The preparations for our move have now been finalized and after a quick visit to our super hero doctor, who after an ultrasound gave us another positive update, spirits were high on finally leaving Asia after 23 years. At 19 weeks, we could finally see the babies features, whilst our ‘daughter to be’ was happily sucking her thumb (or the doctor indicated it could have been her foot – our little one is a yoga prodigy already) and had a preliminary check up of all of her vital organs – all of which were working as expected. Heart rate was at a solid 165bpm and we were surprised by a more insightful, albeit ‘weird’ 3D rendered image. I’ve pictured an actual 3D ‘pixar-esque’ visual, but was more surprised to receive what reminded me of a fossil halfway caught in a rock, with elements protruding from it – picture instead.
Since this was on the day we had to head out to Norway, the additional appointment to get a “morphology exam” (or anomaly scan) done was timewise no longer possible – we would schedule this upon our arrival. In this exam, you can identify whether the baby’s circulation system and vital organs are functioning properly, whether body parts are size wise “normal” and of course also that wifey was physically doing fine as well. This, as simple as it sounds, is grossly over simplified, but a quick google search can educate you (google; 18-20 weeks pregnancy scan).
On the flight back, we scored a 3 seat row on a completely full plane (so lucky!), so wifey basically slept the entire flight, whilst my father who was visiting for a quick work trip, prepared a few presentations on another seat and I continued listening, – fading in and out of my Roman adventures audio book. We arrived early at 6am, dragged our 5+ suitcases to the car, which surprisingly fit everything and started heading onto the roads – only to be stuck in non-moving traffic due to a burning vehicle… after a 30 minute wait which seemed like a lifetime, we finally started rolling again and made it home, where my side of the family rejoiced over breakfasts with the focal point of discussions being wifey’s now “mummy belly” and how exciting it’s going to be when the little one starts kicking.
We been tied up at home with grandparents swinging over, baking cookies and wifey naps (a common occurance these days- even in the second trimester). It feels good to be ‘home’ before our big move to the US – stuffing our faces with real “white people food” (western food), a welcomed change after months of withdrawal in Japan. I know it sounds like a first world problem, but try eating your favorite cookie everyday, non-stop, for lunch and dinner and let me know if you are still as excited as you were on the first day…. THAT’s how i feel about sushi. I missed bread rolls and cold cuts SOOO much! The only thing I’m fighting to struggle with is the cold weather, the struggle of getting out of bed (it’s soo nice and warmmmm hereeee) and into it (fck these icy sheets!!!!) and the days lasting for what feels like an hour before you’re sitting in darkness again.
With time creeping toward the mid of December, we scheduled our appointment for the exam, played boardgames with the family, walked my mothers dog through the forest and had a few beers with my aunts and uncles. Sadly out of nowhere in the midst of where 2016 could not be any worse after various political developments (Trump isn’t the only problem nowadays- look at the chaos surrounding right parties in Europe everywhere), we were struck with some heavy unfortunate news. One of my uncles passed away from a heart attack, which left the whole family in a state of grief.
We naturally cancelled my dad’s birthday coming up in a few days from now, which we wanted to celebrate in the regular “INVITE EVERYONE!!!” fashion. Although my uncle and me shared pleasant memories, we weren’t as close as some of the other members of my family, so it is difficult to describe the sense of loss and the unique position of of course feeling sad, but more affected by the current sadness surrounding the issue than the issue itself. Alas…. After two weddings, my wife surprising me with the prospects of becoming a dad and parents with her – I feel saddened by the events that round off, what a lot of people and friends have said to be the worst year in a long time.
Hope to update you guys on happier events next week. Until then, keep moving forward! December is just around the corner and there are presents to buy!