Sometimes I think God must just shake His head and smile at my lack of trust in Him and His provisions...
We decided before we left the States that we were going to go ahead and buy a stroller and car seat in Japan even though we knew they were more expensive than in the States. We could have paid extra to send them as extra pieces of luggage when we flew but in the end decided that wouldn't be worth the headache of having to lug around extra boxes while traveling. I am glad we didn't have to deal with that, but since coming back to Japan and doing more car seat/stroller research, I started to regret that decision. We've run into a few different problems... I originally wanted a travel system (car seat that fits on top of a stroller) but have since changed my mind. Anyway, they're not very common here, and the ones you can find online are at least $600.
Then after eliminating that option, we started looking at just car seats (and maybe getting a stroller later on if we feel it's necessary) but then found out that Japanese car seats don't have carry handles or bases...apparently everyone just takes their baby in and out if the seat everywhere they go. I'm not too keen on having to wake up my sleeping baby when he or she falls asleep in the car so this was pretty disappointing for me. We did end up finding one for a whole lot cheaper than most car seats, but it doesn't have a base, and it doesn't have a 5 point harness (none of them here do). And, because it was so much cheaper than all the others, it makes me wonder how safe it really is/how well it's made.
Now I know I'm starting to sound like an over protective mama (and maybe I am) but safety is not really something I like to compromise on! Hope I'm not opening up a can of worms with this post, but in my opinion, Japan just doesn't have the same car safety standards for kids that we're used to and apparently they don't mind. Car seats are required, but we see kids up and moving around in vehicles all the time. Anyway, with our baby coming in only a month (give or take), I was really starting to worry/feel like we were out of options. I was also feeling bad because we had a friend offer us an American car seat but I turned it down because it was "expired" (which I'm not convinced is an actual concern) and she ended up giving it to someone else.
So...all this to say I've been praying God would give us wisdom and provide for us, but at the same time wasting time worrying about it. In the mean time, He was probably just grinning waiting to hand me my little gift... I just got a call from a very sweet American couple that works on the Base offering us their car American seat, as their youngest recently outgrew it! They are so generous and they've blessed us in many ways in the past.
So, now we have a car seat! And once again, I've been reminded of my need to cast my cares on the Lord and wait for Him to work! We've seen him provide in so many ways for this little one (and for ourselves) I don't know why I'm so surprised!
In other news, I'm at 35 weeks now, and going to the doctor once a week now! We went yesterday and I had been expecting to learn more about what delivering at this hospital was going to look like, but apparently I have to wait until next week or the week after. (Apparently they're counting in me having this baby on time or late!) I'm pretty sure it was hormones that got in the way, but after the appointment, I had a little melt down as my fears were getting the best of me. On top of the appointment being different from what I was expecting, I'm learning that I don't like "unknowns" and this whole having a baby experience in general, let alone in a foreign country is full of unknowns! I know this might be opening another can of worms, but we also found out that even though getting an epidural is an option, it's a little different than how they do it in the States... and they only end up giving them to about 1 in 200 (over 3 months) births which makes us nervous due to the lack of experience. So... it's looking like I'm in for a natural birth...which is not the end of the world and what I was leaning toward anyway, but it's kind of scary that the only thing they "offer" is visualization! I was hoping for more of something in the middle between an epidural and nothing at all, but oh well... Again, thus is another area I need to trust God and His care for us!
So, that's enough rambling for now! Hope you enjoyed this post anyway! Until next time...