In April 2011, the decision was made, my wife, Mel and I were going to move to Singapore. We had been out there a few times to look for homes and had tried to get used to the area. Panic mode set in, we were not sure but were willing to take the chance as we were young enough to travel and make these mistakes. Two months later, my wife was contacted by her company and asked if she would consider moving to San Francisco instead. That was a far easier decision to make, we both loved America and I couldn’t wait to get out and eat all the food!
I had worked for a local construction company since I was 16 years old and so I was nervous about not having a job. I’m the type of man that likes routine and needs to have each day planned out. I cannot just sit around and do nothing. But I knew that this opportunity to move was not one that we could turn down.
We finally made the move and arrived in SFO with our 10 suitcases in June 2012. The sun was shining and I thought, this is it, we have actually done this. It wasn’t a dream anymore, it was a reality.
Mel settled in straight away. She was working with the same people she had worked with in London. Whereas for me it took a few months to get used to the new world I lived in. We had to wait until we were in the country before I could apply for my work visa, therefore I didn’t work for the first few of months. I spent my days at the gym, sightseeing and looking for work. The perfect job would include working outside and being active.
When the visa finally arrived I managed to get a job at a local store. By then, I didn’t care where I worked, I was just so happy to be out working again. The first week would be spent training and after that, they would let me loose on the checkouts. I completed my first three days and was getting used to my new routine. Then it was the weekend and I was happy to spend time with my wife. I had also joined a soccer team so I was happy to get back to playing every weekend.
That Saturday night Mel was not feeling well, she was up all night complaining of back pain. On Sunday morning, I checked to see if she needed me or if I could go to my game. She said she was fine. When I returned, my wife was talking to her parents on Skype and they told me to take her down to the hospital. She was reluctant to go as she didn’t think it was that bad and tried to get an out-of-hours appointment with the doctor instead. The appointment was booked for 4:30pm but she was in so much pain that we went to the pharmacy. Once we arrived, she couldn’t even get out of the car so she finally caved and agreed that she should probably go to the hospital.
When we arrived at the emergency room, she was called in straight away. Her pain had increased, so they did some tests and within five minutes they returned with an ultrasound machine. As they wheeled it in I was slightly confused. The nurse then went on to explain that we were having a baby, and the pain my wife was in was because she was in labor. Mel had been having a combination of strange symptoms for months but had put it down to the move, a stressful job, and American food. I quickly sat down before I fainted!
Read Part Two below, their American adventure has only just begun!
I thought my world was about to crumble. We were so far away from family and completely alone. It was too much to take in. We were having a baby!