French women don’t get fat, even the pregnant ones

There is a saying that you won’t find a fat woman in Paris. In my two day work trip to Paris, it’s something I observed to be absolutely true. Even the pregnant ones are slim; they just have a big round protruding tummy, doing what it should do, providing a cosy home for a baby to grow and develop in – but not an ounce of fat to be seen. I want to know their secrets. I need to know their secrets! This got me thinking about jealousy and pregnant women.

The past week has been one of those weeks where I have met three pregnant women. It’s kind of like buses in London – you never just get one bus at a time, three always arrive together after you have been waiting an hour. I like talking to pregnant women about their experiences and how they feel because I like to hear it from the horse’s mouth what this pregnancy thing is going to be like! I can read all about it, but it’s so much more interesting listening to my pregnant friends and family. Sure, there is a part of me that feels a teeny bit sad that I’m not pregnant right now, but my feelings are far more consumed with excitement and nervousness about what is to come. If it is a close friend or family member who is pregnant, my excitement for them is a gazillion times more because at the end of their pregnancy a beautiful baby is born waiting to be loved and I want to share that love with them, I look forward to falling in love with them.

I read an interesting blog article about being a ‘child-full’ couple rather than a ‘child-less’ couple; parts of the article I related to for how I feel when I find out my close friends and family are pregnant. Whatever happens in the future, I want us to be a ‘child-full’ couple. But there is one difficulty I have when it comes to being around pregnant women. When it is an acquaintance or colleague who is pregnant I feel less inclined to be excited for them, and I find them hard to talk about their pregnancy.  My jealousy far outweighs my interest in their pregnancy and their baby. Wow, how mean does that sound? But it is the truth and this is how I honestly feel right now.

This week I found out a friend of ours was 22 weeks pregnant, we had not seen her since before Christmas, and she had not announced it officially, so it came as a surprise when she visited our house for dinner with a big bump!! When she pulled up in our drive in her new car, I joked that she must have some exciting news to tell us because she has bought a brand new ‘soccer mom car’. Quickly our other friend who was unaware that we did not know our friend was pregnant quickly updated us that she was having twins! And wham bam without any digestion of this awesome new news our friend walked in with a huge bump! Last time we saw her before Christmas she was pregnant, but not noticeably and obviously not sharing the news because it was her first trimester. I had a lot of happiness for her because we had talked before Christmas about her plans to expand their family (I must not have been reading the ‘I’m pregnant’ subtle signals back then!!!). Our friend explained her recent shock of discovering at 20 weeks that she was having twins, there had been no indication at her 10 week scan. What a big surprise!! I had a variety of feelings for her when she talked about her pregnancy so far – nervousness for her, twins are a risky business – excitement that she will have two adorable babies to love – fearful for her sanity and how she will manage if her husband is posted the other side of the country, – general happiness that her family plan as going, well, to plan! So this pregnant lady was news where my excitement far outweighed any jealousy I might have.

Later in that week my husband and I went for dinner round his friend’s house. I have met this couple only once before, they are more my husband’s friends than mine; I hear a lot about them and what they are up to, but personally I don’t really know them. They are currently 28 weeks pregnant with their second child. As we were driving to their house for dinner, Chris mentioned that he hadn’t told his friends about our fertility treatment, and he asked if I would be happy talking about it if it came up. I agreed that it was OK to talk about it if the conversation flowed to it. The evening was lovely, and as usual I took my opportunity to quiz them about their pregnancy experiences so far (I hope I didn’t come across as annoying asking questions!). Their 2 year old daughter spent most of her time in either Chris’s or my lap, wanting to play with us or just cuddle, she was an adorable friendly girl, a little cutie indeed. We had a fun evening, some interesting topics of conversation, lots of laughter and good food. But despite this, throughout the evening I realized that I still did not know this couple well enough to talk about any fertility treatment we were having – I thought it would be awkward, for me mostly, just because they are pregnant. So any topic that headed towards our plans of trying to conceive were vehemently steered away from (well I consciously did anyway, I haven’t spoken to Chris about that yet), it just didn’t feel right. However, as my second meeting with a pregnant lady in one week, with this pregnant lady I felt a little more jealousy brewing inside of me and I am not really sure why.

Travelling for work to Europe has its ups and downs

Travelling for work to Europe has its ups and downs

The third pregnant lady I met this week in Paris was my new colleague. A couple of days ago I wrote about how I had a dilemma about what to tell my new team (who I will be working with over the next 1.5 years) regarding my departure one day earlier than planned. My plans were amended after I found out my Cycle Day 11 ultrasound would be on the day of my return from Paris. After I wrote my blog, I spent the morning travelling from Charles De Gaul airport into Paris city centre plucking up the courage to be more bold and open about why I was going to leave a day early. My new team (a virtual team) were all relatively new acquaintances, so I was nervous, but had pretty much committed myself to being open. I had little to lose. But all of that went out the window when I arrived to discover that one of my new team members was pregnant. As I did not know the lady very well I did not want to create any awkward feelings within the team. Maybe it wouldn’t have been awkward, but I didn’t want to risk that with our new team going through the forming and storming stages of working together. I made my excuses and told the leader that I was very sorry to have to leave early for an unavoidable doctor’s appointment. He didn’t ask any more questions, thankfully, and all went well. With this pregnant lady I felt immense jealousy. When we went for lunch and sushi was suggested there was that moment when everyone cared and realized their error in suggesting sushi to a pregnant lady. I wanted that to be me. When she turned down wine at dinner. I wanted that to be me. When the next meeting was discussed to meet again in 6 months’ time. I wanted that to be me, saying I probably wouldn’t be able to make it because I would be busy with my new born baby. And it wasn’t me. Despite this jealousy, I do hope that someday soon I can share those moments and experiences with my new colleague because she is very nice and we have a lot in common. So I was not jealous of her, I just wanted it to be me, and I saw that this could be me in the not so far future. And that was kind of cool.

So let’s get this TTC show on the road, IUI #2 – tomorrow I get to find out how many follicles I have grown this cycle – and the best part is that Chris will be there this time at the ultrasound, I‘m very excited!

Ps.  If you ever go to Paris – the skinny women, the free flowing good wine, flaky, buttery pastries and creamy, chocolatey tartes, rich creamy sauces – this is no place for a lady on a diet (I’m not actually on a diet, but after the last couple of days I think I’m going to need to go on one!)

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