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My baby app tells me that now in the 17th week, Pablo is supposedly the size of an onion. Which is strange to me because last week, Pablo was supposed to be the size of an avocado, and the avocados I know are bigger than the onions I know. Or at least about the same size. Hmph.
Anyway, my little onion has been growing, and I don’t only know because of my baby app, but because I am Popping! Over the last couple of weeks, but especially this week, my tummy has gotten Bigger with a capital B. I noticed it last week when all my pants felt awful ( I’d been wearing them unbuttoned with a homemade “Belly Band” for a few weeks anyway), but last week, even with the belly band, they were so, so uncomfortable. I was down to a pair of shorts previously too large, that was all I could fit comfortably. I will insert a photo here:

Pardon the bareness of my tummy, but that really shows it better. It doesn’t look as big in the photo as it feels in real life, but those that knew how thin I was before can really see a difference!
So, in a quest to be comfortable, especially in the increasing Taiwan summer heat approaching, I went Shopping for Maternity Clothes, or at least if not maternity, then bigger sizes of regular clothes. I went to two maternity shops here in Taichung on Gongyi Road, I think one was Gennie’s Maternity, and one was OhOhMini. Boy, Real maternity clothes aren’t cheap here in Taiwan. They don’t sell them at regular department stores, so as far as I knew I only had specialty shops as my option. I ended up with two (very expensive but I know now, well worth it!) maternity/nursing bras, and one pair of super comfortable and cute maternity shorts. Then I went to a regular cheapo clothing store at the local night market, and bought a few flowy tops ( thankfully flowy tops are currently “in” anyway), and another pair of shorts with elastic instead of button, as well as a super stretchy cotton maxi skirt.
A couple of coworkers who have already had babies have loaned me some clothes as well. So hopefully I will be set for most of the pregnancy! It has made a huge difference this week to have cute and comfortable clothes that keep me cool! Jeans were becoming too heavy and hot. Anyway, speaking of my growing belly….
We’ve been trying to keep it a secret from the students until the school newapaper comes out this week, in which it will be announced (all the teachers already know of course). Well, phooey, but some of the students, and not just from my class, have been poking at me saying “you have baby”, to which I will reply “what makes you think that?” To which they will say “you tummy is big” to which I will say “how do you you know that’s not my lunch?” To which they don’t have a reply except a snicker. So it’s time to spill the beans.
Generally, being pregnant in Taiwan is great! The healthcare is so cheap ( my copay is about 5 USD per visit) , I get an ultrasound at every visit (crunchy mothers, don’t judge me, but I like to see Pablo move around! They keep the ultrasound very short – two or three minutes at most) . My doctor’s English is passable, but, not fluent, however, she answers all my questions and hasn’t pushed me to do things I don’t want to do ( like Down’s syndrome screening, etc.) .
I went to get my annual routine ARC health check last week, at a different hospital than my obstetrician’s, and they needed to confirm my pregnancy to exempt me from getting the TB chest X-ray! I had no proof of pregnancy with me. So, what did they do? They sent me upstairs to Ob for an ultrasound! About thirty seconds, saw Pablo and the heartbeat, got a picture, and got sent back downstairs with the proper paperwork. Very efficient, and I felt amusing.
So, except for my growing belly and clothing issues, I feel fine. I’m a bit short of breath in class and in general, but otherwise fine. Haven’t definitely felt Pablo move yet. We find out if Pablo is a boy or girl this Saturday! Well, if Pablo cooperates, that is.
Anyway. Sorry,this has been a very self centered blog post all about me, but I thought it might be interesting to other foreigners interested in having a baby in Taiwan. I couldn’t find much at all written for expats having babies in Taiwan. I’ll leave it here for now, and will check in next week! Bye!