Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week 17: First Month Nannies, Prenatal Yoga, and Baby Names

First Month Nannies

In Chinese tradition, the one month following birth is a critical time for the new mom to recover. The two most critical aspects are getting enough rest and following a specific diet. Hence, Jeff and I have been looking into Chinese first month nannies to help out with these two aspects. Most of them offer pretty standardized services for 26 days (I'm not sure why it's not a full month).

  • Pretty self-explanatory - they sleep in the same room as baby and are in charge of night duty, minus breastfeeding (they can bring the baby to you if/when you need to breastfeed).
Meal preparation:
  • The meals are prepared with ingredients aimed to restore the mom's health and energy post-delivery.
  • You can let her know your food preferences and she will adjust her cooking accordingly.
  • The fees do not cover cost of food. You take the nanny to go food shopping once a week. 
  • They can usually make enough food for everyone in the house, unless your family is unusually large. Most of the nannies we spoke to assumed it was a given that she would prepare enough food for Jeff to eat too.

These type of nannies are expensive to hire - many moms have told me it's worth the cost though. They're also difficult to find, as they're not exactly listed on or Yelp. You basically have to either get one through a friend's referral or agents / brokers. It's challenging to evaluate them if you don't have a reliable referral, so you are taking a leap of faith when you invite a complete stranger into your home for 26 days. The good ones that have a lot of positive referrals book many many months in advance - people will call to reserve them as soon as they pee on a stick!

Prenatal Yoga

I attended my first prenatal yoga class this week. I really enjoyed the workout - mostly because I haven't done yoga in months so I'm pretty out of shape! I hope I can keep going at least once a week throughout my pregnancy to stay healthy.

Baby Names

While we're not 100% sure on the gender yet, the boy names we like are Lucas, Adam, Jacob, and James (more or less in that order). Boy names are hard!

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto, August 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 16

Strangely enough, I still don't look too pregnant, even though I can't wear pants anymore. I can barely zip them up now so I've pretty much given up on the rubber band trick. I can't quite commit to maternity clothing yet so I'm just wearing lots of loose and stretchy non-maternity clothes and hoping I can hold out for as long as possible. Maternity clothing just doesn't seem very versatile or prudent when you calculate the cost per wear!

This week, I'm feeling overwhelmed by all the things we need to research and prepare for so I'm trying to get organized. The list is neverending but so far, here's what I'm trying to prioritize:

- Redo the guest / baby's bathroom
- Look into getting a nanny for the first month (月掃)
- Determine longer-term childcare options (nanny or daycare)
- Decide on blood cord banking
- Start downloading and reading parenting books
- Purchase the big ticket items:
  • Car
  • Crib
  • Stroller
  • Car seat
  • Er...everything else?
On the plus side, I've found a prenatal yoga class and I've signed up for a bunch of parenting classes for us to attend. Who-hoo - two things off the list! Too bad I still have a lot more to go...

Kyoto Imperial Palace, August 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week 15

Telling my boss about my pregnancy was a bit nervewracking for me, since I'm only 2 weeks into a new job at a new company (Sheryl Sandberg would be so proud of me for leaning in this way - I'll post about that some more another day). Luckily, he was super supportive and excited for me - I had no reason to be nervous at all. He also highly encouraged taking a babymoon, which of course I've already been thinking about (even though we technically had one in the first trimester, since we went to Taipei, Kyoto, and New York). But still, this will be our last opportunity to take kid-free vacation for a long time, so I'm definitely going to advantage of it. :)

Jeff and I are thinking that it's probably not a good idea to fly too far so we're thinking potentially Maui. He's never been and I haven't been in many years, so it'd be nice to spend a relaxing babymoon there. I might do some research to see which resorts are close to hospitals, just in case. A bit paranoid I suppose, but you never know!

Golden Pavilion, Kyoto, August 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 14

Even though I've been diligently taking my prenatal vitamins for months, my hair and nails aren't growing any faster or more beautifully. But at least it's not worse so I'm not complaining. I'm also moisturizing my belly and hips, hoping to prevent the dreaded pregnancy stretch marks. In the meantime, I'm finding it harder to dress my bump. I am trying to incorporate pants back into my wardrobe with the rubberband trick but I'm going to need new pants altogether in a few weeks! Buying maternity clothes is really hard. There isn't that much available and whatever is available isn't particularly versatile or stylish.

Physical changes aside, I'm so relieved and excited to finally be out of the first trimester. That means we can start telling people - particularly my boss, who I'm hoping to talk to about this tomorrow. Hopefully that conversation goes well - wish me luck!

Pescadero Beach, September 2015