So, I had my baby, in a foreign country. Which is why I haven’t been online much. That, plus our internet box and my computer apparently had some sort of feud and stopped talking to each other so I had to sneak onto Jake’s in between feedings and when he wasn’t using it. And never fear, I will continue my fascinating series on pregnancy in the French medical system and will write all about my overly long stay in a French hospital. Until then, here’s a recent hodgepodge of what I’ve been thinking about:

Within the space of a week:

  • my American debit card number was stolen and therefore cancelled (thereby greatly reducing our access to that account
  • our “insurance” decided they wouldn’t be able to wire money to our French account to pay the hospital bill, despite me telling them we did not have enough money in the French account to pay and would not be able to use an American card to pay (European cards have a chip that American ones don’t)
  • I had a baby and therefore needed to pay a hospital bill
  • “insurance” figured out a way to wire money to us
  • the wire raised some sort of red flag and the French bank froze our account

So, we ended up paying for our kid with a check that didn’t technically have funds to cover it. But thankfully we were able to get the account unfrozen before the check cleared so it all worked out.

The way you feel about your child is far too profound to capture in words. But I will say that Asher makes me so, so happy. The fact that he exists is something I’m enormously proud of and a source of great joy. I’m just so pleased with him.

And, I have come to realize over the past few weeks that the human race owes its continued existence to the fact that women are a tough, stubborn lot. Suffice it to say that delivery didn’t go the way I would have chosen and 6 weeks later I can sit for short amounts of time without a donut, as long as it’s a cushy surface. Suddenly people are coming out of the woodwork: “I used a donut for 8 weeks!” “I had mastitis 4 times and thrush 9 times!” and the thing is, every single one of them – us – would say, without hesitation, it was worth it, that the same and worse would be suffered if necessary to bear and feed a child.

I was really glad my belle-mere was going to be coming for the baby…but when you throw in a recovery that has been much, MUCH longer and more difficult than I ever imagined, her presence was a huge blessing. I had three-and-a-half weeks where I didn’t have to wash a dish or cook and could just focus on healing and learning how to nurse and otherwise be a mom. It occurred to me that if such help was more common, postpartum depression would probably not exist, or at least would be far more rare. I read an article once by an Orthodox Christian woman who said that, in their belief system, a woman should have 40 days after childbirth to rest, heal, and bond with her baby. So the other women in her church community bring dinners and help with cleaning and chide her for doing too much, if she is, so she can just sit around and snuggle her baby. Being taken care of makes it far more difficult to feel overwhelmed.