So here we are at 38 weeks and I am officially on maternity leave! Wooo hoo!! In France, maternity leave begins 3-6 weeks before your due date and lasts 13 weeks after you give birth. They believe in giving expectant mothers the time to slow down, relax and to mentally and physically prepare for birth. I can see why childbirth is a much less stressful experience for french mamas! I feel very fortunate to be able to give birth in a country that holds expectant mothers and children at such high value ;) I really wish we could have something similar for our ladies in the states.
Waiting, pins and good reads
My birthing classes are completed and so are all of my doctor visits - now we've begun the waiting game. I started acupuncture sessions at 37 weeks to help get things going naturally. At my first session, the doctor stuck 6 pins in my ankles, feet, hand and belly - it didn't hurt. The pins were placed in sensitive areas to encourage my body to release the hormone oxytocin which will help facilitate childbirth. I was skeptical about it at first, but after 10 minutes I could tell something was working because I could feel my blood flowing stronger through my body and the baby began moving a lot. I will have acupuncture treatments once a week until I give birth.
My friend let me borrow the book Bringing Up Bébé, a book about an American mother discovering the wisdom of french parenting! I have always wondered why little frenchies seemed to be so well behaved. :) Both my husband and I are reading it and are enjoying it. It's funny because for me everything is revolutionary and for my french husband all of the advice is just so obvious lol. Shows the difference in our cultures and upbringings.
I've been enjoying my leave by spending time with the hubs and with friends. There have been lots of lunches, brunches, dinners and movie dates! Looking forward to using some of this downtime to work on small passion projects as well :)
Shop closed for maternity leave
As a small business owner, it was hard for me to close up shop. I've spent so time and energy building up momentum for my business, it's a little scary to set it all aside. I wanted to keep my shop open for as long as I could and made it 3 weeks before my due date, but now is the time for rest. Visits to the post office were getting complicated as my five minute walk had turned into a 10 minute waddle-fest! Even though the majority of my shop is closed, I still have cutie french enamel pins and phone cases on Casetify available! I'm expecting to reopen my shop at the end of June or early July, it all depends on when little miss makes her debut :)
I will be sure to keep the updates coming, but for now I'm going to relax!