Friday, July 29, 2016

We just had our second baby

A photo of here in her cot. Blurred of course.

And it is a girl this time! 

And she was born in a whole new country -  different to where my wife and I were born and different to where my elder kid was born as well. 

And she is actually an Australian citizen!

This is a long story, so I will be splitting this story into several posts.

Remember, we just moved to Australia. We used to live in Japan before that. That's where our elder kid was born. But he is not a Japanese citizen - he is still a Sri Lankan citizen.

My wife got pregnant couple of months before we left Japan. She knew there was a few months’ down time between the point when we left Japan and the point when we would be settled down in Australia. During this time, she would be in Sri Lanka, so it was a great time to be pregnant as she would get all the help from everyone around. Plus, she would get a chance to eat all those tasty food that she missed last time.

Everything went according to plan – my wife getting pregnant that is. I was still a bit weary because I wasn’t all that sure that we would be able to settle down properly in time to have the baby in Australia. Having family here without a job would have been really stressful and it would drain our savings. I could not ask my cousin to let all of us live there (I believe he still would have helped though). But we took the risk. The worst thing that would have happened was to have the baby in Sri Lanka and needing to apply for Child Visa as mentioned here. It would have cost us a lot of money as well as a lot of time, but it still would have worked. And, my wife had made up her mind and there was no way I could change her mind unless I was willing to live with a grumpy wife for a few months.

After moving to Australia, I found a job in no time. Then I moved to an apartment and bought a car. Those were pretty much the prerequisites for my wife to plan the journey here. We had already decided that my parents would travel with her to Australia. It was impossible for my wife to look after Sonath (that’s my older kid) who is passing one of the most mischievous days of a person's life. She would definitely need help after the new baby comes out as well. This is another reason why finding a job was imperative. To get Overseas Tourist visa for my parents, I had to send a sponsorship letter to the embassy saying that I would bear all their expenses here.

My wife settled for a date after Sinhalese New Year for the flight date. They all arrived without any significant trouble. Obviously it hasn't been a smooth ride with half a dozen suitcases, a 6 and a half month pregnant woman and a kid full of unimaginable energy.

First thing we did was to get my wife and the elder kid registered under Medicare. We had to go to the Centrelink Service Centre in Oakleigh to get it done. My kid had to go as well. They gave us two printed A4 sheets that could be used as temporary Medicare cards until the real cards arrive by post.

Additionally, I applied for a Tax File Number (TFN) and a bank account under my wife's name. The bank account was necessary because a letter addressed to my wife was the only proof of her address as she did not have a Victorian Driving License. TFN was required for the bank for it not to withhold tax for the interest. My wife, as she will not be working for a while, will not have to pay taxes.

As soon as we received the Medicare cards (one each for my wife and I), we visited a General Practitioner (GP) near our place. The one we chose was the Comprehensive Family Healthcare as it was a bulk-billed medical clinic (which means, we don't have to pay anything out of our pockets; Medicare will take care of it.) and the GP was a lady doctor. The GP, who had an African origin, checked the medical reports that my wife brought from Sri Lanka and recommended tests that needed to be done here. She also referred us to the Monash Medical Centre, the best government hospital in Monash, our City Council. It was only a 5 minute drive from home. 

As per recommendation of the GP, my wife had to do a blood test and an-hour long ultrasound test. We had to get appointments for each of them. We had to do the blood test at a place called MIA Radiology and the ultrasound at a place called Capital Radiology. Both were within walking distance from the hospital. The day we visited the GP was a Friday (April 22nd) and since MIA Radiology was open on Saturday mornings, we went there the next day. Sadly, it was understaffed and we were asked to come back on Tuesday (as Monday was the ANZAC day) early morning. The test didn't take long. The results were to be submitted to the GP, and were not handed over to us. We did not have to pay out of our pockets for the test however. Medicare took care of it. After the test, we went to Capital Radiology to book an ultrasound. Unfortunately, the whole week was full, so we had to book a time on next Monday (2nd of May) afternoon at 14:45.  

Before we had a chance to go for the ultrasound, my wife received a call from the Midwifery section of the hospital couple of days later to arrange an appointment. They wanted us to come on Tuesday, 3rd of May, the day after the ultrasound. Although we hadn't done the ultrasound, we wanted to see the GP before visiting the hospital, at least to learn about the test results of the blood test. So we booked an appointment with the GP for Monday evening; that would be after the ultrasound. 

On Monday morning, my wife received a call from Capital Radiology telling her to go to the toilet at home before arriving for the test as there was a problem with the toilets there. Funny! We went for the ultrasound in the afternoon and the test took almost an hour for the test. The ultrasound test cost us a whopping $215 but Medicare gave us back $85. The results were supposed to be sent to the GP the next day.

At the GP later that day, the blood test results revealed that Vitamin D levels were a bit on the lower side. So we had to get Vitamin D supplements from the pharmacy and we bought them on the way back home. 

I'll stop there for this post. The next post will be up in a few days.

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