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My second birthing experience in Japan.

As you all already know, I had my beautiful daughter last August. It was my second pregnancy here in Japan. So I kind of knew what to expect. The base hospital had recently opened and I was scheduled to be induced. To my luck, I received a call the day or two before that it would be cancelled. I won’t get into the details, but long story short, they told me no one was going to be delivering on base until certain problems got fixed (it’s still not opened, after 6 months.)

Unlike my other two pregnancies, I had many days where I thought I would be going into labor. The contractions would come and go, the back pain was getting worse, and I just didn’t have any energy to get through the day. The hospital off base declined to induce me, they simply told me that since I had a history of going into labor early, they felt it would happen again. I’ve had cholestasis while pregnant in all pregnancies so I am not able to go full term since I am at high risk of having a stillborn. Naturally I freaked out. I was upset, worried, and just done with being pregnant . Thankfully, Jen came to the rescue! Jen had reached out to me about helping me out- thanks to Ana! Jen was going through her process of becoming a doula. I’m not going to lie, at first I didn’t really know much about a doula, but I still decided to meet with her. We instantly clicked. She is just really kind, knowledgeable, and I got the feeling that she really loved what she was doing. I loved how she instantly started to get informed about my health concerns. It was a relief. She would often check up on me, come with me on my appointments, and just loved having her around me. Her smile and happy personality is so contagious. It is exactly what I needed at that time!

Since my water had broken on my previous pregnancies, that is what I was expecting. That didn’t happen this time. This time I started to get contractions in the morning. They kept getting closer to each other and much more painful. I remember messaging her that I would make my way to ACC. When I left my house my contractions were about 5/6 mins apart. When I got to ACC they were 4/5 apart. By then we decided to meet up at ICC. I wasn’t able to messaged her on route since they had me all strapped inside the ambulance. I remember telling myself, remember how she (Jen) told you to breath. The contractions were coming like crazy. By the time I got to ICC and started the check in process I was dilating pretty quick and contractions were about 4 mins apart. Finally I was put in a room, right onto a delivering bed. Jen finally arrived and was on it the minute she came inside my room! She helped me changed clothes, reminded me how to breath…because we all know how easy it is to lose control of what we are doing as the pain gets worse! I don’t do epidurals. I don’t have anything against them, I’m just afraid of needles! So the pain was horrible! It was all coming so fast, but Jen has her game face on! It was relieving to hear her tell my husband how to help me and comfort me. She also kept me laughing and talking during my contractions which helped me with my anxiety. When it was time to push I completely freaked out. I remember screaming that I just couldn’t do it. I remember the doctor telling Jen she had to calm me down and tell me to push because I was starting to lose it! Lol. She got on it, she had me control my breathing and within three pushes Emma was out! It was so quick and much less painful than the other two! It was a really nice experience. Also, because it was the first time my husband was there with me. Jen was also able to capture beautiful pictures of Emma, myself and my husband. Truly beautiful.

Jen helped me in so many ways. She simply made this experience much easier and less painful. She became a really good friend and was so bummed out that she as going to PCS. She is now in CA, but we still keep contact. Jen if you read this, thank you so much again.

Thank you for…

Reminding me of my appointments, you know how forgetful I was.

Going to my appointments and asking my Dr. questions that never crossed my mind asking.

For checking on me and making sure I was feeling well.

For everything you did during labor and delivery.

For the pictures you took of Emma, capturing her first moments of her life 💕

For checking on me after I had Emma.

For bringing me Snickers the day after I had Emma, you knew how much I had been craving those things but couldn’t have them when I was pregnant lol

For giving me the wrap, baby Emma certainly loved it.

Thank you for everything! You are an amazing person and I hope you keep helping more soon to be mamas wherever life takes you. ❤️

I also want to thank Stephanie, another doula for checking on me after giving birth to Emma and bringing me oatmeal and some delicious homemade soup to get my milk supply up.

For you ladies who are on the fence about getting a doula, do it! It is so helpful. Not only are they with you physically but also emotionally. Jen helped me become less stressed and gave me the courage to get baby Emma out!

As far as the stay, the staff at ICC was really friendly. I was able to be with Emma for a few hours after she was born and then I was put in a shared room. I didn’t mind it. My body needed to rest. The staff would wake me up when it was time to go breastfeed Emma. The next morning I was moved into a private room. Baby Emma was also moved into my room, so I was able to be with her all the time from then. I was at ICC for four days. Yes, it is much longer than a typical stay back in the states. However, I felt like I healed faster. I was able to get more rest while I was there. It did get boring, but I quaint mind it again. The food was amazing! Everything was delicious! Here are a few pictures of the food.

A big step up from the hospital food you get back in the states in my opinion . Overall, I had a nice stay, but Dr. Shoji’s was definitely much more family friendly and their food was way better! I still crave their fish haha!

Here is what I received from ICC: basic personal hygiene items, some breastpads, and other stuff for me and baby Emma.

Well that is pretty much it for my second birth experience here in Japan. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

Hope you enjoyed 😊💕

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It’s been a long time….

I can’t even remember the last time I wrote on my blog! I know it was while I was pregnant with my daughter…..and my daughter is about to be 6 months! These past months have been very busy! Having a third baby was hard, but delivery was a breeze. It was painful, but I had the best doula/friend by my side which made my delivery smooth, quick, and a pleasant experience. I will be writing a blog about my delivery and about my amazing doula, Jen next.

Back to having a third child……

It is hard having three kids…3 yrs, 1 1/2 yrs, and 6 months.

Many sleepless nights…

Many sick days…too many in my opinion..

A lot of crying…

Many diapers to change (3 year old is potty trained already, but when she was born he still wore diapers.)

Many headaches…

But, we’ve also had…

Many more smiles,

Many more hugs & kisses

Even more special memories,

Many things learned (you’ll be surprised how much quicker younger siblings learn!),

and so much more LOVE!

I love my kids! Yes, they can be a pain sometimes, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! They have definitely made me become a better person overall.

It has been very difficult to adjust, but slowly I KNOW I will find a balance. So for all my moms out there, if you have any advice, please let me know! I would greatly appreciate it.

Besides my daughter, nothing much has changed in the past few months. My bow business is still growing, and I’m still learning many new ways to create bows. The best part about having a hair bow business is that your daughter will never run out of bows!! When I found out I was having a girl I was so excited because I was finally going to be able to make bows for my own daughter!

I know it is February, but I never made a blog about new year goals. So here are my goals:

  1. Making sure I take care of myself. I have always put people first. I was the person that wanted to do everything by myself, help everyone, be the one that people could count on. Sadly, some people took advantage of it. It got to me. I was so stressed. So I decided to put myself first. I made sure I had time for myself. I enjoy making hair bows, reading, listening to music (Post Malone being my go to right now), watching movies/TV shows, and shopping out in town- yes Daiso!
  2. Making healthier choices. NO DIETS. I gave up soda (I did have some while I had the stomach flu , but only because it was the only thing that made me burp and didn’t come right out after drinking it.) I’ve decreased food portion sizes,  I’m trying to drink more water everyday, and going to try and meal-prep soon.
  3. Workout. Running last year worked at the beginning, but it’s just not my thing. I will do it, but it’s a drag sometimes to keep up with it. I’ve started to do Zumba instead (at home.) I love it, gets me moving, it’s fun and I feel like I get a workout. I plan on going to Zumba on the weekends and weekdays when I can. Also, I want to eventually be able to lift weights. I want to feel strong, I want to be fit. It’s not about losing weight anymore, I just want to be fit! I want to be able to do things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time!!! Like flip one of those huge tires!

 4. Family time. Most of you probably think this should be at the top of my list. The reality is I need to be both mentally and physically fit to have the best time with my kids. If I’m stressed all the time, if I keep beating myself for how I look/feel, it will reflect how I am with my kids. Things won’t be as fun, getting stressed for the smallest thing they do….you know we all do it. So I feel like I need to work on myself to be the best role model for my kids, because they will easily pick up the bad habits I have. I definitely don’t want them doing that. I feel like I can’t keep up with their energy! It’s sad, I want to be able to play with my kids and do more outdoor things.

5. Travel. Traveling with 3 kids is hard, but we want them to experience so much as kids! Traveling can get expensive so we’ve decided to keep it in Japan. We may do South Korea or Thailand. We made our first trip to Osaka a few weeks ago. I will be doing a blog on that soon! We fell in love with Osaka! Other places we definitely will be traveling to are: Fukuoka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Okinawa, and Osaka again. We only have a year left in Japan, so definitely taking advantage of it!

Well that was my recap to the last few months! I plan on making one blog every week, so stay tuned. If you have any recommendations on where to travel please let me know. Thank you all!

Mayra

 

 

 

Hair bows, Uncategorized

It’s All About the Glitter!

Hi everyone, I meant to post this sooner, but my little ones got sick. They both have hand, foot, mouth disease and it is no joke! If any of you have any advice to make my little one feel better sooner, please let me know 😀 I would greatly appreciated!

Now to the bows……

I love to make hair bows and my latest obsession has been chunky glitter bows! They are beautiful, sparkly, and definitely eye-catching. My best selling bows are the “Double Chunky Glitter Bows” and the “Dolly” which are available in 3 sizes. I trace and hand cut all my double chunky glitter bows. I use the Sizzix Big Shot Die Cut Machine to cut my “Dolly” bows. The die cut is also from Sizzix. You can purchase at any craft store and many times you can find it on sale or use a coupon. Since I was in Japan when I purchased mine, I had to buy it through Amazon. The rest of the stores wouldn’t ship here! Unfortunately, Sizzix discontinued making their Dolly die cut, but I’ve heard you can find similar ones on Etsy.

The first thing I do is browse for glitter sheets online. One question I’ve been asked about is if I buy off Amazon or AliExpress. I do not and will never buy glitter from there. Amazon has cheap fine glitter sheets that will have the glitter fall out. I’ve heard bad things about AliExpress (regarding chunky glitter); people receiving bad glitter sheets, wrong colors, waiting months to receive items, or never receiving their items. I’m just talking about glitter sheets. I’ve heard people have ordered other items through them and received items that they were happy with. I may have to do a random AliExpress haul in the future, just to experience it.

Let’s move on to the process. Like I mentioned before, my best sellers are the ones I have to trace and hand-cut. It takes forever, but the end result is so worth it. I trace all sheets that I will be cutting first. Sheets that have a black backing can be very difficult to see, so I use a silver metallic sharpie. For the rest of the sheets I use a fabric pen which ink disappears when spraying with water.

Then I will cut all my pieces I will be making for the day and start to glue them together. After many trial and error, the best hot glue gun and glue sticks I have come across are by the brand SureBond. The hot glue gun does not leak which is a huge plus for me and it heats up pretty fast.

After all bows are put together, I will separate bows into two piles: Hair clips and Headbands. Personally for my big double chunky glitter bows I prefer to put on an alligator clip with teeth. Due to some glitter sheets being a little thicker, I do not recommend putting them on nylon headband because some will slip down constantly, especially if baby doesn’t have any hair. 😀

Then once hardware is on, they are ready to be sold. These glitter bows are my #1 seller and they will sell as I post them! 😁✨

This is my number one seller at the moment!

So that is pretty much my process. Nothing magical, but definitely worth the time. 

If you have any questions about the process, feel free to comment or message me. These bows are so cute and my customers LOVE them!! I love reading messages from them saying they get compliments on them all the time!

I can’t wait until my daughter gets to wear them! Only 2 more weeks and my first baby girl will be here! 😀

I hope you all have an amazing day! 

Love from Japan!! 😀 

pregnancy

34 Weeks!

Tomorrow I will be 34 weeks and it is a big accomplishment since my last one was born at 33. This is my third, but it is very different than my last two! My first girl and I am beyond excited!

This pregnancy has treated me a little better than my last two. I have always been considered high risk since I get cholestasis during my last trimester. For those who don’t know what it is, I’m just going to keep it simple: you get extremely itchy all over your body (for me at least, I know others only experience it in certain parts of their bodies) and you are at risk of having a stillbirth, so in most cases they will induce you at 37 weeks or sooner if needed. Both my sons were premature, so I have never made it to 37 weeks and I’m sure this time around will be no different.

Now, as you all know, I live in Japan. My first son was born in California and my second was born here in Iwakuni and it was quite an experience! First of all, the building looked more like a clinic than an actual hospital and was very old. At first I was a little worried, but the staff there was so nice! They had a few nurses that understood some English, but somehow we would always get our message across with single words or google translate! The one thing I really enjoyed about my appointments is that I would get an ultrasound every time I went plus they would record it on a CD and was able to show my husband at home.

THE DELIVERY!

It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life! It made my first one seem like a piece of cake! Contractions were extremely painful (no epidural or medication for this lady.) They were so painful that at some point I had my husband grab my hand and I told him I didn’t think I would be able to make it through. It was horrible, I had never in my life felt so much pain! Also, while I was in labor they had me eat. This was different since back in the states they don’t recommend you eating or drinking a lot of water (when I asked for water during my first time going through labor, they brought me some ice cubes.) I’m sure you all know why they recommend not to drink or eat. Anyways, my first thought was that maybe it was for my husband and my son who were there with me. My husband went to ask and they put the food right next to my bed and helped me sit and told me to eat. I was hungry, so I ate.

So after being in labor for about 10 hours or so, my body naturally started to push. When we tried telling one of the nurses, they could not understand us and eventually had the doctor come and check me. He told me I was only 5cm and left the room. I knew in my body that it was time. Right after he left, I told my husband to get a nurse that understood some english. She came and told me to lay down, but I kept telling her it was time. Eventually she saw I was pushing and that’s when she told me not to push and looked under there immediately ran out the door calling another nurse. They had to take me to the delivery room, so I got up, but every step I took was a challenge. When we made it to the delivery room there was a family (American) that was touring the clinic….with their children! Of course, just as they were walking down I felt another [extremely] painful contraction so, naturally, I screamed in pain! Those poor kids are never going to forget that moment I bet! They just looked at me and started to run out of the room! The nurses then ran inside and started to set up the bed, eventually they had me lay down. Again, I started to push. I couldn’t stop my body from doing it! Baby wanted to come out! The nurse was very sweet and kept telling me, “NO PUSH, doctor not here!” There was nothing I could do, my body was taking over me and it just needed to happen! About a minute after, I just didn’t know how much longer I could take. I felt like I was dying and I could feel baby coming out! Thankfully at that moment, the doctor walked in, washed his hands, put his gloves on and within 3 or 4 pushes baby came out! The second my son came out it was instant relief! All the pain had left my body and I had my baby boy in my arms. It was such an amazing experience to have him there with me. My first son was rushed to another room as soon as he came out due to breathing problems, and I didn’t get to see him until later on. Eventually I was moved to another room. It was small, but I did not care. My son was healthy even though he was born at 33 weeks and that’s all that mattered.

Aftercare 

In that clinic, a woman is required to stay at least 4 days! Yes, you read that correct…4 days! You don’t get the boot after being there for 24 to 48 hours. The care was amazing. They brought me this bag full of personal hygiene items for me and some cute items for my new baby. The bag had a hello kitty on it (typical right?!) 😀

Food was amazing! I wish I could have taken picture of it. I had 3 meals a day and tea time! Food consisted of typical Japanese cuisine; rice, miso soup, salad, a protein (mostly fish), a fruit, bread, and dessert. It seems like a lot, but Japanese portions are rather small than what we are used to. The food was made at the clinic and you could smell it as they were cooking it. Tea time consisted of either coffee or tea and a small snack.

The nurses were amazing! They would update me on my son and wanted me to get rest. I remember they walked in many times and saw me awake and they would come and had me lay down and tell me to sleep and rest. One of them even tucked me in! They were very friendly, always asked if I needed anything, and just made sure I had a memorable stay. If I could deliver there again, I would definitely do it! Unfortunately I was too far in my pregnancy to get transferred there this time around. I was lucky enough to go through this experience. It was difficult, but they definitely did their best to make me comfortable.

Well that was my experience giving birth in a Japanese clinic. This time it is planned for me to give birth on base, but there is a chance I may go to the hospital out in town (different than where I had my son, and much bigger.) I will definitely be writing about my experience in this hospital, since it was opened about a month ago and last appointment the nurse told me only 3 women had given birth there. I am a little hesitant about having my daughter there since it is a new facility with new staff, but so far the staff have been very friendly! I go twice a week to do a Non Stress test and they have been very great with explaining everything to me and seem happy to be there for us.

Well this was my experience of giving birth in Japan, personally I really liked that we get to stay at the hospital longer and really have out bodies rest and heal. I did feel like I was able to do more things once I went back home. I felt less tired and healed faster.

If there are any questions you would like to ask, please feel free to do so! I will say every pregnancy is different, but knowing what others have gone through, what worked and did not work for them is helpful in getting through pregnancy.

Thank you all for reading!

Tomorrow I will be talking about my hobby/small business! I make hair bows, but I am going to be focusing on a new trend: chunky glitter bows!!!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your night! 

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Busy Sunday Morning!

Hello everyone, it’s Sunday evening here in Japan and my day has felt so long! Thanks to my 11 month old! My son decided it was a great idea to wake up at 5:45am this morning, usually I wouldn’t mind, but this mama is 33 weeks pregnant, wakes up about 4 to 6 times a night to either breastfeed or go to the bathroom. Not to mention all the times I wake up because I am super uncomfortable with this belly, but I’m almost there and I can’t wait for my first daughter to be born. Yes, it will probably be harder to manage my 3 kids, but with the help of my husband I’m sure we can make it work.

On the bright side, I was able to get done a lot today! Keeping a house clean when you have a 2 1/2 year old and 11 month old is pretty hard, plus I’m pregnant! So there is a lot that I cannot do, even though I try, or I’m just too tired! Anyways, my main goal today was to finish cleaning the kitchen. Deep cleaning the kitchen, and I did it! I washed dishes, cleared the counters (there were a lot of things that did not need to be on the counters, like my husband’s small [dried] tree, or his coffee pot that he NEVER uses, as well as some other kitchen decor), cleared the table (I’ll admit I had a lot of my craft stuff on it), cleaned out the fridge and pantry, and deep cleaned the stove! My husband also helped by putting away the heavier items, separating trash (definitely more to separate here in Japan), throwing away trash, taking care of the kids, sweeping, washing some clothes, and cleaning the living room. Best part? We finished before 11am! It was such a relief specially since he was going to work that afternoon/evening.

Since I would have my kids to myself for the rest of the day, I knew I wouldn’t be able to work on any of my crafts. I have orders to finish for my small business…I make bows and other lovely creations such as tutus and felt floral headbands. Also, I’ve been wanting to play with my new Cricut Maker! My first project was cutting out my sons’ names on vinyl  to put on their beds. I ran into a problem but was able to fix it. I definitely want to try out cutting fabric on the Maker to make my fabric bows. Have any of you tried it? Let me know how it went please! Any projects you’ve done that are a must do and easy? Any advice for newbies? Please comment below, any advice will help this Cricut newbie.

For my next upcoming blogs, what would you like me to write about?

  • Crafts?
  • Mom life?
  • Pregnancy?
  • Japan life?
  • Japanese food/snacks?
  • Hauls?

Please let me know in comments.

I was thinking of doing a Daiso haul!!! If you don’t know about Daiso, let me tell you it’s an amazing, affordable store. Like Dollar Tree in the US, but so much better! So much you can find there!

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The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! I’m a crafter, small business owner, and awesome mom of 2 (soon to be 3.) I’ve been living in Japan for a year and four months and it has been an incredible experience so far! I’ve decided to start a blog to share with all of you my experiences as a mom, living in Japan, and as a crafter.

Hope you all enjoy and join me in this incredible journey!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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