So here I was back in the UK, a nice full tummy after a lovely curry lunch at my dad’s local pub. I’d been back to my grannie’s house for a shower, freshened up before heading to see Stephen. I am very fortunate that my mum had insured me on the family car so that I had a set of wheels for the six weeks I was back in the UK.
Driving to see Stephen was just so exciting! When I got to his house and he opened the door I literally threw myself around him, it was so nice to see him in the flesh and not on Facetime! Don’t get me wrong, Facetime has a time and a place, but after 10 weeks, sometimes you just want to be with them in person.
We had take away and put the world to right, it was like we’d never been apart. He couldn’t get over how much my belly had grown and was just in awe, which was so special. The thing I love so much about being with Ste is that I can be 100% myself and that we’re so comfortable with each other- whilst still having the spark of course. I’ve often been told that with relationships, when it’s right it’s easy – it just works and feels right. I can honestly say that is the case with Ste and I. Don’t get me wrong, this includes being 100% yourself when you’re frustrated as well as when you’re on you’re A-Game. You need to be able to say how you feel and voice what you’re thinking without fear that it’s going to be taken the wrong way.
Ste was keen to show me all he’d done with the house. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before but one of the reasons I’d decided to come back to the UK was to help Stephen finish his house before the big move down under. Stephen had the house for three years, but had unfortunately been left to his own devices so hadn’t got very far with the renovations – best laid plans and all. His bathroom was absolutely outstanding. We’re talking freestanding bath, walk in shower and his and hers sinks… but this was as far as he had got before we met.
It’s amazing how much having a baby can put a rocket up your ass (pardon my tone), Ste had been in a haze of painting, renovations and brickwork prior to my arrival. It was clear to see how much he’d done to the house, but also clear to see how much still needed to be done, and that’s before we’d even thought about renting/ selling before the big move… Six weeks seemed massively unrealistic and I could tell that we were both apprehensive about the looming due date deadline and the fact that I couldn’t really fly long haul after 32 weeks. I didn’t want to begin our time together chatting about timings of renovations, house stuff and the other pressures we were facing, so I kind of put it to the back of my mind and jut focused on how happy I was to be back with him.
When I arrived back in the UK I had some sad news about my dad’s cousin, my uncle Michael. He’d sadly passed away following a short fight with cancer. It had come as a massive shock to our family and we all of course wanted to show our support and to pay our respects. The funeral had been planned for the following Wednesday (a week after my arrival) in London. I’d arranged to go with my dad and family to stay for two nights, that way we could pay our respects, attend the funeral and I’d also get to spend some time with my dad, step mum Helen and brother Jack.
Over my first week Stephen and I spent all our time together when he wasn’t working, I caught up with my family and of course his. I also got to meet his mum for the first time, which was just lovely. Luckily Stephen had taken me to meet her back in October, but she hasn’t been in, so I felt better in the knowledge that he has wanted to introduce me to his mum before we’d found out we were going to have a family! I think it probably meant a lot to his mum too.
It was an interesting time for me as I’d never lived with a boy before, EVER! So I’d found myself going from single, Sydney socialite living in a Bondi studio on my own to being in love, in the UK, 22 weeks pregnant and living with my partner. Some might say this was a huge change, and they’d be 100% right. Whilst a huge change, it was absolutely for the better and I’d never felt more like this was where I was meant to be.
Stephen took my to the station for the funeral on the Wednesday morning, which was lovely. I’d decided to take the train there and to come back on the train on Friday night so that I could come back to Liverpool for the weekend.
The funeral was a lovely service and the wake was just so touching, it was clear to see how loved Michael was and how much he meant to those that knew him.
The day after the funeral was St Patrick’s Day, so my Dad, Step Mum and brother all decided to take a tour of London and to hole up in an Irish pub for the afternoon – which ended up being one of the best decision – for me and my sanity – sound ominous…? Bear with me.
The morning was spent exploring Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus and the Houses or Parliament. We saw some great sights, the sun was shining and it was great to spend such quality time with my dad.
For lunch we went to the Irish Bar near Leicester Square and I got chatting to my dad and step mum and Stephen and my plans in terms of having the baby down under, Stephen sorting out his visa and the house and everything else. It all seemed to overwhelming and I was struggling to figure out what exactly I wanted to do for the best.
I knew that I didn’t want the six weeks I was back in the UK to be all about finishing the house and for Stephen and I to neglect our relationship as a result and to not enjoy the pregnancy. At the same time however I didn’t want to return to Australia without him and have to spend another number of weeks without him there. I’d already spent so much of my pregnancy without him and our relationship was so new, the thought of even another four without him there, especially for my third trimester seemed daunting and not something I wanted at all.
I’d been mulling things over in my head and I think my dad could pick up that I had quite a bit on my mind. I opened up to my dad and Helen (my step mum) and spoke about how I was feeling and my predicament. After hearing my concerns my dad totally understood where I was coming from and advised that I should write a list of pros and cons for both options. Option 1 being to return to Oz as planned and for Stephen to follow ASAP and to have the baby there. Option 2 involved staying in the UK to help Stephen with the house and to have the baby here, then to move back once the house has been sold/ rented and the baby is ¾ months old – massively taking the pressure off – but the baby wouldn’t be an Australian citizen…
I came up with the following:
- The baby would be a resident of Australia
- We wouldn’t be moving with a newborn baby
- We get to start our new life in Oz ASAP
- No house in Australia – I’d have to move on my own
- I’d have to spend at last six weeks away from Stephen
- I got to go back to my job in Oz
- My mum had flights booked to be I Sydney when the baby was due
- Stephen can’t work for six weeks upon arrival in Australia
- Stephen’s family wouldn’t get to meet the baby until we returned from Oz on a holiday
- We get to relax and enjoy the pregnancy
- I wouldn’t be spending any more if the pregnancy on my own
- Stephen can have more time to finish the house
- We have support following my C-section from family
- Stephen’s and my family get to bond with baby
- We get to move to Oz anyway, just a few months later
- Stephen can continue to work and save for the move
- I can work remotely (run my business from UK and also contract for UK PR agencies)
- Whilst my mum would miss the birth, she’d get to spend more time with the baby overall in the first ¾ months
Overwhelmingly I started to think that the best option for our family was to take the pressure off Stephen with the house, to relax and enjoy the pregnancy and of course our relationship. I felt like since the moment we met we were always on a count down, or working towards a deadline. I wanted our relationship to be normal and for Stephen to not feel like everything was changing and that time was against him.
I was in a position where I didn’t have a place to live in Australia, my job was contract based and not permanent and I’m a resident of Australia, so can return at any time.
Stephen has a job in the UK that he’d been doing for ten years, a house that is I a perfect location near to the beach that was very much a work in progress and his family and friends. I wanted to let Stephen know that there was no pressure either way, but that I thought that it might be better in the long run for us to take the time pressure off and to start 100% enjoying the pregnancy and our relationship.
When I first spoke to Stephen about my thoughts on the phone, he was quite resistant to staying in the UK, he was keen to get to Australia to start our lives there and was worried that if we didn’t go before the baby was born that we wouldn’t go. I had to stress to him that I had no grand designs on moving back to the UK, that I’d moved to Oz nearly seven years ago and it was where I considered home. I explained that I was trying to look at our situation objectively and not emotionally and to do what was best for our baby and us in the long run. Once I started to explain about the house, our time together (and the quality of it) and the support we’d probably need after the birth he started to agree and understand that it probably would be for the best to take our time, step back and have the baby in the UK.
I felt relieved that we were in agreement, but had a few things to consider about the impact of our decision and how it affected my family and friends in Australia….