Last July 4, this photo of my little preemie going home after his 111-day stay in Neonatal-ICU (NICU) appeared in my Facebook memory,
Memories of his journey home flashed back at me. It is amazing how 5 years flew by so quickly.
Nothing about my whole birthing experience with Little H can be called conventional, even when it comes to feeding. When he was born 14 weeks before his due date, none of us were prepared. Even my body was not prepared. Two days after giving birth, I had to produce at least half an ounce of milk so they have something to feed my son for the day. However, I was not producing any, not even my colostrum is coming out. I was worried, stressed and anxious. I was desperate for milk. It was an answered prayer when my son’s neonatologist helped by giving me a massage similar to what lactation consultants do, and in a matter of minutes, my milk started to flow, not so much yet but just enough. I literally cried buckets when we delivered his first milk to NICU.
In our recent vacation in Hong Kong, we decided to try renting a home at Airbnb instead of staying in a hotel. We traveled in a group of 4 adults (me, Daddy S, my mom and my sister) and two kids. We figured that it will be more costly if we book a hotel since we would not all fit in one room, unless we get a suite which is way above our budget, thus airbnb became a good option.
For so long I’ve been wanting to write my thoughts about being a mom but for some reason I can not seem to find the write words, until today. As it is a day of honoring moms, allow me to honor and share what both of my sons have made me become for being their Mommy.
When I was young, I had this vision of the mom I should be. As I play with my dolls, I give them food, change their nappies, sing to them and give them lots of hugs. I envision motherhood as that simple. Mother teaches kids, and kids learn from mommies. I will teach my dolly everything she needs to learn about life like reading, crossing the street, and not to talking to strangers (because that is what my Mama tells me repeatedly). I teach. They listen always. Simple? Yeah, easy-peasy. Fast forward to many years after, I realized that it is not as simple as that.
Motherhood does not come with a manual nor does it come with a “one-size fits all tried and tested” methodology. Each kid, is different, thus, parenting style differs too. All those thoughts of what a mom should be changed and evolved to something better when my sons came into my life. It is a big responsibility that involves a lot of sleepless nights, shed and unshed tears, and heartaches when my kids are in pain. It is a beautiful experience that shaped me to become a better person while I nurture a life/lives to soon become their own person.
I used to worry how I will explain to EA the condition of his brother. I often wondered how I will explain to him cerebral palsy in such a way that his young mind will understand. I have all these worries for so long and I even researched topics about it. But later, I realized that just like anything, that moment of “the talk” will happen when my child is ready, and that he will come to me when he is.
It is when he was 7 and Little H was 3 when EA started asking questions. He begun his curiosity by comparing Little H with their cousins who are of the same age as his little brother. He asked why their cousins are walking and Little H is not; why their cousins are talking and why Little H is not. He asked the questions with so much innocence. I can see that he was trying to reconcile and make sense of everything. At that point, i knew, EA is ready.
Last December 20, 2016, I joined a charity event called “Ang Daming Ngiti” (a lot of smiles) for the benefit of the children of Bahay Aruga, in Paco Manila. Bahay Aruga is a free halfway house for pediatric cancer patients. This is where the children and their guardians stay for free when the kids, who mostly live in provinces, have to go to Manila and undergo checkups or treatments in the Pediatric Oncology of Philippine General Hospital which is just a few blocks away.
I came across this project when a friend of mine, Lyka, together with her friends (they call themselves Hacienderas. The story of their group name deserves another blog post haha!) posted this project on Twitter.
I intended to participate as a donor but I believe God has other plans. As I was sending Lyka a message asking her what to donate, I found myself saying that I also want to be a volunteer on the day of the event itself. And when she said yes, my heart skipped a happy beat!
Our first family photo for 2016!
We welcomed 2016 with so much excitement and anticipation. I must say, it did not disappoint! I do not have big wishes for every new year that comes and so it is such a sweet surprise when it gives me more than what I expect. Here’s a quick recap of the year that was for me and my family:
What a great way to start the year when we had our first playdate/Christmas party with our NICU family friends. We, the Sampangs, Ngkings, Mendozas and Garcias met each other at the Neonatal ICU of Capitol Medical Center when all of our kids namely Hendrix, Clyde and Clint, Elias and Eae were born preemies. The hours of waiting and taking turns of us parents to visit out babies resulted to a friendship that extended beyond the borders of the hospital. Four years after meeting each other, we still get together for playdates and catch ups. It is so nice to see our kids grow together.
The 18th day of February is always special because it is the birthday of our firstborn Heinel! This year he turned 8! Heinel has always been such a polite, good and well-behaved kid, and this year was no exception! I am also glad that this year he was able to expand his horizon and became more confident. We are so blessed to have such a good son!
Four years ago I gave birth to a teeny-weeny-cutie baby, who, even though was very small, cries the loudest especially when he is hungry. It was March 15 and that boy is our dear Hendrix. This year, when he turned four, he continued to amaze us with his strength, determination and cheerfulness. Hendrix is always our sunshine even during the stormiest days!
I was one of the lucky girls who was invited to be part of the launch of Ariel’s new product built to wash 100 kinds of stains, in just 1 wash!
The launch was also a summit for women which aims to empower us all as 10 women from different fields, equally fierce and fearless, get to share their stories and insights. The venue was buzzing with excitement!
October brings in a feel of exciting chaos to me (what the?!).. Well, the control freak in me I guess. Why? Well, if companies have planning sessions too, our family has one too. uhhmm… more of me planning then getting approval from Daddy S. We are basically gearing up for the Christmas season and the upcoming year.
October is when we finalize our budget for the holidays. It is also when we finalize the gift list since November is when we start shopping. Shopping in November for Christmas gifts may seem to early for some but since Daddy S gives bulk gifts at work, prepping all of them takes soooooooooooooo much time.
October is also the time to finalize our travel plans for the upcoming year. Daddy S, being the “boss” 🙂 I usually suggest places/countries and he gives a yes/no answer after estimating costs. Then I take serious and detailed planning from there, such as the dates, travel itineraries and all..
Finally October is when we set targets for the coming year, sort of short term and long term planning, both for expenses and costs. Having a long term vision sets our short them plans. We want to give our kids a secure future without sacrificing the chance to enjoy being with them while they are young. Goal setting is the key!
Now that I read all these October to do’s, I am actually wondering why all of these must be done in one month. But not complaining though. I am happy getting things planned ahead! So cheers to October!