Tomoe, 5 days old

After working a day, I could finally go back to the clinic to see my wife and daughter.  It was great to see them!  But last night, after my last post, my wife sent me a picture.  This is what I got.

Last night, my wife took this picture of Tomoe feeding.

She’s feeding pretty well, but apparently, she’s drinking milk sometimes and formula other times.  Today, she was supposed to be fed around 4pm, but when I arrived, she was sound asleep. A nurse said she’s the kind of baby that drinks a lot, then sleeps a long time.  My visit today was shorter than usual, but I got some great pictures and a great treat from her.  So, to start, here is what I got to see when I arrived.

She was sleeping peacefully when I saw her today.

Tomoe now has 4 roommates. 1 other girl and 3 boys.

She's making a funny face after stretching.

It was time for her to be fed, so I went to the dining room to wait and read a while.  When feeding was done, my wife came and got me to see her.  She was awake!

After being fed, she was awake for a while.

Looking right at me!

Oh, she's crying now.

Just before I went home, she looked at me again.

When she started crying, I was surprised about how I felt.  I wanted to help her somehow.  I guess there was nothing I could do.  She could have been tired or still a bit hungry.  She has a big appetite!  She stopped crying just before dinner service started.  I had to go home.  But she gave me one last look before I went home.

Unfortunately, I can’t see them tomorrow or Wednesday due to work.  However, they’re coming home on Thursday!  I can’t wait.


Tomoe, 4 days old

Today, I had to work.  I was unable to go to the clinic to see my wife and Tomoe.  However, she did send me a couple of pictures.  Tomoe has been a bit more awake today, and has been feeding well.  She finally started breastfeeding last night, and she’s been a hungry little girl.  She also got to meet her grandpa today.  For today, I just have these two pictures.  Enjoy!

She's awake! And she's been feeding well.

Now she's back to sleep, though with a funny face.

Tomoe, 3 days old

Today is my last day off from work.  I return to work tomorrow, so I can’t see her tomorrow.  I had to enjoy being with Tomoe as much as possible today.  I did a lot of watching.  She didn’t really do much most of the time, just slept peacefully.

Tomoe was sleeping in this position almost the entire time I was there.

I wasn’t sure I was going to get many pictures that didn’t look the same.  I did get a chance later for some interesting pictures, though.

Before I get to that, my wife’s grandmother, aunt and uncle visited her and Tomoe at the clinic today.  This was only the second time I’ve met her aunt and uncle, but her grandmother lives next door to her parents.  Her grandmother kept watching Tomoe very intently and would repeat “kawaii ne” often.  She was saying “Cute, isn’t she?”  She seemed to really enjoy watching Tomoe.  They didn’t stay long and soon left after some chatting.  So, I got back to taking pictures.

Not quite a smile.

Making faces at me.

Is she trying to hide?

Just continuing to look cute.

Just before I went home, she made this face.

Tomoe was moving quite a bit near the end of my visit.  She was making a lot of involuntary jerky movements with her arms.  This is normal, and is a sign that her nervous system is still developing.  Her brain is still being wired.

My wife is walking pretty close to normal now.  She’s been feeling back pain due to using her muscles differently, as her posture has returned to her pre-pregnancy state.  I got to see the cut that the doctor made for the Caesarean section.  It was much shorter than I expected.

One last thing before I finish.  In Japan, it is traditional for family members to give new parents gift money in envelopes.  Unlike in Canada, where a gift is a gift and return gifts are not expected, we are required to find a gift to give to each person who has given us gift money.  It’s a kind of thank you.  Japan is known for its gift giving traditions.

Tomorrow, I won’t have any pictures, unless my wife is able to send me one or two.  Back to work!

Tomoe, 2 days old

My holiday is coming to an end soon, and I only had today and tomorrow left to visit before going back to work.  Well, as I was in bed this morning, I got a nice picture to wake up to.

She opened her eyes this morning for my wife.

I got up and went out to get my haircut.  Then I headed to the clinic for more visiting.  As soon as I arrived, I was greeted by my wife, and we went and watched Tomoe.  Again, she was sleeping.

This was my first look at her today. Sleeping peacefully, as usual.

Today was the day that Tomoe attempted to breastfeed for the first time.  Unfortunately, when she tried, she wasn’t very hungry, so didn’t open her mouth enough.  They were going to try again later during the day.

My wife’s IV was removed today, as she could finally start eating food again.  She’s up and walking quite a bit now, and she seems to be energetic.  The doctor said she’s healing quite well, so she’ll be moving to a shared room tomorrow.  After visiting for a while, we went back to see Tomoe.  A nurse was in the nursery, and she decided to show us Tomoe’s hands and feet.  We were given a big surprise at the end.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The nurse held her up for us. Tomoe slept the entire time.

Then the nurse showed us her legs. My wife has a matching pink tag.

The nurse turned her bed for us to get a good look.

Then we were shown her hands. They were curled up into fists.

It looked like she was getting ready to do something. I wonder what.

Oh, there it is! Is that a smile? Probably not a true smile, but a great picture!

My wife had dinner after that, while I went home.  The great thing is that she’s now having dinner in the dining room.  She’s recovering quickly!

Well, tomorrow’s my last day off.  I’m looking forward to seeing Tomoe!

Tomoe, 1 day old

Today, I went back to the clinic with my mother-in-law to see my wife and Tomoe.  We got to see her through the window in the nursery as before.  My wife was up and walking around, so she watched with us.  What we noticed immediately is that her cheeks weren’t as big today.  She’s lost a bit of that fat.  As I understand it, babies often lose a little weight in the first days as they lose some of their birth fat and fluids.

She was sleeping peacefully when I arrived.

My mother-in-law had to leave at 3 pm, and go back to Saitama.  So, it was just me with my wife now.  My wife’s been feeling some pain from her surgery and was still being fed through IV.  She can finally eat something tomorrow, although she could have a couple of puddings today.   We were then told that we could hold her.  So, we went into the clean area of the clinic, and I had to wear this hospital gown over my clothes.  We went into a room where we could be alone with Tomoe.  The nurse taught us how to hold her, then gave her to my wife.

The first time my wife got to hold her.

She didn’t hold her for long.  She gave her to me to hold for a while, as I don’t get to do this much while they’re in the clinic.

Now it's my turn. I need a haircut.

My wife then started taking many pictures.  I’ve chosen only a few to show below.  Some things that I found interesting is that I could see every pore on her nose.  They were very light coloured.  Also, her eyebrows are almost non-existent.  Very, very fine.  And her hair is definitely brown.  Quite similar to my hair.

She slept very peacefully in my arms.

She's holding my finger! I think everyone has a photo like this.

She moved around a little while I was holding her and made a few noises, but she was very relaxed and peaceful.

I then gave her back to my wife.  What was remarkable to me is how calm and quiet she was.  No complaints.  However, she did make some funny faces as she was probably passing gas or something else.

I gave her back to my wife, and she made this face. Actually, she did this a lot with me, too. Probably passing gas.

We put her back in the bed, so the nurse could take her back to the nursery.  We went back to my wife’s room for a while, then watched Tomoe again.  There were 2 other babies in the nursery at the time, and one of them was crying a lot.  He had his diaper changed and was fed.  But because of the crying, Tomoe started crying a little bit.

This was just before I left. She was crying because another baby was crying.

It was getting close to dinner time for the mothers, and I was getting hungry, too.  So, I went back home.  I’ll be going back tomorrow for more of this.  I can’t wait!

The verdict on the “contest”

A few weeks ago, I asked for people to guess my daughter’s birth weight and time.  Well, here are the results.

For weight, which was 3302 grams, here are the guesses from lowest to highest:

  • 2930 g – Akiko Takeuchi
  • 3100 g – Heather Jenkins
  • 3150 g – Mom and Aileen
  • 3200 g – Steve
  • 3275 g – Heather (Hethr)
  • 3302 g – Birth weight
  • 3400 g – Cristina
  • 3507 g – Coreana
  • 3774 g – Lori

The closest was Heather!  Only 27 g difference.  Second is Cristina with a difference of 98 g, then Steve with 102 g difference.

Next is the birth time:

  • 2:30 am Heather Jenkins
  • 3:53 am Lori
  • 4:15 am Steve
  • 12:36 pm Coreana
  • 1:00 pm Aileen
  • 2:00 pm Birth time
  • 2:21 pm Cristina
  • 2:37 pm Heather (Hethr)
  • 2:55 pm Akiko Takeuchi
  • 10:30 pm Mom

The closest was Cristina, 21 minutes away!  Then it was Heather with only 37 minutes difference.  Finally, Akiko with 55 minutes.

Wow, Heather and Cristina both had the first and second best guesses!  Great guessing!


Tomoe, born January 25th

On January 24th, my wife entered the clinic for our daughter’s birth.  We went up to her room and had a look.  It’s a private room, as she’ll have a private room for the first bit while she recovers from her Caesarean section.  It’s a pretty simple room, if you ask me.

This was the room for the first night.

It has a sink and a fridge.

My mother-in-law and I left my wife at the clinic for a while, since she had to go through an orientation.  We could return for visiting hours.  So, we went and had lunch and did a little shopping that my wife wanted us to do.  During that time, my mother-in-law, who doesn’t speak English, and I, whose Japanese isn’t very good, struggled to communicate.  I think we did okay, though.  After our shopping, she went to her hotel, and I returned to the clinic to visit with my wife for a couple hours.  As her dinner time approached, I had to leave and let her eat.  It was dark when I went home.

On my way home on the 24th, I took this picture of the clinic.

Last night, I found it difficult to sleep.  I was quite restless and just kept watching TV, which barely held my interest.  I couldn’t stop thinking about the day ahead.  I finally did get to bed, but I didn’t have a great sleep.  I kept waking up.

In the morning, my wife called me and told me that the birth would be a bit earlier than expected.  I had to go to the clinic a little earlier than I’d planned.  My mother-in-law was already there when I arrived.  My wife had been moved to a new room.

This is the new room for the next 3 days.

We spent some time talking.  But it was only for a short time.  The nurse came and said it was time.  This was about 1 pm.  It would be about 2 hours until she’d be back in her room, but I wasn’t clear about what time the birth would be.  So, I read a bit while my mother-in-law did some knitting.  The nurses had to do a little preparation work in the room, so we had to move out to the dining room.

The dining room has 3 tables. Not many people stay here at a time.

I could read for a while, but I was getting restless.  I started pacing like the stereotypical expecting father does.  Even my mother-in-law started laughing at me, because Japanese men do the same thing.  About 2 pm, I could hear a baby crying.  I had no idea if it was my daughter or one of the babies already there.  Well, we found out quickly.  It was my daughter.  The nurse told us to look through the nurse station window, where we could see a nurse holding her, but only briefly.  She then opened the door, and we could see her up close.  This was the first time I saw her.

Less than 10 minutes after she was born.

She still had some blood on her, as she hadn’t been cleaned up much yet.  It was amazing to see!  She opened her eyes a bit, but not for long.  She wasn’t used to the bright light.  Her hair is dark brown.  I noticed that her fingers were a bit blue-grey.  We were told that her head was 35 cm around, which is quite big.  She was 50 cm long.  Her hands are also a bit big and her legs are long.  She’s a big baby!  Her birth weight is 3302 grams, and she was born at exactly 2 pm.  The nurse then took her back in, and asked us to go sit down and wait.

After a bit, we were told to come to the window to the nursery.  She was dressed in a robe and had a little cap on her head.  She’d been cleaned up and was a more natural colour.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  I watched her for over an hour.

She's looking at the camera!

Good night.

After that last picture, she woke up and started crying.  She also gave quite the interesting face, like she was straining.  Probably peeing and pooping.  For quite some time, she gave some incredibly funny faces, crying off and on.  Most of the time I watched her, her mouth was moving like she was searching for food.  She wanted to have milk.

We went to see my wife, as she’d been returned to her room.  She was in pain from the Caesarean section, and said that she felt pain during the operation.  I wonder if the local anaesthetic didn’t work so well for her.  We talked about her name.  And so, we have named her Tomoe (智恵).  So, everyone, please meet my daughter Tomoe.