Since some of you are curious about the whole Kroboth pregnancy thing. You have been asking questions. So, I have prepared the following list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
How do you feel?
I feel fine. I didn't have any morning sickness at all. I attribute this to the fact that I have a low-stress job working at home. I can eat whenever and whatever I want. While living in Florida, I was also exercising at Curves 4-5 times per week. This helped my over all health and energy level.
Can you find things to eat in Japan?
So far we have started our quest to exhaust Tokyo's supply of Italian, Mexican, Indian, and American-style restaurants. My favorite is El Torito in Omote-sando. I am referring to the El Torito that we found on Thanksgiving. We have gone back again, but it is kind of far away. Plus, now that we have our own apartment, I can try to find food at the local grocery stores, then prepare it at home in an American-style way (read: lots of butter and cheese is involved). Dan and I actually had our first dinner party on Monday. We invited Rich and Kay over. We had homemade pasta sauce with spaghetti. The only problem is that I thought I bought packets of tomato sauce, but it was actually tomato soup. It was still tasty. Oh yeah, the other problem at the dinner party is that Dan set the bruschetta bread on fire in our fish griller. Fortunately our apartment sprinklers did not come on.
I have also stopped rejecting so many foods. For example, when we were at the hotel, I had their cornflakes which included bananas. Bananas aren't so bad if they are slightly firm and not brown. However, I refuse to eat the green and slimy kiwi.
What is the worst thing about being pregnant?
Right now I am struggling with a bit of back pain after I walk around for more than a mile and a half at one time. Fortunately, Dan convinced me to get a support brace for my stomach/back before we left the United States. It does help, but sometimes I have to limit my walking.
What is the best thing about being pregnant?
I love to eat. Yes, sometimes I eat bad things such as Chicken McNuggets and fries. But I also love dried fruit, fresh fruit, granola bars (none to be found here), cheese, and the occasional Wendy's Frosty (packed with calcium, don't you know).
What is the most disturbing thing about being pregnant?
My belly button is becoming shallow! I used to have a deep, meaningful innie. Now, as my tummy gets larger, it is shrinking. Perhaps it will disappear completely. Will it return? This is yet to be seen.
We are excited for you, can we send you a gift?
Due to our current living situation (small apartment in Tokyo), we really don't need any gifts. We have newborn baby clothes courtesy of Angela Hines. We have a newborn pacifier. It is incredibly easy to buy things here in Tokyo so we will probably get some socks, a hat, burping cloths, and a Baby Bijorn carrier here. Diapers are easy to find. If you really, really want to get us something, the best thing would be a gift card to Target or Babies R Us. We will be able to spend these when we arrive back in the United States. We are not even sure if we are moving to Virginia or Utah in April, so sending things to our Virginia address is also kind of difficult for us.
What do you call the baby?
Yes, some people have cute names for the baby. Common ones include "little bean" or "peanut" after the parents see the first ultrasound picture. Neither one of these appeal to me. So Angela2 and I were brainstorming about what to call the kid. She suggested that I was eating for 2, so maybe we could call the baby Number 2. (Brainstorming sessions sometimes don't produce the best ideas.) Not only did this have strange Austin Powers connotations, but it just didn't sound clean. When I told Dan about our brainstorming results, he suggested that we call the kid Number 1. It is our first kid. Or, even better, who is called Number 1? Riker! So we call our kid Riker. (Note: If you don't get the reference, that is ok, it just means you aren't that kind of geek.)
Do you know the gender?
Yes, we are having a boy. The Kroboth legacy will continue!
Have you thought of any names?
In my and Dan's discussions, we have determined that Bambi is a unique name. And the deer, Bambi, was a boy deer. Why is it that so many kids named Bambi are girls?
When are you due?
The official estimated due date is March 24th.
What about traveling?
If all goes well, I should be able to travel up to 36 weeks. The problem we encounter, living in Japan, is that we only have the ability to stay for 90 days at a time. So in order to hang out until the end of April when our kid gets his passport and when Dan's assignment is done, we would need to leave the country at the end of January in order to give us 90 remaining days. So, it looks like I will have to travel when I am 7.5 to 8 months pregnant. Hopefully it will work out well. We will either go on a short trip to a nearby Asian country. Or we will go to the closest US state (not Alaska, that would be crazy in the winter, think warmer).
Travel so far has been pretty easy. Here is the list of US states and Countries that Riker has visited so far:
US States (14)
- Virginia (lots of times, at least 4)
- West Virginia (twice, once for camping, once for spa weekend)
- New Jersey (stayed with Angela2)
- Pennsylvania (went to the office here)
- Delaware (driving thru, stopped at a service plaza)
- Texas (work trip)
- Georgia (mostly just stopping at the airport)
- Florida (lived for 4 months)
- Minnesota (where we helped to build a tent platform)
- Maryland (mostly to visit Liz)
- The District of Columbia (a good place for tea)
- North Carolina (twice, once before Europe trip, once after)
- Washington (rainy in Seattle in the fall)
- United States (of course)
- Venice, Italy
- Train Trip Through Slovenia
- Austria (Graz and Vienna)
- Canada (for mom's job interview and contract signing)
- Japan (to live for 5 months)
Where will you give birth?
I am still researching this. We have 3 options: Ikuryo Clinic near Daikan-yama, Tokyo Women's University Hospital near Dan's work (very close), or another large hospital that caters to foreign women.
I am leaning towards the Tokyo Women's University Hospital because it is so close, they have an English-speaking female doctor, and they offer "pain free childbirth" (read epidural). I hope to investigate this hospital and its suitability to my preferences. My preferences are fairly specific. One is that I resist the idea of a mandatory IV.
Does Riker get to be a Japanese citizen?
In Dan's research, the answer is "no." Unless one of the parents is a Japanese citizen, no citizenship is granted to the kid.
Is Riker photogenic?
Well, Dan and I were both very cute babies. I would post pictures, but they are at our condo in Virginia. However, we do have a couple of pictures of Riker at 17 weeks.
Riker is waving here...
I believe that Riker may be growing Dan's cute caterpillar-like eyebrows. We also believe that he will have dark, wavy hair. I am hoping for the Watterworth nose, but we will see what happens. The first picture looks a little Kroboth-nose like. Nothing wrong with Kroboth noses, but Watterworth noses are superior.
How big are you getting?
Here is a picture of me in Venice, Italy at 14 weeks along.
Since arriving in Japan, I have grown even more.
Will Riker be a hyper child?
Ok, so no one actually asked this question. If his activity right now is any indication, yes. He kicks me every day, multiple times per day. It has gotten to where I can see my stomach move sometimes. Dan felt him kick once, but typically Riker calms down when Dan is around. Hopefully this will carry over into life in the outside world. I suspect many nights of Dan waking up to use his special calming powers to take care of things. :)
Will you and Dan be fun to hang out with after you become parents?
Actually, yes. We hope to employ the well-known tactic of hiring a baby sitter so that we can still hang out with our friends who don' t have kids (or don't particularly care for them). Or, if you have the ability to put up with a small one for a while, we would love to have you over for dinner at our house. Fortunately because there are 2 of us, one of us can pay attention to the kid while the other prepares dinner. We are hoping that Riker takes after me in my love for sleep during night time hours.