dimanche, décembre 23
posted by Gina at 11:55

Why do they call mid-wives mid-wives? I can't answer that, which is why I prefer the French term for them: sage femmes. If you're having a baby, do you want to be cared for by anyone else other than a wise woman? I'm seeing a few wise women in my preparations for showtime. In fact, in French hospitals, it's the wise women who deliver the babies while a doctor is called in only in case of emergency. Wise women have accompanied me a lot through my journey and now that my big fat French pregnancy is almost over, here is a reflection on the things I have learned from being pregnant in Paris...
1) If you are on a crowded bus or metro and someone gives up their seat for you, nine times out of ten, it will be another woman.
2) If you are pregnant and must take the metro in times of strike, the conductor will let you ride up front with him.
3) If someone in your near vicinity pulls out a pack of cigarettes, puts one in their mouth and then notices you are obviously with child, they will light up anyway without hesitation whether they are strangers, friends or even friends who have their own babies.
4) French fathers-in-law still haven't gotten word that having a few flutes of champagne is not a great idea for pregnant women.
5) The French think it's bad luck to give baby gifts before the birth, so baby showers are non-existent here. My thoughts go out to my mom's French teacher, a Lyonnaise who had her first baby in California. Someone asked her about throwing a baby shower and what she understood was that this person wanted to take a shower with her baby.
6) The biggest shocker I got from a wisewoman just yesterday: sushi and raw oysters aren't off limits as long as they are fresh. Still don't think I can bring myself to eat it after all this time hearing about the "risks" it can bring. The bad factor is so embedded in your brain that you can't bring yourself to believe it's acceptable. Kind of like if some medical report suddenly announced that cocaine is actually great for your health.
So now that the Christmas countdown is over, the big countdown continues. About a month left to go unless he (she?) decides to make an early appearance. Though I've been warning the baby about the consequences of having a birthday too close to Christmas. We'll see if it starts out life being a good listener or not.
jeudi, décembre 13
posted by Gina at 19:07

Can you blog about something that happened awhile back? Sure, why not?
It's been a few weeks since the event, but we headed out to catch a fabulous burlesque show thrown by a fabulous Parisian lingerie designer. The invite said "glamourous attire required" so I nagged my jeans-addicted husband and some of his buddies to put on their nice suits and head out to the 9th arrondissement with my friend Natalie and I. The scene was set perfectly- walking into the place took you a few decades back in time.
The gents looked dapper and the dames looked swell. The evening's host wore a top hat and tails while our hostess was in pearls and a feathered bustier. Tap dancers with rouged cheeks hopped around the stage. It almost seemed in bad taste to smoke a cigarette without a Holly Golightly cigarette holder. And then there were the (almost) naked ladies. Unfortunately, my camera is merde, so my photos all came out like this:

Sorry, fellas. No tassles to see here. But on another note, this burlesque show was great for pregant women! Here's why:
1. My watermelon-sized belly has made it near impossible to bend forward to put on shoes and socks. But the dancers demonstrated an alternative method: sit on a chair, arch your back, bend your leg behind you and pull your socks (or in their case, sheer thigh high stockings) off from behind. For them, it looked sexy. For me, it's 100% practical.
2. On the sidelines, a few women were selling goodies like pin up girl photo books and such. Among their stuff was a salve for treating sore nipples after you take your tassles off. Hello! That's breastfeeding paraphernalia!
3. I didn't look forward to seeing beautiful bodies since my own looks like Mama Cass'. But when I got to the show, I found them inspiring and promised myself that I'd look like that a few weeks after delivering. Well, it's nice to have a goal anyway.
The show had dancers from all over the world and was done with enough class to show that you can undress down to your satin knickers in a room full of strangers and still be in good taste. The audience was dressed to the nines except one guy strolling around in a t-shirt, which earned me a few glares from my denim loving cohorts. And the fetus may have been oblivious to the surrounding garter belts and feather fans, but it really was an excellent show, with the cherry on the cake being the jazz manouche at the intermission. If you want to see some photos, another friendly Paris blogger (one of those legit ones) was there and you can check out her account here. Gypsy Rose Lee would have been proud.