Where we’re at!
My goal for this year is to get us sorted for the huge adventure of parenthood. Before I go further I would like to make it clear that I realise that many people out there will probably think I’m going overboard and I know that many people have completely unplanned pregnancies and everything turns out fine. I also know that most people take a few fairly simple steps and they are okay too. However I feel that in my case it is best to prepare quite carefully for a number of reasons, which I will outline below.
1. I am living in Japan.
I live in a foreign country where I don’t know as much about the language or the systems as I would if I were at home in Australia. I feel much less able to wing it! Also from what little I understand they do a lot of things quite differently here and if I don’t know how I want to approach things I will just have to go with whatever the doctor says – in which case my family and friends in Australia will probably point out how different it is to what they are doing and I will be left wondering which way is better. I will probably do things a mixture of the Australian way (whatever that is!) and the Japanese way (ditto!). However by reading up and finding out about stuff in advance I’ll be able to make more informed decisions!
2. My Mum lives in a different country!
Despite the wonders of skype, etc. I don’t get to talk to my Mum as much as I would like. She is a busy woman, working full-time in Australia and flaked out in front of the TV by 8:30pm (no, I am not exaggerating!). This makes it hard for me to call her whenever a question comes up. This point extends to other family as well. My aunty, sisters, cousins, etc. are all in Australia. Also, since both of my parents-in-law have passed away, my on-site help and advice will have to come from other quarters. I have host mothers who I’m sure will help out but they are (quite rightly) caught up in their own grandchildren.
4. Knowledge is power!
Being informed should help me to make good decisions, as well as to justify my decisions to others when they offer advice I don’t want to follow. Also, things have changed a bit since my Mum and most of the other people I am relying on for advice, did this! I need to study up so that I don’t end up using out-of-date methods.
5. I am lazy!
Particularly when it comes to money stuff I am really lazy! I am not going to go from store to store making comparisons of different products and I am not going to sit down and work out how many cents per nappy I would save by switching to cloth/ hemp/ Costco disposables etc. I would prefer to ask you guys about tyour experiences and learn from the wealth of knowledge out there! When I hear of a good deal or learn something valuable I will definitely pass it on too!
Anyway, as this is my first post I would now like to fill you in on where I’m at.
What I’ve done So Far!
This is what I have done/ am currently doing to prepare for pregnancy:
I have gone off the pill.
My research tells me that you should do this before you start trying to conceive but different sources give different time spans. One book I read said you should go off the pill 3 months beforehand, another said a month. As it happened I ran out of supplies and went off the pill in August so I’m already up to about 8 months!
I am taking supplements.
This is not something I have heard much about over here but at home the first step for most people seems to be to start taking supplements. I relied on my sister here (due on the 19th of August!!) and got her to stock up on what she has been taking and send them over with Dad when he visited over Christmas. I am taking the Nature’s Own Pregnancy Platinum multivitamin pictured here and I have my husband taking a men’s multivitamin as well.
I am trying to organise a pre-conception health check
This is proving a bit trickier than I expected. It seems that the idea of having tests done before you get pregnant is a bit unusual here. So, after doing some research and trying unsuccessfully to book an appointment for a pre-conception health examination I have decided to approach it like this: I am going to make an appointment for a pap smear and some questions and go armed with a list of tests I think I should have and see what my gynaecologist says. Wish me luck! I’ll be sure to report back and let you know how I go.