Paris, Baby!: An American Girl's Real-Life Adventures Having a Baby in the City of Lights

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9780312605322: Paris, Baby!: An American Girl's Real-Life Adventures Having a Baby in the City of Lights
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Is it possible to maintain chic as a single-mom-to-be in a city where it's all supposed to be effortless and breastfeeding is a horreur? Does one live by the Parisienne's pregnancy plan of smoking, drinking, and cheese-eating avec vin blanc, but jamais jamais gain more than six kilos? And how to handle a pickup attempt by a married man in the baby department of Bon Marché when you're eight months along? After all, American girls do things differently: Lamaze class and baby showers, sensible prenatal care and...family to watch you proudly grow more and more pregnant.

Paris is full of delights for a new mom: the Luxembourg Gardens, baby boutiques too precious to be passed by, a petit brioche for a teething tot. But home exerts a powerful pull. Should your child grow up skipping by the Seine or scampering up a tree house? Should it be "Mommy" or "Maman"? And can a tall blonde with a taste for Veuve Cliquot and Vuitton ever make it in the land of mom jeans and Happy Meals?

Paris, Baby! is novelist Kirsten Lobe's warm, funny memoir about Paris, Frenchmen, friendship, babies, and making it on one's own.

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About the Author:

KIRSTEN LOBE is a former fashion designer, and the author of the novels Paris Hangover and French Trysts. She has lived in Tokyo, New York, Paris and Lake Geneva, and is now a citizen of the world.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1
 

“Childhood is the sleep of reason.”
—JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU
I am SO NOT one of those people who can wait until the precious and precarious first three months pass to tell people I am having a baby. After making my life-changing and monumental decision, I call my copine Zola here in Paris, call back my sister Lily, and call my BFF (friends since we were twelve) in Los Angeles, Kathy. There’s lots of howling with joy interspersed with plenty of serious candor. My euphoria has even affected my beloved cat, Verdi, who is ricocheting off the walls and virtually up to the seventeenth-century poutres (“exposed beams”) with shared enthusiasm, which I find endearingly empathetic.
With so much to think about, plan, and ponder, I can’t even stay in my apartment. Too much energy coursing through me to be contained in these four walls. I race over to Zola’s flat—amazingly, one street away—since I feel like I’m going to explode with pure joy if I don’t have an outlet to revel in this, the most marvelous of events. (Mental block on baby’s father exit? Oh yes. Coping tools working at precision efficiency, thanks.)
My chère amie Zola is just, hands down, the most loyal friend and while we are opposites in a lot of ways, we get on like a house on fire. She’s funny, smart, and, while sometimes she could be accused of dressing a bit like a secretary, she’s an amazing partner in crime. Read: she will meet me for drinks at Café de Flore after work on a Wednesday night and bounce around St. Germain until we end the night having danced until 3 A.M. Some could even say we are each other’s surrogate family or even act like a couple, since we buy each other heaps of birthday and Christmas gifts, celebrate New Year’s Eve by making an elegant dinner chez elle and going out après. Every Saturday we window shop, lunch en plein air, and run errands like an old couple.
She is so in as godmother for my baby, since she will be wonderfully doting and a great counterbalance to my influences. And on a silly note, I love her name (I think people often evolve into the name they are given, and that’s why I’m choosing my baby’s name with the greatest care). Zola was named by her parents for the writer, Émile Zola. How elegant is that? Yet, I am eternally grateful that my mother didn’t name me after her favorite writer, Dostoevsky. Without doubt, I would’ve been doomed to a life of bad teeth and chin hair.
Zola is a petite, red-haired, porcelain-skinned beauty if ever there was one; part Debra Messing and part Vargas calendar girl. Interesting footnote—for some totally absurd reason there is a French myth that women with red hair smell particularly bad. And in the always twisted way that the Gallic put their spin on an idea, the not-so-appealing smell is supposedly from redheads’ nether regions, or, as they say in slang, from en bas (“downstairs”). What a crazy crock, huh? And even sillier, this odd belief still permeates the minds of some of the less educated souls of France. I know this because of many a story from Zola, where she regales me with tales of ex-boyfriends being pleasantly surprised that she is as fresh and fragrant as an orchid.
Alas, after door codes galore and passing by the concierge, who always glares at me like she’s been reading my diary or something, I burst through the door of Zola’s tiny jewel box of an apartment and we grab arms and dance in circles, chanting, “No way!! No way! A baby!” I’m seriously relieved she is being so supportive and open-minded about all this, since she is more than a bit conservative and a smidge religious—when she wants to be. I am beginning to accept that this whole “baby solo” idea is really out there for some people.
We sit down on her canopied bed, the only place for two people to sit together in the three-hundred-square-foot studio apartment.
“Wine? Champagne? Maybe just a sip?” she asks, since we are the most faithful drinking compatriots and always start off every rendezvous with a glass in hand.
“No thanks, I am drunk on bliss and I am not going to risk anything with this baby. I’m going to stop my daily runs, I’m even going to stop riding on scooters ... Oh god, I’m going to be a mom ... Do you believe it? Strangely, I’m not even nervous, I’m just so excited to be pregnant. Do you think Blake will come around? Truthfully, he speaks so glowingly about his kids, it’s just endearing beyond words,” I say, falling back into the masses of silk pillows and shams.
“You know, it’s impossible to say, but I’ve seen you two together; you are an amazing couple and he clearly loved you. But you can’t bet on it or hope for it, since it would be agony if it wasn’t to happen. You sure you want to do this, Kiki? It’s going to be really hard sometimes ... more than we can imagine, probably. You know you won’t really have a framework of help in family close at hand. I will always be there for you, but I know you, you like your freedom, and your whole life will change. What will your father say?” she asks, pouring herself a second glass of the pretty decent Aligoté from the Nicolas wine shop on rue du Bac (4.20 euros a bottle, pas mal).
“I know ... I know. I am ready to do this solo if need be. I’ve wanted to be a mother since I was twenty-two, and I am so bored with all the self-focus. With only having my own little life to think of. God knows, you’d agree, I’ve been killing relationships left and right for years by trying to push silly Frenchmen too quickly to the let’s-move-in-marry-and-have-a-baby stage, when all they want is to have an affair with an American girl for the unique experience of it. Let’s face it, when you’re careening toward forty, you know who you are, what you are capable of, your strengths, weaknesses, and what you really hold dear and precious. Hell, I truly believe this happened now because it was meant to be. And let’s face it, I am not going to let the sea of waffly Frenchmen ruin my shot at motherhood. Frankly, most of the men I’ve dated here are too immature emotionally to become great fathers and husbands. Not a one of them I have known since I moved here eight years ago has ever gone on to a monogamous relationship, let alone marriage.” We nod, after briefly running through mental files and realizing this is true for us both. Bizarre.
I continue with my defensive diatribe. “And eventually when I do get to date again, having a child by myself will weed out those flakes and only leave men with integrity and decency. Right or non?” I say, with assuredness. That way of rationalizing every detail to my point of view is a big part of me, I fully admit.
Zola smiles slightly but her eyes quickly dart out the window, revealing a tinge of doubt at that last point. True enough, but I let it go. I’m swimming in blissful la-la land and nobody is going to squelch the joy of motherhood for me! I am not some wishy-washy twenty-something trying to find myself or thinking a child is a great accessory. I am probably more passionate about wanting a child than anyone I have known, and I am ready for the judgments and even the scorn that I may encounter. Bottom line, if I listened to everyone else’s opinion my whole life, I would never have the life I do have. I’d be back in Wisconsin, working in, hmm, retail? Or as a bank teller? Oh god, horrors.
Zola and I wrap up the night taking another pee test (positive again, hip hip hurrah!) and making a list of what to do next. Blood test for true confirmation and go see her OB-GYN; as a self-employed artist, I am not—and this isn’t very clever of me—in the French health-care system, so I only see doctors in the US when I go back for annual visits. This means that my pregnancy and the birth will all be out of pocket for me, but get this? It’s still about half to a third as expensive as having a child in the US—even when you’re laying out the cash as a foreigner. And I am dead set on an American hospital as the birth place since no way am I going to have my baby in one of the dozens of hospitals in Paris that don’t even have air-conditioning—not to mention that I need to know 100% of what the hell the doctors are saying. Dilated to six centimeters and in the final hours of giving birth is not a time to be asking for a translator. Once I fainted while running, and the ambulance doctor kept saying, “Bouge pas!” (“Don’t move!”) as I wrestled to sit up while he was taking my blood pressure. Alone and terrified, I thought he was saying “bougie pas,” which translates, sort of, to “no candles.” Point made.
With energy to burn, Zola and I dashed out to an invite-only cocktail party at the Armani boutique on the coin (“corner”) of boulevard St. Germain and boulevard Raspail. Never a bad idea to celebrate something momentous in a divine setting and surrounded by glamour and beauty. Honestly, I would’ve been just as tickled to loiter around a Greyhound bus station in Detroit for all my happiness, but you work with what ya got, right? Of course, I found it not at all difficult to pass on the champagne and still have a great time. Nevertheless, it should be noted, this is landmark HUGE for me, très shocking, since I think of champagne as one of my four food groups, the others far less glam, one being baguettes, another, tuna.
The tiny baby inside me had already taken h...

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Book Description Griffin Publishing, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Paris, Baby! is the natural next entry in a genre that s previously been focused on finding love or the right baguette in the 7th. It s richly textured and full of details of what it s really like to be a single mum-to-be in a city where chic is supposed to be effortless and breastfeeding is a horreur. Lobe s keen sense of humour turns on herself just as much as on her Parisian neighbours: from becoming so visibly enceinte that her patisserie refuses to sell her a morning croissant ( C est pas tres elegante, Madame! exclaims the patissiere, casting an eye down to Lobe s waistline) to how she handled a pick-up attempt by a married man in the baby department of the posh Bon Marche at 8 months along. Paris is full of delights for a new mum - the Luxembourg Gardens, the baby boutique Natalys, a jambon fromage for a teething tot - but home in the Midwest exerts a pull, too. Should it be Mummy or Maman ? And can a tall blonde with a designer-stuffed closet, a cockeyed way of looking at the world and a taste for Pol Roger ever make it in the land of mum jeans and Happy Meals? Paris, Baby! is a winning, warm, funny memoir about every girl s three favourite topics: Paris, babies, and making it on one s own. Seller Inventory # AAV9780312605322

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Book Description Griffin Publishing, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Paris, Baby! is the natural next entry in a genre that s previously been focused on finding love or the right baguette in the 7th. It s richly textured and full of details of what it s really like to be a single mum-to-be in a city where chic is supposed to be effortless and breastfeeding is a horreur. Lobe s keen sense of humour turns on herself just as much as on her Parisian neighbours: from becoming so visibly enceinte that her patisserie refuses to sell her a morning croissant ( C est pas tres elegante, Madame! exclaims the patissiere, casting an eye down to Lobe s waistline) to how she handled a pick-up attempt by a married man in the baby department of the posh Bon Marche at 8 months along. Paris is full of delights for a new mum - the Luxembourg Gardens, the baby boutique Natalys, a jambon fromage for a teething tot - but home in the Midwest exerts a pull, too. Should it be Mummy or Maman ? And can a tall blonde with a designer-stuffed closet, a cockeyed way of looking at the world and a taste for Pol Roger ever make it in the land of mum jeans and Happy Meals? Paris, Baby! is a winning, warm, funny memoir about every girl s three favourite topics: Paris, babies, and making it on one s own. Seller Inventory # AAV9780312605322

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Book Description Griffin Publishing, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Paris, Baby! is the natural next entry in a genre that s previously been focused on finding love or the right baguette in the 7th. It s richly textured and full of details of what it s really like to be a single mum-to-be in a city where chic is supposed to be effortless and breastfeeding is a horreur. Lobe s keen sense of humour turns on herself just as much as on her Parisian neighbours: from becoming so visibly enceinte that her patisserie refuses to sell her a morning croissant ( C est pas tres elegante, Madame! exclaims the patissiere, casting an eye down to Lobe s waistline) to how she handled a pick-up attempt by a married man in the baby department of the posh Bon Marche at 8 months along. Paris is full of delights for a new mum - the Luxembourg Gardens, the baby boutique Natalys, a jambon fromage for a teething tot - but home in the Midwest exerts a pull, too. Should it be Mummy or Maman ? And can a tall blonde with a designer-stuffed closet, a cockeyed way of looking at the world and a taste for Pol Roger ever make it in the land of mum jeans and Happy Meals? Paris, Baby! is a winning, warm, funny memoir about every girl s three favourite topics: Paris, babies, and making it on one s own. Seller Inventory # BZE9780312605322

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Book Description Griffin. Paperback. Condition: New. 352 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.4in. x 1.0in.Is it possible to maintain chic as a single-mom-to-be in a city where its all supposed to be effortless and breastfeeding is a horreur Does one live by the Parisiennes pregnancy plan of smoking, drinking, and cheese-eating avec vin blanc, but jamais jamais gain more than six kilos And how to handle a pickup attempt by a married man in the baby department of Bon March when youre eight months along After all, American girls do things differently: Lamaze class and baby showers, sensible prenatal care andfamily to watch you proudly grow more and more pregnant. Paris is full of delights for a new mom: the Luxembourg Gardens, baby boutiques too precious to be passed by, a petit brioche for a teething tot. But home exerts a powerful pull. Should your child grow up skipping by the Seine or scampering up a tree house Should it be Mommy or Maman And can a tall blonde with a taste for Veuve Cliquot and Vuitton ever make it in the land of mom jeans and Happy MealsParis, Baby! is novelist Kirsten Lobes warm, funny memoir about Paris, Frenchmen, friendship, babies, and making it on ones own. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780312605322

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