This week, the heartburn started. I’ve had reflux before, and while unpleasant, it’s not a huge deal. The pickles keep it under control. The heartburn is a whole different story. Heartburn is a whole new experience for me, and while the pickles help a little bit… they’re not a cure. Staying upright after dinner has become very important to me. And dinnertime has been creeping earlier to accomodate.
One of the awkward things about being here is that, while it’s totally easy to get a six-month visa on arrival, there is no way to renew it if you want to stay longer. And in the interest of not having to go home, change care providers and re-enter the absurdly expensive US health care system to have a baby… getting another six months is essential. Theoretically, of course, we could just let our visas expire and pay a not-too-hefty fine when we leave, but… there are some legal concerns with that. They won’t throw us in jail or anything– they like tourists who stay and spend money for a while– but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to have expired visas while we are trying to wade through all the bureaucratic paperwork to get a passport for the baby, register the birth with the embassy so we can sort out citizenship properly, etc.
What this means is that before our visas actually expire in a couple of months, we will need to travel to a neighboring country, spend the night, and then come back home, crossing the border and getting our passports stamped for another six months in the process. It’s a fairly common thing to do, and there is a regular bus service to the nearest border crossing. It is, however, a 19- hour bus ride. Each way. I’ve made such trips before, and since I can’t sleep upright, it’s very, very unpleasant. We could also fly, but that would be considerably more expensive.
Timing is key. Right now, I feel up to the trip, but it’s too early to do it. We have to wait at least a few more weeks to avoid our visas running out *again* before we have all our papers together to make the trip home. It’s also important to make the trip before I get to the too-uncomfortable-to-travel stage of things. I feel like time is running out on that one, at just about five months now. Decisions, decisions…