Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tsinghua and a One-Month Old

I don't believe that I've more than barely mentioned this on my blog so far. This being our crazy plan for our lives over the next year. In short, we are currently planning to have our baby in mid-April, spend a month at home trying to learn the ropes, and then fly from SFO to Beijing in mid-May. At the end of July, we'll fly back home for another 6-18 months before we head back to China "long-term" (whatever that means these days).

Yes, we are crazy. Yes, we will be ordering refundable plane tickets in case we have to face any unforeseen medical complications. And yes, we do have to figure out how to get our very little one a passport and visa within 3-4 weeks of his or her birth. Considering how attractive normal passport shots are, I can't wait to see one of a one-week-old.

Our original plan was actually to go from March to May. Pete has an exchange program set up with a research lab at Tsinghua University in Beijing. It's a really fantastic opportunity to him, and they already had it all set up and ready to go when I got pregnant with a due date in April. We did briefly entertain the idea of giving birth in Beijing, but for many reasons (top on the list being the impossibility of getting international insurance with maternity coverage after you're already pregnant) decided against it.

While I'm excited about going back to China and getting to spend more time there, of course I'm pretty overwhelmed. Mostly by all the little details and things I'm going to have to figure out in the midst of what will already be one of the most overwhelming times in my life. Like getting a passport for our child. And finding a good pediatrician in Beijing who speaks English. And traveling with all the baby stuff, and figuring out how to get the rest of the baby stuff we need when we're over there. And spending 10 weeks of my life cooped up in a one-bedroom apartment with a baby and no friends and no American TV. And trying to sublet our apartment so we can actually afford to keep it, and keep all our stuff there.

But how cool will it be for our baby to know he or she became a world traveler within the first weeks of life? I also have a feeling that walking around campus with a little one in a stroller will probably help me meet more people than I expect. Despite how utterly overwhelmed and exhausted I will be, I look forward to the actually living overseas again, even if for less than 3 months. 10 weeks is long enough to settle in just a tiny bit.

Now, what would be really nice is if the program would provide us with a cooking/cleaning lady who came along with the furnished apartment we get. Dream on.

12 comments:

Kakunaa said...

I am so stoked for your trip! The logistics kinda overwhelm me, but still, so darn exciting!

Nico said...

Does the baby actually need a passport? I thought that until ?18? you were just added to your parent's passport? I know that when we travelled from South Africa to the US the few times we did it we were on my mom's passport. Of course that was a long time ago!

It does sound a little overwhemlming, but at the same time, an amazing opportunity! It's great that you were able to move things around to work with your due date.

Amanda said...

I'm so in awe of you for taking this on, but what an experience it will be...your son/daughter will be a better person because of the experiences they'll have. Good for you!

AmyG said...

What an adventure! I hope it all turns out to be easier than one would predict. It doesn't sound crazy to me - just ambitious.

Lesley (and Eric) said...

I think it sounds like a great plan-- yes, it will be hard, but it will be TOTALLY worth it!

Josey said...

Wow - this sounds like such an amazing opportunity Ceejay - I'm so excited for you!!!

Jordan said...

If anyone can do China with a one-month old, it's you two!

Alex said...

What an amazing opportunity - you can totally do this! And the great thing is, you can take your bloggy friends with you all over the world, right? :)

sienna said...

wow, your baby is going to be a total world traveler!! i have friends who are from beijing - let me try to ask a few of them if they have recommendations for an english speaking pediatrician. there are soo many expats there though, that i'm sure you'll make new friends very quickly, and hopefully with other new mommies :o)

Hannah said...

Wow, that does sound like a lot, but what an amazing opportunity! And how great that you can spend that time in China just getting to know your baby, without having to rush back to a job. Excited for you!

sienna said...

btw, i might have a lead or two for you on english speaking pediatricians in beijing soon! my BIL has a lot of friends there who he emailed after he saw my post on fb asking about this :o)

Ceejay said...

Wow, Sienna, that's so sweet of you! Thanks for checking around, and definitely let me know if you hear of someone!