I didn’t think this could be controversial but apparently, it is.
As many of you know, I’m having a baby and due to deliver sometime in early Feb. Part of the preparation includes working out a plan. In my case, the plan is basically the same as last time – fly home a few weeks before, have the baby there, wait another few weeks while the paperwork goes through and then fly back to the UK with the baby. The idea is to book a c-section sometime in late January, and the boys will arrive a few days before that and stay for a couple of weeks.
It sounds complicated but it really isn’t and as I’ve done it once before, I know very well what I need to do, to carry, to organize and to work out. So these past couple of weeks I’ve been researching flights, documents, etc. I’m fairly confident it will all work out in the end and I’m pretty happy with the choice. I’ve checked it out with the airlines and it is all okay as far as they are concerned (just as it was 5 years ago).
However, every time I see a health professional here in the UK, it’s as if I’ve announced that shortly after the birth I will be sacrificing a donkey and eating it raw – they are horrified. Never mind that I did it before (and I don’t remember it being such a big deal) or that it’s my choice, they just don’t approve. Not that it matters, because there isn’t much they can do to change my mind, but the attitudes are infuriating. So far the pregnancy has been trouble-free and I am aware of the risks so why treat me like a child? Especially when they all take great pains to remind me that I’m an ‘older’ patient.
It’s not just the NHS though; I’ve had strange comments from people that think that if I live in the UK I should give birth to this child in the UK, for some reason. It’s as if the child’s “Britishness” is somehow affected by being born in a nice, clean hospital in another country. For the record, issues of nationality are not affected by the geography of the birth and he/she would have the same rights to British and Mexican nationality regardless of what country is listed as country of birth because it’s all done based on the parents’ nationality.
Other people consider my decision a snub on the health services – and to an extent I suppose it is. I basically don’t like the way childbirth is managed here and have decided to take my business elsewhere. But who does it affect? I’m the one that is paying taxes that eventually pay for the NHS and it is my choice if I want to ‘use’ that money or spend some more by going elsewhere. I could try to go private in the UK but it is extortionately expensive: between £7,000 - £10,000, compared to the roughly £2,500 it will cost me (including flights).
All this before we even get into the discussion as to why I’m planning a c-section already, how come I don’t plan to breastfeed for very long and how dare I be already planning when I’ll be returning to work!!
Is this all really that controversial or am I surrounded by naysayers?