Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Delivery Time - By EMI

Part of our delivery team (Hirada, Yajima, Akane) with Emi

Delivery Story

In the early morning at 4:30 am on 8/31, my water broke and thus began our delivery adventure! 

Our delivery timing coincided with the arrival of our mission pastor, Sharon and 4 other members, who came from Los Angeles to serve our Tokyo Church (Kokubunji Baptist Church) and our church’s Tohoku children’s ministry SOLA. 
See Sharon’s blog entry here: DO NOT DISAPPOINT

Even though I tried to induce the labor naturally as advised by the midwives by walking up and down slopes and walking up/down the stairs, my contractions remained irregular and 15 min. apart.  It truly was labor doing this on one of the hottest weekends of the summer!  I must love this kid.

By 7pm, we checked into Yajima Midwife clinic.  The midwife staff (Yajima-san – head midwife, Akane-san, Hirata-san, and 2 midwife students) and Sterling all accompanied me into the simple tatami mat labor room to try to work their magic. 
Birthing Room

At 10 pm, Yajima-san decided that there needed to be some extra midwife magic to speed up this delivery.  First, I drank an herbal concoction. Then, I was taken for a crazy and erratic 30 min car ride around the town that involved sudden stops, windy roads, and other unexpected turns with 3 midwives. OH, did those “natural” methods work!  The midwives were moaning and breathing in unison with me in the car and then back into the tatami room. 

With Sterling holding me, our precious baby girl Elise Masami Miller was born 1.5 hours later at 12:47 am on 9/1.  Praise God for a safe delivery, and may He bless Elise in her life to know, serve, and love Him.
Papa's first moments

Arrival moment of Emi meeting her beautiful little girl, Elise

I stayed at Yajima Clinic for the standard 5 days to recover.  (Very different from the average 2 day stay in a US hospital)

Hi Elise "This is your Big Sister Geneva"
Here is a sampling of some of the meals they served – full of vegetables, fiber, and protein. 
Breakfast  & Dinner (fish, rice, lots of veggies, some pickeled 7dishes)
**I'd hate to be the dishwasher in Japan

My recovery room was a regular bedroom inside a home


The midwives tended to me daily, which included back and feet massages.  Moreover, they doubled as lactation consultants to ensure I could nurse baby Elise well before getting released.  I followed their natural methods of drinking Chinese herbal medicine and special gobo root tea to get the milk to come in.  It worked!

I received marvelous TLC at Yajima Clinic, and loved my time there.  It was hard to leave, but it was time to start living as a growing family of 4. 
Grandma Jo "Obachan"
 with two Milbinos

Ster's cousin Yoshio with 1
 day old Elise 

We got to share Elise with our Los Angeles church mission team – a sweet gift from God to have some love from back home. 


With KBC Pastors and friends

Some FAQs
Q:  Since you don’t have a car in Tokyo, once contractions started, how did you get to the midwife clinic? 
A:  We put in a reservation a few weeks ago for a special taxi called “Jintsu Taxi”  陣痛タクシー“  The literal translation is “contraction taxi”  The taxi company maps out in advance your residence and your destination for delivery to get you there as quickly and safely as possible. 

Q:  Why not deliver in the USA?
A:  We didn’t give a second thought to returning to the USA for delivery, as the Japanese medical system is very good and safe. We are also covered under the Japanese national health insurance.  We just arrived in the spring, and here was a perfect opportunity to engage the culture as missionaries in going through this milestone moment overseas.  We of course miss our family and friends, but we hope to return to the USA within the next year to introduce Elise to everyone.

Q:  Will Elise be a Japanese Citizen? 
A:  No, she is not granted automatic citizenship because she was born in Japan. The Japanese have very strict policies about this.  Elise will be a US Citizen born overseas. Yes, she can be President of the US. We will be completing paperwork with the US Embassy to get her an American passport soon. 

Elise Masami Miller
Masa is the first kanji of Emi's father MASAya
Mi- is the first kanji of Emi's mother MI-eko
The characters together make the common name Masami- for Justice and Beauty.

The Japanese Caligraphy was a gift from the clinic. 
We don't have the footprint but this will have to do.

Elise @2weeks old  Thank for reading all the way through
Doesn't look quite so much like an 'alien'


  1. Emi, you looked so beautiful and radiant (of course) while in labor and in recovery! Your experience sounded so natural and peaceful (kind of, except the crazy car ride). we are so happy to hear everyone is healthy and well.....(from CarolineW)

  2. @CarolineWu - it was a crazy experience! Loving and wonderful, and sometime curious. Thank you for all your support and prayers. Please pray that we can adjust to life and ministry well here.

  3. Elise, at just 2 weeks looks beautiful. Must be the special delivery method of going on that car ride.

  4. enjoyed reading of the grand adventure, emi and sterling. i was very excited that sharon and the rest of japan team 4 were able to join you and celebrate elise's safe arrival. trust that you are doing well adjusting to life of 4. our love to you all.

    pastor jonathan on behalf of caroline, micaela, aaron, justin, and katelyn