They shaved me and gave me an enema (totally unnecessary but I went with the flow) then took me down to the operating theatre which was well looked after and well resourced. The anaesthetist proceeded to give me an injection into my spine (very competently) and then they tied my arms down to the arm rests.
I know! Like I was going to try to fight them or something? This was indicative of our whole experience at this private hospital in Phuket. It was well resourced, clean and new but the practices by the staff were old fashioned, not evidence based but rather entrenched. The doctors wishes were carried out unthinkingly; not the way we do things in the UK or for that matter in Fiji where Ravi was born.
So we took their rules and over medicalising with a pinch of salt and once Hali was finally delivered into our arms we didn't let her out again and treated it as a nice luxurious hotel. Ravi and Duncan stayed on the comfy sofas and Duncan furnished me with food drink and medication as necessary.
Anyhow importantly, Hali Rhiannon Fagg was whipped out safe and sound. She weighed 3.58kg; big enough but not as big as expected. She was very sleepy and so didn't feed much at first, lost a little weight before starting to gain again just in time for discharge. Hali is a Greek girls name meaning 'from the sea'.
She continues to be an incredibly calm soul who Ravi has welcomed into our family with unexpected enthusiasm. He doesn't have much language yet so we really didn't think he knew what was coming. So far he likes to include his sister in everything he does and squeals with delight and rushes over for a kiss whenever he remembers she is there.
Our bill was as agreed; the package price with no added extras so that was 59,900 baht, about 1,345gbp or around 1,920 usd which though a lot of money we felt reasonable for what was included. Would we chose the same again? Probably not, but we hadn't had long to research, plan and arrange having only cleared into Thailand four days earlier! We felt fairly content in taking the easy option for once.
Bringing her home was wonderful and we were treated to a lovely sunset. The rolling thunder clouds never amounted to much and we all slept well.
Thank your lucky stars you will surely think and we do, but after a week of her sleeping around 23 1/2 hours out of every 24, I thought I'd better get this rechecked. The pediatrician knew she was sleepy when we were discharged but a week on I had concerns. I asked for advice from some expert friends in Australia and we took ourselves along to the hospital for a couple of tests.
My main worry was that she might have a heart defect causing her to be so lethargic but there were other things that might cause it too. We went along, all the tests were fine and on the way there we found out an interesting fact... Put in air conditioning she woke up! Of course she'd been born into an air-conditioned world unlike Ravi but as an already sleepy baby, this heat is just a bit much for her. It will be interesting to see if her personality changes when we get back to the UK!
Since then we've all got used to life as four. We've sailed onwards; at first up and down the coast of Phuket. Happily we then explored the far more interesting and picturesque Phang Nga bay. All the limestone pillars, beautiful beaches and exciting Hongs (spaces hidden inside some of the islands accessed through caves from the sea) have kept us in awe. Whereas these spots can be exceptionally busy, we've also managed to find some secluded spots, paths less traveled and quieter, often Muslim cultured, islands such as the one Chris and Jean (Duncan's parents) visited us at.
Koh Phi Phi's famous Maya bay was a beautiful stop that we really enjoyed. It was heaving during the day with speed boats, long tails and the occasional small cruise ship but either end of the day it was relatively tranquil. With the high sided rock faces there was some much needed shade available most of the day and the water was lovely and clear for swimming with the many tame fish.
Rei Lei had been recommended and was indeed gorgeous but out on the water the noise of the longtails was too much to bare and didn't let up all day. It was like being anchored in the middle of a busy airfield!
Chris and Jean stayed in a bungalow at Koh Yoa Yai where they not only had air conditioning and a shower but also a balcony which afforded a nice breeze and views of wildlife. They spotted monkeys, an otter and many interesting birds.
Hali sleeps on giving a gorgeous smile whenever she has a happy thought...
Chris and Jean brought with them many gifts including this capsizing lifeboat which now tows around behind the dinghy.
Ravi is getting more and more confident in the water. Just in the time Chris and Jean were with us he went from clinging on and taking many mouthfuls sinking between his arm bands to splashing about on his own and enjoying being chucked overboard with them on. He can now propel himself around the boat and climb up and down the swim ladder; another reason to make sure it's always put away when not in use!
Oh oh... Up the steps, onto the cabin roof, climb the boom gallows, over the boom and bouncy bouncy trampoline/ sunshade. Oh my!
Lots of new family photos... And finally we made a Thai courtesy flag.
All the more nappies to wash and with water being bought and lugged about, they're getting washed in salt water until a final rinse in fresh.
Hali waking up for a stretch on the beach whilst Papa does a bit of yoga, and then back to sleep...