It’s now week 13, and the growing pains are happening. I’ve been reading about the changes of a pregnant woman’s body throughout pregnancy, and around 13 weeks, there may be pain from the body adjusting to accommodate a growing baby. The pain seems to be happening for a few minutes at a time, but quite strong. From what I’ve read, this is normal. The first trimester is finished, though. That’s 1/3 of the way through. It’s been a fast 3 months.
In Japan, pregnancy and childbirth are not covered by National Health Insurance. They are not considered a medical condition, but rather a self-inflicted condition. I have heard there are plans to include pregnancy in the national insurance, but thanks to the earthquake, this was put on the back burner. The government was planning on giving parents 25,000 yen per month per child, but nothing has been said about this. Having a child is therefore expensive, and one of the deterrents to having children in Japan. It’s one reason the birth rate is low.
On August 11th, we’re going to put a deposit on the birth. Basically, reserving the birth. It’ll cost us 100,000 yen, but this is taken off the cost of the birth. The birth’s actual cost varies, depending on the date, day of the week, type of birth, etc. If it’s on a weekend or holiday, it’s more expensive. So, we’re hoping for a birth in the middle of the week. The cost can vary, but averages about 600,000 yen. 6 months later, we will receive 420,000 yen from the government.
If you’ve had children in Japan, do you have any cost saving advice?
First of all, I’d like to welcome my friends, family and regular readers of my Japan blog to this blog. I’ve started this blog to talk about my adventures in becoming a father and what it’s like to raise kids in Japan. This blog will not affect my Japan blog, which I will continue to update regularly.
Here’s the story up until now. My fiancee and I are expecting a baby in January 2012. The baby is currently at week 12, nearing the end of the first trimester. We first figured that we were going to have a baby when the morning sickness and missed period happened, so we got a pregnancy test. It tested positive. Of course, we’re supposed to test again a week later, so we did. Positive again. This meant it was time for a visit to the women’s clinic! So, while I was working, my fiancee went to a clinic and found out what we had already figured out, she’s pregnant. The baby was at 6 weeks 5 days at the time, and very tiny. Our lives changed instantly. We’re going to be parents!
Over the weeks, we had regular visits at the clinic, getting updates about the baby’s progress. At 8 weeks, 5 days, the baby had the shape of a human. We also had a heartbeat! At 10 weeks, 5 days, it was looking so much more like a baby. It was so real. We then changed clinics, where they revised the age to 11 weeks, 1 day. We had more pictures, including a 4D picture which looked more like a computer generated blob. The big news from the doctor was that this baby is powerful. Very strong, very active and always moving. It’s also a bit big, so we may have a big baby. This visit was just over a week ago. We’re now in week 12, and our next visit to the clinic is August 11th.
How’s my fiancee doing? Well, Aki is suffering from morning sickness every day. The usual pregnancy symptoms are there, feeling sleepy, sick, sometimes hurting, not a big appetite, craving sour food and drinks. After week 13, the morning sickness is supposed to start going away, and the baby bump is supposed to start appearing. This means no more sleeping or lying down on her stomach. Her appetite should return, too.
We won’t know the gender of the baby won’t be known for a while, although I’ve read it can be found out by the 4th month, though most likely around 5th or 6th month. We’ll take either a boy or a girl happily. Actually, we want one of each (just not both with this one pregnancy!). We even have a girl’s name picked out, but no boy’s name yet. We have time to think about it.
Thanks for coming here, and I know this blog doesn’t have much yet, and there’s still a lot of tweaking to do, but I hope you enjoy it.