7 weeks to go!

I am now in my third trimester with about 7 weeks to go! OH MY how time flies! I'm starting to feel the pressure to get everything purchased and in its proper place as quickly as possible. We don't have much space in our little Paris apartment, so her nursery will be shared with my office space and it's coming along quite nicely! 

I've started birthing classes and prenatal yoga with a mid-wife. It's been SO beneficial because I'm learning all of the french labor terms and how hospitals operate in Paris. I'm feeling confident that I won't be completely lost-in-translation the delivery room!!

I feel very fortunate to have been able to work from home during my pregnancy. This has resulted in me feeling relaxed and happy. As many of you know I previously worked in advertising. Working in an ad agency environment can be stressful with the deadlines, constant pressure to produce amazing work and long hours. It's been nice to be able to work with freelance clients one-on-one at a pace I'm comfortable with and less stress!

Good news! We found out that my fibroid tumors have moved with my growing belly and no longer cause a problem for delivery. YAY! However, I found out this week that I have Gestational Diabetes - BOOOOO! I'll have to make some dietary changes even though baby has me craving ALL the sugary things! Yet, I suppose I don't mind as long as the baby is okay :)

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She's not even born yet and I'm already learning so much about her.

Likes

  • Giving mommy early morning wake-up kicks
  • Dancing to the LaLa Land and Hamilton Soundtrack. I guess she's a musical-loving gal!
  • Listening to portuguese jazz - Águas de Marco
  • When mommy is feeling relaxed. I feel like she enjoyed my prenatal massage as much as I did!
  • Hamburgers - she is half American after-all! I always feel AMAZING after eating a hamburger. Takes any and all nausea away!
  • Going to the movies, she always sways gently to cinematic sounds

Dislikes

  • Brussel sprouts. I love them, but everytime I eat them she turns and rolls - clearly revolted. 
  • Being startled when daddy (who is normally very calm) screams like crazy when watching a football match - Go PSG!
  • Taking hot baths. I accidentally had the water too hot one time and she freaked out - and rightfully so!

I'm still trying to decide which dates my shops will be closed for while on maternity leave. However, I'm currently accepting commissions starting early July! Hope you all are well and are enjoying a lovely weekend! 

xo,

Jessi

Adventures of being pregnant abroad: First Trimester

Hello friends! I've decided to start documenting my journey to motherhood here on my blog. I want this to be a place where I can be open and honest about my experience. I want to be able to talk in my true voice, which does include swearing at times (just a heads up). I'm currently at the end of my second trimester as I write this, but wanted to go back to the beginning. Thank you for following along!

It was mid September 2016 and for about a week I had been feeling little changes in my body. Every morning I would wake up feeling bloated and heavy. I of course just assumed it was that time of the month because well... it was! During a girls-night-in, over a couple bottles wine, my friends joked that I might be pregnant after noticing my bloated belly. The thought of course stayed in my mind for the rest of the week. My husband and I headed to Strasbourg for the weekend to visit family. While we were out and about in the town, I decided to sneak away and buy a few home pregnancy tests.

I waited until midnight, when everyone was asleep to take the test. I sat there rather impatiently for 3 very long minutes for the test results. When I saw the test was positive, I was in complete shock. All I could seem to say was "oh sh*t, oh sh*t" over and over! Also, I had just spent a whole weekend indulging in ALL the wines and champagnes, so I felt bad! I know the results shouldn't have been as surprising as it was, but once never actually expects a positive test!

I immediately woke my husband up to share the news with him. I know I probably should've waited, but I just couldn't!! Poor thing was confused and shocked, as I woke him just as he was about to hit his REM cycle - sorry P! No one really expects to be woken up to such news. It was midnight September 19, 2016, our one year wedding anniversary. 

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Since moving to France, I had always known I wanted to give birth to my first child here since mothers receive FREE health/ medical care during pregnancy and delivery. I think this is so amazing and wish the U.S. did this for it's expecting mothers. I will dedicate a post to just this in the future.

When I got back to Paris, I immediately found out what I needed to do. Luckily, my sister-in-law is currently pregnant and has been able to guide me through the french ways of being pregnant! I "subscribed" with a General Practitioner who gave me a blood test. Once the blood test confirmed I was indeed 5-6 weeks pregnant I was able to set up an ultrasound (or an "echographie" as they're called here) at 7 weeks to verify there was indeed something growing inside. We met my ultrasound technician, a kind and quirky french woman who makes off-color jokes. It was then we heard our little one's first heartbeat. 

It was during this first ultrasound that my doctor noticed I had four fibroid tumors growing in my uterus - three on bottom and one on top. Good news is that they weren't near the fetus, but would need to be monitored and could cause me to have a high-risk pregnancy.

It wasn't long before the wonderful symptoms of pregnancy started gracing me with their presence. Along with a VERY heightened sense of smell my morning sickness came in at full force at about 8 weeks. And LET ME TELLLLLL YOU, morning sickness is NO effing joke!! The best way I can describe it was I felt as if I had a never-ending 2 month hangover, and the worst kind at that! I was throwing up about 4 times a day, had little to no appetite and couldn't even keep water down. Taking the metro was hell. Due to my heightened sense of smell, it was nearly impossible to be trapped in a small space full people who've been at work all day - if ya know what I mean. I began to walk everywhere to avoid public transport. I had to start carrying a plastic bag with me everywhere I went in case I got sick. There were two weeks, during my second month of pregnancy, when I didn't leave my couch - it's all a blur really. I slept a lot and lost a lot of weight during my first trimester. Needless to say, I wasn't very motivated to create anything during that time. Creating posts for social media seemed nearly impossible. 

I must admit I was nervous at the idea of being pregnant for the first time while abroad, and so far away from my parents who guide me through my big life moments. Pregnancy is completely uncharted waters for me. My main concern was that I would miss out on a lot of information from the doctors, since all of my care would be in french! I understand and speak french pretty well, but things still get lost in translation from time-to-time. 

Lots more to come in this new chapter of our lives!

Bisous,

Jessi