and I’s favorite local restaurant, Garcia’s. We got to see some family that we hadn’t gotten to see since we got back, so that was really nice.

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Lowlights of the week: Trent spent this ENTIRE week studying. His new job requires him to pass the Generalist EC-6th grade test for Texas since he will be the teacher of record (he was already certified for Special Ed). Poor guy…8-10 hours a day he was pouring himself into his studies. I’m thankful for his diligence though. He wants to make sure he can have this job and provide for his family. Love him!

Symptoms this week: Preggo brain!!! Hard core. It was SO bad this week, I couldn’t remember anything. I also had no control over my body… there was one night I nearly had a breakdown… after not being able to think clearly or remember anything, I sneezed and peed a little (sad times) and then just minutes later, I was literally drooling… WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!!? What is happening to my body!?! The crazy thing is that it will only get worse. I also had my first bloody nose this week. It happened at the river of all places, but I had been reading that many pregnant women have sinus issues and nosebleeds due to rhinitis, the swelling of your nasal cavities while pregnant. It’s just a side effect, but it still came as a surprise!

week 24

Week 25:
Man, my baby boy is growing! He is now 13 and a half inches long and weighs a pound and a half. Jedi is the size of a rutabaga or an acorn squash. He’s growing more hair- even the color is distinguishable now! He’s also fattening up and filling out those skinny little arms and legs.

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This was a week of WAITING for us. Trent took his teaching test on Friday and we didn’t know that he PASSED until this Wednesday! It was a long few days of waiting but daddy did good! Now he can officially work at Windcrest Elementary! I’m so proud of him!

We had dinner with my friend Missy and her daughter Baylee, who was our flower girl in our wedding. My, has she changed! This little girl is growing up!

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Baylee

Missy

We spent an entire day doing yard work with Trent’s mom- we trimmed our trees, bushes, and cacti, and cleaned out the garden beds so that we can plant again. It was a lot of work and it was exhausting, but the yard looks so much better now! While we were working we came across a HUGE spider and a very large wasp’s nest. Good thing we didn’t end up disturbing either one!

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spider context

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Symptoms this week: I feel great! Preggo brain hasn’t been as much of an issue and I’ve had a lot of energy.

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Week 26:
We are getting so close to the third trimester! This week Jedidiah is the size of a scallion, about 14 inches long and almost 2 pounds. He’s growing so fast! His sense of hearing has really developed so hopefully he can hear daddy and I talking to him and reading to him at night. We hope so! He’s begun breathing in small amounts of amniotic fluid- again, preparing his lungs to begin breathing outside of the womb. Since he is a boy, his testes have begun their descent… a process which apparently takes 2-3 more months!

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Trent officially started work on Thursday- he went in for two days of trainings, signing contracts, and all that other official stuff. We went out to dinner on Thursday night to celebrate his first official day of work. We decided to go to Texas Roadhouse. I had a hankering for their bread (oh, my gosh… so good). Anyways, as we were sitting there, one of the managers came up to us because her son used to go to Trent’s school. He wasn’t one of the kids on Trent’s case-load, but Trent worked a lot with many of the Gen. Ed. kids too. She still remembered him and praised him highly for how much her son liked and trusted him. She was sad to hear that he wouldn’t be going back to Walzem (there weren’t any job openings when we looked), but was happy for him in his new position. I love to brag on my husband because I’ve seen how great he is with the kids, but it is even better to hear other people sing his praises! It made me so proud. On top of all that, she bought our dinner for us! It was such a nice gesture that again, made me love my husband even more.

Friday night, they had a “welcome back” party at his new Vice Principal’s house. It was nice to meet lots of Trent’s new co-workers and I got to see my dear friend Hope, who Trent and I both worked with at Walzem and who is currently the other Vice Principal at his new school. They even had a pinata and a photo booth! It was a fun evening.

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The rest of the week he spent at his new school, in and out of trainings and preparing for the first week of school. I spent a lot of time with him getting his room set up and helping in any other way that I could. It was a LOT of work that left both of us exhausted, but I think we are ready!

On Saturday evening, we went to Revolution Church’s “After Party” and gorged ourselves on pizza and popcorn. They had a climbing wall, a petting zoo, and karaoke! We love our church and all the cool things it does for outreach, but the coolest part about the evening was running into one of Trent’s new co-workers. Not just any co-worker, but his mentor, Gabe. It was an answer to a prayer I had been praying that Trent would not only find community in his new school, but that there would be other believers there that he could connect with. Seeing them at our church was super cool and we were excited to hear that he and his family also attend Revolution! We also enjoyed a beautiful sunset that evening!

revolution after party

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On Sunday, after church, we took our weekly “bump” pictures, but then also decided to do an impromptu photo shoot. I have tons of pictures of ME and the baby, but we hardly had any of Trent AND I. So we went up the road to a cornfield and tried to self-timer the camera for a few good shots. We were really happy with how the pictures turned out. Unfortunately since the car ended up being our “tripod,” there’s not a whole lot of variety in the angles of the shots we got and the background is the same in all of them. But for us being by ourselves, I think we did alright. We started out serious…

belly

looking up

photo shoot

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…and then, as usual, things turned silly. We had fun- that’s for sure!

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photo shoot silly

photo shoot silly2

Other highlights of the week included eating dinner with our friends Sandy and Derek. We hung out, chatted and Sandy and I watched as Trent and Cyler (their 6 year old) played with the dog. I know I’ve said this before, but Trent is going to be such a good daddy. As we were leaving, Cy wrapped his arms around Trent in a big, impromptu hug (he didn’t even say goodbye to me…) and I knew that Trent had totally made his night.

Cy and Bay

Symptoms this week: I’ve been much gassier/bloated than normal. I’ve been tired too, but probably from helping Trent with his classroom. Setting up for the school year is a LOT of work! We’ve been seeing/feeling much bigger movements from Jedidiah. Before we could really just feel his kicks, but now I can tell when he’s shifting inside of me. Sometimes I can feel his head or butt or elbow or heel moving across my belly. It’s pretty cool. I’m also pretty sure baby boy has had the hiccups once or twice (but only for short periods of time).

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Week 27

This week Jedidiah is the size of a cauliflower- weighing 2 pounds and measuring about 14 and a half inches long. He has become active at more regular times- usually right before bed and for a few hours in the evening, and also usually right when I wake up in the morning. He’s also off and on throughout the day.

cauliflower

cauliflower front

cauliflower side

This week was full of excitement! Trent’s sister had a birthday, so we went to celebrate with a dinner at Houlihan’s.

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We also took a road trip to Dallas with some of our best friends from China. We met the Mosby’s (Zach and Heather) in Georgetown, just outside of Austin, and then spent Friday night at their place after a delicious Mexican dinner at Chuy’s (I’ll never stop being thankful for Mexican food after living in China).

Heather and I

Trent and Zach

We enjoyed our time together, catching up with these two, who left China several months before we did. They also gave us a present for Jedidiah, full of cute outfits for him to wear!

Jedi gift bag

baby gifts

Early Saturday morning, we woke up, ate some tasty bagels (another luxury we didn’t often get in China) and coffee and then hit the road. Other than a stop at the Czech Store for some kolaches, the trip went by pretty quickly. We arrived at Justin’s parents’ house (where they were staying) around noon and it was SO great to be reunited with these friends! I’m sure you’ve read about Justin, Catherine, and baby Eli in some of our other posts. We spent the weekend talking and catching up, lounging in the pool and eating delicious BBQ. It was so great to be able to be together again and we left feeling like our souls were refreshed!

poolside

pool belly shot

the boys

Elijah has already gotten so much bigger and he’s nearly walking (he does this hilarious walk on his knees). He also LOVES the pool and being in the water. Trent and him played for a while and it was precious to watch. Eli loves his “uncle” Trent!

Trent and Eli in the pool

Eli

Elijah

Justin and Cat also got us a gift for Jedi- more adorable (and funny) onesies. We can’t wait until Jedi is here so that he can actually wear them!

more gifts for baby Jedi

Heather had put together awesome gift bags for Justin’s parents (for hosting us) and another one for Eli. Here they are together with the stuffed dog she got him.

Eli's gift

It was really a great weekend!

Monday was a big day for Trent… his first day of school! I should have taken a picture of him (too late now) but I forgot. His first day was bit on the rough side, but lots of kinks have been worked out and the rest of the first week went much smoother.

I had to take our kitty to the vet because something is wrong with his poor ears. That was a bit traumatic, but it worked out in the end. Now we just have to give him medicine in his ears for the next week and a half.

Symptoms this week: Nothing much. I feel a little bit more sluggish than normal, but I’ve been waking up with Trent in the mornings to get his breakfast and lunch ready for school, then I’ve been trying to stay up (not go back to bed) and do my devotions early in the morning and maximize the time I have in my days.

week 27

I’m planning on doing my “bumpdates” more regularly now that I’m hitting the third trimester. I’m aiming for every 2-3 weeks instead of the 4-5 I’ve been doing! Keep posted for more coming soon!

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Pregnancy and Chinese hospitals: Qingdao

When we first found out that we were pregnant, obviously we were ecstatic! But later, the reality of finding doctors in China set in. What does that look like? How do things work? What the heck do we do? How in the world will we communicate? Thankfully, like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I had several friends who had already had babies in China, so they had some ideas of how to help me out.

Trent and I didn’t want to take any time off of work to visit the doctor, and for that reason, we chose a smaller clinic that is a branch of the big International Women and Infant’s Hospital in Qingdao. Both clinics are open on Saturdays, but it was anticipated that this one would be far less busy. I’d heard horror stories of people spending all day waiting at the International Clinic (because it is first-come, first-serve- they don’t really do appointments). Time is very valuable to us, especially with the job we were working at QISS… it kept us BUSY!!!

China is also different than the states in that you can go in right away, as soon as you think you might be pregnant; whereas in the States, they usually have you wait until 10 -12 weeks. I had conferred with my bestie, Catherine, who had Elijah here in Qingdao just over a year ago, and she suggested going to the doctor at 6 weeks. That is when you can first detect a heartbeat. Cat, her husband Justin, baby Eli and Catherine’s mom all met us at the clinic so we would know what to do, where to go and also to offer moral support.

That first Saturday morning Trent and I headed for Qingdao Congamarie Women’s Hospital (Marie Yi Yuan).

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Most of our

Most of our “Cheering Squad” (all but Justin)

Cat and the gang were already there by the time we got there and she had already filled out most of my information for the nurses. I finished up a few small details, and they walked me up to a counter and I paid 20 yuan for the hospital card ($3). Then they had me do a urine test, which brings me to the topic of cleanliness at hospitals in China. Already you have to use a squatty potty (which makes things difficult, gross and smelly), and they don’t give you gloves or anything else while you’re peeing in this tiny, flimsy plastic cup with a sad excuse for a handle. Then, after you pee, there’s no soap to wash your hands, and you still have to carry the cup all the way back to the desk, hoping not to slosh anywhere. I was NOT impressed by the bathrooms in the hospital. (There’s also no TP… seriously, at a hospital???)

After that, we were taken into another room with what I think was the doctor and a nurse. Neither one of them spoke English, although the nurse had a bit more than the doctor did. We explained that we wanted to have an ultrasound, but not a blood test, since I already knew I was pregnant, and obviously, if for some reason I wasn’t anymore, the ultrasound would also show the same thing. One thing that always seems to happen in China is that they make up rules that don’t really make any logical sense and then they refuse to break them. So they were very confused when I made this request. Essentially the translated conversation (via our iphones) went like this:

Me- “I only want an ultrasound”
Them- “You have to have blood work too”
Me- “But I only want an ultrasound, not the blood work.”
Them- “But you HAVE to do them together.”
Me- “But why? I already know that I’m pregnant. I just want the ultrasound.”
Them- “No, they can ONLY be done together.”
Me- “Why???”
Them- “We can’t do the ultrasound by itself. Take the blood test.”

Eventually I got tired of arguing and decided just to do the dang blood test even though one is clearly not contingent on the other. They had me sit on a stool while the blood technician took a few vials of blood (without using gloves by the way!). But after it was done, I would have to wait for 2 hours for the results. Also, where you gave blood was just a few feet away from where people were bringing their urine samples back… aren’t they worried about cross-contamination???

Then they took me back to the front to pay for my ultrasound. All the while they are just leading us around and we have no clue where they are taking us… nor did we really have any idea what we were paying for. Once we’d paid, they brought me back to a room where they instructed me to take off my pants (at 6 weeks, they do the ultrasound trans-vaginally) and lay down on the bed (this took a bit of miming for me to understand exactly what the heck they wanted me to do). They wouldn’t let Trent come in the room at all, and they wouldn’t let me see the screen. Thankfully, Trent was right outside the (open) door and was able to listen as we heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. This made the visit entirely worth it! Now… what to do for an hour and a half while we wait for the blood work?

One of the best parts of going to this hospital was the fact that across the street was Wanda Plaza, a big mall, so we decided to take an early lunch and we ate at this amazing Indian restaurant! It was so good. I have no idea what it is called, but we had all sorts of delicious food! We spent a while there, knowing that we still had time to kill. Eventually we wandered back down the road to the hospital. They gave me my blood results and then brought me back to the doctor and nurse.

The test did indeed show that I was pregnant (duh), but it was the source of much consternation later on. The results showed levels for Estrogen, progesterone, and HcG- the three major hormones in pregnancy. All of them seemed normal, except for my HcG which was abnormally high. Instead of picking on that number, they decided that my progesterone was too low and not only would I have to take medicine, but I would have to come back the following Saturday for ANOTHER blood test. Now I know that in the States blood work is not cheap… not so much in China either. Whereas I only paid 100 Yuan for my ultrasound (like 17 USD), I paid nearly 350 Yuan for the blood (about 60 USD). The entire time we were communicating, it was through Google translate, so that made it even more difficult. Eventually I bought the dang medicine, although I wasn’t certain I was going to take it, at least not before I had done more research.

Finally, after most of our afternoon was spent, our first visit was done. On the way home, I meticulously searched for what normal levels of Progesterone should be for 6 weeks pregnant. Every chart I found said that I was well within the “normal” range. So I decided that I would talk to my Ob GYN back home and ask his opinion. You can read all about my decision and the weeks that followed in the post {Pregnancy} Walking by Faith. Anyways, after doing some natural things to try and boost my progesterone, I went back the following weekend.

Trent and I did another round of blood work with basically the same results. My estrogen and HcG had both doubled (now my HcG levels were WAY off the charts) but my progesterone stayed the same. This time I had no “cheering squad” with me, just Trent. So when the ladies asked if I had been taking the medication, and I told them no, they scolded me in all sorts of Chinese. They told me to take the medicine this time and come back AGAIN the following week to compare levels. Now it should also be noted that each time I went to the hospital it was around noon, and progesterone can fluctuate during the day, so who knows how accurate the results were anyways.

After all was said and done, Trent and I decided not to go back until 10 weeks, at which point we would request another ultrasound (NO MORE BLOOD!).

The next time we went back it was just the two of us. We accidentally forgot the book that they usually give you for your medical records (they literally glue things in the book and write notes in it… but all in Chinese). By the time we realized it, we didn’t have time to turn back around to go get it. In China, when you have to take taxis everywhere, there is no “going back.” The hospital is already across town and it takes us nearly 40 minutes to get there. Going back would have entailed us trying to explain to the taxi driver that our destination had changed and we needed to go back to our apartment, after which we would have had to walk the quarter mile back down to the main street to try to flag another cab, just to begin the entire trip over again. It would have added an hour or two easily to our day. Anyways, when we walked in, they wanted to know where my book was. I had already prepared my translations in the cab so that when I went there, I flashed them the screen shots I had taken of “I left my book at home, sorry.” And “I am 10 weeks pregnant; I’d like to have an ultrasound.” I also flashed “I don’t want any blood work” just in the hopes that maybe this time they wouldn’t press for it so much.

They brought me in a different room this time with two different doctors and nurses. I think it was by God’s grace that we forgot the book- they simply started a new one and didn’t even argue about the blood work- maybe since I was already 10 weeks along, it didn’t matter so much. They led me around again, bringing me to pay first, then to get my official fapiao (receipt) and then finally to the exam room. Again, Trent wasn’t allowed in, but this time they just did the ultrasound on my stomach. I still didn’t get to see anything, but the picture looked like a baby (a very little one, but a baby nonetheless), and they didn’t seem to find anything else wrong. We brought the print out back to the doctor and nurses and they looked at it and told us everything was hěn hǎo and that there was only yiguo (one) baby (we wondered if we might have twins since my HcG was so high). That was the only Chinese we understood anyways.

After the ultrasound, we went back to Wanda Plaza for some more yummy Indian food- we were not disappointed! Then we wandered around the mall a bit. We ran into Baymax (Big Hero 6) while we were there and of course, Trent had to give him a fist bump (blu-ba-luba-luba-lu).

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Our overall impressions of this hospital:

Less expensive
It was super hard to communicate
Not very clean
Not foreigner friendly (unless you speak fluent Chinese)
Friendly staff
A bit frustrating, not knowing what we were paying for or even what tests they wanted to run
It was more traditional and followed Chinese laws more closely. It was disappointing that they wouldn’t let Trent in the room during the ultrasounds and that they wouldn’t let me see what was going on either.

The next time we went to the hospital should have been at 14 weeks, but we decided to hold off until 15 ½ weeks, in the hopes that we might be able to find out the sex of our baby. The odds of us finding out the sex of our baby at Congamarie hospital were not very good, but some friends had found out the sex of their babies at the Qingdao Women and Infant’s Hospital. Apparently they still won’t tell Chinese women (or men) the sex of their babies (because it is against the law), but are more lax with foreigners. So we opted for a switch this time around.

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We went again on a Saturday, this time even further across town (all the way by the pier), and thankfully were greeted by an English speaking nurse, who helped me get set up with a new hospital card (thankfully they are cheap!) and listened as I told her that we were hoping for an ultrasound and if possible, to find out the sex of our baby. She took my blood pressure and weight and then brought me back to the doctor. Thankfully the English speaking doctor was there that day (I guess she’s not always there). They asked us a bunch of questions about ourselves and whether we wanted a boy or a girl… I think they were trying to feel us out. After it became clear to them that we really didn’t care either way, we just were excited to know, they told us that they would “try” to see the baby’s sex. I had to do blood work again… but this time it was for a different test… who knows what for. I tried to tell them that I had already done blood work, but they said that this time they were looking for different things.

They took me behind a curtain, and let Trent come along, to hear the baby’s heartbeat using the fetal heartbeat monitor. Then they brought me, much like the other hospital, here and there and everywhere to pay and get the fapiao and then to have the ultrasound done. We paid a LOT more at this clinic (like over 1000 Yuan), but this clinic had a much nicer facility. When it was my turn, they let Trent in the room, although there was a curtain separating us. At the foot of the bed, hung on the wall, was a big screen TV where both of us could clearly see what they were doing on the ultrasound. It was the first time we’d seen our baby move around! It was pretty overwhelming seeing our baby, really, for the first time. After the technician was finished, she informed us that she couldn’t tell if it was a boy or a girl, that it was still too early and the genitalia wasn’t obvious yet. We knew that this was a possibility, since usually the earliest it can be detected is 16 weeks. But our baby shower was that Wednesday so we were hoping to possibly do a “Gender Reveal” at the same time, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. The doctor told me to come back at 20 weeks, but after we explained that we wouldn’t be in China anymore (which even with English speaking doctors was hard to get across), she said that we could come back at 18 weeks, right before we left Qingdao. She told me that I would have to do ANOTHER blood test the next time (for something different again) and that I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink before my next appointment.

We left with a much better impression of this hospital. It still wasn’t the cleanest- they still took my blood without using gloves (don’t they know that it protects THEM?!?), and the bathrooms still didn’t have any soap or TP… (c’mon… soap?), but overall, we felt better about our experience there… at least we could communicate and knew what was going on!

I actually ended up going to the hospital again at 17 weeks, by myself, because I had a round of diarrhea that lasted nearly a week. I was afraid it was a bacterial infection, so I thought I had better get it checked out. You can read all about that embarrassing experience in my ‘“Bumpdates:” weeks 14-18’ blog post.

Our last visit while we were in China came at 18.5 weeks, 3 days before we left China for good. We returned to the same hospital, this time early in the morning. Even though we only arrived a few minutes after they had opened, they were already busy and we had to wait much longer than the last time. I was starving and super thirsty and I couldn’t wait for them to take my blood so that I could eat or drink something! Thankfully I only had to wait about 20 minutes or so before they got the blood work going. This time they were checking for nutrient deficiencies, I think. Anyways, they drew the blood (again, without gloves) and then brought me to the waiting area for the ultrasounds. My nurse (a different one than the last time) whispered to the technician about us wanting to know the sex of the baby and then we waited our turn. When it finally came, Trent and I again got to watch the entire ultrasound on the big screen (and Trent video recorded it on his phone). This is when we found out that we were having a BOY!!! We were so happy by the time we left, we were on cloud nine.

We left for breakfast (this hospital doesn’t have any good Indian food… just a Burger King down the road). But we realized that we had forgotten one important thing: Chinese airlines require an official, stamped document that permits you to fly when you’re pregnant. It seems kind of ridiculous, but it was necessary, so we had to go back. When we left the mall we were in, we walked out into the Chinese version of “Drum Line” except with a much older crowd. You can always find random things like this in China… people dancing to choreographed songs along the road or outside of businesses, Chinese dragons and masked actors on the street, or a Chinese drum line. Thankfully when we got back to the hospital, the nurse had our document prepared in just over an hour and then we were ready to go!

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Overall impressions of this hospital:

More expensive
Much more foreigner friendly
Still dirty in the most basic ways (no soap, gloves, etc.)
I had to poop in the tiniest, flimsiest cup ever and then carry it through the “walk of shame” down a floor and all the way back to the counter (which again, was right by where they draw blood…)
English speaking nurses (Hallelujah!)
Overall, a much more comfortable experience

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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“Bumpdates:” weeks 14-18

Here are the first set of “Bumpdates” from the beginning of our second trimester: weeks 14-18

Week 14:
Little Logsdon was the size of a peach this week- one of my favorite fruits (I have quite a few). The muscles in baby’s face have gotten much stronger and he/she is now able to squint, frown, grimace and smile; baby can suck its little thumb too! Its little body is finally starting to catch up with the size of its head, which for a long time has been much larger in proportion. “Trangie” can even pee this week (exciting, I know…).

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14 peach side

14peach looking down

Trent and I would have gone back to the doctor this week, since it’s been 4 weeks since our last visit, but we wanted to see if we could hold off until next week so that maybe, just maybe, we could find out if baby “Trangie” was a boy or a girl (we’d only be 15 weeks and a few days, so we weren’t getting our hopes up too high). Daddy was sick this week and I had one random night of sympathy sickness (I think). We were both up at about 3 in the morning throwing up… that was a bonding experience.This week we had our QISS art show, which turned out great, and one of our co-workers, Skenny, had a fantastic barbecue. I got my hair cut (finally), so I’m feeling pretty good.

This Friday at school was like the longest day ever!!! Trent was absent and our music teacher was sick too (which was my only special that day), which meant that I had NO breaks except for the 30 minutes of Chinese during the morning. Then that night I had forgotten I had agreed to help chaperone some of the high schoolers who were attending our ACAMIS Cultural Convention- they were having a pizza party, which sounded easy, but they turned out to be more work than my thirteen 3,4, and 5 year olds. When I finally got home, I had been on my feet for nearly 12 hours and I was EXHAUSTED!!! Thankfully, Trent gave me a foot massage and was very sympathetic. What a guy, I love him!

Symptoms this week: I threw up for the second time in my pregnancy (Trent-1, Angie-2). I’ve been particularly tired this week, although most likely because of work and not so much because of this pregnancy. I’ve been craving salads lately, but I always seem to default to salads anyways.

week 14

Week 15:
I was REALLY looking forward to this week for two reasons: first, we had our next doctor’s appointment and were hoping to find out the sex of our baby, and second, because I was going to have my first baby shower!!!

We went to a different clinic than we’ve been going to so far- it is one that is much further away, and quite a bit more expensive, but one that would more likely tell us if baby “Trangie” would be “Jedidiah James” or “Abigail Grace.” We were really hoping to find out before the shower so that it could be a “reveal” party as well.

Our experience at this hospital was much better- we were actually able to communicate with the doctors and nurses there, and (even though they aren’t supposed to), they were willing to divulge the sex of our baby if they could tell.  Unfortunately, “Trangie” wasn’t showing the goods yet and it was too early to tell. They did assure us that at our next and final visit in Qingdao (during week 18 of our pregnancy), that they would let us know. It was really exciting to see our baby moving around on the ultrasound, and we were thrilled that both Trent and I could watch this time (at the other hospital, neither one of us could watch)! It was the first time we got to see baby moving around and it made it seem even more real! The doctors said that everything seems to be going well and baby is developing normally, so we are happy campers!

Baby was the size of an apple this week. The apple that we bought was abnormally large (like a bionic apple or something) so the photos may not be entirely accurate to Little Logsdon’s actual size. Baby is actually moving amniotic fluid through his or her nose and respiratory tract in preparation for breathing outside of the womb. Another big development this week is that “Trangie” can sense light now, even though its eyes will remain fused shut for another 11 weeks. Taste buds are forming on “Trangie’s” tiny tongue too!

15 apple

15 apple forward

15 apple looking down

The most exciting part of the week for me was my baby shower. My friend Catherine had been planning it for weeks and it was obvious how much love and effort she put into it. It was the most beautiful party I’ve ever had. She paid such attention to detail and organized everything so perfectly. It was a “bee” themed shower for “Mommy to BEE.” She and Justin (her hubby) spent lots of nights putting together little honeycombs and pipe-cleaner bees, and printing off cute labels and photos to be framed. When I arrived, she dressed me in a little bee headband and we began greeting our guests. I’ll blog more about this special evening in a separate post. I just wanted to say that it was an absolute highlight and she made my night so very special. I am so lucky to have such great friends!

mom to be

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baby shower2

Symptoms this week: nothing at all. It’s kind of strange, again, trying to remember that I’m pregnant when I don’t really FEEL anything.

week 15

Week 16:
Wow, we are 4 months pregnant now! I can’t believe how fast time is going by! This week was our last week of school so we are looking forward to some “R & R” after this final stretch. This has been an emotional week- lots of goodbyes to people we really love and treasure. One of the hardest goodbye’s this week was to McKenzie and the Klug family. These guys have been our family while we’ve been here and they have been really good friends in addition to being the glue that kept our fellowship together. China really won’t be the same without them. On church Sunday, those of us leaving each gave a testimony of what we’ve learned in China- for me it was what family really looks like. In leaving our physical blood-related families, God has blessed us with so many other “families” to be a part of, especially our church family. Leaving China will leave a big, gaping hole in my heart for THIS family.

McKenzie

Klugs

This week baby is as long as an avocado- about 4 and a half inches long and about 3 and a half ounces. Lots of blood is pumping through its little body. “Trangie’s” head is more erect and his/her eyes and ears are much closer to what will be their final positions. The patterning on baby’s scalp has begun- even though it doesn’t have hair yet. And baby has little toenails!

16 avacado front

16 avacado side

16 avacado close

As I was reading my Bible this week, I was really reminded that my baby is fearfully and wonderfully made- I know this full well. I kept coming across the same verse- one I particularly liked- Psalm. 22:10: “From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” Little Logsdon, you have already been claimed for the Lord!

This week we had our Kindergarten graduation ceremony. It was so much work to get everything organized, but SO worth it. The parents loved it and most of us ended up in tears when our end-of-the-year video finished playing. It was both hard and rewarding to say goodbye to these families that we love so much. Trent and I were also recognized as being the equivalent of “Employees of the month” for both May and June, so it was nice to be formally recognized for all of our hard work lately.

graduation

Symptoms of the week: Nothing… in fact, people keep raving about how great my hair and skin look! Pregnancy is doing some good things for me! I had a fleeting craving for chocolate milk, but it’s hard to come by in China, so I stuck it out. Someday, that craving will be fulfilled. 😉

week 16

Week 17:
Little Logsdon is the size of a pear this week and weighs about as much as a turnip. Baby’s skeleton is beginning to harden into bone (from the soft cartilage that it was) and the umbilical cord is getting stronger and thicker. “Trangie” is also developing sweat glands.

17 pear

17 pear up close

This week was our last week of school, and with that came a lot of stress and emotions, but we made it through!

I had a bad bout of diarrhea this week (sorry if it’s TMI)… bad enough that I went to see the doctor after 4 days of it. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a bacterial infection. It wasn’t, but the doctors experience was quite a trip. I had to poop in this tiny clear plastic cup with the smallest handle ever and then carry it downstairs without any sort of cover, all the while being stared at unabashedly for being a foreigner. It was so embarrassing! …Only in China… Anyways, it lasted from Saturday night well into the next Friday… nearly a week of it. Thankfully I never pooped myself and managed to stay hydrated enough. One of my students’ moms drove me to the doctor, waited for me to finish and still took me out for lunch afterwards. We are very blessed to have people looking out for us here!

We had a lot of activity this week- not only was it our last week of school but we had all sorts of other engagements to attend, all the while trying to pack up our apartment and sell stuff we weren’t taking. We had a special luncheon after school on Friday before gathering at a local restaurant, Déjà vu, to celebrate the year’s end. At the luncheon, all of our co-workers signed a special bag for us and a little onesie and shirt for little “Trangie.”

Baby logsdon

Bag

sign

We celebrated Shabbat with our friends Jon and Joyce, and went back into school on Saturday for our official “last day of school.” Thankfully, they provided breakfast for us and it was a nice time to say goodbye to our friends and co-workers. We had a nice lunch at a Korean restaurant with Justin, Catherine and Eli. Monday night was half-price ribs at Korona’s, where we got to meet up with friends and eat some delicious ribs! We attended a student’s birthday party on Tuesday, had dinner with one of our basketball girls, and celebrated Elijah’s first birthday! It’s hard to believe that we were there throughout Catherine’s pregnancy and saw Eli only hours after he was born, and already he’s one years old! It was extra special to be able to celebrate with the Esser’s!

Korona

Ribs at Korona's

Ribs at Korona’s

Nala's bday Egbert

Birthday party fun!

Birthday party fun!

Eli's first birthday

Eli’s first birthday

 

Trent’s going to be such a good daddy!  Watching him all year with our students and seeing how he interacts with the other kiddos around us makes me so thankful for him!

The shipping company picked up our boxes on Monday, but our house still felt like a total disaster zone! We’d been going through all of our things in every spare (HA!) moment we had, but somehow, in two years, we accumulated a LOT of “stuff!”

It was very strange to say goodbye to our students on Friday. Even though I know it is the end of our time at QISS, it still doesn’t feel final. It feels just like last year or just like we were saying goodbye for the summer… not forever. We had such a wonderful final year there and were so blessed with our class this year. We had so much fun and we love those kids and their families SO very much. I am very thankful that these kids were my last class for a while (I won’t be going back to work in the fall) and it felt great to end (or at least pause) my teaching career on such a high note.

Symptoms this week: Diarrhea… man, that sucked!  Also, pregnancy brain is really starting to kick in… the struggle is real, people!

week 17

Week 18:
This week was a HUGE one for us! We moved countries, found out baby “Trangie” is a boy, and said many “hello’s” and “goodbye’s.” Did I mention that we moved countries!

Jedidiah James is the size of a bell pepper this week! He’s growing so much! Right now he measures about 5 and a half inches long and weighs almost 7 oz. His ears are now in their final position and his genitals were what the doctor called, “obvious.” Anyways, as it turns out, “Trangie” is a boy and Trent is very excited to have Jedi as his side-kick. It was a super exciting morning for us. If you’d like to read that post, please check it out at: https://logsdonsbigadventures.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/baby-trangie-is-a/.

18 its a boy

18 ultrasound

18 pepper close

18 pepper frontish

18 pepper side

This week was so busy it literally needs its own post (which will come eventually).

Symptoms this week: SWELLING!!! OMG, after the long trip and all the flights, I thought I’d exchanged ankles with an elephant! I didn’t even notice until I showered the next morning, but WOW… I just kept thinking, “Are those really MY ankles?!?!?” I guess many women have that all the time during their pregnancy so I should be grateful that it only happened after 24 hours of flying!
I finally felt baby’s first movements! It was hard to tell at first, because I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I’m pretty sure little Jedi was responsible. It may be a few more weeks until I feel him kicking more consistently, but it was pretty exciting!

week 18

Well, that about wraps up those 5 weeks of my pregnancy.  I’ll get caught up eventually!

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Baby “Trangie” is a…

The time finally came for us to go back to the doctor… our last doctor’s appointment in China before heading back to the States. We went Saturday to have our last ultrasound, possibly find out the gender of our baby, get travel clearance from the hospital (This is required to leave China) and have some blood work done.

We went right away in the morning, not so much because we were excited, but because I couldn’t eat or drink anything until my blood work was done. Since I’ve been waking up so early in the mornings, I was already starving and SUPER thirsty when we walked in the hospital doors at 8am (since I’d already been up for hours). Even though we arrived only a few minutes after 8, it was already pretty busy. Thankfully I only had to wait a short while before my nurse helped me to the counter where you give blood- we took care of that and finally I could take a long swig out of the water bottle that had been taunting me since we left the house.

Then came the exciting part… the ultrasound. This was our chance to find out if baby “Trangie” would be a boy or a girl! Thankfully at this hospital Trent is allowed to be in the room with me and he and I both watched the scan on a flat screen TV in front of us. It was so amazing to watch our baby moving all around, since I can’t really feel the movements yet. It’s crazy to see what is happening inside me!  We watched intently, perhaps nervously, as the doctor performed the scan. The nurse came with me (since she speaks English) and sat beside me as we watched. The scan moved to show baby’s heart and I remarked about it just as the nurse said, “It’s so obvious.” I wasn’t sure if she was talking about the heart or the sex of the baby, due to the timing of what she said. So Trent and I continued to watch as the doctor made all sorts of measurements, and then came the big announcement… “It’s a BOY!!!”

I think I was in shock as she said it, Trent too. Soon after she told us, she switched to the 3-D ultrasound where we got to see baby’s face and his little arms moving around and his little mouth opening and closing. It was so cool, I think we were both still taking it all in! Finally, the doctor wrapped up and Trent and I got to celebrate the news… a boy! Trent’s going to have a little “Mini-Me” running around in a few more months and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

penis

3-D ultrasound

baby open mouth

Trent was pretty emotional- I think the reality of it hit him before it had sunk in for me. We hugged for a while and he cried. Then we headed to get breakfast and Trent let me watch the video he had taken of the ultrasound… THEN it hit me and I was in tears too. We’re going to have a baby boy! I think we were on cloud nine for the rest of the day.

 

Boy announcement

 

As we were finishing up eating, I realized that in all the excitement, we had forgotten to get our “clearance to fly” from the hospital. Thankfully we were still very close and so we headed back.

As we walked in the doors, we were surprised to see some friends sitting there. In my “preggo brain” thoughts, I was thinking, “Do they already know that we’re having a boy? Are they here to celebrate with us?” Perhaps not the most logical train of thought, but “preggo brain” is a REAL thing, people! Anyways, it turns out that our friends had just found out that they were pregnant too, so not only did we get to share our good news, but we got to rejoice with them in their news! All in all, it was a very blessed day!

Me looking down

me looking up

Side bow

T and A looking down

Trent bow in front of face

Trent with the bow

 

What did we think?

Angie- I thought it was a boy, but wasn’t really sure. I had one dream where it was a boy and it seemed very real and vivid (unlike some of the other crazy baby dreams I’ve had in the past where the baby doesn’t have a name, or we forgot to tell our families, or I hadn’t fed the baby in days…).

Trent- He thought it was a boy too… just a hunch. Thankfully we weren’t basing our guesses only on dreams… if we were, I might be having a bunny, not a baby! (Yes, he really dreamed that)

Our Pre-K/Kindergarten class- The kids voted 10-3 that baby “Trangie” would be a girl. The majority of them also said that we should name said girl “Angie.” Four year old Carson asked me, “Do you know why I think you’re having a girl?” I asked, “Why?” He said with such certainty, “Well you’re a girl, so you should have a girl.” Silly kids.

We had some older students who had a bet going for whether baby “Trangie” was a boy or a girl, so I’m sure Julia will be happy to read that she was the winner… sorry, Michael! 😉

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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