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Yassy’s note: Liam’s first year : Day 79-Day 81

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He was tiny little baby; 18″ tall, weighing 5 lb 6 oz…

Day 79..

On the day 79, I was happy.

Me and Liam had been doing good on direct breast feeding.

It was difficult for both of us at the beginning but Liam learned the skill for the breast feeding and he was doing great.

Back in July,when Liam was still at NICU, he was refusing my breast and cried loud and ended up bottle with feed tube thing if he could not finish it up…

2 months later,me and Liam finally got hang of it and doing good on breast feeding .

Day 79,, he sucked my breast 24 minutes one side, and 12 min the other side and when he was sucking the last side, he fell asleep.

Guess sucking was such a hard work for him:-)

Usually, he ended up falling asleep on the second breast.I do not know if it is what I read about breast milk ; the book said it got some sort of hormone that makes babies sleepy.

With bottle, his eyes are open and gradually, start to close but not fully as much as he would with direct breast feeding.

The tired little Liam had extra bottled breast milk (as par pediatrician’s recommendation to make sure he still is getting minimum he needs) 60 ml and went to bed at night.

Liam cried a bit one time on the day after he went to bed for the night and, I thought it was cry for “Give me the food” cry.

Therefore,I prepared milk and came back to his crib for the diaper change.

However…what I saw was… Liam’s eyes were closed (could see his white area in his eyeball) and Zzzzzz.

I tried to leave but he woke up and wiggle so, I did diaper change anyway.

After the diaper change, his eyes closed again and started Zzzzz again..

So, I decided it was false alert for the feed time…

I kept the milk still on the counter for just in case he wakes up and cry again within 1 hour but he was still sleeping…1 hour later.

Milk was no longer good for the the end but that was ok.

I am still trying to learn what cry is what.

It was one of the hardest skill to learn what the baby wants when they cry.

Day 81..

I finally had quiet whatever time for the day:-)

Liam had tummy-ful of milk at 4pm and was up vocalizing none meaning sound here and there,looking around, sucking pacifier here and there for a bit and finally he fell asleep.

As he gets older each day,I feel like he is more up in the morning, down in the afternoon.Seems like he slept longer between the meal at night.

So, in the morning, I find what I do is always the same;feed him,pump milk,eat breakfast/lunch, shower,take Palette for potty,go check mail etc.. and soon, sun goes down.. I needed more time in a day!

24 hours seemed not enough for me to do everything I need to do…

By the day 81, I found myself picking real quick recipes for dinner to make and trying to find whatever double duty thing:-)

Really, how I spend my day has changed with Liam (in a good way).

Day 81 was simply roasted pork tenderloin with OJ Apricot sauce served with.. vegetable medley over rice.

It is simple but tasty.

My husband loves this dish (roasted pork tenderloin,that is.I usually switch up the sauce keeping the basic the same) and it makes him smile.Try this to see if you like one too.

For 2-3 servings..

Coat the 1 pork tenderloin with steak seasoning mixed with ground cumin and paprika and roast it at 450F for 15-25 minutes til internal temp reaches at 150F

Let it rest and slice and serve with the OJ Apricot sauce.

With this sauce, I made it up and did not write down how much I used each ingredients but you can adjust to your taste.

Mix Marmalade,Apricot preserve, honey,rice vinegar,ground cumin, paprika,Mexican style chili powder,and bit of OJ concentrate in the sauce pan,

Then, bring it to boil and after boiling, turn the heat to simmer to thicken.

Drizzle the sauce over the pork and serve.

I like the smokiness spice creates.I am a big fan of cumin.

More Liam’s story continue.

Stay tuned.

Sep 18, 2017 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note: Liam’s first year: Day 72 – Day 78

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He was tiny little baby; 18″ tall, weighing 5 lb 6 oz…

At day 72, he was 9 lb 6 oz boy.. Almost doubled in size.He was growing nicely.

At about day 72 or so, we had issue with him crying a lot and sometimes nothing worked.It was one of those busy mom days with wits end.

After trying swing and that did not work, I was not sure what would be better to try next. Being a first mom and my own mother is living 14 hours flight away,it was tough moment.

However,looking back, those hardship made myself grow inside and outside.

I once thought of letting Liam sleep inside the swing if swing made him sleepy and he fell asleep but,we were not supposed to do so as par our therapist’s advice for to collect the torticollis with misshapen head (flat head).

Day 73..

I was feeling super tired.. thinking about taking a nap..just could not stop yawning.

I breastfed Liam morning again. He did fine.

When breast milk in the bottle is low in supply,I had to rely on formula which seemed to make him gassy and I really hated to give it to him.

At day 72, as par pediatrician & mother in law suggestion,we gave him gas drop right before meal before his bed time, but not sure if it did any better than a night before.

Especially because I gave Liam tummy massage ,which encourage gas goes to right direction to pass, every milk time so, I expected him to fart after that.

Around the same time I was having issue with his crying, gassy tummy issue on and off, I also was suffering with blocked milk duct.

Therefore, I tried epsom salt solution to see if it helps any quite a lot.

With previous episode, epsom salt with warm compress worked good.

Those days, with Liam’s hospital visits,I had days now and then where I could not pump every 2-3 hours as I should have done, and on and off,I had block duct issue and it was painful.

<Epsom salt solution for blocked ducts>

Epsom salt water solution; 2 tsp Epsom salt in 1 cup warm water.

Epsom-salt soaking before breastfeeding helped to open the milk duct opening and also aids in healing.

What I did was to put the epsom salt in the bowl and then, add small amount of really hot water to dissolve.

Then add warm water to cool it down.

I wet the washcloth in the solution and loosely squeeze out the solution and lean back a bit and put the cloth over my breast for 15 minutes or so.

I did it before nursing, before pumping

This epsom salt solution really worked good for my issue.

Day 77

Liam Day 77, in Giraffe gown..

On day 77, Liam killed 2 crib sheets, 2 clothes, 1 diaper we were going to slip it under him to change… It was right after I just did laundry for his yesterday and already got more to wash.

This was the 3rd clothe in one day….

Little one really went through lots of clothes a day.

This giraffe clothe was a gown. It was rather big for him even though it was newborn size. But big one looked cute on him though.

More Liam’s story continue.

Stay tuned.

Aug 09, 2017 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note: Liam’s first year: Day 68- Day 72

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He was tiny little baby; 18″ tall, weighing 5 lb 6 oz…

Day 70..

Went to 2 doctor visit with Liam. It was such a long day for us.

One of the two doctor was pediatrician and Liam was weigh in again;9 lb 6 oz (almost doubled in 2 months plus), 53 cm (21″).

Our pediatrician “Doctor Yum” has rooms with vegetable or fruit name on it.Liam used to go to sweet pea room; 0-1 month old room.

Now,from day 70, he was upgraded to blueberry room; big boy room:-)

Our pediatrician carry her practice with philosophy that the healthier the diet, the better being to be,and she got vegetable garden there and teach kids to cook.I like that.

I like she is teaching kids life skill like cooking but at the same time, she is eating kids to eat healthy food (Fresh food as opposed to process food).

I asked about the feeding; weaning over to direct breast feeding and,I got OK from pediatrician to omit the fortifying breast milk with formula powder from now on since he is growing well:-)

In Liam’s case, he was on similac expert care neosure (22cal) diet, and since breast milk is 18 cal ,they asked us to fortify my breast milk with powder to bump up the cal to 22kcal.

By that method,he gained 1 oz per day.

That made me super happy because I really did not want to give formula,which seems to create gas/straining problem with Liam more.

The nurse there said that straining could be from iron in the formula,but I do not know if it was what it was.

Anyway, she told me how to wean him over to the direct breast feeding and I tried full breast feeding for one feeding so far.

Other doctor was pediatric surgeon office. After coming back from follow up check of hernia, I offered breast and he suck 10 minutes one side and 20 min the other side!

At the time, I was curious about how long he would keep sucking so, I let him go at it. He was actually still sucking at 20 minutes but I put my finger in his mouth to let go and I pumped the rest to make sure both gets emptied out.

Then,as par pediatrician order, we gave him breast milk in the bottle to make sure he is getting what he needs.

After the feeding, he has slept 5-6 hours, cross way in his crib.

Day 72..


Liam had poop blow out, and he was so unhappy.I changed his diaper but he needed to change his clothe too.

He did not care for being naked and cried loud and after that,he was content in my arms but started crying again.

I tried holding him,swing motion and hold him, gave him tummy massage etc.. but nothing worked.

I was at wits end but then,I thought of swing and put him there with pacifier,and he stopped crying and he was happy boy.

I thought back then that when I did not find any more reason to cry for,swing would be the way to go.

However, overall, I do not think he used swing frequently.

Liam 72 days old…

Stay tuned for more stories of Liam.

Jul 03, 2017 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note:Liam’s first year:Day 63 – Day 67

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He was tiny little baby; 18″ tall, weighing 5 lb 6 oz…

Day 63…..

Since he was born, he was master of moving small hands and chubby legs so fast.

I still remember when my mother in law has seen him flipping the hands so fast that she once said that he looked like an Indian god with 6 arms (Kali).

Day 63, Liam was in the mood of exercising on the floor and I had lots of fun watching his moves.

I got Liam’s exercise tutorial then.

Follow his move.

1. Left arm up,right arm down,right leg up,left leg kick to the right side

2. Right arm up, right leg down, left leg kick to the right side

3. Right arm straight down, left arm down to the 4 o’clock position, right leg stay down, left leg kick to the side a bit higher

4. repeat

I just took picture of his exercise because his foot move was funny and that I saw the monkey toes (curling up his toe although I could not capture his monkey toe part with this picture).

I can do Monkey toes and my father can do that too but my mother cannot do it, my husband cannot do it.

Day 64… Heart doctor visit…

Liam had to go to Heart doctor on Day 64, and he did weigh in.

He was weighing 9 lb 1 oz, and he was 53 cm (about 20″) tall.

He was gaining one ounce per day. Growing like a weed.

Liam did echo (ultrasound on his heart). It seemed that the 2 holes were not closed yet, but doctor strongly thought that those holes are smaller and he would expect them to be closed on its own as he grows more.

The leak in his heat is minor at that point and, he wanted to simply keep an eye on it.

He thought the leak was also not a problem enough to cause Liam to have anything major to live his normal life.

Overall, heart seemed to be not much of worry and, I was relieved.

You can imagine how we felt when we were asked to sit down and talk about issue doctor has found on his heart long time ago. Since heart is major thing and it got me scared but fortunately not as serious as son of Jimmy Kimmel “Billy”.

The doctor did not think of the need to do surgery and that was a good news. Even if he needed one, the surgery itself looked minor and not an open heart surgery.

The location of the heart (center) might need be monitored for the lung,we were told back then, but so far so good.

We came back home being told that we should see the doctor again   in 6 months, and after that when he became 3 years old.

After the heart doctor visit, Liam was sleeping soundly..

All the poking might have made him sleepy.However, he took all the milk I gave to him after coming back home. He eats good.

 Day 66..

For last 2 days or so, Liam got better at breastfeeding technique, and I saw his chin moving and swallowing more frequently.Then, I started getting hang of it too as day passes by.

Since big bottle/jag of formula we were feeding to Liam alternating with breast milk was gone,I switched him to all breast milk feeding again just like we used to (when supply is low, use formula) since I seemed to produce more milk than before.

Day 65, he was up about every 2 hours or so and I got less sleeping (1 hour or so each in between the feeding) and I found myself feeling very tired and having hard time to keep my eyes open..

I was fortunate then my mother in law was staying with us and helped us to feed him.

I could nap while she was feeding etc.It was a big plus for me.

Day 66 night, me and Liam had rough night.

As you know, I was way too tired and took nap like around 8 pm to 10 pm or so.

When I went to nap, my mother in law fed him.

When I asked her if he was all right (I saw her holding Liam in her arms in the dim light), she said she got good burp out of him, but Liam was straining excessively and she picked him up and he farted a lot.

She thought he had lots of gas in his tummy.

Previous feeding which I did at about 4pm,Liam was fine. No straining, no discomfort look, no nothing.

One thing that alarmed me was that he took 100ml milk of breast milk in 10 min, which I thought was too fast.

It might be too vigorous sucking to feed and air got in his tummy?

And even though he did burp I heard, he might needed more burping out?

Too much crying to the time he was actually fed caused it??

I thought of all the possibilities but I was not sure which one was the cause.

Because of gassy tummy, he could not sleep well and cried, cried every 15 minutes or so even though he was not crossing his leg to strain.I picked him up, rock him,but nothing worked.

So,finally, it came across my mind that we could do tummy massage.

So, I did that on him by laying him on the towel on the floor and some gas came out from rear.And he was feeling better.

If yo udo not know how to do the tummy massage, here is how you do it.

Infant Tummy Massage

Babies digestive system works clock wise motion. Babies’ uncomfortable side tend to be left hand side;12’oclock to 6 o’clock side…

1. Head touch; with your left hand side, cup his head and with right hand give him circle motion touch on his head, to calm him

2. With your right hand, place to the cross your baby ‘s tummy. Slide hands on his tummy to the groin. Repeat with your other hand (like a water wheel),a few times

3. Place your thumbs on the center so your hands come to their side of the body.Then, slide out to the waist, a few times

4. Imagine the clock. With your left hand, gently slide your hand from 7 o’clock to 7 o’clock clock wise (big circle) ,a few times

5. With your right hand, gently give pressure and slide your hand from 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock clockwise, a few times

6. Alternate 7 o’clock to 7 o’clock motion with 12 o’clock to 6’ oclock motion, a few times

7. With your right hand,write the Japanese Hiragana letter の;From 12 o’clock to 7 o’clock and 7 o’clock to 7 o’clock a few times

8 Hold baby’s ankle and gently bounce to relax his tummy, a few times

9. Hold onto his ankle and take his knee and, very gently push baby’s legs against his belly, hold 5 seconds. Release the leg.

10. Bounce the leg again and repeat. Can do up to 6 times with leg bend motion.

Next feeding came. I tried to let him sit to burp but he did not want to bend, which he sometimes did when he wanted to drink more milk before the burping.

So, I let him drink a bit more and then tried bending him to sit.I do not know which, if he wanted to drink more thus he did not want o bend then or because of gas in the tummy.

He fought with me a bit trying to reclining back, but he did sit and he gave me a big burp.After that, he was able to sit without fighting me back.

That reaction,I had about 1 feeding after the feeding done by my mother in law,which was about 4 am feeding then.

Finally came 7 am or so feeding,. Liam could burp without fighting me back from the first time to sit to burp.

He was drinking milk much more slowly and I took more break to burp; about one sit up to burp at about every 1 oz or in the middle when he slowed down.

At the end, I had him sleep in my arms. So,he was then felt better and slept good for another 4 hours then.

Next feeding after the 7am feeding time,he did fine; no fighting with me to burp and I could have him sleep at the end,and he slept good 3-4 hours which he could not do since 10 pm last night.

So, I was up all night from 10 pm to 7 am that day… Liam did not have a good sleep either.

I slept in next day because of that. I had many thing to learn each day about parenting.

I admire my mother how she raised me and my sister when you yourself actually go through the parenting experience. I thank her every much.

Day 67..

When another feeding time came, he was taking milk slowly,which was good.

However, since he cried when he wiped his mouth and ready to let him sit up, I worried about gas in his tummy again.

But then if the crying starts even before I touch him for sit up to burp,then,I wondered it is his saying of “I want to drink more milk!” rather than “My tummy hurts”.

After a bit more drinking, he did not cry when I wiped his mouth ready to sit up to burp and he sit up without fighting me.I tapped his back to burp but no burp coming.

After the bottle finished (breast milk),I let him sit again and tried to burp him but no burp.

It might be because no air in his tummy especially he was drinking milk slowly. But when you do not hear the burp, I get sort of panic..partly because I am getting used to hear at least one good burp.

Every once in a while,I did not get any burp out of hm but it was rare occasion.

Since I did not hear his burping,I did tummy massage just in case,which simply makes me feel comfortable doing so when you do not hear the burp.

Now,he was comfortably sleeping with his both arms up.

Stay tuned for more stories of Liam.

May 03, 2017 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note: Liam’s first year: Day 61- Day 63

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He was tiny little baby; 18″ tall, weighing 5 lb 6 oz…

Already 2 month have passed since the day he came to the world to say “Hi” to us.

Day 61..

Me and my parents tend to do skype more often than before after Liam was born although for about 2 months or so last year, we did not do skype just because Liam got jet lug after visiting them and he kept waking up at strange hours and, until he gets back to his old schedule and being able to sleep through the night, I did not want to mess his schedule.

Since they cannot come as often as my sister could (they live 1 hour drive away from my parent’s house), I like to compensate that with skype chat.

Plus,when we do skype they can give me parenting advice here and there and they can tell us what parents can in Japan on the specific topic and it is good chance for me to learn more about parenting as well.

I know there is no textbook on parenting nor there should not be cookie-cutter style of parenting.However, getting a bit of parenting tips/suggestions always enrich my view on my own parenting knowledge and I am grateful for that.

I am more of type that study all kinds of method in book or other media sources and pick the good stuff from those and make up my own method and put it into practice.

They always asks for Liam and when I show them, they look so happy:-) And my mother tries to entertain Liam through screen.

I know they would come visit us once in a while, but I know my grandmother would not be able to come here even if she says she wants to come because of health.

And, now I got health worry for my father so, I do not know if he could visit us again or not.

naturally,since we are younger than them and got more energy than them, we should go back to Japan as much as we can.

On the same day, Liam had poop blow out in the early morning and, while he was crying from top of his lung,I had to change his clothe,cleaning him and everything.

It is my very first time experience raising the baby, but babies sure makes mothers keep up on toe and make us mothers busy with laundry and surely needed lots of clothes to change into/much more frequent laundry than usual.

That day, I tried to do laundry later, and it stopped working…in the middle of the washing cycle…

Therefore, when my husband came home from work, he spent hours on it and he thought he could fix it.

We did test run without clothe inside and it finished ok .

Even though washer seemed to be fixed when test run,and worked ok for more years, but we ended up buying a new one;the one with front load as opposed to top loading style.

I cannot decide if I like front load style or not yet. Definitely I do not have to worry about clothes or towel etc gets caught in the middle spinner thing or uneven weight though.

What style of washer do you like better and why?

Day 62…..

We worked with Liam for tummy time while I can keep an eye on him.

He could raise his head a touch bit higher than before, and he also was doing his own exercise everyday; arms up, arms down, leg up, leg down..

He seemed to enjoy all the movement he made then.

Liam Day 62 working on raising his head higher…

Liam Day 62.. Liam style exercise making him tired…. Y.A.W.N…

Day 63…

Comparing with picture of him to younger picture of his, he looked like he got chubbier in this picture.

Before, he looked so small,frail, tiny and weak and he could not drink milk as much as he could.

Since pediatrician said he could take milk up to 3.5 oz per feeding, that was what we were doing.

He got bigger and stronger each day.

Mar 21, 2017 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s Note: Liam’s first year; Day 55 – Day 61

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He was tiny little baby; 18″ tall, weighing 5 lb 6 oz…

Already 1 month plus have passed, almost 2 month since the day he got discharged from the hospital.

Day 55..

My personal choice of clothe was creeper style clothe then, but on the day 55,  I changed him into bodysuit with short sleeve.

I thought maybe he will be cold for the bottom a bit,and I let him wear the short pants. The pants looked a bit too long for him but it made him look cuter anyway so, I did not mind.

When he was hold in my husband’s arms, he made ultra man pause:-)

Liam 55 days old…

He says “I want to be looked cool like my daddy!”,lol.

On the day 53, Liam had surgery, and he had to stay at the hospital over night. During the stay, hospital provided diapers to us.

That hospital has provided Pumpers diaper. It was soft in texture and somewhat thinner than the Huggies diaper that we were familiar with but, it leaked and I did not care for them.

We use Huggies for tape style diaper because it is not as soft as Pumpers material but it holds urine/poo in place and looks like absorbing better and, rarely had leaking accident.

When it comes to pull up diaper which our son is now wearing, I prefer pumpers’ Easy Up.

Material is soft, and sides on the waist is not rough material and looks much more comfortable than Huggies Pull up diapers.

My sister got 4 kids and youngest one is on diaper.All of her kids grew up with Pumpers.

The pumpers brand is very respected brand in Japan, and many people like them there.

Day 59; Liam practice lifting his head up…

We out him on tummy now and then so he can practice lifting up his head.

When he lift his heads up, I found myself cheering up so much.

Liam 59 day old.. practicing lifting his head up…

He had many stuff on his plate for surgeries and stuff, but I trusted him;he can overcome all the difficulty that comes to him with his strong will.

His middle name “TSUBASA” means that if he set the goal,he will make an effort and achieve that goal.

Basically, wish he has strong will to overcome the all the hard stuff in his life.

The name also means that with that effort,he can achieve the bigger thing and success in his life.

As a side note,I heard it also got the meaning of being independent. Japanese middle name sure seems to have good effect on him.

Day 59; Skyping with my parents..

My parents always are looking forward to meeting Liam every week over the skype and enjoy how much he grows.They smile whole time we talk over the skype.

When I was talking on the day 59, and was showing Liam, he was doing his Monkey toe;curling up his toes just like I do.

Looking how he was doing with his toe, mom said “Just like you and your father:-)”

I kind of inherited that thing from my father and I think it was passed to Liam:-) It is funny to see that something you do is what your son/daughter does.

When my grandmother is on skype, she always asks when we will be visiting them with him. She always claps her hands saying “cute,cute” looking at Liam but then a bit later, she starts crying because she misses me a lot.

With her, talking is a bit emotional, but I would like to go see my family back home with Liam in the near future again.

WE visited them last October and my grandmother was so happy. Time passed so fast and,I felt it was a short trip to Japan.

At day 59-60, personally, I did not plan to travel anywhere at least for a year,that include visiting my family in Japan or visiting my mother in law (12 hrs drive away/1.5 hrs fight away) considering Liam being premature baby, and I wanted to be extra cautious as to where we take him to,when to take him to.

He would have been easy to catch something and I thought it would be better away from the general public a while.

Even at the hospital, at ER we went the other day, Liam was lead to the area where no other person was waiting because nurse thought it will be better for him to be away from the general public.

Also,when Liam was at NICU, every time we talk to NICU staff or nurse at hospital they reminded us to wash hands thoroughly before touching Liam because premature baby’s immune system is lower and that, if you were sick,then, it is better off not being around him. They seemed to be extra careful with him because of he being born early.

Looking back at his old pictures and videos, I feel Liam has grown up so much. He overcame a lot of things.

Time really seems to pass so fast with baby..

Stay tuned for more Liam’s story.

Feb 08, 2017 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note: Liam’s first year ; Day 52- Day 54

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He was tiny little baby; 18″ tall, weighing 5 lb 6 oz…

Already 1 month plus have passed, almost 2 month since the day he got discharged from the hospital.

Day 52..

I had a sleepless night because of the pain in my breast.

With the family’s suggestion (they thought it might be clogged milk duct) , I tried warm compress and Epsom salt water solution before pumping the milk and it got better, but I spent so much time dealing with this on the day 52.

It was swollen,tender to touch and hard lump and, I thought of engorged breast because it felt like it, although I did not have long stretch between the pumping until I felt the pain early that morning.

Because of that,I was simply thinking, more pumping and I will get better at first but no.I did not get as much milk out from the breast as I normally would have, and the side I had pain with was almost twice the size of the other side and it was very painful.

I thought it funny that the side that I had problem was the side Liam spent longer time to feed on the other day when I tried to feed him directly.

I did not know if it was the case of not drained milk enough by pump after his feeding time.

I was miserable. Simply sitting still made me feel painful and I had to be careful of Liam’s flapping hands because if it touched my breast,it  also made me feel hurt…

Day 53 was Liam’s surgery day. I remember I worried but hoped  everything goes well with him.

I knew he was in the good hands but,whenever he goes under the knife, it made me nervous..

<Plugged milk duct and its natural treatment>

I ended up getting clogged duct here and there throughout the breastfeeding journey.

One this that helped me was warm compress ( I used compress that works hot or cold and inner material was with clay. I microwaved a bit and then, put it over my breast for 10-15 minutes).

Another thing that helped me was Epsom salt water solution; 2 tsp Epsom salt in 1 cup warm water.

Epsom-salt soaking before breastfeeding helped to open the milk duct opening and also aids in healing.

What I did was to put the epsom salt in the bowl and then, add small amount of really hot water to dissolve.

Then add warm water to cool it down.

I wet the washcloth in the solution and loosely squeeze out the solution and lean back a bit and put the cloth over my breast for 15 minutes or so.

I did it before nursing, before pumping

This epsom salt solution really worked good for my issue.

Since the day I have experienced plugged milk ducts, I pumped religiously and more frequent,and started massaging inward as mayo clinic book suggests right after expressing milk first before pumping.

As a result, the hard lump area went away.

Day 53

Day 53 was Liam’s surgery date.

At the hospital, nurse first weighed him and with his clothe on, diaper on, he weighed a little over 8 lb and he was 53 cm (21″).

He was growing good.

Liam’s hernia surgery went smoothly and success, taking about 1-2 hours long.

No hernia in that area anymore. He was at the hospital overnight just to make sure everything was good. And then, we got discharged from the hospital around noon next day.

Doctor said that the hernia was rather bigger than he previously thought so it was good that we did surgery sooner.

Now the tube is closed and I think we do not have to worry about hernia popping out in that lower abdomen area anymore.

Previously, he was planning to explore the other side of groin area to make sure that the other side of tube is closed as it should but since he already did challenging part on the hernia side, he decided not to do more stuff on him,which I think it was a good idea.

All in all, I think he made such a quick recovery (came out from anesthesia rather faster) and after the surgery, he was already drinking the same amount of yummy milk to pre-surgery time although he had a few occasions where he cried loud for pain when anesthesia worn out.

He was doing good and alert and responsive and doing his hand flapping things, kicking legs etc..

One thing that bothered me was that, after the surgery,he was at the recovery room and he was naked top. The nurse lead us to our room to stay but they did not give us any clothes for him to put on nor mention that we can let him wear clothes we brought.

He was top naked good amount of time under the towel but, at one point, I decided he would be able to wear the top or he might get cold.So, I let him wear the side snap top, thinking it would not rub against the incision and he will be comfortable..

That day, we also had one scary moment; the elevator we went in with a nurse to go to waiting room did not move although it did closed.

Nurse kept pushing all sorts of buttons and it finally went up but then,came down and stop,making weird noise..

I imagined if we got trapped inside the elevator but luckily, nurse banged the elevator door to talk to her fellow co-workers and they helped the elevator opened and we got out ok and went upstairs with the different elevator then. I hate to be trapped in narrow, closed space and I was terrified…

At the hospital, he was such a head turner. Many people came to look at him well and commented “cutie”, and nurse said ” want to bring him home with me”, and other young intern(?) walked passed by saying “Here comes a cute one!” with a smile.

The whole hospital was like his runaway, showing off his cutiness:)

Day 54..

At home,he was relaxing, sleeping on his own bed.

Since my parents were not at the hospital because they live 14 hours flight away (Japan), we did skype at night and reported how Liam’s surgery went.

Hearing all the good news on recovery, they looked happy.

He has not cleared all the hurdles that came into his path just yet, and this was his beginning.

Thinking back now, he had many issues and had many surgeries but he was a strong boy and bounced back fast.

He has not done all and he cannot leave all the medical stuff behind yet but I hope the day will come soon so he can be just being a kid and we parents are worry free when it comes to medical issues.

More Liam’s story continue.

Stay tuned.


Dec 14, 2016 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note; Liam’s first year Day 44 – Day 51

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

Already 1 month plus have passed since the day he got discharged from the hospital.

Day 44..

Liam had been doing great with burping, by day 44 and I did not see much straining-like movement in him.

By the day 44, he  could drink 90ml milk:-)

When he was days old,at NICU, we were telling nurse there that “Liam drank 10ml, 15ml” often.

We were struggling to let him drink more milk NICU wanted him to drink.

Now after 6 weeks later, he could drink much much more and growing great and I was very happy about that.

On the day 43, at the pediatric surgeon office scale, he was 7 lb 9 oz weight. Looked like he was gaining 1 oz per day.

We were told that he looked like babies born in the 34 pregnancy week. I know he was still tiny compared to the full term babies. However, he was strong and growing well.

I was hoping that the hernia surgery goes well without any complication..

We knew he was in good hands but, he being so tiny and us being first time parents, no matter what, I got nervous for the surgeries.

Day 51..

On the day 51, we saw great,great, and great improvement in Liam’s feeding.

I do not know what clicked with him but since Day 50, he latched on my breast good and he could suck well:-)

He usually cried when I tried to offer my breast first before bottle to practice his sucking skill from which I think was frustration and hunger combined.

Therefore, I was being very careful to not to let him cry loud with whatever I do due to hernia.

On the day 50, I was a little worried about his hernia getting popped up from crying, but I tried offering my breast before the bottle feeding since he looked super eager (enough to nibble on my knuckle) to eat.

Well, he had hesitation a bit but once he could latch on properly and well, he started sucking for about 1 minute or two and break and one minute or two and break..

I was very happy.

Then, on day 51, when he was quite awake and eager looking to eat,I tried offering my breast again and this time, he kept sucking and did not let it go for.. at least 5 minutes or so.

No crying. Wide open mouth when he trying to latches on. He looked like he finally figured it out on how to suck to eat.

It took almost 50 days to master the skill of sucking but, I was happy.

I was very surprised with his improvement..

Since I was not sure how much exactly he got, I offered milk by the bottle as well.

He took only about 70 ml out of regular 90 ml,and fell asleep.


Liam 51 days old..

When he was this little, I used to enjoy watching him falling asleep with his milk running on his cheek a bit. It was cute!

He just looked so satisfied with his meal.

More Liam’s story continue.

Stay tuned.

Oct 04, 2016 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note: Liam’s first year Day 40- Day 43

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

Liam gets vaccination; Hepatitis B

When Liam passed 1 month old, he received his second Hepatitis B shot on Day 38.

On that day, his temperature went up a bit (normally 98.1F and he was 99.1F or so after the shot. And he was not that as active as he was normally would be.

One feeding time, he did not drink milk as much (He happily drink 75ml milk but that particular one time feeding time, he only took 60ml.

Not bad but it was unusual for him.

However, he was back to himself after a couple of days.

Talking of vaccination, I find that US doctors give kids more shots than kids in Japan gets.

In Japan, there are type of shots your kids/babies must get it but there are also shots decision is up to their parents.

Number of shots Japanese kids/babies receives less than American kids/babies.

I am not sure if it is because country size is different and, Japan is not like America where many people from all over the world are coming in and living in here.

I wonder that is why the disease doctors feel like they need to protect kids from are more than Japan in here in USA.

In case of Hepatitis B, in USA, babies gets at birth as first shot and then booster in between first and second months.

In Japan, it is called B gata kanen, and it was a shot that parents  could decide if they want it for their babies or not, but starting from October 2016, the Hepatitis B shot will become the shot that they must give to the babies;it will become non optional shot for kids.

The optional shots would not be covered by insurance or government (city) would not pay for it and parents must pay about $30 to up to $120 depending on the kind of shots they would give to the babies.

When the parents have their kids non optional shots, government (city) would pay for it.

On Day 38, I measured him and, he weigh 7lb 4 oz.

He was getting big!

Liam Day 41

Early morning (2:30am),Liam spitted out the milk big time..and ended up body wiping with wet washcloth, changing outfit,and for me,it meant that changing jacket and washing breastfeeding pillow cover..

Liam did not like it at all and I got so worried because I could tell that he was still interested in milk but he just could not have it because more drinking caused his tongue sticking out to spit out..

I had prepared 75ml milk and he took most of it ,but he ended up spitting up probably half of it or 3rd of it.

He calmed down so, I prepared 75 ml of milk at 5:30 milk time but again, he could not take as much as he wanted and stopped at 50 ml point.

His tummy was a bit balloon-like and I tried to encourage him to burp but he cried loud (maybe hurts when he sits up to burp?) and I could not make him burp to sit up.

We were careful of burping him but apparently it was not enough for him.

Therefore, my husband gave him belly massage on him after that and let him fart and sleep,no more milk at that time.

After that, he was looking better and drink well and when my mother in law was giving him milk,I heard him burp.

Since doctor wanted him to drink as much milk as he can to grow; up the amount of milk more than 60ml which we were doing before, we up the amount to 75ml.

With that amount of milk he needed,I could not pump that much at one time so, we ended up getting a jag of liquid formula (good for 48 hours after opening) and while he was on formula,I store my pumped breast milk to give him breast milk full day.

With that method, it seemed like 2 days formula, 2 days breast milk pattern.

I generally do not like to give formula to Liam but I had to depend on it because my breast did not produce enough milk he needed..

That big early morning spit up was with formula, and one last time he spit out was also formula.

I wondered if it might not be easy for him to digest it compared to breast milk.He has never spit out the breast milk like this. Also, I wonder if formula makes him gassier as I read in the book before??

Giving him the formula was not my preferred choice. I wished I could give him that much of milk via pumped milk so he would not be on formula…

Plus formula milk has distinct odor that I did not care for much…

One even after another…. Liam Day 42

It was about 9 pm.We had dinner and we were happy but then,when my husband opened up Liam’s diaper, because Liam suddenly started crying like no other, the groin area /lower abdomen area (only one side) was bulged and hard and we went to emergency center to have him look at it.

Turned out it was “hernia”,and intestine got popped out making the area bulged..They said it was common in preemie.

The discharge paper said crying,struggling often makes the area popped out and we had been trying to minimize crying and stuff ,which was a little difficult but was trying.. after coming back from the hospital).

After coming back home, next feeding time came and, the area got popped up again and since we were told to be back there if it lasted longer than 60 minutes, and it did not back down on its own,we drove to the hospital once again..

We ended up being recommended to call pediatric surgeon to have him look at and schedule the possible surgery…

Since we have switched jag of formula and let him drink till gone and then switch to breast milk till supply lasts, he might had more gas in his tummy than the time we used to feed;base is breast milk and when we did not have enough breast milk, then we used formula to cover.

So, trying to fart/poop might not have been helping this hernia thing..

After the discharge from hospital second time, he was on breast milk all time.

My heart was broken because I knew he has got plenty on his plate to deal with already, and another hurdle was added.

I hoped he would overcome all the difficulties coming to his way and be better..

After the incident, every time I changed his diaper, he started crying, I tried to calm him down but made me very nervous…

We all were stressed out and we were all sleep deprived.

Liam Day 43;Visiting pediatric Surgeon..

Next day,we went to pediatric surgeon clinic and have Liam look at.

The doctor decided to operate surgery next week. Since he was so small, we were told that he would be staying at the hospital for a day for them to monitor the recovery and we will be there with him too.

He was tiny and I worry about general anesthesia for the surgery but under the skillful surgeon, it would be ok.

After the doctor appointment, he was so hungry and we fed him at the office waiting room.

He drank milk so fast and he looked very satisfied.

It was good that he had a good appetite.

More Liam’s story continue.

Stay tuned.

Sep 05, 2016 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note:Liam’s first year; Day 37-Day 40

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

As you know by now, he passed the feeding and car seat test both, and he could finally came home on the day 22.

Since then, our parenting journey has been filled with  a lot of new experiences with him and, even though being a mom/parent is difficult job, I am enjoying the each day with Liam.

Now I cannot imagine the life without him. He is the love of my life.

Liam Day 38…

It was such a hectic day. On the day 38, we had 2 doctor appointments.

One was with Liam (wellness visit) and myself (6 week follow up appointment with regular OBGYN).

Liam was undressed to weigh-in at the pediatrician office.

At day 38, he was 7 lb 4 oz. He was gaining weight fine and he was following the growth chart curve even though he was still a small kid to our pediatrician’s eyes.

Doctor said he was in 2 percentile; meaning 98 % of babies at the same age to him is bigger than him.

But considering me being Japanese and in average, we Japanese are not tall people,and I wondered if the chart doctor has really apply to Liam’s growth pattern.

I was wondering if growth chart in USA and growth chart in Japan are exactly the same one.

At the office, doctor noticed shortened neck muscle;I guess it becomes that way when kids sleep on preferable side of the head all the time since womb time to the infant time.

I was always thought it funny when he migrate to right side all the time when we put him right in the center and I also thought it was simply he just liking that side and did not think that it was something serious stuff.

Doctor described that if he kept sleeping on the same side all time, the side of the head flatten more and more and it is not good so, he needs physical therapy for that..

Since the day 38, I needed to make sure he could not roll/sleep on his preferred side by making custom bump next to him.

I somewhat remember that my mother had bunny shaped, center dipped pillow like thing for babies/toddlers when I was a kid.

It is called donuts pillow in Japan and you can see the pictures at amazon Japan here.

Now I think about it, I could have asked for the pillow to my mother but the idea was not in my head.

Liam goes to physical therapy?

When I first heard we would need physical therapist for shortened neck muscle & flattened head side,I thought she was overreacting, and I thought we could simply let him sleep the way he cannot favor his preferred side like.. any other home remedy thing,things you could do at home.

One one side, I was under the impression that yes, babies spend lots of time in a day sleeping and it might make them sleep on their preferred side but once they could grow to sit up age, they would not spend time so much with sleeping so, maybe it might be fixed naturally without any intervention.

However, if the shortened neck muscle on one side gets involved,I wondered specialist needs to work on him so one shortened side on his neck gets developed as it should and he would not be staring at you with tilted head.

Either way, how doctor order things here is much more larger scale than I have been experienced as a kid back home in Japan.

Liam is waking up 1 Aug 23 2014

Liam 40 days old..

Annoying hiccups…

On the day 40, Liam got hiccups.

It seemed like hiccups was happening after milk time here and there. I do not know what triggered the hiccups.

He tended to have hiccups often.

How does hiccups happen?

According to healthline website, a contraction of the diaphragm and the quick closing of your vocal cords cause hiccups. The rapid closing of the vocal cords is what creates the sound of hiccups.

What causes newborn hiccups?

Healthline website article says that hiccups are caused by the diaphragm muscle being either irritated or stimulated. This happens most often from feeding. Other times, hiccups just happen.

It also says that there is not always an obvious cause to hiccups in infants. One researcher proposes that hiccups in infants may also serve as an aid to burping.

Hiccups are common in infants and they typically don’t bother the baby.

Hiccups and burping are so,ething to do each other was interesting to read.

As a remedy you can do to get rid of infants’ hiccups issue, they suggest several ways to try.

One that they suggest is to take a break from a feeding to burp your baby.

The article says that the burping can get rid of excess gas that may be causing the hiccups. This will also help because it will move your baby into an upright position.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests burping your bottle-fed baby after every 2 to 3 ounces.

I remember we were trying to burp Liam every once in a while too.

Second suggestion they write is to rub or gently pat your baby’s back when they have hiccups.

Third, they suggest to try allowing the babies to suck on a pacifier. This will help relax the diaphragm and may help stop the bout of hiccups.

Now he is 2 years old, he still gets hiccups sometimes. When he gets it, he giggles. I think hiccups is funny for him.

To read the full article at healthline website, please click here.

To read the related article at babycenter website,please click here.

What did you do when your little ones or yourself had bout of hiccups?

Any method that worked for your little ones or for yourself?

Aug 08, 2016 | 0 | parenting