It’s here! (and pregnancy news)

Spring has never been my favorite season, but after what seemed like a LONG winter, coupled with a few months of laying on the couch feeling sick, the recent sunshine and warm weather (and cherry blossoms! pictured on header) have completely turned around my life.  (A little dramatic flair in that last statement, but it feels totally true.)

Could also be that I’m entering my second trimester tomorrow (13 weeks).  Already??! Yes, already.  HOLY. COW. I’m going to have another babe in my arms before I know it!  This pregnancy is flying by with the little dude around to keep me busy.  I took my first belly pic today, since its probably the first day in three months that I put on real clothes before breakfast and washed my face before noon.  I’m every woman, right?  Sadly, my little pooch looks less like a pregnant belly and more like an after-thanksgiving tummy.

We went to register my pregnancy with the Japanese government on Thursday, getting the new little babe a boshiteicho.  (This is typically done around 8-9 weeks, but we were a little behind in our understanding of what needed to be done.)  This handy-dandy little notebook will hold all of my pregnancy records for this baby and all of his/her medical records until entrance into elementary school (at which point, it’s transferred into a school file that stays with the kid till they graduate or leave the system).  I find this easy, one-place record-keeping to be extremely cool — anytime we take this baby to any doctor,  this book will hold all that needs to be known.   Though Renae did ask during her visit about what might happen if I lose it.  (Yikes.)  I don’t know the answer to that question and think I won’t ask till I need to.

Monday, we are leaving the little dude at home to visit and tour two nearby midwife clinics (10-15 mins away).  I’ve got a HUGE list of questions, since I know only a few things about the baby-birthing system here.  And also, Jones was born in a hospital, so giving birth in a birthing clinic will be completely different, I’m sure — not to mention it’ll be a Japanese one. 😉  Overall, I’m feeling excited to give birth here, most of what I’ve heard has been encouraging and impressive.  Other missionary mom’s have said they even prefer giving birth in Japan over America.

Some factoids about birth in Japan:

  • Typical hospital/clinic post-partum stays range from 5 to 7 days.
  • Japan has the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world. (Fourth, if you go by another list.)  By comparison, the U.S. is #33 on one list and #46 on the other.
  • Japan has a low rate of C-section births.  (The U.S. has the third highest C-section rate in the world, behind Australia and Italy.)
  • Because Japan has a low birth rate (more people are dying than are being birthed each year), there are wonderful monetary incentives to having children here, even for foreigners. 🙂
  • Very few places, if any, offer an epidural.  (This could be good or bad, depending on how you would like your birth to take place!)
  • I hear the mother’s get fabulous meals and star-treatment during their post-partum stays, complete with massages and facials! 🙂 (We’ll see what options the two clinics we’re interested in offer.)

Looking forward to finding out more..

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5 thoughts on “It’s here! (and pregnancy news)

  1. I think it sounds fantastic, the obvious benefits you have giving birth in Japan! I’m glad they encourage (or even force) natural childbirth – with proper education and being armed, you can still have a pain-free childbirth (I had four, with nary an aspirin!)… the only problem I could forsee myself having is the whole 5-7 day thing. I don’t even stay 5-7 HOURS, let alone days. I believe mom and baby recover much better at home, imeediately after birth (if they don’t stay home in the first place, which is very highly recommended to avoid the mortality and surgery stats you stated here in the US!).

    Congratulations, and I’m very excited for you (and a little jealous)!

  2. I had no idea it was a 5-7 day stay after the birth. With Etta I left after one night and Chloe I think was two. Granted, I had easy births. However, I would contemplate staying 5-7 days if I was getting massages and facials! I’m glad to hear of the low percentage of c-sections here in Japan. I’m surprised to hear the US is so high, but it does seem to be the trend now a days. My friend in Turkey just gave birth and she said she had a hard time finding a dr that would allow her to have a vaginal birth, mostly all dr’s do planned c-section. Crazy! Hope the monetary gift is a good one. Can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. Will you find out at about 20 weeks?

  3. christy, we’ll find out around 18-20 wks is, i guess. depends on where we have to go to have an ultrasound, i don’t think the midwife clinics do them as routine checkups, i don’t know.

    welcome to the blog, sandra! perhaps you’ve commented before, i don’t remember.. but yes, i’m excited! the 5-7 day thing could be good or bad — since J’s birth kind of ended awful and i felt pushed out of the hospital before i was really ready to even take a shower by myself without fainting, a few more days sounded like heaven (2nd degree tear and lots of swelling from 3 hr pushing, separation b/c the cord was around his neck — he was born at 11:45 and I didn’t get to see him till 3am! and LOTS of visitors — being unwise about visitors and not resting enough) .. but perhaps if the birth is good and the recovery is fast, i won’t need to stay as long. we’ll ask about that policy — my guess is i could leave really anytime i wanted to. they have that mainly because mom’s are the sole caregivers for babies (dads work LOTS of hours) and they are concerned about the mom recovering before she takes over everything with the baby. the sad thing is that with that focus, there isn’t much focus on mom/baby bonding.. i hope the midwife clinics are different with this.

  4. How exciting!!!!!!!!!!5to 7 days will be awsome. Will they allow Jones to visit often? You will be blessed I know and I feel better knowing you will be cared for and pampered too.will be anxous to here what you find out and the clinic you found.
    Love you
    Mom

  5. Having just had a VBAC, I have learned a lot about hospitals in America in comparison to the rest of the world. I think you will be pleased with the way they do things there. All that you described sounds fantastic! And Charlotte was born drug-free…YOU CAN DO IT! Did you with Jones?

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