Alive Again

Yesterday, I didn’t even proofread the post before hitting publish (which I never do!). I was functioning but at an apparently low level. So I apologize if there was anything incoherent in there. 

Anyhow, today’s post won’t be long but I did want to say thank you to everyone who has been praying for us– the headache source was indeed epidural related and by the morning, I was unable to even sit for more than 30 seconds before the headache became absolutely unbearable. 

The doctor came, explained what a blood patch was to me and the success rate, had me sign papers in Japanese and viola, I was scheduled for one at 1pm, which could not come soon enough. 

The nurses, as always, were extremely kind to me. They really helped me during the process and the doctor talked to me during the procedure about the difference between American accents and that he has had trouble with British and especially Australian accents in the past. Apparently 1-2 Americans (or English-speaking women?) give birth here every year.

Anyway, PRAISE THE LORD, it worked (the back up plan was vague and scary), and I almost hugged him as he helped me down from the OR table (a place I didn’t really want to see again but now have been able to exit from with a sense of closure- no puns intended).  

Every staff member throughout the rest of the day stopped to chat with me and ask me about my condition and to be elated that I was better. I’m guessing they heard about my hot mess postpartum breakdown last night in front of a nurse and my family with my two year old getting in my face to ask, “mommy, what’s torn? What’s torn?”, which we understand to mean “what’s wrong?”.

So I’m alive again, and so, so happy to enjoy the simple pleasures of life again. Like moving my neck. 

So onto more interesting things:

-Also included in my room “gift bag”- I can’t believe I forgot- was a tiny little wooden box with gold kanji to keep the umbilical cord. Said box is now occupied but what I’m going to do with it, I have yet to figure out. 

-I know not all hospitals offer this here, but included in the hospital stay is one “relaxation time”. I was able to get mine after my headache was gone. It was basically a 30 minute-ish mini-massage and stretching of arm/chest muscles. All is supposed to help the mother recover and be relaxed to help with breastfeeding and all that. I was impressed that she did a massage pull down from skull to shoulder and at one spot I thought, wow that hurt. She stopped, pinpointed that exact spot and asked, “did it hurt here?” 

I’ve found myself asking “how did they know I was going to need…” “how did they know to come with such and such at this moment?” “Oh yeah, I’m gonna need one of those” multiple times during my stay. The Japanese are great at looking ahead and thinking through what you will need and providing it before you need to even ask (or in some cases, think about it). 

While it’s awesome to be on the receiving end, in every day relationships, it can be hard to reciprocate to such a degree because they are so good and reciprocation is always expected (though they’ll say “no, no”). For example, my prego neighbor took me to an appointment in her car a couple of weeks ago and we were going to do baby shopping afterward. I had Rosalyn with me and she had packed a bag of snacks and juice for Rosalyn to enjoy while waiting. I have more stories, but how do you get to be so thoughtful? 

-I get to control the temperature of my room. That is control, people. I think it’s a requirement that all American hospitals be like ice boxes (I understand cooler temperatures mean germs increase more slowly). But not mine! We are nice and toasty up in here. 

-I have a paper from the hospital certifying that baby was born here. This paper I will take to city hall to eventually receive the birth certificate. That’s a process I’ll describe later. But it’s so interesting that I have to go file for myself, it’s not something the hospital does for you here. Everyone has to go through this process. 

-I was handed my paper today telling about how much it would be to discharge from the hospital (to be paid in full on exit). We already paid a down payment to register and leaving will be more than I expected (I think due to the blood patch, but worth every yenny), but it’s really nice not to have a foreboding sense of doom at multiple, vague invoices to be later received asking for payment- a doom augmented by another language. I remember cringing I opened the mailbox. When I’m done here, I’m done. 

And we’ll, for the time being, I’m done here too. I’m going to catch some Zs before the next feeding. 

I’ll keep you posted if anything else interesting happens around here!

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