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Pregnant and Saudi bound

Pregnant and Saudi bound

Old Feb 24th 2009, 7:10 pm
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Default Pregnant and Saudi bound

Hi,

If all goes to plan, I will be in Saudi mid May/start June.

Wife will be over mid July.

She is due to give birth mid Sept.

Does anyone know if Saudi will allow my wife into country on family iqama if pregnant? I am sure they will, though have been presuming..and one thinkI have come to learn is you do not presume anything when it comes to Saudi regulations.

If anyone has any experience re the above please let me know.

Nic1 - you were going to look into the standard of care at a new birth centre in Riyadh - any luck with that? Thanks,
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 4:16 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Spending the summer heat in a strange and hostile environment while heavily pregnant might become a nightmare. Why not consider letting your wife have the baby in the UK as you presumably have in-laws or whoever to stay with? Just my opinion coz my wife didn't much enjoy having a baby in Saudi even though we were well settled by then. Its also a costly process.
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 4:28 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Originally Posted by lionheart View Post
Spending the summer heat in a strange and hostile environment while heavily pregnant might become a nightmare. Why not consider letting your wife have the baby in the UK as you presumably have in-laws or whoever to stay with? Just my opinion coz my wife didn't much enjoy having a baby in Saudi even though we were well settled by then. Its also a costly process.
We don't have any in-laws around, we currently live in Oz. The company will provide medical cover for the family, so this will be covered (though I hope they do not classify being pregnant as a pre-existing condition..will check).

So I guess it's in Oz, going solo, or in KSA with me. I also dont want to be apart from my family for over 4 months, which is what we'd have to do if she were to stay here until after baby born. Difficult situation to be in.
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 4:46 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Yes, i did - sorry got sidetracked. Will make a few phone calls today and get back to you.

N
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 5:05 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Originally Posted by thecentennial View Post
We don't have any in-laws around, we currently live in Oz. The company will provide medical cover for the family, so this will be covered (though I hope they do not classify being pregnant as a pre-existing condition..will check).

So I guess it's in Oz, going solo, or in KSA with me. I also dont want to be apart from my family for over 4 months, which is what we'd have to do if she were to stay here until after baby born. Difficult situation to be in.
As she is already pregnant its highly unlikely that the costs will be covered. How about flying a close relative out to Oz to be with her?
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 5:29 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Originally Posted by thecentennial View Post
We don't have any in-laws around, we currently live in Oz. The company will provide medical cover for the family, so this will be covered (though I hope they do not classify being pregnant as a pre-existing condition..will check).

So I guess it's in Oz, going solo, or in KSA with me. I also dont want to be apart from my family for over 4 months, which is what we'd have to do if she were to stay here until after baby born. Difficult situation to be in.
for what it's worth, we find ourselves in exactly the same situation as you - albeit due mid-June in Dubai.

Firstly, the insurance will *almost certainly* treat the pregnancy as a pre-existing condition - anything to squirm out of paying up!

We've decided to give birth in the UK and then stay out for the rest of the summer. It was a difficult decision to make, but weighing up all the various factors, it seems the most sensible for us.

Personally, I can think of nothing worse than being heavily pregnant during the summer - let alone a middle-eastern summer. My first was a september baby, but fortunately we had a typical british summer - not getting above 25 degrees!

Before launching into A Plan, have a think and a chat together about the following:
- is this your first baby? Have you any support in OZ (friends, family)?
- how do you want the actual birth to go? Note that here in Dubai, at least, antenatal care and birth seems to be very medicalised. The hospital I was going to be at has a 45% c-section rate (if you like the idea of a c-section, that's great, if you're into home-births, maybe not!)
- can you finance it?
- Are you able to fly at the time you want to? Up to 28 weeks, you can fly without a doc's note, with one, you can fly up to 34-35 weeks... but ofc, you have to be well enough to fly (no swolen ankles, blood-pressure issues, etc...), which you can't really assume well in advance.

This is really time to discuss things openly. It's going to be a difficult time anyway and neither side should feel that they have been steamrolled into an uncomfortable situation.

Saying all that, I know a family who did exactly what you are suggesting (albeit in Dubai), but coming over last Aug and gave birth in Sept. It was her second too, so she knew exactly what she wanted, and didn't hesitate to tell the hospital staff so.

I'd also say that you'll need to find a really, really nice place to live... cos Aug/Sept, your wife and baby aren't going to be able to get out of the house between 9h30 and, say 17h!

---------

sorry, this is turning into a saga....

One thing my husband found out this week - not quite sure why he assumed otherwise - is that there is no provision for paternity leave over here. In the UK, men are entitled to 2 weeks off work... here, it apparently has to be taken off as holiday if you'd like to be with your new family after the birth. Would you be allowed to take that time off? Would you also (and it's reasonable to assume that you would) be working long hours and doing that little bit extra at work to show your new employers how fantastic you are?

All in all, your wife needs to be able to feel safe, secure and supported. You, as a family, need to determine where she'll be best provided for.

Last edited by Hello.Kitty; Feb 25th 2009 at 5:53 am.
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 6:06 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

And Hello Kitty is talking about Dubai which is infinitely more westernised than Saudi...and more humid too.
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 6:51 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Originally Posted by lionheart View Post
And Hello Kitty is talking about Dubai which is infinitely more westernised than Saudi...and more humid too.
Kitty - when you said you'd stay out for summer, does that mean the whole family or just mum and kids?

I think I"ll find it really hard to be without the family for 4-5 months, not sure if I can get my head around that. I know it may sound selfish, but thats how I feel. I'd love to be able to have the baby in Oz and come out after, that would be perfect, the timing is just out by a few months.

Is it really that bad over there in summer? Is the dry heat more tolerable? There are play areas "inside" which would be cooler (this would be no. 2).

Will have to seriously think about our options here, thanks for the responses so far.
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 7:01 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Many western families disappear for the entire summer, leaving hubby to cope alone. Its part of life here. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. You can always employ a housemaid to cook and clean the dishes. Also, you can presumably fly to Oz once or twice. As for the summer heat, Riyadh is dry and comfortable. Jeddah on the west coast and Damman on the east coast are humid and oppressive.
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 7:25 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Originally Posted by thecentennial View Post
Kitty - when you said you'd stay out for summer, does that mean the whole family or just mum and kids?

I think I"ll find it really hard to be without the family for 4-5 months, not sure if I can get my head around that. I know it may sound selfish, but thats how I feel. I'd love to be able to have the baby in Oz and come out after, that would be perfect, the timing is just out by a few months.

Is it really that bad over there in summer? Is the dry heat more tolerable? There are play areas "inside" which would be cooler (this would be no. 2).

Will have to seriously think about our options here, thanks for the responses so far.
Don't forget I'm talking about Dubai here!

We were over last May on a trial run and the temps were 35-40 degrees during the day. My daughter was 8 months old and when we tried taking her out and about during the day, she'd be sopping wet and come out in a heat rash. I therefore had to stay indoors with her between about 10h (getting uncomfortable) and about 16h30. Yes, here in Dubai, there are indoor play areas in the malls, but I simply don't know about Saudi.

Anyhow, I don't think it's particularly fair to keep Miss Kitty and I indoors during most of may and june, then give birth and have a toddler and newborn stuck in an apartment for most of the day - it would drive us all wild, and Mr Kitty thinks he'd get it in the neck when he came home... don't know why he'd think that.

Our plan was always to go back to Europe for July and August, but with Number 2's timing, it was a case of either going before or towards the end of July.

My 28 weeks fall at the end of march - yes, I could push it until 35 weeks and take a gamble that the doc'll be happy to write the note, but last time around, my ankles did swell up, and so I don't really want to take a long-haul flight in that state - DVT and a newborn?! Don't think so.

As I said, it was a really hard decision to make, and I'm fully aware about how Mr Kitty feels about being parted from us for 5-6 months. I also am under no illusion that it's not going to be easy, but at the end of the day, climate aside, there are far more factors that come into play and it's not just about the husband/wife team... it's also about the children.

One major, major thing to bear in mind is that your wife, not working, will be on her own with the kids for much of the day and may not be able to get the support and social interaction that's sooo important. Yes, there are things to do, and yes, she will make friends, but she'll have been dropped in a completely new place without the anchor and purpose that a work-environment provides. She will have to actively "get out there"... only you and she knows if she'll feel happy doing that.

Also, from the point of view of the kids, your wife is/will be their principle care-giver, so if she's unhappy, they will feed off that. On the flip-side, if she's happy, then everyone will be!

That's how I feel about it anyway. It's not a life that I would have chosen, but hey, 6 months ago, we had no idea we'd be having another child. A year ago, I didn't know I'd be in Dubai. 3 months ago, there was no prospect of redundancy either!

Last edited by Hello.Kitty; Feb 25th 2009 at 7:28 am.
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 7:25 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Doesnt the OZ government pay $6000 dollar if you give birth over there??

I would strongly suggest you have the baby in OZ.

1. Cheaper...I doubt it will be covered by ins.
2. Easier paperwork.
(Getting a birth certificate, getting it translated/attested etc is a nightmare)

BTW If in the future, your child loses his birth certificate, it will be ALOT easier to get a copy from Aus than to organise one from Saudi!!)
3. Nicer climate
4. Im not sure, but i believe in Saudi that certain hospitals will not let you witness the birth or enter most parts of the ward, and certainly not the ICU unit.
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 8:14 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Still waiting for info on giving birth here - but it is a national passtime so should be OK medically. However, Saudi is not the most welcoming country in the world ex-pat wise . . . . Your wife could find herself very isolated when she arrives, and as someone else has said this place is something of a ghost town in the summer. The weather here is actually far far more tolerable than in Dubai - the lack of humidity makes it quite comfortable even when it's the middle of summer. On the other hand you will be together which is quite important at baby having time . . . . . And this is a horrible place to be as a 'bachelor' too. Another advantage to being here is that you can have help in the house for those first few crazy weeks. There are play centres at the malls - not sure what they are like as my kids are older.

I've had one child in a country where DH wasn't allowed in (in fact no-one was allowed in) and one where he was - doesn't make a blind bit of difference to how he feels about them - and he actually flew to US for a week 5 hours after number one child was born - so no worries re bonding/not bonding etc. It really depends on how you both feel about being there for the birst - altho if she is in Oz and you are here you could quite possibly miss the birth anyway.

Swings and roundabouts really - but the bottom line I would imagine will be if the pregnancy and delivery (including a c-section just in case) is covered by your medical insurance.

Anyway, will post info re birthing here when friend gets back to me - meantime wishiing you well with your move.

N
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 8:36 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Originally Posted by Nic1 View Post
Still waiting for info on giving birth here - but it is a national passtime so should be OK medically. However, Saudi is not the most welcoming country in the world ex-pat wise . . . . Your wife could find herself very isolated when she arrives, and as someone else has said this place is something of a ghost town in the summer. The weather here is actually far far more tolerable than in Dubai - the lack of humidity makes it quite comfortable even when it's the middle of summer. On the other hand you will be together which is quite important at baby having time . . . . . And this is a horrible place to be as a 'bachelor' too. Another advantage to being here is that you can have help in the house for those first few crazy weeks. There are play centres at the malls - not sure what they are like as my kids are older.

I've had one child in a country where DH wasn't allowed in (in fact no-one was allowed in) and one where he was - doesn't make a blind bit of difference to how he feels about them - and he actually flew to US for a week 5 hours after number one child was born - so no worries re bonding/not bonding etc. It really depends on how you both feel about being there for the birst - altho if she is in Oz and you are here you could quite possibly miss the birth anyway.

Swings and roundabouts really - but the bottom line I would imagine will be if the pregnancy and delivery (including a c-section just in case) is covered by your medical insurance.

Anyway, will post info re birthing here when friend gets back to me - meantime wishiing you well with your move.

N
Thanks nic1,

When you say "isolated" - doesnt one build networks of friends with the expats? We'll probably end up in Eid, which I've been tols is family oriented, I'm hoping we'll make some friends, pull in a nanny etc to help out. Also looking at bringing over the folks for a month or 2. Company told me getting their visas is an easy process, and they will sort out for me.

Re medical costs - anyone know a rough figure? Believe lioness indicated upto 8000SR? Thats not too bad. Rent back in oz will be more than that.

Will see what the company says re medical cover, have asked them to send me the policy etc...fingers crossed.
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 9:02 am
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Originally Posted by thecentennial View Post
Thanks nic1,

When you say "isolated" - doesnt one build networks of friends with the expats? We'll probably end up in Eid, which I've been tols is family oriented, I'm hoping we'll make some friends, pull in a nanny etc to help out. Also looking at bringing over the folks for a month or 2. Company told me getting their visas is an easy process, and they will sort out for me.

Re medical costs - anyone know a rough figure? Believe lioness indicated upto 8000SR? Thats not too bad. Rent back in oz will be more than that.

Will see what the company says re medical cover, have asked them to send me the policy etc...fingers crossed.
Isolation is indeed a potential problem. Just because there may be people around that you can hang around and have coffee with doesn't mean that you can't still feel isolated. Friendships take a while to build and quite often it's a case of inserting yourself into an already established group.

Don't get me wrong, I've found everyone in my little mother-and-baby world very friendly and sociable, but at the same time, well, we're all shoved in the same boat so need to get on and make the most of it.
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Old Feb 25th 2009, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Pregnant and Saudi bound

Originally Posted by thecentennial View Post
Thanks nic1,

When you say "isolated" - doesnt one build networks of friends with the expats? We'll probably end up in Eid, which I've been tols is family oriented, I'm hoping we'll make some friends, pull in a nanny etc to help out. Also looking at bringing over the folks for a month or 2. Company told me getting their visas is an easy process, and they will sort out for me.

Re medical costs - anyone know a rough figure? Believe lioness indicated upto 8000SR? Thats not too bad. Rent back in oz will be more than that.

Will see what the company says re medical cover, have asked them to send me the policy etc...fingers crossed.
be aware that with getting additional visa's it can be dependant on what your job title is. for example, if you've got "programmer" on you iqama, getting more than one parent in at a time is nearly impossible whereas if you have "software engineer", no trouble at all. there's a hierarchy to extra visas that directly corresponds to your residency permit so would be worth having a chat to your HR to confirm your iqama title and then ask explicitly (in writing ) who and how many people that will entitle you to on the visa.

sounds absolutely insane, but had a couple of colleagues go through exactly this situation and they both do (roughly) the same job.
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