You are facing the unknown. I know, I know, women have been doing it for centuries, but it is impossible to know what to expect because everyone’s experience is different. Then imagine yourself in a foreign country with a pathetically poor grasp of the local language and you really are facing a daunting situation.
In early 2010, I and my partner, Stephen made the decision to move to Tenerife to work as scientists in a new biotechnology company located in the north of the Island. We decided we would give it 2-3 years and see how we found it. The area was stunningly beautiful, very traditionally Spanish, with not so many tourists. We were having a fabulous time and the climate was ideal for finding the perfect balance between work and life.
Falling pregnant while there I must say was not part of our plan, certainly not a mere eight months into our stay. We found ourselves torn between a mix of emotions; anxiety, fear and overwhelming delight. I was initially worried about everything it seemed, having my first baby away from home, away from our families, a good support network, on a relatively small Island with limited Spanish. We were living in a gorgeous but tiny one-bedroom apartment that was far from child-friendly. I was totally oblivious to how the Spanish medical system worked and whether or not I was entitled to cover or benefits of any kind.
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Issue 32 - Autumn 2019