Babies are their own worst enemy

Tomoe’s becoming a bit of a problem for herself.  She moves around a lot.  While she can’t yet roll over, she can scoot herself around on the sofa by kicking her legs.  We have a couple of sofas, one is a white vinyl sofa, while the other is actually a mattress that folds up like a small sofa.  On the white sofa, our main sofa, she’ll be propped up by a pillow, which she then promptly slides down as she kicks.  She’ll twist around a bit and manage to put herself into a position that could cause her to fall head first on the floor.  On the other sofa, she turns herself around 90 degrees, and then slides down feet first onto the floor.  The sofa is becoming dangerous for her if she isn’t watched.  So, I made her a little bed out of some of my clothes and her blanket and put it on the floor on a cork mat.  At least now she can’t fall off anything.

Week 36

In less than 6 hours, the pregnancy will be at full term!  That’s right, the baby could come at any time and not be premature.  There was no visit to the clinic during these past 7 days, but there will be one tomorrow.  This will involve a lot of tests.  We’ll also be scheduling the birth.  Our clinic specialises in scheduled births with painkillers.  It’s not common to use painkillers during birth in Japan, as it’s believed by many superstitious people that it’ll result in feeling distant from the baby.  The mother and baby can’t bond because she’s not writhing in agony.  Of course, we both think that’s a load of BS.  So, the birth date will either be next week or the week after.  We’ll be seeing her soon!

My wife has been having plenty of pain in the pubic area, most likely due to dilation of her cervix and pressure from the baby.  She says that she has a lot of problems breathing because of pressure from the baby on her diaphragm and lungs.  She finds it difficult to sleep, as well.  Her bellybutton has popped out quite a bit, too.  She feels that it’s hard to eat large meals, as well.  Some common signs in pregnant women are extra body hair, stretch marks and varicose veins.  Luckily, she hasn’t had stretch marks or varicose veins!  Just the extra hair that I understand pretty much every woman gets when pregnant.  Yes, she has a hairy belly from the pregnancy.  But it should fall out in a few months.

How’s the baby doing?  Well, she continues to be quite active, moving a lot.  She hiccups a lot, too.  From what I’ve read, at week 36, the fine hair and waxy substance covering her skin will fall off, and she’ll swallow much of it.  That’ll result in her first bowel movement after birth being slimy and black.  I’m guessing she’s over 2700 grams now.

I’ll probably have some more news tomorrow about the scheduling and the checkup.

Week 33

This week was a bit unusual.  Because of the baby’s incorrect position last week, we had to go back to the clinic today to check on her position.  We were told to come between 2 and 4 pm, but we got a call from the clinic at 10:50 am, and they asked us to come to the clinic by 11:30.  We had only 40 minutes, and we were still in bed!  I’ve been fighting a cold for the past week and just wanted to sleep, while my wife has trouble sleeping at night and wanted to sleep more.  Well, we quickly got ready and left the apartment.  We walked much faster than usual and arrived at the clinic at 11:31.  Well, after about a 20 minute wait, she was called in to have the baby checked.  It was only supposed to be a brief check, but I was later called to come in.  I was slightly worried, actually.  But it was just to see the ultrasound.  The baby was back in the head down position!  Great news!

What we saw on the ultrasound was our healthy baby girl, only about a month away from birth.  She’s still average size, slightly long legs and her nose looks a bit like mine.  We also saw her open and close her mouth several times, as if she were chewing.  She’s now 2102 grams, closing in on the minimum 2500 grams for full term birth.  Her bones should be hardening, while her skull will remain flexible for the birth.  She looks like a newborn baby by now.

Mom is feeling the kicks and punches a lot these days.  She can now sleep on either side, the doctor said.  Her sleeping habits continue to be unusual, but that’s thanks to the baby keeping her awake.  She has a hard time sitting up from bed, so needs to roll over and try push herself up.  She easily gets out of breath from walking uphill.

With only about a month to go, we’re getting pretty excited to see our baby girl.  Here’s the ultrasound picture we received today.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a good 4D picture, as her arms were obscuring her face.

This is 33 weeks, 6 days. At the top is her full face, though both of her arms are slightly blocking the view. Below is another view of her chin, lips and nose.

Week 31

Week 31 is coming to a close now, and it was an eventful week for mom.

The baby is growing pretty quickly.  She’s as active as ever, and not only does she kick and punch, but when she slides her feet or hands along the walls of the uterus, my wife said it feels “kimoi” or a weird sick feeling.  She’s getting heavier as fat fills out her skin, and she’s about to go into a big growth spurt.

As I said, mom feels “kimoi” sometimes, and she does feel sick quite often.  This past week, she had a pretty strong dizzy spell that caused her eyesight to start blacking out.  Low blood pressure is most likely to blame, but she said it seems to run in her family.  She still can’t eat much at one sitting, so needs to spread out the food over the day.  She’s always hurting and feeling sick with the baby growing and her abdomen stretching, pressing into her stomach, and her pelvis preparing for birth.

Full term is only 5 weeks away!

Week 30

It’s only 6 weeks now until full term.  Today was the last day of week 30, and it included an ultrasound.  What was different this time was that my wife’s mother was present during the ultrasound.

The baby’s doing great.  She’s back to the correct head down position, which is very important for the birth.  She’s now 1651 grams.  The doctor said that she’s slightly above average in weight, so she seems more like she’s at the end of 31 weeks.  Her head is slightly below average size due to me.  While her head isn’t actually small, the Caucasian head is longer and narrower than an Asian person’s head.  Her heart is strong and healthy and her spine is straight.  We got some great views of her face during the ultrasound, but the picture wasn’t taken at that time.  Her eyesight is developing, though not so great yet.  As always, she’s very active, and making it very uncomfortable for her mother.

As for the mom, she’s feeling bad sometimes.  She feels sick occasionally, and she often feels pain in the lower part of her abdomen.  The doctor says this is normal, and should feel better if she takes a rest.  Walking uphill is getting more and more difficult now.

So, here’s what you’ve been waiting for, the pictures!

On the left is the full face, while on the right is the chin, mouth and nose.

She likes to hide behind her arm, which is on the right. On the left is the umbilical cord.

The next visit to the clinic is in 2 weeks, but without ultrasound.

Week 29

It’s week 29, and things are progressing quickly now.  The birth is only 2 months away, maybe as early as 7 or 8 weeks away.  So much to do!

The baby is extremely active this week.  She’s been kicking and moving so much.  It’s quite amazing to see how much she moves.  She should be around 38 cm long and about 1100 grams.  Her brain, muscles and lungs are developing rapidly, and her head is getting bigger.  Her skeleton is also absorbing a lot of calcium.

Mom has been going through a lot this week, too.  She’s been feeling pain once in a while that causes her to have to lie down.  The doctor said this would happen from time to time.  She’s also been dizzy sometimes.

Preparations are under way.  We’re getting ready to reserve a bed, baby carriage and other things for the baby.  Today, my wife had a flu shot, and I’m going to have to get one, too.  Next week, my mother-in-law will be visiting for our visit to the clinic.  There’ll be more ultrasound pictures next week!  I think the biggest thing is that my mother-in-law will be staying with us for a month after the baby’s born. Time to work on my Japanese, as she doesn’t speak any English!

Week 28

It’s been quite the first week of the third trimester.  We visited the clinic for a checkup, and got some news that was a bit surprising, though shouldn’t be anything to worry about.  Two weeks ago, the baby was already in the correct position for birth.  However, she flipped around and is head up again.  But the doctor said there’s still time and she’ll probably be back to head down before birth.

So, what’s happening in the baby’s life?  She should now be blinking her eyes and seeing what little light she can see through her mom.  She also has eyelashes.  Her brain is developing quickly, and she’s now gaining more body fat.  It’s birth preparation time.  She should be close to 1 kg and 37.5 cm long.  As usual, she’s incredibly active and very easy to feel moving.

Now that she’s out of the second trimester, my wife is feeling quite uncomfortable and getting a sick feeling often.  The baby’s pressing against her stomach a lot, so can’t eat so much, then she feels sick, and 2 or 3 hours, she’s hungry again.  The baby’s movements are also getting uncomfortable.

Coming soon is a flu shot!  The doctor strongly suggested it, and also suggested I get one, too.  That means I have to find a clinic to get one at.

On other topics, as we’re getting much closer to the birth, we have to think about some baby clothes, bed, and more.  We’re planning to rent a crib and baby carriage.  Much cheaper than buying them.