The alarm went off at 7a.m., which was much too soon for me…I dragged myself out of bed, woke Yusuke up, and we made our way to the hospital. My back hurts today, so I was finding it difficult to walk very fast. Today was the last big check-up before the birth, and as my “regular” doctor didn’t have an appointment slot, I had to see yet another doctor. Before I went in to see him, there were a load of things that I had to have done.
First of all, I had to take a “Non-stress Test”, which checks the baby’s heartbeat, and mother and baby stress levels. I had to go into a room and lie on something a bit like a dentist’s chair (but not as scary). They put some monitors on my stomach covered me up with a towel and told me to sit there for thirty minutes. At first I thought it would be quite boring, but it was nice and relaxing in that room. They had magazines and a big t.v. and stuff, and I even slept a little bit. There were another two women in the room, and their bumps were huge! Strange as we are all at the same stage of pregnancy. Everytime the baby moved, the sound of the machine got really loud, and as it seemed to be time to wake up for my baby, the machine was banging away. I felt a little bit embarassed. The woman next to me didn’t have any movement, so the nurse had to put some vibrating buzzy thing on her stomach to wake up the baby. It was the first time I’d actually heard anything from inside, so it was kind of fun.
After that, the anaesthesiologist had me fill in a medical history form to give her some information for the epidural. Then I had my blood checked for all kinds of things. The rubbish woman took my blood today and it really hurt. I could have slapped her, but it’s not as bruised as it was last time she was the one who did it.
Then I had to have some kind of heart/pulse check which involved small suckers along my chest and big clips on my wrists and ankles. I’m still not really sure what that achieved, but they said it was ok. I think that was also a test for the epidural. Then we actually got to see the baby, who is getting fatter! Her nose and mouth look really squashed up, like Frank Bruno or something! At first, her arms were covering her face again – seems to be a favourite position of hers – but she moved them down to show us her squashed up face. The two balls are her hands. She now weighs 2543g, which is good for her age.
Next step was an X-Ray, which was pretty fast and straightforward, and then I got to see the doctor from hell. It’s the last time I make an appointment with a doctor in Japan over 40 years old. Their technique seems to be very impersonal and dated. He especially seemed to be in some kind of a hurry, so I came out of the room feeling quite horrible.
I then had to go into the “Mummy’s Room” for feeding advice. They showed me how to feed with a 3kg doll, which was quite funny. The woman who usually translates for me was on holiday today, so poor Yusuke had to help me with the language.
It was a really long time, but everything seemed to be okay baby-wise, and all the tests that I took today were ok, so I should really be feeling happy. It took three hours in total though, which was a bit stressful, as it was also pretty busy in the hospital today. My next appointment will be this Saturday, and although my regular doctor is booked up, they agreed to let me come in without an appointment. They said if I could arrive just before 8a.m., they might be able to fit me in then. At that time, the doctor may be able to tell me when he would like to admit me.