Folks, my pregnancy is half completed. Where has the time gone?!
I started stocking up on supplies already. I got maternity pads, normal pads, adult diapers (what???). For baby, I got two packs of traditional diapers (I am not even going to bother with cloth ones for the first month or so), some binkies and a binky chain. If I remember correctly, it’s best to wait six weeks before introducing a binky. But it’s still nice to have because when you have a newborn, you forget about everything else. And I hate running to the store because you need something right NOW.
I suddenly remembered that I needed to be rubbing cream or oil on my belly every day to prevent stretch marks. Yeah… in winter time, I haven’t been very consistent with that. It worked great last time, but I just need to force myself to do it every day! I should make myself a calendar with some gold stars for when I remember.
The holidays were nice, but I spent them gazing longingly at the food on other people’s plates. Holiday food in France is decidedly not pregnancy friendly—at least for those of us who take it seriously. French women seem to be rather devil-may-care about their diet in general, and this holds true during pregnancy as well. They do abstain from alcohol, but they’ll eat anything.
So the foie gras, the scallop carpaccio, the rare roast, the dried sausage, the smoked salmon, the cheese from raw milk… I enjoyed none of it. What’s funny is that it’s quite easy to adjust to a pregnancy diet. It’s pretty simple—just make sure all your food is well cooked. Sure, sometimes I really miss sushi. But it doesn’t seem like such a hardship when you know why you’re giving it up. And it’s only for 9 months! I guarantee you that I’ll get so used to eating this way, I’ll forget about sushi completely until well after I’ve given birth.
I’m anemic, so my doctor prescribed me iron pills the size of pennies last time I went to see him. I’ve never taken so much in my life. They look like they were meant for horses. Unfortunately, they cause my digestion to slow wayyyy down… ugh.
Only about four more months to go. Next week I see my midwife so we can discuss how to push a watermelon out of a straw. I’m not clear on any of it! I also have a lot of questions concerning Covid-19 and pregnancy, the vaccines and pregnancy/breastfeeding, and sanitary measures at the hospital. Will I have to labor with a mask on? Will my family be able to visit me? Maybe it’s too soon to know what the situation will be like in four months, but at least she could tell me how things are at the moment.
The ultrasound this month was The Big One. It’s always fun. The baby is the perfect size to see the entire body on the screen at once. (Later it will get so big that we’ll only be able to see parts at a time.) The gynecologist takes loads of measurements with his high-tech ultrasound machine. He’s almost giddy about it. But I guess men like to take measurements of stuff, don’t they?
As a result of the ultrasound, the big news this month is that we found out the sex of our baby! If you remember, we didn’t want to know until the birth for C, but this time we didn’t want to be surprised. In many ways, this pregnancy feels even more abstract than the last one because of my brain being occupied with my firstborn and everything else going on in the world, worries over the pandemic, our jobs, etc. etc. I thought knowing the sex this time would help us (including C) to prepare ourselves psychologically.
It’s a girl!!!
We’re so happy to give C a little sister. Papa reckons they’ll play better together than a boy and a girl. I’m not convinced because I don’t think there are any rules for that. I’m excited to be able to use the stock of clothes we already have from C, because if I were having a boy and we decided we’re done having babies, what was the point of hoarding all C’s clothes? And I realized another cool benefit: the girls will be able to share a bedroom for much longer. I don’t think it would have been as easy for two boys, or a boy and a girl.
Now begins the quest for a name! It’s got to work in French and in English. Spelling needs to be the exact same, and pronunciation needs to be very close. We like classic names. The hardest part is probably finding something that doesn’t sound dumb with our last name, which is a rare one even in France. I need to look over my post about the most popular baby names in 2020. And if any of you have a suggestion, I’m all ears!
If you missed earlier installments of my pregnancy series, or if you want to keep up with subsequent months as they are published, click here.
Jessica is an American expat living the dream in Normandy. She is wife to a French hubby and mama to a Franco-American daughter, born in 2018, and one whippet. Passionate about all stages of writing, this Francophile created her blog in 2020 to help others navigate motherhood with a focus on conscious parenting and bilingual parenting. Bonne lecture !