Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fourth Trip To Japan... The Biggest Surprise!

13th September, 2006 - It's that time again... it's been a while since we came back from Japan (Feb 2005), so we've planned a big trip. T-chan has gone back early to spend her quality time with her family. I'd planned to spend about 4 weeks in Japan, two in Sapporo and about another two with T-chan around Kyoto. This was going to be a big trip for us... and to be honest I'd spent the previous 2-3 months planning on what to see in Kyoto! I'm a self-confessed history-holic.

Ah - it was going to be hard to be away from T-chan for 3 weeks; but I was really looking forward to this trip. Strangely however, this trip was not easy for T-chan. She often has problems with headaches, but the flight over was bad. She had chosen the option of a day flight and a complimentary overnight stay in Kansai International Airport (through JAL). Flying is rarely the fun part of travelling.

About one week after T-chan had arrived, I awoke to get a strange email. T-chan wanted to me to call her urgently, as she had been to the hospital during the night - it was about 7:30 am Adelaide time... not a great start to the day.

T-chan started off by telling me that she'd had a huge migraine in the early morning and had her parents take her to the hospital (around 3am) as she'd been so sick. There they'd prescribed some medicine... but had to do a quick check... when T-chan (and her parents) had found out that she was pregnant! We were going to have a child! Whilst we'd been planning a family, this was not quite to schedule... but life is funny that way.

I was in shock... learning that I was going to be a father, over an international phone line... so many emotions, and yet the thing that I felt most was the intolerable distance between myself and T-chan. How was I feeling? Mixed emotions. The world had suddenly become a lot more complicated a place.  Even though we'd been planning for some time (fastidiously recording dates etc), now that it was here - it was bizarre. I was also very excited - but it's also something that didn't quite feel real.

Within a couple of days, T-chan had gone to the obstetrics clinic to confirm the hospital test.  I have to say that I was also amazed at the ease with which T-chan could access the medical services. In Australia, obstetrics services are difficult to arrange, and expensive (in the private health world). In Japan, it's just a matter of turning up at the clinic just about. Still - happy to have had travel insurance, as T-chan was no longer covered in Japan.

Whilst I was still in Adelaide, T-chan had gone to the clinic for an ultrasound...

At about seven weeks, this was amazing to see life starting out so small - and yet, so definite. The small dark oval shape is the very start of the the life of our son. You can't imagine how far away Japan felt at this point.

The other thing that had started to happen - and this was definitely not according to our plan... T-chan had lost her taste. Huh? Seriously - she couldn't taste anything anymore. Unfortunately the last meal that she'd been able to taste was a so-so family restaurant meal... NO! of all the tasty food that could have been her last memory... why did it have to be so ordinary! We'd never heard of this happening, and it wasn't something that T-chan was liking. At all. This was definitely a challenging trip for her - but it was also the start of the biggest, and best trip. Parenthood.

Those were the three longest weeks of my life... and my ties to Japan just became a whole lot more real.
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