Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I've been a bad blogger lately. I have no-one to blame but myself. Well actually that's not true...this baby is the reason I am so darn tired! I can't complain as I don't have many other nasty symptoms that I have read about but I can honestly say I have never been this exhausted in my life. Not when I worked three jobs and went to uni full-time. Not when I partied until 4am and then started my job at the airport at 4.30am (oops). Not ever. And the more I sleep and rest the more tired I become! But the baby is baking now at 18 weeks so I am happy to take whatever comes my way.

I had read in an article before that Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe and that pregnant women are treated like queens in Italy. And according to a friend, apparently you become even more of a rock star if you are pushing a pram.

In the last two or so weeks, I've actually gone from the 'I have eaten way too much pizza' look to the 'do you think anyone knows I'm pregnant or do they just see a chubby girl' look to what is now the 'pregnant signora' look.

What is funny is the reaction that I get from Italian people. I have never been pregnant in Australia but I really can't imagine that strangers including men in their 20's who run our local pizzeria would take such an interest in my pregnancy. As soon as anyone finds out I'm pregnant (usually by overhearing the coffee shop girls asking me how my pancia is today) the first thing they excitedly say is 'Auguri!!' (sort of like best wishes) and they are so genuine it always brings a smile to my face.

Another example is when husband and I went to a trattoria for dinner a couple of weeks ago. The waiter was one of those very stuffy types that was not smiling but not rude either. I ordered a pork dish but asked him to make sure the meat was well cooked as I was pregnant. Well, he became our best friend there and then and suddenly a big smile appeared and he patted husband on the shoulder. Husband ordered a spicy salami pasta and I put my fork into his plate to try some of the pasta. The waiter ran over and said 'Signora, the baby will not like spicy food, please don't eat this'. I didn't have the heart to tell him I had eaten two curries the previous week and so far had no written complaints from the inhabitant.

Last week I went to my local fruit and vegetable market. I went to buy some proscuitto for husband but my usual shop where I buy from made me firstly PROMISE that I would not eat it. It's not good for the baby. Then the cheese man nearby came out of his stall and inspected my belly and said 'yes it's quite small, you must be very early on'. Speculation on whether it's an ItalianO or an ItalianA followed.

And there are so many more examples. Everyone (not just Italians) wants to know how I'm feeling, if we want a boy or girl, do we know the sex, do we need them to recommend a good doctor that Luigi's cousin's aunty's daughter used. The Italian interest in pregnancy really reminds me just how much they value family and children. I don't think all Italians are overly friendly on first meeting but with this belly sticking out, it seems I have risen to a new status level than just a blonde straniera (foreigner) who is probably living in Florence for a month. However, Italians always seem disappointed when I tell them the father is not Italian and the baby is on it's way to Australia in a month's time. Oh well, they say. At least it's made in Italy.


Gina said...

Enjoy this time Mon as u deserve to be treated like a queen. Reading your blog remined me of the time during my 1st pregnancy when you and I caught the cat bus in our lunch break to the city for a slushie I was craving and people gave up their seat for me on the way there and on the way back to the office. It was a lovely feeling to have people notice! As for the food everyone who has been a mum around me always told me what to eat and what not to eat which I listened to obediently, mind u I didn't take a bit of notice in my 2nd pregnancy! xx

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Oh yes they love a pregnant lady, and babies. Last year on holiday, I was amazed at the connection between Dads and Children, they were all out, it was so lovely to see. Especially having a lunch out, and chattering..

They are very strict over here what you are allowed to eat, very odd, I had my children years ago, and ate everything :-)

You will feel soooo tired, hormonal whenever you can and when ever you feel you need to...

Yes you should get a stamp..MADE IN ITALY... oh have you only got a month left there.. :-( take care x x

erin :: the olive notes said...

I love all these stories...It must be one of the best places to be pregnant for sure :)

A Little Gnocchi said...

Many congratulations! Yes, exhausting the first tri. Absolutely, mind blowing exhaustion and then for me again at the beginning of breastfeeding. It was weird, she'd latch on and within a few minutes I'd be asleep. I love how the Italians are with young kids. The noises and tickles from the young hunky grocer, the cooing of the lady at the cafe is lovely.

Annie Naumann said...

Hi Monika,
I just wanted to let you know that i just love your blog.
Whilst researching for our (eventual) move to Italy, i stumbled across your expat interview & then your blog and it has been so great to read all about the highs and lows of living in Florence. My husband and i are looking at moving there in a few years time and your blog has really opened my eyes. After our temporary stay there, we hope to also start a family and being pregnant in Italy seem so much nicer than back here at home! Is it hard with Dr appointments etc?
Anyway, if you want to email me is my address.
Keep up the great blogging, hopefully i will be doing the same thing one of these days!
Annie Naumann
Queensland, Aust.

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

Hi Monika,

Thank you for stopping by my mama's blog when we had to say goodbye to my Golden brother Achilles. I miss him lots. He's in doggie heaven, but I wish he were here with me again.

My mama and daddy got married in Rome last year on 08-08-08, and they told me that when they were walking down the street everyone would shout "Mille Auguri!" I think that's pretty cool.

I hear you have a doggie of your own waiting for you back home. Kisses and wags to her!

Milo Da Golden Bear in San Diego

Anonymous said...

italy must be the best place to be pregnant and get married.

alex and i felt like rockstars on our special day with all the well wishes and "auguri's"

i can't wait to hear more about your pregnancy, so very exciting. i'm sure you two made the most beautiful baby!

take care, enjoy the last few weeks in italia!