Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Boshi Techo - A Pregnancy Post

Today I made a trip to our local ward health office to pick up my boshi techo, or mother-child handbook. In Japan, you have to register your pregnancy with the government in your second trimester. It was pretty entertaining. Typically, in other government-office-type interactions, not a lot of Japanese is required. You hand them the required paperwork, they hand you whatever you came for, and you're done. Well, here they needed to explain some things to me - things which I clearly did not understand. The woman who helped me was probably nearing retirement age and didn't speak a lick of English - all well and good; I'm in her country, after all, but it does make things more interesting. Fortunately, she was absolutely delightful and we had a great time not communicating. :) I received a booklet full of postard-coupons that can be redeemed for various things throughout my pregnancy: two free health examinations, a free dental exam, two free baby exams in the first year, one card that needs to be mailed in when the baby is born, and any number of others which apparently went right over my head. I also received the boshi techo itself - the "maternal and child health handbook." It's really pretty cool! Is there anything like this in the States or elsewhere? It has pages to record my medical history and a teeny-weeny bit of Mike's ("Health condition of spouse: well/not well"), work conditions, and a complete record of this pregnancy - all the measurements, blood pressure, weight, who conducted the exam, how I will get to the clinic for delivery, etc. - as well as the record of delivery, dental condition during pregnancy for the dentist to fill out, a chart to plot my weight gain during pregnancy and after delivery, and then a record of the baby's health and milestones through seven years. Whew! It's extremely complete and I'm pretty impressed with it. There's also an informational section in the back on nutrition, parenting, and so forth. I'm supposed to bring it with me to every appointment. Speaking of appointments, we had one on Monday where we hoped to find out if we were having a girl or boy, but alas, the bits were too small. Next time! said the doctor. That'll be on September 16, Dad's birthday, and right around twenty weeks. The doctor did tell me that the absolute maximum that I can gain is ten kilos, which is just over twenty pounds. This will keep me from having difficulty in childbirth with too large a baby (something he's been quite concerned about since he found out how much Mike weighed at birth). Of course, in the U.S. they tell you that if you gain less twenty-five pounds you risk having a low-birthweight baby. Oh, what to do, what to do! In other news: I'm pretty sure I felt the baby move today! It seems a little early, so I could be wrong... but I don't think so. It felt like a flounder flopping in my lower abdomen just for a moment - that's what got my attention - then it was like someone was lightly poking me with their finger from the inside. Pretty crazy! I'll keep you posted on further developments. :) And will start adding photos of Ben and Sam's visit soon!



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home