Today marks week 9 of this pregnancy, though the above pictures were taken for week 8. Life has a way of moving rather quickly this time around!
I think I have a little bump now, but often it depends on whether I've just eaten or not, so there's not a huge change yet. Clothes still fit, though by the end of the day sometimes I'm wishing the waistband were a little more loose!
Baby is still so small, about the size of a grape, or the blossoms I am holding in the above picture (which are so small they are hard to see!). It's pretty amazing to know that all of the essential body parts are there (though they'll change plenty in weeks to come), the heart is dividing into four chambers, and even tiny teeth are developing in the gums!
Hadassah continues to be excited about baby, though I don't think she fully understands. A few weeks ago when I came in first thing in the morning, she reached through the crib slats to put her hand on my tummy and said "goo goo ga ga" (her way of saying baby). She also often brings baby up in random contexts, like when we were outside having a pretend picnic, she said "Mama. Dassah. Baby!" I told her it was true - we were all together have fun outside! It's pretty exciting to think of her and this little one being best buds.
Training Hadassah, going through seasons of hard decisions and then coming through to realize she's learned some things (finally!) only to have another one come... It makes me realize how much more training there is ahead with this one! But, I feel like we'll know a little more about what to expect and how to anticipate and help. All children are different, but having a second is kind of nice, because you know what you want to do better from the beginning. Hadassah is learning and growing so fast, too. At 17 months, she is testing limits but also so sweet and full of life. Discipline has gotten a little more defined, and along with the correction I taught her her first Bible verse yesterday: "Children obey your parents." We'll add to it later, but I explained each thing, how she was the child, that obey means to do what mommy and daddy says, or NOT do what they say not to do, and that "parents" just meant mommy and daddy. She loves repeating it after me, for the praise she gets! She latched on to the word "obey" too, and has been saying it sometimes after I remind her to obey mommy and not touch the buttons on the dish dryer (or whatever it happens to be)! Today at lunch she was saying "obey" but I didn't recognize the word until she said "obey Mama Dada!" It's really amazing and so rewarding to see her learn and start to understand key truths.
The morning - any-time-of-the-day sickness is still quite present. I broke my "no throwing up" streak on Sunday. Riding on Ryan's e-bike (it's finally warm enough to again!) right before dinner, past so many smells of food cooking left me feeling quite queasy, and then I lost it when we got home. But, it does seem to be getting better. Perhaps I'm just learning to manage it. Drinking warm water with lemon sometimes helps, as does light snacking. I don't like to eat right before a meal, but sometimes it's the only way to get through cooking.
Though, in all honesty, last week we ate out 4 nights in a row... and 3 of those nights I had french fries. WHY that is THE thing that always sounds good (both in this pregnancy and my last one) I will never know. Ryan tells me Hadassah turned out really well, so I should eat as much as I want, but I'm still trying to show restraint. ;) The cravings still hit really hard for things I don't have. One day it was Subway, Arby's, and Chickfila all in one day... and while I know they have Subways downtown, we are not going to drive an hour to get supper! Another time as I was falling asleep I had trouble as I could almost taste cubes of cheddar cheese on wheat thins... I have been splurging more with groceries and being okay with going out a little more often, as I know this is a season. Just 4 more weeks and we should be through the weird nausea at least! The biggest recent blessing as been the arrival of watermelon at the fruit stand. It surprised me how sweet it is this early, and I won't admit just how much I've been eating lately...
As Ryan posted in a shorter, less-detailed post, two weeks ago we had our first doctor's appointment. It wasn't much - the hospital just required you to have an ultrasound and get registered early in order to make sure there was space for you.
Thankfully 2 of the receptionists spoke pretty good English. But that was it. I guess since it was "VIP" I was expecting more English knowledge and more foreigners, but this is definitely a hospital mostly used by locals. We were grateful there was any English at all, though, and the only other foreigner I saw was someone who looked European but looked to have a Chinese wife. Evidently, if locals pay more, they can use the VIP section (which I am glad for - the main section just sounds so hard to go through!).
We finally got all the right paperwork filled out and payed for the visit, and were directed to another waiting room down the hall. We'd arrived just before 2:30 PM, and as I looked around for a restroom, the receptionist asked if I wanted an abdominal or vaginal ultrasound. Thinking I was going to be required to have a vaginal one (since I was only 7 weeks along) I was more than happy to choose abdominal. Having to keep my bladder full, per her request, seemed like a small price to pay. As the minutes ticked by, though, with a toddler who just wanted to move a lot or sit on my lap (uncomfortable having to "hold it!"), it became more miserable. Ryan took her for walks in the hallway, but as usually happens when she's tired or in a strange place, she kept coming back, wanting me. Finally, at the 1 1/2 hour mark, I couldn't stand it. I dashed to the bathroom, then downed 3 bottles of water. Thankfully, when we were finally called 30 minutes later, there wasn't a problem and baby was visible on the ultrasound.
We did wonder why the wait was so long. Ryan asked once or twice, but while the receptionist was able to say what she needed in English, it took quite a few phrasings of the question to get her to understand. "You think the wait is long? This is a public hospital." was all the explanation we got. But as the 3 couples who were waiting before us all went, and then the 4-5 couples who came after we got there also went without our name being called, we wondered if we were being passed over. No way to really know, though... My other guess is that others just know appointments will never be on time and show up late.
The ultrasound was quick. With no way of understanding the technician or asking questions, I just enjoyed the brief glimpse of a tiny little "clump" that I knew was my baby, a little life already growing. They played the heartbeat out loud for 2 seconds to measure the beats, and the sound was reassuring. A heart beat! From inside me! I don't think the wonder will ever get old.
After a little more wait, we saw the doctor on duty. She did speak English, though a little hard to understand. My heart jumped when the first words she said were (I thought), "The baby is no more." But as she went on to say everything looked healthy, I realized she must have said "the baby is normal." It's just one of those things that happens when you speak different languages, and the relief that flooded me when I realized my mistake was huge. She asked the routine questions to date the pregnancy and ask about history, then we were out in 5 minutes.
We were then directed to another desk, that gave us information on the hospital and set up our next appointment. Thankfully the hand-out of information to know for when you go into labor was translated into English, but the above hospital and fee information they had no English translation for. A quick verbal run-down and the fact that our insurance does direct billing for this hospital should hopefully be enough...
By the time we got home, after grabbing supper and squeezing in on the rush-hour crowded subway (Ryan had to stand in the standing-only space, while someone gave up their seat for me - people really are kind when they see you have a child!), we were exhausted. 5 hours for a doctor's visit we spent probably 15 minutes total on the necessary things. It's kind of de-motivating, how long things take. But, we are thankful that there are English options here, and next time (end of April) we'll be with a doctor that will be the one with us all the way, so we should be able to ask more questions.
Time seems to be flying faster with this one. Probably because there's not much time to sit and think about how amazing it is! Not that I don't sit... being in the first trimester means the house is a little more messy all the time, as I'm much more likely to lay on the couch for 5 minutes when Hadassah is busy with toys instead of fitting in a chore like I usually would. I'm also ready to go to bed by 8:30 PM these days, and if we stay up late to get stuff done, am more likely to pass out on the rug instead of cross stitch while Ryan works on the computer. But, this too is a season that should pass. And it's a beautiful one to be grateful for!