Crossroads

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I have let my blog get away from me again. At first it was because there was so much going on, BIL’s wedding and other various events, and then it was just because I was feeling so sad and miserable about my hospital situation I didn’t even want to think about it anymore. Pregnancy wise things are good. I had an appointment nearly 2 weeks ago now and the babies were measuring right on target for 20 weeks, with only a 30 gram difference between the two. Good stuff! I wasn’t having too much pain or too many aches until recently. If I sit for awhile it can be quite painful to stand again and if I stand for too long my back can get really painful. My tummy is just growing so quickly I get a fright every time I look in a full-length mirror! Unfortunately Nisseki hasn’t measured my waist even once yet, so I have no idea how I compare right now with when I was pregnant with Sara or Amelie. I guess I could measure myself around, but I don’t know how to measure the length of my uterus.

I have another appointment at Nisseki on Tuesday, Christmas day, and after I see how that appointment goes, I am going to the midwife clinic where I gave birth to Amelie to have a talk with her about other options for where I can give birth. Every time I have an appointment at Nisseki I end up feeling like crap afterward. It was pretty hard for me to get excited about being pregnant with twins, and I’m still nervous about so much that can go wrong, although we’ve come pretty far and everything is looking good and each day means less to worry about, but 24 weeks is the magic number where the babies have a 50% chance of survival and after reading so many blogs written by twin moms I know that things can change at the drop of a hat. Things are going great now, but tomorrow that can suddenly change, and it’s scary.

At my last appointment there were a lot of things I was expecting to happen that didn’t. I was 20 weeks 5 days along. I thought they would ask me about my birth plan, or give me a blank birth plan for me to fill out, especially since they are so dead set on having me hospitalized between 28 and 32 weeks. I thought they would start measuring my waist and abdomen. There’s a place for that measurement in the mother-child book, and yet they haven’t measured me once yet. I thought they would tell me the genders, or at least have a look for me, and the ultrasound tech, when I asked about it said it was still too early and wouldn’t even look at their crotches. I asked her if they were measuring normal size for the number of weeks they are. She said “ask the doctor”. I asked their weights. She said “ask the doctor”. All the while she is doing measurements of their heads and bones and doing the calculations of these numbers, but won’t tell me the results. I get ultrasound photos at each appointment but at the hospital where I gave birth to Sara, or the midwife clinic, they always had sizes and estimated due dates based on weights and lengths and other informative numbers on them. These photos have nothing written on them except for the original due date I was given. When I went in after the car accident at 19 weeks, the doctor said I would get a detailed anatomy scan at my next appointment. That didn’t happen, and when I asked the doctor about it, even she was surprised the tech didn’t do it and said it would definitely happen next time. And every single time I have an internal exam to check my cervix length to make sure it hasn’t shortened, which I guess is a bigger worry with a twin pregnancy, but I wonder if every hospital does internals every. single. time. My doctor is a woman, and I’m really not all that fussed about the sex of my doctor, but my doctor is my doctor, and this last time during the internal, there was a male voice talking to my doctor as she was performing the exam. That really, really bothered me. I don’t care if the male voice was another OB/GYN. That’s not the point. Some man was looking at my hoo-ha! I kept telling myself while it was happening that it didn’t matter because he couldn’t see my face, but it did matter. It still bothers me. I haven’t even told Akinori about it because I know it would upset him too. I think he would be pretty upset to know that some man, possibly a doctor, but possibly not, was looking at his wife’s hoo-ha. And I am afraid that all of these above things are just the way a big, general hospital works, and although I am trying I can’t get used to the fact that this is where I will give birth.

If I was having my appendix taken out it would feel different I think. Every one goes to a big general hospital to have their appendix taken out. But I’m not sick. I’m having babies. I don’t want to be treated like someone with an illness and according to hospital policy. I want to be treated like an individual with thoughts and wishes for my own individual situation, and have my own needs understood. For example, if there is nothing wrong with me or the babies, I don’t want to be hospitalized from 28 weeks, or even 32 weeks just because it is hospital policy. I have two children at home, and even though I know their father is more than capable of looking after them on his own. I don’t want to be away from them for so long. As nice as it sounds sometimes, especially when they are driving me nuts with tantrums and fighting and complaints, I don’t want to be away from them for weeks, possibly months, if it’s not absolutely necessary. Why should I have to do that? Why does the hospital have to be so unbending on this? I am a person with my own set of personal circumstances. I am the one giving birth to these babies, not the doctor. I don’t really give a shit what the doctor wants, or what will make things easier for the doctor. I want to give birth at a place that understands this and is concerned about ME and my babies, and that is just not going to happen at a big, general hospital, at least not this one.

The problem is that Nisseki, as I believe I have mentioned before, has the largest NICU in the area. If I change hospitals and something goes wrong and the babies need to be in the NICU for an extended amount of time, it is quite possible I will be sent back to Nisseki with them, or I will be sent to the Children’s hospital, much further away. Right now though, I don’t think I would mind if it were the Children’s hospital. I’ve been talking to lots of other moms about their experiences at big hospitals lately, and I hear only good things about the Children’s hospital, and very, very few positive things about Nisseki. 😦 At my next appointment I will be having the detailed anatomy scan, I hope. If everything looks good and both babies are healthy, I have pretty much made up my mind that I want to change hospitals. If there is a problem with one or both of the babies, we’ll have to figure things out all over again, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, fingers are crossed that everything will be okay Tuesday.

Merry Christmas!

Sara and Amelie at BIL's wedding

Sara and Amelie at BIL’s wedding

22 week belly

22 week belly

Ooooh! I almost forgot. I performed last week at an event one of my friends/students planned (she was a friend first, student later). I never allow videos of myself belly dancing to be uploaded to an public sites, but how often do you see a big pregnant belly, belly dancing? So here are the links to my performance if you’re interested:

Drum solo:

Veil dance:

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About Brenda in Nagano

Originally from Chicago, I knew I was destined to spend the rest of my life in Japan the moment I set foot in the country at the tender age of 16. However, I was quite intent on spending that rest of my life in a major city with a full on career, until my Japanese Prince Charming came trotting down from the mountains of Nagano to sweep me off my feet and whisk me away, turning my whole life plan on its head. Two months after moving to Nagano I gave birth to our little Princess Charming, so now I am officially a SAHM and teach a little belly dance on the side.

6 responses »

  1. So glad that your pregnancy is going OK and that the babies are growing well. And what an amazing video of you dancing. You are so talented and graceful. Hope you all have a good holidays. (the photos of your daughters is lovely) Nancy

  2. (((HUGS))) Pregnancy is stressful and full of enough worries on its own (no matter how many times you’ve done it), and you’ve got it times 2 this go round, you definitely don’t need this additional stress from the big, shit hospital. I’m glad you’ve made up your mind to move, stick to your guns and pull the “crazy gaijin” card as often and as extreme as you have to, to get what YOU know is best for you and the bubs.

    I was shocked about a man being in during your exam!! NO ONE should be present during any kind of medical visit w/out your knowledge and permission, EVER, I don’t give a crap about hospital policy.

    Hope the visit tomorrow goes well and everything is still good with all of you!!

    • Yeah, I actually ended up telling Akinori about the man behind the curtain incident today because after writing about it, I realized it really, really upset me. He was pretty upset too, and said he would call the hospital and make a complaint tomorrow, since today is a national holiday. That makes me feel a little better, but you are right, that whole thing never should have happened. And THANK YOU my Christmas angel! ❤

  3. I can’t forgive the hospital for making you feel so bad about everything. Far too much valuing hospitality over actual people and their feelings! That whole ‘ask the doctor’ spiel sucks! Fingers crossed you have a much much better trip tomorrow and I’m still putting my money on one of each. 🙂

    • Thanks Heather! You know what really sucks? It seems that it’s really only the Nagano Red Cross that sucks. The Red Cross hospital in other cities seems to be really reputable, but of all the people I know who have to deal with the Nagano Red Cross hospital on a regular basis, the people who have had a good experience are the minority by far.

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