Once Upon a Tanbo

Archive for the ‘random’ Category

I was too tired to write about this earlier today but now that its past midnight and BG is currently on Act 1 of ‘Riverdance’ I am plenty awake enough to give you the details.

Let me just say that there is no exaggeration to this story. And its probably not as embarrasing and horrible as it was for me – but I think I can say with acertainity that this WOULD NOT have happened in a western country.

So anyways on Tuesday, Ryohei took the day off as planned (yay) and we drove up to my clinic for the compulsary birth class – 2nd half. I didn’t have the pleasure of attending the 1st once since I was in Kobe during weeks 20-24 of pregnancy. Quite a shame..

The highlight was that we got to walk by the nursery on the way to the class and admire the 3-4 newborns sitting in the window. So small and cute… I can’t believe I will have one. They made me all mushy and goo-ey inside.

Anyways the class started out normal enough… one of the hospitals midwifes had us watch a movie with the expected lady giving birth – just questions for those who have already had that pleasure… are midwifes in Japan usually that noisy?! Can I yell shut up at some point and stop the incessent “ganbare!” and “kuru na” (don’t come?!) that it sounds like they were saying. The last thing I want while I sacrifice my lady bits for BG’s sake is that… so please tell me that the off switch is an option. I’m not trying to pull a Katie Holmes silent birth but I would prefer a single “ganbatte” or “mou sukoshi” to a constant stream of high pitched chipmunk chatter.

Anyways sorry – side tracked… so we saw the video. Of course I cried when the baby was actually born, I looked around the room to see if anyone else was… (there were maybe 8 women in attendence, 2 besides me that had husbands with them) but no.. just me the silly gaijin was sitting there desperately trying to wipe up her tears before the lights came back up and I was exposed to all.

So after the video we had a talk explaining the hospitals procedures… fairly standard from what I’ve heard. Don’t think I get a choice whether to tear natural or be gone at with the scissors (sorry tmi) since it seems that 99% of first time births get the as the lovely Gaijin Wife says “choki choki.” ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Baby does get to stay with me after the first night though which is nice.

After the talk we had a break and then the second half… AKA hell started. We had a nutrionist “aka baba from the forumla/maternity suppliments company that the clinic uses” come in to harass us. I am not a huge fan of the “skinny culture” in Japan. Partly because I am not a part of it… even in my smallest days I would be nowhere close to the average 45-55 kilo flat shaped Japanese woman. And lets just say my smallest days have been behind me for quite a while now.. and with pregnancy weight I am entering the danger zone of apprx two Japanese women stacked together. (Please forget that now)

Anyways the nutritionist.. or “baba” as I will now refer to her. Gave us this “holy health survey” where we were to be told if our eating habits were up to par or not. Questions included things like

“How often do you eat liver?” – Never

“Do you think about the combinations of food you are eating?” – Umm… nope

“Do you drink milk” – Yes quite a bit, oh yay 2 points!

“How often do you eat snacks” – 1 a day… (Ryohei laughs at me…)

So in the end we had to tally our points. I had 10 out of 20 and the survey deemed me as “sukoshi warui” – needs a bit of work. Try and gabaru a bit more… sure whatever. I looked at the girl next to me.. she had 15 points – goody goody.

But no that wasn’t the end of it… I wish it was. Baba decides to call on each of us in turn to ask how many points we got and where we lacking. Oh yes.. after that my favorite question of the day “How many kilos have you gained while pregnant?” I was the second in line… the (tiny spout like Japanese) girl before me.

“I’ve only gained 3 kilos and I’m 34 weeks.” “Oh great job!! You are in excellent health”

Baba turns her eyes to me with glee

“And you Ms. Sara…” (and I directly quote) “How much fatter have you gotten… I mean, how many kilos have you gained?” In Japanese “Dore gurai futtota… aah.. nan kilo fueta?” Me: A lot. Baba: Yappari Me: But I lost a kilo recently and the Dr. said that was good… *rest of class laughs* Ryohei can barely contain himself with glee at my misfortune.

Anyways everyone else answered happily 4 kilos, 7 kilos, 10 kilos… uh oh… please watch yourself, 5 kilos… At least I prayed that it was over and Baba brushed into her lecture on how nutrtion was impotant and how we should all be drinking her companies maternity suppliment. Yawn yawn boring.

The came “Lets all calculate our BMI together – Get out your cellphone and then follow the simple math equation below and we can share them.” When she came towards me to get my score I used my JHS teaching experience perfected “DAME” (NO) and made the huge “X” symbol with my hands crossed in front of my chest.


Oh… and as the last hurrah… after the class we were given tea and Baba watching me eat asks Ryohei. “So where is she from?” “America” “And what does she speak?” “Japanese…” Umm… hello lady I was just talking to you and obviously understanding your pathetic attempt at trying to sell us manufacturedย  health goods…

Anyways that is the OMFG Japan birth class story. I hope its as amusing and shocking as I found it as the experiencee. I had a bit of a “I miss home” day after that… not to the point of tears but to the point of… why the hell is there no such thing as privacy here. It didn’t help when we got home and Ryohei’s mom had made whole roasted fish – the kind with eyes still attached and everything and some… soup with big chunks of chopped up onion (my biggest pregnancy related turnoff)

Looks like I may be well on my way to losing more weight at the next appt! If I had some access to cheese I could turn it around fast though…


I don’t have anything in particular to write about today but wanted to thank everyone who commented on yesterdays post! Very very interesting to read about everyones experiences and thoughts on the matters of family finance. Does seem to be a “ๅไบบๅ่‰ฒ” (junin-toiro) subject where everyone has their own way of doing it! My color seems to be a mean and evil steely grey (lol). I’m kidding!!

Today is Friday… the last day of the week. So happy that tomorrow will be the weekend which means that things will be done, places will be gone to, and babies will be seen! My baby that is ๐Ÿ™‚ I have my first appointment at the clinic where come hell or high water I will be giving birth in apprx. 6-8 weeks. A little bit nervous, but I have heard its not a bad place, everyone I talk to about it keeps saying – “It’s so expensive..” Well then, good to know that the quality of care is also an important topic. If I have to pay a little more for a birth experience that won’t scar me from having baby # 2 and maybe # 3 down the line I’m all for it. It’s also been a while, about 2 1/2 weeks since I last saw BG although no doubts that she is alive and “kicking” although as I said she’s not that active. But I do feel little elbows, feet, and a huge rump (taking after mom much?!) pressing out of my belly at random moments.

At this point… the dream of moving to a far off place – Nagaoka – is about the only thing keeping me sane. As this is not my house… and we are not near anything but rice fields… the only thing to do at this point is sleep is as MUCH AS POSSIBLE and then take an hour long walk… and then wait for Ryohei to get home. On the good side – he DOES get home early. He had a couple hours of over time Tuesday.. but besides that he has been home around 6 – 7pm nightly. So there – I am actually happy about something to do with his new job. Of course when we move that will slip to 6:30-7:30 or so due to the extra commute but if he is home before 8ish I call it a successful night… since we get at least 2-3 hours of “us” time.

So ladies with kids… when the baby is here will I be pretty busy? Waht exactly do you do all day.. I really have NO experience with really really tiny babies. Anyone still have memories of what life was like with your first newborn – I am pretty sure that anyone with multiple kids is crazy busy? Care to share? Everyone (ok, most people) love a good baby story ๐Ÿ˜€

Its Saturday, late evening…
Today has been rainy and Mr. Sunshine hasn’t thought to show himself for the whole day. While its been boring and lonely (I had no plans today) by no account is it worse than being at work since at least I can bake and eat a whole pan of brownies.. (sigh – no lectures please!)

Now I am listening to some new dance music and feeling BG sort of kick along to the beat. She’ll be my little clubber I guess!

Ryohei’s brother and his wife were over today we and we talked over the webcam. My SIL is now about 19 weeks along in her pregnancy and was very excited to talk with me and ask how things were going. I was pretty jealous of her since she’s had little to no morning sickness! My BIL and her live in the same town as Ryohei’s parents so she said once I move up we should hang out a bit. Which was nice ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know her that well but she seems like a sweet girl and since we’re only a month apart due date wise it’ll be nice that BG has a cousin so close in age.

So whats in the cards for tonight.. scavaging some sort of food, wasting my time on the internet, maybe a game of scrabble with Ryohei, and sleep.

Tomorrow is a baby shower (mine) so I’ll be out of the house for a bit! The end of my hikkikomori (recluse) lifestyle.

I’m looking forward to seeing friends tomorrow – some that I haven’t seen for almost half a year ๐Ÿ™‚

Wow – after the beautiful weekend weather, the throwback to frigid has been rough. The wind is the most chilly I’ve felt it for weeks now. I’m still working hard towards my countdown towards home. Only… about 10 more days now?

Anyways I’ll just do a few random blurbs to update on things lately.

– May be able to end work earlier than I thought. Seems they don’t need me for the project in mid-May so if I can get my doctor to change my due date to one day earlier than I just have to work the Thursday and Friday of Golden Week and I’ll have enough paid vacation to last until my maternity leave! (woo hoo!)

– Baby has started moving… well he/she has been moving for a while I guess, but I’ve recently started feeling the “flutters” and “eye twitch” movements that all the pregnancy boards talk about. Its pretty cool! I usually feel the baby for a few minutes every couple of hours especially if I’m sitting a certain way. I kind of see my bump moving around from time to time but not sure if its the baby because I can’t “feel” anything when that happens.. could just be breathing (lol)

– I THINK the morning sickness hurdle is cleared!! But its been quickly replaced with the face looks like a pizza, achy bump in the morning, and *ahem* digestive issues hurdles. Always a picnic this is…

Umm.. thats it! Once again a pregnancy centric post… sorry for the 1 trackness of all of them lately! I really just don’t have anything else interesting to write about unless you want to hear how I sat at work most of the day yawning and checking various websites. ๐Ÿ˜›

Wow… they talk about strange dreams because of hormones but I had some weird ones last night. I dreamt that at my next appointment they “discovered” I was having boy/girl twins. (Believe me I’m not having twins lol) and that one of the babies had an AFRO?! wtf


It’s Friday but I have a half day of work tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Uggggggg its so cold I just want to stay in doors and sleep.

Also on the subject of my “bump” it currently looks much more like a muffin top than anything else. AARRGG?!!?