We are expecting our first child in less than three weeks! I am scheduled to deliver our baby at the Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital which is a very large facility. We are so thankful for the excellent care I’ve received at the hospital – I couldn’t have asked for a kinder staff or a better prenatal experience. Incidentally, we have Japanese national insurance and so far, most of our visits have been free! In fact, I haven’t paid more than $4 for any of my prenatal visits.

Recently, my gaijin (foreign) friends have been kind enough to throw us two baby showers. This is a totally foreign concept here, so it’s been fun to include Japanese ladies in on all the fun.

Shower #1 was held in Sendai – many of the guests were contacts from my time in Sendai back in 2001-2003!

Our friend Sarah made this lovely coconut cake

Here I am with a Japanese lady who is seven months pregnant – I think that Japanese pregnant ladies tend to be super small compared to us foreigners.

Group shot

My teammates here in Ishinomaki held a shower for me and it was just as terrific!

The sweets table – check out the diaper cake!
The gracious hostess Katherine

We played a guessing game of “how many centimeters wide is Danielle’s waistline?”

Opening gifts – here I received an adorable finger puppet set

It was so good to see the ladies having fun together and enjoying themselves.

Group shot!

We have received so many gifts from friends here – it’s been overwhelming at times. We have received loads of diapers, a stroller, tons of baby clothes, baby toys, financial gifts, and so much more. I have to admit, I am excited about the idea of raising a child in Japan. I know we will face lots of challenges, but I also know it’s going to be rich and sweet. We can hardly wait to meet our little girl and introduce her to our many friends here in Japan.