The origins of Knocked Up Abroad

Just over a year ago, I went “internet public” with my pregnancy and decided to document it on Gadling on a series of posts called “Knocked Up Abroad,” a name inspired by our favorite documentary series ever and conceived long before the actual baby. Under the Knocked Up Abroad handle, I chronicled everything from the Turkish pregnancy test, to which cities were most likely to give up a seat for me (almost never in New York, always in Istanbul), to all the bizarre “Turklish” baby clothing for sale.

The following posts were originally published on

  • Taking the “POZITIF” test and meeting my doctor, the intro post. The story made AOL’s home page (see image above) and taught me my first lesson on Internet Commenters: a) Don’t take it personally and b) Yes, they are batshit crazy. If you are one of those batshit crazy commentators, congrats on making a pregnant lady sob for no good reason, but we’re both happy and healthy!
  • More on prenatal care and Turkish advice on pregnancy. I loved my whole experience at Istanbul’s American Hospital and continue to go there for Vera’s monthly check-ups. Happy to answer further questions about hospitals or pregnancy in Turkey, and may include a post on the actual birth experience at some point.
  • The deadly draft and other Turkish superstitions. I never did get chased down the street with food, but not a day goes by that Turks don’t worry about Vera’s warmth and it’s rubbed off on her (Russian) father too. We had evil eyes pinned to her stroller, car seat, and carrier by the end of the first week; we must assume some Turks just carry a pocketful of nazar for emergencies.
  • The Natasha problem and other name debates. We called the baby “Rasputina” up until the end of the pregnancy, when I relented to my husband’s choice of Vera, and I couldn’t be happier with the choice. Easy to spell and pronounce (though, technically, Russian version is V-yeh-ra), very international, perfect mix of old-fashioned and unusual.
  • What’s a “kanguru” and the search for the Perfect Stroller: baby shopping in Istanbul. Away from our family and friends, I didn’t have a baby shower and we bought everything in Turkey and stuck to only things that would travel with us between countries or could be given away when we leave. In retrospect, I’m glad I did it away from the United States, where I’m I’m still nearly overwhelmed with choice. Buying everything ourselves ensured we got just what we wanted, and avoided buying totally unnecessary things such as a wipes warmer (!).