What to Feed a Baby

Posted September 27th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 4 Comments »

There is one thing I regret of doing while Hiro was still a newborn.  It is that I should have tried harder on breastfeeding him.   I had difficulty feeding him from breast (because of my nipple shape and also the size of Hiro’s mouth etc) but I think the problem should have been solved if I had tried harder and continued doing it longer.  I didn’t want to give up on giving him breast milk, so I expressed using an electric pump and gave him with a bottle. It had became a regular routine, and he got so used to the bottles that eventually forgot how to suck on nipples.

At my friends’ house I see them breastfeeding their babies and it looks so natural.  On the other hand, I have to carry a bottle of expressed breast milk (EBM) or formula to feed my baby everywhere I go.  It’s not a big deal, I know.  The important thing is to feed him and not letting him feel hungry.  But, somehow I feel that I failed.

When I visited a Japanese playgroup with Hiro, I had to warm up a bottle of formula.  Then I noticed other mums watching me and telling me “oh, you are feeding him formula….” with an “interesting-look”.  I felt they’re thinking why I’m not breastfeeding my baby.  Also, while chatting with other mums, they were saying that breast milk is the best and you can tell if the baby is breastmilk-fed or formula-fed by their sizes.  I know breast milk is the best, and I’m not giving Hiro formula because it’s easy to prepare.  I wanted to yell at them, but I was shocked when my friend agreed with them and said that she wouldn’t want to give her baby more than 120ml of formula a day.  She knew I give Hiro quite lots of formula.

In Japan, I feel, they are more serious about breastfeeding, and they judge other people by what they feed their babies; breast milk or formula.  They are proud of breastfeeding their babies until the babies reach 2 years old, or giving ONLY breast milk at least for the first 6 months.  I’ve been asked this question  “do you breastfeed your baby?” by doctor, nurse, or Japanese mothers.  I don’t know why they are so obsessed about this.  Of course not everyone is like that, and maybe it’s all in my head, but I felt that mums at the playgroup were looking down on me for feeding formula to my baby.  The experience kind of made me feel shame of being not able to breastfeed my baby and giving formula.

Well, what can I do?  Since then I don’t want to feed Hiro in front of other Japanese mums, especially while they breastfeed their babies.  I shouldn’t care about what other think, like D tells me, but somehow I still feel shame.

When Hiro was around 6 months old I started giving him rice cereal as his first solids. I thought it’s one of the best food to start since everyone (child health nurse, people on internet, etc) recommended it to give babies for the first food.  I didn’t have any doubt about it, and Hiro took it pretty well.  After rice cereal I moved on to hand-made pureed vegetables (carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, zucchini, etc).  Then, again, I heard some Japanese mums complaining about feeding rice cereal to the babies.  In Japan, very soft rice porridge (o-kayu) is a typical first solids to babies, and they think that store-bought pack of rice cereal is a not good food to start with.  Hmmmmm…… why they care about such small thing? I mean, someone gives rice cereal, someone gives home-made porridge, it doesn’t matter.  It’s everyone’s choice and they don’t need to complain about it in public.  Yes I did give my baby rice cereal, but was it wrong thing to do?  I don’t think so.  After “rice cereal” subject, they now started talking about commercial baby foods.  Yes, complaining again.  I can’t stand people who complain all the time.  🙁   What to feed babies is everyone’s choice!


Morning Walk and Bacci Cake

Posted September 11th, 2011 in Food, Ume and Baby | No Comments »

I love the smell of cold morning….  Cold air with bright sunlight and birds singing are somehow different from what I remember of Japan’s winter morning, but they still reminds me of how I liked waking up early in winter while I was in Japan.

I took Hiro for a walk this morning, because I felt like going outside and also wanted him to wear a hat I found in the closet.  Looks like Mongolian baby 🙂 … or a girl.

Ohhh my right wrist is so sore… It was ok until I visited Play Group on Friday though. I was holding Hiro for 2 hours there and after I got home it started to be really sore.  Now I need to wear tape around it so that I can do things like holding him, cutting vegetables, and even opening a lid of a jar.  Did I strain it?

This photo reminded me… In-laws came over to eat a cake together – a Bacci Cake from Cookie Barrel.  It was very rich chocolate and nut cake…

I mean, very rich.  I couldn’t finish one piece…  but I know this is how people in Australia like chocolate cake to be!  A very rich and sweet.  Hmmmmm, if there was less cream in the ganache and less liquor in the Bacci filling, I might be able to finish it.  Having it once in a while may be a good treat for myself?

a


Father’s Day and 6 Months and 2 Year

Posted September 4th, 2011 in Food, Ume and Baby | 2 Comments »

Today is not only D’s first Father’s Day, but also Hiro’s 6 months birthday…!  Plus, tomorrow is our 2nd wedding anniversary as well.  Hmmmm, 3 things came at once.

We didn’t really plan what to do though….  Both of us have been pretty busy and everyday passes very quickly.  I can’t believe it’s September already!

I baked cupcakes for D.  He loves sweets, and I haven’t made this for him for a long time, so I thought it’s about time to treat him with this sweet cake 🙂

He loves green colour, so I made icing green (with pink on top).  He likes eating cupcake slightly warm (warm up in microwave) then spread icing by himself, so I put icing on only 2 cakes.  They are almost gone…!  I should have made more?

Hiro has been eating carrot (2nd solid after rice cereal), and he loves it!  He opens his mouth very wide when I move a spoon to his mouth.  Very messy though….  rice cereal is white so it’s ok, but carrot….  lots and lots of washing!

Hmmm he is growing very fast.  He wears size zero now.  I bought some winter cloths for Japan and hope it will fit him when we are there!


Baby Massage

Posted August 27th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | No Comments »

It’s been warm lately and I see black hairy worms in the yard and garage…  Definitely spring is here.

I decided not to touch computer or iPhone in front of Hiro while he is awake as I tend to concentrate on those things too much. Checking emails is kinda important but Hiro is my priority at the moment. He seems to know I’m not watching him when I use computer. So, I guess Umeboss won’t be updated everyday anymore… :p

My friend who is a remedial massage therapist leant the technique of baby massage at King Edward, and she said she would lecture me how to do it so I visited her house with Hiro.  It took 3 ~ 4 days to complete the class, she said.  I was excited because I’ve actually never done massage on Hiro.  I always thought he would catch cold if he stays naked after taking bath, but apparently baby shouldn’t be getting massage right before or after bath time.  Anytime when he is relaxed and calm – and so are you –  is the best time to do.

She told me to bring a towel because boys normally wee during the massage.  There’re other 2 moms and 2 baby girls at my friend’s house who were also keen on learning how to massage babies.  One of the baby girl was bit cranky and didn’t even want to lie down on the floor, so she just observed the session instead of actually getting the massage.

Oh my god….  Hiro was very naughty.  As soon as I put him on the floor, he started moving around and attacking other babies.  Other babies were first smiling, but seemed to be scared of Hiro after awhile…

(the one attaching is Hiro…)

He was also the biggest baby among 4.

Hiro seemed not to care about the massage.  He didn’t stay lying down – keep rolling around and wanted to be on tummy.  So, I didn’t really get to do massage – instead, I was holding him to keep other babies safe.

When he is relaxed and in good mood I will try massaging him at home, I think.  Thanks M, for lecturing us.

a


Samui?

Posted August 19th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | No Comments »

I’m not sure what’s the reason…..   but my milk doesn’t come out!  (>0<)

Usually I get to express a lot of milk (compared to daytime) during the night, but last night was different.  I felt my breasts were full, but nothing came out. (sorry, boys…)

Is it because my body is too cold?  Or is it because I eat lots of sweets?  I’ve been eating a slice of bread with peanut butter few times a day….  And some chocolate buns.  And biscuits.  I had beef casserole for dinner and I’ve read that beef clogs breast duct – could the beef be the reason?

Hmmm I guess I just need to relax a bit.  Hiro drinks a lot of milk these days and I keep thinking that my milk supply is not enough.  Maybe it has became stress somehow.

Sleeping from 7am until 2 ~ 3am has been his regular sleep pattern at night.  It’s great because I get to have lots of sleep too.  I still go to bed at the same time he does (7am! yes, I’m like a grandma), and after he wakes me up at 2am I’m not sleepy anymore.  I’ve been doing lots of stuff in this early morning; mostly cooking.  I cooked beef casserole 2 nights ago, and made oden just now.  My kitchen smells like convenience stores in winter in Japan, hehe.

I don’t have time to cook during the day (that’s why I’ve been eating a slice of bread with peanut butter!) because Hiro doesn’t take nap much (maximum 30 minutes), and he cries if I’m not there.  He is such a crying baby.

That’s ok.  I want to cuddle you as much as I can while I still can. I won’t be able to do this when you are older. 🙂

a


I Did Not Shave!

Posted August 7th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | No Comments »

Hmmmm….  When I posted some of Hiro’s photos on Mixi (one of several social networking websites in Japan), many people asked me if I’ve shaved his head!!!  No, I didn’t!

To think about it, his hair is very thin and soft.  But, both D and I have black, thick hair…  My friends’ babies have long thick hair and look very different from Hiro’s.  He had dry itchy rash on his head and kept scratching it, and his pillow is always covered with hair when he wakes up…  I was thinking he’s losing hair and going bold, but I’ve read that some babies have thin hair (some are nearly bold!) and will eventually grow lots of hair, so I just hope Hiro will have more hair as he grows!

He is 5month old now and tries to eat everything – it started to be very dangerous to leave him on the floor.  I fed him apple juice with spoon few times to have him get used to a spoon.  He did quite well!  He was already curious about food (watches us when we eat), so when I moved a spoon to his lips he naturally opened his mouth.

Now he can’t wait to eat more food.  I’m giving him rice cereal from next week.  I can’t believe he is “eating” something already…  Soon he will be eating sushi and tempura – who knows!

a


Hiro’s 4th Month

Posted July 30th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 8 Comments »

Hiro is turning 5 months old soon, and I just want to write down the growth of his 4th month.  It was a big one.

He started to dribble a lot, chew on his fingers and fists, wanting to stand up and making steps forward (while being held), curious about everything and try to put everything into his mouth, show an interest in what we eat, become more mobile, and now he can roll-over both from back to tummy and tummy to back!  All of them happened in this 4th month.

His rash was diagnosed to be “not easy one” by GP and it will take time to disappear.  Now we have 3 kinds of cream for him, mild to strong, and I use them according to his skin condition everyday.  When the rash was very severe, Hiro had to take antibiotics and it was pink-coloured liquid.  I gave it to him with a syringe, and it was his first time to drink (?) something sweet other than milk.  I don’t know if it’s because of it, but since then his interest in what we (D and I) eat became obvious.  He follows our movement with eyes, and stares at the food until we put it into our mouths.  I think he is ready to eat some solid!  I’m planning to start with apple juice, then rice cereal or something.

By the way, I’ve been feeling guilty….  It’s been busy weeks for me, and I think that I’m not playing with him enough.  I sometimes have to let him cry to do my things, and watching and hearing him crying makes me feel bad.  He doesn’t stop crying – even though his voice becomes sound-less and his face turns to super red.  Hmmm…..   Other mums I know seem to concentrate on their babies more.  I also wanted to do things like taking him to play group every week and taking him for swimming (as I mentioned before), but I haven’t done it.  I decided to not go to the play group we visited, because of few reasons.  I was going to call-up other places, but I haven’t.  We also missed joining on this term of swimming class, so we’ll need to wait until next year (because the next term will start in Oct and we will soon have to go to Japan then).

Writing these things is making me think about it clearly, actually.  Ok, I will call-up some play groups next week and have a visit.  And, Hiro and I are taking swimming class when we come back from Japan, next year.  It might be a better thing to do considering his skin problem.

Oh, and, we are (probably) flying to Jakarta before we go to Japan, actually.  D is going to JK to extend his ID thing around Oct, and I was originally going to stay here with Hiro, but I’ve changed my mind (because I’m blood type AB).  It will be a short trip – not longer than 1 week.  We can practice taking him on a plane before we take long flights to Japan.  And also, I’m dying to get some massage!!!!

Hmmmm, play group, flight to JK, flight to Japan, swimming class…..  I think Hiro will be 1 year old before I know it.

a


Hiro’s First Night Out

Posted July 26th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 2 Comments »

The other night I was invited for dinner with in-laws to Tony Romas on Hay street.  At first I didn’t want to go, because I’ve been doing “night time routine” for Hiro for almost 5 months now and didn’t want to mess it up.  He normally takes bath around 6pm then feeds, and goes to bed around 7pm.  But, sisters were saying “it should be ok~” , and I know I should be doing some trials of taking him out at night as our flight with Cathay Pacific is midnight.  So we all went out.

Before we go, I searched the topic on internet and read someone saying “Don’t do it! My baby didn’t sleep afterwards at all and it was a nightmare”.  Hmmmm….  bit scary, but we should try it anyway!  The dinner booking was at 18:30, so we bathed him around 17:30 and fed him until he fell asleep.

When I put him in a capsule he woke up, but stayed very quiet and looked drowsy.  He fell asleep in the car. Yey 😀

At Tony Romas, we started with few entrees : garlic bread and onion loaves.

I was very hungry that night, and ordered regular-size St Louis Rib (pork ribs with choice of sauce : Original, Carolina Honeys, Blue Ridge Smokies or Tony Roma’s Red Hots – I had Carolina Honeys). D ordered St Louis Sampler (a dozen of ribs with all the 4 sauces) .  Boy, it was a big portion!

I did finish mine, and helped eating few ribs from D’s plate too. 😀

Hiro stayed asleep while we were dining.  Everyone was asking “Is there really a baby in the stroller?!  Maybe you left him in the cot in the house!.”  But when we were about to leave the restaurant, he started moving and opened his eyes.  In-laws started talking to him, so he was completely awake when we put him in the car.  ….. Screaming and screaming…  He didn’t shut up…  Because he was screaming so hard, his voice started to be dried and high-tone.  Poor baby…

When we got home, I quickly took him out from the capsule and held him in his cot room.  He then fell asleep, and didn’t wake up when I put him on the cot.  He stayed sleep until 2 am!

His routine went back to normal from the next day, and he’s been good.  I’m glad to know that taking him out at night won’t mess up the routine we’ve established.  Crying hard  part (because he was exhausted and sleepy) is a bit of worry to me, but I’ll think about what I can do about it before out flight.  I heard a baby hammock will do good job on the plane.

a


Target Toy Sale

Posted July 21st, 2011 in Ume and Baby | 5 Comments »

Today I went to Target to grab some toys for Hiro, and it was CRAZY!!!!

This Target opens at 9am, and I arrived there 10 past 9.  Then I noticed few mums with bubs and kids already leaving the car park.  The car park was full.  It’s not a big shopping mall, just Target and some other small shops, so those people must be after toys at Target’s toy sale!

I run inside the shop, with Hiro in Baby Bjorn, then I was surprised to see so many people in Target.  It was crazy.  The shop opened 10 minutes ago, and some toys that I was going to get were already sold out.

I made a list of toys I wanted to buy a day before, but I was overwhelmed buy the atmosphere and bought few more…   :p

One thing I really wanted to buy was this baby walking chair thing.  Because Hiro keeps trying to stand up, step forward, and jump a lot (with support) these days, I thought this was a perfect thing for him to play at the moment.

Others are spoons, a toy for a cot, and toys for his cousins and my friends’ babies.

When I saw my in-law buying lots of toys for her first son few years ago, I thought she had bought too many toys for the boy.  I didn’t know that each toy actually has meaning and supports baby grows.

Now I’m at home, longing to have a cup of hot coffee…. I’m so tired.  Wait, Hiro seems to be bored now.  I’ve gotta play with him, feed, and put him to sleep.  Then I get my time… (only 30 minutes though, as he only sleeps maximum 30 minutes during the day)!

a


パースでの出産 -プライベートホスピタル-

Posted July 17th, 2011 in にほんご, Ume and Baby | 2 Comments »

2012年3月4日に、パースのMurdochにあるホスピタル、St John of Godで元気な男の子を出産しました:)

私は元々プライベートホスピタルで出産を希望していたので、妊娠するかな、と思った時からプライベート保険に加入していました。パブリック病院だとメディケアがあれば無料なのに、何でわざわざプライベートに?という感じですが、私の場合はこのプライベート病院が家から近かったのと、OB(産科医)を選べるという点、また、病院は個室を選べて自分の気が済むまで滞在できるという点からプライベートを選びました。以前流産を経験しているので、今回はもっとしっかりと妊娠&出産を見守りたいと思ったのも理由にあると思います。

パブリックとプライベートの病院の違いを大まかにまとめると、下記のようになります:

パブリック(公立病院) e.g. King Edward in Subiaco

利点:

メディケアがあれば医療費がかからない

超音波はSKGで約半額自己負担

欠点:

毎回違う医師が診察(平均待ち時間2時間)ミッドワイフが診察する場合もあります

超音波や腹部計測などの妊娠中のチェックが少ない

プライベート病(私立病院) e.g. Mercy Hospital in Mount Lawley

利点:

待遇がよい(食事がおいしい、新生児を助産婦が見 てくれるため産後ゆっくり回復できる)

個室が選べる。パート ナーも滞在可。保険に寄ってですが、私の場合パートナーの滞在費も無料になりました(何日でも)

公立に比べると長期入院が可能(平均4- 6日)

担当OBを指名でき、妊娠初期から出産後まで同じ医師のお世話になる

日本同様2〜4週毎の診察で、OBのクリニックで毎回超音波検査をする

欠点:

医療費が高い(プライベート保険に加入していれば出産費は全額カバー)

何か異常があったら対応できる施設がない為、結局はKING EDWARD病院へ転院される

(参考:虹の会)

プライベート病院ではOBは選べるので、良い先生をインターネットの情報等から調べて予約します。でも人気の高い先生は予約待ちで、出産予定日に都合が合わない場合があるので、とにかく早く予約しないといけませんでした。

日本とは違い、出産当日まで内診は一度もありません。毎回の超音波検査で、写真を記念にプリントアウトしてもらってました。:)

ただ、プライベート保険に入っていてプライベート病院での出産をする場合でもお金はかかります!出産費は全額カバーされますが、それまでのOBでの検診費用は全額はカバーされません。また、他の検査費用も有料です。無痛分娩の場合の薬代なども。私の場合は結局トータルで$3000かかりました。私のOBは特別費用が高い先生だったみたいです m(_ _)m

病院はとても良かったです。ナースは親切だし、出産後のサポートもすごく助かりました。LC(ラクトスコンサルタント)の免許も持つナースも居り、授乳の仕方も徹底的に教えてもらいました。夜中にヒロが泣いて寝なかった時も、ナースが別室へ連れていって夜通し世話をしてくれるので、私もパートナーもゆっくり寝て体を休める事もできました。また、これは別に大した事では無いですが、赤ちゃん誕生の祝いとしてパートナーと一緒にキャンドルライト•ディナーを無料で受けました。といっても、病院食をレストラン風に盛りつけ、テーブルクロスを敷いたテーブルでキャンドルを点けて食事をゆっくりする、といったモノです。

私は4日間入院しましたが、パートナーも4日間ずっと一緒に滞在しました。部屋は個室でベットも大きかったので、居心地は良かったです。ただ、この病院はプライベートなので駐車場も有料で、月〜金の間は駐車料金をずっと払わなければなりませんでした。幸いにも私が出産したのは週末をはさんでいたので、そんなに高くつかず、ヒロを見に来てくれた友人達も土曜日を選んでもらったので無料でした。

出産後はPediatrician(小児科医)が部屋を訪問して様子を見に来てくれたり(有料)、OBが出産後の様子をチェックするのに見に来てくれたりしました。他に、Physiotherapyの人が来てセラピーを受けたりしました(有料)。

私の出産体験談は、こちらを読んで下さい☆

退院するタイミングは、ナースや医者から「じゃあ今日退院だね」と言われると思っていたら、何と自分で決められると言われてビックリしました。私が加入していたプライベート保険では最長3日までしかカバーされなかったので、4日目に慌てて「もう退院する」と申し出ました。それでも追加費用はキャップ式になっていて1日ごとに$100くらいだったと思います。

退院後は、ローカルのチャイルドナースが家に来てくれて様子を見たり、といった感じです。

出産に関してですが、他にも「自宅分娩」という方法もあります。

利点:

担当助産師が妊娠中から産後までケアしてくれる

家族一体となって自然なお産が経験できる

欠点:

何かあったら病院搬送までに時間がかかってしまう

自宅分娩は早期妊娠時に希望を出さないと受け付けら れない

出産後はあっと言う間に時が経つ感じで、毎日あれこれ考える事があり、体だけで無く頭も疲れますm(_ _)m 今では妊娠していた頃が懐かしく、胎動を感じて心も穏やかにノンビリできていたなあ、と思います。次はあるかな??