9.30.2016

We Weren’t Born to Follow 肢体不一样

We weren't born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe
-Bon Jovi

Being pregnant in China has perks, such as other people giving up their precious seats on a crowded subway so I can rest my weary feet. I also have a new answer for ever annoying and ever nosy questions--“How many children do you have? Why don’t you have children?”--- thus avoiding the imminent unsolicited advice on how to get pregnant or mild chastising for not having any kids. 

On the other hand, I now just get scolded for a host of other stuff. I am apparently doing everything wrong as pregnant lady.

Here’s a list of DOs and DON’Ts when pregnant (according to what I have been personally told):
  1. Don’t let your feet get cold. That means don’t wear flip flops even if its 90F outside.
  2. Don’t consume cold things like ice water, watermelon or ice cream. I guess the baby might get brain freeze. 
  3. Do drink warm water. Obviously, the baby must be kept warm.
  4. Don’t eat hot pot. Who knows what goes in that hot pot broth?
  5. Don’t chew gum because of the preservatives.
  6. Don’t wear earrings or necklaces. Rings are okay.
  7. Don’t wear make up. Don’t do your nails. (On that note, I think Chinese makeup should be avoided by pregnant and non-pregnant women alike.)
  8. Don’t wear tight clothes. Do wear humongous underwear that covers the belly.
  9. Don’t wear a belt, including a running belt for carrying a phone and money. The baby will get tired.
  10. Don't get in a crowded elevator. It’s too tight for the baby. I assume this would also rule out riding the subway, the bus, or being in any public place during rush hour.
  11. Don’t stand in front of a fan or air conditioner. You’ll catch a cold and obviously that is bad for the baby.
  12. Don’t exercise. No running, jumping, or putting your feet above your head (that rules out split dog). Walking is okay.
  13. Do rest--a lot. The baby needs to rest, so you do too.
  14. Do wear a special radiation-defensive belly apron to guard against cellphones, computers, and microwaves.
  15. Do eat a lot of seaweed and walnuts.

As I get further along in my pregnancy, I expect this list to get longer. How do I respond to this advice? After all, I have blatantly violated all of these DON’Ts in the presence of others. Poor westerner doesn’t know any better. 

Usually, I merely smile and nod. Yeah, sure. I will stop drinking ice water (in front of you). Sometimes I say, “I am a westerner. We don’t believe that,” or “Don’t worry, I wear special make-up that is OK for pregnant women.” My remarks and nonchalant attitude usually evokes the reasoning that western bodies must be different from Chinese bodies.

Well, I guess if that reasoning gets them to stop asking questions and giving more advice, then ok...western bodies are different from Chinese ones.

For now, I am going to drink ice water and hope the baby doesn’t get brain freeze. 

Chinese Word of the blog: 肢体不一样 Zhītǐ bù yīyàng
English Translation: different body

Be stylish and protect your baby from cellphones
Caught on a double offense! Earrings and a cold soda.