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  • Ellie Hamilton

All change in the Hamilton household

Hello, I’m back! It has been over a year since my last blog post and what a year it has been. We went through another lockdown, I became pregnant, we moved house, Emma started kindergarten full time, Danny got a promotion, we had our first visitors in nearly two years, and we welcomed the newest addition to the family….and breathe!

I was going to write that I wasn’t sure why I haven’t written a post in a year, but I do know why and that is I lost all motivation and creativity throughout my pregnancy. I also got a touch of imposter syndrome and massively lost my confidence in my ability to write. Full disclosure, I found being pregnant this time round pretty pants.

The sickness, the heartburn, the anxiety, the tiredness, the loss of appetite, I basically felt rough all the time and couple that with trying to keep a three-year-old entertained was no mean feat,

however on reflection it now seems like the quickest nine months of my life, and I feel very fortunate that I wasn’t having to also deal with working too. Fast forward to now and my creative juices are in full flow again and I’ve finally come to my senses that I’m not writing this blog for anyone in particular, I’m writing it for myself, as an outlet and should people enjoy reading it, well that’s just an added extra. So let me catch you up with the last 12 months.

We made the decision early last year that we wanted to move to somewhere that had an actual garden space and preferably a shared pool, so I went on the hunt for a new rental property. Now unlike the UK, properties are vacant before they go on the market (well I think that’s the case, I never viewed a property that was tenanted, and I viewed about 20 of them). You are also required to notify your landlord 3 months before your contract is ending if you want to move or change terms. We eventually found a great property within a small compound that had exactly what we were looking for i.e., a garden area, tick and also a shared pool, double tick. Now you might think ‘oh how lovely that they have access to a pool, outside their home’ and yes, we are very lucky, however the person who built the pool had the fantastic idea of putting a metal edge around it meaning that when it’s been in the direct 38 degree heat all day it could near enough burn a hole in your skin.

The second faux pas is that it’s not temperature-controlled meaning that in the height of summer it is like swimming in a very hot bath. But silver lining if you go out first thing it's more lukewarm.

Emma started Kindergarten in September and I am so proud of how she is thriving there. She has made some great friends and they focus a lot on the, learn through play, element which I love. It's a Scottish pre-school and they have a 30 minute Arabic lesson everyday so she has started to randomly tell me the Arabic words for certain things which is making me think I need to get my derriere in gear and maybe start leaning some Arabic myself, so I can keep up with her.

We welcomed our baby boy, Teddy, to the family on the 2nd January and he is such a happy, smiley, gorgeous little boy. In terms of the medical care whilst pregnant in Muscat, I had a gynecologist at Muscat Private Hospital, and I had monthly appointments where you also had a quick scan of the baby each time so it was so nice to see Teddy growing each month. We decided early on that I would have an elective C-section as Emma was an emergency C-section. Four days before I was due to be admitted to have Teddy, we had to have our insurance approved for the C-section and this is when my doctor also said that

my husband, family member or close friend had to go and donate blood at the local blood bank so that if for any reason I needed it during surgery they could give me some blood, a bit like a quid pro quo thing

which I found bizarre and seeing as we have no family out here and I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking a friend to give blood, Danny had to take one for the team (probably the least he could do really). On the day of the surgery, we got to the hospital for 10am and I was up in the theatre by midday. Due to covid restrictions Danny wasn’t allowed in the theatre with me which was quite frankly petrifying. I am a wuss when it comes to needles so when they were administering the spinal tap I just had to suck it up and go to my happy place. The C-section in itself was probably one of the most traumatic things I have ever encountered, it seemed to take what seemed like forever for them to get Teddy out, there were a lot of raised/panicked voices at one point and then there was someone who came over my head and was pushing down on my tummy as a way to push him down and all through this no one was telling me what was going on,

so when they finally got him out and said ‘Alhamdulillah, here is your baby’ I allowed myself to breath (I have no idea how long I had been holding my breath for).

It wasn’t till a few days later the doctor told me that Teddy had basically turned around and inwards so she couldn’t get him out and that’s why they struggled.

The recovery after having Teddy took a lot longer than what it did with Emma. The following week after coming home from the hospital we all got Covid which wasn’t ideal. Couple that with barely being able to walk, sleepless nights, an infection in my C-section incision, struggling with breastfeeding and also trying to look after a four-year-old, I was a sniveling, snotty mess on the brink of breaking point but I got through it because sometimes you just have to. I also couldn’t have done it without Danny who was my pillar throughout. Looking back though if I can get through that I feel like I can achieve anything (cringe, I know, but I really do believe that).

We had two trips to the UK cancelled last year thanks to Covid, but as I am typing this post I am waiting for Teddy’s passport to has been a complete fiasco and a half. When you are an expat and apply for a newborn passport, you are required to send not only their birth certificate and your birth certificate, we were also asked to send both our parent’s birth certificates AND their marriage certificates. Initially we said we couldn’t get access to our parent’s birth certificates and marriage certificates and we were told to send a cover letter explaining why and that it should be fine as we are both British born which is proven by our birth certificates. Fast forward 7 weeks after the documents had been submitted and we were finally contacted by the passport office requesting us to also send my mum’s birth certificate and mine and Danny’s marriage certificate…I mean talk about complicated. We applied for the passport on 14 January so it’s only taken 3.5 months to come through and when

I physically have it in my hands I will be doing a dance around the house and popping open a bottle of champers as that will mean I can finally book our tickets to come and visit the UK….woooo hoooo, just in time for my mum’s 70th birthday party too!!

All in all it has been a year we will not forget. There have been a lot of high points, but also a few low points thrown into the mix, but knowing that I will be able to visit the UK after 2.5 years and visit all our family and friends has put me into a better head space than I have been in months, that might also be because Teddy is finally sleeping for six hours straight meaning that I am, hoorah!

On my next post I’ll talk about how I’m adjusting to life with two kiddies, but also more importantly how Emma’s adjusting to her new position of big sister. How I get on travelling solo with two little ones on a flight for eight hours (wish me luck), and what we get up to in the first few weeks of our UK visit!

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