Posted by: Team McSlade | June 14, 2010

The story behind the story

Part 1 – Jo

Since we arrived in Spain, Ryan’s posts have been more than entertaining, thus making him a very hard act to follow.  So, in the past 5 months I have been hoping for an opportunity to take the story-telling mantel from him; and now I believe I have the material to do so (maybe not the literary prowess and wit though).  

Many of the photos and stories you have seen and read since we arrived in Spain have only been telling a portion of what we have been up to.  But the time has come….(drum-roll please) 

I am pregnant!

4th of May - 14 week scan

Actually we are pregnant, as it has truly been a family effort in terms of my health and impressive ability to sleep.

Yes, there it is – true story.  And not just a little bit either, by the time this is posted I will be around 21 weeks. 

So why all the secrecy? 
Well, many of you will already know that about 3 years ago Ryan and I were told that there was no possibility of having any more children due to a substantial doctor induced problem called Ashermann’s Syndrome after I had Jess.  We were also told that if by any chance I was to fall pregnant, I would be in a very high risk category due to the expected complications that are part and parcel of this syndrome.  So, we chose to keep the news under our hats to avoid worrying everyone unnecessarily until we knew a lot more.

And we are very happy to announce that to date we are all going fine.  Pffft  – what do doctors know!  All we needed to do was drink the water (Spanish water it seems).

There are still things we need to monitor, so we are not taking it lightly by any means.  The major problems for me kick in towards the last trimester so our Midwife (Madrona) here has told me that in Spain they will/would do a C-section at 32-33 weeks to avoid any of this occurring.  As soon as I get back to Adelaide, I will clarify this with my Midwife and with all going well we expect to have a new small person in mid-September.

So there it is – the big news has broken.  It may also explain the series of ‘head only’ photos of me for the past month or so.

But I tell you, living in a country where you don’t speak the language and need access to good, regular health care has been interesting to say the least.  

The first indication of this being a challenge was in needing to get a pregnancy test.  I had been sick for almost 4 weeks and put it down to a virus as pregnancy wasn’t even a consideration. I asked Ryan to visit the Farmacia and get a test to rule it out, in case I was to get my hands on the ‘good stuff’ (read antibiotics) to eradicate the virus. 
Well, if you cast your minds back you will recall the dramas he had in trying to buy aspirin(Como se dice…’headache’ en Espanol?) – so armed with his trusty 1970’s English-Spanish dictionary he ventured into Carrefour and was met with the fact that the supermarket farmacia didn’t actually stock any medical related items and that it was a glorified health food store.  Thus he visited a ‘real Farmacia’ and rolled through the several options listed for ‘pregnancy’ of which none were correct and he resorted to charades to get the message across (think a male version of Bridget Jones in the German ski village).

The test almost didn’t get a run as I woke the next day feeling remarkably better but thought I should do it anyway.  I sat for several minutes in the bathroom reading the word ‘Si’ and looking at 2 very clear pink lines waiting for one to fade to correspond with ‘No’ – but it didn’t.

I headed back to our room to deliver the news to Ryan – ‘it’s positive’. 
We were speechless for quite some time until we could function again to do the ‘how pregnant am I… I need to see a doctor to get this confirmed… will we need to go home?’ routine.

So after many weeks we now know that:

  1. Seeing a doctor is not as easy as it sounds.  We were sent away as we didn’t have a ‘SIP’ card (Spanish Medicare equivalent) and had to resort to a visit to the ER at Gandia hospital with our translator (now good friend) Tina.
  2. A translator is the best money and peace of mind you can have (thanks Tina)
  3. It is worth finding out what else a British passport gets you.  Turns out that I get NHS cover (English Medicare equivalent), which gives me an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) for FREE, which in turn gets me a SIP card and finally astounds all British people living here as generally you need permanent residency to be entitled to that.
  4. It is NOT worth ‘Googling’ your medical condition for reassurance.  Enough said!
  5. For me, coffee, Jamon Serrano (Spanish ham on the bone), Lomo (cured pork) and the dishwasher are disgusting and make me throw up at the thought and smell of them.
  6. Having great friends with excellent advice and compassion is priceless – thanks Grace (for your sensibility and optimism) and Erica (for my ‘permanent’ London address {courtesy of a downloaded lease agreement!} required for my NHS, a bed and your fantastic company)
  7. There is something to be said to taking it week by week and staying as tranquila as possible.

So , please stay tuned for ‘The story behind the story – part 2 (Ryan)’ which will feature our comical and somewhat crazy Madrona, mad dashes through Europe, Ryan going out in ‘sympathy’ for me and acquiring an unexpected Spanish vocabulary.

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A couple of PS’s:

To Erin and Paul – this is in response to Erin’s question this week, the answer is ‘No’ somehow I don’t think I will be making it to Economics when I get back now!

To Michelle Parker – I was so close to telling you on FB chat when you asked about having more kids – but I was still sworn to secrecy at that stage!

To Chloe Barnes – can’t wait to see you & Mark in Edinburgh but it will be minus the wine.

To Family and Gandia ‘family’ – thanks for keeping it a secret, we know it’s been hard

Everyone – Any FB pictures with me ‘appearing’ to be drinking alcohol are just that – appearing to be.  That Mojito in Ibiza was sin alcohol and still cost €11!!!!!!




    This. Is. AWESOME! Congratulations guys!! AAAAhhhh so exciting 😀 Baby McSlade – hurrah!

    Well done Jo, in one post you’ve managed to outdo all of Ryan’s posts over the past few months. I’m so proud of you *sniff* hahahhaa.

    Can’t WAIT to see the baby belly in person, we’ll just have to have a nice glass of something non-alcoholic that doesn’t make you throw up. W00t!!

  2. […] read: The story behind the story first, otherwise it will make no […]

  3. BIG congratulations Ryan and Jo!!!! Fantastic news! Jo, you look gorgeous with your little baby bump! Hope to catch up with you in London soon!

    Love Tiles.

  4. Congratulations Guys, that’s fantastic news. So happy for you all.
    I’m sure everything will be fine and just think, with Ryan’s gift of the gab, life will not be boring.
    Again, fantastic news wish you all the best.

  5. Hi Jo, Ryan, Zak and Jess,
    Congratulations on being pregnant Jo, wonderful news and we’re really happy for you. Have loved your blogs – you will be sad to leave Spain but happy to return home I’m sure.
    See you on your return,
    Nick and Lynda B.

  6. Well done you 2, hope he likes footy & wants to don The Red, White & Blue one day xx

  7. So, so, so happy for you Jo!!! (and Ryan, Zach and Jess). Love to you all from the Brown mob in Alice.

  8. Congrats guys, how wonderful for you all. Take care, lots of love, can’t wait to see you!

  9. OMG!! Yay for you 2!!
    That’s wonderful news xxxxx

  10. CONGRATULATIONS, sounds like you’ve been through a lot, you look amazing in your balck dress lazing on the sun lounge.

    Hope all is going to be well now, when are you back in australia? I was thinkin gof trying to have a casual get together,

    Stay well and safe Love Kerrie

  11. So I’d wondered about the head shots … I thought Jo had chubbed up and was too embarrassed to have full lengths!

    Turns out I was right … well except for the too embarrassed bit!

    Congrats, brilliant news, wishing you trouble free happy times ahead. Impressed that Ryan kept this a secret and further impressed that Jess kept this a secret when I see her every day!

  12. Wow – those photos of you Jo are even more exciting than KISS unmasked!!! You look FABULOUS!!!

    -Grace xx

    ps. In Italian we say ‘prego’ when someone thanks you. AKA prego

  13. Woohoo! You’re right Jo, that eclipses the Earl blog…by a mile!!!

    Not sure what I’m more excited about – the prospect of being an aunty for the 3rd time, or that now I’m actually allowed to tell people!!!

    Can’t wait to see the bibby belly for real in July xxxx

  14. You know i so thought you were! As soon as i heard you were in Spain, I thought what a great place to get knocked up! And then i remember Ryan’s post about how you’d never been so sick, and i was thinking Jo’s preggers, and then when we were chatting on fb i just had the strongest feeling that somehow you were or would be soon. I cannot even describe how absoloutely THRILLED i am for you all. The coolest family ever, just got cooler! So much love and happiness being sent your way. Yay!!!!!

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