Week 35: Weekend in Paris!

Week 35 (the week of the 20th of February) had two big highlights: an unexpected extra ultrasound, and a weekend in Paris!

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As I mentioned in my last post, at my 34-week midwife appointment she noted that the baby was measuring small and sent me for a scan to be sure everything was okay. We were quite nervous for this but the good news is that everything is fine!

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I feel so lucky that we got to have this extra scan on the following Monday. The doctor performing the scan (in the UK it is doctors, not technicians, who do the scans) was the same we had in week 20, and she was very nice and very thorough. She spent probably 45 minutes checking all the organs and taking all kinds of measurements, and was very careful about not accidentally revealing the sex.

It was so nice and reassuring to see the baby and learn that the heart and brain and everything else is developing as it should. She said that the baby isn’t actually measuring that small; she estimated the gestational age to be just a few days behind 35 weeks, and that the current weight was about 5 pounds, 4 ounces, meaning s/he could be around 7 pounds by birth. Wow! I don’t want the baby to be any larger than that at birth! This was all such a relief and I am going to (try to) stop worrying now.

At our final antenatal class on Tuesday we learned about treating the different variations of post-partum depression, and techniques for caring for crying babies and managing sleep schedules. Our antenatal class was great and I am really glad we took it; I’ve definitely learned a lot and feel more prepared for birth and the early newborn days, and it’s been really lovely to meet other couples expecting babies around the same time. We are in a WhatsApp group together and look forward to all getting together when the new additions are here. Every other couple in the class is having a boy; we’ll have to see if we complete the pattern or contribute some balance!

And finally, we had our Paris weekend! We took Friday off work and got the Eurostar bright and early Friday morning to Paris. We stayed in an Airbnb near the Bastille and it was an absolutely lovely weekend. We were keenly aware that this would be our last time traveling just the two of us for a very long time, and made the most of it. We spent time exploring markets, shopping (buying more for the baby than ourselves), walking around in the sunshine, reading in cafes, enjoying some excellent meals and seeing some classic Parisian sites we hadn’t visited before.

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We also took some bump photos!

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We were up very early on Saturday to visit Notre Dame in the sunrise and beat the crowds, and it was well worth it. Notre Dame gets so touristy but if you can get it when it is empty, it really is breathtaking

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Following that, we went to Saint-Chapelle, an absolutely gorgeous 13th-century chapel I had read about.

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On Sunday, we went to the Panthéon, another site we hadn’t visited before, and walked around the Luxembourg Gardens, one of my favourite parks, before walking across the city to the Palais-Royal, another favourite.

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One frustrating thing was how slow I am walking now. Paris is such a compact, walkable city and I am so used to walking everywhere. But long distances are tough for me now; both my lower back and lower abs felt really sore every day. It was frustrating to have to walk slowly and take the metro more often than I am used to.

On the plus side, I noticed that people in Paris were really friendly and excited about me being pregnant. People on the metro gave up their seats for me instantly, and waiters at restaurants and cafes were so kind and friendly, commenting on the bump and offering congratulations. That never happens in London; even wearing my “baby on board” badge the tube rarely gets me a seat offer. We’ve always said that the stereotype of French rudeness is absolutely untrue, and this confirmed it; we find people in Paris and across France to be much kinder than Londoners.

Also, pregnant women get priority queuing in the grocery stores, as shown by this helpful drawing depicting just what is going on in our bellies!

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At the risk of sounding sappy, it was a really lovely weekend for just the two of us. I know that we are fortunate to have spent years taking many amazing trips together, and we’re ready for our new addition. But it was really lovely to have this weekend as just us in one of our favourite cities. I can’t wait to return with our bébé!

Week 35 Summary

Baby Size

Honeydew melon. Various types of melons and tropical fruits seem to be a theme lately.

Symptoms

  • Braxton-Hicks contractions have definitely begun, although they are not painful. I just feel a tightening sensation across my abdomen; it took awhile for it to dawn on my what these are.
  • Tired/heavy/sore from lots of walking.

Workouts

One yoga/strength video; one pilates video; one pregnancy yoga class and lots of walking in Paris.

Weight Gain

Around 17/18 pounds

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