Since we announced I was pregnant, the adventure has gotten even more interesting. Suddenly total strangers have taken an interest in taking care of me! In the states, one of the most common complaints I heard from pregnant women was that total strangers would come up and touch their bellies. Of course I'm still small, but I can't imagine that happening here. Instead, they come up and tell me what I'm doing wrong or ask questions to make sure I'm doing what they consider right. They thrive on tradition, and there are a bunch of traditions pregnant women should, in their minds, follow carefully. Here are a few examples of them, most of which have come from good friends of ours:
- - Don't cut or color your hair. It contains important vitamins your baby needs.
- - Don't knit.
- - Don't eat meats or produce from the supermarket.
- - Green apples are full of iron, one of the best sources you could eat. To get the most iron from it, poke the apple with a knife all around, let that sit out overnight, and eat it in the morning.
- - Don't buy milk (and many milk products like butter and tvorog- similar to cottage cheese) from the supermarket, only the market.
- - Don't sit near a window or door with a draft.
- - Don't sit on any cold surface (especially not concrete).
- - Don't fly in an airplane at all, even traveling by train is strongly discouraged.
- - The parents aren't supposed to buy anything for the baby before the baby is born, it will bring bad luck. (Other people can, just not the parents)
- - While you're pregnant, if you crave sweet things, you're having a girl; if you crave savory and salty things, you're having a boy.
- - For the next baby: be sure to look at a lot of pretty things so it will be pretty as well. Of course, this only applies to the second baby.
For me, these pregnancy traditions and tips are just traditions, not medical facts. For them, traditions are just as strong as doctor's advice, and most of the doctors will say the same thing because they grew up under those traditions. Which brings me to my most recent encounter and prayer request. The place we've chosen to deliver at is great, very modern and has what we need medically. Recently, however, we found out that because I don't have 20/20 vision, I have to get my eyes checked. If you wear glasses or contacts, they check your eyes to see if there is a risk of retinal detachment, and if there is, they won't let you deliver naturally, but insist on a c-section. David and I don't want to have a c-section if at all possible, especially because of something we had never even heard about until we moved here. So, be lifting that up in your prayers please. This is one tradition we can't sidestep!
Here's a recent picture of the baby bump at 23 weeks. Our little boy keeps growing and moving around, we're so excited and thankful for him!!