2020.10.23 Dr.Vikaによる出産・育児体験記

The joy of a working mother

Greetings to all. Malo e lelei (Konnichiwa in Tongan). My name is Vika Lemoto, I am Tongan and currently undergoing advanced clinical training here at the Anesthesiology Department of Kameda Medical Center (KMC). This is my 3rd year here at KCM but my 7th year in Japan. If it wasn't for the Covid-19 restrictions, I would have already returned back to my country in the last fall. I am quite thankful and grateful to be here and still continuing to gain experience from the KMC. It has truly been an excellent journey so far, and truth to tell, I love every bit of it.

In this short article, I hope to respectfully summarise my experience as a doctor who is also a mother raising small children. This article is purely my personal views and by no means intended to portray any type of person or to support any political viewpoint. With all due respect, please let me share my story.

When I found out I would be coming to Japan, arrangements were made so I could bring my family, my husband and 2 small children. A choice that I am absolutely glad I made. Like you may have guessed, starting out in a foreign country is not the easiest thing to do. Despite the circumstances, we got used to life here in Japan. One of the extraordinary experiences I encountered was giving birth to my youngest child here. To have a child here was only an added dream to what I wished to achieve by coming to Japan; to have actually gotten her, I counted my blessing.

When I found out I had conceived, I did not know what to expect at work. I was concerned about many things but most of all, whether I would be healthy enough to carry out my clinical duty properly. I am most grateful to the generous anesthesiology team here at KMC, my boss and the immediate supervisors and colleagues, who were able to provide support when I needed it. They would cover my duty so I could attend my routine antenatal clinic here at KMC hence it was quite convenient that I attended the KMC Antenatal Clinic. Fortunately, despite my various concerns about giving birth abroad without my immediate family, I had a wonderful unique experience in an unremarkable delivery.

I was surprised to have learned that mothers could take extended maternity leave here for more than 1 year. I was concerned; I did not want to take a long leave. I figured from my first 2 children, leaving the child earlier is easier for both child and myself. In my experience, separation anxiety of mother and child is much less when introduced earlier in the child's life, and although I never want to leave my child for a moment until she/he enters primary school, this is not the reality for me, I cannot possibly have that, and so the earlier for baby and myself to continue our daily life on each of our own way, the better for both of us. I also did not want to be absent from work for a long time as I did not want to compromise the progress of my clinical training. So I decided to return to work in 2 months. I am grateful for the good health that baby and I both received, if it was not for that, my story would have been different.

Circumstances had it that my husband always stays home, so he was happy to care for our child while I returned to work. I am most grateful to him, as caring for an infant alone for a few hours is no easy feat.

Again, it was very convenient, as returning back to work, my Anesthesiology team is very understanding and generous for my motherly role. They would allow me to visit my child during the day or have a leave if my child is sick. I am forever grateful to them. I've been back to work now for 6 months and very thankful to say that all is well with my child and work.

I am lost for words to describe the tremendous support I've received. The never ending support of the Kameda Medical Center and its staff, my boss and colleagues at the Anesthesiology team, the provision by the Japanese government through the Kamogawa City, and last but not the least, my family. I looked back and realized it could not have been done without all of their support.

Wishing you all a joyous festive season and prosperous New Year


皆さんこんにちは。 Malo e lelei(トンガ語のKonnichiwa)。私の名前はビカ・レモトです。トンガ出身です。

現在、亀田総合病院麻酔科で高度な臨床研修を受けています。 KMCでは3年目ですが日本では7年目です。 Covid-19の制限がなかったら、私は去年の秋にすでに私の国に戻っていたところでした。私はここにいて、KMCからの経験を積み続けていることに非常に感謝しています。








麻酔科主任部長 小林 収