|Rong Xiuhua, 35, of Chafang village, Dujiangyan, is seven months pregnant. Her 11-year-old daughter died in the Sichuan earthquake. [China Daily]|
Because many of the women are middle-aged, problems with fertility and pregnancy complications are common. So are miscarriages, which often trigger fresh traumas.
Liu and her husband Hu Ming worried about her health because she is in her 40s.
She suffered gestational diabetes and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (a blockage of bile flow). She also had internal bleeding two months after conceiving.
Another difficulty for many new parents is the expense of troubled pregnancies.
The family of 36-year-old Chen Yanqun has been sliding deeper into debt since their 10-month-old boy Wang Chengjiang was born.
The couple didn't plan to conceive. They had decided against having another child, even though they missed their 10-year-old daughter Wang Di, because they couldn't shoulder the financial burden.
The premature newborn had to stay in the hospital's infant ward for about two weeks, which cost more than 20,000 yuan ($3,000). He has since been hospitalized four times, adding another 10,000 yuan to the family's financial woes. And because the boy was born early, he must drink expensive baby formula rather than breast milk.
Chen's 39-year-old husband works as a security guard in Dujiangyan, while she is a homemaker. The family earns 1,000 yuan a month - about what it costs just to care for their son after he started drinking less formula, saving them about 800 yuan a month, she said.
When the debt became overwhelming, the family sought help from the local family planning committee. Chen said that after arguing fiercely with the staff, she told them: "If you don't save my child, I'll kill myself in your office."
Chen said little Wang Chengjiang is worth any financial struggle.
While 33-year-old Deng Li and her 7-month-old daughter Xu Xiaoli have not suffered health problems, the arrival of the new baby has created financial pressures.
Deng, a resident of Shifang, another city in Sichuan, supports seven people, who share a single-room dormitory, all on her salary as a Hongbai Middle School art teacher.
"We haven't got much help from the government but we have got a lot from volunteers and therapists. I'm very grateful to them," Deng said.
She also believes the cost of raising another baby is well worth the extra expense.
"She's so cute!" Deng said. "I missed my previous daughter so much. Now I fully devote myself to taking care of my new daughter and that helps me cope."
Having another daughter has helped Liu Li move past losing her first but she still wants to make sure Huishan is never forgotten. After finding Huishan's QQ messenger account information scrawled on a notepad, she bought a book on how to use a computer.
She now regularly updates her daughter's blog with images of the girl's favorite foods and cartoons, and of their family. The main page reads: "Let us remember this lovely and pretty girl."
For Deng and her family, Xu Xiaoli is not just a new life but also a chance to start life anew, one that has risen from the ashes of disaster.
"We hope Shanshan leads a happy life in heaven, and our three hearts will always be with her," Liu said. "And we just hope En'en will enjoy a good life with us on Earth."