People cannot help but offer you their opinion about pregnancy. And babies. Especially when you haven't solicited it. That's the way it is -and most of us, future parents, know it. But having a baby abroad? It's a whooole new level.
It all started when we told our friends and family back in France that we were expecting, last spring. "So when are you moving back to France?". Or -even better- "Oh, so you're done traveling now. You've enjoyed it for long enough anyway!". We've been overwhelmed by theories for months -and it's not over yet. Some questions are ridiculous, some annoying, but mostly, it's a lot of fun listening to all of this.
So here it is: having a baby abroad, the best of the worst we've heard!
Having a baby abroad : the best of the worst we've heard
Obviously, since we had a baby, the planet has stopped turning and our days are only made of diapers. We don't go out anymore, our one and only holidays destination is France -exclusively our parents'-, we will never travel anymore and our baby's pediatrician is in France, as it's obviously much more convenient since we live in Hong Kong. Life has to be complicated when you have a baby. Otherwise, you're just lying!
#1. "So when are you moving back to France?"
We said we were having a baby. Not that we were sick of our nomadic lifestyle nor that we wanted to move out from our adoptive city. Every country is fabulous, and we were lucky enough to live in France for 20 years. But life is too short to be lived in only one place! No, Noah won't celebrate each of his birthdays with his grand parents, and yes, we are being selfish (you've only realized that now?!) -but he'll also grow up in an exciting environment with happy parents, and friends from all over the world.
#2. "What? You can't have a baby there. It's Asia."
We all know that people don't have babies in Asia. Because, you know -it's Asia. And we all know that Asia is made of tiny islands where we fish our dinner every night, drink coconut water directly from the tree and often fight with tigers in the jungle.
#3. "how can you deliver in English? How will you understand what happens?"
We've been living abroad for the past six years. I still have a lot to learn, but if today my English was the same as when I left Paris, I wouldn't have many friends, I would struggle to pay my bills, get a cab or work and, to be honest, I would be pretty bored by now.
#4. "Have you managed to find a French doctor? You know, to be sure..."
Funny enough, there is a French midwife in Hong Kong and she is a star! Apparently French people like to have French opinion -I still don't get why. Paying 10 times the price of a consultation probably make them feel healthier. But no, I went 100% local and would do it again. Actually, I've been impressed by the service here, on some levels, they are far in advance compared to Europe (natural birth, open mind -open what?-, breastfeeding).
#5. "Why don't you just come back and deliver in France?"
First, because I don't live there anymore. Hong Kong is home. Second: why should I deliver in France? So the family would be there with me? You can't fly after 7 months of pregnancy, so it means I would live the future dad by himself during the end of the pregnancy and take the risk for him to miss the birth of his child. "But you'll be with your family! And in France!". Right. Awesome. Anyway, who cares about the dad?
#6. "Do they even know what's an epidural in this country?"
No, of course they don't. You know, it's Asia. They've just discovered electricity last year. And their only mode of transportation is the tuk tuk.
#7. "So you're done traveling now."
My favorite! You know what, since we left, we've heard them all "You're happy, but you'll see once you'll get a proper job", "You'll see when you'll have a routine", "You'll see after two years of marriage", "You'll see when you'll have a baby". Now it's time for "You'll see when your baby will be older". So I guess we'll see! While waiting, we went on a massive two months road trip in France with Noah, and I'm currently planning our next trip together in Cambodia. We'll see!
#8. "forget traveling solo now, there's no way you can fly solo with a baby!"
I have to admit... I wasn't so serene before my first flight solo with Noah. But I soon realized having a baby on the plane is a great way to become VIP. No queue, everyone fighting over to carry your baby when you need a hand, everyone smile at you... Ok, the guy who sat next to us on the Paris-HK flight's smile was more "oh shit... why me?!" but at the end he was surprisingly happy: we haven't heard Noah the whole flight!
#9. "the good thing is, in the hospital, the doctor can't mingle your baby with any other. yours will be the only caucasian."
Yes that's the main reason why I delivered in Hong Kong. WTF?
#10. "Is your baby going to be japanese?"
No because, for a start: Hong Kong? Not in Japan. Seriously, just check Google Maps, once in a while. Second: his dad and his mom? Both French. French + French = French. Ok, and a cool mention "born in : Hong Kong" on the passport. That's more than what we could be asking for.