Ramblings of a Slaint

Ramblings of my life in India and around the world

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We have moved!!

Ramblings of a slaint can now be found on slaint.com

Come visit me there!

Monday, January 31, 2011

where does the time go?!

I don't know how I cannot seem to stay up to date on this blog! I think having a baby is one way, but I mean really, I have full time household help, so I'm not doing the cleaning, but still I can't find the time??!? haha Baby bear keeps me busy busy!

A short quick recap - We went to Ireland for xmas. It was COLD and we had no water. I fell down the stairs and bounced off my tailbone, which still hurts a month later. I was sick. Cian was sick. Joanne & Mark did not have their baby while we were there. And then we left.

We then went to the US. Paul was only there for 8 days, which we spent seeing as many people as we could and shopping to fill up his 2 empty suitcases. Then he left me and C and headed back to India. Me and C ventured on our first plane ride together alone to Dallas. It wasn't his best flight, but he still barely made a peep! And then spent a week showing the little dude off to the family. Loved it. It wasn't stressful and I actually got a little bit of downtime!

Then back to SF for a quick little break before heading back to India on the monstrous 27 hr flight. Before leaving we got some professional photos done of Cian. Adorable! Seriously I could stare at them all day long, even with him sitting next to me!

Anyhow.. the flight home - Thankfully we were in business class, so it actually wasn't too bad. C was a gem as usual - everyone loved him on all the flights, even the grumpy business class men who were not happy to see a newborn baby up front ;) haha.

And then back to India and massive jetlag! sheesh.. i didn't even think about how bad it would be for the little dude. but after a week we are good as gold and even have managed to get him to sleep almost full nights. Its not the whole night, but I tell you it feels like it! He goes to bed around 5 pm and sleeps til around midnight. Paul then gives him a pacifier and checks his diaper and then right back to sleep he goes until around 4 when he wants to eat. Then a quick little snooze til 6 and then we are up. Sometimes I go to bed shortly after C does so I wake up feeling super refreshed!

I really wish I would have written more at the beginning about all the emotions, etc, but I just didn't have time. But thinking back on it and seeing other friends with their newborns I really realize how great we had it. Granted, we had some tough days, but for the most part I found it all so easy and natural. But I see friends who never had much experience with babies really struggling in their first few weeks. Or maybe it was because we were in the hospital for the first 8 days of his life and got to ease into things a bit more? Not sure. But for me I didn't find it SO difficult - Paul might disagree though and say he found it much harder.

But we did have our problems at the beginning. I would be a snapping turtle at times out of exhaustion and frustration, but usually folo handled it in stride and just let it roll off his back (thank goodness!). But 4 months into it all, I feel like our communication is much much stronger and that we are finding a better groove (as much as you can when paul has no real defined work schedule).

I'm even starting to think that maybe I need to pump more milk to keep in the freezer so I can leave Cian more when Paul unexpectedly has the day off. I just need to figure out the best time of day to do it.
I need a massage. I need a manicure/pedicure.

And since C is 4 months and we've recovered from jetlag, I am not preparing to do the Cry It Out method to get him to sleep on his own. Today we did it for his nap. He woke up after only 45 mintues, so we let him fuss for 15 minutes before going in. Then we just calmed him down and put him back down and he slept for another hour! (unheard of!) And now it's his bedtime. I put him down awake and planned to go in after 15 minutes if he was still up and/or crying. I heard him fussing around for a bit, but then he just drifted off to sleep (i think!). So perhaps it won't be so bad with C...he's so good in so many aspects... i just worry this means he's going to be a terror for a toddler :)

the quick recap is finished!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Early Arrival!

As usual I am insanely behind on my blog, but thought I better take a quick moment and try to catch up!

On the 18th of September I got up to go to my Saturday exercise class,but I was super swollen and didn't feel that great, so I almost didn't go. But thankfully I did go! I forced myself there and then as we started the class my teacher noticed how swollen I was and I mentioned that it was the first day of the pregnancy that I couldn't wear my wedding ring. My yoga teacher had always told us that if we couldn't wear our rings then it signified a problem.. it's not as normal as people think... So she told me to go downstairs and have my blood pressure checked. Again I wanted to ignore her, because always to this point my BP had been perfect! But I did it, just to appease her.

And what do you know.. it is high! I was shocked that it was high to be honest. I asked her what that meant and she said it could be nothing, but could be serious and that I should go see my doctor. I didn't want to - as is typical of me. I don't know why I don't like to call into the doctor like that. I guess I just never want to be seen as a worry wort! I finally gave in around 2 pm and send the doctor a message telling her my BP and my swolleness and she said to come in right away. Hmm...

I got home and researched online and it seemed that I had all the symptoms of pre-eclampsia. this is about the only pregnancy problem that I remembered reading about and the one I sub-consciously was worried about. As soon as I read all the symptoms I knew that I had it.. but I went to the doctor still hoping that perhaps she'd look at me and say that it was just water retention.

Nope.. as soon as she saw me she said I had to be admitted right away. I immediately burst into tears. Paul was at work, finishing up a film and I was all alone. She told me to get him there right away as she didn't want me to do this alone. In hindsight that was so great of her - there is no way I could have done it alone!

After a long process, I was admitted and put on the VIP ward (of course you pay to be there...) Still at this point I believed them when they told me that they were trying to get my BP down. Come to find out later, they were lying to me the entire time. My BP was going up and up the entire time and they kept saying it was ok. But still I thought that after 2 nights that they were going to discharge me.

Two days after my arrival I was getting an ultrasound to check out the baby. I thought this was my normal ultrasound that had actually been scheduled already for this day. Nope.. it was prep for what was to come! They had been withholding food from me all morning and after the scan I asked a dr if I could eat and she said "No! You are having surgery later!"

WHAT?! I again immediately started crying. Paul wasn't there, but luckily my friend Natalia was and she was able to question the doctor to figure out what was going on. They backtracked and said no, no, it was a mistake. Come to find out later - they had wanted to do the surgery that day, but were worried about my being too upset!

That night my OBGYN came in and said that there was no choice - we were doing an emergency C-section the following day. The baby was a good size, they had been giving me injections to help speed the lung development and if we didn't get him/her out, it could be very serious for both mother and baby. So I had no choice.

I was fine with it all up until they rolled me out into the hall and we were waiting for the elevator. I then began to panic. I haven't ever had surgery. I've never been in a foreign hospital, and much less having surgery! I wanted to have a normal delivery. etc etc.

Luckily Paul was amazing. He was right there by my side the whole time. I freaked when they said he couldn't come into the room where they did the spinal injection.. and i refused to go unless they let him. And they did.. thankfully. I don't know if I could have done it without him! I was a nervous wreck by this point.

And then it was time for the surgery. I was freaking out because I could still feel things - just not pain. No one had really explained this to me properly. You think that if you have had an injection to numb your lower body you won't feel anything, but that's not how it is. You feel the pressure of the blankets, the pulling of the skin, etc just no pain. weirdest sensation ever physically and emotionally!

I was pretty out of it when the little one arrived... Its a boy! And my first reaction " oh no.. we don't have any boys names!" haha. They put him by my head and he was wailing away and all I could think is someone needs to hush that baby! I have to say the hardest thing about the Csection is that you just aren't really there and don't get to experience the birth like you always imagine you will.

And then my body went into shock. That's the thing with pre-eclampsia, your BP is high until the baby is out and then it goes back to normal right away. Or for me, it went too low. I had to spend a long while under the electric blanket until my body got back to normal. Paul was sitting there with me on one side and the baby on the other - just making sure we were both still breathing! haha.

So there you go.... the early arrival of Cian Patrick Byrne!
Born on Sept 21, 2010 @ 3:10 p.m. at Liliavati Hospital in Mumbai. He was 7lbs 2 oz and 19 inches. Pretty great since he was 5.5 weeks early!

Monday, August 16, 2010


We have just returned from our one week 'babymoon' holiday. Of course we waited until the absolute last minute to plan it and book it, but as it happens, it worked out well. Originally we had wanted to go to Berlin, but I just didn't think I could handle such a long flight again and boy was I right! So instead we focused on trying to find somewhere around India. And what better place than the Maldives! We couldn't afford a whole week there, and were afraid we'd get too bored sitting on the beach and the return connection was really bad (12 hr wait) so we decided to tag on a few days in Colombo on the way back to Mumbai.

The good...we booked our hotel through this place called Atoll Paradise which ended up being a fantastic option. They are located in the Maldives, so actually know the resorts personally. And they are quick and efficient over email (which our previous travel agent was not!). And the best was that they were there to meet us at the airport on our arrival, and guide us through every step until we stepped off the final boat at the resort. And amazingly, they were also there on our return to do the same. It was really a 5 star experience having them look after us so well. I don't know that we got our room any cheaper, but just having this little bit of additional service was nice.

The bad... our flight leaving to the Maldives was at 3:30 in the morning, which meant a night of no sleep.. which is never good for me. I was already vomiting before taking off from Mumbai and then started having severe stomach cramps. I didn't really know what the cramps were until we got to Sri Lanka and i had the runs... uh oh! And a 5 hour wait in the airport didn't help matters. I just found a few chairs and laid down and slept for a good 1.5 hrs straight which seemed to help, but the cramps continued. :(

But then we got to Male and were quickly ushered to a bus which then took us to our sea plane. The one thing I can say is that the Sri Lankans and the Maldivians are very caring and thoughtful of a big ol pregnant lady! They all took such good care of me. We were tired, but so excited to finally see the Maldives from the air - beautiful turquoise waters, clear blue skies, heaven!

The views from the sea plane were amazing - just look at those colors! the baby wasn't so happy with the sea plane ride though - it was loud, but smooth and the little one was kicking away!

Then we got to the resort - it was beautiful. I was worried that I would be very picky about it since it wasn't the most 'luxurious' hotel on the list - it was still expensive, but happened to be all inclusive which we thought would be better for me and my need to eat 6 times a day! And thankfully, the resort did not disappoint. Our room was a water villa, perched above the lagoon and just beautiful. At the entrance we had a big glass floor so that we could see the fish swim under the villa, then on either side were doors - one to a massive bathroom and one to a bedroom/sitting area - both connected outside by our private deck.

Outside we had a good size jacuzzi/plunge pool, which was actually a bit unexpected. We knew there was a jacuzzi, but didn't know that it would be so large and big enough to take care of our needs for a private pool! And of course the view from the deck was beautiful. Yeah!! And the best part is that everything was included. All alcohol for Paul and all food/drinks for me! So the mini bar was a own private fridge which was great and we could eat at any of the cafe's during the day between the designated meal times.

The snorkeling was great. It probably would have been good to go on a snorkel trip, one was included in our stay, but I just didn't think I could manage out on a boat for 3-4 hours without food and/or a restroom, so instead we just snorkeled off the island which was good enough for us. We even saw a massive stingray that kept me a little fearful for the rest of the day - i always worried that he'd be under my feet when i went to step down. Luckily Paul didn't step on him... he never even knew to look out for these things! Even though that didn't hurt paul, he did have a few other injuries... coral on one of his outings cut up his knee and a big cut on his wrist and massive bruise on his rear from falling down our private stair leading to the water. I didn't witness it.. but I probably would have been scared or cracking up laughing! Poor thing!!

After a beautiful and wonderful few days on our island paradise it was time to leave. Shockingly we weren't bored and could have stayed a few days longer actually. And we probably should have! The only bad thing is that even with all of the food options, I still struggled to eat at meal times. I think I have figured it out though - it's the buffet setting. I just can't handle all of the smells and choices. I need to be away from the smells and then just have a few things to choose from! But I did manage to eat ok - i ate fish for lunch every day and managed to find something, even if it was from the kids buffet for dinner!

Our arrival to Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo was nothing great - no 5 star service anymore and man did that suck! haha. We waited in line for a taxi to be told that it was only for Sri Lankan people - foreigners could not use it. You can only imagine how mad that made me! Then we arrived to our "5 star" hotel the Hilton - major disappointment. It was like we were time warped into 1970. Urgh. Specially after such a beautiful room in the Maldives.. this was a major let down.

And colombo just didn't seem so great. We had planned one day for site seeing, one day drive out to the elephant orphanage and then another day for shopping and pottering around. Not sure what we thought we'd do with our 4th day! But once we got there, we were exhausted and disappointed in the room, so we just took a nap on the insanely hard bed. (I had to ask for 8 pillows to make myself a little fortress so that I could actually sleep at night!!). So already on our first day/night we were not too pleased. The next day didn't add much to our happiness either. We saw all the sites, ate at a good foreigners hangout cafe and then again went back to the hotel. It was at this point that we decided that maybe it was best to go home early. There was no way I could manage going to the elephant orphanage - it was a 4 hr drive each way, so with nothing left to do we changed our flights to leave the following evening.

We just pottered around our last day and waited for our midnight flight. And of course.. by the time midnight rolled around, I was vomiting again. Urgh. At least I know it's mostly do to lack of sleep and messing up my food schedule. But the bad thing was that it lasted the entire flight home and even after we got home. My throat was so sore from all the sickness. Urgh. But there were empty seats at the back, so I managed to lay down for a bit and stretch my legs which was nice.

And then home sweet home.. after my re-entry to Mumbai this last time, I wasn't sure I would ever be happy to be back here, but I sure was after a few boring days in Colombo!! haha. The Maldives though were amazing and we do hope to make it back again some day with the little one.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wedding Photos

I'm not sure who on here wouldn't have seen these already from facebook.. but just in case you are interested.. here's the 'best of' of our wedding photos!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


WOW.. you will be surprised with the amazing amount of things that has happened since my last update in Feb! Its been a whirlwind for sure!

So...we didn't go to Varanasi for two reasons - one confirmed that I was pregnant and two our cat ginger masala was super sick and we didn't feel good leaving her with no supervision while she was recovering. So poo-y nothing special for the birthday this year. But what other amazing news though right?!

And secretly, or not so secretly i had been planning an Oct wedding in SF but given the baby news, we had to push that up a lot earlier than hoped. And things just sort of fell into place in the most unlikely of ways!

For Paul's birthday and for a last minute getaway, we decided to go to Dubai. I had been insanely sick with the pregnancy and was dying for some American food from Chili's and a break from the heat of Mumbai. So off we went - last minute as usual. Had a great weekend - it was the first time in weeks that I had 3 consecutive days of no vomiting. I began to think that it must be India that was making me sick!

Then back to Mumbai.. or so we tried! Apparently something was wrong with Paul's visa and he was promptly deported from India and returned to Dubai. Well, actually it wasn't promptly - they kept him locked in a room with a chair all night long waiting to see if they were really going to deport him or allow him to enter and sort out the visa through the foreign registration office. They made me leave since I had been admitted into the country, so I went back home at 3 in the morning not knowing what was going on with paul - and a mess emotionally!

It wasn't until late afternoon the following day that I got a call from folo saying that he was in Dubai and checked back into the hotel we had just left. Urgh. His work was trying to help and we tried to see what could be done from Dubai. After a day or so it seemed that the only option was to return to Ireland to get a new visa. Double URGH! And so after 3 days of being in Mumbai myself, I returned to Dubai to give folo a suitcase of winter clothes and stuff for the wedding in May just in case he wasn't able to get back to India!

On Easter sunday Paul headed back to Ireland and I headed back to India. And again my stay would be short. I figured that if he wasn't going to be in Mumbai there surely wasn't any reason for me to stay there, so I booked a ticket to the US and headed off after 3 hectic days!

Yeah.. America! I loved that there was nice cool weather in SF, tons of food to eat and friends! Paul was stuck in Ireland getting his visa and I was in SF putting together the wedding. So even though it all seemed like a nightmare, it was great that it all happened and I went to the US well in advance of the wedding. Otherwise I don't know how we would have done it!

Finally Paul got a new visa and then headed over to SF to help with the final wedding preparations. We managed to pull off a great small wedding, all the family made it over from ireland (even with the volcano interrupting travel again!). And then a week after the wedding Paul headed back to India and back to work. I stayed on in the US to baby shop!

So now it's almost 3 months later from when I first came to the US. I can't believe i have been here so long, but it's been great and I've actually really enjoyed being back. At the moment I am ready to go "home" but I am not really that interested in going back to India if that makes any sense! I miss folo and the kitties and having my own space, but I don't miss the heat, the dirt and the noise. But I do know that having the luxury of a maid and a driver will be invaluable when the little one arrives in oct. so i'll just have to grin and bare it for a while. and the fact that i have no health insurance and wouldn't be able to have the baby here in the US anyhow!

So.. less than 2 weeks before I head back to India loaded down to the gills with baby supplies and a bulging belly. Fun fun.

oh and no, we don't know the sex of the baby. paul wants it to be a surprise and i wanted to know. and since you can't legally find out in India, I had a scan here in the states and had the sonographer (a friend from jr high) print the sex and put it in a sealed envelope! So now that I have the answer in my hands, I actually don't want to know! And i think Paul does! haha. So we shall see when we are both together in the same place what we decide to do. Without that official paper telling us, everyone else in our lives seems to think it will be a boy. stay tuned in Oct for the real results :)

So... life is changing and moving on. We are excited and scared and nervous, but looking forward to new adventures with a little one in the backpack :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Oh I just need to moan for a bit!

I mentioned that I was working like a dog before going to the US for the xmas holidays - well I am supposed to be working like that again, but I just can't find the motivation and apparently my bosses can't find the money to pay me. This leaves us in a bit of a quandary I would say! I need money to motivate...Even though I get paid pennies.. it helps in making me feel like there is value in the work I am doing.

And to top it all off I keep getting crappy rude emails from the funders of the project wanting their accounts finalized and the final report. Except that they have ignored ALL of my emails asking for formats, requirements etc. And they KNOW i am not getting paid anymore... So I really wonder how it is that they think that by being rude and mean will facilitate or expedite the process any???

I'm almost to the point of just dropping all the documents into my bosses laps and saying have fun! when you can find some money to pay me, i'll finish it, otherwise enjoy sorting through it yourselves! It would NEVER get done if I walked away right now, so I'm not sure why the funder is being so rude to me. Seriously! GRRRRR.

The only thing making me keep my cool is that I don't want to ruin my relationship with TISS. It seems my relationship has already been ruined with the funders, which none of it is my fault, but there is nothing I can do about that now I guess. Urgh. Just annoyed. And so sick of working with rude, inefficient people who have no clue about what it actually takes to get things done.

In other news... I am equally distressed about the leaving of my last remaining great friend here. Oh so sad. Seriously, I just keep breaking down. I rely on having her here so much as moral support, that i don't know what I will do when she is gone. Her departure is rather hurried, even though I knew it would come eventually it was only a week since the announcement and her departure. :( But I know (and hope!) that we will keep in touch and that I will see her again soon. But it still is going to be hard for me to find my way here for a while without her.

And not to end on a moany note.. I got a surprise delivery of flowers today - for my birthday (still 10 days away though)! THANKS MOM! It helped this day not be as crappy as it was turning out to be. And I LOVE getting surprises - and it was good that it was so early because I won't be in town for my bday, so it all worked out for the best! Yeah!

And since the secret is out.. I will be going to Varanasi for my bday weekend, which also coincides with Holi - our favorite holiday in India. (Hence the reason we will be staying in country instead of going to some glamorous locale for my bday!). I think Varanasi will be chaos for Holi, but hopefully we manage to get some good photos.

I will report on it all when we return. Til then....