Wednesday, June 30, 2010


My surgery has been moved back to 4:00 or 5:00 today due to an emergency surgery this morning, so I'm sitting here waiting - hooked up to an IV for fluids and anti-contraction medicine. All I can think about is food - I haven't eaten since 6:00 pm last night.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And here I lay

All I have to say is thank God for my iPhone. I can't seem to get Internet in my room, so I just downloaded a blogging app on my phone. I'm curious to see how it looks.

I'm checked into the hospital, hanging in my new granny jammies, watching the clock slowly move until Max and John come to visit & for 6:00 when I get to eat dinner.

So far so good. The midwife speaks decent English. Although she just told me no food after 9:00 tonight and no liquids after midnight. Hopefully my anxiety will keep my appetite at bay because last time I heard, my surgery isn't until 2:00 pm tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Rokko Island Hospital

Not Knowing What to Expect

We've had another full week. Japanese classes - playing with Maximo - dealing with a temperamental Mother Nature (Rainy Season).

John mowing our lawn with his newly purchased "mower".

Maximo is getting the poopy bit down better.
The Pirate Potty book seems to help.
And he loves getting his special stickers when he poops in the potty.
"Look Mommy, Daddy! Big Poopy!"

In a couple of hours I check into the hospital. I'm a bit anxious. I've read maybe too much on the internet and really just want to get through the next 48 hours. I have NO idea what to expect at the hospital, I know what is going to happen with my surgery, but not the rest.

I'm sure I'll forget to take my shoes off in the wrong place and will be the awkward gaijin on the floor. It adds a whole new level to staying in the hospital when I probably won't be able to communicate with any of the nurses and staff there, besides my doctor.

I'll be in the hospital for the week to recover. Hopefully all will go well. I'll keep you all posted.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dad's Day

For Father's Day, Maximo and I made muffins for John. Maximo LOVES to help cook. It definitely takes a bit more time and patience on my part, but he's becoming a master mixer and pourer.
Afterwards, we ventured to Osaka, not for some great cultural site, but for... OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE! We found it easily and ate and ate and ate... I wish they had the same food but with more Japanese portion sizes! There was so much food.
John sacrificed a Bloomin' Onion on his special day, so I could get the most perfect food in the world... Cheese Fries! *angels sing*
Maximo was super duper good on the long ride there and back and throughout lunch. There were a ton of other families there too.
I'm glad we got to spoil Daddy a bit. He does a great job. Maximo thinks he hung the moon and has really started to love rough housing and playing chase with Daddy.

Next week, John will have to do Daddy duty 24-7 while I'm in the hospital. I know he'll do fantastic, I just hope it doesn't rain every day for him!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week 1... Done

Our first week of vacation went by in a fury. It was a lot busier than we had anticipated. John and I enrolled in Japanese classes for three weeks and have decided to keep Maximo in daycare to do so. Our first class started off a bit shaky as we glanced at each other on the first day of our vacation listening to rapid-fire Japanese. We've gotten into the swing of it and we finished the week feeling a lot better about it.

Every day after our Japanese classes we've had something to do... granted we've wanted to do all these things, but every evening we were exhausted and when Maximo is exhausted, things aren't pretty. We had a good-bye party for Marilyn and then the ladies played Euchre, we had another good-bye get together for the family that is leaving at the River Mall. We had swim class for Maximo. We had a fun birthday dinner at a Robatayaki restaurant for Kirsten and Todd.
Come to Japan and we'll take you there!
Just a bit on Maximo's swim class. The flyer went out to all the students at CA and it started with the three year old class at school. I emailed the lady in charge and asked if Maximo could join, even though he's a bit young (he can enroll in the three year old program in the fall, although we're going to wait a year). She emailed me back saying if enrollment was down then they take him... well, guess who got in?

This was his first swim class without John or I getting in the water with him and he did swimmingly! When the kids/instructors started stretching I was a bit worried because he was very clingy with us, but when the sensei took his hand to take him to the pool, he never looked back. We sat behind the glass and watched class and he did well - no tears and he listened to the sensei, at least for the first 45 minutes or so.
He's the cute little one on the end in the red swim cap.Anyhow, it was nice to have a slow weekend with just the three of us. Maximo and I plan to spoil John today. Max worked hard on his little entry in John's Father's Day book. Max insisted on tracing his hands 3-4 times, having me trace his hands 2 times and making O's on the paper. Here's a couple of pictures of his hard work:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pregnancy Update

Well, I've just about successfully completed my first trimester. The nausea seems to be a bit better, but it's definitely not totally gone. Hopefully it'll disappear for good soon. Hmmm, where to start with all my fascinating health care issues? Mid-April, I guess.

After I found out I was pregnant, I asked a friend who had had two kids here to take me to the hospital where most of the overseas teachers give birth. Thankfully she brought me, because I wouldn't have been able to figure it out all by myself. And she helped me get checked in, warned me of the chair... I'll share more about that in another post.

I left that appointment excited because there was a little gummy bear in my uterus but I also left a bit uncomfortable, for a couple of reasons:
1. The hospital is two train rides away making a 15 minute appointment into a three hour ordeal for every appointment (check out is also a pain).
2. I didn't get that warm fuzzy feeling with the doctor. Her English was fair and I had to bring up my pregnancy issues rather than her, although it was noted on the patient intake form.

I went to two more visits at this hospital and always left feeling, well, not elated. The last one Max and John went with me and she wouldn't let John come in the room to see the sonogram. Ick. My husband can't see our baby?

Healthcare is different here. Not in a bad way, just different. I don't think I could ever have that warm fuzzy relationship with a doctor here, but I wanted to be at least comfortable.

Ramble, ramble, ramble... I'm getting somewhere...

There is a hospital on the island where we live. I had heard there was an English speaking ob-gyn there, but when a friend called they said there wasn't. I still didn't want to give up hope and had heard from two different people who knew of two other people who had babies on island that there was an English speaking doctor. So, I got that doctor's name and went with Eiko, who is a complete saint and helped translate and get me around the hospital.

We were the first ones in on Wednesday morning - in most places, you have to walk-in for your first appointment. The ob-gyn section was small, I think there are only two women doctors that practice at the hospital. The doctor was young and nice. We spoke a bit in English, but Eiko did a ton of translating for us and continues to help me through all of it!

So, I've switched over to Rokko Island Hospital. They will even do my cerclage surgery in (less than) two weeks. I will need to stay in for a week for the surgery, but luckily the hospital is only two blocks from our apartment (and the Sheraton caters the food). I'm hoping all goes well. I'm a bit nervous because the last time I had this surgery, my water broke hours later and I had Maximo 24 hours later. I'm hoping that it was just because it was done too late. I have to have an epidural for this procedure, which makes me nervous for the baby, but this is a fairly common procedure and the extra time in the hospital (it's outpatient in the US) will give me time to rest and recover without running around with Maximo.

I'll keep you posted as this pregnancy continues. I have another appointment next week and then I check in for my surgery the following Tuesday. I so badly want a normal pregnancy and birth. I want to be able to see the little one as soon as he/she is born and be able to take him/her home with me when I leave the hospital. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Today Was a Good Day

Friday was our last day of school! So now, we are off for about eight weeks - woo-hoo. Friday, we had a half day of school. We left Maximo in daycare because he was already napping and we decided to go get lunch. We went to a little Mexican place in Sannomiya which kinda helps with our Mexican fix then came home took a nap, then picked up Maximo from daycare.
It's been a gorgeous couple of weeks, so after we headed to the River Mall and a bunch of my students were milling about after a hanging out there all afternoon. About five of them surrounded Maximo and played with him in the water for about two hours. Subway takeout for dinner, and our day was done!

We're watching the Wilson's lizard (a lemon-tailed gecko) for the summer and Maximo is in love.

Otherwise, we plan to have a pretty relaxed summer. We know of no other teachers staying for the summer - we're taking Japanese classes for a few weeks, my mom comes for a few weeks and we're just going to explore and hang.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A Busy Weekend

Maximo trying out his peace signs with Ally

It's finally feeling like summer, to me at least. The weather has been consistently beautiful for over a week now - about 75 and sunny. Report card grades were due last week and now we just have 4 1/2 days left with our students.

The weekend kicked off with an all-faculty TGIF. We went and got Max, then hung out for a while. When woke up the next morning and he came in our room saying, "Mommy, party fun."

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday which was a part of our busy weekend, but I'll post about that later. The baby is fine.

After the doctor's appointment, we headed to the Kobe Club for their BBQ celebrating the opening of the pool and for us to say Sayonara to a family that is leaving. Max was super happy in the pool with his friends and fell asleep in the stroller about five minutes after we left - and continued to sleep for almost 3 hours!

Today, John went to the high school graduation and then we all met up for a little Sayonara Party for Marilyn (who is my former principal and came to Japan to be a long term sub for a maternity leave). We had a Peruvian feast - aji de gallina, papas de huacaina, guacamole, pseudo-anticuchos (kabobs). Everything was delicious. Making the papas de huacaina today made me a little homesick. I love summer in Peru and I miss all the yummy food we used to eat!

Marilyn has been here since January and it's been nice having her here! We've gotten in a couple of games of Euchre and she's been here to hang out with the rest of the Peru Crew and our chaotic get-togethers with all the kids. Surprisingly enough, though, for a fairly small school, I rarely see her at work. She's working in the middle school and I'm over in the elementary part of the building; we once in a while have lunch at the same time.

Anyhow, here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Marilyn & Max

Denis, Max and Ally destroying Marilyn's bed... with love

Max getting ready to go in the pool.

(Note: I'm staying up past 7:00 pm at night, so hopefully I'll be able to blog a bit more!)