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!
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.