On Friday night, I woke up at 2a.m., and then didn’t go back to bed and sleep until 4a.m. I won’t go into too much detail, but I had been having toilet problems and in quite a lot of pain, so I was so tired and miserable. The alarm went off again at 6:30a.m. and I managed to force myself out of bed about 20 minutes later (my snooze doesn’t last long enough!). Saturday morning was “tokubetsukenshin” (special check-up) at the hospital. Hannah had her toast in the car, because I couldn’t get either of us out of bed in time. We arrived there at just after 8 o’clock. My appointment was at 8:30, but they like you to get there about half an hour before for the tokubetsukenshin because there are some blood tests before the doctor’s appointment.
We went to the blood test room as soon as we got there, and only really had to wait for a few minutes (v. rare). After the blood test, we were called in for the “family scan”. We had planned to take Hannah to the nursery there when it opened at 9a.m., but it was all moving very quickly, so we didn’t bother in the end. Baby had grown quite a bit, and we could see everything really clearly, the spine, heart beating, and especially the hands and feet. Baby was grabbing his/her foot. We couldn’t find out the sex of the baby yet. The scan woman seemed to think it would be around 25 weeks that we would be able to tell. The suspense is killing me! Every time I buy clothes for Hannah I wonder whether I should buy neutral colours or whether pink is ok…How silly that I have become that kind of colour nazi!!! Of course most important is the fact that baby is doing well!
After the scan, which was quite long and involved Hannah slapping at my naked belly for most of it (because Yusuke was videoing it and couldn’t keep her off me!), I went for the doc’s check-up. Yusuke came in after the examination to translate for me. I had some questions about birth options. After being told that Active Birth is possible there, the doctor told me that stage 2 (the pushing part) would have to take place on the bed..I was all set for kneeling/squatting after all of the scientific benefits I have read about it, so it set me back quite a bit. He said that he didn’t even know any other doctors in Gunma that did that kind of birth. During the first stage, I will be able to move around as much as I want, they won’t need constant monitoring like last time with the epidural, and I will pretty much have the freedom to do what I want. That, of course, is good news. They used to have a water pool there, but they got rid of it because of some hospital where a baby had died from infection from the water (hmmm..not sure about that one). He seemed to think that there may be the possibility that they could do something for me when I said that I would be willing to use the bed (just not lying down). He seemed interested in the possibilities, and said something about the lack of staff and that we should talk to the midwives. So, I will write my birth plan and then talk to the midwife next time. Like I said to Yusuke, I have no idea if I will eventually want to give birth squatting/kneeling/standing on my head or lying down, but I would feel much better at having the option. Fingers crossed!!
Last of all I went to the Mummy’s Room…Remember? The TORTURE CHAMBER? I was determined to be positive about it all. I went in there alone, with no translator. I decided it was better not to be able to understand 100% of what was said. The first thing I told the midwife (one of the women I remember from Hannah’s time, of course she was one of the annoying ones..) was that I was unable to succeed in breastfeeding last time, but that this time I was determined. I got some brownie points for that one, but she still went on to her rehearsed speech about the “merits” of breastfeeding. Not sure why this was. Why try to convert the converted? It was then I wished I understood less. Here was a woman who knew I hadn’t breastfed my first child…First thing she said was that bottle fed babies are more likely to be fat, get various cancers and other such lovelies, etc. etc. I was very good. I bit my tongue, although I’m sure that if I had the language, I would have given her a piece of my mind.
After the lecture came the “massage”, which used to conjure up such relaxing images..hmm, no more!! She had me doing one side while she did the other. Nice. OW! OW! OW! That lasted longer than I wanted it to, and I wasn’t really happy that the curtain was only half way round, so other patients were walking by staring in. It’s one thing being stared at because I’m foreign, but having it done while I’m half naked is quite another.
After all that, and paying, of course, we were all done by 10:15! Yay!