Today, finally, my wife left the hospital after having spent 60 days there.
Yes, if you weren’t aware, Ayako has been in the hospital since mid to late December. Back before Christmas, Ayako travelled about 2 hours away to Maebashi, Gunma to visit the hospital where our second child will be born. On that day, Mia and I stayed behind in Chiba expecting that Ayako would return the following afternoon after spending the night at her parent’s place. Instead, I got a surprising call from Ayako shortly after noon. The doctor said the baby was in a dangerous condition and that if Ayako was not immediately hospitalized and put on 24 hour bed rest then there would be a high chance of serious complications including premature delivery.
Ayako agreed to stay, and we both thought it’d be a week or two at most — that she’d be home for New Years and all the special activities that go along with it.
But, we were wrong.
One week turned into two, then three turned into five, and every week passed with roughly the same report — she needed to stay at the hospital until they were sure she and the baby would be ok. She ended up staying until after the 37th week and planned to go home a few days ago… until the largest snowfall in Maebashi’s last 120 years decided to spoil the get-out-of-the-hospital day. Good thing snow melts, and now Ayako is finally resting just 5 minutes away from the hospital at her parent’s place.
So for the vast majority of the last 60 days my schedule has been completely insane, at least from my perspective anyway. Going from a mother-father team to this long, but temporary single father role has made life considerably more exhausting. My schedule has been one that is mostly at the mercy of Mia’s schedule since she has stayed here with me.
Mornings often go like this:
Wake up around 7
Give Mia breakfast (banana, yoghurt, and snack bread)
Change my clothes, then change Mia’s diaper and clothes
Pack a hand towel, 5 diapers, a bento box, fork, spoon, 2 empty soup cups, and bib into a special carry bag
Take Mia’s body temperature, write it down in a 連絡ノート book along with:
- when she went to bed
- when she woke up
- what she ate for dinner
- what she ate for breakfast
- when her diaper was changed and why
- what time and who will pick her up
- and a free text field for writing about Mia’s mood
Then I’d help Mia to put on her coat and shoes and try to get out of the house before 8.
Next stop, Mia’s preschool, before I run for the train.
After a 50 minute commute, I start work sometime between 9 and 10. Just a few hours later it seems, I have to leave to pick Mia up before 6PM.
The evening usually ends with:
Cleaning the tub and drawing bath water.
Giving Mia a bath or shower.
Then spending about 45 minutes trying to get her to go to sleep.
By that time it’s often around 10PM, and I still have to wash dishes, dry the clothes, and find my way to bed.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
And throw in the occasional sick Mia or sick Charles – the former which happened a bit more often and required I take her to the doctor. Not fun.
Well, not much longer. I’m really looking forward to seeing that next baby girl, and I’ll be so glad when Ayako is finally home
And, one thing’s for sure : I have newfound sympathy and profound respect for any single parents out there. It certainly takes a special type of endurance to keep moving forward each day.