9 Months On, 9 Months Off? Oh, Oh…

Baby Sissi eating mashed sweet potato like a big girl!

Sixtine will turn 8 months this sunday. Which means that I have one month left to get back in shape. At least, if you follow the saying “9 months on, 9 months off”. In which case, I should hurry up a storm.

The thing is, in my case, it was more the opposite. I started by losing quite a bit of weight at the beginning of my pregnancy (remember, I suffered from severe sickness), and ended up not gaining much and lost it pretty fast. As soon as I gave birth, the sickness stopped and I decided to celebrate in eating anything I couldn’t eat while I was pregnant (pretty much EVERYTHING if you ask me). So instead and losing quite nicely, I stayed rather the same.

Hips don’t lie (do you know this song by Shakira?) and it is true. I had hips (which wasn’t always the case) and stretch marks (and bigger boobies but that, I don’t mind ;)) It really saddened me. The first thing I thought was: “I will never, ever, wear a bikini ever again”. I realized it wasn’t just about the weight, but more about the fact that my body had tremendously changed and would, well, never be the same again.

I think it is the hardest part…I should have appreciated my body the way it was before, instead of complaining about it all the time, when really, it was a great body. Yes, I said it: I was fairly lean.

Now, my husband says that my stretch marks are a tribute to our daughter, which makes it so beautiful. I was so lucky to be able to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby that it really helps me see things differently.

And you know what, I went from hating them to be ok with them. And yesterday, as I was lying in bed, I realized they were so much lighter than they used to be. I even thought: “I might be able to wear a bikini again”…

I think I should lose about ten pounds to feel great again but right now, I have absolutely no interest. I think I don’t look that bad and that the weight will come off someday somehow. I think I should enjoy the time I have left in Paris with my husband and make the most of it!

My question is: how did/do you feel about your body during pregnancy, after, and nine months later? 

ps: another 4 comments, and I will be at 1000 comments! Thank you everyone !

10 things I do NOT miss about being pregnant

  1. Severe Morning Sickness. 24/7. It was the worst about it. I was sick as a dog the first 5 months and sick until delivery. I didn’t think I would make it to the end. I had to stop working right away as I would throw up more than 7 times a day. I couldn’t sleep, and would even get sick on water. I lost a lot of weight but regained it slowly. I went through two different buckets, that would follow me everywhere in the house. When I had the baby I told my husband I didn’t want it to be anywhere near me so he would have to get rid of it before I come home.
  2. Starving. I felt extremely weak if I didn’t have a little something in my stomach. In fact, if I was hungry, I would get sick. So I had to eat. And when you are weak, tired, and sick, you don’t want to fix yourself a snack, let alone cook. I went through a lot of craving phases (orange juice, watermelon, celeri, vegetarian sushis, chinese noodles, rice, purees,…).
  3. Take good care of myself. Don’t get me wrong. What I mean, is, drinking a lot, taking prenatal vitamins, eating more vegetables, (…) felt like hard work. I did it for my baby but it wasn’t always easy.
  4. Lower Back Pain. I used everything to get some kind of relief: maternity belt, heating bottle, massages from my husband, and still, it was really painful. Especially towards the end !
  5. Lack Of Sleep. I couldn’t sleep because of severe acid reflux and sickness. I slept on the couch pretty much 5 months out of 9 during my pregnancy. I don’t know what it was but I slept better there. Until it didn’t do anything for me anymore. My husband would sometimes stay in the living room with me to keep me company. Such a sweetheart ! Since I had to sleep in an upright position, I would prop myself up in what my husband would call a “nest” with my body pillow, and a couple more propping items. We shared the same bed but there was a mountain between us.
  6. Excessive Salivation. I thought I’d use some kind of “medical-sounding” term to spare you the horror parts ! But really, the first 4 months, I had to spit up constantly. It was socially-handicapping (how would you feel if you needed to keep a plastic bag with you at all times so you could spit up.) I became a complete hermit. LUCKILY, it stopped after four months. Hallelujah.
  7. Needing to pee constantly – including nights.
  8. Prenatal care stress. Although I feel very lucky to live in a country where prenatal care is taken seriously, I found it very stressful to get needles and tests done during 9 months. First fetal hearbeats, ultrasounds and maternal serum tests were also very stressful. I am so blessed to have a healthy baby girl.
  9. Being uncomfortable in my body. The waddling, not being to tie my shoes or put nail polish on my toes, being exhausted all the time, taking forever to walk a flight of stairs…
  10. Being on bed rest. Depressing. And postpartum pains. I had an episiotomy. Sorry, TMI.

That being said, I feel extremely blessed to have had a regular, healthy pregnancy (despite the severe sickness) and healthy baby girl. I would do it again in a heartbeat. My husband was so supportive of me – I honestly don’t know what I would have done without his help.

If you would like to read “the 10 things I miss about pregnancy”, click here.

How about you? Anything you don’t miss about pregnancy you would like to share?

How To Become A Permanent Resident of Canada under Spouse Sponsorship in 10 points

I am French and my husband is Canadian. We met in Iceland, Europe when we were both traveling in 2008. We love each other and have a daughter together. It should be simple. But it is not. The genuinety of our love and many other things are being closely examined as we speak. We are undergoing a permanent residence application under family class so that I can work, study and do everything Canadian (without the hassle).

You will need to:

  1. Be patient. It can take between 5 to 26 months depending on your country of origin, based on a complete application package “once Step 1 has been completed”. What is Step 1? It is the assessment of your sponsor. In our case, the Paris office has a 8 month-time frame.
  2. Save Up. It costs money. To give you an idea, we are up to $ 1400 not including two medical examinations (they expire) which are 400 dollars each, and passport pictures. 🙂
  3. Don’t get easily offended. Yes. Be ready to tell them everything about your relationship with your partner. Click on this link if you wanna know what the Spouse/Common-law partner Questionnaire is about which, I believe, is a newer/shorter version of what I had to fill in: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM5285E.PDF Sample of the funniest/strangest or most offending questions: “Did your sponsor give you any gifts?”, “Did you and your sponsor go on outings/trips together? – Describe the type of outings/trips and attach photos if any”,”if your sponsor has been involved in more than one relationship, use a separate sheet of paper to provide details.”
  4. Be Healthy. The Medical Examination includes general check-up, personal health questions, urine sample, blood work, weight, height, and chest X-ray.
  5. Be Extremely Patient. Or make sure your application is top-notch as you might need to provide missing documents at a later date thus slowing down the already-long application process.
  6. Get Yourself a (love) Keepsake Box. And USE IT. It will come handy. You will have to prove your relationship with pictures, travel tickets and others. So even if you aren’t the romantic kind, you are gonna have to be !
  7. Keep faith. It will happen eventually. You just don’t know when.
  8. Be able to speak/read/understand one of the two official languages of the country. English. French. Or even better, BOTH.
  9. Outside or Inside application. Make the right choice. Or you may not be legally entitled to work in Canada or travel outside the country.
  10. Finally, you will have to provide police clearance certificates from every country you have lived in for 6 months and up. I had to pay about 80 dollars to prove I didn’t commit any crime in London at the age of 20 and at the age of 25. And it took forever to get this document.

We are now (impatiently) waiting for me to be granted permanent residency. Fingers crossed ! I will keep you updated !

From which country are you applying for permanent residency? And if you are a PR, how long did it take you? Was it easy, or did you struggle? Do you advice for other people in your situation? Thank you !