I’d just like to give kudos to my husband for dealing with my mood swings over the past week. I thought IVF injections were a mind game, wait until you get to week 37. What a mess, one minute I’m excited the next I don’t have anything to say?!
It’s fair to say it has been a difficult transition for me to adjust to not going to work, coupled with a Christmas and New Year without family from home, and expecting a baby in 2 weeks. But I’m pleased to have reached a new level of acceptance of having zero control.
Having a routine has helped. My day starts with practical research on the computer. This is followed by a small walk, lunch, then a ‘task’ or appointment, then cooking dinner, then ‘imaginative’ research on the computer. (Amazon and book depository have failed me this week, so I can’t indulge in a TV series and a book).
Practical research is sometimes harder than I thought. I have been trying to work out the best passport to get for my unborn son. We have the luxury of choosing between three, A New Zealand, Aussie and Dutch passport. However, if I choose a NZ passport for my son does this mean he can’t have a Dutch one? Or can he have both? Both NZ and Aussie passports require we must apply for citizenship by descent before the application for the passport can go through. This all screams to me ‘what an administrative nightmare’ especially when we are travelling just 2.5 months after his birth! What if I travel to NZ alone with my son on my NZ passport and he travels with his Australian passport with a Dutch name that is different to mine?!
Why would I consider having an Australian passport for my son? It may provide a better chance of my husband getting accepted into Australia if his wife and son were citizens. Also an administrative nightmare.. It did get me curious about whether it was better to have a baby in Holland or Australia. So I looked into the money side of it;
Australia gets 18 weeks paid maternity leave paid at minimum wage of $657 a week (pretax), or a tax rebate of $2,000 per year if you don’t get the paid maternity scheme. They have scrapped the $5,000 up-front payment for the baby bonus scheme. They also have child care rebates. Although I’m sure child care costs are huge there if my mother gets paid $200 a day to Nanny someone’s kid. They also have a paid paternal scheme. Your employer must hold your job for a year whilst on maternity leave and most Aussie mothers I know take at least 9-12 months off.
The Netherlands gets 16 weeks paid maternity leave paid at the level of your current salary. You get a tax rebate per child depending on your salary, about 2,500 euro per year. You are entitled to child care rebates that are between 50-80% of the cost of child care. You also receive a child allowance of 190 euro per quarter until the child turns 18. The amount of this child allowance increases at age 6 and 12. There is no paid paternal scheme and Fathers are allowed 2 days off work for the birth. Most mothers take on average 4 months off work and return to part time work. They are entitled to about a year’s leave (calculated in hours) and this can be taken from any employer, until the child is 8.
Of course there are other variables, not just money, that will lead us to choose one country over the other. However, it was interesting to me to find out the financial side.
My doctor has advised me to rest due to the slow growth of my baby. However, I still go for a small walk each day otherwise I will go insane. I have decided the baby is a late bloomer as he seems to be growing and every 4 days when I go to the hospital for a scan they exclaim how normal he is. One thing I am careful to avoid is alone time. Self-reflection into how I feel is certainly detrimental to my state of mind. Meeting people for lunch is awesome. It doesn’t matter how short/long, boring/interesting the conversation is, at least it takes your mind away from yourself!
Whilst reading blogs on women in weeks 37-40+ I’m always surprised at the level of information they have. For example, ‘I’m 2 cm dilated, fully effaced, mucous plug still intact, and I have been having Braxton Hicks and ‘lightening crotch’ daily. ‘
Umm.. My doctor hasn’t looked at my hoohah since week 12 and I have had zero symptoms. What is lightening crotch?! Am I in the dark about my pregnancy compared to these other women?
I told a nurse I had a severe back pain that lasted 15 minutes the prior evening. She chewed her gum thoughtfully, and finally removed her hands from her pockets to laugh at me. ‘Clearly that’s nothing, you will know when you get labour pains.’ OK, I’m feeling like the dumb annoying English girl (that I’m sure I get labelled!)
Imaginative research on the computer normally brings me to Pinterest. This is like a whole new world to me. At first I was shocked at amount of time these Pinterest Mom’s may have, now I am addicted. The people that post on here have something to say and usually its quite good! I have learnt how to swaddle a baby, stop it from crying, teach it 2 languages etc.. I’m even researching how to make money from home!
My task today is to take down the Christmas tree. Maybe this waiting game isn’t too bad 🙂