Monday, December 13, 2010


As expats living away from "home" in a foreign country (albeit the one where my husband was born), we generally do a lot of travel. In the first year that we were living in Hong Kong, I went back to Australia twice. In Lana's first fourteen months, she went to Australia three times, and Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand all once. That's more travel than a lot of people do in a lifetime!

The last time that we were overseas was last Christmas. We went to Malaysia and Singapore to visit Bernard's family over there. We had just found out that we were pregnant with Maddy at the time but we had no idea what the year would have in store for us!

We had been planning to go back to the US for a long time and were nearly at the stage of booking tickets for Easter this year when we found out that we had complications in the pregnancy. We decided to cancel the holiday and possibly head back to Australia later in the pregnancy - but the doctors recommended that I shouldn't travel at the time. 

Instead we were planning on heading back in October after Maddy was born, for Lana's second birthday. NICU changed that plan for us, but we didn't mind postponing until Christmas. We knew that Maddy should be out by then - and in some ways that was a better plan since my brother would also be in Australia from Denmark - plus it's SUMMER (and I love the Australian Summer!).

Last week I asked the doctor, just to be sure, whether Maddy was fit to go in a plane - and the short answer was "no". With her airway issues, the doctors cannot guarantee that she would be strong enough for the flight - although the cabin is pressurised, the pressure is still lower than atmospheric pressure. And the oxygen content is lower as well - closer to 17% than the usual 21%. Most people can fly and these conditions don't have any impact on them, but people who have respiratory problems can really suffer in those conditions. And the last thing that you want at 30,000 feet is a medical emergency. 

So we're currently "stuck" in Hong Kong. Bernard has nine weeks of annual leave owing since we were saving them up for the US trip that was meant to be at Easter, then for this trip back to Australia. We haven't had a break at all for a year, and we really need one! There's not many options for "staycations" within Hong Kong around here - we could head to Macau, or we could head into China - but I wouldn't want a medical emergency in China either!! At least Macau isn't as far away.

Hopefully Maddy will progress to the point that she is able to fly in the not too distant future - the doctors said it will be at least a few more months though (so no Australian summer for us :( ). Maybe we can make it back to Australia for my 30th in May instead...

1 comment:

  1. It is easy to see how much u n Bern love n care abt Maddy. For sure she will know n appreciate how much u two do for her too when she grows up later. The efforts u guys are paying will build up a strong relationship between which is undoubtedly better than an Australian summer! ;)