We are about to happily embark into the unfamiliar waters of giving birth to a baby in Japan. I’ve been told that due to the tsunami, several birthing clinics in this city were destroyed and those remaining are often full to capacity. However, we are happy to have decided on a hospital and look forward to having the baby in Ishinomaki.

Our first visit was to the local 市役所, or city hall, to obtain our 母子健康手帳, or baby book. It is an exceedingly detailed info book that I will have to take to every prenatal appointment and post-birth as well. We then made our first appointment at the local hospital where we plan to have the baby.  At first I freaked out because I was told the hospital policy is 立ち会い禁止 (no husbands allowed in delivery room). However, our friends had a baby in the same hospital just last week and their doctor allowed the husband to be in the delivery room – whew!

Here are a few images of different kinds of baby books:

As you can see, they are ridiculously cutesy (or just ridiculous, depending on your opinion).

I also received this button-thing which says, “There is a baby in my belly.” I am not sure what to do with it…for now, I like to wave it in the faces of smokers to give a subtle hint to quit contaminating the air. Just kidding.

We’ll be sure to post about our baby adventures in future posts. We are so thrilled to be expecting and are very hopeful we’ll have a positive birthing experience in Japan.