Blood, babies and the realities of expat healthcare in Bali

IMG_1256A newborn Kiran, already angry – he screamed non-stop for an hour after being born.

Bear with me on the gory title, I’m going somewhere with this.

I was inspired to write this by a campaign that was going around on my Facebook news feed yesterday about a Russian woman living in Bali who had lost her unborn baby during her last month of pregnancy due to complications and was now in Sanglah hospital in a coma, fighting for her life. The campaign was to try and find as many people as possible to give B+ blood to increase her chances of survival. I just checked in on the story now to find that she has sadly died, leaving her husband and 4-year-old daughter. So utterly tragic.

Would she have lived if she was in a different country, perhaps with a readily available blood bank? Impossible to say but this problem comes up time and time again. Bali does simply not have enough blood and if, god forbid, you ever get into a serious accident or have a life-threatening illness that requires a blood transfusion, there is a good chance you will need people to donate “on demand”.

And people do get into accidents – motorbike accidents usually. Then childbirth is another big risk. I hemorrhaged after having Kiran, luckily not badly enough to need donated blood but it’s definitely something to consider in advance if you’re planning to have a baby here. I’m in the lucky position of having AB+ blood which means I can receive donations from any other blood type, but others are not so fortunate.

Pregnant women with a rhesus negative blood type are particularly at risk as it is in critically short supply in Bali. While around 15% of Caucasians have rhesus negative blood, only 1% of Asians do. The problem is a real one and I’ve heard of women shipping in blood from Singapore in preparation for labour, in case of complications.

The Red Cross maintains a register of rhesus negative donors in Bali and if you plan to live here for any significant length of time, I would urge you to make sure you know your blood type and add yourself to the register so you can be contacted when a supply is needed. My ‘lucky’ AB blood is almost useless as it can only be donated to other AB types.

From time to time incidents like the poor Russian girl come up and I do think about those of us who have chosen to live in countries less developed than the ones we come from and the risks we are taking. Bali’s medical care is improving but is still way behind the likes of Malaysia and Singapore and expats with serious conditions are usually flown out of the country.

It never really occurred to me to go back to the UK or go anywhere else to give birth – there are some good hospitals here, with well-trained doctors (although maybe a little on the laid back side – read Erica’s account of the differences between Jakarta and Singapore). They just don’t always have the resources that other countries do when things go wrong. As expats we’re often spoiled with hospitals that look like 5-star hotels with service to match. It’s easy to forget that most of the rest of the country don’t have access to these facilities – the maternal mortality rate in Indonesia is one of the highest in Southeast Asia.

If you’re interested in donating Rh-negative blood while you’re travelling in Bali, you can contact the Red Cross or Kim Patra. If you’d like to donate to a cause to improve healthcare access to pregnant women in Indonesia, Bumi Sehat is a wonderful organisation.

I need a holiday

photo 2-003

I’m late with this week’s escaping the 9-5 post again and I have others that I meant to write and I haven’t yet. I think I need to just face the fact that I will never be one of those bloggers who can schedule posts in advance and post set things on set days. Not sure I want to be anyway.

I’m just in need of a little whinge. Bear with me.

I had a horrible day yesterday. And the day before that and maybe the day before that too. The kids are being ‘challenging’ lately. Kiran had a total meltdown the other day – a tantrum on a scale that dwarfed any of Maya’s tantrums (and if you know Maya, you’ll know that’s saying something). I’d gone next door with the kids and Kiran was having fun collecting flowers from the floor but I needed to go back as I’d left the stove on. He didn’t want to go so I just picked him up screaming and took him back. he then continued to scream. and scream. and scream. Distraction wasn’t working, ignoring him wasn’t working, he didn’t want anything. I’m always scared to put Kiran down when he’s having a tantrum as he bashes his head off things but I tried momentarily to put him on the bed and he just reached up for me screeching “mama! mama!”. He was obviously terrified too and just couldn’t stop himself – he clung to me trembling but hitting me and biting me at the same time. He was screaming so hard, he could hardly breathe. This continued for maybe half an hour, maybe an hour, I’m not sure until he slowly started to calm down. I on the other hand was a nervous wreck by the time that made got back and Maya was crying too (for attention).

Maya has been so naughty lately and seemingly only with me. She throws her food (and Kiran’s) on the floor – we’re talking whole plates here, stamps on my laptop with her shoes on, pulls all the clothes I just folded out of the cupboard and yesterday she looked me in the eye and proceeded to wee on the floor inside.

Work has been going well (apart from the fact I’m doing too much of it and still not earning enough) but I’ve had some terrible days with that too recently. I just sent a client to an article that I’d written about the wrong person – it was meant to be her sister. And just yesterday a series of 5 blog posts I’d sent off on a tricky subject that required a lot of research were apparently not right. I’d misinterpreted the instructions somehow. No idea how I’m going to fix that one without starting again. Sigh.

It’s cold and grey and drizzling in Ubud at the moment. Just like being back in the UK.

So yes, I need a holiday. Preferably without children. It’s my and Made’s birthday coming up later this month so I’m hoping we can escape for a couple of days (although no chance of living Kiran just yet and if I can’t leave them both I won’t take just one). For now I’m just hanging in there.

Please send chocolate and wine!


IMG_3083Kiran – I usually rotate the toys and keep only a few out at a time but it had been raining all day and we were stuck indoors so I let them go wild

IMG_3114-1Maya – she preffered to play in the box



Baby Made update 31-32 weeks

Well i’m kind of confused actually how many weeks I am. According to my official due date taken from the first scan, I am 29 weeks and 5 days. However at my appointment yesterday the doctor wrote 31 – 32 weeks in my notes. Baby is huge already so we’ll go with that.

So here is another bump pic – today with baby Made on the left and then with maya at 30, 31 and 32 weeks

hmm…. i don’t remember feeling so huge at this stage last time so i guess i just feel bigger than i am or something? Kind of horrified to realise how much bigger I’m still going to get. I think I look more like the 30 week picture so maybe I am actually closer to 30 weeks. I am definitely suffering more than i was last time. I can’t sit at my desk for very long because my stomach feels all crunched up and also i’m finding the heat and humidity pretty much unbearable so i spend most of the day lying on the bed with the fan on.

I started this pregnancy at a slightly lower weight than with maya and put on weight more slowly at the beginning. that all changed during my ‘3 breakfasts a day period’ and i went through a 3 month period of putting on 3 or 4 kilos every month – argh! luckily it seems to be slowing down, i haven’t put on any weight in the last 2 weeks and i’m the same weight that i was with maya at 30 weeks. Bubs is measuring 33 weeks and 5 days at 2.16kg and head is measuring 35 weeks – ha! i’m not too concerned as maya was measuring 33weeks 6 days (2.2kg) at 30 weeks and 35 weeks and 5 days at 32 weeks (2.269kg) and but it’s looking like we’re more likely to have a January baby than a February baby at the moment, but who knows! I’m going to have a wild guess and estimate birth date at 28th January so we’ll see how close i get!

In any case, this baby is probably arriving in another couple of months so I really need to get organised from today! I bought an exercise ball yesterday that i can hopefully use in labor (wanted one with maya but couldn’t find one that wasn’t stupidly expensive! got one in Ace hardware in the end) and i’m going to try sitting on at my desk to see if it helps. Raspberry leaf tea drinking also starts from today, as does yoga dvd (although it is hard with a toddler thinking you’re playing a game and crawling all over you when you’re trying to relax). Also going to start back with the hypnobirth recordings although i found it so boring last time and pretty much gave up towards the end. I’m going to buy some different ones this time and see if it makes any difference.

Things I need to do before 37 weeks:

  • Sort out and wash baby clothes and blankets
  • Move maya’s bed somewhere that she won’t get crushed if there’s a big earthquake and get her sleeping in it instead of taking up 3/4 of our bed (she slept through the night 7pm – 6am apart from waking up freaked out at about 10pm and needing a cuddle before she went back to sleep – bad dream?
  • Buy newborn nappies and cotton wool and anything else i need for new baby (will have to find a list cos i can’t remember)
  • Pack hospital bag and load mp3 player up with relaxing music and hypnobirth tracks
  • Clean house
  • Book hospital room
  • probably loads of other stuff

In other news, Maya’s birthday shout out finally appeared on ohdeeoh – if i’d known it would take a month to do i would have submitted it in advance but never mind! you can see it here


Bad Hair Days

Things people never tell you about having babies no. 137: your hair will end up like this –

You see the thing that happens when you get pregnant is that your hair growth slows right down. This is why pregnant women are said to have nice shiny thick hair as there’s no new hair pushing the old hair out so it basically doesn’t fall out like it would do normally from brushing, washing etc. There’s also the added benefit of only having to shave your legs once a month.

The problem is that after you have the baby and your hormones stabilise, your hair starts growing and falling out again. From the time that Maya was about 6 months old I had handfuls of hair falling out every time I was in the shower and clouds of it falling around me every time I brushed it.

This did not bother me, despite Made’s claims that Iwas going to go bald as my hair is rather thick and there is a lot of it. However when new hair started to grow back underneath I ended up with this stupid micro fringe / mullet type look. I’ve got a new layer of hair that is a few inches long and not just at the front, it’s all over so it sticks up in all directions, will not lay flat and basically looks like I haven’t brushed my hair in a few months.

Now I’m pregnant again I’m stuck with it as it’s growing really slowly and i’m probably going to be hit with a second hair loss and growth after the next baby is born. I dread to think what I will look like then…

Baby Made update 19-20 weeks

Wow, half way through already. This pregnancy is going way too fast!

Went for my monthly checkup and scan last week and it seems that baby Made is a BOY! Doctor repeated several times that it wasn’t 100% certain but it looked pretty clear from what I could see and he wrote the symbol for male in my medical notes too. In any case, we’ll get confirmation when I go back next month.

So yay! I really would have been happy with another girl too but I know Made wanted a boy and this means I get to do some shopping! Although I’ve been very disappointed with the range of baby boy clothing so far apart from the really expensive scandanavian labels. I’ve already bought a couple of bits from H&M on ebay though and my mum has been shopping too. I didn’t get much unisex stuff for maya (the stuff I do have was all presents so thanks everyone for being more sensible than me!).

At a bit of a standstill on names. I still really like the boys name we had picked out for Maya but Made has gone off it and says there are only 2 names he likes, both of which are Balinese, long and sound ridiculous to my english ears. I have come up with a list of lots of alternatives but he’s refusing to consider anything else for now. Sigh! I just want a name that is short, easily pronouncable and won’t be too out of place in the uk, preferably with Hindu/Sanskrit origins. He is not willing to compromise so far!

I’ve been feeling movements for the last week or so – I’d forgotten how faint it starts out! no doubt he’ll be kicking me to pieces soon enough though. My jeans have reached the uncomfortably tight stage so i’m going to have to dig out all my maternity clothes. Skirts are still ok for now though luckily. At my checkup I’d put on 4kg in the last month! although not that suprising considering the amount I’ve been eating – i’m constantly starving and usually have 2 breakfasts.

No boy bits photo this month (i will ask for one next time) so here is a freaky alien baby instead!

Bump update series 2 – 17 weeks

Ok, as promised here are my 17 week comparison photos :

excuse the cut off heads – I was up all night with a sick baby and looking about as rough as it gets.

So we have 17 weeks with maya on the left and 17 weeks with made, today on the right. I see…. not much difference. So there goes my theory about showing earlier this time around.

So not much to report pregnancy wise. Still no symptoms apart from slight heartburn in the evening some nights which i didn’t get until much later last time. Clothes still fit but getting tighter.Still no movements felt.

Hopefully a more exciting update in 2 weeks when we have our gender scan!

Bumps and steps

Not quite sure why I’m updating now as it probably means I’ll have nothing left to write about on Maya’s 10 month update but I just felt like posting so….

I woke up this morning with a definite bump which has stayed there all day. I keep staring at myself in amazement. I’m not quite 16 weeks and didn’t start showing with maya until I was about 6 months so I think this proves that she pretty much wrecked my stomach muscles. No photo yet but I will do one at 17 weeks to compare with the first bump photo from last time round.

Maya took her first 2 steps nearly a month ago when she was 9 months and 4 days old since then she has taken a step or two occassionally but generally not been very interested in the whole learning to walk business as crawling is so much easier and less distance to fall. Today however she’s been taking 3 or 4 steps in a row and will walk towards me if I put her down and encourage her over with something shiny. Exciting! No video because my camera is crap in low light (and that’s the final straw, I’m buying a new one asap – never buy a panasonic camera!) but here’s a picture of her attacking papa with a feather duster.

and just for good measure, maya and puppies! – does it get any cuter than this?!

And then there were four…

Let me introduce you to baby Made – Maya’s adik or little brother or sister, currently cooking away in my belly approximately the size of a pear. We’re expecting him/her in February 2012 – Maya will be about 15 months so I’m going to have my hands full!

To be honest, it was a little bit of a suprise when we first found out and it took a few weeks for me to get used to the idea but I’m now really excited and looking forward to having another tiny person in our lives and I’m sure Maya will love her new little sibling (although I’m hoping she’s learned to be a bit more gentle by then judging from the way she was playing with the puppies yesterday – eek!).

This pregnancy is just flying by so far and I’ve had basically no symptoms. I feel even less pregnant than I did with maya. I do feel like I am going to start showing sooner, although my clothes are still fitting fine. I won’t be doing weekly update photos (too much hassle!) but I will do a few to compare and contrast with my pregnancy with maya.

So so far, so good, no sickness, no cravings, no back pain yet (although I am expecting this later, I had it from week 12 with Maya). I’ve put on a couple of kilos but still weighing less than I did first time round so hopefully I’ll put on less in total too, although I guess the fact I’m still breastfeeding is helping a lot and I’m planning on gradually stopping (I don’t want to be feeding 2 at once!)

Can’t believe we’ll get to find out the sex in just a few weeks, fingers crossed. I know Made and his family are hoping for a boy but I’d be equally happy with another girl. Better get some ideas for names too – we’d already picked out Maya for a girl and one boy name at this stage before!

Having a baby in Bali – The Good, The Bad and the Plain Weird

As Maya has just had her first otonan (sort of Balinese birthday) I thought it would be a good time to have a recap over the experience of being pregnant and raising a baby in a Balinese family and in Bali in general. I couldn’t find much information when I was pregnant, so hopefully this will be helpful to somebody!

When I first found out I was pregnant, we visited Puri Bunda, a specialist maternity and child hospital in Denpasar. There are various hospitals in Bali that provide maternity services but I was happy with the way everything worked out there and we still take Maya for vaccinations etc. There are a lot of differences between maternity care here and in the UK. In the UK I doubt I would have seen a doctor atall unless there were complications as everything is midwife led. Here I was assigned an Obstetrician who I had monthly checkups with from my first appointment (at around 7 weeks) and then fortnightly and weekly as my due date approached. I was a bit worried this would make things over medicalised like the American system but in fact my doctor was very into doing things naturally and even told me to look up hypnobirthing.

My normal checkups consisted of a weight check, a blood pressure check and an ultrasound where the size of the baby was measured. As I was visiting every week in the last month, I ended up with a lot of scan pics! I found this really reassuring in comparison to the UK where you would normally only get 2 ultrasounds throughout your pregnancy. One thing that I did find a little strange was that I didn’t have a blood and urine test until week 20. From what I understand, this is done at every midwife appointment in the UK. Luckily there were no problems with mine but if there had been a problem, it would have been helpful to find out early that the halfway mark. One issue is that there is a shortage of negative blood in Bali, particularly O-. Lucky for me I am AB+ which is one of the rarest blood types but means my body will accept any other blood type. If you’re living in Bali I would really advise having a blood test so that you know what blood type you are in case of accident and you can register as being a donor if you have negative blood.

When it was time for the hospital tour, nearing my due date I really did cry in the car on the way home! The rooms in Puri Bunda are lovely and even the cheapest rooms just look like a hotel. There are 2 beds so Made could sleep comfortably overnight with us and bathrooms inside the rooms (no bath though, just a shower). However, there is a separate delivery room which you are taken to when you are getting close to the pushing stage which I was not so impressed with. I know it is normal in the UK to stay in the same room until after the baby is born which I would have much preferred. On the other hand, Made got to stay with us the whole tie

I had been wanting a water birth but this is not available at Puri Bunda. My doctor has his own clinic with tubs for water birth and there is also a natural birthing centre in Ubud called Bumi Sehat which offers this service but we decided to stick with the hospital as this was my first pregnancy and we wanted the reassurance of having everything right there if there was a problem. The main thing I hated about the delivery room was that it was so small and clinical. I was keen to move around as much as possible and didn’t really want to push lying down but this was pretty much impossible as the room was basically 3 beds separated by pull across screens with just enough space either side to walk up and down. If you opt for the top price package you do get a private delivery room but it is just as clinical looking. I would have much prefered some more comfortable surroundings where I could move around as I wanted and dim the lights etc but oh well. As it happens I was only in there for a couple of hours and was in so much pain I could barely move anyway! I stayed in the room and walked around the hospital for as long as possible until they basically made me come to the delivery room and then I paced up and down beside the bed until I started really feeling the contractions.

Oh also, you are given a gown to wear through the whole hospital stay rather than wearing your own clothes. I wasn’t sure about this at first but there was no need to worry about what to bring and having to clean it later so it was much easier! On this note, I really didn’t need to bring anything except underwear. Everything is provided right down to toothbrushes in the bathroom and clothes for the baby which you get to take home with you.

I did end up pushing lying down but this stage only lasted about half an hour so I don’t think it slowed me down too much! There was a team of midwives in the delivery room who periodically gave me an internal check to see how dilated I was and checked the baby’s heartbeat with a portable device but no being wired up to machines or anything like that. There is also no pain relief! I’m not sure if they offer epidurals if you want one but there is no gas and air and I wasn’t offered anything else. I was keen to do it naturally so this was fine for me, however I think if I hadn’t been as lucky as to only have 2 hours of painful contractions, I would have been screaming for something to help me. The doctor was called when I was ready to push and delivered maya with about 3 midwives/nurses alongside him.

When Maya was born I was given her straight away for skin to skin contact and Made was offered to cut the cord, which he did. They then took her  away (still in the room but outside the cubicle) to clean her while I was being cleaned and stitched up. They collect the placenta in a bowl and bring it back later in a little pot as this is buried outside the house when a baby is born. They brought Maya back after a few minutes for her first breast feed and then took her away to the nursery for medical checks and vaccinations. I was taken back up to the room in a wheel chair and then we asked for Maya to be brought back which they did. There is a nursery and I was worried at first that she would have to stay in there but you are free to have the baby in your room whenever you like (although they seemed suprised I wanted her straight away, apparently most Indonesian women want to rest for the first night?!). They took Maya away to bathe her and for her medical checks but she was never away for longer than an hour or so.

The next day Made’s parents visited the hospital, his dad took the placenta or ari ari home to bury and his mum brought offerings for the hospital temple. There are no visiting hours or restrictions on numbers of visitors at Balinese hospitals so I think it is quite common for the whole family to turn up at once. Oh also using mobile phones in the delivery room is fine and I was talking to my mum while having contractions and made was sending text updates to Opek (Komang’s husband) every 5 minutes as we were in a race to have birth first! (she won by less than an hour!)

They swaddle the babies at the hospital which is not a problem inside as it is air conditioned. However when we got ready to go home they dressed Maya in clothes (including booties, mittens and hat), swaddled her in a muslin, swaddled a sheet around that over her head and then swaddled a blanket around the whole thing! We then went out into the 30 degree heat, into our broken AC car which was even hotter and I quickly ripped all the blankets off again! One of the things I find weird here is that small babies are always bundled up in loads of blankets despite the heat. Oh also they wouldn’t let me put her in the car seat incase she woke up!

On arriving home we had a small ceremony before she entered the home compound and a daily ceremony until her umbilical cord stump dropped off at 6 days. The placenta was already buried under a stone on the right of the house entrance (girls on the right, boys on the left) which had offerings on it and a spiky plant next to it. There was also a little bird house type thing made from bamboo put next to the stone and used to hold offerings. In our bedroom a wooden place for offerings (which I always forget the name) was put up and the umbilical cord stump is stored here along with daily offerings. I was not allowed in the kitchen until Maya’s umbilical cord stump had fallen off and had all my meals and even water brought to me. I think this is quite a clever way to ensure new Balinese mothers get enough rest! Babies are not supposed to leave the house until they have their ground touching ceremony at 3 months but we cheated on this quite a bit. When returning from a doctor’s appointment or any other reason to leave the house, I had to touch the kitchen with my foot on my return (this is also done when coming back from a funeral ceremony and various other things, I’m not sure of the exact meaning). Every night a candle was lit on Maya’s stone and if we went somewhere without her we had to bring back oleh oleh – a souvenir (usually a small cake) to place on her stone. Made had not cut his hair for the duration of my pregnancy as is custom but he was now free to do so and went straight out and got it all shaved off!

Ceremony performed when Maya's umbilical cord stump fell off

More offerings in our bedroom

Maya's stone with the placenta buried underneath and offerings on top

When Maya was one month and one week old we had another ceremony and I was now allowed to go back in the temple (mothers who have just given birth are considered unclean and can not go in the temple). Made could also not go in the temple for 3 days after her birth. We have continued to have a ceremony for her every month (a Balinese month is 5 weeks). This is called natab (probably not spelled like that!) and is a quick ceremony involving sitting her in front of a pile of offerings and waving the essence towards her.

When Maya was 3 Balinese months old we had her ground touching ceremony. This is a big ceremony that requires a lot of offerings. We also had to buy gold jewellery for Maya and a special outfit. My dad and Sue were in Bali at the time so they got to see the ceremony.

Preparing the offerings for Maya's three month ceremony

After some preliminarycleansing rituals around the compound, I had to take Maya and walk her round the offerings in a circle three times (like in our wedding!) – this was when she touched the ground for the first time. Poor little thing had just gone down for a nap after being excited about having so much attention from all the visitors and she was literally asleep when we first started this! She then had to pick out gold jewellery from a bowl along with several other items woven from palm leaves. This is supposed to indicate the child’s future. While this was going on I had to hold a vegetable dressed up as a baby (no kidding!) while my mother in law held maya. I then exchanged the vegetable baby for my real baby who was now all blinged out in gold rings, bracelets, anklets and a necklace. The necklace also has a gold locket type thing on it which Made’s father had taken the previous day to the Balian (traditional healer) who puts something inside to protect the child.

Bowl of water containing gold jewellery

Touching the ground for the first time

Fishing the jewellery out

Having her jewellery put on

Me and Maya in all her bling!

We then all went to pray in the temple and Maya had her first taste of food including coconut water and various other things that represent all the different tastes of sweet, salty, sour etc. After some more wafting the essence of the offerings towards her, we were done and went off to see some of Iris’s ceremony at Komang’s house.

Waiting in the family temple

Maya's chickens

First tastes

Praying in the temple

Maya praying for the first time

All done!

Showing off her outfit

Happy being a Balinese baby

Komang and Iris

Today Maya had her first Otonan which is a ceremony held every 210 days for every Balinese person for as long as they live. For her first otonan we had to shave her hair off – this is a cleansing ritual and means that she is now able to go to the village temples. Luckily she didn’t seem that bothered about having her hair shaved off, although she looks rather funny now!

Maya and Iris, freshly bald!

In the family temple with Maya

Performing the ceremony

Apart from all the religious ceremonies, some of the cultural differences are really quite apparent. I do think they go totally over the top about bundling babies up here, particularly as it is a tropical country. God forbid I try to take Maya out of the house without a hat and socks on! Last time I went to the baby clinic with Maya there was a western woman there holding a newborn without any blankets – ooh she did get some harsh stares! If there is the slightest hint of wind I am imediately instructed to protect Maya by either putting a hat on her or preferably going indoors incase she catches a cold!?

The other thing I’m finding a bit annoying is weaning. I’ve been using baby-led weaning with Maya which is going really well but the concept is totally alien to the Balinese who are used to exclusively feeding bubur (rice porrige) and pureed soft fruits like banana and papaya to their babies for a very long time. Even Maya’s 5 year old cousin is sometimes spoon fed. Although Made and his mother are coming round to the idea after seeing how capable Maya is of eating and how she enjoys feeding herself, Made’s father still looks on sadly as if i’m feeding her mcdonalds and I have heard the word ‘blender’ mentioned many times. The other problem is that there are no real family meal times here – everyone just eats when they’re hungry and stis in the kitchen or on the floor. This makes me really sad and is something i’m just not willing to accept as I think it’s really important for children to eat together with the family. So I have been trying to make sure that I at least am eating with Maya. I don’t have a problem with her eating bubur (although I do have a problem with them playing games to try and trick her into eating off a spoon when she will happily feed herself from a spoon with a bit of help) but I have trouble convincing made that a baby cannot live off rice alone and they need to add veg and some source of protein to make it a balanced meal. It seems to be finally dawning on them that she can actually eat the lumps so they don’t need to puree it… we’re getting there slowly!

Well I think that’s about it! If I think of anything else I will edit this later and hope that someone finds it useful or at least interesting. Maya’s 7 month update is also due but seeing as this has been such a mammoth post, it might be a bit late!

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