Monday, July 28, 2008

Now We are Four: The World Meets Mia Faith Elliot

Our Most Recent Family Photo

I will not even attempt to catch up on all the blog posts I have meant to write but haven't over the past couple of months . . . or at least I won't for now. And I will not simply leave everyone with a link to my online album of "The Birth of Faith" because Yuko still hasn't had a chance to censor it. So for now I will make a little effort (but not so much effort as to drown my motivation) to offer up for the benefit of our long suffering friends and relatives a compilation of select photos of our family's event of the year--with captions and commentary.

The handwritten portions of this sign attached to Faith's hospital bassinet declare, among other things, that the occupant of the bassinet is Mia-chan, that the protagonist of the event commemorated by the sign is Yuko Elliot, that the said event took place in the 20th year of Heisei, July 19, at 9:28 a.m., and that Mia-chan weighed 3,876 grams and measured 51 centimetres at that moment in history. It fails to mention anything about "Saturday," but I will throw that information in for free. Saturday babies are marginally more expensive than weekday babies. Oh, and the pink bunny-eared balloon in the top right corner says "girl-child." I have already explained Faith's name in a previous post, so I will take the short cut of providing a link to it rather than explaining it all over again.

美信 Faith, Approximately 32 Minutes after Being Born
(Click here to View for Comparison a similar Photo of 恵真 Grace taken exactly one year and one week before this photo.)

The very subject matter of photos taken in delivery rooms frequently renders them ill-suited for publication in blogs (although if you followed the link in the previous sentence, you probably realize that I was a lot more "daring" two years ago than I am now). Hence I begin the record of Faith's postnatal life 32 minutes after it actually started, even though I carefully videotaped the first half hour of it, not to mention the half hour leading up to the first half-hour (Yuko pointed out that it would be unfair for Faith not to have a "birthday video" since Grace has one).

After Getting Over Her Initial Shock, Grace Took a Great Interest in "Mee-chan"
I can only assume that up until this moment she thought that "Mee-chan" (diminutive of Mia) meant "big belly" or "bellybutton."

After temporarily getting over her fascination with Faith, Grace developed an equally keen interest in her mother's breakfast. One of Yuko's main complaints about giving birth to Grace was how HUNGRY it made her. For some reason, on that occasion the staff brought her breakfast into the pre-labour room just as she was going into labour and took it away just as Grace was born. Anticipating a similar tragedy, we came armed with power snacks so Yuko wasn't hungry at all. Ironically, this time the kitchen staff brought her breakfast right into the delivery room and left it there all morning.


Don't ask me why everyone is resting on Yuko's hospital bed except for Yuko . . . after all, no one else in the family went through the hard work of giving birth (although I suppose Faith went through the hard work of being born). In Japan it is standard practise for even problem-free births to be followed up with a minimum of 5 days convalescence in the hospital or clinic (fully covered by insurance). No one believes us when we tell them that it is common for mothers in North America to go home the same day they give birth.

At the clinic of our choice (St. Cecilia Ladies' Clinic) a four course meal catered by a local hotel is a part of the deal. The doctor/owner himself comes around to congratulate each couple and pour them a glass of grapefruit juice. I'm pretty sure that that doesn't happen at Mutsu Public Hospital (which is where most people in our village travel to to give birth).

Oops, I guess this is our most recent family photo--taken the day we brought Faith home.

Grace Introduces Faith to Our Living Room
(During the two weeks leading up to Faith's birth, when I was waiting at home alone for a phone call from Yuko telling me her contractions had begun, I had brought Grace's little table into the living room so that I could eat curry and rice night after night while watching movie after movie. Not that I was being totally degenerate. I did try baking bread once--in a home bakery, that is--and I did get a descent day's work in every day. I just couldn't sleep at night, being a two-and-a-half hour drive away from my family).

Grace immediately set about rearranging the living room, including Faith's child seat.

Grace knows that both these chairs are hers, so she likes to use both of them, even though she can only actually sit in them one at a time.

Nap Time