Having a baby in China: 20-week appointment

We had been looking forward to this appointment, as we knew it was the time when we could find out the baby’s gender and so we expected a good view on the ultrasound.

It was a very standard appointment: vital signs, blood draw, ultrasound, Dr. consultation and FH Doppler. We had a bit of a hold up with the ultrasound as baby was not in the correct position and they could not see all the organs and get all the measurements. They asked me to go out and walk and eat to see if we could get the baby to change position. During this time we took the opportunity to have another tour of the hospital as our doula had joined us for this visit. It was nice to have a second look, knowing this time that we would actually be having a baby here. She was very interested to see what the facilities were like and was impressed with what she saw.

The funniest moment of the afternoon was after asking their policy of eating during labor (its the mother’s choice) we were told that a tray of snacks would be available including cake, biscuits and red bull. We just could not believe our ears, when we asked about the red bull the translators reply is that mum’s get tired in labor and need the energy! Not sure if red bull (especially not Chinese red bull) would be top of my list whilst in labor.

Back to the ultrasound room and after a bit of prodding baby did a little flip, which we got to see on screen (pretty amazing) and all the needed information was retrieved. In the end we decided NOT to find out the baby’s gender. It was something we had been going back and forth on since the start and we finally decided that we would like to be surprised.

Since our doula was with us we took this time to go through a long list of questions about labor and birth and were pleasantly surprised with the responses. In general they seem very supportive of natural birth and patients making decisions for themselves (taking into account that mother and baby are safe). At our 34-week appointment we will go through a detailed birth plan and tick our choices.

Four weeks until the glucose test…

-Mrs T

Having a baby in China: 7 week appointment

The waiting from the confirmation of being pregnant until the first scan at 7 weeks felt just unbearable. Looking back it was just two short weeks however it felt so much longer. In that short amount of time there was such surge of emotions yet we mostly kept it to ourselves, which was VERY challenging. Of course we were desperate to share the news with our family but we didn’t to rush into it just in case. I did decide to confide in one co-worker. I felt I needed to have someone I felt comfortable talking to, if I had any questions, who would be as excited as we were and was a mother herself. It was a great moment sharing this news and I will always remember her kind words of support.

On our third visit to AmCare the main purpose of the visit was to have an ultrasound to see if the pregnancy had implanted properly. We were greeted at the desk, quickly taken back for vitals and straight into the ultrasound room. Of course there was no baby yet to be seen but it was clear that there was implantation and Dr was happy with what she saw. The gestational age was 7 weeks 0 days, and it measured 6 weeks 1 day. We had a short consultation with the Dr, where we were given some general pregnancy advice and prescribed another months supply of prenatal vitamins.

We were of course elated and still a bit shocked that it had happened so soon. There were smiles and tears as we shared the news with close friends and family.

This appointment again was paid out of our pocket 685 rmb (£72/$109), and 135 rmb (£14/$21) for the prenatal vitamins.

-Mrs T