Monday, March 18, 2013

Pregnancy in Japan:Part 2- Post baby

I am very thankful to have had a wonderful Doctor here in Japan. He works out of a clinic. We could have had Samuel at a hospital but Marcia found Dr. Noguchi who speaks English, so we went to his clinic. It was a great experience for us during the pre-natal visits. Everyone was very friendly. 

After Samuel was born, he was taken to a hospital down the street, Seisaikei, that has a NICU where he could receive more specialized care because of having fluid in his lungs when he was born. David was given the option to move me from Dr. Noguchi's clinic to the hospital that Samuel was in so I could be down the hall from him. I am glad that he chose for me to stay at the clinic even though I was away from Samuel. It was hard to be separated but I just tried to focus on resting and recovering so that when we could get Samuel, I would be rested and better able to care for him. 

After the labor, vacuum attempt, and finally ending with a c-section, when I had fully awoken, the Doctor from Seisakei had already assessed Samuel and taken him to the NICU.  I didn't get to see him in person or hold him until February 10.

 David would see him every afternoon and bring me photos that the nurses in the NICU would print out for us.
I had to wait until my IV was taken out and for Dr. Noguchi's approval before I could go see Samuel. They didn't even let David hold him until his feeding tube and IV was taken out. They let me hold him with the feeding tube and IV so that I could feed him.

February 10, our first family photo. 

David's first time holding Samuel when the feeding tube and IV was taken out and he was no longer in an enclosed bed but an open one. 

At the clinic I had my own private room and bathroom and David even stayed on a pull out bed the first few nights with me. In the hospital I would have shared a room with other mom's with only a sheet separating us and we would have had a shared bathroom.

At Dr. Noguchi's clinic we had the same nurses working with us the whole recovery process. The kitchen staff brought meals to our room and even a 3pm tea/snack time. Each morning Dr. Noguchi would come by the room to check in on me. 

For a regular, no problem, delivery the recovery stay is 4 days, however with a c-section I stayed for 5 days. At the end of my stay, I had a check out time with Dr. Noguchi and he released me. Normally Samuel would have been checked out and released also, but we had to wait until the next morning to get him from Seisakei. He got released on Valentine's Day, one week after his birth and one week before David's birthday. 

February 14, Samuel's release day!!

One of the kitchen staff ladies spoke very good English and we exchanged information. She meets occasionally with some friends who speak English to practice and they invited me to meet with them. Her name is Yoko. I am excited to have made this contact and hopefully we can become friends.  

The following are pictures of the clinic and some of my delicious meals:

When you walk into the room, a closet is on the left and the bathroom is on the right. 

The bathroom

The hospital bed was awesome!!

Each mom had a pink or blue baby tag on her door with her name and the birth date of her baby. 

This scale was outside of the rooms in the hallway. Before a mom feeds the baby she will weigh him/her and after she feeds she will weigh again to determine how much the baby ate. I thought that was a great way to know how much milk the baby is receiving. 

These cards are for when mom needs a break or is taking a shower, she will place this card in the front of the baby bed and roll the bed down to the nursery. It tells the nurses what mom is doing. That is very smart especially for change of shift in the nurses. 





The yummy rice
Besides not having Samuel with me, my stay and recovery in Dr. Noguchi's clinic was great. We are enjoying this parenthood journey so far and thankful for your thoughts, prayers, and encouragement during our pregnancy, delivery, and recovery. Samuel is doing great and growing before our very eyes. I can't express how thankful we are for him. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pregnancy in Japan:Part 1-Pre-Baby

David thought it would be good for me to write a little bit about our experience with being pregnant in Japan and some differences we noticed or know of from the U.S. We have never had a baby in the U.S. but I began my pregnancy there and have many friends who have had babies and have shared their experiences throughout the process. 

This is just an introduction to 'Pregnancy in Japan.' I will write a follow-up later with our experience and the stay in the clinic. 

The missionaries here, Tony and Marcia Haug, had 2 of their 3 in Japan and Marcia has helped us with the language barrier through the entire process. She found us an amazing Doctor who has been wonderful and speaks English. Our Doctor's name is Noguchi.

When a woman discovers she is pregnant in Japan, she has to go down to city hall and register her pregnancy. If you are interested in reading about that experience please go to our 'Registering in Shimonoseki' blog post Click Here 

Every time I go for a check-up I have to do several different types of test. They have a blood pressure machine like you find at Wal-Mart or CVS and it takes your blood pressure and heart rate. It prints out a little paper and when you are called by the nurse you give it to her. When the nurse calls, you go back with her and you are weighed and she writes it on the blood pressure paper. 

I was told by friends in states that the glucose test is awful. They make you drink some yucky liquid and then you have to sit for an hour before a blood draw. Here, I was given a clear liquid in a clear glass bottle and it actually tasted like Sprite. It didn't taste bad at all. 

Pretty much only Dr. Noguchi speaks English, there is one nurse who knows more English and she usually checks us in and out. They have all been very sweet. Some of them have short English phrases written in their notebooks that they will use or show me when they want me to do something. Such as, 'step on the scale' or 'please go back to wait' or 'I need to take blood.'

When we are called back to see Dr. Noguchi, the visit is usually very quick. He asks how we are doing and how I am feeling and if we have any questions. He does an ultrasound at every visit and takes measurements and checks the heartbeat of the baby. The ultrasound is sometimes 3D too. He lets us know if anything looks concerning or if everything looks OK. I know that this is something that is different in the U.S. My Doctor in the U.S. told me that he will only do 2 ultrasounds during a pregnancy unless they discover something is wrong; one at the beginning to determine due date and one half-way through to check the anatomy and gender of the baby. That is why I have a photo album (shown below) to hold the photos given to us by Dr. Noguchi, we get at least 2 or 3 at every visit. It has been so fun for David and I to get ready for our Doctor appointments, we get so excited knowing we are going to see baby Samuel. 

At one of our last visits it looked like he was sucking his thumb!! At an earlier visit, just out of the blue, Dr. Noguchi said, 'Oh, American eye socket.' We both laughed and I thought, well yes I hope so :) Discussing it later, David and I thought it was the coolest thing that you can see that even in the womb. I think it has been interesting for our Doctor also to see the different growth patterns of Samuel compared to Japanese babies. When he tells us about the measurements he may say 'Oh, a little big, but OK.' 

The following photos are not in any specific order.

At one of my first visits they gave me a CD, to borrow, and said that this is the music they will play in the deliver room. They wanted me to listen to it and focus on breathing so that during delivery it may help me relax. 

This is the appointment card. Having worked at a Doctor's office, this is a great idea to save on card stock. They put all of my appointments on here until the card is full. Since I started half-way through I wondered if I would fill the card. Only one spot left, so we shall see!!

This book was mentioned in our 'Registering in Shimonoseki' blog post. It's a record of my whole pregnancy. They keep records also so I don't really understand why they write one out for me, but it has been neat to look over how much weight I have gained or how many centimeters my stomach has grown since we began. The city gives you a new book for each child. 
There are special cloth holders for these books. I have seen them at the mall and the baby stores here. They have them in different patterns and themes. It also has pockets for the appointment cards and receipts. 

I was given this in the U.S. at my gender ultrasound but I use it to keep the photos given to us by Dr. Noguchi. 

They give you a Childbirth guide book that has a lot of information about eating healthy, how to take care of yourself during pregnancy, regular visits to the Doctor, labor process, what to pack for the stay in the clinic, and how to care for yourself and your baby immediately following the birth when you go home. I have one in English and Japanese. It has been very helpful.

When we registered our pregnancy in Shimonoseki, they gave me this bag with all of the information and papers, I take it with me to every visit because there are so many things I don't know what they are because they are in Japanese. If the nurses are asking for something I hand them the bag and they can usually find it!!

Stay tuned for another post soon about my stay in the clinic and post-baby.

4 Weeks Old Today

We had a great report yesterday for his 1 month follow-up and he is gaining weight and growing. We are thankful for a healthy baby boy and his funny facial expressions!!