Love In The Time of COVID

Chihoko & Tokinori

PAIRS

January 19, 2021

(English – Translated)

After getting matched on Pairs in 2015, Tokinori and Chihoko got married in 2018 and now they have a daughter.
Chihoko was going to have her baby in April 2020, but Covid-19 infections started to increase in Tokyo from the end of February. In early March, she traveled to her hometown outside of Tokyo as she was planning to deliver her baby in the local hospital, but Tokinori had to stay in Tokyo due to work. Nevertheless, virus infections increased rapidly, and consequences were changing everyday, so they were unsure whether Tokinori would be able to travel to the hospital in time for the delivery. On March 13, an amendment was made to the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases, which meant that “State of Emergency” would be declared soon, so the couple lived every day in uncertainty. Tokinori “wondered what I should do in case I couldn’t travel outside of Tokyo.”
Generally, women who had babies during this time weren’t able to have their husbands present at childbirth because of the pandemic, but fortunately, Chihoko’s hometown did not have any cases of infection. This enabled Tokinori to be at the hospital until the last part of the delivery of their baby girl. Due to the pandemic, Chihoko’s parents couldn’t be at the hospital until the last minute, yet she “feels very blessed that my parents were there to welcome our baby into the new world.”
“We got married after we got matched on Pairs five years ago. We never thought we would have a baby and start childrearing in such consequences. Regardless, we are able to spend a lot of time together now as a family and our daughter is growing up in great health.”

(Japanese)

2015年にPairsを通してマッチング。2018年に結婚し、子供を授かったご夫妻。2020年4月に出産を控えた2月末に、東京でもCOVID-19への感染報告が増加。出産はChihokoさんの地元の病院で予定していたので、Chihokoさんは3月はじめに移動し、出産に備えていました。ところが、世の中では3月から急激に感染者が増加したことで、出産時の立ち合いができるのかどうか、状況が日々変化するようになりました。夫であるTokinoriさんは3月中は東京で仕事があるため残らなければならず、3月13日に緊急事態宣言が出された後は、感染の不安と「東京からの移動できなくなったらどうしようか」という不安もありました。

この時期に出産している人達の多くは、立ち合い出産ができない状況化でしたが、ちほこさんが出産を控える病院の地域は感染者が出ていなかったこともあり、分娩の最後のところだけはTokinoriさんも立ち会うことができ、無事元気な女の子が生まれました。状況的に、ぎりぎりのタイミングでしたが、「両親揃って娘さんの誕生を迎えられたのは本当に恵まれていました」とちほこさん。

「Pairsでマッチングしてから5年、結婚し、まさかこんな状況下で出産·子育てがスタートするとは思ってもいませんでした。それでも、今は家族で一緒の時間をたくさん過ごせ、娘もすくすく大きくなっています。」