My Japan blog has a big gap between late February 2004 and early March 2004 where I didn’t have any access to make updates. As I am writing this in 2014, I had the best of intentions to fill in the time with some standalone articles about life in Japan. However, real life sometimes has a way of throwing off the best laid plans. In the time that I was going to use to write articles for my blog, my wife gave birth to our first child early. Seven weeks early to be exact. Since this has basically taken over my life at the moment, I decided that I should write something about our birth experience. Also, The Wife is directly related to my Japan blog (spoiler alert), so it does kind of fit.
Without further adieu, I would like to begin a multi-part account of the birth of our son.
Once Upon a Time in Japan…In summer 2013 The Wife and I went to Japan to visit friends and family. We had a pretty busy schedule, but did manage to find some time to ourselves on occasion. About a month or so after we returned to Winnipeg we started to get some indications that something was different. Without getting too detailed, we noticed that The Wife’s monthly visitor had not yet arrived, which is to say that Shark Week had been cancelled. In other words, she had not fallen to the communists. We initially wrote this off to the effects of international travel and jet lag. But as the days went on, we started to suspect that there may be another cause.
After a few weeks of worrying, we took a nervous walk from our house to the nearby Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada’s largest retail pharmacy chain) to buy a pregnancy test. We were overwhelmed by the wide range of options available. Seriously, how much competition does the home pregnancy test market need? After about 5 minutes of staring at the options awkwardly (which seemed like an hour), we bought a 2 pack of Shoppers Drug Mart’s store brand and started walking home.
The idea of being pregnant was not a complete surprise. We had decided a few months previously that we would stop taking precautions, which is a far less scary step than “trying”. Even so, the idea that our lack of precautions had actually worked was something that we were having some difficulty processing. On the walk back home we decided that we would do our best and be happy either way.
This was the first time that either of us had purchased a home pregnancy test. We figured that they had to be pretty easy to use, so we didn’t read any instructions. About an hour later The Wife went into the bathroom and closed the door. I tried to keep focused on whatever it was that I was doing on the computer, but had no ability to concentrate. This was it. This was the moment that we would find out if we were going to be parents. If we were in a movie, the Hans Zimmer background score would start to build up. I waited nervously at the keyboard, fingers working, mouse clicking, not paying attention to any of it. Finally – a flush, the sound of hands being washed. The door opened. This was it!!
“I failed the test” said The Wife.
“Huh?” I responded, not sounding like a fairly intelligent university educated man.
“I failed the test” repeated The Wife.
“How do you fail a pregnancy test?” I queried.
“You are supposed to take off the cap before you pee on it. I peed all over the cap” she replied.
At this point we both burst into some much needed laughter. It totally defused all of the dramatic tension, but also took all of the stress out of the situation. After we stopped laughing (which took a while), we took out the instructions from the package. Sure enough “remove cap” was one of the first steps, complete with a picture. We read the instructions carefully and decided to attempt the second test in the morning.
The next morning without much fanfare, dramatic buildup, or tension of any kind, The Wife went to the bathroom, took the test correctly, and found out that she was pregnant.
(to be continued)