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Pregnant expats - Prexpats if you will....

(48 Posts)
Burmama Sun 02-Nov-14 16:14:19

So it appears there may be quite a few of us on here...? Going home for birth v. staying in situ? Baby vaccines? Long haul in third trimester? Let's talk about being an expecting expat!

OP’s posts: |
DontBeBlueBeARainbow Sun 02-Nov-14 23:34:54

Thanks Burmama great idea! Oh, you reminded me about vaccines, that is a tricky one!

My stats as follows:
DontBeBlue 26, DC#1, based in south China, EDD 23/03/15

I just hit the big 20 weeks and am planning to wait until 34 to head home. Unfortunately DH may get 2 weeks off, if that. They aren't big on worl/life balance here in China.

Looking forward to meeting other Prexpats! wink

lullaby23 Mon 03-Nov-14 11:33:59

Hello hello joining in.

Lullaby23 33, DC#1, based in Singapore, EDD 24/04/15

Going back to the UK over Christmas when I'll be 23/24 weeks and no other long haul plans thankfully!

DontBeBlueBeARainbow Mon 03-Nov-14 13:02:08

Hi Lullaby and congratulations!

That's great that you're going back so early, waiting so long makes me nervous...

Burmama Mon 03-Nov-14 14:56:21

Yay! This group gets off the ground! Burmama, age 29, currently 27 weeks with DC1, based in Burma/ Myanmar at the moment but off back home in three weeks to wait it out until D-day. So: vaccines is smthn no one has given me very clear answers on, except that it's not advised to fly with baby until one month old and also that we can get any vaccines he needs in thailand.

OP’s posts: |
Burmama Mon 03-Nov-14 14:58:03

Lullaby are you staying in UK until D day after Xmas? Lucky you!!!

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lullaby23 Tue 04-Nov-14 11:07:18

Hi All, thank you for the welcome!

Rainbow - yes I am pleased to be getting it out of the way early, my ankles swell up on longhaul flight when I'm not pregnant so god knows what they'd be like at 30 weeks + confused It's just lucky timing I suppose when christmas falls. As long as you get a letter I'm sure you'll be fine. Are you giving birth in the UK?

Burmama - No I am coming back with DH as we are based here for another 2-3 years at least, the doctor I have registered with seems really nice and the healthcare standard is good, though luckily picked up by insurance as it will run into the £000s...

I haven't even thought about vaccinations, add that to the list of things to obsess / worry about!

Burmama Tue 04-Nov-14 12:08:43

Oh that's lovely lullaby, so you don't have to worry about a third tri flight at all! Singapore health care is brill isn't it, I did debate about giving birth in BAngkok (Burma was obviously not an option - scans are not even offered as standard here!! Have had to go to BKK for all antenatal care) but in the end decided family support back home would be nice - and also apparently there's no gas and air offered in BKK hospitals shockconfused

OP’s posts: |
Burmama Tue 04-Nov-14 12:13:38

Rainbow, that's tough about your DH's leave, are you going to have him on standby to jump a flight home or is he planning on coming back at like 39 weeks ish? I wrestled with this and in the end told DH to come back at just after 38 and a half weeks... Hopefully baby is fairly punctual!! It's so hard though isn't it, I hate that I have to be away from him for so long during third tri, that is going to be so hard but we just don't really have a choice (short of him quitting his job!)

OP’s posts: |
DontBeBlueBeARainbow Wed 05-Nov-14 01:12:38

That sounds a little stressful Burmama having to travel for every appointment, but I know nothing about Burma really, I guess it's very much a developing country?

China is not too bad re antenatal care but I would end up with about 10 scans if I just went with the doctors, they have over-medicalised it all and I can't bear to face labour with so few options (on my back) and the looming 60% CS rate shock but at least you can get any test you want and it's all very cheap. As long as you can navigate the culture differences! And language... I went to my routine appointment on Monday without DH ('of course I can do it by myself, no need to take a morning off work') and it was interesting...

Yes, I'm giving birth in the UK (Midlands) and I am still wrestling over when DH will fly over, currently thinking 39+5 grin To be honest he's not necessarily my ideal birth partner so I won't be upset if it happens early, it's more important he has time to bond with baby and get used to what babies need!

It is hard. We've not been separated for more than a week before. But needs must. In my mind, it's my last chance to enjoy singledom anyway before baby, so 6 weeks of coffee dates/afternoon teas/reading/cinema trips - I have big plans most of which I'll probably be too big and uncomfortable for

Lullaby I am envious you will be home over Christmas, I am going to miss it this year sad

So how can we attract more prexpats over here?

GinIsCalling Wed 05-Nov-14 04:50:03

I'm in California, due in May. My second American baby, but I hope to move home next year (with a newborn - yikes!)

DontBeBlueBeARainbow Wed 05-Nov-14 05:11:31

Hi Gin congratulations!

Moving home with a newborn is a whole other challenge I'm sure. Since this is DC#1 I have no idea how I'll feel when the time comes to move back with a tiny little person, but a full-on move (sorting accom/childcare/work/etc) sounds daunting.

I hope everything is going smoothly so far x

EnglishExpatUSA Wed 05-Nov-14 05:38:13

I'm in Colorado, due in July! This will be my first and I'll be staying put for the birth as I would like the baby to have dual nationality. Might have to pick your brains Gin about the differences between US and UK labour... Apparently no gas and air here!? Eeek.

Congrats all!

batteryhen Wed 05-Nov-14 06:36:18

I'm an expat too ;) currently 18 weeks based near Singapore and Kuala Lumpa (don't want to say where exactly as might out myself!) I'm planning on giving birth here (eeeek) but change my mind daily. I wish I could head home but its really not an option sad

GinIsCalling Wed 05-Nov-14 07:38:31

Yes had my first here English - no gas and air, but had wonderful labour. I am in California so lots of choice here - I could have gone down the midwife route.
Instead I did the obgyn thing, which works well if you find someone who is on the same wavelength as you (my doctor is Irish and ex-NHS, I love her).
I had an induction as baby was showing lack of growth - a sign placenta is failing. He was full term.
Hospital was lovely, had my own nurse who stayed with me throughout. I had the epidural, all went really quickly, and baby was perfect.
The thing which most sums up the experience of private medicine was the phone call when I arrived at the recovery suite from the chef, who had read I was vegetarian and wanted to check I ate eggs! Stayed in hospital for three days and husband stayed too - it was a good experience.
I was actually planning on moving home in Jan, but after finding out I was pregnant we decided to stay as I was a bit chicken about having a baby in the Uk. I know people in the UK who have had horrid experiences, but they are still like 'why would you want to have a baby in america!'
It's all so personal, but really here you have so many options, and the medical care during pregnancy is excellent.
In the Uk I wouldn't have had a scan to show my baby wasn't growing, but having seen a family member lose a baby to stillbirth I was keen to have extra scans - my obgyn obliged and as it happened I ended up having same complication as she had.

Threeplus1 Wed 05-Nov-14 13:40:18

Hi, I'm 32, expecting dc #4 here in Canada (very early days!) the other 3dc were born in the UK. I'll be staying put for the birth, but we are planning on moving home in 2016.

It's weird because in UK you get midwifery care as the default, and you get who you get. Here I've had to request midwife led care and I get to try out different clinics and decide which I'd prefer! It seems I'm extra lucky in that there is often a waiting list because there aren't enough midwives, yet I've already heard back from 2 clinics. Now I've got a severe case of FOMO and am anxious about the decision!

I'm thinking of using a birth centre as it's similar to what I've had with my previous, but I may choose a home birth for the first time...

EnglishExpatUSA Wed 05-Nov-14 14:06:30

Thanks Gin that's super comforting to hear - I hope my experience is as great as yours! Id also heard that most people have epidurals here and I am all for that!

I too have been very impressed with them so far. I'm only 5 weeks and have already had two blood tests to confirm my HCG levels are going up appropriately (they are thank goodness) and I have an early scan and a meeting with my ObGyn (who seems great so far) next week. So all very thorough and everyone has been so nice. If it goes well I hope to have all my babies here, (though that might mean applying for a green card as our visa only runs until 2017 at the moment!)

waves at all the other prexpats

lullaby23 Wed 05-Nov-14 23:30:25

Ooh lots more people waves.

Burma - I was going to say it's surprising that Burma is so undeveloped medically but I guess it's actually not surprising at all! Poor you having to schlep to another country for medical care. Completely understand going back home for delivery!

Rainbow - I think Singapore is quite similar to China in that respect then, care is very good but unless you specifically seek out an obgyn who 'practices' active labour it will be assumed you will want an epidural and be flat on your back and the ELCS rate is really high. I was very worried about being forced into decisions against my will in terms of pain relief etc. My doctor has worked in Europe so is (hopefully) more flexible, will do water births etc. He has an ex-NHS midwife in the practice who you can hire as a doula which I am tempted to do. Also it seems doctors often think Western babies at 8lb+ are too big to push out, I guess compared to more delicately sized Chinese-Singaporean babies!

Gin - I am very impressed at the chef checking your eating preferences!

GinIsCalling Thu 06-Nov-14 01:47:58

Lullaby so wAs I! Normally I love my food but I was so shocked at the new baby that I have to admit I found it hard to eat while we were in hospital. However it didn't go to waste, my husband was v grateful... smile
english are you going to do any pre-baby classes? I had just moved here when I found out I was pregnant so did the classes to meet people. They weren't quite what I imagine NCT classes would be - bit strange. As it turned out I met most of my mum friends doing a mom and baby class after he was born, and it's been v easy to meet people.

DontBeBlueBeARainbow Sat 08-Nov-14 09:01:25

Lullaby having a doctor and midwife with NHS experience is great, it's lucky you found them. Obviously going home will not equals the perfect birth, but in my case, it is giving it the best chance.

Nationality is another thing to consider. Like EnglishExpat says, if you can add another string to your baby's nationality bow, why not! If China accepted dual nationality, it might've been a reason to stay put for delivery...

It's interesting to hear the differences between countries and care!

Threeplus1 Sat 08-Nov-14 21:07:13

Dontbeblue, a baby born here in Canada currently has the right to citizenship so we will most definitely be applying for it for him/her so that they can have dual citizenship with the UK.

DontBeBlueBeARainbow Sun 09-Nov-14 04:32:45

Threeplus that's fab! It's always interesting to be able to say you were born in a faraway country as well wink

I've just been looking at flights and have found a fab deal, really good value and cutting out a leg out of the journey. But at 21 weeks, I feel anxious to book a flight for 3 months time - what if my health changes and I decide it's be better to go back a few weeks earlier...? Money is a massive consideration as going home to give birth and living in the UK again for a number of months will take a lump out of my savings even with the best budget plan. But health always wins. Saying that, I'm 26, vegan with good health record - should I just relax and book?

Threeplus1 Sun 09-Nov-14 13:13:10

Relax and book smile

GinIsCalling Wed 12-Nov-14 16:14:49

How is everyone? I'm craving crunchy nut cornflakes (now my nausea has finally eased) but can't get them here! Anyone else missing things from home?

EnglishExpatUSA Thu 13-Nov-14 17:01:00

Hi Gin,
I am dying for Marmite! I think my body is craving B vitamins. Had a chat with a friend at home last night and she promised to send me a jar :-) Glad to hear your nausea has eased up. How many weeks along are you now?

How did you find it in general having your first baby away from home? I usually absolutely love my own space but I am feeling a tiny bit lonely at the moment. Maybe I'm just finding it hard because we haven't told anyone yet - I'd love to talk to my mum about it (via skype!) but I feel like maybe 6 weeks is too early?

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