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.