It’s now 6 days since we were blessed with the arrival of Ricky. Although his due date was October 11th, we expected him to arrive early, and sure enough, one week after reaching full term (37 weeks) Twinkle’s contractions began.
What we weren’t expecting was such a protracted labour: in the end Twinkle endured 34 hours of contractions, the first 16 hours of which were at home, the last 18 of which were at the hospital. The reason for this was probably because for the final 3 months of the pregnancy Twinkle hadn’t been allowed out of the house / to exercise, due to the risk of a premature delivery. Because of that it seems the muscles needed for delivery were a little weak. In the end she had an IV drip that triggered stronger contractions, and 6 hours later Ricky was born.
I stayed with Twinkle throughout the process, massaging her lower back to help relieve the extreme pain she felt as Ricky slowly descended. This, and the actual delivery itself, left me in absolute awe of her – she really was incredible, remaining determined throughout despite her obvious exhaustion.
The final stage of delivery was relatively quick, but completely mind-blowing. As the father, seeing Ricky emerge and within a few seconds give his first hearty cry brought tears to my eyes – tears of joy, tears of relief.
The hospital staff were fantastic. Professional, reassuring, caring. Within a couple of minutes they had the umbilical cord cut and clamped, Ricky cleaned up and in mummy’s arms. Following that they carried out all the usual checks to make sure he had everything he was supposed to have (he does!), measured him, gave him a quick bath, weighed him and returned him to mummy and daddy.
It’s standard procedure in Japan to keep mums and babies in for 5 or 6 days, which for us, as first-time parents, was a huge help. As well as ensuring that both Ricky and mummy could fully recover from the marathon delivery, they also provided a lot of help and advice when it came everyday care, including feeding, bathing and so forth. With the hospital just a short walk from home it was easy for me to visit each day.
This morning they were finally ready to come home. Having just had a feed, Ricky slept throughout the journey, and once home settled into his new mini-futon without complaint.
Today there’s been a steady stream of deliveries; gifts from generous friends, a dedicated nappy bin complete with 720 bin bags (enough for several years!), a child savings-plan certificate… pretty much everything is in place. Next week we’ll register his birth with our local city hall, and following that the British Embassy.
It’s a delight to have him home. So far he has been angelic, doing nothing but eat, sleep, poo and wee. I think he’s only cried for a total of 5 seconds, and was quickly subdued with the offer of a drink! Long may this angelic streak continue to dominate!
Some observations: it’s remarkable how strong his arms and legs are considering he’s only 6 days old. He’s started to have fun with them too, waving them about all over the place (especially when having his nappy changed). Also, he seems to have very good hearing, as he jumps at even relatively quiet ‘sharp’ sounds (thus we’re grateful to have a very quiet house).
I’m very grateful that his arrival and first week in this world have gone so smoothly. He seems content, and is both feeding and pooing well, which is the main thing. I’m very much looking forward to see him grow, and feel privileged to be tasked with being his daddy and helping him explore the many wonders this world has to offer.