Life continues. Shanghai keeps going. This city just never stops. And the pregnancy continues. Month number 6 has been uneventful which I guess is a good thing.
Michelle has reported a couple of interesting aspects of pregnant life. One of the big things that she has mentioned is her heartburn. During this month, there were times when Michelle complained a lot about the heartburn. It was constant for a week or so. We checked our books and found that this was totally normal. It also mentioned that most likely our baby will have a head of hair. This would be a great improvement over the child’s father but the book quickly mentions that it is just a silly belief with no real proof.
Before, perhaps you remember hearing about the “butterfly feelings” that Michelle reported. These have changed into more than butterflies, now it’s more like a Bull in a China shop. Just like its daddy. Michelle has reported kicks, punches, jabs, right hooks, lefts and a couple of Kung Fu moves. Not exactly like its daddy. But the baby will kick or punch at some inopportune times. When, after a long day, we’ll be hitting the hay ready for a nice cool evening, the baby will start just pummeling her belly. Also there are times when Michelle will be about to start eating dinner and the baby must get so excited that they just go nuts inside! For example, “the food is coming! Yes thank you mom. HOORAY the food is coming. I can almost smell it!!”
We continued to attend classes at the local hospital like dutiful new parents-to-be. The classes range from teaching us about what music the baby will like to massage strategy for daddy to give to mommy. We took notes and listened and only Michelle understood since it was all in Chinese. Lunch was provided free to the mothers and if I wanted it I would pay 10 yuan. I was surprised with all the classes and advice about food that the hospital would provide this mediocre lunch. I guess it was ok since Michelle did eat it. But I was more than happy to go out and get my own food. It prompted me to take more interesting notes which is where the inspiration of this picture came from.
During our sixth month and before Michelle started work again at school, we decided to take a trip together for the weekend to get away from the city and go out into the countryside. We decided to take some relatives up on their constant invitations to come to Chongming Island. So we went there on Saturday until Sunday afternoon. It takes a long time to get there, a bus a ferry and then another bus then a 3 wheel motor bike. But we got there in one piece and it was so beautiful and the sky was so blue and it was so much fun. We just ate and relaxed. Saturday night was so nice, we were treated to a great feast of really fresh food and we ate outside to the light of the moon. It was so fun. The next morning we decided to drop in on some other relatives. We needed to drop in because if we called ahead and told them that we were coming they would go crazy making food and then treat us and we didn’t have time for that. Of course I asked the stupid question of, “I think we should call first, I mean what if they aren’t home?” This is the countryside Cliff. People are always home and if in the rare moment they aren’t home, their ever curious neighbors will know exactly where they are and what they are doing and when they are coming back. So, when we showed up at the other relatives’ home they were of course surprised. We were on our way to the wharf so we already had tons of stuff to bring home for example, young sugar cane sticks, freshly harvested peanuts and actual cotton that was recently picked. According to our relatives this stuff was not enough. So they went and found a goose. No, that isn’t a typo. They gave us a live goose to bring back to Shanghai.
A live goose. A goose that was a living and breathing and honking goose. I was shocked. I told Michelle, “we can’t bring a goose back. We can’t bring a live goose back to Shanghai. There is no way!” To make a long story short, they tied the wings back, put the goose in the bag and tied a little red ribbon around the beak. So, since I was the only one who wasn’t pregnant out of the two of us, I had to carry everything. I had a big bag of food, a huge bag of cotton (for clothes for our child) and a large goose in a bag. This was quite the sight and we got some pictures. I felt like a real country side person. While on the ferry heading back to Shanghai, the little red ribbon slipped off the goose’s beak. The goose then voiced his opinion of his impending doom. It was loud, annoying and it peed all over the ferry floor. I got annoyed and Michelle laughed and the other passengers just stared.
When we arrived home, Dad proceeded to kill the goose and we had goose for dinner. It was delicious.
After our time in Chongming, I returned to work with what I felt was a sunburn on my face and neck. The first day I didn’t really notice it and the second day it was just annoying. The third day, mom and Michelle noticed that there were many little tiny pimples on my face and neck. I had somehow gotten heat rash.
I couldn’t shave for fear that I would cut all these pimples and bleed like the goose so we went out and got some powder stuff and Michelle diligently every night applied the powder on my face. In about a week it was gone and everything got back to normal. I tried to look up information on the web about heat rash and all I found was that infants usually get it. Thanks. One thing I couldn’t stop thinking about was that this was the very first time I spent the whole summer in Shanghai. Every year, I or Michelle and I returned to the states for a couple weeks or a couple months and this was the first time I really experienced a Shanghai summer. Figures. First time I experience it and I get a heat rash. It must be my delicate Norwegian skin reacting to this harsh Asian climate.