6 weeks to go - it's shopping time
So recently Andrea and I have been shopping; not for Christmas of course (or even Chunukah) which is a mere 2 weeks away, but for the baby (of course, what else would be on my mind?) which is due in 6 weeks. Today the cot arrived and now sits in the corner of our living room, alongside a desk that will be used for diaper changing. So now, i have some time to continue to adjust to what may be sleeping in that corner rather soon.
The cot also came with a mini-cot that rocks, with the idea that the baby may spend a good deal of time in that in the early days sleeping by our bed and thus making Andrea's job easier when it comes to breastfeeding every 3 hours. This seems to be a good idea, and comes recommended from various friends who we've been meeting with to get their buying and baby-raising tips from. Weirdly all the friends we know who have given birth recently had boys, and all their friends who they know also had boys. There are 112 boys born in China for every 100 (due to selective abortions by parents who want boys not girls) meaning in the future there will be a hundred million more boys than girls soon. The government is well aware of the social implications of that, along with the general issue of not having enough young to support the aging population (from the 1-child policy, though that is now mostly a 2-child policy) and thus is likely to try various things to address it. I'm not able to comment here on what this means for our baby since one family member does not want to know what sex the child is at the moment!
Anyway, back to the issue at hand--baby shopping. We bought a bunch of stuff in (and from) the UK over the summer, and this weekend will be a baby shower so that might fill in the other gaps (we have a list of what we need) and hopefully we can avoid the problem of everyone buying clothes for a 2 month old baby that are outgrown very quickly. A few weeks ago we attended a birthing class which certainly brought the reality of birth home. The pregnancy stage has been draw out and fairly boring (a good thing really) and all my attention has been on the following x years. Of course there is going to be a 2-3 day period (or so) in between which may be stressful, frightening and rewarding. For someone else, of course, it may be very painful. So Andrea continues to cycle 2 hours to and from the office most days which most people think is good (though when I have to cycle with her it is increasingly painfully slow) in an attempt to not gain too much weight. Apparently the baby's size is already equal to a baby 2 weeks older than "normal". On other baby-related matters, there has been less kicking, since there is less space to kick, and some hiccuping. But that's about it so far. The baby seems quite docile and I seem to have a magic hand. As soon as I touch the belly, the baby stops whatever it was doing. Could bode well for the future!
Apart from the baby, it's been a busy month since San Francisco including a trip to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong for work; there was a football injury that forced me to accept taking drugs at 4am after 4 days of not sleeping from pain in my shoulder; and there has been a bunch of milestones at work from the team -- finishing certain reports, toolkits etc and also proposals for some new work, that if we get will be extremely exciting. Meanwhile we need to hire more people!
Another big purchase recently was an air purifier. I'm sure everyone knows about the generally awful pollution in Beijing and we figured we'd try to have some clean air in the apartment for the baby. Generally the pollution is bad 2/3rds of the time and the other 1/3rd of the time Beijing is just beautiful with clear blue skies. The clearer the skies, though, the colder the weather. It's below zero most days now, and will remain so for the next 4 months. It's going to be a long 4 months, though somehow I feel like the next 6 weeks are going to fly by!