Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Monday 30 January 2012

It's a boy!

At the beginning of January, after months of anticipation, the Prof. and I slowly made our way to the Santa Maria maternity ward at the Lenval Hospital in Nice (apparently the same place where Angelina Jolie had her Cesarean) . We weren't sure if my water had broken and we'd wanted to check in with a professional who could guide us through this experience, which I still felt I knew nothing about. I'd done a ton of research, but still hadn't figured out the logistics around how the baby inside me gets out here with the rest of us.

On the way to the hospital, we played our new favourite game of pointing out who was roaming around the streets of Nice, but had once travelled down a birth canal. The old woman crossing the street with a walker had once been inside another woman. The three guys smoking outside the tobacco shop had all been inside other people at some point -- they'd each been a person inside a person, like a Russian nesting doll. Even the dog peeing on the grassy median that divides Avenue de la Californie had once been inside another dog. I told myself that everyone we could see was once a small alien ship, leaving a mothership to go out and explore the world. And that was normal. THIS is as far as I got to psychologically preparing myself for my trip to the hospital: Trying to remind myself that the BIGGEST EVENT ON EARTH was also the most common.

When we arrived, I was put into a shared room and the Professor was told that he'd have to go home -- visiting hours were over and although I was going to be in labour very, very soon (having been induced), he was only allowed to join me once the contractions were in full swing. That meant that I was left alone in the French hospital, finally completely immersed in the language and culture of southern France -- albeit, of the medical variety.

Through the window of the birthing room, I watched Santa's lightbulbed hand wave at the traffic along the Promenade des Anglais to help take the focus off my contractions until the Prof was allowed to return. We then waited together for hours, alone and listening to a French radio station, until the sun came up along the beach and the baby decided he was finally ready to meet us. That's when our doctor and sage-femme (like a midwife), rushed in to join us in our tiny, seaside medical room.

Our little boy -- a boy that could only have been created with the help of that chance meeting in the cave in Quebec, and with our quick decision for me to follow the Prof back to France after just nine days -- was born just after sunrise.

Labour was by far the hardest part of the pregnancy (before that, I'd thought giving up wine and cheese had been the hard part), but we saw our way through -- and just in time. On our last day in the maternity ward, the Santa I'd hoped would be there to greet our little boy (or at least to give me something to focus on during the pushing part, which it did) was dismantled -- actually, dismembered. The beach in Nice then went back to normal and we took our holiday baby home with us.

And that, I guess, is where my adjustment to life in France ends and my new life as a French maman begins...

(First: A small tribute to the dismantling -- or really, dismembering -- of Santa below)


  1. Kerry:

    Congratulations! Sweet holiday baby! Look at that little cute hand! The story has become so amazing, and you're living it!!!!! ;)


  2. Félicitations Kerry!!!
    You've been on my mind the past few weeks and just yesterday I mentioned you to D. I figured that baby must have arrived and I was hoping that all is good. A little boy... All my best to you et ta nouvelle petite famille!!!

  3. I'm soooo happy for you Kerry :* Congratulation!I've been watching here for updates and thinking of you every day! You look like an angle in this picture and your little frenchie is adorable:*kisses:*I hope you are all healthy and happy now and enjoying every seconds.
    What name did you pick Maman?? :)

  4. Congrats on your little bundle

  5. Congratulations on the arrival of your baby boy!

  6. So beautiful! Congrats on your lovely family, Kerry! Hope all of you are well.

    (p.s. I can't believe I'm just finding out about this now!)

    1. Thanks, Kelly!
      We're all a little tired, but doing well.
      Parenting sure is a lot of work! (At the moment, I'm in awe of all mamans everywhere!)

  7. Congratulations Kerry. You look stunning and remarkably well-rested. Are you and the entire family well? And when do we hear the culturally-cosmopolitan name? — Kirstin

  8. Carmen: I did not expect the story to go this far, that's for sure. Thanks for the congrats!

    Tanya: Thanks! I hope you and D are still finding some warm spots here in Nice. It's so cold out! (I've obviously adjusted to the temperature here... in Canada, we'd be wearing shorts.)

  9. Anonymous and Kirstin: I'll write something about the name on Monday. Today, my goal is just to shower :)

    Sarah Louise and Bruleegirl: Thanks! He's not such a "little" bundle anymore, but he's still super cute!

  10. Belated congratulations! I was traveling and I was wondering whether you had the French bébé yet. I see all is well!

    Man, that's a cool view from the maternity. Lucky you!

    Take care!