Ernie goes to Parenthood (Sep 2018)


It’s been a long few months since my Bali post way back in May, when Ashley and I headed down to the Indonesian holiday spot for our baby-moon, a.k.a. the last two-person family holiday we’ll take together for the foreseeable future. The intervening months were filled with doctor’s visits, baby gear shopping, apartment renovations, domestic worker interviews, and all manner of work and weather-related distraction, grounded as we were during Hong Kong’s sweltering summer. Of particular concern to us was the size of the baby’s head, which consistently measured at the lowest percentile throughout the third trimester – causing no small amount of second-guessing over our decision to travel to Bali and all of its zika virus warnings.

Nevertheless, at the tail-end of August, on a warm summer’s night, Ashley and I finally put away our endless lists of to-dos and worries and checked into the hospital for the big show. We waited for the contractions to come throughout that evening and into the early morning, but progress was slow and Ashley and our doctor made the decision to begin inducing. By the next afternoon, as wave after wave of contractions washed over her, there were signs that things might not be entirely as they should in the womb, and we decided to go ahead with an emergency c-section. Worry built upon worry as the medical staff wheeled Ashley into the operating theatre, and I found myself a seat on a stool beside the platform while they began operating behind the blue curtain.

The climactic moment arrived within minutes, swelling like a wave and breaking with a gurgle and a cry erupting from virgin lungs. As the doctors and nurses quickly examined the newborn (big head and all), worry and fear receded, to be replaced by pure happiness and joy. Welcome to the world, little one!


We’ve been a family of three for the last few weeks, and we’ve already begun dreaming of the places we want to take little Miles. Traveling with a baby will probably present a whole new set of challenges, many likely to stay hidden until the worst possible moment, but it’s felt like a lifetime since we last got away from Hong Kong and we’re getting more than a little antsy. Our priority for the next few months is getting into something resembling a family rhythm, as well as moving and settling into our new place. Family and friend visits from out of town should take us to the end of the year, and then we’ve got a trio of overseas weddings in the spring that we’d like make happen. But who knows, we may feel a little spontaneous before then and suddenly find ourselves on a flight to who knows where. It hardly matters, the whole world is Miles’ to explore.

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