Baby News!

So, the big news around here lately is that we are having a baby in July! Exciting (and scary) times. We found out just before my family got here in December, so it was great to be able to tell them all in person. As soon as my parents got home they booked flights back to Melbourne and will be here for the month of August to help out, thank goodness, as I really have no idea what you do with a newborn baby!

The pregnancy has been pretty straightforward so far. I haven't really been sick or had any weird food cravings, just a bit of nausea in the mornings at the start, and of course I am really tired some days. "Exercise" has taken on a different meaning... no more running or cycling at the moment, more walking and yoga. I find I get out of breath a lot quicker these days! It's been a bit up and down when it comes to the medical care we've had here. Our private health insurance does not cover pregnancy, so we are at the mercy of the public system. Having lived in two countries where there is universal health care (Canada and the UK), the whole private/public thing is new to us. We looked into getting private health care briefly, but a friend of ours had her baby through the public system and said it was all fine. Plus, the private health care system is VERY expensive - I think you still end up paying thousands of dollars even though you've been paying a premium for health insurance every month. I don't really get it!

We went to a GP nearby in Prahran when we first found out we were pregnant, back in December. This was the first time either of us has ever visited the doctor. It is SO expensive!! I've had longish appointments, lasting around half an hour or so, and each time the cost is $130! We get back $70 from Medicare (usually the next day, it's pretty quick) but the out of pocket cost is still about $50 each time you visit. We've been less than happy with our GP. She seems a bit... vague. I feel like she doesn't really explain things very clearly to us, or she assumes we know things that we don't, even though she knows this is our first baby. She's also messed up a few things, like not ordered all the right blood tests, and she took ages to do our hospital referral. As a result, we have felt a little bit stressed as we feel like have no idea what is going on! 

Last week though we went to our first hospital appointment and met with a midwife. She was much more helpful and we feel a lot more informed about what is going on and what to do next. Today was our 20 week scan which was exciting. Everything seems fine so far, but we will know more when we go back to the hospital in two weeks time to discuss the most recent blood tests and the scan.

I guess one of the more difficult things is that we don't have many friends with babies here. So we're a bit afraid that we will be isolated from the friends we've made since moving here once the baby is born. I already feel a bit left out at times, as I can't drink and am usually too tired to stay out very late. I have been going to a few meetup sessions with a group of women that I found on the website The group was started a few years ago by a girl in a similar situation to me, she was the first of her friendship group to have a baby and wanted to meet some other "new mums". The group has grown and there are some people who already have small children and others that are pregnant with their first and due in the next couple of months. Lots of them are expats as well, in a similar situation to me. It's been nice to have some people to talk to about all of this, and I think I will meet some other new mums that live around us once the baby is born, through a mother's group.

It's all very exciting but there is a lot to work out! We haven't bought any baby items yet... I am hoping to buy a lot second hand and not get too caught up in buying more than we need. After the scan today we have an idea of the sex... they can't guarantee that it's 100% accurate so we could still be surprised, but I think that happens pretty rarely these days. So now I can start to buy some gender specific clothes and items, hurrah! I am looking forward to that!

We both had the day off from work today for the scan (it was in the middle of the day, and our hospital is at the other end of Melbourne from where we both work) so on the way back we stopped at a random National Trust location that we passed, the Rippon Lea House & Gardens. It's a historic mansion from the 1930's set within 14 acres of gardens and lawns. The weather was gorgeous so we had a nice time walking around and digesting the news from the scan. The gardens feature a windmill, lake, orchard and the world's largest covered fernery, so it was a relaxing place to spend the afternoon. Afterwards we went to get some lunch - Andy requested a pub beer garden as opposed to the usual cafe, so we headed over to College Lawn Bowl on Greville St. in Windsor for some burgers and chips! Back to reality tomorrow...

World's largest covered fernery

Rippon Lea Mansion


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