By Hannah Pattrick.
In 2018 my partner and I moved away to a new country for work. At the time it had been 3 years since we had been living in a new country we loved the lifestyle it gave us, the new friends, the flexibility with work, the outdoors living and we recently discovered the amazing benefits to having a baby here.
In Germany Maternity leave is to start 6 weeks before the birth of your child and 8 weeks after the birth with salary paid in full. Then parental leave kicks in and you can choose to have 67% of your salary paid for the first year (up to €1800 a month) or this could be split over 3 years. Plus an extra €202 child benefits each month and the childcare costs when we return to work are surprisingly affordable and funding is given by the government meaning both parents can still work.
Amazing we thought, but so many uncertainties....
Having a baby in a country where we couldn't speak the language,
how do we navigate all the appointments,
the medical care,
being away from family
and not to mention the awful amount of paperwork that filled me with absolute horror and anxiety.
Despite all this we had just come through several lockdowns and a long period of time not being able to go home and see our loved ones, so if we could get through that we could get through anything.
To cut a long story short we bit the bullet and decided to follow our dreams of starting a family.
Putting our fears aside we took our first trip to the gynecologist to confirm the pregnancy and the care from there on out was incredible.
For the most part (thankfully) the doctors spoke to us in English, the health care was fantastic and the birth experience, even with a planned c-section was incredible!
I am not going to sugar coat the paperwork side this was incredibly stressful in another language but in the end we paid someone to support us. After 5 amazing days in our own family room in hospital we were allowed to take our beautiful baby boy home and now our life has taken on a whole new meaning and been given a whole new purpose.
Moral of the story don't let your fears come In the way of achieving your dreams.