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Hello from still very sunny Portugal! Today, I’m not going to offer my normal apology for neglecting the blog, as I have a very good (and happy) excuse: Louise and I are expecting a baby!
As such, we’ve (unsurprisingly) been rather busy. It turns out that getting pregnant in Portugal can be nearly as complicated as getting residency in Portugal. Not the actual getting pregnant part (minds out the gutter please people, this is a family blog).
What I’m talking about is the bureaucracy associated with getting pregnant in Portugal. While we’ve been more than happy with our interaction with the doctors here, getting to actually see them has been another matter entirely.
Getting the relevant paperwork took five visits to the local surgery and well over ten (increasingly exasperated) phone calls. On the bright side, we are now capable of complaining and “putting our foot down” in the Portuguese language to an almost native level!
Having obtained the paperwork, getting the correct dates put on it and the right boxes ticked took another three return visits to the surgery and around five hours of waiting and travel time. Maintaining our self-employed income whilst spending hours in doctor’s waiting rooms is a challenge to say the least.
We are both extremely happy and excited about the news. As our close friends will testify, “it’s taken us long enough.” However, as I’m sure anyone with children will already know, it’s all rather terrifying too.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, but I suffer badly with medical anxiety, white coat syndrome, or whatever you’d choose to call it. Basically being shit-scared of anything to do with doctors and hospitals is probably the best way to describe it.
Having buried my head comfortably in the sand for nearly 40 years about anything remotely medical, I now find myself reading books that go into a level of detail that causes me frequent dizzy spells. Whilst out walking the other day, I told strong-stomached and stoical Louise about just a couple of the things I’d read, and she had to quickly grab a handrail!
We’ve long been decided that we will have our children in Portugal – and we don’t plan to go running back to the comfort of the NHS and our native language. But the reality is far scarier than we imagined. I think we just visualised these cute little suntanned kids running around on a beach effortlessly switching between speaking English and Portuguese – the few years in the middle hadn’t really occurred to us before!
So, it’s been a very happy time, but a very anxious one too. On hearing our news, one of my friends said “wow, he’s got some manning up to do in the next nine months.” I certainly have. But first I think I may go for a little lie down.
PS. Interested in living in Portugal? Why not buy our book? Currently 15% off! Makes a good xmas gift! And we have a baby to pay for!
US readers will find it here: Moving to Portugal – the book.
Image credits: GOVPA, Wikimedia Commons