Christmas 2012


What an exciting 2 days this has been! Yesterday, Christmas eve, started out with me feeling sorry for myself that my husband had to work Saturday, part of Sunday and all of Monday, which was a national holiday, not just Christmas eve. I wasn’t just feeling sorry for myself because he had to work, but because Sara has had a nasty cough that won’t go away for 2 weeks or so, and Sunday evening Amelie started getting sick too, and her nose started running like a fountain yesterday morning. And both girls woke up in crappy moods, and off my husband went to work, and left me to deal with our less-than-pleasant children. Not to mention that he has planned to come home dressed as Santa to give the girls their Christmas presents, which is great and fun and all, but he’s nagging me for eyebrow pencils and all kinds of other random things while the girls are nagging me for breakfast. The morning passed without much more excitement, thank goodness.

Akinori came home for lunch. Amelie took a nap. Sara went into the kitchen to play with play-doh. I took a shower. Akinori went back to work. Amelie woke up in a coughing fit and came looking for me with vomit dribbling down her chin. Poor thing. I got Sara to clean up her play-doh while I cleaned Amelie and we got ready to leave the house because I had to pick up our Christmas cake from MIL who was at work. I put masks on both kids, bundled them up, and off we went. At one point Amelie starts calling me “Mama, mama, mama, mama”. When I got to a stop light I turned around to see what she wanted and she points to her chest “Gero” (puke). She had vomited all over herself from coughing so much. It was disgusting and there was nowhere to stop. Luckily MIL’s store wasn’t too far away, so I cleaned her up once we got there. Picked up the cake and some fake champagne MIL threw in the package and we headed back home. I park the car in front of the house and Sara starts with a coughing fit that ends with her vomiting, of course BEFORE I manage to get her out of the car. Neither of my children have EVER vomited in the car before, and they both decide to debut on the same car trip. Perfect. At least it was easy to convince them it was time to lay low and rest before anyone lost anymore stomach contents.

About 10 minutes after get home the doorbell rings and Sara starts screaming “Santa’s here!” which I’m sure the delivery man got a huge kick out of as he was waiting for me to open the door because I’m sure he could hear her screaming along with the rest of the neighborhood. It wasn’t the Santa Sara was expecting, but at that moment it finally felt like Christmas to me. Not because the package was full of awesome yummy goodies from my friend B, but because it reminded me that no matter how shit I feel about things sometimes, there are awesome people out there who do awesome things for others, just because they can, and sometimes they do awesome things for me. And I am blessed to know these people, and even more blessed to be on the receiving end of their kind acts. The girls were of course super excited to open the box, but definitely not as excited as I was, and every time I “oohed” or “aahed” at another amazing goodie I dug out, Sara was like “what’s that mommy? Is it something really good? It looks really good!” The best stuff is already hidden from everyone 🙂

Akinori came home dressed as Santa to surprise the girls. Sara didn’t cry, but she was a bit shy with him. She was thrilled to get her presents though. Amelie on the other hand wanted absolutely nothing to do with Santa and wouldn’t take his presents and screamed bloody murder when he picked her up to take a photo. She was happy to say goodbye though and even asked him for a high 5 as he was leaving, but when I tried to put the hat and scarf that he brought her on her or give her the stuffed animal he brought, once he left, she started crying again and wanted nothing to do with them. A few hours later and she was okay with the presents, but it took awhile. We had our usual Christmas eve Domino’s pizza feast and all went to bed early.

Last week we were so late waking up that I got Sara to kindy late 2 of the 4 days she went. That’s after 10 a.m.! Pretty pathetic even for a pregnant woman dragging an extra toddler around. I usually rely on Akinori to wake us all up, but lately he has become very unreliable, not getting out of bed until he is already late for work so he rushes about getting himself dressed and runs out of the house and I am left trying to wake myself up and deal with 2 cranky children and our mornings suck because of it. I decided I needed to set my alarm and get my own butt out of bed regardless of how bitter cold our house is in the morning. I was smart and set the alarm super early, knowing it would take me awhile to psyche myself up to actually get out of my nice, warm, electric blanket heated bed.

Today was Sara’s bento day and gymnastics class day, and my check-up at Nisseki. One of the fabulous moms I know at Sara’s kindy, offered to give me all kinds of baby stuff the minute she heard I was having twins. I was able to get a Baby Bjorn bouncer for fairly cheap when we were thinking about getting pregnant with #3 back in February or March, and when I found out we were having twins, of course I wanted another one, and this woman offered hers to me for free. She also offered their car seat and lots of boys clothing, if we were having boys. We had been trying to plan a day where I could go and pick the stuff up from her house and because she lives so close to Nisseki, she offered to look after Amelie for me while I had my appointment. My second Christmas angel!

I managed to get Sara to her gymnastics class almost on time, and then Amelie and I went to my fabulous kindy mom friend’s house. I thought Amelie might cry when I left, but she was surprisingly okay. I knew it would take forever at the hospital so when I packed Sara’s bento, I packed one for Amelie too. It always takes FOREVER to get a parking space at the hospital, so I left about 45 minutes before my appointment, and after waiting to park for 35 minutes, I got a space right at my appointment time. The parking situation there is just ridiculous!

While waiting for my name to be called, I ran into friends (a couple) who are also pregnant. This is their first baby and the wife was all set to give birth at the hospital where I had Sara, but she has a huge fibroid tumor and the small private hospital was worried about complications and sent her to Nisseki. She is now 36 weeks and HUGE! SHE looks like she’s pregnant with twins! But she’s only got one in there, and a huge fibroid tumor. She and her husband and I are all friends on Facebook and they know how unhappy I am with Nisseki and we were talking about our experiences there in comparison to the first hospital and she agreed that the other hospital was much better. She said she cried after her first appointment at Nisseki it was just so different and unwelcoming. I am sorry that she is having such a hard time of it too, but I am relieved to know it is not just me being oversensitive. It was nice to have them to talk to while waiting as well since I ended up spending about 3 hours at the hospital today, most of which was spent waiting!

The wait was worth it though. We finally found out the baby’s sexes!

boysSee the arrows pointing to the boy bits? Exciting stuff! While I knew they were boys, I thought I would keep my mouth shut about it until I knew for sure. I said to Akinori once I thought they were boys, but he said I said the same thing about Sara and didn’t believe me. But every time I have ever pictured the future with our babies, they were always boys, and I have had several dreams about having boys. As much fun as I thought it would have been to have 4 girls, and part of me is just a little disappointed that it’s not 2 more girls, I am pretty thrilled we are having boys.

I’m excited to have the chance to raise both boys and girls, and to keep up the Kaneta balancing act. Akinori and his 3 siblings are 2 boys and 2 girls. I am hugely relieved that I will not be pressured to get pregnant again to “try one more time” for a boy because I know Akinori really wants a boy, no matter what he may say. Mostly I am happy to be able to give my FIL grandsons from his first son. FIL is the oldest son of the oldest son of the family patriarch, and I know it is a big deal for him to have the family name, and hopefully family business carried on. Akinori and I have discussed before that we would not pressure any of our children to go into the family business. If they did it would be purely by their own decision only. Of course nothing says that Sara or Amelie couldn’t take over the family business either, if they wanted. But this is Japan, and the family business is hard manual labor, and in FIL’s mind having a boy means a greater possibility of keeping his legacy alive. My SIL was actually given 1,000,000 yen (about 10,000 USD) from her PIL when she gave birth to her first son. My ILs will not be doing that, nor do I want  them to, they do enough for us already, but when I heard that it really hit home exactly how much having a male heir means to some people. Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t think my ILs love or value Sara or Amelie any less than they would a grandson, but I think having a grandson has a different meaning to them. I’m just glad I will be able to give my FIL one.

Aside from seeing the sex, the ultrasound was completely uneventful. I thought it was supposed to be a detailed anatomy scan, and when I asked the tech said, “I looked as best I could and from what I could see today, there’s nothing wrong.” Hardly the reassuring scan I thought I was going to get. I did find out the babies’ weights, 501g and 527g, which is excellent and right on track for their age, and the difference is well within reasonable, which means they are not at risk at the moment for TTTS (where one twin gets all the blood and nutrients from the placenta and the other suffers for it). But the doctor once again went on about how I should prepare myself to be hospitalized from around 30 weeks. I had to talk to another midwife after I met with the doctor and I asked her again why it was necessary to be hospitalized if both the babies and myself are all healthy and her explanation was far from convincing. Twins are high risk and therefore at risk for premature labor. Which I get, but I don’t see why they can’t keep track of my progress on an outpatient basis if I am not showing any signs of going into premature labor, which I’m not. I know that can change at a moment’s notice, and if I NEED to be hospitalized, of course I will willingly submit, but if I don’t NEED to be in the hospital, I don’t see the point, or how being in the hospital helps. Plus, it’s a completely unnecessary expense!

So after my appointment I called the midwife clinic and once again asked the midwife if there wasn’t some way I could give birth there, but she said it was impossible, as I expected. I explained to her exactly how I felt about the hospital, and she said she could understand and agrees that changing hospitals would be a good idea, but  I would probably have to promise the hospital that if they decided I needed to be hospitalized for observation that I would go along with it. I told her that of course if I NEED to be hospitalized, I’m happy to go along with it, but Nisseki doesn’t care if I do or don’t need to be, they have their own agenda, and that’s all that matters. I’m not a person when I go there. I’m a body, with babies inside, and all bodies get the same treatment, regardless of any other circumstances.

She has to go to the hospital tomorrow with another one of her patients and said she would speak to the midwives there about me and see what they say and then she will call me later tomorrow. I felt so much better when I hung up the phone, like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. For the first time since finding out I’m having twins I actually feel like I have some control over the situation, like this birth may actually be just as exciting and happy and fulfilling as the first two, instead of being filled with a sense of dread at the thought of being separated from my family for no good reason, or forced into a c-section because it’s easier for the doctors. My fingers are crossed for some good news tomorrow!

Tomorrow is also the December birthday celebration at Sara’s kindy. They have a big birthday celebration once a month for all of the kids born that month and the parents are invited and they perform a little play and sing songs and each child gets up on stage and introduces themselves and what they want to be when they grow up and they practice for this every day for a week or two beforehand. I’ve heard it can be quite tearjerking. Considering the state of my hormones, I am putting extra tissue in my bag when I go tomorrow. Which means tomorrow is another big day. Must get some sleep!


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.

2 responses »

  1. What a rollercoaster of a Christmas! The throwing up in the car is the WORST, huh? One of teh Fabreeze’s (the green bottle) is fabulous for upchuck. We have had plenty of opportunity to try all manner of things. @_@

    Exciting to get confirmation on the boys being boys. 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear how Sara enjoyed today’s celebrations and hope you have a much more peaceful rest of the winter holiday!

  2. Thanks for the Fabreeze info! Luckily Amelie managed to only soil herself and her clothes, not the carseat or the car! And Sara only vomited up some bile, no food. It was more of an initiation into car sickness than a complete bath in it. 😉 Sara had a great birthday celebration at kindy too 🙂 It was very, very cute, and a bittersweet reminder for me that she really isn’t a baby anymore. (sigh)

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