I gave birth in a Japanese hospital during a global pandemic!
A comical recollection of my birth experience in Japan
Never in my life did I think that I would have my first baby alone, unmedicated, in a non-English speaking hospital during a global pandemic!.
I was supposed to finish packing for the hospital today; I was busy with the laundry and I wanted to mentally prepare myself for my induction journey. This day was meant to be spent with my husband and his mother and sister celebrating his sister’s birthday. They were also supposed to take me to the hospital the following day to be induced at 40 weeks and 4 days.
But nothing went according to plan.
I woke up with my contractions already being around 10 minutes apart. They didn’t start out painful at all, so I just figured that I was experiencing Braxton Hicks again. Boy was I wrong!
Around 10 am I started to realise something just wasn’t right, but I didn’t want to create a fuss if there was nothing to fuss about. So, I woke up my mom at like 3 am (South African time) and eventually, we concluded that I really should have Shota call the hospital.
Of course, this now meant that it was also time to tell Shota that something has started to happen and start creating a fuss. I wasn’t prepared!
My bags weren’t packed, I wasn’t showered, I hadn’t eaten yet. I expected everything to go according to a plan. And now here we were calling the hospital and timing contractions. Which, by the way, were already 5 minutes apart.
Fast forward to getting a check-up in the hospital
After getting the horribly invasive cervical check the nurse asked, in broken English, to call my husband and speak to him about the results.
I was 2 cm dilated, which I had been for weeks already, and my contractions were still too weak to be of concern. So, she gave me the option to go home or to stay in the hospital, to which Shota said I should stay. I wish I went home! For the first 2 hours, nothing really happened. I was bored, had no phone signal and was alone.
After the 2-hour mark though, things changed and everything started happening at the speed of light. Just kidding, it felt so slow and drawn out.
I was exhausted from dealing with the contractions and I would often fall asleep during contractions only to be woken up in horrible pain again.
Everything after that felt like a blur. 4 hours after being admitted I was crying in pain, begging for pain relief and dilated to 4cm. 2 hours after that I was screaming from pain and got the cervical check from hell. Next thing I notice is I’m being thrown around the bed like a rag doll as the nurses try to get the bedsheets out from under me. That cervical check from hell was the nurse breaking my water!
By this point, I was terrified. I didn’t understand what they’re saying or doing. I didn’t know why they’re being so rough. I was confused and exhausted.
Just after 5 pm the nurse who was flipping me like a pancake told me to get up and walk, "baby’s coming!" she said.
So, I got up and waddled across the hall into the labour room, got on this chair contraption and get hooked up to all the machines once again. And this is where the fun starts.
In the delivery room
I was half sitting half lying on this chair contraption of theirs, with my legs spread open and my body has already started getting the orders to push while I was in the labour room. The midwife or nurse or whatever was busy getting ready and dressed screaming at me to stop pushing. It is the hardest thing to stop pushing when your body wants to push!
The nurses coached me through the birthing process since I had no idea what I was doing or how to use this interesting chair with handlebars on the sides.
I’m also pretty sure that I was cussing. A lot. I’m not entirely sure which words I used but I’m sure if you go on YouTube and look at those exaggerated movie birthing scenes you would be able to imagine what I was like.
Compared to the lady giving birth in the room next to mine, I’m pretty sure I sounded like Godzilla.
The last words I remember before Jun came out were, "I see hair!" and I just thought, "fuck yeah get him out!".
One massive push later and out comes baby. The head and shoulders were the worst!
If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to give birth without an epidural; imagine being constipated for a year and after the head comes out the rest just feels like jelly worms falling out. Sounds gross, but there ya go. It’s also pretty confusing because it really does feel like you have to go #2. Hell, I even might’ve but I really wouldn’t know and I’m very happy I don’t.
It was a quick process; I was only busy for about an hour before I was done and ripped in half with a crying baby boy who looked more like his father than me. But man was he cute… after they washed him, and he gained some colour in his face.
My opinion, but babies look kind of alien when they first come out and it’s pretty scary. I mean you’re lying there; you’ve just shoved this little human out your hooch and you see him, and your first thought is, "oh… that’s him? He’s kind of ugly though."
Newborn babies are only cute after a few hours! And after a bath…
Feel free to check out my Youtube Videos about my experience =D
My hospital stay:
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