Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Schabling has Arrived!

Leo Timothy was born on December 29 to my friend Paige and her husband David in Dallas, TX. She works for the hospital and they have already used him as a model for some hospital brochure. They also got their tax deduction. They both have MBAs so they were really hoping for an end-of-year baby.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008

We started off at my parents' house where the big hits were a new tricycle and the wrapping paper:

We went to brunch at my grandparents' house and then headed to Ohio to see Curt's mom.

We drove back to Erie on Saturday and then to see my cousin outside of Pittsburgh on Sunday. He is with my brother Matt in this picture. We didn't get as many pictures as we should.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Maternity Underwear Showdown & Over Belly Pants

I mentioned before that regular underwear and underbelly pants are bothering my c-section scar. So I bought several different types of underwear to try: Bravado Original Brief, Noppies Waistline Maternity Brief, and Motherhood's Hipster Panties.

The overbelly panties put a lot of pressure on my belly. Also, the Noppies do not have a cotton crotch they are all microfiber. So, I tried the Motherhood 3 pack hipsters since they have a soft, wide non-elastic waist band and we have a winner! The best part is that they are super cheap.

I also tried the Motherhood tights and they really pressed on my belly. They were horrible. Do not buy them!

On the other hand the Secret Fit Belly jeans are fabulous. The belly panel is soft and non-binding. They do slip down a bit because I have a small butt and hips, but they are comfortable.

Great Deals on Baby/Maternity and Another Baby Boy

The first of the Expat Moms has delivered her baby, a boy named Ryan. Congratulations, S!

Also, I got a tip from Z Recommends about a great Hanna Andersson sale. Really wish I knew the sex of the baby so I could buy more cute things. As it is, I scored some pjs for Ian and a few things for the baby. I bought a pair of Hanna Andersson overalls last year at a consignment shop here in Erie called Milestones. They were in great condition and Ian was able to wear them a long time. The clothes are pricey, but if you can get them on sale or consignment, they are great to have.

Also, Baby Center is a having an incredible sale on everything. There are Hot Slings for $9 and up and Mama Black jeans for $25 and up.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We Made It!

What a grueling trip, but we made it. This was what I woke up to this morning:

This photo was shot from the crib next to the bed and I couldn't get them all fully into the frame.

Now, I've done my documentational duties and I am going back to bed!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baby Seoul: The Big Reveal

Well, not quite. That was the title of the post before I had my appointment. The baby was doing a lot of knee movements in front its pelvis, but the midwife said she thinks it is a girl. Looks like labia with no sign of penis, but she said,"Don't decorate the nursery".

I have a few items in gender specific colors. I guess I will be packing both sets.

And the Birthing Begins: Introducing Leo

The first of my currently pregnant friends gave birth to her third blond baby on December 12 in Canada:

Meet Leo:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Belly: 28 Weeks, 1 Day

Third Trimester!

Technological Success

After our many tech failures, we've actually had a success! Curt bought a VOIP phone. It allows up to call the US over the internet for free. We've been using calling cards, but their rates to cell phones aren't great and the rates to 1-800 numbers are horrendous. We will be able to talk a lot more now when Ian and I are in the US and Curt is in Korea.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Infertility Treatments in Seoul/ IVF in Seoul

Edited on June 15, 2012: This has been a very popular post. A fertility doctor in Korea just found this post and would like to offer her services to the expat community so I am adding it to this post and you can find the original post after. Maria Fertility Hospital is one of the largest IVF center in Korea. We perform more than three thousand IVF a year with high success rate. The international clinic offers infertility lectures in English occasionally and the schedule will be posted in advance. Dr. Hyejun Lee and Yeonhee Ku are in charge of the clinic. The address is 103-11 Shinseol-Dong, Dondaemun-Gu, Seoul Tel 02 2250 5515 website: By subway get off at Shinseol-Dong station of Line Number 1 or Line Number 2, and get out at exit number 6(Line No.1)or exit number10(Line No.2). * Free parking avaiable Edited on February 19, 2009 to add: My friend (referenced below) gave birth to a baby boy on September 1, 2009. The IVF worked on the first try. Also, a blog reader who found this post last year just wrote me to say that she is due March 12 after a successful IVF at Cha. So a few positive stories and baby dust for all of you reading this post!

If you are a foreigner in Korea and find yourself needing fertility treatments, I have some good news. Infertility treatments can be scary/frustrating/exhausting/physically and emotionally demanding, even if you are in your home country. In Korea, they don't have anything magic to take away that part of it, but it is extremely affordable compared to places like the US. The financial burden can add even more pressure to an already pressure-filled situation. In Korea, however, one round of IUI is 1,000,000 won and 1 round of IVF is 3,000,000 won. With the exchange rate, right now, you can get 5 IVF's for the price of 1 in the US. Now, I don't wish 5 IVFs on anyone, but it is nice to know that you can afford a lot more chances.

From my friend who is currently doing IVF (think positive thoughts for her):

Cha hospital, they are #1 in the country (remember the country is small.) tricare (for military) has a bus twice a day that takes you there. or you can take the subway, green line to Yeoksam, exit 7, go straight (there is a bus that you can take one stop, never have it is a short walk, so i don't remember the number.) Once you are a client they will give you a free parking pass and you can drive. walk about 10 mins and you will see the hospital on your right, in there is the International Clinic, across the street is the fertility clinic. the lady at the International Clinic's name is Julian Kim and her number is 02-3468-3127 or cell 010-9161-3117. the address is 650-9 Yeoksam, Kangnamgu, seoul 135-081
website: Julian's email is :

The doctor speaks ok English, Dr Kim (of course) most of the place can speak enough English to get you around, but you are definitely in Korea when you are there.

I think he told me their success rate was in the 40's for couples in there 30's, something like 42%*

I don't know much about protocol in the US as we never did it there, but i do know that there is no law in Korea about how many eggs you can implant, I think they do about three there, but should know more about that next week.

The cost for iui is about 1 million, and for ivf is about 3 million, however you pay as you go, so you have to carry the money with you each time that is a bit of a pain, unless you use a credit card.

*Back to me: A note on success rates, in the US many clinics advertise a 90+% success rate, but they really push people to donor eggs sooner and there are many factors going into it so you can't really compare rates unless you know everything that goes into coming up with the rates.

I have another friend doing IUI at the same clinic this week as well. I gave her the belly rub for luck. Again, positive thoughts for her as well.

Social Butterflies!

Ian and I went to our usual Wednesday playgroup this morning on the base, then hit the playground afterwards with some other friends. Just in time to meet a friend from yoga class for lunch in Itaewon. She mentioned that she would like to see the base so we signed her in and took the tour. It isn't much to see but it is a great resource and I'm am glad I have access. Then, we stopped at Starbucks. As we made the turn up the hill to Starbucks, but before you could see it, Ian said,"We gonna get coffee". He has such a good sense of direction. Since I am pregnant, I don't go to Starbucks very much and when I do, I usually go to the one by the PX instead of the one at the Embassy Club. I had a hot chocolate and she had a latte. I had a mission from my friend, G, to check to see if they had the Gingerbread Latte. Unfortunately, they didn't.

As I was driving her back to the check point, I got a call from my friend, W. I was late stopping by to see her. I had forgotten all about it, I thought I was on top of everything. I am so glad she called. I hopped back in the car and went to see her and my other friend S in Hannam. Ian recognized their building, which is on the top of the hill and he pointed to it and said,"There's Emma's house." Coming from Itaewon, we have to pass the hill that goes to their building and do a u-turn and come back, making it even more amazing that Ian recognized it on the first pass. Ian had a nice playdate in their complex playroom, though he took the chalk from the pool table and spiked it all over the room making a huge mess!

Tomorrow, we have another playdate in the morning and in the afternoon, I have to get Roxxy's paperwork to go to the US. Hope I remember!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Vegetarians in Seoul

Heres a link to an article from Dan at Seoul Eats on vegetarians in Seoul.. This list is also helpful for Muslims or other non-pork eaters because this part of the world uses a lot of pork as flavoring and won't always tell you if there is pork in there if it is just broth, fat or a bit of meat.

Expat Pregnancy Club Meets Again!

This time we meet at the Seven Springs restaurant in Myeongdong (near Myeongdong Station, Exit 6) on a side street. It is mainly a buffet place, which offered a lot of choice for our large group: 11 moms, 1 grandma and 2 babies.

I definitely need to come back to Myeongdong after pregnancy. There was a lot of cheap goods on the street.

Connecting with these other women has been great for all of us. It makes such a difference to have people to share information and experiences with. Even though we come from different places, the English language and our foreignness have allowed us to bond quickly. As Sarah said, I hope this becomes a baby group after everyone has their babies.

*******This small group has transformed into a Expat Parents Club Forum.

Go here to join:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

One Thing at a Time

We are getting close to our departure and I have a list of things to do and appointments to keep. Sometimes I just want to hurry everything up and get things over with, but I am trying to remind myself to take things one at a time and enjoy them. It is hard in the freezing cold to venture out, but today, I got myself to yoga and then took the metro to Myeongdong to go to lunch with the Expat Pregnancy Club.

I am down to 3 yoga classes to use and there are 6 classes that I can potentially attend before I go so I hope to be able to use them up. We did Yin Yoga today in my Heal class at Pure Yoga Studio in Apgujeong. Christina explained Yin Yoga as a passive yoga. You relax completely into the pose instead of pushing yourself for greater depth. It is really difficult, but there are a few poses I think I will try to do regularly. It is good preparation for using hypnosis in childbirth. It is difficult to relax completely but it is amazing as you stay in the pose and feel tension that you couldn't recognize before, release it and go deeper.

I've started to gather the things I want to take back to the States and put them in suitcases. I am going to try to get most of the packing done this weekend. We may need to buy another suitcase or two, but I am going to try to get by without buying anything more.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Maternity Underwear: Revised Statement

In a previous post, I said that I was going to get maternity underwear and thongs, but not the full belly kind. I also said I preferred underbelly pants. Well, as I approach the third trimester with cesarean scar, things have changed. As soon as I get back to the States I am buying belly covering panties and pants. The underbelly ones are irritating my incision site.

Freezing Friday

We've lost some photos due to lack of a back up system in the past. Before we came to Korea, we bought a back-up drive, but only a few months ago did we actually start to use it. Things were great using Time Machine on the Mac, but one day, the computer did not recognize the back-up drive. We tried it in a different computer and it didn't work there, either. We are going to try to send it to the company when we get back to the US, but for now we are without a back up drive. Curt is sick of tech failures and doesn't want to get another. Until that passes, I have burned some back-up dvds and spent half the day scanning our professional family photos. The scanned photos won;t be the best quality, but at least we will have some sort of back up for them. That dvd is burning right now. Then I will be done. I need to do our wedding album eventually, but I don't think it will happen before I leave for the States.

Ian and I went to the chiropractor today. He said my adjustments are holding and I should be good for about a month. With traveling and the holidays coming up, that works out perfectly. I usually park on the base and walk. Today was FREEZING cold. Luckily, Ian fell asleep in the car and I put him in the stroller with his winter coat, hat, gloves and a blanket. I think the blanket over his face is what kept him asleep the entire walk there and back. I had a hat and gloves, but not a scarf and my face was burning. I almost bought a scarf on the way there.

We were supposed to go to a party tonight, but Curt isn't feeling well, Ian ate something that did not agree with him and I am tired so I don't know if we will make it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Natural Childbirth Doctor in Korea

Dr. Chung will soon be delivering babies at Soonchunhyang University Hospital. Dr. Chung is a huge advocate of natural childbirth in Korea. I have heard nothing but fantastic reviews of this doctor, so it's nice to know that he will also be available (and yes, he speaks English). Currently, he can be reached at his screening clinic in Apkujeong: 010 6813 8000.

Also, Dr. Chung is currently getting certified to be a hypnobirthing instructor and will being teaching starting in February 2009.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

20% Off Hypnobabies Coupon Code

From the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group (code is good through 12/31/08):

Hi Ladies,

This year, in light of our current economy challenges, we have decided to give a 20% discount on all products at Hypnobabies throughout December, as our gift to all Hypno-Moms!

*PLEASE use the following code at checkout to order:


Available only at
Happy Holiday Hugs from Kerry

Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI

Founder/Director of Hypnobabies

(714) 952-BABY (2229)

A Must-Read Book for Empowering Natural Birth Stories! "Journey Into Motherhood"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Baby Keepsake Books, Calendars and Boxes

There are a lot of choices in this category of baby item. You can get very stylish and personalized albums if you are willing to spend the money. There are lots of styles and formats. This item is difficult to choose online because the organization can make a big difference in how successful you are in filling it out.

After a lot of searching, I found an album by CR Gibson on clearance at Babies 'R Us for about $15. It is not quite like the one in the link but has a similar feel. It has acid free paper, a fabric cover with a slot for a baby photo in it, pockets for storing things and pages for events and interesting family information.

I found a lot of baby books were too cutsie with cartoon characters and that is not my style. Some of them were overly detailed in the amount and frequency of info they tracked. Others had the opposite problem, they were too blank. Of course, depending on your personality, different book formats are right for you.

Another way to go is the Baby Keepsake Box. You can put the baby's hospital bracelet, birth announcement, lock of hair, etc. You can keep everything together in a safe place. If you think you might not fill out a baby book, the box is a good way to keep memories organized without a lot of effort.

The third category, the Baby Memory Calendar, is a great supplement to either the Baby Book or Baby Box. I received one as a gift and thought I wouldn't need it because I had the baby book, but it turned out to be great for jotting down notes to transfer into the baby book later. It was easy to leave it out for quick access. Many come with milestone stickers so when baby gets his first tooth, you just slap a first tooth sticker on the calendar. You can get these for about $10. Of course, you can also just jot notes on your regular calendar. It won't have the stickers (which also help to remind you what to track), but those aren't completely necessary.

I was looking around for a book for Baby Seoul and found this one that has an ink free foot print option. I'd like to see more of the inside though. I think I will check out what I can find in person or maybe go to the designer's website to hopefully get a more detailed look of the inside.