Birth two

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As I wrote about the first experience I thought I might as complete it and write one for the birth of our second child, Kajerik. Last time a fair bit of the focus was on child birth as well as a large chunk around the topic of being in Japan. But the Japan part did not differ much, so it is not a very interesting story in that aspect.

I was at work on Thursday the 8th of Feb, having returned from lunch a little earlier. I get a call from Ushka at 15:00, which in itself is unusual enough to tell me something was up. Since ordinarily we just chat on IRC, or send phone messages, and since I was at work, nobody from work would call me. Ushka said her water was broken, but nothing else was going on. She gave a definite "you should come home" this time so there was no decision there. I handed off my current/only important task to Erin (sorry), popped downstairs to take out some cash (see? No panic this time around!) and got in a Taxi.

Unfortunately the driver picked to go through Shibuya, a route I dislike. It may be technically a shorter distance, but it takes longer (and cost more!) than going the Yamate-dori way. I sent an email off to the grand parents, and coordinated things with Ushka. She had already called Emily and the Hoikuen so they were prepared. Ironically, by the time I got home, I could have cycled faster, but oh well.

I went up to the apartment and helped with the bags. Ushka was quite calm too, and we caught the first Taxi to the hospital. Quite a relaxing time this time, no contractions though. We naively discussed the possibility that I might be home again by 22:00 or so. (Since Lokien's labour took about 5 hours). Hah!

After all that, we arrived at Seibo Hospital at 16:00 or so, and checked in. When we got there it was quite empty, most rooms available, and only one other person in labour. Still no real contractions, they came and went. Some around 4 minutes apart, sometimes 7 minutes. They asked if we wanted a private room, or shared, for the labour part (different to the after recovery, where Ushka wanted shared room or it would be too lonely.) We picked private since everything was available. (Shared would also be private for a short time too). It was the same room that we had with Lokien, so it all came screaming back then.

They checked the dialation, it was at 4cm. (It was 2cm when we had the Doctor's appointment on the earlier Tuesday.) Ushka got hooked up to the monitoring contraption. The baby's heartbeat was excellent, and contractions still not so regular. We did a lot of walking around the corridors, as you do. Time went forward slowly, eventually we started connecting to the Internet to check mails, and chat. Called Emily to check if there were any problems picking up Lokien, but it sounded like they had a good time. Emily even sent some pictures of Lokien and Lily which was nice to see.

We asked for another dilation check at about 22:00 and unfortunately it was still at 4cm. We tried to sleep a little, but when they saw I would rather be on the floor than to sleep in a chair, they recommended the shared room as I could get a little bit of tatami to sleep on myself. So that was nice. We slept from about 00:00 to about 03:00 or so, but other woman arrived. We could hear the door bell, then they came in. Sleeping to the sound of women having contractions, and "itaiii", followed by baby screams sure is...different..

So, somewhere between 03:00 and 04:00 the contractions started to get more regular, generally about every 2 minutes or so. They still weren't too bad according to Ushka, and the other expecting women who were first-timers sounded like they had a rougher time. Since the labour room had about 4 women, including us, plus another in the private room, they were leaving things until the last minute. They only have two delivery rooms after all, so they want to minimize the time spent in there. Ushka got hooked up to the monitor again so we could see the progress, and I liked being able to see the contraction coming before she knew, so that I could get ready with back rubbing etc. Eventually, they were on top of each other, and fully dilated so Ushka was wheeled into the delivery room. We got room 2 again, which is where we had Lokien. At least there is symmetry.

This was around 07:40 or so, and straight on the bed. We had two nurses, the "higher ranking" nurse was the same one that delivered Lokien. When the monitor for pain/contraction hit 99 for the first time (clocked it!) Ushka did a nice power-chuck, but she totally missed me as I could see it coming (alas, no containers in reach!) The nurse had her sit on a chair (crouching position) which made it go a little too fast, so back to the bed she went. This time when the nurses asked her not to push (just do the hup-hup thing) Ushka managed not too, which probably helped a great deal. Eventually I saw the head (with hair) and an ear. Face down, soon a shoulder, and then the rest came out. The tray that the baby is landing in, was not really big enough. Amusing, Japanese size fits all..

Kajerik was quite purple, but colour changed quite rapidly. Another 4 nurses came in to see the big baby, and they weighed him three times to be sure. Kajerik was breathing better, so they actually handed him to Ushka directly, when I guess we were mentally prepared for him to be wheeled off to the incubator like last time. But not so, baby and mother went into the temporary recovery room while Ushka's room was being prepared. After a while, they took the baby off for checks and further measurements. The time was 07:35 when ha was born.

Over all, very different. Just more relaxed, not much freaking-out at all. Knew what was coming even though it is just as painful and uncomfortable. But at least we knew there was an end to it. This time I was certainly much more aware just how much waiting around there is. We could easily have watched 3 movies! (But then you'd not be "bonding"! Indeed). I felt a little sorry for the first-timers, but there isn't much one can do except reassurances. I still do not "get" why Japanese women chose to go through that alone! That is just insane.

Now, where do I get a vasectomy?