In honor of our 5th wedding anniversary on July 30th, it seems like the perfect opportunity to share our love story with our readers!
The post below was originally written in February 2017, and appeared at a previous blog that is no longer in use. The title then was “Raindrops and Shared Umbrellas: On an anniversary and the story of a year’s happiness”.
Now firmly out of “newlywed” territory, I can say that marrying Masashi is something I would choose again and again a thousand times, and all of the challenges we have faced together have made our marriage even stronger and more beautiful than it was in the beginning.
Our love story is no longer just a story of a year’s happiness, but five years of numerous experiences and emotions, sickness and health, grounded firmly in love.
I enjoy revisiting what it was like at the beginning, and am thankful for how God brought us together.
To reminisce with us, please read below!
During pregnancy, so much focus can be on preparing the baby.. but preparing the mother is important, too!
Especially for new mothers, it can be helpful to know what to expect after giving birth, and how to make the transition to motherhood easier.
Below I share a list of what I found useful during my postpartum recovery, and my thoughts about each item. Or, scroll to the bottom of the post to discover what items were “not worth it”!
Pregnancy can feel overwhelming with all of the preparation involved, and a very real deadline within which to accomplish it all!
In addition to purchasing items for baby, deciding on a place to give birth, and so on, there are also so many resources out there to read written on the subject of pregnancy itself.
Below are a few of the titles that I read prior to my son’s birth, and my thoughts on each resource.
Our son Jamie is EBF, which means exclusively breastfed.
Although you might not see a lot of people breastfeed publicly in Japan, many public spaces are supportive of breastfeeding. The building where we grocery shop includes a breastfeeding area on the third floor, which can be easily accessed via elevator.
I have taken advantage of a few of these public “baby stations”, and they are very convenient!!
Our beautiful rainbow baby arrived to this world on March 11th!
Our birth experience was different from what we expected, but still overall positive. We chose to give birth at a clinic vs. a hospital, run by the doctor who was the care provider during my entire pregnancy.
The following is our birth story, about what it’s like to give birth in Japan and during the COVID pandemic.
At 39 weeks and 3 days of pregnancy, we are nearly to baby’s due date!!
I am now officially on “maternity leave” from our home business, and trying to enjoy this time as much as possible while we wait for our son Jamie’s arrival.
One of the projects that I’ve been looking forward to completing is the nursery!
As of today, the last month of pregnancy has finally arrived!
My husband and I have been busy with final preparations, making sure that everything is organized for baby, as well as postpartum. Due to COVID, all of the in-person childbirth classes in our area have been shut down.. so over the last few months, we’ve been turning to online resources and books to prepare for childbirth.
If you are in the home stretch of pregnancy and interested in what we have been doing to prepare, keep reading for my recommendations below (as well as a discount code!)!
Everyone experienced last year differently.. and despite the popular narrative that 2020 is a year to “throw out” like curbside trash, it is also one for which I am deeply grateful.
In 2020, we experienced many hardships. I lost three of my grandparents, and in June we miscarried our third child. Less than two weeks later, I became pregnant with our fourth child, Jamie. After 3 years of losses, secondary infertility, and barely holding on to hope, it is still hard to believe that I am nearly 31 weeks pregnant with our beautiful rainbow baby!
Last year we practiced flexibility and shifted the direction of branches of our business. We temporarily shut down some of our locations during the spring, and increased our online workload. We survived, even while many local businesses shut down (including several of my favorite restaurants!!).
We experienced distance from family and friends due to the pandemic, and canceled plans.
I experienced the constraints of a pregnancy during COVID19-restrictions: more isolation, and void of a lot of the celebration that usually comes with preparing to welcome an unborn child.
Yet, intermingled with the challenges, it has been a year of abundance.
Now that I am nearing week 27 and have almost hit the third trimester, there is no hiding my baby bump! As a result, I invested in multiple maternity and nursing-friendly wardrobe pieces.
However, it has not always been easy to find clothes that fit my body in Japan! I have tried out a variety of different brands in the search for the best maternity clothes, and made purchases in-store, as well as on the internet and from overseas.
It is also crazy to me just how expensive maternity clothes tend to be in Japan, so if you are pregnant, it’s helpful to have a good idea of what brands work well for immigrants with bigger or more shapely bodies.
The word is out.. we are expecting a boy!
The 1st trimester of this pregnancy seemed to drag on and on forever, but now at over halfway through the 2nd trimester, time is flying past so quickly. As a result, I want to make sure not to forget what I’ve learned along the way, and document it to share!
For example, I recently compiled a list of my pregnancy must-haves so far.
So, whether you are preparing for a future pregnancy, are experiencing your first pregnancy overseas in Japan, or just a mom veteran looking for ideas, I hope that you find this list helpful!
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