Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pregnant in Japan, part 4

This past Monday was a little difficult for me.  After I posted my last blog about being in the US, I was feeling pretty homesick.  Everything in Japan is just a little bit harder and some days I feel more up for the challenge than others.  I was missing my dogs, friends and family and being able to read things in the grocery store, driving my cute little car on the side of the road that makes sense, not being stared at where ever I go since I'm the only white lady, being able to find simple things like normal pillows and having this wonderful thing called central heating...  I had one good, solid day of feeling sorry for myself  (I spent the whole day on the uncomfortably hard couch under my blanket in our cold apartment watching American TV shows on Netflix) and then pulled myself together.  I started planning the next trip that Jeff and I are going to take and spent some good times with my friends here in Japan and everything is looking much better and I'm looking forward to the adventure of it again.

Had my regularly scheduled maternity check up visit on Friday.  In Japan they are pretty strict on the weight gain.  They want you to gain only 10 kg which is about 22 lbs through out the course of the pregnancy.  They really want you to have consistent weight gain and add a kg a month.  The first three months of visits, I gained absolutely no weight (I actually dropped 0.2 kg.  I think this was mostly due to muscle loss.  I was running around 30 miles a week and doing some exercises at home and cycling on the weekends.  And then I got queasy and pretty much did nothing except a little walking or biking to and from the train station, I definitely lost some muscle).  My doctor kept telling me "you can eat".  I wasn't sure if she was asking if I was too queasy to eat or if she was telling me to eat more because I wasn't gaining weight.  Either way, things changed this month...

This last visit I seemed to have made up for the last few months and gained almost 4 kg!!!  I think I have to blame most of that on my feeding frenzy when back in the US.  Between the Ben and Jerry's, pizza and Mexican food...  it is safe to say that I ate a few more calories than normal.  My doctor circled the number in red and told me that I shouldn't gain that much weight again.  That I need to only gain one kg a month for the rest of my pregnancy.  Personally I don't really care what I gain all that much.  I fully intend to lose it (I figure I took 9 months to gain it, I get 9 months to lose it.  Sounds fair, right?) but I thought the exchange was funny.

Next I was lying down on the table with my shirt up to expose my growing belly for the ultrasound.  As soon as the doctor sat down, the machine shut down.  There was much frowning and scurrying around by the doctor and the nurse and head scratching followed by the requisite amount of profuse apologies and nervous laughter.  Eventually they turned the machine off, let it sit a moment and then turned it back on again.  It booted up and all seemed good.  The doctor was talking on the phone with what seemed to be the ultrasound company to understand the problem.  She got off the phone squirted gel all over my belly and click, it turned off again.  Jeff had a pretty good view of the proceedings and thinks that the machine was overheating.  There was a box that was behind it and appears to have been blocking the air intake for the cooling fan.  Unfortunately he lacked the Japanese to explain that he is a nerd and understands these things.  So, more scurrying, apologies and waiting as the machine re-booted for the third time.  This time the doctor sat there, ultrasound thingy at the ready and as soon as the machine was working drove around my belly like a Californian trying to avoid rush hour traffic.  She grabbed all the measurements that she wanted, took a couple of pictures, declared everything good and done.  We all cheered.  About three seconds later the machine shut down and we all had a good giggle.

Japanese people hate to be wrong.  Last visit the doctor said "60% girl baby".  This visit "70% girl baby".  "If three visit same, then 100%".  This cracks Jeff and I up but we are stepping up our quest for good girl names.

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