One of the things that we really enjoy doing around here is getting the chance to chat with other mom’s about their pregnancies! The conversations become especially interesting when the mom’s have had their babies outside of the USA.
This week, we got the chance to talk with our friend Myra. She has a one year old daughter who was born in Amsterdam (where Myra & her family currently live) and she spent the majority of her pregnancy living in the Philippines.
Today, we’re talking about some of the differences that Myra and BettyRuth owner, Meigan, experienced with their pregnancies while living in two different countries.
Meigan: The major restrictions that were put on me revolved around my diet. I was told to stay away from multiple foods, including (but not limited to): sushi, deli meats, soft cheese, and alcohol. I was also encouraged to limit my daily caffeine intake.
Myra: Surprisingly enough, I didn’t have too many restrictions. While it was encouraged to stay away from soft cheese, I was told that if it was pasteurized, it was okay to eat! I also was allowed to eat deli meat if the sandwich was warmed up and sushi was perfectly okay if it came from a reputable restaurant. I was, however, encouraged similarly about limiting my caffeine to one cup of coffee a day.
Meigan: Everyone was really excited for us! I had THREE baby showers! One hosted by my mother-in-law’s family & friends, one hosted by my mom’s friends, and one hosted by my friends. There were lots of presents, food, decorations — the whole fiesta! (We did skip the games though because I’m not very into those.) We also thought about having a gender reveal since everyone here does it, but we honestly didn’t have the time or energy to put one together!
Myra: Being that we were living in the Philippines away from our family & core group of friends, my baby shower was a small affair! My husband and a few close friends surprised me with a party & my little one was spoiled silly from the get go with lots of cute clothes & toys. We went back to Houston for a visit after Sofia was born, during which time, my childhood best friend threw a beautiful Sip n’ See party where everyone could meet our little girl.
Meigan: With my first born, I wanted all the cool stuff because, well…it was cool stuff! Haha. With my second, however, I didn’t purchase much except for a bassinet since I was going to be having a c-section. One of the things we didn’t think about when we registered for baby gear was that we have a small house & our lifestyle/environment wasn’t conducive to receiving so much stuff. Keeping that in mind, whenever I go to a baby shower, I create a baby gift basket with the essentials — such as, infant Tylenol, good diaper cream, infant Advil, teething cream, boogie wipes, saline nose drops, and a gift card for mom — that I know won’t take up too much space.
Myra: If there is one thing that living overseas teaches you, it’s that you can live with less. Because we live in a small European styled apartment, we didn’t buy very many things at all. We were given clothes both as gifts and we received a huge amount of secondhand clothes from some friends in Amsterdam also. We opted to buy only the necessities such as a crib, a bassinet, a baby bathtub, the Nuna rocker, and a travel cot. We were also lucky enough to purchase a secondhand car seat & stroller while we were still in Manila, but we eventually upgraded that one for a lightweight option when we went to Houston the first time. I was really glad to see that many of the cool things that people register for are not absolute essentials because we just don’t have the space for so many things!
Meigan: My appointments were good! I had a wonderful doctor who got to know me and my personality. She let me ask any questions I wanted and ensured that I had enough information to be relaxed throughout the progression of my pregnancy!
Myra: They were wonderful! I had a great doctor in Manila who not only was incredibly knowledgable but who took the time to personally ensure I was comfortable with every step of my pregnancy. I’d had a miscarriage before and knowing that, she was very open on giving me the information I needed at every appointment. We moved to Amsterdam when I was 30 weeks pregnant, so having to find a midwife was a bit daunting, but the ones that I found were great! They continually checked in on me and made the remainder of my pregnancy a very relaxed process!
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