Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
I was already in the end of 41-week. Baby was way overdue. Though he was in normal cephalic position, there was no big contraction. Hence, I was admitted to the hospital for labour induction, where I was made to wear PINK gown with polka dots. Sigh!
Within hours of induction, I sensed something was wrong. I felt strong pain near my stomach area, like Baby was kicking me with all his might. NST (Non-Stress Test) was also showing fetal distress. Baby’s heartbeats were unstable and dropping. My doctor warned that our child may not be able to survive the normal delivery. Time was crucial and he asked us whether I wanted to go for emergency C-sect. I told him of course! JUST CUT ME UP!
I was given spinal block. I think they didn’t wait until I was 100% numb and started operating on me! Or maybe, Japanese have higher pain threshold and need lower dosage of anesthetic than their foreign counterparts…. Who knows! Well, I actually felt them forcefully widening my uterus or whatever body part! I screamed, cried, begged them to do something about the pain and at the same time asking God to save our child. All the doctors could do, was repeatedly telling me “Ganbatte, Ganbatte” (Perserve, Push on). Only when I heard Baby’s first cry, I passed out! (This was the first time in my life that I actually fainted!) I didn’t even get to see or touch him!
Well, the operation lasted 40 minutes. It was a horrible experience, like having gone through a physical torture. Nonetheless, knowing that our child is safe and sound really worth it all! Only my husband and mother-in-law (MIL) saw Baby right after the surgery. Hey, any mummies out there with C-sect experiences to share? My MIL had hers but she said only the epidural injection was tough and she didn’t have any pain during the opt! Hmm….
Guess what! The nurses made me get up and walked the next morning!! (less than 14 hours post op!) Wow even with the pain-killer, the 25-stapled wound hurt so much! Initially I thought moving too much will aggravate the wound but apparently the Japanese thinks otherwise. I wanted to take it easy but they like “MOVE and start walking!” >_<”
In Japan, the length of hospital stay is determined by the type of childbirth. 6 days for natural delivery and 10 days for caesarean. The 10-day hospitalization was boundless and miserable for I was mostly alone due to strict visiting hours. And to make matter worst, due to miscommunication, I had Baby room-in for full 24 hours on my 3rd post-op (with almost no help from the nurses), while other C-sect mummies room-in with their babies on their 5th post-op onwards. Almost everyday, I was in tears as I struggled with language-deficiency, pain, sleep-deprivation and the bewilderment of motherhood. You can imagined my joy, when Baby and I were finally discharged and “reunited” with our family.
A piece of me and baby – umbilical cord.
In Japan, it is mandatory to notify our local municipal office within 14 days after the baby was born. Hence, we registered our son immediately on the day we were discharged from the hospital. The amount of paperwork to fill was really scary, I think I will freak out if not for my husband. Really appreciate him.
We have two cats, Pooh and Gracie – the first babies in the family. At first, we thought Pooh (the one who is used to being the center of attention) will have a hard time accepting our first child. To our surprise, he is actually very okay. On many occasions, he was seen sitting comfortably near the baby, appeared like a big brother watching over his little bro. On contrary, the friendly and good-natured Gracie seems to have baby phobia, especially when our little boy is wailing away!
This may looks like a blow-up version of the nets we use to cover dishes, to prevent flies from getting to the food. The Kaya (蚊帳) is used to cover infants, a common strategy against mosquitoes. However, we used it to prevent our cats from sleeping on top of our boy or scratched him unintentionally, especially the 8-kg Pooh! In Japan, they even have larger ones, where baby and mummy sleep together!