Well here I was....having a baby so far from home. I felt very homesick at this point, I just wanted my Mother. Tom's mother tried to help me gather things together that I would need for the baby. It was difficult for me, it wasn't as if I had a convenient baby store near us. I had to travel into Tokyo for specific items, like the glass baby bottles, and double steamer for them. We did not have a dryer, I did have an old washing machine thank goodness.
Even though we were watching our budget, I talked Tom into using a diaper service...otherwise I would of gone insane. Remember, this is right before throw away diapers came into being. We also found a western style food store in Shibuya that carried dry infant formula and other odds & ends that would come in handy.
(Because of the surgery that I had earlier the doctors advised against breastfeeding because of the scar tissue)
One day Oka-san came over and when I went to answer the door I see this little bit of a woman in a kimono struggling with a large blue plastic baby bath. I immediately helped her in, I broke out in laughter and she joined in. It was funny not being able to really speak to one another, yet we had just shared a terrific moment together regarding our yet unborn son. Please remember the tub, in a later story we will go back to the tub.
Like many soon to be parents Tom & I agonized over the babies names. We had a list for girls, we had a list for boys...my Mom had sent me a book of names, & of course, Dr. Spock's book (God bless that book, it was so needed) Well, Tom wanted to honor his father and use his name somehow. His father's name was Enji and as we looked over boy's names the name Ken kept coming up..I found Kenji which meant healthy. It was just perfect, if it was a boy the name Kenji would incorporate his father's name of Enji. Also since this was the dark ages, no way to find the baby's sex out beforehand...we had to choose a girl's name also...I was headed for Tamiko or possibly Hanako which meant flower.
Well, my due date was Dec. 26th, 1965...so of course I go into labor on Christmas Day or at least I thought I was. The hospital said "false labor" go home. Home we went....Dec. 27th - terrible back pain, onto the hospital again. This time they keep me...I started dialating and continued for 29 hours...thought I was going to die. When the baby finally decides to crown, I'm alone in the room with a totally insane husband...no one's in sight, ringing the bell did nothing...I told Tom the baby is coming! He went running down the corridor yelling in Japanese/mixed English everything under the sun for a doctor.
He made such a commotion that I had a bunch of doctors & nurses come flooding into my room. Somehow they got me onto a gurney, wheeled me into the delivery room...meanwhile, I know the baby crowned because I had reached down and touched his head! They are yelling at me to turn on my side for an injection to my spine, someone was pulling on white thigh high booties just so much action going on it was ridiculous. I'm the only sane person in that damn room! I told them, of course they wouldn't listen, just let me have the baby naturally at this point I'm over the pain. Nope, they are going to give me a spinal if it kills me. They start injecting me telling me to lie still (huge contraction going on) and they proceed to send both my legs into charlie horse spasms...and they were about the only things that didn't hurt at point.
Well, my baby had a mind of it's own about it's arrival time...three minutes in the room and there he was.....he was not going to wait for the spinal tap to work...he was ready!
He was very healty....7 lbs. 8 oz. and 20" long. Huge head...see the picture that's one of the reasons for the long delivery. They say that women forget about the pains of childbirth afterwards...bullcrappy! I remember it all, too well, but I would not trade a moment of the whole thing because it gave me someone very special...my son Kenji
Actually, I almost needed to put Tom into a hospital bed..the two days and the rush ending had almost done him in...I really think he had a mini breakdown runningdown that corridor! Poor guy.