Born in Yokohama


Nothing new to report other than things are going well and according to schedule. Initially, my wife was planning to go back to her home to have the baby, but we had to change our plans a bit. We decided it may be best just to stay in Yokohama nad have her mother come visit us after the baby is born.

So last weekend, we went a children’s hostpital in Yokohama to see what their set up is like. I want the best for my wife in child so we decided to reserve a private LDR and a private room. The room was pretty nice; almost like a hotel with all of the ammenities. The rooms even have wireless internet so that I won’ get bored waiting there.

Before we could reserve a room, my wife had to get a sonogram done, despite just having one the previous week. Since this hospital is very popular, we wound up waiting almost the entire day (5 hours) for our spot to come up. When our spot eventually did come up, the doctor only spent 15 minutes with us only to tell us what we already knew. The sonograms weren’t of best quality either and did it for only about 3 minutes. So instead of switching hospitals completely, we decided to continue to go to the ladies clinic near our home, and go to the children’s hospital only when it comes time to have the baby. This didn’t make the doctor too happy, but I wasn’t bound to spend an entire day waiting again just to get 15 minutes with the doctor, when the ladies clinic gives us a full 10 to 15 minutes just of the sonogram.

On Tuesday, we went to parental training class to learn how to care for new borns. to me, it was a complete waste of time. The only information that was even remotely valuable was learning how to bathe a newborn. Other than that, all the information we received could have easily been found on the internet and I could have save 2 hours of my life.

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More on Names….


I personally take names pretty seriously, because its something that one has to live with for the rest of their lives. Therefore in my opinion, choosing a “trendy” or really unusual or uncommon name is not a good idea. A good example of this, are those people who gave their children “hippy” names like “Moon Flower” (or whatever) during the sixties. May have sounded cool back then, but nowadays it would be a person with a really outdated and even somewhat embarassing name.

My generation isn’t without its weirdos. In Japan, there has been a recent trend to give really unusual names to children. Some people choose to give their kids western “sounding” names (emphasis on the word sounding ), when in reality there’s no such name. Just a bunch of phonetic alphabets stuck together to make a non-Japanese word.

Some people want to give their children names with extraordinarily difficult Kanji (Chinese) charaters, that no one knows how to write. My cousin did this with both of his sons. To me, this is really dumb! I would rather keep things fairly simple so that the child is able to read and write their own name (with certainty) by the time they are in grade school or earlier. With newer generations of kids seemingly getting dumber and dumber, I have a feeling that we are going to have a whole generation of kids who cannot write their own names, even when they become adults, which is really sad.

Another trend is to give children names of old Anime (Japanese cartoons) characters. Again dumb! Really DUMB! This is worse than giving children hippy names, because now the child will always be a associated with a cartoon character. My cousin and my brother in law did this, which is just plain silly. My cousin named his little girl “Karin” after a cat that appears in the popular 80’s anime series Dragon Ball.

Karin
Karin from Dragon Ball

My brother in law chose to name one of his sons “Tsubasa” from Captain Tsubasa, which was another popular 80’s anime series. However, I am probably more prone to accept this because Tsubasa is a real proper boy’s name. So naming a boy after another boy (even if he is a anime character) is okay, but naming a girl after a talking cat isn’t okay, in my opinion.

Captain Tsubasa
Tsubasa from Captain Tsubasa

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Deciding Names, and trying to cope with Baby Plus


Baby Plus stuff:

We’re coming down to the end of the 3rd week. So far, nothing too specatular to report, other than Baby Plus is REALLY annoying! The rhythms are really fast now so its not as boring as it was during the first week. This means that its harder to ignore or sleep through. It’s like having a drum machine in the room, but not quite as loud.

The baby does seem to respond to it though. She moves quite a bit more compared to times when it’s not on, but again this could be sheer coincidence. The reason why I say this, because my wife says that she (the baby) is very active throughout the day. So coincidently, “Baby Plus time” could just be the time of day she chooses to be the most active. Lesson 4 will start in a couple of days, so we’ll see if she responds any differently.

Knowing that IT is now a SHE

Although she won’t admit it, my wife and I really wanted a girl. So learning that IT is a SHE makes us both pretty happy. Growing up in a generation with nothing but boys in our family was probably a bit boring for everyone. My uncle eventually did have a girl, but it wasn’t until we were all teenagers. So having a couple of girls (our child) and my cousin’s new baby, may bring a bit of spice into the family. The only thing about having a girl that may not be interesting is not having someone to do “guy things” with, like working on cars or playing sports for example. But having said that, I was never too much into playing sports, so I don’t think I would have been too good at playing ball or whatever typical father-son activities there may be. I’ve always been into artsy things like theater arts, pencil sketching, so in that sense, it’s probably a good thing.

Names….

Naming our child has at times been a very sensitive issue for my wife and me. There were a couple of occassions when the discussion escalated into argument. But in the end, we were able to sit down and discuss it out rationally. I ultimately had to sacrafice my first choice for a Western girl’s name, which was “Rebecca”. There was no logical reason why I chose this name other than I thought it sounded cool. But I figured that no one would call her “Rebecca” and rather call her “Becky” which is a name of a very popular TV talent here in Japan. And although Becky is a cute name, people may think I named her after the talent, so maybe it was a good idea to axe that name.

Conversely, my wife chose a Japanese boy’s name that just didn’t sound like something I would want to call our child for the rest of his life. By the way, the name was “Tohma” which is really unusual, even in Japan. I made it clear in the beginning that we weren’t giving our child any unusual or uncommon names with complex Chinese characters that they won’t be able to write until they are in high school, because it just complicates things for everyone. But of course, that doesn’t mean that the name has to be boring.

Ultimately, we made a list of a few names (both Western and Japanese) that we both liked and agreed on. For the Japanese girl’s name, we wanted to maintain our family tradition and use the “香” character (which means frangance) somewhere in the name. I always liked the name Haruka, written 春香, which means the fragrance of spring. It’s a fairly common girl’s name, yet not boring, and it the Chinese characters are simple enough for a grade school child to write. So this name was decided pretty early on.

The western name was not so easy to decide. But we got it down to a pretty short list in the end:

Victoria
Sydnie
Natalie
Marisol

I didn’t want something that sounded like a child’s name, because eventually she will be an adult. At the same time I didn’t wnat something that was too mature sounding. And of course, being in Japan, it has to be something that is somewhat common otherwise she will be questioned all her life on how to pronounce her name. With Japanese linguisitics being so low resolution, Japanese people tend really bastardize and mispronounce Western names. Marisol is more of a Latin name, so Japanese people would most likely pronounce it closer to its original Latin pronounciation, which would be good. The bad part is that people might just call her Mari, which is already a Japanese name and would defeat the purpose of giving her a contrasting western name. I personally wanted something a bit more European sounding, so we pretty much decided that Victoria is the winner. Thanks to Victoria Beckham aka Posh Spice (whom I really dislike), the name “Victoria” has grown quite known in Japan, so no one will question how to pronounce it. And as a child, we can call her either Vicki or Tori, which are common nicknames for Victoria, and equally easy to use in Japan.

We never got to decide on a good western boy’s name. I really like the name “William” but can’t stand “Bill” or “Will”. But we were throwing around the name “Aiden” for a while. It’s fairly common but not obnoxiously overused like John or Michael. And the Japanese name would have been “Yuhki” pronounced yoo’ kie , written “悠貴”which I admit would have been a really cool name if he were a boy.

The Verdict

Although Not ABSOLUTELY written in stone, I think its safe to say that now we know that the baby is a girl (with a good degree of certainty), the baby’s names will be:

Western Name: Victoria Hayashi 林 ヴィクトリア
Japanese Name: Haruka Hayashi 林 春香

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Now We Know!


As you can see, I have changed the look of this blog page a bit. This is to reflect that we now know (with a fair degree of certainty) the sex of the baby! Although the technician could not be 100% certain, she told us that there is a very high probability that the baby is a girl.

We went to the clinic to last night to get the 20th week sonogram (although technically we were one day short of the 21st week). The first thing that the technician did was to try to assess the sex of the baby (at our request of course). So again, she did a scan of the baby from the bottom. Over the weeks, I have gotten pretty good at identifying the sex of babies through sonograms from looking at various pictures on the internet. So, in the event that the technician couldn’t tell this time, I was pretty confident that my online training would provide me enough knowledge to be able to identify it on my own.

Fortunately for us, the ultrasound was clear enough for the technician to be able see that the baby is mostly likely a girl. On top of that, The video I took also allowed me to get a good look and also identify the sex of the baby, and it indeed looked a lot like many of the “girl” sonograms I have seem on the net.

So having said all this, I think we are all pretty happy that the baby is still progessing nicely, and that she is growing at a healthy pace!

Here are some pics in their usual sonogram unclarity

curled up
Here she is all curled up

She got legs!
Here are her legs or at least one of them

Finally, here is the sonogram video. At one point, the tech will point out the baby’s girl parts. That is where she idnetified that the baby is a girl.

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Halfway there!


We are now offically in the second half of the pregenancy. It seems like it was only just the other day I started this blog, and now here we are already half way done. At times I feel as if time is time is flying by, while other times I feel as if time is dragging on.

We will go for the 20th week sonogram this Friday. HOPEFULLY we will know the sex of the baby then.

Anyways, here is the belly shot. A bit bigger from the last time:

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