Having a baby in China: 28/30/32 week appointments

I am grouping these three appointments together as they have all been very straight-forward and similar. At 28-weeks we began visits on a two-week cycle rather than four-weeks, this will last up until 36-weeks and then appointments will be every week until birth.

At each of the last three there have been vitals, uterine fundal height, abdominal perimeter, fetal heart Doppler and urinalysis. Two of the three appointments included a blood test and one had an ultrasound. We have continued to receive ‘normal’ results in all testing, and baby’s heart rate has remained at a similar rate all through pregnancy which is great.

The ultrasound at the 30-week appointment was a bit long and uneventful (I nearly fell asleep a few times). They again struggled to get the measurements they were after as baby wasn’t in the ideal position for them. We did get one nice silhouette of the head but just for our viewing in the room, the images they sent home with us were of the spine and some unidentifiable (to our eyes) body parts.

The 30-week ultrasound did start with the Dr informing us that the baby was in breech position and if it doesn’t move they will schedule a C-section. This was again repeated at our 32-week appointment upon Dr’s palpations. As we are planning for a natural birth these are not the most encouraging words, however I have had lots of great ideas from my doula and books and we are doing what we can to make room for baby to move around. I will say though I have been a disappointed in the hospital/Dr to not have even suggested anything to turn baby, or let us know there is still plenty of time. At least we know the position and can give proper effort to share our position with them. (Of course I will do whatever is medically necessary to ensure baby and mother are safe and healthy, but I strongly believe in the nature of labor and birth, our bodies know exactly what to do!)

Additionally, comments about my weight (gain) have decreased significantly since I spoke to the translator about being a bit more sensitive. At our last appointment we were even told that my weight was perfect! Mr T and I had a big giggle then and saw a bit of a laugh from the Dr, we thought there was even a hint of sarcasm!!

This week I will begin to scale back on my workload just a bit. Still feeling lots of energy but the heat and demands of a class of six-year olds is beginning to get challenging. I will begin my maternity leave at 36-weeks.

We are looking forward to next week’s appointment where we can check baby’s position, go over our ‘birth plan’ and organise a delivery room tour.

-Mrs T

Beijing take 2: The Great Wall

A few weeks ago we took our second trip to Beijing.   Out of Tianjin on the Friday night train, on the town for a bit and up early for a drive out to The Great Wall for a hike.  About ten of us from school joined up with Beijing Hikers for the Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall Hike.  It was our first experience with an organised hike and we really enjoyed it.  We found the entire excursion organised, convenient, good value for money and very interesting.  It was a beautiful autumn day, with blue sky and amazing views.  We were back home in Tianjin by nine in the evening and felt pleased to have really made the most of our weekend!

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Mr & Mrs T

The wall in one word…Great!

Today along with a large group of teachers and their families we ventured out for our first real touristy experience.  We drove about 2 1/2 hours North East to reach a part of the Great Wall.  It was very exciting to experience this amazing wonder of the world.  Despite a bit of pollution and a gruelling climb we truly enjoyed the day out of the city.

-Mr. and Mrs. T