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Expat Life, Family Life, Pregnancy & Baby

Flying Alone With A Baby

July 4, 2014

Living so far from our home country it was inevitable that we would fly with Spencer at some point but I didn’t expect to be doing it on my own. I won’t lie, I was horribly nervous & kept thinking of the things that could go wrong. Would he be in a good mood? Would there be delays at the airport? Would anyone help us? Thankfully now that we have completed our journey and survived to tell the tale I can assure you that it was not as bad as it could have been. I feel a sense of achievement that I managed to do it all on my own. Hopefully this post can help some of you who are having the same doubts or are looking for guidance.


These are my tips and experiences of travelling with a baby on my own in economy class, this will obviously differ for every individual baby depending on many things like their age, mood on the day and wriggle ability.

We traveled with KLM from Aberdeen with connections in Amsterdam and Doha and then onto Muscat, Oman. Total travelling time from check in to home 15 hours – Not the worst but still challenging enough.


 

Be prepared
  • Obviously get the babies passports & visa arranged well ahead of time
  • Most airlines allow babies to travel on your seat until they are 2 years old. If you are travelling for several hours think about buying the baby their own seat so that they aren’t on your lap for the whole journey. I booked a seat for Spencer, at expense of course, but it saved so much hassle elbowing other passengers.
  • When booking your flight declare that you are travelling with an infant
  • Try and reserve a bulk head seat for you and baby so you can get the use of the baby bassinet. These are like gold dust and by no means guaranteed but always worth a try. Sadly we couldn’t do this as Spencer’s ticket was wrongly booked as an adult and couldn’t be rectified.
  • Look up luggage allowances for each person & whether prams are free to check in. 
  • If you plan to bring a car seat on board will it fit? I planned to do this with KLM but they refused as my Maxi Cosi Cabriofix wouldn’t fit. 

 

 

What to pack in the travel bag
 

There is a fine line between packing too light and missing something and packing way too much and giving yourself extra work. What will you need? Like, really.
Bring items that will have multi functions like wet wipes will clean the babies bum and the dirty tray table or a muslin cloth can mop up spills and be a blanket or nursing cover.

Below are some things to think of to put in your travel bag:

  • Babies medical records
  • Passports
  • Babies birth certificate. I didn’t bring this but a lot of websites recommend it?
  • Enough Nappies/Diapers and a few extra just incase of blow outs
  • Wet wipes
  • Muslin cloths
  • Bib. Personally I don’t use them much.
  • Back up outfit for baby, something small like a onesie that doesn’t take up much room
  • Extra tshirt or vest for yourself incase of puke, pee or mega drool
  • If formula feeding then you need your formula along with clean bottles
  • Dummy/Pacifier – bring a spare one also incase one goes rolling down the aisle.
  • Ziplock bag with all liquids together. Liquids would be things like Calpol, Bonjela, Puree pouches.
  • iPad/iPhone with pre-loaded apps or videos for easy entertainment
  • Toys & book for baby. I had 3 toys – one visual, one teether and one soother teddy.
  • Medicine for pain relief incase the pressure in the babies ears is really hurting them. Try infant Calpol or Panadol baby.
  • Bring snacks in your bag for yourself and baby. No more easy Starbucks stops on your own, you have a baby now.
 
 
Here is what I did… Spencer is on a special formula as he has allergies so I had to ensure that I had enough to last us incase of delays. I used small, plastic tubs from the home section at the supermarket and measured out a certain amount of powder into each tub so on the plane I only had to ask the flight attendant to fill the bottle to a certain level for me using her bottled water. Some mums are hugely against using bottled water for babies due to sodium content but that is your call.

 

 


 
What to wear


It sounds stupid and vain to plan what you are going to wear but you want to be practical and not cause yourself any more stress than you need to.


Everyone knows that the temperature on planes is never consistent -it is either too hot or too cold – so try wearing layers so you can add or remove when required. Remember that having your Bub on your knee will act as a human hot water bottle.

If you are nursing then you need to get that boob out quickly and discreetly, try scarves that are light and practical and can also help cover up leakages and spit up. 

To me, the footwear is important and I would always avoid heels as proper balance is important whilst juggling a wriggling baby, bags, pram/stroller and possibly running for a connecting flight. Slip on shoes are best for ease at security, no faffing with laces.

Avoid belts and jewelery that is likely to set off the airport scanner – a frisk down will only stress you out more as someone has to hold the baby for you whilst you are patted down.

 

 

 

In the airport
 

Arrive in plenty of time!! Airports can be big complicated places with stairs, escalators, lifts that you need to think of when maneuvering a pram or a baby strapped to your body. Plenty of time will help you not to get too flustered.

Now the big debate – To push or to carry? The baby wearing community rave about the ease of popping your kid straight into the  carrier or sling where others are adamant that they don’t want to carry the weight of the baby the whole time and insist on a pram – I couldn’t decide between pram or carrier so I used them both. Using both is probably not ideal for everyone but it worked for me. Most airports will allow you to take the pram right to the gate and may arrange for it to be returned to you for use in your connecting airports, ask at check in as this is very handy during a longer airport connection.


For me, going through the security search was the most stressful part of the airport. You are more than likely going to have liquids and a full bag that someone will want to search. It’s just sods law. Don’t be bullied by the people queuing behind you rolling their eyes and tutting – it’s going to take as long as it takes. Your sleeping tot will have to come out of the stroller or carrier to be searched even if they are asleep. Not ideal.

Know exactly what liquids, gels, medicines that you are carrying in your bag so you can take it all out for the security search. If they find something that you didn’t declare your bag is gonna be rummaged through ruining your organisation **sigh*** I took my own large zip lock sandwich bag and pre-packed all liquids in one place so it was as simple as pulling out one zip lock bag and one bottle of milk. Voila!

If you are travelling with your car seat then it will also have to go through the X-Ray machine, probably upside down so the fabric will touching the conveyor belt. My car seat came through the other end filthy with dirt. I tried to complain but it fell on deaf ears.


Going to toilet in the airport can be tricky with a baby in a pram as it doesn’t fit in the cubicles and the disabled toilets seems to constantly be in use. At one point I had to go with the baby still attached to me in his carrier and a stranger keeping watch on the pram for me – not ideal but what else can you do? Make sure that you have a travel change mat or a muslin cloth that you can pop down on the floor of a quiet corner in the airport to do a quick nappy change – for the baby, not yourself – instead of hunting down a quieter toilet or baby change station. I gave Spencer a swift change at the gate before boarding.

 


I’m not going to sugar coat this – some people are bloody rude! Only one single person offered to help me during the whole trip while the rest just looked on. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, if not you will be left struggling alone.

At the gate in Amsterdam I was not offered a seat once despite holding the baby, pram, car seat and bag which was very frustrating. However my arrival in Muscat really took the biscuit – as we tried to get on the bus to the terminal three men physically pushed onfront of me (whilst I had the baby strapped to my chest) to get the last standing spaces on the bus. Well, after all those hours on a plane alone with a baby I lost my temper and shouted at them onfront of the whole bus. I would never normally do that but the rage built up that they were quite prepared to shove me out the way so they could get off the hot tarmac and leave a small baby waiting for the next shuttle bus. Not on my watch, Buster! They were completely shocked that the white girl would speak to them in that way and in their shock they all stood back and let us on. Well just about everyone stood back, they didn’t want to be shouted at either. I don’t even feel guilty because they were quite prepared for a baby to wait in 40 degree heat whilst they got air conditioning.

Try cuddling your baby close and covering their ears from the loud noises

Onboard the plane


Say hello to the flight attendant and introduce them to your baby – especially if you’re traveling alone. They just may end up being your best ally. They can fetch you extra blankets, heat the water for the bottle and possibly even get you a better seat. You need them on your team!

Double check that you have everything you’d need for the baby at your feet to grab quickly and when you are finished can pop it right back in the bag.

Have you ever noticed that you are seated next to a baby and thought “oh no, they better not cry”. Shamefully I have and now the tables have turned – I am that flustered mother! When your baby cries try to soothe them, don’t let your kid kick the seat onfront of them and be generally a bit considerate and your fellow passengers will make your life a lot easier. 

During take off it helps for the baby to have a drink whether its straight from the boob or a bottle, even their dummy/pacifier, as the swallowing will help to ease the pressure in their ears. 

The taxiing to the run way can take a long time (like 20 minutes in Amsterdam) so I saved Spencer’s bottle until I knew we were really about to take off to make sure that he was definitely hungry and would drink it up. Cuddling him close and covering his ears from the noise soothed him. Anything is worth a try!




As the meal was served on the plane I had to put it aside and wait until Spencer was calm enough to sleep to save him grabbing everything. If you ask nicely, the flight attendant can possibly keep your food reserved until later but I was hopeful and just had it waiting on the tray table. By the time I was able to eat the food was cold but I was so thankful just to have some peace to eat and both my hands free.

Have you ever noticed that you get more thirsty on the plane? Well babies do too so expect them to drink a bit more than usual as their bodies try to re hydrate. It is worth considering if packing formula to take with you.


On a long flight changing a nappy is inevitable but its not as bad as I had envisaged. You may not have noticed before but right enough in those tiny cubicles there is a pull down table top above the toilet. Okay It’s not luxury or padded for comfort but it is better than opening that poop filled nappy in the cabin. Don’t be that defiant person who proclaims “we all do it”. Ew.


Something I hadn’t even considered was what happens when I need to use the toilet on the plane. Let me embarrass myself so you don’t have to…You can press the button to call flight attendant who will watch the baby whilst you go to the toilet. I wish that I had known that before I waited until he was sound asleep and then wedged him in with pillows and belted him into the seat. Oh how we laughed.

Just to summerize this hugely long post, As long as you are trying your best for yourself and your baby and trying to be a little considerate to other passengers you will do brilliantly. Remember to stay calm, babies can smell your fear and feed off of your anxiety.

 

Do you have any tips for travelling with an infant? Even if it is a stiff drink I won’t judge you 😉

Family Life, Pregnancy & Baby

Spencer’s new kilt

June 1, 2014
My brother, Graham, is in town to meet his nephew for the first time and in true family tradition he brought goodies for the new arrival. Graham treated Spencer to his very first Kilt along with the Jacobite shirt and a real Sporran.

Can we just take a short minute to appreciate how bloody cute Spencer is wearing a kilt?!

What do you think of Spencer the Scotsman?

You can check out Spencer’s blog post on his new kilt by clicking here.

Pregnancy & Baby

My Baby Shower

May 4, 2014
Ahh… Let me first start with an apology to my beautiful friends who arranged my Baby Shower way back in December. This post has been sitting in my draft folder just waiting to be finished and published. Sorry for the delay ladies!Just to update, ‘Baby D’ was born 6 weeks after the Shower and is now known as Spencer.

————————————————————————–

At 32 weeks pregnant my beautiful and creative friends threw me and Baby D the most wonderful Baby Shower and I am so thankful so such great friends.

Anyone who knows me will know that I just love anything nautical. I really do, it’s like an obsession. The girls already had a sneaky peak of Baby D’s nautical nursery and continued the theme to the shower also. The creative, crafting heroines that are Erin and Natalie spent many, many hours beavering away to hand make all the decorations and pieces for a nautical themed shower. The time, effort and expense they went to was amazing.

The Shower was held on the outside terrace at Left Bank allowing us plenty of room to relax outdoors and play the hilarious games without disturbing anyone.

Can we just take a minute to appreciate every handmade star fish and little sail boat filled with yummy chocolates.
We started with afternoon tea and scones and then moved on to a spread of lunch with sandwiches, salads and other delights. The desert was fresh fruit cocktails and then specially decorated cake pops in boyish blue. Left Bank really did excel themselves with the spread of food provided and in true pregnancy style I stuffed my fat face! They even gave me a doggy bag to take home so I could continue stuffing my face when I got home. Nice!
We played so many games but my favorite was ‘guess what is in the diaper’. There are nappies laid out on a table filled with different melted chocolate bars inside and you have to stick your face in the nappy to smell and lick the chocolate and guess what chocolate bar it is. It really does look like poop!!
Baby D was spoiled rotten with several gifts including bouncers, clothes, a selection of favorite books, bedding and lots of essential baby items. Oh and not forgetting a three foot high zebra that Rach hand carried on a plane from Thailand, crazy chick!

The afternoon spent with the girls was so fun and a great way to have one last big get together before Baby D makes his big appearance. The time and effort they put in was amazing and I feel so blessed to have people who care so much about us.

Expat Life, Pregnancy & Baby

Applying for babies British passport in Oman

April 22, 2014
This post is aimed to the British parents who have given birth in Oman and now need to start the long process of trying to apply for birth certificates and a British passport for their little Cherub.
Right from the start I will wish you luck, this is not a quick or an easy process **Sigh**Do not plan to travel with your baby right after their birth, this process can take a good couple of months, sometimes more, from start to finish.

*~These details are correct as of March 2014 and may be subject to change at any time from either country. Contact your local embassy or Google for any changes. I am speaking about my personal situation – Two British parents, Married in the UK, Gave birth in Oman – different nationalities will differ on what is required from them~*

Maybe get yourself a cuppa and then we shall we begin…

Step One, Your Marriage Certificate-


This is an errand that can be done ahead of your babies birth to save time and hassle. In Oman you must be married to be legally allowed to give birth & you must have your marriage certificate with you to prove your marriage.
This certificate must be attested/legalised/verified/apostille stamped or whatever you want to call it. Basically it needs a stamp or a separate piece of paper attached to it to say that it is a legal document and all the details are correct. Mine hadn’t been attested, I didn’t even know what that was, so I had to send it to the UK to be completed.

This is the link for the online form:
https://www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised

The document should be couriered to the UK yourself via DHL/Fed Ex or any reputable firm. Be sure to keep the tracking number as you don’t want to loose your marriage certificate. The cost to process the request is £30 and for them to return to you by courier is and additional £25. It took around 2-3 weeks to process mine.

Total cost £55 / 35OMR

Step Two, Notification of Birth from Hospital-

When you are discharged from the hospital with your little bundle of joy your hospital should provide you with a ‘Notification of Birth’ form to confirm the details of your babies birth. This includes details of the Mother, Father, passport numbers etc. Ensure that these details are all correct before you leave the hospital. It took a long time to have mine redone after I accepted the form and later realised an error. My form said that I was from the British Virgin Islands and not Great Britain.

This is not a birth certificate, just the hospital confirming that you did indeed give birth to a baby in their hospital.

Step Three, Obtaining a local birth certificate-


This is a job for the Daddies, apparently the Mother cannot complete this task – phew!

You will need:
– Copies & original of both parents passports, including the visa page
– Copies and original of both parents residents cards
– Copy of marriage certificate, although the original might be helpful it is not specified
– Notification of birth form that your hospital provided

The Daddies need to go to the Ministry buildings across the highway from the airport (currently still the main airport, not the fancy new one being built). It is the same location that you visit to obtain your residents card.
This step literally can take hours and you may be shunted back and forward from desk to desk, be prepared to spend at least a couple of hours doing this. If possible you might want to bring your companies representative (PRO) to speed things along and pull a bit of Wasta.
A word of warning, a friends husband was sent home to change when he turned up wearing shorts so dress respectfully and it may just help you.

You will be given both an English & Arabic copy of the local birth certificate. If possible ask for copies of these as I have heard it can be a right ball ache to get copies in the future. Your certificates will probably be laminated for some reason, that seems to be the norm here.

Step Four, Registering the birth at British Embassy-


You then need to register your babies birth with the British embassy which will then allow you to obtain a British birth registration form, the next best thing to a British birth certificate. You will get a letter confirming that your baby has indeed been registered in their books.

Before visiting the embassy you first fill in the online form found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-register-an-overseas-birth

Print out the form, fill it in and schedule an appointment online to visit the Embassy. Appointments are currently available on Mondays and Wednesdays and the form will take around 1 week to be completed so you need to visit the next week also.

Birth registration confirmation £110/70.500 OMR
Certified copy (like a birth certificate) £68/44OMR

Total – £233 / 114.500 OMR

Step Five, Apply for passport online-


**This step can be done as soon as you have a local birth certificate. You do not have to wait for your embassy registration forms to be returned but for the sake of a week it may be better to send everything away at the same time**

Visit the UK goverment website to start applying for the passport online.
https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports/y

  • Follow their instructions to fill in the application.
  • Include two pictures of baby on a white background. Many photo shops here have blue backgrounds but they can change at your request.
  • Have the form countersigned as per instructions. This was a step that I did not expect but thankfully found someone who knew us and was able to do so.
  • Send your application by reputable courier and keep tracking number

Current price £101.36 / 65OMR

Step six, Sit and wait-

Depending on the time of year it can take around 8 weeks for a passport application to be completed and returned to you. Keep that in mind when planning your holidays.

Total cost – £389 / 251OMR – The whole process is pretty pricey and worth checking if your employer/sponser covers any of the cost to help.

My application has been processing for just over 3 weeks now and the status online still shows “processing”. Fingers crossed it doesn’t take much longer!

The next step after this will be adding the baby and their new passport to your family visa. I haven’t personally got to this step yet so I have no lead time on how long it might take.

This is a long and confusing process but hopefully this has helped some of you. Good luck!

Family Life, Pregnancy & Baby

Babies First Swim

April 12, 2014
Okay, so what if I’m turning into one of these people that only speak about their baby. He is pretty darn sweet so I can’t resist talking about my little love. Maybe one day I’ll find something else to talk about..This week at 10 weeks old it was time for Spencer’s first swim. The first splash in the water must always be an apprehensive time for new parents; Will they hate it? Will I drop them? Are they going to scream blue bloody murder and embarrass us all? I prayed for the best and we headed to the Intercontinental Hotel Muscat with my friend Paula and her baby for a splash in the pool. Spencer was all kitted out with his new Finding Nemo swim wear complete with factor 50 UV protection, you are never too young to take care of your skin.

The initial splashes of cold water on Spencer’s toes made him wriggle but soon he started to enjoy the bobbing in the water and Mummy singing silly songs to him in the water. For a first attempt in the pool he did very well, he didn’t hate it and cry which is always a good start. Once he is old enough I will definitely have him enrolled in swim classes!

Looking a little like Mr Potato Head.. The sun hat came off for a photo to save the grimace, he just isn’t a hat kind of guy.
Pregnancy & Baby

First Mothers Day!

March 30, 2014
 
To all you lovely Mum’s out there, especially the new mums celebrating this year, I want to wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day.
 
I feel so fortunate to have my little baby Spencer here and for us to spend our first Mothers Day together. He makes my heart so full of love and I couldn’t imagine our lives without him now.
 
Being a Mummy really is the most wonderful feeling.
Pregnancy & Baby

Therese Johnson Newborn Photographer

March 18, 2014

Who doesn’t love photos of squishy faced babies?! Personally I just love them so at 7 days old we took our little Spencer for his newborn photo shoot.

These pictures of my beautiful boy don’t need much explanation other than the credit to our fantastic and gifted photographer, Therese Johnson. The pictures are even more amazing than I could have hoped for. Thank you!







Therese is based here in Muscat. You can visit her website at www.theresejohnson.com or find her on Facebook by searching “Therese Johnson” for more information.

Family Life, Pregnancy & Baby

Penny’s New Roles

March 8, 2014

From the first day that Baby Spencer came home from the hospital he had made a firm friend for life. Our two year old German Shepherd, Penny, has taken to her new role as big sister quicker than expected and it is clear to see that she loves her brother very much.


Not only is Penny a big sister for Spencer she is also….

A guard dog…..



A chaperone….


A nap time buddy…


And a Pillow.

Family Life, Pregnancy & Baby

Spencer’s First 6 Weeks of Life

March 7, 2014

I cannot believe that our baby boy is almost six weeks old and how quickly this precious time has passed.

These first weeks have been amazing, life changing and sleep deprived but all completely worth it to be with our little guy. I have learnt so much but not just about caring for a baby I have also learnt how to love like I never knew possible. It is amazing how much you can love this little bundle of baby cuteness in such a short space of time and I cannot imagine life without him already.

 

 
Since we got home from the hospital we have all been trying to get to know each other and get used to a new life together and so far, so good! This little guy has quite the character already and keeps us busy and entertained with his funny noises and the faces he pulls.
The sleep is scarce but pretty much as good as it can be for life with a newborn. Thankfully Daddy has been helping out as much as he can and even just letting me have a couple of hours uninterrupted sleep whilst they watch the football is much appreciated.
Little baby tootsies, aawwww!
With Colin only having 3 days of paternity leave from work I was thrown straight into full time Mummy mode, not ideal but what can you do. It’s only just now that I am starting to get myself more organised and not in complete auto pilot. The days fly by and I often find myself just staring at Baby Spencer feeling fortunate that we have all day together.
Three weeks old and a little cuddle bug
Three weeks old and attending his first afternoon tea date
In six weeks I cannot believe how much he has changed already and I can’t wait for the next weeks, months and years to see how our little guy grows. Smushy, yes I know.
Pregnancy & Baby

My Oman birth experience – Starcare Hospital

February 5, 2014

Knowing that you are going to give birth in a country other than your mother land can be a daunting prospect as you are so far away from loved ones for support and the unknown of how the medical system in a foreign country really works. I know that a lot of you find this site through Google searches of which hospitals to choose so hopefully this can help some of you.
Personally for us we chose for our baby to be born in Oman because the logistics of trying to get home to the UK before the flying cut off time and to ensure that Colin was definitely be present at the birth. It made sense for us to be in Oman.

Next big decision, which hospital do we choose? It seems that most Expats I know give birth at either Muscat Private Hospital (MPH) or Starcare Hospital here in Muscat.
After I had a bad experience at MPH with crappy service and uncaring doctors I decided to go with Starcare as it is close to our home and **touch wood** we have always been happy with the service that they provide. After reading a few different reviews online of other people’s birth experiences here in Muscat and I soon regretted doing so. All it did was make me terrified but now I am aware that everyone’s birth experience is very different! so don’t be affected by all that you read.

Expats in Oman are not entitled to free National health care so either your company insurance will pay (depending on your work contract) or you will so out of your own pocket – This detail can be a big deciding factor in which hospital you choose, some people simply cannot afford to pay the rates of the bigger hospitals. Thankfully for us we have medical care through Colin’s work which has an excellent maternity package included in it *PHEW*. Believe me that we let out a massive sigh when we found out that our maternity care was covered in the package!!

We were under the wonderful care of Dr Anita Zutshi at Starcare Hospital. I felt confident in her abilities as a doctor and it was always very reassuring to see her and know that everything was healthy with our precious baby. Dr Anita is not an easy lady to get a hold of and works extremely hard between two hospitals to see as many women as possible so appointments are not easy to come by, if you have her as your doctor be prepared for that.
At our 36 week scan the doctor pointed out that Baby D had taken a massive growth spurt and was now pretty large so we were to monitor his progress and to come back at 38 weeks for another growth scan. Between weeks 36 and 38 I started to have some issues with my health regarding my heart and breathing which was a little worrying and the medication didn’t seem to be helping much. At the 38 week scan we saw that Baby D was still growing like crazy and was now over a healthy birth weight. This kid was cooked and so we made the decision that it was time to get the little rascal out of there for his sake and mine.

After a few more medical things including a sweep to try move things along (I’ll skip them out because this post is getting quite long) we scheduled a cesarean birth for 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant. A scheduled C-Section is not a choice that everyone would make but for myself, Colin and our unborn child we decided that this was the best choice for us. 

The whole experience of arriving at the hospital at 4pm, being prepped for surgery and wheeled in there at 6.15pm was fantastic. Everything was calm and scheduled with no drama -this certainly helped to keep me from freaking out. I’ll spare you the super gorey details of the actual surgery….but at 6.42pm we welcomed our beautiful baby boy into the world. The staff from nurses, anesthesiologists, pediatrician and Dr Anita,who was performing the surgery herself, were all amazing and calm throughout – even when there were a couple of problems in the middle of the surgery. I cannot thank them all enough for making it a wonderful experience and at no point did I question their skills or whether we were doing the right thing. 

During the surgery I had lost a lot of blood and a transfusion was required…but….the hospital did not have any of my blood type available for me. This is the crazy part of Oman, some things like this that you take for granted on the NHS in the UK just don’t go to plan here. Finally after a couple of hours the good news came that the University Hospital was willing to give me one unit of blood but I would have to pay it back at a later date, like a bank loan. It’s just aswell that one unit just did the job and I managed without desperately requiring a second. So 12 hours after the operation I was finally hooked up to the loaned unit of blood!! If you have a rare blood type you should maybe mention this to your doctor in advance. It does make me question what would happen if it was a case of life of death though…

During our time in the hospital as a new Mummy I felt well looked after and it was great knowing that the nurses were only a buzz away incase me or the baby needed anything. Towards the end of the stay I hardly saw the nurses at all which they told me is a good thing as they think that I am coping fine with a newborn and don’t require any extra help. But at the time I did question why I was on my own so much.

After 3 nights in the hospital it was time for us to head home with my well stocked bag of pain medication – A VERY important part. I honestly cannot thank the staff at Starcare enough for giving us a positive birth experience and looking after us during our time there. If we are still in Oman when we decide to have another baby, Colin seems to be planning this already, then I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to Starcare. Maybe the fact our insurance covered the huge bill made the whole thing a little sweeter.. 

Daddy and Spencer heading home from the hospital at 3 days old.