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 😊💕