Tag Archives: France

33 week update

16 Oct

Yes! Nearly there. I am now 33 weeks and 2 days. They let me go home from the hospital at 31 weeks and 4 days. Ever since then, I have been chillin’ it out at home. Making sure the little one bakes in the oven a little longer.

The last 2 visits made by the midwife were good. In an hour of monitoring, 0 contractions.

I had a bit of a scare over the weekend. I thought my water started to leak and so I was stressing so bad I wasn’t able to sleep well. The forums on the internet didn’t help at all.

I asked my midwife about it yesterday and he said it wasn’t my water leaking and that I shouldn’t stress at all since the I wasn’t having contractions and the baby is doing real well. That assured me a lot. Whew!

Today, G and I went to the hospital for the follow up ultrasound and doctor’s appointment. It was a fun outing – especially after having been cooped up at home for weeks. The weather was even cooperative.

The little one now weighs 2.1 kilos. A very good weight for her age and the doctor said she has a good mop of hair already and is quite chubby. How cute is that. As usual, we couldn’t really make anything out on the screen, but we were shown the usual limbs, her ear, and organs. We weren’t able to see her face coz she was shy and she was moving a heck of a lot!

I’ve gained 2.8 kilos since last month’s’check up. Not bad. My cervix hasn’t changed since my hospital stint 2 weeks ago. What a relief!

A few more days and the 34 week goal will be reached. Everyone from my midwife to the ultrasound doctor told me that that’s a very positive sign. I just need to keep on resting and not to exert any unnecessary effort.

The problem is that my family’s arriving on Sunday and I’m super excited. I know I won’t be able to really “rest” while they’re here but I’ll try. I’m sure my mom’s gonna make sure I rest in bed anyway – while they go out and explore Paris. Boo!!!

I’m so excited!!!

1st Trimester Ultrasound and Down Syndrome test

29 May

So last week, we did our first official ultrasound. I say first official because I’ve had 2 before this one.

In France, the 12 week u/s is an important part of a woman’s pregnancy. It is when the baby is ‘dated’ – to know the exact due date. It is also when the parents are given a choice if they want to test their baby for down syndrome or the Trisomie 21 test. I was actually surprised at the number of tests a mommy has to go through during her pregnancy. I’ll tell you about those tests later.

Anyway, when I called to schedule the u/s, the secretary asked me if it was my first ultrasound. Obviously I said no. She told me that I can come in at 8 am and I don’t need to have a full bladder for it.

So off we went, all sleepy and excited.

The first thing we saw was the head – and the first thing that came out of the husband was “alien”. Then she started showing us the body – but suddenly stopped. She asked me if I drank anything that morning. I said no because the secretary said it wasn’t necessary, blah blah. The doctor got irritated and went to ask the secretary why she said it. She said it was because she thought it was for the 2nd official ultrasound which is the 6th month one, I think. Fail!!!

So I was asked to drink 1 liter of water and wait for an hour until it descends. Major fail. One, the husband wouldn’t be able to come with me anymore since he had to go to work and two, I hate drinking water. But you have to do what you have to do. By the 4th or 5th glass of water I wanted to vomit everything.

It was all worth it though. After an hour, I was let into the u/s room (sans husband, boo!) and I was able to gawk and wonder at how awesome the petit ourson is doing. The first thing we saw were his legs and feet, kicking up a storm. And he was tumbling. I saw his tiny hands and little nose and he was waving. I didn’t get all emotional though. But I was bottling it all up inside.

And here he is, the little bugger. We don’t know whether it’s a boy or a girl yet though. Besides he was on his tummy and was a bit shy after all the activity he just did. Although I am disappointed that we weren’t given a nice clear photo of his profile. Boo!

After the u/s, I went and had blood drawn for the down syndrome test. The test is 100% paid for by the social security and if there are any problems, then more tests will be made. Good thing is that from the u/s, the nuchal translucency screen was normal so there’s a low risk of ds. Whew.

 

I am sooo glad the 1st trimester is almost over. It was very reassuring to see the baby active and with a strong heart beat.

Exciting!

French 101

26 Jan

People say that it’s better to learn french if you’re planning to live in France. This girl says you only need 1 word. And I totally agree.

The power of this word is boundless.

 

Although with great power comes great responsibility.  So like she said, if you use it too much, it’s power will go away…and maybe you’ll indeed need to learn real french.

 

How to get a Japan visa

9 Feb

I don’t know how it is in the Philippines but I was surprised at how easy it was for me to get a Japan visa in France. I was a bit stressed when preparing the documents for the application because I didn’t read the requirements all the way through. On the website, I saw the following sentence in red and I just stopped there.

les fichiers électroniques/duplicata/ fax/ imprimés depuis des automates ne sont pas acceptés sauf si certifiés par un cachet original de l’établissement émetteur.

You see, all our bills are electronic so we don’t actually receive any original copies by mail. Whenever we need those, we just print them out. But the Japan embassy does not accept printed out copies. So I nagged and nagged and nagged the husband to call EDF to get them to send us a copy of our electricity bill. To those not in France, the EDF bill is considered as proof of residence and is needed in all transactions with the government and even in buying a phone line.

Plus I have to renew my titre de sejour soon after my planned trip to the embassy for the visa and I need my passport for that one.

The copy arrived a month later. It was just then that I read the list of actual requirements.

The EDF document was not in the list of requirements. Toink! The rest of the requirements were basic visa application documents (bank statements, passports, itinerary, etc).

Here’s the list of requirements in english. You can find more information at the Japan Embassy website (in french).

  • a valid passport (non-biometric ones are accepted, like mine)
  • titre de sejour
  • visa application form
  • 1 ID photo
  • roundtrip plane reservations
  • last 3 bank statements proving you have enough funds to go on the trip
  • proof of revenue (last 3 payslips)
  • hotel reservations for the duration of the stay
  • itinerary

Not a lot of papers really. Just the usual. So imagine the face of the husband when I told him I didn’t need the EDF document after all.

You don’t need an appointment to submit the application form. You just go to the embassy between 9:30am – 12 noon. I arrived at around 9:45 and I was the 2nd one there. No lines, no hassle. It helps that the French don’t need visas to go to Japan.

So the lady gets my papers, tells me to wait for a bit while she sends the documents to her superiors.

5 minutes later, she comes back and calls me. I can claim my passport with my visa after 2 days. The cost: Free.

Cool! Apparently there’s an agreement between the Philippines and Japan that tourist visas for less than 45 days are free.

 

2 days later, I go back for the visa. I was the only one there. No lines, no waiting. I was in and out in 2 minutes. I love how efficient the Japanese are compared to the French. To renew my titre de sejour, I have to go to the prefecture to wait for at least 2 hours to schedule an appointment for renewal in 3 months. How lovely.

Anyway long story short….I’m all set and ready to go!

 

Oh la la, no bra

5 Mar

When I saw the headline say Les seins de Carla font scandale (Carla’s breasts make a scandal), I just had to say tsk tsk, whatever. It’s not as if half the country hasn’t seen the first lady’s goodies. Type in Carla Bruni nude on Google and you’ll get at least 100,000 hits. Plus, she has got the looks and the body to pull it off. I say, when you’ve got it, flaunt it.

But of course she’s the wife of the president of France now and one would think that she’ll be more conservative, after all, her husband is the head of the right-wing party.

Is going to a state dinner without one’s undies a big no no? What if it’s a super tight fitting backless dress? Would bra lines be more of a faux pas than nipples poking every now and then?

You be the judge:

photo credit: http://www.slate.fr

Yes, she’s pretty and sexy but is it appropriate? Do you think her husband told her to go change because she’s too sexy?

Hell no! He wants the whole world to see that he’s tapping that…and you aren’t.

Link to the French article Les seins de Carla font scandale here.

Link to the English article from Times Online here.