Wednesday, June 16, 2010

hi from Italy!

so baby girl must love Italy, because I've been feeling great.

Tons of energy, no jetlag (despite the 6 hr time difference), and overall just great.

It's interesting to me how different cultures respond so differently to pregnancy. Maybe it's New York, and not the US, but you're treated as if things are just same old same old while pregnant in NY. Yes, people offer you a seat on the train/bus but other than that no fuss is made. My doctor also makes it all seem very normal, and has a very matter of fact approach. Probably because of all of this I've been functioning as I always have- working long hours, eating the same healthy food in the same amount as before, walking everywhere as I always have, seeing friends frequently etc.

But it all changed the moment I stood in line at the Air France counter at the airport on my way here. The staff pulled me to the front of the line, and changed my seat to give me one with extra leg room. They placed a "priority" tag on my luggage so I wouldn't have to wait. I'd also gotten distracted responding to emails on my iPhone, and was waiting in line to board. Several French passengers motioned that I should be boarding priority. I hadn't even thought of that. So off I marched to the front of the line. Where someone was more than eager to help me place my bag in the overhead bin... All without me asking for any of it.

Similarly, in Italy I've been treated like a princess. Every one insists you take it easy, not so much as fetch your own tea... People on the streets make way, the lunch lady insisted I take a complimentary box of milk with my lunch... People seem surprised I'm still flying, working, traveling (although my US doctor said international travel was fine until 34 weeks.. so I technically could still fly until the end of my 8th month).

Which has me feeling all the more pregnant and conscious of my being pregnant. Which I often "forget" back in the US.

I have to say I love the special treatment and the "celebration" of my being with child. As the man sitting in the airplane (who was very hiphop and the comment coming from him was all the more poignant): this is so special. Yes dear stranger on the plane, it is. I wonder if it's the low birth rates in this part of Europe that makes it so, or the non-denial of women being women... but I've found a profound difference in the way being pregnant is treated. And I have to say I love this way far more.


Jill said...

That does sound like fun! I certainly didn't experience that on my business trip to San Fran. I had to jostle for my place in the southwest boarding line just like everyone else!

Amber said...

I had a similar experience on our cruise which is staffed by non-Americans. They tried to feed me first, help me with everything and checked on me all the time. On our flights, the attendants would bring me a drink before we even took off and gave me extra snacks which I thought was great.

Pregnancy is an incredibly special time and our country does not acknowledge that enough!

Courtney said...

That is awesome that you got treated so royally!!! The joys of pregnancy!!! Eat it up!

Alfred said...

I enjoyed your post and blogged about it over at babble. Thanks for inspiring me:

Alfred said...

I enjoyed your post and blogged about it over at babble. Thanks for inspiring me:

Alfred said...

OOPS-- I am not "Alfred" but rather Ceridwen Morris. For some reason I'm signed in as my son!

Elizabeth Dagostino said...

I am SO jealous you are in Italy. I've been following your posts for a few weeks since my husband and I found out we were expecting as well. I also have PCOS, am newly pregnant - 10 weeks, and living in Brooklyn NY. Was hoping to head to Italy this summer, but I've been so sick and exhausted that I can't even think about planning a trip. I am SO glad to hear though that the treatment of pregnant women is so outstanding there.

I would be shopping until I dropped in Italy, especially for a little girl. They have the MOST exquisite baby clothes there! Nothing like you find in the states.

Have fun!!!

Lili said...

Wow, chivalry is alive & well! Unfortunately not so in Australia where I live and as a pregnant woman, I am more likely to be told to just get on with it! Not unkindly, but that's just the way it is. I have to say, I was spoiled recently by my husband who bought me some gorgeous maternity lingerie from HOTmilk Lingerie. A gorgeous surprise & I did feel special, you should check it out. It would be so lovely though to have doors opened, to be given a roomier seat, all the things you've been mentioning. I think I'll have to get planning a trip to Europe to see how the other half live. LOL!