And in case you're a little slow on the uptake, the picture should help you out a little bit...supposing you can figure out what it is. Sure, it's not the clearest, but still pretty amazing to see, since the baby was only 3.7cm at the time. It's still probably only about 3 inches long and already has fingers and toes and fingernails and eyelids. Now that is pretty amazing! It has been really exciting to see the baby and hear the heartbeat and find out that everything is looking really good.
Now let's see, you might be interested to know that the baby is due about September 23 (my sister's birthday!). We are planning to stay in America a bit longer this summer and have the baby in Georgia. It will be really nice to be near family, friends, and good medical care. And then, after however long the doctor says is necessary for recovery, or however long it takes to get a baby passport, visa, and plane ticket, we'll be headed back to China.
We would be okay with having the baby in China – we know a lot of people who have (mostly in Beijing). But I admit I'm happy to not add “what if I have a baby in a Chinese taxi...or along side some random road with a crowd of curious onlookers...or in a local hospital!!” to the list of worries. Everyone knows that just because something is very unlikely doesn't mean you won't spend plenty of time worrying about it!
It's still hard to believe there is really a little baby growing inside of me. Sure, I can tell that something is wrecking havoc with my body, but it's hard to imagine how something that tiny can influence everything so much. In fact, the only area of your body I have been able to find that is not affected by pregnancy (at least not that I've read), is your ears. That's it. Everything else changes. A couple of the changes I think are more interesting (and not quite as gross) are:
-Your blood volume increases 40-50%. That's a really big percentage! And most of that happens in the first few months.
-Your cornea thickens and the fluid pressure in your eye decreases, so your vision may get blurry.
-You start inhaling 30-40% more oxygen.
You might not think this is as interesting as I do, but just imagine those and 500 other dramatic changes happening in your body over a short period of time. It's a little bit intimidating.
So, next year we are going to be back here in Weinan again. Kevin will still be teaching, but I will be taking care of the baby. It's a little bit of a strange concept to a lot of people here since generally the mother doesn't serve as the primary caregiver. A much more logical solution, in their eyes, would be (1) either of our parents moving in with us to care for the baby or (2) leaving the baby in America with either one of our parents. As excited as all our parents are for their first grandchild, I don't think they're cool with these options. Which is fine, because neither are we. You wouldn't think it, but when I'm telling people we are coming back here after having the baby, I have to include, “And we are bringing the baby.” They are usually surprised.
We are planning to tell most of our students this week. It should be interesting. :) I'm sure they will be very excited. This has been their dream for such a long time. More on their reactions to come...