I started to label this post “Giving Birth in Japan, part 1”, but then that gives the idea that there will be a part two, etc. And I’m not making any guarantees.
I do want to document it though as much for myself as for anyone else who might be interested or who might give birth in Japan some day.
I think this is my first post this year, much to my shame, therefore I’m not guaranteeing more while I’m here. Nonetheless, eventually I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say about the experience and getting foreign babies registered overseas.
Though we had the option for VBAC, we went with a scheduled csection (most hospitals in Japan don’t offer VBAC it seems, ours does). Our reason has little to do with convenience or preference, but with the fact that VBAC is considerably more expensive than a csection, which happens to fall under regular health insurance. Giving birth naturally does not. Go figure
A friend recommended this hospital once we moved to a different city and prefecture, around 16-18 weeks pregnant. In our previous city,I had been to a regular city hospital and a medical college hospital. The latter I was extremely unimpressed with.
And I love this hospital- Matsuda Boshi Clinic. It’s clean, nice looking and the staff is friendly and helpful to the Nth degree. Whenever I’ve mentioned that I’m giving birth here (the which-hospital question is a common question wherever you go, it seems), I always get the answer, “Oh! I’ve heard the food is very good there!”
And so it is. One thing different than America is that the check you in about 24 hours or so before the csection. So, tonight I’m chillaxing here in my huge bed, watching Japanese game shows and writing this post.
I received a nice bag upon arrival full of goodies– hospital gowns for pre-birth and after birth, the afterward undies, socks, a gift set hairbrush and toothbrush and random other things. Also, I have an iPad at my disposal (but not for taking home!) that I can watch YouTube on and a key to my room and drawers.
Since arrival, I think I’ve been visited by a different staff member every 30-60 minutes, either for food or baby monitoring or looking at the mother-child handbook, discussing medication, and for pre-op preparations and notifications on what I will need to do. Every staff member asks me similar questions about my Japanese ability, though I think they discuss it at the nurses station. But they are kind to answer all my questions. I’m sure I take up more of their time than the average patient.
The most amusing thing that happened today was that my actual doctor came in (great doctor- apparently he was so popular at his previous hospital that he opened his own clinic) and he stared for a few moments at my hair straightener (I had just taken a shower (in the general use shower room down the hall), and asked what it was. He wasn’t sure and so I explained the use to him and he’s like, oh I’ve heard of them but never seen one before. He left and I chuckled.
The sole purpose of his visit though was to basically tell me to go to bed earlier than usual tonight.
Aye, aye Captain. No problem there. I’ve had a cold/sinus infection going on for the last 5 or so days and between that and preparations for my husband and daughter to be at home without me for a week, I’m wiped out.
[I miss them already…]
I think I have one more visit tonight to do some baby monitoring and then I’m headed to bed, for my last full night of sleep for the foreseeable future.
Tomorrow is bound to be an interesting day! Will be back when I have both time and energy…