instead of going home from the hospital, i decided awhile back that i was going to go to my parents' house for a little while after the birth. it's not unusual in japan for the mother and baby to go back to her parents' home and the father to commute to see the baby (i don't think most men get paternity leave from their work). this way the mother is in a familiar environment and can be taken care of by people she's comfortable with.
why did i decide to do this? well, number one, i'm lazy and i always jump at the chance to have someone else take care of me. who better than my mom? and, number two, JR made a boo-boo the first time around and i wasn't going to stand for that again.
i tell this story all the time but i have to repeat it here, too. after the boy was born JR immediately got sick with a cold. that, coupled with the stress of being first-time parents and having to sleep on an uncomfortable cot at the hospital, made it worse. so, when we returned home from the hospital with the boy, JR was totally sick. he slept in the bed and the boy and i slept on the couch for three nights. not that JR requires a lot of attention when he's sick in bed, but i had to take care of a newborn and a sick spouse while dealing with my own afterbirth issues. as you can imagine, i didn't want to have to do that again. not that there was a guarantee that JR was going to get sick again with this birth, but you never know.
when i told JR my plan to go to my parents' i think he thought i was kidding at first. then he realized i was totally serious. but he didn't object. honestly, i don't know how feels about my decision to do this because he never told me, but i'm sure he wasn't totally happy about it. so, for the last three days i've been staying with my parents around the clock while the boy and JR come to see us during the day before going home to sleep. JR takes the boy to school, comes over to my parents' house to spend a few hours with the girl, goes to pick up the boy, runs some errands and comes back in the late afternoon to be with us and have dinner.
i know it can't be easy for JR. not only is he driving around all over the place taking care of business at home, but he's not spending a lot of time with the girl. i'm actually depriving him of the crucial bonding time with his daughter that he should be having while he has time off from work. and, being a typical mom, when he offers to burp her or just give me a few minutes without her, i say, "that's okay, she's fine where she is" and i continue to hold her.
i'm totally grateful that he's going along with this without uttering a single complaint. it's allowed me to recover without worrying about any of the housework. because i know if i was at home i'd be overdoing it, trying to get things done and worrying about the boy. this way, i know i'm in good hands with my mom, the boy is in good hands with his father, and i can concentrate on the girl.
originally i thought i would stay here for about 10 days. but i miss my boys. i really miss them. and the more i think about it, the wronger it seems that JR isn't with his daughter 24 hours a day and i'm not available for the boy when he needs his mom to be there during this transitional time for our family. so i'm going to go home soon. after all, my parents' house isn't my home anymore -- i have my own home and my own family. that's where i should be.
lastly, i have to say that i seriously couldn't ask for a more understanding, cooperative husband. thank you JR. i love you.