SHOUTOUT: have you had, or attended, a destination wedding?

Hi everyone!

I’m busy writing a post for thebeautifultraveller.com on destination weddings. Have you had one? Have you been to one?

If so, I’d love to hear all about it. Post below or PM me on our Facebook page and let me know if you’d be happy for me to get in touch and feature your experience.

Thanks so much for your help!

xx

a new project: thebeautifultraveller.com

Hi guys!

It’s been a little quiet lately over here at flygirl… I know, I know, it’s the number one blogging sin. But I promise I’ve been working on something!

I started a new baby with my sister Dayna (www.thebeautifultraveller.com) and I would love it if you could check it out. It’s brand new so it’s still being built and refined but we would just love, love, LOVE any input you might have.

Have a suggestion, a tip, a hint or a criticism? Send ’em my way.

flygirl has been an amazing first foray into the world of blogging and it’s taught me a lot, but I still have a long way to go. I will of course keep this site up and running as I’d love to stay connected with everyone I’ve met through this site and I really would love to hear from everyone.

If you also have any travel stories or insight into a particular destination you’d like to share I would be forever grateful!

Of course that goes both ways, always happy to help you out in any way I can.

Amelia x

a last-minute flight to perth…

The other night we received some sad news: we had a death in the family. This wasn’t unexpected but until it actually happens you never know how the news will hit you. This family member lives Perth (a three-hour flight from us) so we have booked some last-minute tickets to fly over on Sunday.

As sad as it is, it will also be a new experience: this will be Baby’s first time on a plane and with that comes our first time flying with an infant. There’s so much more to travelling with a bub than I ever imagined (checking in the pram, feeding him on take off so his ears don’t hurt, making sure the hire car has a car seat, booking a hotel room with a cot), but seeing his little name on the ticket puts a huge smile on my face.

This will be the only time we can get away together for a while and it’s obviously the first time the three of us are travelling together so, even though we’re flying over for a sad occasion, we’d like to have one day to do the touristy thing and have some family time.

So, dear readers, for those of you who have been to Perth, what are your must-do activities for someone who only has one day free? (hint: we’ve been before and are confident with the roads, but have never had the chance to properly explore) And for any one with kiddies, what hints or tips would you offer for a first-timer like me?

xx

hey, doctors: bedside manner makes all the difference

I’m going to get a little personal on this post, so forgive me if I wander into “TMI territory”.

At our 20 week morphology scan, it was discovered that I have multiple fibroids in my uterus. These are, for lack of a better description, little benign tumours (today the Obstetrician described them as “like the grisly bits on a T-Bone” – gross) in the uterine wall. Overall they’re pretty common in women of childbearing age but the problem is I have lots, and some of them are pretty big, and growing.

Fast forward three weeks, and I was referred by my midwife to see the Obstetrician again. She’s the best in the biz, I was told, and she’ll sort it out. Well. She was too busy to see me so I had the obstetrics registrar handle me instead (that’s the way of the public system) and while she seemed like a nice woman, I wouldn’t say things went well. This poor lady was trying to comfort me without giving me too much information about my condition in case she said the wrong thing, so the nervous gems she gave me instead were: “well your fetus is viable now so if it was born now it would have a god chance” and “if not we might just have to do a c-section at 36 weeks, no problem”… then the worst: “it looks as if growth has slowed, we’ll need to do another scan straight away”.

Hang on a minute. You tell this to a confused, hormonal pregnant woman who has NOT gone through years and years of medical training and she hears: “your baby’s not growing. Something’s wrong with your baby. Your baby is going to be severely premature. DANGER!” And also, just quietly – no, I’m not a doctor but I’m not silly enough to think that my baby can be born at 23 weeks and I can absolutely expect him to grow up unscathed. Thanks anyway. Had the scan and no, he’s not big, but he’s not small either. He is bang on 50th percentile and I’m okay with that as I’m not exactly wishing for a ten-pounder.

We’re now at 26 weeks and today I was able to see the Obstetrician I was originally referred to. She alleviated many of the concerns we had and answered our questions thoroughly and thoughtfully and I would be more than happy to see her again.

Don’t get me wrong, all young doctors have to learn somehow, and maybe I was a bit of a baptism of fire for this particular young registrar, but I wish someone was there to supervise a little because I think most pregnant ladies and their partners would agree, that kind of stress is not needed!

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who is only a couple of years out of medical school and he was saying that studies had been done on what makes most people in hospitals trust the doctors. Was it a white coat? A certain feature? Something they said? Turns out it was just a stethoscope around their neck. Seriously! For me though? It’s a doctor who looks me in the eye and gives me a confident greeting. From there, if they can take control and make me feel like they’re working for the best possible outcome or me and not expecting the worst, that’s how I know I’m in good hands. Seems pretty simple really.

considering a babymoon? read this first.

There’s a trend these days for couples to enjoy a “babymoon” before their babies are born – that is, to have a little getaway, enjoy some quality time together and relax before that little bundle of joy arrives and sleepless nights set in.

It’s a cute idea for those who have the time and resources and let’s face it, what new mum or dad isn’t at least slightly anxious about impending parenthood?

I’m all for the idea in theory but there’s one really big thing to think about that a lot of people seem to be forgetting: their travel insurance.

Being an expectant mum myself, I’m seeing lots of women considering babymoons which is great, but what concerns me are two trends: travelling without insurance, or travelling with insurance and assuming baby is covered. Here’s a little newsflash that surprises a lot of people: baby won’t be covered if you travel overseas.

For Australians, travel interstate is fine because pregnancy will always be covered by Medicare (the joys of being a citizen of a country with such a scheme). If you travel on a cruise though (even if it’s a domestic cruise) or you fly out of the country this is where expectant parents really need to consider the risks far more thoroughly than they have been.

On a standard policy (bearing in mind this is a generalisation, however it is based on experience and in-depth conversations with several insurance companies) a woman with a single pregnancy would be covered up to about 26 weeks (depending on the policy) provided she has experienced absolutely no complications whatsoever. This 26-week limit means all travel must be completed by then, NOT that you must depart by then. It’s usually about 18 or 19 weeks for women pregnant with multiples.

But here’s the trick: while the mother is covered, the baby isn’t. This means that the mother could go to the hospital complaining of pains and be treated but the minute the decision is made that the baby is to be delivered, that’s it. Cough up the dough because the insurance company won’t be.

Consider the risks of this: what if a mother went to say, Fiji or Bali for a week at 25 weeks, fully intending to be home by the 26 week mark. While away, she goes into spontaneous labour and needs to deliver. At 25 weeks the foetus is viable and is born alive, but now needs three months of round-the-clock care in the NICU of the hospital. Sorry, but those parents will be paying. Not to mention having to stay in that country for the whole time, paying for food, accommodation etc and not going to work. Can you imagine?

Or, on the most awful end of the scale, consider the tragic case of the lady who this week delivered her baby at 24 weeks on board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Brisbane. The plane needed to be diverted to Denpasar and unfortunately the baby passed away. No post-natal care would be provided for this woman and the repatriation cost of her baby’s body wouldn’t be covered either.

As ridiculous as much of this may sound, I’m yet to come across a policy that works differently (but if you happen to come across one let me know!)

My advice: ALWAYS read your Product Disclosure Statement, ask as many questions as you can and really consider if a particular policy is right for you – or indeed, if the risk is worth it.

"don’t drink the water!"

The first time I ever went overseas (to Vietnam) everyone was so eager to give me advice. It frustrated me that everyone thought they were a bloody expert when the only slice of wisdom they ever gave me was “don’t drink the water!” It wore thin pretty fast.
…Until now.
I can now say that, however inadvertently, I drank the water and MY GOD I have never been that sick in my life.
Off we went on our glorious honeymoon. It was meant to be three weeks of romantic newlywed bliss, just the two of us. Just us – no intestinal parasites invited, thank you very much.
Six days in, a lovely Giardia infection changed all that. In case you’re not familiar with it, Giardia is a protozoan parasite that infects the small intestine and, without getting too gory, can make you really ill. For me personally, it was the secondary symptoms that were the worst – the violent shaking, the sensation of chinese burns all over my skin and the stomach twisting cramps made the other obvious symptoms look like a cakewalk.
I fell ill on 21st December and it’s now the 18thJanuary; after some heavy duty meds, I can finally say I’m feeling much better, although I still have to take the medication for a while longer. I had to go back to work this week and let’s face it, I really could have used a stiff drink each day when I got home but alas, my liver is shot and I’m not allowed to drink.
The moral of my story is this: when travelling frequently, it’s easy to become complacent. It’s easy to dismiss advice because we are now the experts. Even though I was careful, this has been a big wake-up call for me – I might be reasonably well travelled but when it comes to world domination, the bugs win hands down.
Be careful folks. When people tell you not to drink the damn water, they really just have your best interests at heart.