Hello, and welcome to the everyday language podcast, this episode has got a special topic as it’s about pregnancy.
At the time of the recording my wife, Satoko was pregnant with our second baby and in today’s conversation Amy Lin, today’s guest, asks me about pregnancy stuff and how it has changed our lives.
Vocabulary and Expressions
the due date – the expected date to give birth
to give birth – When a woman or female animal gives birth, she produces a baby or young animal from her body
precise – accurate
mum – UK English
mom -US English
maternity leave – time off work for the mother/mum to look after the newly born baby
paternity leave – time off work for the father/dad to look after the baby
it’s going to be ages – it’s going to be a long time
fingers crossed – (idiom) describing a (sometimes) literal action people do to express hope
why’d you go through that again? – why would you do that again?
to go through – has the connotation of doing something that is difficult
that is something else – (expression) that is great, that is something which I can’t describe (positive and negative meanings possible)
realise (UK) – realize (US)
hold on! – (to express surprise) wait!; stop a minute
to be grumpy – to be in a bad mood
boyish – ish is a suffix that functions as a useful way to turn a noun into an adjective. It expresses a little bit of; has the characteristics of; like, near; or about
girlish – a little bit girl like
bookish – likes to read, likes to study
smallish – a little bit small
fiftyish – about fifty years old
Okay so let’s begin.
Mark: Did I tell you my wife is pregnant?
Mark: The due date is tomorrow.
Amy: Huh! Oh my goodness, no way!
Mark: Er, but she says, well she expected it to be last week, cos our son was born a week early, but she doesn’t seem… I think the baby wants to stay inside.
Amy: Oh ok, I see, so what, what is it like though?
Mark: What’s it like? What do you mean?
Amy: Like, for example, when, when people tell you like the baby’s due in one week, right?
Amy: Or maybe, does the doctor, give you a date, the exact date, an exact date.
Mark: Yeah we’ve got an exact date, so, I think they’re quite precise in Japan, like, her… her work wanted to know like about 8 months ago, when she found out she’s pregnant, 3 or 4 weeks pregnant, and then they said, okay when are you going to? When’s your due date? Because we need to arrange cover for your work,
and then we need to know when you’re gonna go on maternity leave, (uh huh) and so [we] ask the doctor when is [your due date], so they gave her a proper date like 7th , er, tomorrow, 8th of November, like you know, months ago, 8 months ago or 9 months ago.
Amy: Is it accurate? The date?
Mark: Yeah, I mean how can you tell? I mean,
Amy: Yeah that’s what got me really confused, like, oh.
Mark: Mm, I’m not sure how they’ve done that, um, yeah like, apparently the baby wants to stay inside, hehe.
Amy: So for example, if they give you the date 8th of November, of November 8th right? Then what do you do? Do you just sit at home and wait or do you go to the hospital that day?
Mark: Yeah, that’s a good, good thing to think about, we just talked about that, umm, we just talked about that [when] we bumped into someone at the post office, I think usually Thursday’s her day to go to the hospital, so if the baby doesn’t come, I think she was saying she’s just gonna go on Thursday, like she’s arranged already.
Amy: So for example, then what about when the baby is about to come, I don’t know how to describe this, like to me, it sounds like they give you a date, I thought like that day, that morning, you had to go in, just to be prepared, is it like that? Or no?
Mark: You don’t go straight away, that’s what they said here anyway, wait until…
Amy: So, so you have to wait at home, and then just go with, like depends on your body, I guess, like?
Mark: Yeah, but our son was born, she didn’t (um) tell me she was feeling anything until, like quite late, I think she said it started in the morning, and it wasn’t until like 8 o’clock in the evening that she said, “oh yeah I think maybe we should go to hospital”,
Amy: Oh wow, so, so it’s not like where like, you feel the baby’s coming and you just cannot move at all?
Mark: No, I think, well I can only talk about what I saw, from my wife,
Amy: Uh huh, yeah, yeah yeah.
Mark: And, actually, then I missed because we went to hospital, and it was like 8:30pm or 9pm, and then we waited there for like an hour, and the nurses, the midwife said, okay you can go home now, to me and her mum, so we went home,
Amy: What about your wife?
Mark: So she stayed there, um, I went to bed and then got a call from her mum saying, “we’ve got to go back, she’s giving birth now”, like at 1am- 1:30am so I didn’t drive then, so her mum came to pick me up and then go, and then by the time we got there she’d given birth, like, it’s [- the hospital] only 15 minutes away.
Amy: Wait, wait, hold on so how long was the process?
Mark: Yeah, I think she said it was like three or four hours, so it was like…
Amy: That’s really quick right?
Mark: Like we left around 10pm or 11pm, she must’ve, you know, when they said, no it’s going to be ages don’t worry, you can go home, she must have basically just started [giving birth] when we left, and then…
Amy: Uh huh,
Mark: Yeah, by the time we got back baby was here, and that was it, we missed, actually, the painful part, because afterwards, she was like, you know, you could tell she had been through something really, really, really difficult, because…
Mark: She (- a bit difficult to hear) was in bed couldn’t move, and, you know it’s a big thing isn’t it?
Amy: So usually at least that’s what I hear, oh well I’m what I see from the TV for my Chinese tv, is where, like the wives usually want the husbands to be in the room with them, when they are giving birth,
Mark: Yeah, I’m going to be there this time hopefully, er,
Amy: Do you want to be there? Though, I mean like?
Mark: Yeah, I want to be there, to you know to help her and, yeah I know, it’s not going to be very nice, you know, there’s going to be lots of blood, it’s gonna be painful.
Amy: Yeah, it’s so scary to me just to hear that,
Mark: Yeah, but then it’s not me going through it, it’s her so, like I want to be for her, yeah um, so like I want to be there for her.
Amy: Uh huh,
Mark: Yeah so, I’ll try, I’ll try, cos she said, “are you going to be alright?” I said, “I hope so because I’m not the one doing it you are.”
Amy: So wait, what about last time when your first baby was born did you? Did you feel any kind of regret that you were not there?
Mark: Well no, no, I was like well, it can’t be helped, can it? Like, it wasn’t like we were, you know we planned to be there, we just weren’t though, I didn’t, yeah I didn’t get-…like feel bad about it, you know fingers crossed this time she’s gonna be okay as well, and er,
Amy: Then, you know, for her first birth was it very painful? Like, did she talk about it afterwards?
Mark: Yeah I mean you could just tell, cos she couldn’t walk like, [for] a couple of days after.
Amy: So if she went through something like that, why would she want to give birth again? I mean, I don’t know, I just, from my perspective it sounds scary? Why’d you go through that again?
Mark: Well there’s two things, isn’t there? Cause there’s like cos she’s been the mum now for two years or three years
Mark: And that is something else, it’s amazing, like you know being a dad is amazing, erm, I think.
Amy: Oh wait hold on, you think it’s been amazing? Or?
Mark: No it is,
Amy: Ok ok,
Mark: You can’t, it’s hard to say, what it’s like, I think it’s kind of natural in a way which you don’t realise before, because er, you’d never think so, so, well you might think it, and then, it’s just one of those things you have to experience.
Amy: Uh huh, oh okay.
Mark: You know like you know people will say this, it’s all clichés, you know like, “Oh, when I became parent and then everything changed”, I guess it’s like that a bit, you know, you don’t, you don’t feel like the same person as you were before, you know, your baby came, well you’ve got responsibilities I guess, haha
Amy: Okay, so that’s the one thing I wanted to know, like before you had your first kid,
Amy: Were you a big gamer? Well actually no, hold on, were you a big gamer at all? Or no?
Mark: Not a gamer, like I was, I used to like going clubbing, you know going for a dance, and [listening to] loud music, having a drink, with friends or whatever, playing football, you know, I don’t do most of that now. Ha
Amy: I see, so was that because of baby? Or no?
Mark: I want to be at home for when my son’s here and my wife is here, so if I’m going out drinking… actually, she wouldn’t mind that much she’d prefer if I go out more.
Mark: I think I stay in round the house too much, but you know, like, there’s, I think you have to change your lifestyle, a bit, like a lot, and then like, he’s at nursery from 9am till 5pm/9am till 6pm
So after that it’s like do-, cook dinner, play with him a bit, you know, have a bath, go to bed, like we’re in bed by 9o’clock!
Amy: Wow, 9 o‘clock, uh huh, what time do you [get up]?
Mark: I get up like at 5am or…
Amy: Hold on!
Mark: I’ve been getting up at 4:30am lately.
Mark: Yeah 4 or 5am, just to do study before he wakes up, to do something and then.
Amy: 4 to 5am? My! Uh huh.
Mark: Yeah, I mean because I’m preparing for this exam, Japanese exams have to do all this other stuff,
Amy: Uh huh.
Mark: And then, you know it’s good because it’s quiet and he’s really asleep.
Amy: What time does he usually get up?
Mark: Er, he’s like, if you left him, he’d probably wake up around, naturally at 7:30am, um, yeah if you wake him up before that he gets really annoyed! Hah.
Amy: Ha, really,
Mark: Yeah he gets he’s really grumpy yeah don’t wake him up before he wants to get up.
Amy: Huh I see, and the second baby, it’s a girl right? Or?
Mark: Yeah, going to be a girl.
Amy: Are you looking forward to having a girl?
Mark: Yeah, yeah [it’s] good, like a balance in the family, like it’s probably a bit too, er, boyish, for my wife at the moment.
Amy: I see, uh huh, that’s cool.
That was it for today’s episode, remember to check out the website for the transcript. And just to say my wife gave birth safely to our baby girl, and both are doing great!
For more from Amy please check out her language learning blog letslanguage.com where she writes about her language learning experiences, gives language learning tips and reviews the latest language learning tools.
Intro music Happy by Setuniman, see his work on Pond5.com
Outro music: Accordion Improvisation song by Tristan Lohengrin
Both works under a CC licence.
Episode 9: Teaching in Japan
Episode 15: Amy interviews me about teaching and language learning
- Satoko said she felt she was going to give birth in the morning but she didn’t say anything because there was no painful feeling until much later. ↑