When I started blogging last summer, my only goal was to chronicle our year as expats in Kuala Lumpur. We were still in Dallas and had only a vague idea of what was ahead. We were technically homeless for two months and staying with a family member. Most of our stuff was already in storage, some of our stuff was still in limbo as we decided what we would want to take, and we definitely had a lot of anxiety about this new adventure. (Not the least reason, we didn’t even have plane tickets until about 3 weeks before we left!) Thinking an entire year into the future about the end of our expat adventure was simply beyond my comprehension at the time. I didn’t really give much thought to what would happen when we moved back to Texas; I guess I assumed the blog would reach a natural conclusion and cease to have a purpose.
Nevertheless, we are coming to the beginning of the end. We have been here for 8 months- three quarters of a year. It’s been an amazing experience and I have enjoyed living it and writing about it. I think it will be great to have a record of what we did, what we saw, what we were thinking and feeling so that 10 years from now we can look back at this adventure and see our perspective at the time. Keeping the blog has also been a really nice way to keep in touch with friends and family at home, which was our intended purpose all along.
The original plan was to be in KL until about the middle of August of this year. But, as they say, “The best laid plans of mice and men / Often go awry.” Or, in our case, something we had been trying to plan for some time happened when we quit trying to plan it. (I’m told this is often the case!) After a year and a half of trying to get pregnant, I finally did. I’m due in August, currently about 6 months in*. I’ve chosen not to share this news before now simply because that isn’t the point of this blog. What has changed is that some of the stories I have “on deck” require knowing about the pregnancy to appreciate, or for me to tell with the details they deserve.
Another reason for the timing of this announcement is that my life as an expat has changed considerably since getting pregnant. My interactions with people in public are different, there are new things for me to consider and new adventures to be discussed. Plus, the whole “moving half way across the world” thing is always good fodder for blogging. (Things I am not looking forward to: packing. Again.) So it is time to share.
I go back to Texas in June; Micah goes back in July. In the 5 weeks between when I get back and when he gets back, I will have to buy a car and find a place to live, plus get our stuff out of storage. Micah also wants to be involved in the physical set up of The Kid’s room, so that will have to wait as well. All of that seems really daunting. (Micah actually wrote about just how daunting HERE.) It’s going to be tough, but I think it will be easier while The Kid is still on the inside and is more or less subject to my schedule, instead of me being ruled by a tiny dictator who requires feeding and clean diapers every few hours.
Shameless plug for my husband: While I’ve been blogging about being an expat, Micah took up web design and has recently started blogging himself. He blogs primarily about his experience as an expectant father, and has been very open about his journey so far. If you’re interested in this part of our story, you can follow along on his site!
As for what’s on the horizon blog-wise, I’m not sure ending the blog when I leave KL is the right choice for me; I’ve enjoyed having a venue for my thoughts and ideas. And quite frankly, I like writing. Writing was a big part of my life for a long time, and it felt strange not to spend so much time writing pre-blog. I still have a lot of thoughts and ideas, some related to pregnancy (it isn’t always sunshine and unicorns, by the way) and some related to lots of other things. And even when I’m back in Texas, my family still lives far away. I can imagine Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents and Great Aunts and Great Uncles might still like to see what we’re up to on this new adventure of ours. But should I start a new blog? Should I just change the focus of this one? I have no idea yet. Also, I’m led to believe that things like “blogging” and “sitting quietly by myself to think and write for extended periods” won’t be part of my daily routine for a while after The Kid arrives! So I will almost certainly take a blogging hiatus in August, potentially for many months. “The Kid” is the nickname Micah and I have settled on, by the way, it suits our sarcastic personalities. (Here is my first public edict about The Kid: The Kid deserves his own chance to make his own digital fingerprint when he is older, so whatever form of blogging I do take up, he will remain anonymous. After all, I choose what to write about my life and Micah gets to vet everything about him. It’s only fair.)
But, until my “maternity leave” arrives and I decide what kind of blogger I will evolve into, I have more expat stories to share and a few more weeks of adventures to chronicle!
Coming soon: We took an amazing trip to Cambodia, and I’m finally getting around to writing about it! Part 1 is actually doing sneaky double duty as last week’s photo challenge: we caught an amazing sunrise at Angkor Wat.
*For anyone interested, here are the specific details. I’m due in August and I will be leaving KL in June, right about 31 weeks pregnant. Not ideal, but my doctor isn’t concerned at all so I am choosing to not be concerned either. The medical care here is great and I would have no qualms about staying here to deliver. This often comes up when Malaysians ask us this question and we both feel really guilty about saying we’re going back to the US for the birth. The reason is really the timing. Micah was scheduled to end his rotation in mid-late August. The doctor advised us that we would probably want to wait a month or two before traveling internationally with The Kid. So Micah would start his next rotation a month or two late, which may have been possible but wasn’t ideal. It’s also about 30 hours of travel between KL and Dallas. Being first time parents, this seemed really, REALLY intimidating. There’s also the fact that we live in a hotel. It would definitely be possible for a newborn to live here with us, but it doesn’t seem like the most ideal situation, especially considering that we wouldn’t have any friends or family around to help us. This seemed daunting to me, too; especially since Micah would get 2 days off after the birth here, where as in Dallas he gets 10 days. So I would have been left on my own with a newborn almost immediately. It was an issue of timing and proximity to family that made the decision for us in the end, nothing to do with not wanting The Kid born here or the quality of the medical care.