Having a baby in China: 16-week appointment

After a lovely Christmas holiday in the UK we were off to the hospital the morning after we had flown back. We were a bit jet lagged but as always excited to check on our little baby. What on paper looked to be a fairly boring appointment was far from it and it took a turn of events you would only experience in a country that was not your own.

The appointment consisted of blood tests (which I had been fasting for), urine test, fetal heart Doppler, physical examination and consult with the doctor.

Things got interesting whilst the doctor was looking to find the heart beat with the Doppler. It seemed to take quite awhile, I myself was feeling quite nervous and that didn’t even compare with how Mr T was feeling on the other side of the curtain. Heartbeat found and we all breathed a sigh of relief! Our translator then proceeded to tell me that the doctor was having trouble with the Doppler due to the amount of fat on my stomach. She continued to say that the doctor was surprised, as my face looks quite thin, she would not have expected so much fat on my mid-section!

WOW! This only partially explains how I felt and the expression on my face at the time. Luckily I was able to laugh it off for a few reasons: 1 – I have always carried extra weight in my middle, I have thanked my parents and grandmother many times for this. 2 – I have even experienced strangers and co-workers asking if I was pregnant years and years ago when I wasn’t even close. Finally 3 – I have been abroad and in China long enough to know that things do get lost in translation and sometimes different cultures do not always express the same sensitivity about things that they would back in the US or the UK.

To continue our amusement during the consultation time the doctor showed concern about my weight. Since the last appointment (4 weeks prior) I had gained 4 kg/ 8.8 lbs. In the moment I felt a bit defensive as I had just been on a three week holiday, in which I did spend a lot of time indulging in my favourite English treats as well as being off work which means a lot less time on my feet walking around and chasing five-year olds all day. Even though I knew this and expressed this to the doctor I did take the weight comment to heart and was already thinking about how I need to ramp up my physical activity and be a bit more conscious about what I was eating.

We asked how much weight I should gain over the whole pregnancy and the doctor said 9 kg/ 19.8 lbs. It wasn’t until after the appointment that we were able to calculate and realize that 9 kilos over 9 months is one kilo per month. At the 16-week appointment I was up four kilos from the very start, which is in line with one kilo per month. This did ease our minds a bit but I wouldn’t soon forget the weight and fat criticism from the doctor.

Four weeks until our next appointment…

-Mrs T

One thought

  1. Viv, everybody puts on weight, dont worry, its normal and the chinese are much smaller compared to europeans, so just ignore all of it, i put on a good 15kgs with Amelia and 10 with Toby. I ate healthy but enjoyed being pregnant and it had taken me a year to loose baby weight and i will still continue to loose weight, everybody is different, just remember that!

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