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.