Claire Waldron - Cacin
What is your name, age and how long have you lived in Cacin?
Claire Waldron, 35, lived in Cacin for 5 years
How many children do you have, what are their names and when were they born?
I have 2 children Sean Michael born March 29th 2003, so he's 8 now and Eva Sara, born April 15th 2009, so she's 2
Do you work and if so what do you do?
I am an Usbourne Children's Book Team leader. I primarily joined to keep Sean and Eva stocked with gorgous english books and earn a bit extra cash. Things have been going much better than I expected I am building up a team to help me all over Spain and back in the UK too. I have regular clients at schools, nurseries, toddler groups and individual people. It's really got me out and about and helped my self confidence a lot, particulary because most of my clients are Spanish and given me the chance to earn some money (I have been a full time mum for 8 years) so it's refreshing and given me a new challenge.
What was your experience of having children in Cacin?
I went into labour on my due date after a reflexology and back massage session which was great. I had bought a TENS machine so I could stay at home as long as possible. After labouring all day at home we decided it was time to head for the hospital in Granada (Universiario San Cecilio) which is about 50 mins away. Thankfully traffic wasn't too bad, but as there isn't parking at the hospital my husband Jamie had to drop me at A&E, find a car park and come and find me. I had to book in at A&E before they would take me up to the labour ward on the 7th floor!!! A lovely lady who didn't know was asking if I was ok and massaging my back as she'd seen Jmaie come in with me and then have to go and park the car. This was a bit worrying as they wanted to get me up to the labour ward and Jamie wasn't back from parking the car!!! It is a big hospital and was very busy, but Jamie was brought up by a really nice porter, phew! Considering that Granada Hospital is quite modern none of the staff knew what a TENS machine was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They thought I was quite bonkers with my funny contraption. Everything was progressing well and I was at 4cm when they measured me, plus they did a quick ultra sound to check baby which I was really impressed with. Not long after I began to shake uncontrollably as my body had gone into shock and it was difficult to translate and speak. The midwife came in and asked if I would like an epidural I looked at Jamie and we both said SI!!! The aneasthetist was brilliant he got the epidural in first time as it was difficult as I was shaking like mad. It was perfect after that, the midwife turned down the ligts as it was about midnight and Jamie and I got some rest. The midwife kept on checking everything about every hour or so and then it was time to push. The epidural had worn off just enough so I could feel what was going on, the midwife was quite firm but very careing she made sure that Jamie saw Eva's head crowning and as soon as she was born was put onto my chest, they didn't cut the cord straight away we had a gorgeous cuddle. The midwife helped me enourage Eva to latch on and feed which she did brilliantly. I was stitched up whilst Eva was feeding and then we were left for a good 45 mins in the quiet with our beautiful baby girl. The one thing I noticed was how quiet and calm the labour ward was. In the UK it ws so noisy and stressful, a much better experience.
For those who don`t know, can you describe what is Cacin like?
Cacin is a small farming village situated in a valley. Many people work in Granada and come out at the weekends and holidays to work on the olives and almonds
How well integrated would you say you and your children are?
I think we are quite well integrated as I see the other Mum's everyday at school and chat and I get involved with school when there are activites to plan etc and Sean has Spanish friends, goes to their birthday parties etc.
What language do you speak to your children?
At home we speak english, but if I am at school with Sean's teach I speak to him in Spanish so that she can understand me. When we are out and about it tends to bit a bit of both depending on the situation
Do you feel that you need to speak Spanish to be fully integrated in the area?
I think that you need some Spanish so that you can pass the time of day with others, and talk about the relant things that are going on in the village or at school.
Do you feel that having children has helped you integrate?
Yes definitely it has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I know much more Spanish and have more confidence with the language than I would have.
How much Spanish and how much English culture do you think your children are exposed to?
During school time I would say it's about 50/50, but in the holidays slighly more english as we have friends over and go off and do our own thing
How welcoming were the locals when you moved to Cacin?
The locals were lovely as my parents already live in the village they were very pleased to see that we are a close family
How would you describe a typical local?
Very laid back, a bit too much sometimes! But generally very friendly and they love the children especially as they are both blonde.
Do your children go to a nursery or have any childcare, and if so how do you rate it?
No there isn't a guarderia in the village it's too small
What do you think are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a parent from the International Community living in Cacin?
Advanatge wise I think we have a broader outlook on life and pass this onto our children, disadvantages would be sometimes the language as sometimes you can't find the right words for stuff at the right time!!
Is there anything you think would improve children´s lives where you live?
As it's a small village there aren't always regular activities, Sean was going to Karate but there wasn't enough interest.
What advice would you give for anyone having a baby or thinking of relocating to Cacin with children?
It's a great place for the outdoor life as we are in the middle of the campo, but this will have an effect on the children as they grow up and want to get out and about more - more taxi - ing to the local town etc. The school is small so it has been a good introduction, not as daunting - for any of us. I have got to know the teachers really well.
Can you ever imagine moving back to the UK?
No!!! Our house is on the market though as we are moving just outside the village to a new house which we will be building in the campo. I have stables up there already and once the house is built I'll be ablr to go and buy my horse and keep it at home something which I wouldn't have been able to do in the UK.
What could you live without in Cacin?
Nothing really springs to mind, I suppose we live without the convenience of a take away
What couldn´t you live without in Cacin?
Our swimming pool as it's really hot in summer!!!! And our dogs, I love running with them in the campo!