March 29

My early CS Delivery

On March 15, 2012, 6 months (26 weeks, 2 days) into my pregnancy, I gave birth to my second child, a 2lbs, 1 ounce baby boy. It was not a kind of birth experience I would want any mother to be in. I cried upon hearing him cry, but not of happiness, but because of fear and worry. He is already out when he should not be and I do not know how his small body will take the outside world. I did not get to hold him or to see him because he has to be incubated right away.
My water bag rapture on March 12 but to give baby time to absorb the steroids needed to fast track the growth of his lungs, we had to wait two more days. I was given an IV to try to replenish the lost amniotic fluid but I was still leaking. Those two days were tense ones as my Doctors strictly (hourly) monitored my baby’s heartbeat and movement. On March 15, after the ultrasound showed that I barely had amniotic fluid and infections are starting to come in, my Doctors decided to deliver my baby via Ceasarian Section. It was not a better alternative. Having him inside my tummy will risk us both of infection, but delivering him at that point will not guarantee his survival. It was heartbreaking to hear those words from the doctors.
I always ask myself if have done something wrong that could have triggered the rapture in my water bag. My husband and doctors said that I was not at fault. They gave me all medical explanations for what happened. I believe them. But now the next thought that came: “Did I give my son the best protection and nutrition while he was still inside my womb?” I hope so. But I suddenly felt guilty for the days when I cheated on my diet and ate chocolates and donuts and sip half a cup of coffee. I felt guilty for the days when I allowed myself to get so tired at work that I can barely get up from bed when I arrive home.
If there’s one thing I wish other pregnant moms will learn from my experience, it is to never take for granted a day into your pregnancy. The womb is the safest place for the baby to be in for those 37 weeks or more that he is inside it. Every single day that the unborn baby is inside the mother’s womb should be cherished. Every vitamin must be taken, only the healthiest food must be eaten. If you are a working mom, always have plenty of rest. If it means taking a nap in the middle of the day at work, then find your space and just nap away. For stay at home moms, do not stress over household chores. Ask help if needed. If you feel anything unusual do not hesitate to ask your Doctor about it. Always talk to your baby. Our Neonatologist advised us to always talk to our son in the incubator because hearing familiar voices soothe and calm him.
Two weeks after giving birth and my baby is showing good developments. We still have a long way to go, say 2-3 months inside the incubator, but I cherish each day that the good Lord adds up to his life.
March 25

I’m a Breastfeeding Mom!

With my first born son, Heinel, I was not able to breastfeed except for the colostrum because I did not have much supply and he ends up feeling so hungry after latching. It was a frustration. But now, with the birth of my second son, Hendrix, (born only 26 weeks into my pregnancy), breast milk is a must. His small body needs only a mother’s mik. Initially I was worried that I will not have milk again. But with the help of our pediatrician, I was able to extract milk on my first try! Now, more than a week after giving birth, I extract about 1.5 ounces milk every 6 hours and it is gradually increasing. Doctors from the Neonatal ICU says Baby Hendrix only takes in 5ml of milk every 8 hours for now. But just the same, I regularly extract milk just to make sure that my milkflow will not stop and by the time I’m allowed to feed him directly thru my breast, I have enough to fill him up! Right now, we store all the milk inside the freezer and my husband delivers a bottle or two everyday.
More than nourishing my baby, my breastmilk also became my connection with my baby since I can not visit him daily yet because I am still recovering from a complicated CS operation. It somehow eased my anxiety of not seeing him knowing that thru my milk, I am able to help him recover.
I’m happy that I am now part of millions of moms who breastfeeds their baby!
March 2

A Happy Wife makes a Happy Life

Yesterday I was watching a local TV show “KrisTV”. The episode features Kim Atienza; a news anchor, host, animal enthusiast. His home is truly a busy one with 3 kids, 34 dogs, 16 crocodiles, various types of tortoise and frogs, 2 macaw birds, and some indoor pets such as hedgehogs. His wife owns a Chinese school where their kids go to school as well. When Kris asked how his wife was able to manage a home as busy as theirs and a career which is equally demanding, he said that it is because he believes in the motto “A happy wife makes a happy life”. He supports her career and encourages her to pamper herself and do the things that she loves. They have dinners together, surprises her with gifts, and do affectionate things such as texting her “I love you” several times a day.
“A happy wife makes a happy life”. This I truly agree with. As a woman, we play several roles and most of the time we end up sacrificing a lot just to make sure that everyone around us is happy. But the danger in that is when we end up losing ourselves. If one always allows herself to be the last priority, one way or another she will realize that she no longer knows who she is and what she wants, and thus end up being miserable. If a woman is happy with herself, then she can shower so much love to her family. Each woman must find her source of inner happiness. Some find it by having a career of their own; others find it by staying at home. No matter what it is, it has to be her choice. A woman must not lose herself because she has a husband and kids to take care of. She must also give herself time to go out with her friends and her husband or even alone for some pampering time at the salon and spa and go shopping.
During my pregnancy with my first born son, I have to resign from work on my 5th month because of my complicated pregnancy. When I gave birth, despite the presence of my son, I still felt a twinge of sadness. The thought of work keeps coming back. I tried to set it aside and focus on my son but it came to a point when I just couldn’t ignore it anymore. I was blessed to have a wonderful husband who supported my decision. When I started working again, I went back to being my old happy self. I realized that having a career makes me happy; having personal achievements makes me happy. And that inner happiness benefited my family because I became a better wife and mother.
I hope this reaches all the wives and mothers out there. Do not feel guilty in thinking about yourselves at times. Marriage and motherhood should not change who you are, but rather, make you a better person than you were before. And to husbands, do not forget to show some love and appreciation to your wives. Remember, a happy wife makes a happy life!
January 23

Letter for Heinel on his 4th

January 23, 2012

To my son, Heinel,

As I am typing this letter, you are now less than a month from turning four years old. I cannot believe how time flies. It was just yesterday when your Dad and I used to talk to you while you are still inside my tummy and marvel at the miracle of feeling you move. It seemed moments ago when I first held you in my arms and I could not believe how perfect you are. And now you are already our little boy who never runs out of stories to tell and cute antics to share. There are times that I wish that the clock wouldn’t move as quickly so you will not grow up too fast. Every day you are showing me signs of independence and though most of the time I’m too scared to let go of my control of you, I want you know that I’m proud of your accomplishments. From learning how to walk and cite the alphabet; to showing me you can already brush your own teeth and prepare your own milk; these are among the many triumphs in life that I know I will forever be proud of. Your smile every time you succeed in a task is worth more than a thousand riches and fame that life can offer me.
Heinel, having you was the best thing that happened to me and Dad. At times I wonder what I have done so perfectly in my life that made me deserve you. I am far from being a perfect Mom, and most of the time I fell short of being an ideal one, but if you can only see my heart, you will see that every day I am trying to be, at least, the mom that you deserve; not ideal, not perfect, but always loving and willing to give up everything for you. Before you were born, my greatest fear is not knowing how to raise you. I’m a first time mom and changing a diaper was already a challenge, how much more shaping you to be a good person? But just like any other parent, i am raising you with only life experiences as a guide. Each day is a learning process not just for you but most of all for me. We are parenting you “by faith and love”. There is no clear formula, nor there are any shortcuts. Being a parent does not mean that I will always be right. But do trust that whatever decisions that we will make, we have your best interest at heart. And for those instances that I will be wrong, you will hear me say “I am sorry” and pray that you will always be as accepting and forgiving.

My son, if there’s one constant prayer I have each day, that is for you to grow up to become a God-fearing, responsible and hardworking person. Whatever your dreams will be, we will support you. You can be in any field that you want may it be in science, law, arts or even music, but for as long as you have those three traits in you, you will become successful. Give back to society by being a good citizen and by serving others, for success is not to be defined by the money that you have but by the level of contentment and serenity that you will feel as each day ends and you’re all alone and in prayer.
As you read this one day, I pray that you will keep my words in your heart. This will be one of my many letters to you to give you a peek of what’s inside Mommy’s heart. Life may bring me riches and fame, but nothing can compare to the achievement of being called your Mommy. I love you Heinel with all my heart and I will always be proud of you.

Love,
Mommy