Monday, August 13, 2012

Thoughts on having a baby overseas...

When we moved over here last August, our game plan was to be here for 2 years, travel Europe, learn French, come back to Texas, THEN have babies.  

All of that changed once we got over here.  Being around our nieces and nephew and especially meeting Nathalie after she was a few hours old gave us the fever AND made us start openly discussing the possibility of having a baby over here.  I was VERY against it at first, not because this is a third world country and they don't have the technology to deliver healthy was the fact that in my head when I had a baby, we would have a PARTY in the waiting room and my entire immediate family would be at the hospital the moment he/she breathed her first breath because that was the only way you had a baby, right?  We would go home a few days later and have an influx of cooked meals delivered to our doorstep, balloons, flowers, congratulations gifts and daily visitors... Normal, right? 

Well, none of that will be the case over here in France.  As we continued talking openly about starting a family we did discuss that I am by no means "old" but I am 28 and we do desire to have a big family, God willing.  So IF we were to wait until we moved back, we would both have to find good jobs with great benefits and wait for those benefits to actually kick in, prior to even trying to become pregnant.  This would put me at 30 and although that is by NO means old, it was a bit later than we had hoped to start trying for our first baby.  (Remember, I had always struggled with a weird infertility fear that can be traced back to high school.)

So are there PROs and CONs? Yes!

  • In FRANCE (agree or disagree with the politics as you may) we will have our baby literally "free" of charge AND she will have dual citizenship - French and American.  Our unfortunate incident from earlier this year and the surgical procedure cost us nothing.  The doctors appointments we have now up until delivery day, also all covered by our taxes.  (We get paid by my Father-in-law so what we see is what we get.  We don't actually see the taxes being taken out even though I know they are outrageous over here.)  ALL that to say, this is a pretty sweet deal.  
  • Does it STINK that all the "informational material" I am given is in FRENCH? YES! But we do have a doctor who speaks English with me (He is a HUGE blessing) and we are praying that we can find an English-speaking midwife.  (Oh yeah- In France, EVERY woman has a midwife and 9 times out of 10 the midwives are the ones who actually deliver the baby.  They are like your own personal cheerleader, pep rally, motivational speaker... who hopefully know English?) 
  • Another cool thing about having a baby in France is the flexibility of where we work.  I will have a maternity leave and Logan will be able to pop in at any moment of the day to spend time with us or come say hi since we live and work on the same property.  For first time parents, this is a really special time and we will cherish that because we know it is not the "norm." In fact, I cant really think of having that set-up in the states unless the Dad had the flexibility to work from home.  So we are counting our blessings from that perspective.  I am excited about how hands-on Logan will get to be and so is he! 
  • Do I get a knot in my stomach and burning tears in my eyes thinking about my parents most likely NOT being there the day I give birth to my first baby... yes. :( It makes me cringe.  Its not like when I go into labor, my mom can hop on a plane to Egletons, France and make it in time.  We are at least a day's travel away from Texas.  BUT we are planning to have my Mom, Chris, Dad, Kelley, and Katy all come within the first few weeks after she is born and once we are all back home.  I think this would be WAY more fun for everyone instead of cramming into a tiny hospital room. (But hey, if she makes her debut WHILE they are over here, even better! But that's a pretty tricky thing to predict.) 
So we are making sacrifices but also gaining some advantages.  It is not at ALL how I thought I would bring my first baby into this world, but it was God's plan and I am trying to be brave about the whole thing and make the best of it!  I do think it will be pretty cool for Little Miss Frenchy to grow up and say with pride that she was born in France :) 

So those are my jumbled thoughts about having a baby overseas... I sometimes have to give myself an internal pep talk during lonely/ panic moments, but Logan is great in those times and cheers me up! 


  1. I have some other expat friends (who are fluent in French either) who have had babies here. If you want to talk to any of them to find out anything, let me know and I'll pass on an email address :)

  2. Sarah- I would seriously LOVE it if you could email me their contact info... my email is

    Thanks so much!



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