Highlights up to Week 17
Week 7: First doctor's appointment and ultrasound to date the pregnancy. Returned to Beijing later that day, then proceeded almost immediately to Shanghai to watch Mik play rugby (against the Seoul Survivors and the Shanghai Hairy Crabs). My folks and brother arrived for a 5-week visit to China, and I went off with them on a 5-day cruise of the Yangtze River.
Week 8: Shared a cabin on the cruise with my 23-year old brother, who is headed to med school and pretended not to be squeamish about my constant gagging and puking. Worst food by land or by sea served on this cruise-everything doused in that icky cornstarch sauce, and I swear they were recycling dishes-but luckily we had stocked up on fruit and some basics (oatmeal, crackers, Pringles) beforehand.
Week 9: Went for my second ultrasound-no medical reason for having two of them in two weeks, but I suppose Dr. F in Beijing wanted to have their own machine/people doing the measurements? Anyway I didn't mind having another photo taken; but what's amazing was how much it had grown-from 8.2 mm to 18.1 mm. That's 120% growth over 13 days!
Weeks 10-12: Worked like a fiend to finish 3 major projects for work, then had a series of late night conference calls (11 am NY time = 11 pm Beijing time) to present them to clients. Took a LOT of naps and snack breaks, though all I could really stomach was boiled potatoes and butter. My folks left to go back to Virginia, and I cried like a baby when they pulled away in the taxi, even though I knew I'd be seeing them again in a few weeks. I remember thinking, "Hmm, I wonder if this is that weepiness thing they've been talking about?"
Week 13: Weekend trip to Inner Mongolia. Took a sleeper train to Hohhot in Inner Mongolia, then out to the grasslands in Huitingxile. Our "luxury yurt" accommodations turned out to be nasty beyond belief (complete with our very own horde of hundreds of large black flies), without even a redeeming touch of quaint, but we gritted our teeth and just tried to stay outdoors as much as we could. We rented horses, and even though I had planned to ride conservatively on this trip, with the huge expanses of grass and open sky, it seemed a waste not to put in a little speed. After all, a day on a horse is nothing without a little wind in your hair and some bugs in your teeth.
Week 15: Back in the U.S., and the start of three lovely weeks at home. The weather was perfect, so we spent some time at the beach, and Mik grilled every chance he had. Looking back through my planner, it was a pretty hectic few weeks, with work, meeting up with friends, and a lot of home maintenance tasks, but at the time, it felt easygoing and relaxed. Was starting to feel a little bumpiness in my belly around this time, but only when I was laying down and stretched out. Getting impatient!