Chapter 10

Our son Alessandro

Back to Italy, life was good. We were happy.

At last, we were living together, there were no periods in which we were separated for many months.

Jacques liked his job, I had mine, we were hanging out with friends I had in my youth and life was turning out really well for us.

I had great opportunities of growth in my business and really enjoyed those years working with my main clients.

In 1995, we had to joy to have our son.

The two years before being pregnant were not easy, this is why I don’t use my usually enthusiastic adjectives for the period 1993-1995.

We both wanted to have a child once we arrived in Italy.

I stopped the pill and thought I would get pregnant the first month as all of my girlfriends did, apparently.

Because the second month I was not pregnant, I became very concerned and had to call a specialist in Brescia and have my first visit to verify whether I was ok.

With the greatest despair of my life, after some blood tests, this “specialist” told me I was 1st degree sterile and it was not possible for me to have babies. You can imagine what Jacques and I felt hearing that.

I wanted to know what was wrong with me but he was not able to determine what was the problem so I had to go through all sorts of tests.

Each time it was more painful and really hard for me, psychologically and emotionally, but often also physically.

After a long year of tests which were not able to determine my problem, he suggested that we do some treatments to have a child.

I had three treatments, one every three months, very expensive and very painful for me.

I never got pregnant, on the contrary, I was nervous, never feeling well, my belly was often hurting and I can only thank Jacques who was an angel, never made me feel a real pain with him and never allowed me to feel discouraged.

After two years, I told Jacques, being a believer, that if God wanted us to be parents, we would have had a child, otherwise it meant it was not meant to be.

I had enough of treatments, medical appointments, I was always nervous and some treatments were really very hard and tough on me.

I stopped taking the tablets I was supposed to take, decided to go and visit my grandmother who was staying on the Italian Riviera with her sister and that short holiday was so lovely.

They were feeding us like real Italian grandmothers and when I said that we both loved Portuguese wine, one night they gave us so much wine that when we went back to the hotel the booked for us in Sanremo, I think we were both pretty drunk!

We spent three days visiting my favourite places: Monte Carlo, Eze, Nice, and spending our dinners and evenings with them, fed like a queen and a king.

That was a weekend around March 25th 1995.

At Easter we took a week off and went to Tuscany, we were staying in a beautiful B&B south of Siena, a very special place. Visited all the Siena region, the “crete senesi”, it was an unforgettable week, with one little issue.

Every day at around 5, I had to ask Jacques to bring me back to the B&B because I was so sleepy and tired, I had to sleep for an hour.

I was well but sleepy all the time…

Once home I started my usual life, always tired in the afternoon.

One day, because I hadn’t had my period for 3 months, and I was not thinking of being pregnant being sterile, I thought I might buy a test and try it.

Went to my local pharmacy and bought the test, I felt so silly.

I could not be pregnant so I felt I was just doing something non only stupid but psychologically it could have hurt me.

I did the test and when I looked, I was so sure it was negative that when I saw it positive, I thought I made a mistake.

I was so nervous, how could it have been possible?

I put the stick in my glasses case.

I did a nice packaging and when Jacques was back home, I offered it to him as if it was a normal gift.

When he opened it, he was so surprised, I think it took him a while to realize it.

We were not happy, happiness would be an understatement!

We were crazily excited and could not believe it was true.

I took three different pregnancy tests, two in two different hospitals because I could not believe it.

I was definitely pregnant.

When I went to see another gynecologist, I was more than 3 months pregnant, going into my 4th month. He laughed at me, he wondered how long I would have waited. He did not know my story…

Obviously the Portuguese wine, the happiness and relax, the Italian and French Riviera made me so relaxed that I got pregnant.

I was perfectly normal, it was just stress and once I forgot about getting pregnant, I immediately got pregnant.

I had a caesarian on the 12th of December, they did not want me to have a natural delivery because of my difficulty the two previous years.

But on the 11th I had contractions and was going to deliver him naturally until at 1 am, he turned upside down and my gynecologist said it was necessary to do a caesarian.

My pregnancy was absolutely amazing.

For months I questioned whether I was really pregnant…

Never had a nausea, I was always great, happy, I worked until the day I went to Hospital.

My doctor was making fun of me, asking whether I would bring my computer and fax machine at the hospital.

Alessandro was born in a very cold morning of a snowing day.

When I woke up from the anaesthesia, I saw the most beautiful little thing on earth. Jacques did not agree with me, he said this thing was cute, but not beautiful.

I thought it was so funny. Jacques is and has always been the most amazing father and when he used that expression, I knew , I totally knew he did not mean that.

He was just a man! A woman could never ever say that, but honestly I must recognize now that he had those red marks in his face Jacques mentioned.

Alessandro was the best child parents could dream of.

Since his first day at Hospital, I had him next to my bed and he was only eating and sleeping. Sleeping and eating.

Once home, it was almost Christmas time so I worked only a few days and started back on the 2nd of January.

Don’t think for a second I was a hero.

I worked because I was sleeping min. 8 hours per night. He was the perfect child. He was adorable, funny, extremely alert.

Jacques and I have said many times we did not want to have another child because he was perfect, how can you match perfection? It will sound selfish to you, but it is our reality.

We have never had an issue with our son, he is our greatest joy and pride.

We are a small family, but we are very united.

He went to kindergarten at age 2 and a half and was already bilingual. The issue was with his teachers who did not know French, one day they called us to advise us that he had problems of speech.

I thought that was weird, so I asked them to give me an example.

They said he would call a bottle “Bouteille” instead of “bottiglia which is the Italian word.

“Of course- I said- we speak French at home!”

Poor Alessandro, he spent all of his years at school without being recognized as a bilingual boy, they still call him Ducroz, spelling each letter while in French it should be Ducrò…well, we are used to this now.

Even if I worked each day since I came home from Hospital, every morning I would take him out, even in the snow and that winter it snowed a lot.

He was always happy, smiling to people and interested in everything.

Everybody used to stare at him because he was so sweet and kind with everyone. And he still is.

We were definitely a happy family.

In the summer of 1996 we had a crazy idea: Alessandro was one year and a half and we decided to move forward with our crazy project: welcome foreigners in our home.

Jacques and I decided, without telling anyone else in our families, to take a loan and do works in a part of our home where nobody lived since the Second World War.

We had this idea from our travels and after our common love for hospitality.

We chose the builders and we decided to open the first Bed and Breakfast in the area, one of the very first ones in Italy.

In May 1997 “Villa San Pietro B&B” opened to the world.

Just one problem: how would have we spread the word?

Nobody knew about us nor about Montichiari.