Winter Walk With Baby – Slowly Regaining My Sanity
My mother-in-law came down to Tokyo a week before my due date to help around the house. She’s not a big fan of dogs, and my husband has an irregular work schedule, so I knew I was still going to have continue to walk Kokuto. But what to do about baby?
My mother-in-law came down to Tokyo a week before my due date to help around the house. She’s not a big fan of dogs, and my husband has an irregular work schedule, so I knew I was still going to have continue to walk Kokuto.
I began maternity leave right on schedule. In Japan, maternity leave starts 8 weeks before the due date, and ends 6 weeks later. This coincided nicely with my kindergarten’s winter vacation. At first I enjoyed the time off, but as January came around, I became restless.
In my 10th month of pregnancy and fast approaching my due date, I could technically go into labor anytime, and everyone made it their business to remind me. “Don’t go out too far,” they’d say, much to my annoyance. “Are you sure you’re ok walking the dog/going to the grocery store/living your life?”
It was my doctor who came to my defense after I showed no signs of dilation in the first two weeks of January. Walk at least an hour a day. 30 minutes, take a break, then continue for another 30min. Excellent cure for my cabin fever, I thought. What a great way for me to bond with my dog before the baby comes and takes all my attention away from him.
Now, with a due date of January 31, my neighbors gasped when they saw me out and about in late January and early days of February. But, honestly, I felt fine and enjoyed being free. As I felt baby move around, I thought, “I can’t wait to take you on walks after you’re born.”
And once she was born, I looked forward to the day we could go out together. I was told not to take the baby out for at least a month and that I should stay in. I’ll have you know that on the day of my discharge, I walked my dog after dinner. I was so restless after my hostage stay, I was just itching to get back to normal.
I continued my walks, trying to fit them in whenever Baby slept. Sometimes I’d come home and she’d be crying and my mother-in-law helpless. I couldn’t just leave my dog in the house for hours without a bathroom break and a 10 minute walk just isn’t enough for a Shiba. I had no option but to take baby Kaiju out with me.
Unfortunately, baby was too small for the Ergo Baby, even with the infant carrier. I needed to get a stroller so I could go on walks without worrying about the baby. I ordered a stroller online and it arrived the next day- thank you, Rakuten!
In all the chaos, this stroller was my salvation! She already had her star wrap and a footmuff, so I figured that would be more than enough to keep her warm.
I strap her in and she sleeps contentedly, finally giving me some mental rest!