oh Baby

Big news: my husband’s little sister is pregnant! She was 3+ months pregnant and didn’t even know it. It was the pickled cucumbers 凉拌黄瓜 cravings that cued my mother-in-law to thinking she might be pregnant and she is! How difficult it must be for my husband to have his little sister expecting her first child before him. We are already failures of reproduction in China because we have not produced offspring within the given time frame of 1-2 years after marriage and then in the age hierarchy, our future unborn children will forever have to call husband’s younger sister’s child “older brother or sister.” It’s messing up the generational hierarchy here. To add to the town gossip, conception was before the wedding. Simply scandalous! It’s big news and I’m very happy for her. My mother-in-law is very happy for her, but I feel kind of bad because I’m sure there is talk in that small community and I’m sure there is a pang of disappointment that baby’s a 外孙/女 “outside” grandchild and not a 孙子/女 grandchild within the family name.
Oh the pressure this puts on us! Except we live halfway around the world so we don’t have to care what anyone says and we kind of enjoy our carefree DINK lifestyle. That, and about a month after she found out her news, we discovered that I am pregnant! These things must be contagious or something. It puts everything right in the world again, sort of. Mother-in-law is happy – I will have fulfilled my traditional obligation as a daughter-in-law. Our baby will always be about 4 months younger than sister-in-law’s, which would mean they are the same age in America, but it means he or she will be considered younger in China. On the American side of things, I don’t know what we are going to do with a one bedroom apartment or how I’m ever going to finish grad school, and how does one take care of a baby? Nor do I foresee the two cousins being very close since they will grow up so far away from each other.
Well, we are very excited. No idea how we are going to handle a baby. At least I get to experience the joys of pregnancy with my sister-in-law though she is half a world away going through the experiences very differently.



Filed under baby, Uncategorized

5 responses to “oh Baby

  1. Congratulations! It will all work out great, I’m sure. Very exciting news.

    The whole hierarchy thing seems so silly, but it is a pretty big deal to many Chinese people. Luckily, it’s not in my husband’s family (they aren’t very traditional in some respects). But I think once the babies come everyone will be so happy regardless!

    • Thank you! I don’t think the hierarchy is actually that big of a deal either. At least my husband doesn’t really care, I’m not sure about the rest of his family.

  2. Congrats! Best of luck through this whole thing. Life must be a whole lot more complicated for the two of you now.

  3. Congratulations!! Those are great news, wherever you are, whenever it is, doesnt matter, you will handle it in your own way.
    And from my honest view, I do not think that a newborn “needs” his own room. Dont be scared and..enjoy it in your own way, which is going to be, the best way for your child!
    Lots of love

  4. Just came across this blog post of yours. Congratulations! And don’t worry too much about the future, I’m positive that you’ll find a way that suits all 3 of you.

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