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Pregnancy Journal

2016-04-20  (19 weeks)
Earthquakes and Epidurals

Recently we had a really big earthquake here. It was my first time to experience such a big earthquake with so many aftershocks. The biggest one happened in the middle of the night and it shook me and my husband out of bed, but since my husband has experienced earthquakes before it was easy for him to drift off back to sleep. I had three sleepless nights with the ground constantly shaking, even now I can still feel it occasionally. In England you could never imagine such a thing!

Recently we went to an appointment at my local maternity clinic and discussed a wide range of things with one of the nurses, pre-labor exercise, birth plans and even breast massage! I was asked if I wanted an epidural, since this is my first pregnancy I couldn't make the decision there and then on the spot, since I have no idea how much pain I might possibly be in during labor. The problem is in Japan epidurals are pretty rare, if you want one you need to book in advance and usually its only available 9-5 monday to friday. Epidurals are actively discouraged during childbirth in Japan and they would prefer you to give birth as naturally as possible. I guess I will just have to take my chances and hope for the best, if it's really bad then next time I will know what to do (if there is a next time!)

Also at this appointment the Nurse revealed to us that even though she wasn't 100% sure, she said it's pretty likely that we are having a boy. And the evidence was rather prominent on the ultrasound! Although we can't have it officially confirmed until 22 weeks by the doctor, she said the odds of having a boy are pretty high. I couldn't wait to find out the sex, and immediately me and my husband began referring to the baby as "he" and I went out and started buying cute boys stuff. I will be pretty embarrassed if for some reason it's a girl!

I announced it to my friends and family with this picture, it's a Japanese holiday which is coming up soon (May 5th) traditionally it is referred to as Boy's Day but it changed after the second world war to children's day which includes all children. The flags are carp fish, the biggest one represents the Father, the Second one represents the Mother and then the last one is traditionally the first son. Usually families with Sons will hang these flags outside of their houses and you can see them in public places. Inside usually there will be decorations such as Samurai hats. I thought it would be a nice way to introduce some Japanese culture to my friends and family back home in England :)


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