Friday, October 7, 2016

First week in the life of a newborn sailor...

If you read our blog for anecdotal and sometimes comical accounts of sailing tales from the high seas, then we apologise.  On Saturday 24th September our lives changed forever for the better when our son was born.  Normal service will resume shortly; our next big passage should be in around 6 weeks time or so but until then it's wall to wall baby pictures and gushy soppy prose.

Ravi Arthur Fagg had a hard time trying to get out and in the end was born around midday by caesarian section 36 hours after my waters first broke. Fiji has a caesarian rate of around 12% as opposed to most of the Western world being in the 25-30% region and the USA even higher at 33% (WHO). They don't do them readily here but if it's absolutely necessary they can.

He was born uttering a lusty cry and continued to do so the next half hour whilst they cleaned him, checked him and sewed me up until he was brought to have his first suckle and relaxed straight in to our little family. Duncan and I have both never been so relieved.


Thus he began his lifetime of experiences. The world outside is a confusing and concerning place for a newborn and you can see it in their faces. The first touches they feel, the first smells and light; they react instinctively to begin with, moving towards or away according to preprogrammed responses.

We were lucky that I recovered so quickly from the operation most likely influenced by the extreme euphoria I was feeling to have him OK after those difficult hours. When visiting time was over at 7pm Duncan was evicted from our company by the severe maternity unit security guard. At this time due to the spinal I'd had, I was still wide awake but could not move my legs. Nevertheless I was left on my own with Ravi to take care of with no obvious way of summoning help. 

Duncan was careful to make sure I had everything I might need within reach and got me comfy before he left. Had I had a girlfriend available to help that would have been encouraged, they just had a strict no men outside visiting hours policy despite there being posters about the place encouraging father's involvement... It was sad him heading home so early and alone.

An hour or so later the nurse came to take Ravi for his first bath. Can I come help? I asked, keen to keep him near and learn what they did. Can you walk? She replied quizzically then looked back in disbelief as I slowly heaved myself after her down the corridor. My abdomen was still numb but otherwise the spinal effects had worn off. Later that night the doctor tried and failed to cannulate him so he had his first intra muscular injection poor mite.

Ravi slept his first night only waking a couple of times and being given a suckle and lots of cuddles. We both had to stay in the hospital three days for antibiotics and monitoring then finally we were allowed to go home. He had his first taxi ride in his first thunder storm but as Duncan had left all the hatches open when leaving the boat at anchor that morning, he rowed out to shut them in the thrashing rain then we all stayed in a nice dry air conditioned bungalow for our first night together. 

This was disappointing as we were desperate to be home for his first night as a family but Ravi had been suffering a bit from the heat and mosquitoes at the hospital so we thought the AC would be good where a hot soggy boat probably would not help his rash. That night at the marina bar he was the star attraction whilst we caught up with some friends. In the end Duncan went to find him to spend some Pappa time to find Ravi quite happy asleep on a Fijian lady.  His first night out at a bar.

The next afternoon we rowed out and were finally home. Duncan pulled up the anchor and Ravi went for his first sail aged 4 days old. We were only going a few miles and the wind was at our back until we tacked into the anchorage; still only with our Yankee jib; to the whoops and celebratory hollers of friends there cheering Ravi in.

We had some photos from this sail however sadly our hard drive has failed and so they are lost.  Thankfully Doug on Renegade snapped these as we sailed past him.

And Ravi helping get the anchor ready on the foredeck...

5 days old and it was time to start Ravi's passport application. We rowed in and caught the bus to the city and started the merry dance to get his birth certificate. As we're not married we were told Duncan's name could not be on it by the nurses. However, we found out there was a way; it just meant jumping through some hoops in various offices. Ravi managed this long day with aplomb. We were exhausted! 

Ravi's first paperwork and passport photo; rocking the Ramones babygrow at 5 days old!

The next day we all had a very well earned rest.  Ravi not only heard his very first Beatles album but was also subjected to his very first 'The Archers Omnibus', it was a pivotal one including Helens trial.  We were a bit behind what with one thing and another...

Grannie made him a lovely quilt to lie on at home and to take to the beach

Our sailor boy has a cyclone in the middle of his forehead!


s/y homeless said...

Ohhhh, so so cute little prince♡ Looking forward to see you soon! Very happy for you!Lots of luv, homies xxx

Tracie Boyd said...

He is just precious... i just love and expected any thing less of you two for going forward on things so soon.. My Ruthless Ruth.. so proud of you..

Best of Luck My Friends. We love you all

Dan said...

SO cute!
Cool when everything becomes his first. Soon he'll be manning the helm, next thing he'll be raising the sail and not long after, he'll be raising anchor for the next port.

Awesomeness all around!

Anonymous said...

Ha! Cyclonic in the southern hemisphere! ;-)

Lots of love,
Claire, Franklin and the Gang

Michael Robertson said...

Congratulations from the DV crew! We've been wondering how things have gone since we left you--must have gone into labor that day. Beautiful boy!

Sophie and Davy on narrowboat K&A said...

Congrats from one boat family to another...growing up on a boat is the best :) . Well done the three of you!!! Xxxxxx