Saturday, March 29, 2008

Welcome to this world!

Yesterday I spent a few hours in the evening visiting my friend Heidi in the hospital. Heidi had her baby on Thursday morning just a few days past due date. A few complications so the baby is in an ICU unit but hourly he is getting better and hopefully he'll be able to go home in about 10 days. Welcome into your new world, little Luke!

Anyway, I went to the hospital expecting to have to give Heidi some extra support but she was actually in very high spirits and had bounced back from the delivery with energy to spare! Seems that running back and forth the the pediatrics ward to visit Luke (not to mention God's goodness) has given her spunk, spirit and a quick recovery. Of course, in the States, pregnancy and delivery aren't considered illnesses and I know new mothers in America are allowed to go home the day after the baby is born, but in Japan it has always been a week long hospital stay and special care for the new mother for the next month.

In my day, new Japanese mothers weren't allowed to touch water for the month which meant they either had their mother or mother-in-law come to take care of the them and the family the whole time, or more frequently, the mother-to-be would just go back to her family a month before the due date (sometimes on the other side of Japan) and stay until the baby was a month or two old. This meant the new dad had to be separated from his wife and new baby for a couple months though he would make the perfunctory hospital visit a few days after someone had phoned him that the baby had arrived. So much for family bonding.

Though the no touching water rule was great if the new mom wasn't up to washing dishes and clothes, I never thought it so wonderful because it also meant that she also couldn't take a shower or wash her hair. Eeww! Gross! Thankfully (especially for Heidi!) this superstition has been set to the wayside and I was interested to hear the nurse tell Heidi yesterday that she was already allowed to take a shower.

Heidi seems to be adjusting to hospital life and hopefully she'll be able to go home in a couple more days (I guess the week hospitalization rule has been changed too). She had been hoping for coffee and donuts for breakfast yesterday morning and was greeted with fermented beans and salty fish so I can see how she may get tired of hospital food pretty fast.

I wish I could show a picture of the new family in one shot but with little Luke still getting special care I only have a picture of mom and dad. You can tell Wataru-san (Heidi's husband) isn't a old fashioned Japanese husband (like Tetsu?) because he didn't mind posing for a quick pic and gave me the okay to post it on the blog!

Please join me in saying a prayer that the new family will all be together soon!


[michele] said...

Prayers sent for Luke!

Such a sweet little face!

anne bebbington said...

Luke looks such a proper bruiser in that SCBU cot - usually the occupants are so tiny - I'm sure he'll be fine and they'll all be home together where they belong

Maya Madhavan said...

I wandered over to your blog from Tonya's and I've been reading it since - you write wonderfully and I learn a lot about life in Japan! The best way to learn about a different culture is to experience it. I don't think I'll ever live in Japan, so reading about your experiences is the next best thing!

It is interesting that new mothers weren't allowed to touch water for a month. It is the same in the part of India I am from - except that it is not all water, just cold water. So, as long as it is warm/hot water, it is fine.

Praying for Luke and his family..

teodo said...

Velcome to Luke.
I send a HUG to Luke and this family.

Wataru-san and Heidi are a very lovely couple.
.........and they are lucky to have friends like you and Tetsu.
ciao ciao

Shelina said...

Congratulations to the family - and they do look like a lovely couple. I think it is great that the Japanese take care of the new mothers - and glad that the no touching water doesn't include showering anymore! It's good that it still includes no washing dishes too. My nurse told me not to wash the dishes or drive as well. I'd like to think that everywhere around the world, men are taking a more active part in child rearing.

Elaine Adair said...

Happiness for all the family. Welcome to the world, little Luke!

4 Boys and a Lady said...

We are praying for little Luke! Omedetou to both Heidi and Wataru-san!