Since arriving home from the wonderful Matilda Hospital, and somehow surviving the last few weeks on nil sleep…. one thing I keep coming up against is the amount of times my twins are catching colds, chest & ear infections, croup, Roseola…the list goes on and on. What have I noticed during this non-stop invasion of sickness in our home? That when my healthy little munchkins go off to school, some arsehole is sending their VERY sick coughing/coldy kid into the same classroom as my 2 year olds. That child then plays with everything mine do and invariably covers the entire play area in germs… before wiping his nose with his shirt or hand, to stop the streaming bogies from hitting the floor.
Now WTF??! Why do some parents think its OK to send their snotty nosed, coughing-up-phlegm, kid to school so they can infect everyone else’s children , and eventually their entire household?? When either of my children are even a little ill, I don’t send them to school to contaminate everyone else. I keep them home and get them better. Yes, its a pain in the arse to be alone all day doing entertaining stuff with your children but I’d rather they were kept away from the endless germs mine pick up in HK playgroups. Its really pissing me off. A sick child must stay at home to recover and get better. NOT dragged out to a playgroup so they can make everyone else’s kids ill too. Its not fair!!
I may even start naming and shaming on this site (actually forget that, I can’t handle all those ill people coming after me to fight their corner….too many germs floating around). The point is this. Since my children began playgroups and nursery, which they really love going to, they have been ill CONSTANTLY. Yes yes, they’re twins so of course I’m bound to get it harder than some, but now we also have a new baby in the mix and the poor Lamb can be heard sneezing (kinda like a polite mouse) in her Moses Basket. So now my 6 week old is sick too thanks to the constant germ invasion the schools, nurseries and playgroups like to pass around.
In HK, my kids nursery in Tai Tam, have staff standing at the door taking everyones temperature and spraying sanitizer into everyones hands as we walk in. Why O why, do they not stop those snotty nosed, eyes streaming with cold, clearly sick to their gills kids? It is the schools responsibility to tell the parents/nanny to bugger off the minute they show up with a sick child.
Seriously?! Its driving me mad. I have written and spoken to the Principal at my twins school about this and yet still, despite letters home to all parents telling them to keep their kids away if they are sick, SOME people KEEP bringing them into school/playroom/parties/the clubs…just to get everyone else sick so we can wallow in their pain of endless nights awake checking temperatures, going to the Doctors and worrying ourselves to death.
We recently went to a 2 year olds birthday party (I drank my way through any booze I saw to numb the pain…despite judgmental glances from some tight arsed Mums) where a Mum from my kids nursery (a repeat offender), had her son basically spreading his germs EVERYWHERE. Now, the Captain is not the most shy person and he actually turned around very loudly and stated quite clearly (for a cockney accent); “keep the kids away from that boy, he’s very ill”. This was after her son had been coughing non-stop into my sons mouth. As they are both only 2 years old, they don’t understand the shit that happens when they get ill ie. Mums life becomes hell. Anyhow, The Captain then turned to the Mother of this germ infested kid and asked her why she brought him out to a kids party?! Her response? Her pearls of wisdom on this topic? “What am I supposed to do? Keep him in all the time?”. ERRR….yes you silly fucking selfish bitch. Thats exactly what you should do so he can recover too.
Now thanks to her, my entire household has come down with an illness, including my 6 week old baby. I just spent the evening at the Adventist Hospital (both mum & child dressed only in our PJ’s) who are consistently good in my book, and was told my daughter has a severe chest infection which we have to watch over the next day or two, otherwise she will be admitted to stay overnight. SHES ONLY TWO YEARS OLD!!
(a) I can’t leave my baby alone overnight in a hospital, so I will be staying too, (b) my newborn baby at home has barely seen me these last few days as Im trying to keep the germs away from her, and therefore she has now started calling our Helper “Mamma”, (c) my son also has an ear infection (picked up from his playgroup buddy) and is ill at home. He’s got a bad temper at the moment so we’re all tiptoeing around him and trying to knock him out with drugs until he feels better. The Captain, is out of the country. Sooo…after explaining all of this to a Doctor, who I think fell asleep mid explanation, I decided to come home and wait it out. Which means nil sleep for me tonight while I constantly check temperatures on my 3 kids and pray we all make it outta this hell!!
I cannot wait for the next few weeks to be over, and then I will return to drinking and having some bloody fun if it kills me. I want nights out with the girls, getting drunk and falling off bars from dancing in my too high heels. I want to get arrested and call the Captain giggling from a Chinese Police Station for being so drunk I forgot where I lived and fell asleep in someones tent under the HSBC building in Central. I want to go dancing in my highest sexiest heels until I can’t dance any more, and I want to fit into my old clothes NOW. Not in 6 weeks. NOW!! (nb. the baby weights almost gone. Just 6 more lbs…which are stubborn little bastards to get rid of). I want to have sleep again, go out drinking until the sun comes up. Sleep all day and order takeaway from my bed. Why can’t I do any of this?? BECAUSE I HAVE 3 KIDS (4 if you include the man-child Captain). The guilt alone never lets me stay out past 3am. But watch this space….
And in the meantime, what will I do next time I see someone at school with a sick child, I will (a) smile politely and strap masks to my kids faces HK style while saying VERY loudly “DO NOT GO ANYWHERE NEAR THOSE INFECTED CHILDREN” or, (b) turn around and have my kids miss a morning of playtime because some Mutha fkr insisted on bringing her sick kid to playgroup. I’ll then wage a silent war on this cow which will involve me turning up at her home with all three of my sick children in tow, just to drop something off and infect her entire house.
BEST DOCTORS ON THE SOUTH SIDE & CENTRAL
I would highly recommend going to Dr Thondup at Bank of America Tower for the kids. He’s an absolute Magician and knows how to interact with any child. He also gives Injections in a way that the children have no idea its actually been done. I wish he would do my shots too!
Dr. Sophia Kennelly is based in Repulse Bay Medical Centre and she is also my favourite GP and is also hugely helpful with the kids too.
For emergencies though, like this evening, The Adventist Hospital is quick and efficient. Theres rarely been long waiting times there of more than 15 minutes. I was in and out (with scans too) within an hour. Heres hoping our home will be free of illness next week! Otherwise, I’m going back on the alcohol wagon ….just to take the edge of this hell.
My Mothers words of wisdom to me about the whole sickness debacle, before she headed back to the UK this morning were: “This is real life my Darling, just reeeeelaxxxxx & don’t drink too much”. I almost punched her which was kinda hard as I was holding her ankles and begging her not to leave me in this hell. The poor cow has had the worst holiday in HK due to our entire home being ill and my own mum getting a horrendous flu. She must have been gaging to leave! The minute her Car arrived to pick her up for the airport, she sprinted to her seat , buckled up faster that Ive seen her move all holiday, while shouting “Go Go Go!!!” in Chinese to the Driver.
What can I say? I’m home.
Tired? Yep. Dreaming of nothing but sleep & wine? Yep. Wondering how the hell I’m going to make it through the next few months…yep, yep, friggin YEPPPPPP!!! Gina Ford was clearly on acid, or had a night nurse/rich Daddy.
The Captain keeps pointing out that I have “2 domestic helpers” to assist with the kids. Can I point out that those “helpers” have burnt EVERYTHING, accidentally killed our goldfish “Dorothy” by putting hot water instead of cold in her fish bowl, let both my kids almost drown in Bali (until I jumped into the pool (4 months preg), forgot to turn off the gas, water, lock the doors etc. Yes… I feel sooo safe leaving my kids with, well, two adults who resemble grown children. Two Helpers does not a mother make.
For those of you who struggle with (a) guilt, (b) guilt, and (c) guilt for not spending enough time with your family … leaving your kids to helpers just isn’t a 24 hour option. Unless you want a totally spoilt brat for a child (which was not in the IVF/my life brochure), also, I’m fucking strict. I’ve read sooo many books on parenting that its coming out my arse.
Be strict, don’t be strict, tell them “no”, accept “yes”….bla bla bla. I recently had my son (aka “Satan”) walk from our car to our apartment without one of his shoes on last weekend (the Captain was repulsed & yet managed to bite his lip, despite his OCD when it comes to “dirt”) because my son insists on taking them off every car journey. He also has selective language skills. ie. some days English, some days, nothing at all but he can rely on his twin sister to answer for him anytime. My boy is lazy, manipulative and super bright when he chooses to be. He also knows how to sort the weak from the strong . He’s already done it at home with our Helpers and family which means, Im the only one giving him any discipline as everyone else falls for his doey eyed brown long lashes…cheeky genius. Why do I have no patience with this? That said, he’s NEVER taken his shoes off in the car since. I have THREE brothers…. they all did the same thing. Attention was needed all the time and I was left on the side line.
I’m also surprised at how quickly I fell in love with our new arrival. I honestly thought that after months of feeling very negative while pregnant (apparently this was due to hormones to test my marriage & all those vows) which I have never EVER experienced, considering I’m a generally unbalanced weekend alcoholic (some days although this book I’m reading has curbed the alcohol. Disturbingly). I was worried I wouldn’t “bond” and would blame our new arrival for, well…. anything. I read the book “We need to talk about Kevin” when it first can out…. I worried recently that I was going to experience the same shit. Was I going to really dislike this child? Did she ruin my life (although I hated HK already)?
I know when you’re pregnant, you’re body does crazy things and you feel tired. Once you give birth, you can feel very alone and absolutely shattered. I look at the Captain sometimes, begging him to just “stay” with me when he heads off to work. Something that would never happen were we at home in London. I’m clearly tired and I’m also aware of being on my own. My friends at home…well… they would know to just show up and keep an eye on me (thats having a history for you). Living abroad is tough. I dont miss London, but, I miss my girlfriends.
Anyhow, how had I forgotten the sheer exhaustion us new mums feel? I swear I see rainbows and leprechauns most mornings when I’m feeding our new-born monkey, yes minus acid pills/magic mushrooms/any other pain killer. I’m knackered at the best of times but now, bloody hell!! I can’t even speak or leave the house, just because that would involve interacting with the outside world while I look like total and utter shite. Tracksuit bottoms and X large T-Shirts are my wardrobe.
I dont want to brush my hair (good thing I got that Brazilian blow-dry on Groupon before I gave birth), I would like to brush my teeth (Captain insists on that one due to halitosis that has suddenly appeared), I dont want to get changed out of my maternity Winnie the Pooh night-dress (the only thing that fits me and, well lets face it, it’s fucking comfortable). Also, I had a C section which means, I’m in AGONY at the mo. Even with the drugs, which, if I’m honest, are not like the ones I could get in the UK, it’s not enough. I think they regulate stuff here 😦 I’m tired, angry, twitchy (which means I want to fight non stop), nothing fits me (ie. maternity wear is too big and my old clothes too tight). It’s really depressing. I don’t know what I expected this time round but… well…. I expected to sleep & …. quick weight loss at least!
Too posh to push you think? Nope. Too terrified is more like it and as nature would kindly have it, if I were to attempt birth via the usual, alleged natural, route, I would be wearing sexy incontinence pants forever (stick that in your judgemental pipe and smoke it “Miss I want kids naturally. Why don’t you?”). I’ve had discussions with some really annoying people who have asked me “why not give birth naturally?”
These are the same annoying people who want to give birth in a swimming pool with dolphins and sing songs about love every night to their newborn while sharing beds 24 hours a day, as well as saliva. Fuck off!! Errrr…. hello! You’re the same women, BEGGING for an epidural when the reality of pain hits you!! Miss “I want to do this naturally”, is suddenly, “Miss Give me everything you’ve got” when the shit hits the fan. Yes, I’m going to judge you. Cheeky sods. Stop telling me what to do. It really annoys me…and, I’m sorry, BUT, you don’t make better mothers. You don’t. In fact, you’re the annoying one’s I’m praying my son doesn’t knock up. That’ll be an interesting conversation as no one even knows how the THE CAPTAIN will respond. I’m, for the record…. NORMAL.
Seriously, how does anyone have the right to ask you how you chose to give birth? SERIOUSLY? How judgemental are you to ask? And… really …. just piss off. If I wanted to give birth in a cave, in Pok Fu Lam, (West HK – dont think there are any?!), with a yogi as my guide and a Domestic Helper to pull the baby out, who are YOU to tell me thats not right? I swear, it’s driving me mad how EVERYONE has an opinion on what you should do and when you should do it. Because their way is clearly the right way? No it isn’t!! Nothing in life is the right way. Just do it your way. Always. Fuck everyone else. They know sod all in any event.
What do I miss about my pregnancy? Zilch, nil, bubcus, zero, niente… nothing!! If you mean, do I miss feeling like a fat cow and arguing non-stop with my husband because I was being, and I quote, “disgusting”, then nope. I dont miss one second of this pregnancy. The Captain told me I was a different person. Not something you want to hear when you’re going through a shitty phase as it is. If only men knew how SHIT it could be. It’s a weird kinda life where you don’t care who you are anymore. Very odd.
What do I miss post baby? The Matilda Hospital, AKA, the Four Seasons for new Mums everywhere. This Hospital AKA “Hotel”, should be in every country.
I swear all mums should go and spend a week somewhere like the Matilda. Somewhere where you order your meals, they take the baby away for feeding, and you get to sleep. Ahhh… I was devastated when I left (as was the Captain when he picked up the worlds BIGGEST medical bill). Also, I met some lovely people by default.. especially the nurses. There was ONE night nurse who quickly became my have. This woman would turn up and offer me legal drugs without judgement. I LOVED her. Some nurses do judge but not this one. I have about 5 photos with her when I left. Everyone thought mine was the crazy “tidy” room (I’m super tidy). People would walk in and be like “Have you been cleaning?”…yes…I’m ashamed to say, I put my shoes away in a cupboard with my jacket and I put my stuff away. How messy are you people?! Seriously!!?
It’s no wonder the rich and famous have their kids there. I’m neither but, its where us ex-pats have our kids dahling. Who am I to argue with that? On arriving at the Hotel Matilda, we were given a menu on which room options I had for my 5 night package. If I shared with 2 or 4 others, well, the bill would have been much smaller. BUT, the Captain, being the big girls blouse that he is (i wouldn’t have argued actually), said “No. You have your own room as I wouldn’t want to share”. I buttoned my lip there and then, looked at the twins and thought, “yeh…fuck it! I’m tired””. Also, I’m alone. I felt that this time round, even with wonderful friends turning up to show me some love. I felt sad. I wanted my friends from home and my Mum. I’m clearly quite simple.
Let me give you an example of what I was missing after leaving …. view photos below before I continue my wonderful tale.
And photo number 2 of my wonderful bedroom.
And err…number 3…my club sandwich during lunch. What a wondrous, fabulous place this Matilda is…
The photo below is a my view from my BALCONY (hahahaaaaaa) at night. I was in bed by 9pm most nights. Bloody amazing.
The above is a daytime view which was sometimes sooo cloudy, you couldn’t see bugger all. I didn’t care though… I was staying at the Matilda Hospital (& the now very poor Captain has the bills to prove it!) That said, people who live in the Peak must be walking around on clouds (literally). The roads are windy, the views obscured by clouds and well, you’re miles away from anything. Then again, I hate leaving the house if I can help it, so maybe it just felt that way. Plus the morphine and various drugs helped me forget a lot of things. Everyone, en route up to La Matilda (Le/La…I’m not sure which?), was walking a dog and had a Rolex. RICH.
Anyhow, hopefully, you get the picture. I spent 5 days in absolute Mummy Heaven (in fact, that sounds like a club I used to go to in Kings Cross where you did pills I couldn’t handle and went home in a cab you were afraid of). Good times. HK…I’m still not in love with it BUT, I will say this. I’m now 35 (yes, old goat), and I still feel 25. I have 3 kids and thankfully a bloke I love. He understands me and I LOVE THAT.
Baby No.3 WELCOME.
MATILDA. YOU ARE WONDERFUL.
Legal drugs. Even better. Nurses who don’t judge… you are my favourites.
ps. The Matilda… I lied when I said I needed more morphine.
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- HK Baptist Hospital – 2339 8888 – 222 Waterloo road, Kowloon Tong
- Matilda Hospital – 2849 0111 – 41 Mount Kellet road, The Peak
- HK Sanitorium & Hospital – 2572 0211 – 2 Village road, Happy Valley
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|Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital||11 Chuen On Road, Tai Po, NT||2689 2000||24 hours|
|Caritas Medical Centre||111 Wing Hong Street, Shamshuipo, KLN||3408 7911||24 hours|
|Kwong Wah Hospital||25 Waterloo Road, KLN||2332 2311||24 hours|
|North District Hospital||9 Po Kin Road, Sheung Shui, NT||2683 8888||24 hours|
|Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital||3 Lok Man Road, Chai Wan, HK||2595 6111||24 hours|
|Pok Oi Hospital||Au Tau, Yuen Long, NT||2486 8000||24 hours|
|Prince of Wales Hospital||30-32 Ngan Shing Street, Shatin, NT||2632 2211||24 hours|
|Princess Margaret Hospital||2-10 Princess Margaret Hospital Road, NT||2990 1111||24 hours|
|Queen Elizabeth Hospital||30 Gascoigne Road, KLN||2958 8888||24 hours|
|Queen Mary Hospital||102 Pokfulam Road, HK||2255 3838||24 hours|
|Ruttonjee Hospital||266 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, HK||2291 2000||24 hours|
|St. John Hospital||Cheung Chau Hospital Road, Tung Wan, Cheung Chau.||2981 9441||24 hours|
|Tseung Kwan O Hospital||No. 2 Po Ning Lane, Hang Hau, Tseung Kwan O||2208 0111||24 hours|
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|Yan Chai Hospital||7-11 Yan Chai Street, Tsuen Wan, NT||2417 8383||24 hours|