Monday, November 3, 2014

On Pregnancy in Japan

No. I am not, nor will I ever be pregnant.

I've forgotten the password to this site more times than I can count.

But back to the title. I've currently outlasted the majority of the foreigners I came to Japan with. The ones in my area that are left are all men. All of them are married. And within the past few years the majority of them have decided that they are going to spawn. And yes, their wives are Japanese.

What I've discovered through these men is that they are no more enlightened about pregnancy than their Japanese counterparts.

1. My first shocker was hearing that epidurals are not a typical part of the birth process. My next shocker was that of the three foreign men I've talked with recently, all of whom have kids or have wives that are about to give birth, none...NONE of them knew what an epidural was! Whether their wives want to have one or not is up to them. But the fact that the guys, who are all university educated, couldn't be bothered to research this fucking obvious part of birth kills me.

What's more is that two of them didn't seem to give a fuck. "I don't know what that is, I'll just let my wife decide" tee hee hee. Funny, huh?

2. The next thing you may or may not know of is tearing, known as perineal tears, which sound about as nice as you can imagine. This shit is serious enough to have degrees...like a burn...
Except in this case, it's the result of your gaijin husband's huge gaijin baby tearing its way through your body. If it seems like there's not enough space, the doctor or nurse will take a pair of scissors and cut from your anus to the hole where the baby is coming out, this is called an episiotomy. So, you're lying there, pushing this huge fucking baby out of your cootch, with no anesthesia, when someone pulls out the scissors to cut open your asshole. Again, nothing to numb the pain...confirmed by my coworker this past week.

I should mention that having your asshole either split open or cut open during birth is not something unique to Japan.

3. Finally, I wash shocked at the lack of knowledge about things such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, postpartum depression, and any of the other slew of birth-related and post-birth related issues. 

I don't expect men or even women to be 100% on the ball on everything that goes on with pregnancy and birth. But, I really can't describe how thoroughly pissed I feel at these men who really just left everything to their wives. I'm sure they are more supportive than the average Japanese guy, but, really...the three points outlined above are HUGE. They can impact the whole pregnancy and marriage. 

What's worse is that most Japanese women are NOT open to talking about these kinds of things with their husbands. And so, these guys don't know that their wives probably have stitches up their assholes and don't want and can't have sex for at least a month. Three, four, five months after having a kid, I go to forums and see these foreign men bitching that their wives don't want sex anymore. Can you imagine why?

While their wives are stuck being pregnant, these smug motherfuckers are just sitting around like they're the coolest thing since sliced bread. I don't know if I'm overacting, but there's something about this laissez-faire attitude that really irks me. None of these guys, that I know, seem like the types that have given any serious thought to the issues that surround raising a multiracial child. None of them seem to understand the "mama-tomo" interworkings of female-mother friendships, school expectations, and more that they will be faced with as their kids age.

Other sources on pregnancy/birth in Japan include: this, this, this and this.

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