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.
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.
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!