I got up at 6:15 on Saturday and took a very bleary-eyed shower. The night before, Yusuke had worked until almost midnight, and Hannah cried from 6p.m. to midnight too, so we were both really exhausted. It was hospital day again, and as usual, my doctor was too busy for me to schedule an appointment, so the receptionist had advised us to arrive at the hospital before 8a.m., so that we would be able to see him. After learning our lesson from the last time, we packed a flask, measured out some formula and packed two bottles. I had fed Hannah at 5a.m., so knew that she would probably wake to be fed while we were at the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at 7:30 ish. They asked if we would like to check the baby’s weight, so we said, ok and they asked us to wait outside the ‘Mummy’s Room’. I HATE the stupid Mummy’s Room. It should be called the Interrogation Room a.k.a. ‘the room that makes you feel like an incompetent Mummy’
Anyway, we weighed Hannah, and it turns out that she is gaining about 26 grammes per day this time, which the midwives (the Breastfeeding Police) think isn’t enough. When they tell us this, I feel as if I am being accused of child abuse. Tact is definitely not a strong point, but then tact is also not easily translated from one language to another. I am used to their ways, so although I don’t like it, I can filter it easily through the passage between both ears.
The midwife then checked my milk flow, tortured me a little, and then said that she would like to check how the baby is feeding. At this point, I’m anxious about seeing the doctor anyway, because last time that really hurt too, and I don’t want to miss it when they call me in to see him, seeing as I don’t actually have an appointment. So I decide that I don’t want to feed her just yet – besides the fact that she is so asleep that I would have to poke her in the face like a maniac before she was awake enough to realise that food was there. The midwife looked a little dejected, but I didn’t care.
We waited outside the doctor’s room for about an hour, and then I was called in, he said everything was going well, and he didn’t actually hurt me, so it was all very good. He didn’t seem to be as concerned about the baby as the B.F. Police, and said as long as she was gaining weight, I didn’t have to come back to the hospital again for another three weeks.
After seeing the doctor, I agreed to go and feed Hannah, as it really was about time, and I thought it might set Yusuke’s mind at rest. Him being Japanese means he respects the B.F. Police’s opinion more than I do and gets a bit more worried. As I suspected though, Hannah was still quite sleepy and kept falling asleep while I was feeding her (although the midwife kept rubbing her head to wake her up…) Twenty minutes later, she weighed her again, and she hadn’t gained anything. I thought it was hardly surprising seeing as I was a bit angry and Hannah was half-asleep. It didn’t seem the ideal situation. The midwife then said that she would get Tomizawa san (the 90 year old midwife with hands of the devil) to massage me again. At this point I insisted to Yusuke that I had compromised already and I would not let that old woman torture me again!
The midwife looked disappointed again and asked if I could come back in a week, to which I said no, I will come back in three weeks like the doctor told me. Hannah and I have been getting better at feeding since we were at home anyway. The pressure certainly didn’t seem to help (me anyway), so I would rather not go back there to be manhandled by an old granny. She suggested upping the bottled milk to 80ml each time if the breastfeeding didn’t change.
After that, we paid and then went to their cafe for lunch and to give Hannah her bottle. Yusuke laughed at me, because I said that we were “eating out” and he said that eating cheap curry in a hospital cafe was not really eating out. I explained that anything outside the house was eating out to me, considering I can’t leave the house during the week.
All in all, this week’s trip to the hospital was a lot more relaxed than the week before. We even managed to change a pooey nappy in the car again, and discovered that the boot is a much easier place to change a baby than on the passenger seat.
Later that evening, Miyoko and Kyoko came over to babysit for us. They were both wearing aprons, which I thought was really funny! They had bought them especially. They had also been to the shrine and bought a thing to hang on the wall with Hannah’s name on it. I thought it was pretty gaudy…Miyoko was saying to Yusuke, “How about hanging it here”, on the wall opposite the sofa, and I just thought, no way, I know it’s not going in this room..! I wanted to hang it in the corridor, but that wall is on the south side, so she didn’t think that was a very good thing..Anyway, it’s now in the spare room and will probably stay there until she comes next time.
We left them and first drove to the prefectural building (where Yusuke works) so that he could drop off something for his work, and decided to have a look at the night skyline while we were there. The building has 32 floors, so the view is really quite amazing, and very pretty at night with all the lights. We took the ‘sky-view elevator’, which is glass, and a little scary really.
After that, we went to Marisa (one of my favourite pizzerias) for dinner. Yusuke and I used to eat out a lot before the baby, but because we hadn’t eaten out for a long time, it was nicer. We decided to go out to eat on our own at least once a month. We only called home twice (or maybe three times) to check on things. I was surprised at how worried I was. I had seen new mothers stress out on t.v. programmes and stuff, but didn’t realise that I would be like that too! I found myself quite missing Hannah after a while.
When we got home, she was in Grandma’s arms (as she was when we left). They had obviously woken her up, because she wasn’t crying and looked quite tired. They thought that if they woke her up, she would sleep better for us that night. Well that wasn’t the case. Probably overstimulated, she cried for a long time before she finally settled and we were able to get some sleep!