Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Baby News!

1440 minutes! This is how long Aki was in labor, yes one full day! I have even more respect for mothers after having witnessed what they go through. After checking in around 7pm on Monday, Feb. 8, he finally came out around 7pm on Tuesday, February 9. It was a sleepless night & day spent mainly rubbing Aki's lower back. :)

About 18 hours into it, the doctors told us they may have to deliver by C-section. This is done in less than 10% of births here in Japan (compared to over 20% in the USA). Fortunately, we were able to avoid this. But in the end, they did have to bring out the forceps (coincidentally, they were needed in my delivery as well, my mom thinks this may have lead to my crooked head).

This was a slow day at Odawara City Hospital and at times there were around 10 doctors/nurses assisting with or observing the delivery. On a busy day, they deliver a half a dozen babies. We were so happy with all of them. But I noticed one interesting thing. Whenever Aki made a loud noise (I didn't think it was loud), one doctor would sternly say, "Don't make any loud noises". I wanted to say, "Go ahead Aki, scream", but I kept my mouth shut. During one of those slow moments, I did attempt an "oyaji gag" (old man's joke). I said, "You need patience (patients) to do your job". No one laughed.

Taiga Calvin Matsumoto
Height: 18.7 inches (47.5 cms)
Weight: 6.7 lbs (3040 grams)
History behind his name: This Year, 2010, is the Year of the Tiger. Taiga (pronounced like Tiger) is easy for people to pronounce whether we are in Japan or the states, and it's a little bit different (like his dad's). Coincidentally, February is also the month of the Tiger and the 9th of February is also the day of the Tiger (according to the Chinese zodiac). So our boy was born on a very STRONG "Tiger" day! BTW, "Tiger" people are said to be sensitive, deep thinkers and capable of great sympathy. Many Japanese ask about the kanji (Chinese characters) for Taiga. "Tai" means big or strong. "Ga" means noble or right. We gave him his middle name, Calvin, after his grandfather in California. In Japan, it is not a custom to be named after a family member. You don't meet any Jr's here. So when Aki brought up my dad's name as a possible choice for our "English" name, I jumped at it. It's not possible to have a middle name here, so actually his name will read TaigaCalvin (one long name) on his official documents in Japan. For his American passport, the names will be separated.

One more interesting thing happened on this day. The days before Taiga's birth were quite cold, average highs around 10 degrees celsius (50 F). But February 9th was an unusually warm and sunny 20 degrees celsius (almost 70 F). His birth brought warmth, relief and tears of joy to us. We waited 5 long years, but he was all worth it! :)

Aki will spend the next week in the hospital. This is normal here as it gives the mom & baby time to bond. Nurses and doctors are always right there to answer questions, give "How to..." lessons, and in case of any emergencies. Aki's genki. She only gained 17.6 lbs. (8 kgs). The doctors were very strict about weight; I think she was allowed to gain a max. of 2 lbs/week. Thank you Aki for taking such good care of yourself and being so strong during the delivery. Yes, our new life has just begun!

Top left picture - Just 30 minutes after birth!
Top right picture - Day 2!
Bottom left picture - Day 4!
Bottom right picture - One week!


Unknown said...

Wow, Taiga looks so cute! He looks a lot like both of you already. It is usually so hard to get a newborn to open up his eyes, but Taiga looks so alert already! It is nice that Aki gets to stay in the hospital for a week. Here in the U.S. it is usually only 2-3 days and then they send you home.

Welcome to your whole new world of parenting! It will be the most wonderful experience in the world, enjoy every moment.

Love Mom and Dad

Unknown said...

Beautiful story and name! Congratulations Conrad and Aki XOXO

Ken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken said...

Congratulations! Taiga is one handsome boy! We are so happy for you and Aki. Can't wait to meet Taiga and to see him grow and play with his cousins! You two are going to have sooo much fun! Send more pictures Con!

BTW, your joke was hilarious! ^_^

Cindy said...

He is a beautful baby! Such expressive eyes...he appears curious. I love the amout of thought put into his name. Congratulations!

Unknown said...

Congratulations to all of you. We are so happy for you. He is adorable!! Keep posting pictures. Wish we could hold him. For now- give him big hugs from all of us.
Lance, Lynn, Stephanie, Kristina, Paul and Kimi

Unknown said...

WOW..he's soooo cute! and your mom is right..his eyes are wide open..he's so excited to be here he's taking EVERYTHING in!! ;)
Congratulations!! He was worth the wait!

Can't wait to meet Taiga!!

Lil' Ann

Masa said...

Congrats!! Conrad!! I'm so happy to hear that news! Taiga looks so cute and sweet! I'm looking forward to seeing you, Taiga. And Aki-san, "Otsukaresamadeshita!" I can't imagine that long delivery. What a great mom you are!

Reiko said...

Wow,Taiga-kun is cute!cute!cute!He has big eyes like you and Aki.
I can't even imagine how hard 24 hours labor without getting an epidural would be.it was very nice that you could be in the delivery room and support Aki for 24 hours.
We can't wait to see baby Taiga-kun!!

BTW..I like your Oyaji-gyagu, Conrad :)I remember Ken tried to make me laugh on the way to the hospital, but I'm sorry,it wasn't funny at all when I had contractions every 5 minutes,,hahaha.

Please give Aki and Taiga-kun big hugs and "Otsukaresama!"

Anonymous said...

Yeahhhh!!! Congratulations! That is fantastic news! Love the name too.

Joseph N. said...

Congratulations from Stockton. You must be the happiest man in Japan!

Very interesting story about Taiga's name! I have Japanese-American friends from USC whose parents gave them an "Americanized" first name and a traditional Japanese middle name.


Hideki said...

Congratulations! Taiga is so cute and looks like Conrad. I think it was so tough for Aki and Conrad to keep patience with the long time delivery.



Conguratulations Mr.Conrad!
Taiga is so cute ☆

And...name mean is great!!
My favorite animal is tiger.
So,if I'll get baby boy, I want to give same name too.

More,your wife looks very gentle and beautiful.

You look very happy and spend beautiful time.
Nawadays,such situation we called "reajyu".
Do you understand this mean ?
This mean "real busy by happy things".

Try use this words if you like.

See you later. Bye-bye.


YOKO said...

Taiga is soooo cuuute!!
and the meaning of name was great.
You are very good father.
He looks like you.
and he must be "IKEMEN" as like you!
I really wanna see taiga:)
Please show me more taiga's photo.



I'm Junichi Nishijima.

Your baby is very cute!
I have a nephew.
He is 11 months old.
So I take care of baby too.
Taking care of baby is sooooo hard!
So sometimes he looks like devil:>

I wanna see Taiga!

09082 Junichi Nisijima
Kitasato univ.