April 27

A Salute to Breastfeeding Moms

Just like most people, my general knowledge of breastfeeding is that it is very beneficial for babies as it contains antibodies and nutrients that no formula milk can imitate. I also knew that it is the ultimate bonding moment for a mother and her baby. Now that I’m also breastfeeding, there’s one major thing that I realized; BREASTFEEDING IS NOT EASY. Breastfeeding is manifestation of a mother’s unconditional love for her baby.  And with that I have gained a whole new respect for breastfeeding moms.

It took me 4 years of being a mom to realize that. I did not breastfeed my firstborn son because I did not have sufficient breast milk. But with my second son who was born 3 months earlier than his due date, I have to breastfeed because his small tummy can not take in milk formula. Since he is still in the incubator, I express my milk at home and bring it to hospital. The usual frequency of feeding newborns is every 3 hours and that is also what I follow in expressing my milk (except when I sleep at night). That level of frequency means my activities are limited. This afternoon was my first time to go to the mall and I’m literally rushing to go home because I’m late for my milk expressing schedule. I can just imagine how demanding it is when baby is at home and is already latching at mom’s breast. Not only is mom’s activities limited, but so is her sleeping hours as newborns are mostly awake at night. And how about working moms who express milk at work and latches baby at home? Talk about ultimate dedication!
A mom also sacrifices convenience. Breastfeeding can be painful. Breasts hurt when it is full and not expressed; and breasts hurt when being expressed and sucked by the baby. So either way, it can be painful. Also, milk not expressed leaks. Imagine the scenario if mom is out for an errand or in a meeting and milk leaks? You got the picture I guess.
These realizations put me in awe at breastfeeding moms, more so for those who did it for a year or more.  Breastfeeding entails a lot of love, patience, sacrifice and dedication. A mother sacrifices time, sleep and convenience to feed her baby. Breast milk is a product of a mother’s unconditional love to her baby. I never knew that until now. So to all breastfeeding moms, a big salute to all of you!
April 26

A most awaited moment…

Since giving birth to my son a month and a half ago, my daily routine includes going to the hospital and visiting my son Hendrix. Everyday I talk to him, caress his body, watch him sleep, hold his little hands and feet. But yesterday, a big change in my daily visit happened.
The joyous moment of mother holding her baby happens upon birth for most moms, but for me, I waited 41 days for it to happen. And it was just as magical. This time no glass incubator separates us. I held him close to me, kissed him and smelled him. I know Hendrix is happy too because he smiled several times. It was a moment that I did not want to end. It was the day I will forever remember.
In God’s time I know that soon we will be able to bring Hendrix home. I am very much looking forward to that day when I get to hold him and be with him the entire day; singing him lullabies, calming him when he cries and putting him to sleep. Hendrix is getting better and I know the best is yet to come.


April 24

Preparing kids to social events

My son Heinel is a very shy boy. He gets pretty stressed out on birthday parties, weddings, school programs and other social events because it means meeting strangers and going to an unfamiliar place. But he was slowly able to get past that. Today I will share with you some ways that helped my son to relax and enjoy social events:
        1. If your child is terrified to go somewhere, ask him what scares him the most, then address his fear.
      My son usually says he does not like birthday parties because he gets shy with other kids and their parents. We tell him that it is alright if he does not want to play with them and if he really feels shy towards the adults, he need not talk but just have to smile. This makes Heinel feel that we understand him and we respect how he feels by not forcing him to do something he is not ready to do.
       2. Go to the venue earlier than the time of the actual event. 
     Arriving the same time as everybody does can be very overwhelming to children because they see strangers and unfamiliar environment all at the same time. Arriving earlier will give them time to have a feel of the place, and explore the vicinity of the area without bumping into other guests. He gets to see slowly how people starts coming in and saying hi to him one by one as oppose to arriving later  and have several people greet them at once. 
    3. A week before the event, prepare your kids by talking to them about it. 
     For our son, letting him know in advance allows him to have time to absorb the idea that for that weekend, we will not be going to the mall. The best method is to show him the calendar and point the date of the event. Then everyday, as I remind him, I show him the calendar again so he can see how many  days more before we go.
     4. Set a positive mood for the event.
     Whether it is a birthday party, wedding, family get together; it is best to create a positive picture on his mind like telling him what is in store for him such as magicians, puppets, yummy food, balloons, etc.. set the mood that the place is fun. 
      5. Be a friend. 
     Go around the area or join games with him. Do not scold him for being shy, it is not his fault after all. 
     6. Bring a favorite toy. 
     Venues are new environments and kids need to feel secure. Bringing his favorite toy can help him feel at ease. It can also start a conversation with a friend or an adult. Before, when we attend birthday parties, Heinel  warms up only to people who talks to him about his toy. Also, if he really does not want to participate in the party, having a toy will distract him so you and dad can join the activities.
Just like in anything, all our kids need is a little time. He will not be super shy forever. Just give them time to come out of their shells. I do hope my tips will be of help to you. Feel free to share yours too!
April 22

Water please!

I have been absent from blogging for quite sometime because I got sick. I had on and off fever for several days coupled by nausea and weakness. When I got confined at the hospital my doctor said that I was dehydrated. And because of it, I also developed urinary track infection (UTI). I had both because of only one reason; I wasn’t drinking enough water.

Considering the very hot weather now here in Manila, it is so easy to get dehydrated. Well, here are some signs that you are dehydrated:
1. Dark yellow urine
2. Dry mouth
3. Weakness in muscle
4. Headache
5. Dizziness
6. Low blood pressure
7. Increased heart beat
8. Fever
9. Unconsciousness

But in order not to experience any of these, it is best to hydrate yourself and drink plenty of water. You wouldn’t want getting sick to get in the way of your daily activities.

Because I am extracting milk for my baby who is in the incubator, getting sick meant no milk for my baby. I am allowed to pump my milk but not to save it for him. It was almost a week of throwing milk. I felt really bad. But good thing I have several reserves inside the fridge so my baby did not get hungry.

Now I’m up and about and fully recovered. As a mom, I realized that, now more than ever, I need to take care of myself for my two sons. Not only am I a mom who takes care of her kids, I am also the only source of food and nutrients of my second born son.

April 8

Faith… Total Surrender

With our Baby Hendrix in the Neonatal ICU, the past three weeks had been a roller coaster of emotions. Some days are up, some are down. There are several instances when we celebrate over some developments then just a few hours later cry over negative updates from his doctor. As a result, despite receiving some good news, I would find myself crying and worrying if it will be followed by disappointing news as well.
Last weekend was definitely one of those days. The Doctor reported a major setback. At that point, additional medicines or procedures were not advisable. The only thing to do is to observe and wait if Hendrix can fight it out.
For someone like me who is used to taking control of things, it is difficult to just wait. I plan everything. And when things do not go my way, I get really upset. And with Hendrix, I already expected a miracle, because of all the prayers we’ve been receiving from family, relatives, friends, relatives, prayer groups, even from people we do not know. I expected his Doctor to tell me “We do not know how it happened, but your son is perfectly healthy!” But it did not happen and I was disappointed. Very disappointed.
In the middle of these emotions, I read the bible to find some comfort. And the verses I read in both books of Matthew and Mark, tell how people’s faith in God allowed them to be healed by Jesus.
Matthew 9:27 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; and their sight was restored.
Mark 10:52 “Go” said Jesus. “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Reading these verses was the enlightenment that I needed. It made me realize that even thru prayers I was still trying to take control of things. I want things exactly my way; that I refuse “No” as answer. Reading these verses opened up my eyes and heart. I need to have faith and faith means total surrender. I have to believe that God will heal my son; and that God knows what is best for my son.
After reading the bible, I meditated and prayed. And when I opened my eyes, I felt relieved. I felt like a heavy weight has been taken from my shoulders. I have faith. I believe. I surrender.
Hendrix’s condition is improving as days go by. It is not perfect yet, but having that renewed faith allowed me to be thankful and be happy for the good news, and take calmly any problems that come our way. We are taking it one day at a time.
And if you’re wondering about the major setback I mentioned above, yes, Hendrix was able to fight it out. Thank God! A blessed easter to everyone!
April 6

The Sunshine Award

I got my first blog award! How precious! Thank you Viviene of The Journey of A Woman! According to her, this award is given to “bloggers who are inspirational, and who have impacted your blogging or your life.”
Here are the rules of this award…
§ Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
§ Answer 10 questions about yourself
§ Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
§ Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
§ Share the love and link the person who nominated you.
Now I got to answer these 10 questions…
1. Favourite colour – I love red. I think it’s bold and passionate. Both my 18th birthday debut party and wedding has red as a color motif
2. Favourite animal – I love Dogs!
3. Favourite number – hmmm… I don’t think I have a particular number that I like
4. Favourite non-alcoholic drink – Coffee
5. Facebook or twitter – Facebook! I find twitter boring at times
6. Passion – Fashion/Music/Family/Marriage
7. Getting or giving presents – Definitely giving especially the wrapping part! That is what I look forward to every Christmas season
8. Favourite pattern – I usually like solid two-toned patterns only
but now I’m trying to get myself to wear other patterns but nothing too bold
9. Favourite Day of the Week – Sunday!!
10. Favourite flower – I’m a red roses girl
Now the most exciting part! I nominate…
1. Bonz World – Meet the Chef Wannabe –My friend’s blog that talks about great food and promotes good health.
2. Mommy of One and Counting – A blog that talks about her experiences as a mom, and being pregnant for the second time around. A blog which also promotes breasfeeding, and cloth diapers.
3. Momto8blog – blogging her experiences about raising 8 kids in different age brackets. I often wonder how she does it!
4. The Feastful Life – Reading her blog will make you feel that life is indeed beautiful with her great scenery photos, yummy food and fashion finds.
5. The Adventures of J-Man and Millerbug – As a new blogger, she has helped me a lot with her cool blogging tips. She makes blogging seem so easy!
6. Chronicles of A Nursing Mom – She has inspiring and encouraging posts about breastfeeding. A great blog to follow especially for new breastfeeding moms just like me!
Category: Blogging Gigs
April 4

Fruits Trivia

I have always been fond of fruits most especially during my pregnancy. Not only is it nutritious with its loads of vitamins and minerals, it also became my pal during the first trimester when my morning (all-day!) sickness was at its worst and I could not eat almost everything.
Do you find fruits boring? Well, here are some interesting facts about your fruits:
Bananas between meals help ease morning sickness.

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Category: Family Matters