3rd March 2016 (From Deshaies, Guadeluope)
Both our parents will be visiting us in Antigua, with a slight cross over between them. This happens to fall bang on 12 weeks of pregnancy, which is when you can finally tell people. Keeping it a secret from friends and family has been so hard, and we can’t wait to finally let the cat out of the bag.
I’ve been really lucky and not had any morning sickness or felt ill, apart from my ever growing tender boobs which feel more like cows udders than a sexy curvaceous bust. Without the benefits of the UK NHS we having been travelling along the pregnancy yellow brick road blind, so have just been relying on the information in NHS Pregnancy iphone app. Everyday we wake and the first thing we do is check the daily message which contains anything from headaches, scans, cravings and foods to avoid to whether you can wear tights and how to tell your boss. Some of it is absolute bollocks but a lot of it is very informative and interesting, so I’m not doing it complete cavewoman style.
We have booked an appointment for our 12 week ultrasound scan in the Capital of Antigua, St Johns and it can’t come quick enough. It will be the first time we get to see our little jelly bean and make sure that all is healthy and well.
We have had to rethink all our sailing plans as we really didn’t consider the logistics of having a baby in the Caribbean. Originally we had been heading North towards the Bahamas in order to get visas for the USA, but the average cost of having a baby in America is $35,000 about £25,000. You really don’t realise how good you have it in the UK with all the benefits of the NHS, so think twice the next time you complain about waiting for an operation or consultants appointment at least its free!
This means the USA is out of the question until the baby is born, so we can either pay to have it here in the Caribbean or fly back to England. There are pretty good facilities out here but nothing compared to the medical care back home, if there were any complications during the birth we would want to be in the UK, so we are thinking of coming back for a few months and then returning to the boat afterwards. We certainly aren’t cutting our trip short, as one of our agreements to having a baby is that it wouldn’t end our sailing dream.
The more time we have spent around fellow cruisers the more we have seen for ourselves what an amazing way it is to bring up children. I thought a baby on a boat was just out of the question but we have many people that manage just fine. Children are more confident around adults, not afraid to instigate conversations and engage in eye contact. They swing off masts, jumping off the boat into the water, flying around steering the dingy and helping with sailing the boat like its second nature and all of them love their lives aboard. After all they get the full attention of two loving parents 24/7 who actually get to spend quality time with them doing fun things instead of being shattered after a days work and stressing over child care costs and covering the mortgage. Also most are home schooled by their parents so they aren’t missing out on education.
As long as everything goes ok with the pregnancy I can fly home up to 32 weeks pregnant, about 7 months. The baby is due on 28th September and we are thinking of coming back early August and staying for Christmas. It will be great to come back and see all our family and friends and give them a chance to spend some time with the baby before we disappear again. Unfortunately this is one the main down points of living on a boat and we always feel guilty that we are not closer to the people we love. However we are sure that after a few weeks of sharing the boat with our parents we will soon feel differently about that ……… ha ha ha only kidding. We are thoroughly looking forward to seeing them and shocking them with our baby news!