My heart is racing as I sit on the side of the bath. I’m frozen, staring at at pregnancy test covered in Chinese characters I don’t understand.
There are clearly two pink lines but maybe it means the reverse in China, like so many things.
Yep, everything’s healthy and perfectly normal here in Denial Land.
Taking out my Google translator photo app, I struggle to hold my hand still long enough to take a good snap to reveal the meaning.
Then, I wait.
An eternity later, the highlighted characters confirm it – “Positive health” – which means I’m pregnant.
Being Pregnant in a Foreign Country
Having a baby, especially a first, in a foreign country is not everyone’s cup of tea.
For one, my family and support network are a lengthy plane trip away, in France and Australia, and I can’t seem to find even the most basic foods to satisfy my cravings. (I’m halfway settled on buying a small cow to churn my own cheese).
My doctor is wonderful and speaks English perfectly but nurses and specialists do not, and all the tests are in Chinese. Making it impossible for a fretting mum-to-be to be reassured everything is going smoothly.
Also, the hospitals here don’t really follow the Western approach to medicine. So I’m getting a lot of ‘interesting’ advice, like I should eat “cold” food to counter the “hot” condition of pregnancy and balance my yin and yang.
My flouting of these hot-cold eating rules, may be behind why suffered morning sickness so severely – having just spent the past four months in a dizzying hell, surviving on a diet of crackers, ginger and self-pity.
But with that behind me, it’s time to embrace the journey.
逆来顺受 (nì lái shùn shòu) – Take things as they come!
Stay tuned for more on pregnancy in China, including Chinese customs, surprising advice, prenatal medical care in Zhuhai, and more on having a baby in a foreign country.