Two weeks, one week, a few days… a few hours? That’s how long I’ve got before my offspring comes kicking and screaming into the world. The actual due date is May 16, but the doctors have said pretty much any time between last Friday and the 25th. Well, that’s if they don’t get antsy and force a C-section if Hammy doesn’t enter on cue.
I may have mentioned in an earlier post, or elsewhere in social media that I am less than impressed with the clinic we’ve chosen. They are not unusually bad, it seems. We’re hearing from various sources that what we’ve faced is pretty common these days, particularly in Kanagawa and Tokyo, it’s just that other people don’t get so worked up about it.
My wife had her heart set on a different clinic that emphasized natural childbirth, but we weren’t able to reserve a place there. My main problems with our current clinic are as follows:
- The father is not allowed in the examination room except once, at week 34. This means that I didn’t have the experience of seeing my larva’s heart beat at week 12, something other fathers gleefully post about on SNS and talk about for years to come. It also means I wasn’t there when doctors said things to my wife that were upsetting (see below).
- There is one doctor there who is not just blunt, but seems to have no patience with expecting mothers and was reportedly rude to my wife (I wasn’t there; see above) when it was thought we were going to have to book a C-section. Hammy was in breach position at the time (27 weeks, I think), and this doctor treated my wife like an idiot when asked about the possibility of manually turning the baby. (Strangely, this doctor was a woman—I mention it because I have the terrible gender stereotype that a female doctor should actually be more understanding to a pregnant woman worried about the delivery of her first child via having organs yanked out temporarily.) A midwife hastily removed my wife from the examination room at that point and explained things more clearly, but the damage was done.
- The place is C-section happy. If a baby even looks at a doctor funny, the mother goes under the knife. You actually are required to sign a document enabling the doctor to force you to do this even in a non-emergency. My wife, thinking the form was standard, signed it. It is not standard, though increasingly common. My wife questioned this policy when talking to the head doctor (who owns the clinic), and his excuse was “it’s hospital policy”. Dude, you own the hospital. ??!?
- The night/emergency entrance door has a semi-automated buzzer mechanism that even the staff seem to have trouble with. We went into the clinic once in a panic over some unusual bleeding, and spent 10 minutes trying to get in.
On the other hand, I do kind of like the head doctor, and if we do make it to a natural delivery (Hammy turned in week 28), I trust his expertise. I think. Also, it sounds like my wife will be using a birthing chair, which I think is cool.
Of course, this is all distraction from the real issue, which is am I ready? Have I read enough books? Absolutely, positively, fucking not.
Have I read any? No.
On my list:
The two books on infant noises by Priscilla Dunstan (I will probably order those tonight), and the No Cry Sleep Solution (coming via mother express on May 30).
But even better, we’ve got two baby books. That’s right, mofos, count ‘em: two.
We went to the local department store to buy a Japanese one. However, they are basically glorified photo albums with the baby’s name embossed or embroidered or whatever on the front… and they cost 6000 Yen and more. (That’s $60+ bucks for you non-FX types.)
So I went on amazon.co.jp and bought two, because they were much cheaper and I couldn’t decide which one I liked the best. We’ve decided that I will keep one in English, and my wife will keep the other one in Japanese. They are insanely cute, and I may be posting more photos of them as we fill them out.
My wife will be doing the more traditional Claire Beaton one, while I will be writing in the more open and somewhat spartan Sara Midda tome.
I also caved in and ordered two of my favourite childhood books. Yes, I totally could have waited until Hammy was born, let alone old enough to understand them, but the D’Aulaires’ books of Greek and Norse myths were so important to me growing up, that I wanted to have them in the house right from the beginning.
I’ve also received a couple of books from friends, including Ten Toes, Ten Fingers or something like that, and a Ladybug book by the guy who wrote The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar. Those are much more age appropriate, and I look forward to reading them to Hammy soon!
Actually, I’m planning to read whatever I’m reading out loud to Hammy until language skills start to develop. I want to make extra sure my infant gets enough exposure to English.
READY OR NOT…
Not. Not at all.