that I am not enjoying this pregnancy very much. Besides being riddled with hellacious nausea the first three months, I haven't been able to sleep very well lately and my body just feels completely taken over. I keep reading and hearing from friends that this is what a pregnancy with a girl baby does but I guess I just didn't really expect things to go the way they have. I mean I can't help but compare everything to my first pregnancy. I think its normal that we do this and pretty hard for us to avoid considering everyone asks me on a daily basis how this pregnancy is going compared to first.
I saw a friend today who I haven't in about 4 months or so. She had no idea I was pregnant and she asked me if I were sick because I didn't look very good. Nope, just pregnant. She shook her head and remarked that's why I looked like I've gained weight. Thanks, friend, for so nicely telling me that I looked fat. Funny though, I haven't gained a kilo since I started this pregnancy. But putting on a skirt that I wore pretty frequently while pregnant with Maximilien I noticed that my butt looked bigger as I pulled my black maternity tank down over the top of my bum.
And the heat... oh man, the heat. It's currently 29°C (84°F) in the apt right now. We own one fan and it's blowing into our room where Max has decided he'd rather sleep these days. The heat isn't helping things. I do find myself lingering in the yogurt and cheese aisles at the grocery store but besides that none of my daily haunts have la clim so I will have to go out of my way to find places to cool off. I thought about the pool today but walking home after doing morning prep at the tea house and seeing the line go around the building and down the street pretty much turned me off from that idea. And then I remembered going to the pool with Max and the craziness that the French public pools could be.
In a positive light, Max is completely obsessed with my belly and babies. He tells me everyday there's a baby in there. The assistants at the creche know that I am pregnant now and talk with him about it. They were excited to get out their collection of books about becoming a sibling and new babies in Maman's belly. Today, I went to pick him up from the crèche and I saw Max pushing around a baby in a pousette. One of the assistants told me that he had been telling all the other kids that this was his baby. He would hold the baby and then put it back in the stroller and sing songs to it. Talk about total explosion of my heart.
But standing in the mirror tonight in my favorite striped skirt and black tank I looked and felt like I was starting to look pregnant. I am definitely carrying this baby differently. With Max, I carried him out in the front and with BB it's more of a fat tire thing going on with my whole mid-section. I can feel her kick and sometimes kicking in my back? Anyone else feel that? Maybe my placenta is placed in the front this time. I'll have to ask my doctor about that. But those little love taps make me happy and I quickly forget about how uncomfortable I am this time around. But still... I find myself counting the weeks until the finish line. I'm 18 weeks this week, indigestion and all.
Had a very special shopping trip to do today to prepare for my MIL's retirement party. I don't go over to this part of Paris very often unless I go to this one shop that makes me think of Audrey Hepburn and the scene in the movie where she's gazing through the window like a child looking through the window of a candy shop. Though this shop in Paris isn't as beautiful as the original in New York City, they do make you feel very special when you go shopping there and always have the AC cranked to my liking perfect for today's sweltering temperatures! I've probably given away too much but this is an easy photo for you to guess at. So, where in Paris am I?
When I became pregnant with Max it was at a time in my life that I consider a huge turning point emotionally for me. I had just lost my mother to a heart attack a little over a year when Julien and I conceived Max and right before we conceived Max I suffered a miscarriage. The emotion roller coaster of loss for me was intense but I came out of it and soared into pregnancy and loved it. I was sick with Max but nothing I couldn't handle. In all honesty, a mother's brain does the mama good by forgetting things like being sick in the first months but thank goodness for blogs I can go back and re-read and compare. I was sick with Max but not nearly as sick as I am now with BB.
I didn't work while I was pregnant with Max. I was in a transition period between jobs and had taken a small part time job tutoring a couple students in English to busy myself in the afternoons. As Julien puts it, I had time to pamper myself thus not noticing how sick I was. I don't remember it like that but I do agree that I had ample time to relax. So this time around I am now the owner of my own business working 65+ hours a week and I become pregnant. I did this for the first month of my pregnancy and then quickly learned that I had to stop. I hired someone to cut my hours in half and made myself slow down. Still working 35 hours a week is hard but I can do it and if I can't... well, I rest when I need to.
One plus of working so much and running around on my feet all day is that now 4 months pregnant I haven't gained a pound! I can't hardly believe it! I had gained one kilo last month only to have lost this month. Thus I am hovering right at my pre-pregnancy weight. I can't tell you how stoked I am or how pleased my doctor was today when he announced my weight. I warned him it may not be the same when I get back from the US (with my plans to eat copious amounts of BBQ and Mexican) but he smiled and said that I could faites vous plaisir. But still... I am going to try to keep to this minimal weight gain this pregnancy and see what it gets me afterwards. I will soon have to return to my 65+ work weeks so I will need all the help I can get.
So, difference so far...
- I've been way sicker!
- I've had zero weight gain (and I'm not complaining about this at all!)
- I've noticed that my stomach doesn't feel as substantial as it did when pregnant with Max. Though it's popped out it feels different. Example, I roll on my stomach and instead of feeling a mass in my lower belly, I feel a slight pressure but nothing that different.
- I don't feel pretty. I know this may be vain of my but when I was pregnant with Max I felt like a million bucks. I felt like I actually glowed. I look back at photos of myself and I looked pretty great, I think. My hair was healthy. My skin was clear. This pregnancy I am constantly breaking out, my hair is oily and super dark and I look like hell warmed over.
I did not want to get my hopes up that I could be having a girl because of all these signs. I mean every other person I know (2 friends and you know who you are, gals) had different pregnancies and I suspected pretty hard that they were having girls and it turned out they did. But this is me, the opposite always happens for me. I thought with my first pregnancy I was having a girl and I had a boy. I felt disappointed when I heard the news and I didn't want to feel like this again with this pregnancy.
So, when my doctor asked me today if I wanted to find out the sex I couldn't resist and I said yes. He has his own personal sonogram machine in his office so we had a look. He checked the position of the baby and listened to the heart beat. And then the moment of truth... he threw up a shot of the baby right between the legs and even before he could say anything, I muttered "Le Choix du Roi"*. And he responded, "Exactement!".
I cried until Julien arrived and he then took all the credit like the proud papa he is.
Bring on the pink.
*Le Choix du Roi is an expression the French use to express that you have two children, one boy and one girl. .
If my hair was longer he would have been holding my hair back for me. I got sick again tonight and it caught me off guard. I was changing Max's poopy diaper and I guess it hit me harder than I thought. I rushed to change him and put him down on the floor and rushed to the other end of the apartment to the bathroom making it just in time for the sick to come up. I hear the pitter patter of my toddler's feet in the hallway and the faint calling, "Mommy?". There is worry in his voice.
I am hunched over the toilet heaving and unable to move. My son comes and rubs my back and says to me, "Mommy malade?" "Mommy malade.". The first time a question and the second time an affirmation. He repeats it until I acknowledge that he's right that Mommy is sick. He stood there quietly with his hand on my back until I was done. I washed my face and rinsed my mouth and scooped up my little man. Without hesitation he swooped in for a big kiss and a hug and whispered, "Mommy malade".
He understands that there is a baby in my tummy. He doesn't understand that the baby is making mama sick. I haven't explained that to him and don't want him to associate the baby with Mama being sick. He's gone from his days of imitating me being sick to sympathizing with me now. I do appreciate that a lot.
I am always in awe at how compassionate my son can be. He is always concerned when there is a child crying at the creche or the playground. When we watch the Tigger movie he always gets upset when Tigger is crying and comes close to me to cuddle and find comfort. And instead of him seeking out comfort in my arms he comes and gives it to me when I need it the most. I am grateful for this and know that he's going to be a great big brother to this new baby.
Here I am staying up late when I should be trying to get some sleep. I should follow my son's advice he gave me when I put him to bed tonight. He leaned in and said to me, "Mommy est malade. Mommy fait dodo". Yes, Max... mama is going to bed now.
I sat and watched Maximilien built his train track and for the first time today he figured out how to make the track into a circle without asking Mama for help. I was so impressed to watch as he tried out different pieces, turning them so they would fit taking out long straight ones to replace them with curved ones so that his train could run its course.
A month or so ago France 24 came to interview our knitting group, TricoThé, that meets at the tea house every week. The journalist was looking for knitting groups that met through out Paris and wanted to talk about the phenomenon that is known as Le Tricot that is becoming à la mode in Paris.
You can view the newscast here. And unbelievably I was having a decent French speaking day. Though it took several takes and some coaching from the journalist because apparently there were certain things she was looking for me to say but over all I think it came out pretty well. I was very excited to see the tea house get some great exposure from this and this will help to transition my tea house to a knit café.
Maximilien knows that if I open my laptop he can see his Halahboji, Sam Cheon or Emo via video chat. This evening he was searching for his Halahboji online but we didn't find him. So, instead we made a video message for him and hope to catch him online very soon.
But in a good way.
That's pretty much how my life has been for the last few weeks. Bouts of nausea that kept me pretty much laying down most of the day and then the excitement of old friends coming into town have occupied me the last couple weeks. Now we have an "empty nest" as our friends have left (we miss you guys!) and I am filling the void with lots and lots of administrative work that needs to get done. But during this busy time, I hardly had the chance to notices that the pregnancy nausea has disappeared. Where as just a few weeks ago I dreaded waking up for the last week, morning have have been better and my I feel my appetite and energy level coming back to normal again.
Maximilien got to spend two full weeks with my friend's daughter, Rowan, who is practically the same age as Max. They spent the entire time sharing everything, exchanging languages, running up and down the hallway in our apt and hugging and kissing each other everyday. I only wish that my friends and I lived closer together but we look forward to our next big visit next year but this time in the US. Up until my friends arrived I had worried about Max's level of exposure to English. While I don't doubt at all his level of comprehension in English ( I only speak to him in English) I was a little worried about his English expression. He only speaks French at home (and at the Creche) with a few words in English peppered through out his 2-3 word sentences. But after spending two weeks with his American (girl)friend I can easily say that he's upped his vocabulary in English by 20-30 words. Just last night, he was telling me about going up and down the chair something he never really expressed before hanging out with Rowan, who said this to us at least 100 times a day. :) I look forward to our month long visit in the US and am excited to experience the new development in his English vocabulary.
The new baby who I am calling "BB" or BéBé is doing well. Last week, BB was measuring over 5cm so I suspect this week near 7cm. I can tell that some growth is going on in my belly as my pants don't really fit anymore and that at 14 weeks of pregnancy I am much bigger that I was with Maximilien. I am a bit disappointed in myself that I am starting out this pregnancy 10lbs heavier than I did with Max but I am happy to report that in the first 3 months of this pregnancy I haven't gained any weight. Oh, my doctor might be disappointed with me when I get back from the US with an extra 15lbs on me. Home always means eating foods that I miss... like baked beans, ribs and all the fixins. My father has been warned that I intend on eating BBQ at least once a week while I'm home.
Speaking of going home, we have booked out tickets for our big flight to St. Louis in August. This will be the first time in 6 years that I have been home to the midwest during the summer. I am afraid that I have forgotten how hot it will be but rest assured there will be good 'ole AC and I am betting that Julien, Max and I will come down with colds because we're not used to AC. But I think we'll survive.... I am looking forward to seeing family in Kansas and Nebraska and catching up with old friends, especially ones who may be having a baby very soon (Hi Lainey!).
There's a mini update on what's been going on around here... I have lots of photos to post and more things to write about. But for now I feel like going to pick up my boy early with a box of popsicles and going to the park to pick wild flowers.