We were at the clinic again today, for the “Final Period Check-up”, so we must be entering the final stretch. This involved a blood test, to make sure that Yuriko isn’t anaemic, and the non-stress test. The non-stress test involves recording the pressure in the womb and the baby’s heartbeat for twenty minutes, to make sure that the baby isn’t under any stress. She should be moving from time to time, and not get all panicky if the womb contracts. She did, it did, and she didn’t, so no problems there. We had another ultrasound scan, which looks a bit like an elephant, or possibly the dead alien at the beginning of Alien, and now we know that she weighs 2,300g.
She is, apparently, showing absolutely no signs of feeling like being born. This is generally a good thing; the more time we have to prepare for the arrival, the better.
We did a bit of preparation over the weekend, visiting a couple of Yuriko’s friends who have small children. One of them is pregnant again, just a bit behind Yuriko. Both children were quite shy to begin with, but the little girl warmed to me after a while, and spent quite a long time showing me all her toys. The boy never quite got to that stage, although he had loosened up a lot by the end of the visit.
The girl was born in Finland (although both her parents are Japanese), and only came to Japan a year ago. (OK, she’s only two and a half.) She could, apparently, distinguish English, Japanese, and Finnish, so I tried talking to her in English. She went quiet, listening intently, and then, when I was finished, giggled in an embarrassed fashion. That’s what most adult Japanese women do when you speak to them in English, as well.
Anyway, we have to go to the clinic every week from now until the 40th week. If Yudetamago still hasn’t been born at that point, we have to start going twice a week. It mounts up; antenatal care is not covered by health insurance in Japan. Fortunately, it’s a lot cheaper than not-covered-by-insurance antenatal care in the US, but still, not cheap.