Post # 1
So I’m from the USA but live abroad. For the most part I love it, but sometimes it’s really hard to be away from family. Now is one of those times because my sister is pregnant! This is her first child and my parents’ first grandchild. It’s a big deal and we’re all super excited.
So anyway, I’m trying to plan a trip for as soon after the baby is born as possible. Unfortunately, my sister’s due date is right around the time my foreign residency visa expires and I’ll need to renew that. I’ve researched all the loopholes, exceptions, etc. and basically found I have two options:
One, take care of my residency visa as early as possible and then leave for the States immediately after. I’d probably buy my ticket for around October 25th to be safe. My sister is due September 21st, so the baby would be about a month old when I got there.
Two, leave for the States around October 1st so the baby would still be a newborn and worry about renewing my (expired) visa later. This is an option, but would incur a very hefty fine with immigration here and may cause issues with the airline as my visa would be expired when I try to fly back home.
So I’m leaning towards the first option, but heartbroken at the thought of not meeting the baby until it’s already a month old. How much different will he or she be by then? How much bigger? Will I be missing enough to make the expense and stress of option two worth it? Obviously this isn’t MY child, but he or she will still be super important to me!
Once I get to the States I’ll be spending three months there. So I’ll be with the baby either months 1-3 or 2-4.
Thanks in advance!
Post # 3
I would do the 1st option. No need for hefty fines. The baby won’t be too much bigger and will still be a little curled up ball of cuteness. I have a 4 month old son. i live in Minnesota and my sister and her husband live in Oregon. They have not met my little guy yet. They are possibly coming in June for a friends wedding and will meet him at 7 months.. if they cant make it in June for the wedding they will meet him on Christmas.. He will then be 13 months old!! I’m sad about it, but I send pics almost everyday!
Post # 4
@ms.melli: Thanks for your reply! Makes me feel a bit better. My family lives in MN too! 🙂
Post # 5
Fellow Minnesotan here, too. 🙂 I’d go for the 2-4 mos. option just because babies are still sooooooo teeny at 2 mos. but they start doing (cute) stuff so fast, you’ll get to see more progress at four months than at three. I don’t think being there right in the beginning is such a big deal. Your sister will just be getting her wits about her!
Post # 6
@ana77: honestly, you aren’t going to be missing much by not seeing the baby as a brand spanking new born. They sleep, and scream. That’s about it. You will be staring at a sleep/screaming baby for the first month/6 weeks. Once they’re a little older, they still don’t do much more, but will be awake for slightly longer periods of time, will be making some sounds, might smile more, and will liekly scream a little less (hopefully for your sister’s sake).
Plus, even though she is your sister, she will probably want some time to bond with her new family, and not have someone in her space 24×7 while she is adjusting to a new baby, her body is healing from a major event, and she’s leaking from everywhere.
Give her a little time to settle into her new role, get a routine in place, and then show up once the novelty for everyone else has owrn off.
Post # 7
First option! You can always skype and see the new baby 🙂
ETA: This way you can be a little more selfish too. By one month everyone will have already met the baby, so you can steel more time 🙂
Post # 8
Oh man. My heart hurts for you a little bit. My sister had my first nephew in October and I know I would have really struggled if I were in your shoes.
The thing is, my nephew looked totally different evey week until about 4 months. So, honestly, it’s going to be weird for you to see the baby either way! If you stay for the birth and then leave and come back, it’s going to look like a different baby. As others have said, I would go with the first option. The first month the baby sleeps and eats. You can’t really help with either of those things and won’t really bond with the baby.
Come back when s/he’s several weeks old, can respond to you and you can STAY. It’s just going to hurt to meet the baby and have to leave. 🙁
Post # 9
Trust me she will send you millions of pictures of the baby. There is very minimal difference from 1 to 2 months. The baby will actually be stronger and easier to hold after a month. More aware aswell.
Post # 10
I know you want to be there for immediately but as my then five year old niece said when her baby sister was born, “She doesn’t do anything.” I think seeing her at two months is better overall and it will give your sister time to get in the groove of being a mom. I know it’s hard though! I love my nieces.
Post # 11
@anotherbee: @RoyalLime: Thanks! I liked both of your points about my sister maybe wanting some time to herself (though I’ll stay with my parents, not with her, so I won’t be totally invading!) and that I can be more greedy at 2 months! 😀 Hadn’t considered either of those things!
Thanks to everyone for your advice I really appreciate it and am feeling much better about just going with option one. Plus I’ll be able to enjoy my time in the States more because I won’t be worrying about doing immigration stuff once the trip is over.
Post # 12
Go with the first option! Unless you work with infants (like I do) or have one, they all look tiny and adorable until they’re 5 or 6 months old!