Our First Ultrasound
At 11 weeks pregnant I woke up in pain, and it was quite hard to use the toilet or even walk. We were only scheduled to go to the hospital a week from then, but it was clear that I was going to have to go that day! Justin went to work, and I went to the hospital with a friend. As I mentioned in a previous post (First Hospital Visit) – I am nervous and uncomfortable about Chinese hospitals and doctors, so it really helped to have someone experienced there with me. This was however not the hospital that I mentioned in the other post, on this day we would be going to the Women and Infant’s Hospital where I will be delivering our baby next year.
There’s little in the way of “Hello… how are you? What’s your family history? Have you had any problems?” Nope – none of the questions that they SHOULD ask, and that they need to ask. Instead, I had to move from room to room, waiting and wondering what I am about to be asked to do next. I would have been lost without my friend there to walk me through everything! Right now I am really battling with how I will face my concerns about cleanliness, and lack of any personal bedside manner. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a wonderful friend – Amber – who speaks Chinese fluently. She already had a baby here, and she is more than willing to go with me to the hospital, translate, and support Justin and I through this. She has a very chilled personality, so I really appreciated her relaxed “vibes” when I was really uneasy about going to the hospital last week.
Just as I feared, they wanted to do an internal exam — and there was barely any privacy, or any of the normal things you would expect in a doctor’s room. I won’t even go into some of the finer details of the consultation because just thinking about it makes me gag. Let’s just say, it really made me cringe! They wanted to test for numerous things – totalling a pretty high amount – but with Amber there, I was able to say which tests I did not want done. Many of them were not necessary, and some of them I had done recently for my Chinese work visa. I was then sent to a number of areas of the hospital to do various tests – the last room was for an ultrasound. In the morning, I had discussed with Justin that they wold probably want to do this, and that if they did, he would be missing the first scan. We both accepted this and – as I suspected – they said they wanted to check on the baby. Since I was already there, I decided to have it done at 11 weeks instead of 12.
In China they don’t show you the screen – where you can see your baby – instead the screen faces the technician. They quickly do a scan, and then tell you to go. No sweet moments of ooh-ing and aahhh-ing. Nope, not of that. Husbands are not even allowed in the room! Apparently on some days (if you’re lucky) they will make an exception for foreign patients, but definitely not for Chinese husbands. According to Chinese law, doctors are also NOT allowed to reveal the sex of the baby, but again, sometimes they will bend the rules for foreigners. All of this is dependant on the day, and whether or not they feel like telling you. You just go in hoping for the best!
I got to hear the baby’s heart beat – a good strong 167 – and when I stood up, I saw the baby’s scan still on the screen. I immediately went weak at the knees, and felt very excited! The ultrasound technician didn’t say anything to me – she put the gel on my stomach, did the scan, then slapped some tissues on my tummy, and made a hand gesture for me to leave. Haha – I repeat – no bedside manner at all. And FYI, this is the best hospital for Women and Children in Qingdao. All the other foreign mother’s here have delivered their babies at this hospital. I pray that soon these things won’t bother me anymore, or that upstairs, where the delivery rooms are, will feel much cleaner and more private. I think that in time I will stop looking at the smaller details – or simply just get over them.
Baby Esser’s heartbeat
As you can sense from this and the last post I did about the hospitals here – although we are thrilled to soon become parents, I am not particularly comfortable with the hospitals and doctors here. I have met so many other mother’s from the States who have done it, and none of them seemed to think it was too bad, so I’m trying to remind myself that I CAN DO THIS. Perhaps the fact that I already don’t feel comfortable with doctors in general is exaggerated when I’m faced with a doctor who doesn’t speak English, and who lacks any bedside manner.
Maybe in time my fears will all disappear, and I will be at peace with this.
For now, I’m just trying to trust that with kind friends who have done this before, and my supportive husband with me every step of the way – everything will work out perfectly.
Justin and I will be returning to the hospital, for our second scan, around 16 weeks. That’s only about three weeks from now. Time sure is flying by. If we are lucky – we will then find out Baby Esser’s sex. If not, we will figure out another way. We are just toooo excited to wait. We want to start calling our baby by his/ her name -That will feel very special to us!