"E, do you want a baby brother or a baby sister?"
"Ummmm, a baby jaguar!"
And so began our conversation with our two-year old about the fact that yes, we are expecting another baby. I am due at the end of April, shortly after E turns 3, so I keep telling him that mommy is going to bring him a baby brother to play with for his birthday. That's right folks, we're having another boy! Not a boy jaguar, mind you, but a human boy. Hopefully, E won't be too disappointed.
S and I knew we wanted to eventually have a sibling for E, but we had originally planned to time a second pregnancy so that we were back in the States for training for his second post. We obviously changed our minds. But because of our original plan, we left everything baby-related back in storage in Maryland. Or so we thought. Come to find out, while looking for Christmas decorations in our storage room the other day, we discovered a large box containing a changing pad, a breast feeding pillow, the cradle E slept in as a newborn, and some old bottles. Some of E's 0-6 month clothes were even in there. The box was labeled "basement," so I had just assumed it was camping gear or something. I'm glad we decided to look! The rest of our things, like the baby swing and tummy time mat will have to be re-purchased. Such is life.
Needless to say, we are excited. I have a lovely doctor here in Adana who has been a-okay'd by the Med Unit in Ankara, and the hospital where I plan to deliver has been approved as well. I debated med-evacing back to the States (and even received a bit of pressure from the powers that be to do so), but after hearing glowing first-hand stories from expat Americans and other FSOs about their delivery experience here in Adana, I decided I would stay. My only concern was that because Turkey has a VERY high c-section rate, I would have a doctor subtly try to convince me to have one myself. (Different people have told me that child birth is often viewed by the Turkish people as dirty and should be done as quickly and cleanly as possibly, thus the sudden rise in c-sections here. And it might even explain this.) So, the first thing I said to my doctor was I did not want a scheduled c-section (emergencies are a different story, obviously) and I planned to deliver naturally. He agreed, said he actually tried to encourage all his patients to do that, but he always honors the mother's wishes, even if they choose a scheduled c-section. I was happy with that answer, and I am happy with the decision to keep him as my doctor. I am hoping that all goes according to plan with the rest of the pregnancy and the delivery.
For now I am focused on eating right, taking my vitamins, getting the right amount of exercise and having baby-related conversations with two of my expat friends who are also pregnant. We are all due within weeks of each other and we are all going to the same doctor and plan to deliver at the same hospital, which I find very exciting.
Also, S and I have already started the fun task of choosing (and agreeing on) a name. Right now we have a pretty good list going, but we have only agreed on a couple of them. But we have plenty of time. Who knows, maybe we'll just call him Jaguar.