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 29

Teaching my toddler to write

Heinel’s teacher always praises him for his good writing skills. I find this a compliment because it is a result of our writing sessions that we started at home when he turned 3.
Before starting on any learning program for my son, I always assess whether he is prepared for it. By the time Heinel was 3 years old, he is already very familiar with the letters of the alphabet and is showing interest in writing. I’ve proven that no matter how good the program is, if my child is not prepared, it will not provide positive results and will lead only to frustration to both me and my son.
For our writing drills, I decided to group the letters of the alphabet depending on my assessment of its degree of difficulty for a child. Letters with simple horizontal and vertical lines are easier, compared to letters with curves and swirls, thus, they come first.
To help with our writing drills, I bought two workbooks; 1 for line strokes, and 1 for letter drills. There are several workbooks available in your local bookstore for you to choose from depending on your preference. I bought Heinel workbooks in which he can trace the lines initially, and then later on, there are blank spaces for him to write the lines on his own.
We begun with writing drills on basic lines; vertical and horizontal lines. The first few study sessions was a bit frustrating to Heinel especially when he could not figure out yet how to properly hold a pencil. At that time all that I can to do is to be patient and be encouraging. As much as I want to teach him how to hold a pencil, that is something that he has to figure out on his own depending on where he’s comfortable at. After mastering the basic horizontal and vertical lines, we proceeded to letters with vertical and horizontal lines such as letter E,F, H,I, L, and T.
After letters with horizontal and vertical lines, we proceeded to drills on slanting lines. Then followed by practicing letters A, K,M,N, V, W, X, Y and Z.
After letters with slanting lines, we proceeded to curve strokes. This is more challenging for Heinel as it requires more control of the pencil in achieving the different curve strokes. Once familiar with the curve strokes, drills on letter B,D,J,P,R, and U followed.
The last series of drills involved wavy lines then followed by letters C,G,O,Q and S.
Heinel and I have writing drills every weekday, 30 minutes each session. On days when he feels inspired, we have two sessions. I try to limit it to 30 minutes so as not to tire him out. This schedule also works well with working moms like me because we still have time to play. Usually, we have 2-3 sessions per letter but not all in one day. But we don’t mind extending if I feel that he needs to practice more. He does not have to write it perfectly, just as long as he remembers it properly without any help from me.
Aside from a writing being a learning activity, it is also a great chance for me to bond with my son. The key is to be supportive and encouraging. I always end our study session with a hug and praise for a job well done.
March 28

Footwear for Moms on the Go

When one has kids, you are always on your toes. Motherhood changed a lot of my fashion preferences, most particularly with footwear. Gone are the days when I can wear platforms or stilettos or high heels at the mall. But hey, alternative footwear can be fashionable too. Here are my favorite mommy-friendly footwear:
Ballet flats
I’m a girl at heart so ballet flats are my most favorite footwear. It can be matched with almost anything; shorts, pants,skirts and dresses. I can’t seem to get enough of ballet flats. My favorite types are those laces, flowers and jewels. It adds personality to the shoes!
Low wedge
I still wear wedges but I just make sure that the heels are low. I usually wear it with my maxi dresses and shorts.
Flip flopsFlip flops are my ultimate “go to” footwear. It is comfortable and can be worn with shorts or denim skirts. With several designs in the market, you will definitely find one that will suit your personality. Just a tip, please make sure that flip flops are regularly washed and scrubbed especially if you will wear it to the mall. I find it a turnoff seeing dirty slippers. I mean, come on we still need to look presentable, right?
I’m not a rubber shoes girl so the next best sports footwear for me is a pair of sneakers. It’s a perfect footwear for days out in the playground or playdates with other kids. My favorite brands are Keds, Tretorn and Converse.

SandalsFor days that requires me to dress up a little like parties or school events, low heeled sandals are a must. I just make sure that I choose sandals that have sturdy straps to ensure secure fit. We wouldn’t want those straps to snap while I’m chasing my son, right?Your footwear brings out your personality. Nowadays we are lucky to have so much choices in the market that we can both have comfort and fashion combined.
March 26

Photo Album ala Scrapbook

Despite modern technology, I’m one of those who prefer to do things the traditional way. Like making photo albums! I know nowadays photos are in digital format and can be posted in social networking sites but I still get excited about seeing printed pictures and designing every page of the traditional album.
I used all sorts of materials; scrap booking items, ribbons, memorable items such as gift tags, movie tickets, etc… I haven’t fully embraced scrapbooking because I am not that artistic. Also, I prefer the sticker type photo albums because pictures are protected and can last a long time.
For days when I run out of ideas, I just stick the pictures together and provide captions. But most of the time, I let my memories of the photos inspire me to create a design for the page. In turn, my photo albums are unique and very personalized.
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 21

I chose the right Doctor!

From March 13 to 19, I was at the hospital because 26 weeks into my pregnancy, my water bag raptured. I delivered our second born baby boy on March 15 thru a life threatening, both for me and my baby, CS operation. From the time I texted my OB-GYNE, Dra. Aurora Eugene R. Quiambao of Capitol Medical Center (CMC), of my condition up until my discharge, I really felt her genuine care and concern. Even at the wee hours of the night I can hear her staff giving her updates about me and my baby’s condition. Our conversations are not about my physical condition but she also uplifts me emotionally. She provided us the best team possible to take care of me and my baby’s delicate condition and best of all she referred to us a very good, dedicated pediatrician known in the industry that specializes in preterm babies who was not even from CMC but she deemed best to handle our case.
Her daily rounds always are full of comfort and advise. She is even updated about the condition of my baby. I was so happy with her service and how she saved me and my baby’s life that I was willing to let go of the professional fee that she will charge. Considering that she is one of the premier doctors there, and with all the service she has given us, I was even shy to ask for a discount. But I was surprised when she gave us a very reasonable fee. It was far lower than what we expected. I honestly believe that she can charge way higher than she did and nobody can complain with the level of her competence. Now I trully understand why she has a lot of patients and majority of the babies in CMC were delivered by her.
For those looking for an OB-GYNE in Quezon City area, I highly recommend Dra. Aurora Eugene R. Quiambao of Capitol Medical Center. She is exclusive to CMC which is why I only recommend her if you live along the QC vicinity.
March 13

Preparing for your Prenatal Checkups

During the nine month journey, pregnant women will see their Obstetrician-Gynecologist at least once a month and more frequently than that when they reached the 28th week mark. It’s always best to come prepared to maximize your visit because chances are, you’ll be waiting in a queue for your 15-20 minute turn. Here are some basic things to remember:

Last menstrual period (LMP)– you will be consistently asked by this question all throughout your pregnancy not just by your OB but also laboratory personnel and sonologists. Your LMP will be their basis in calculating how far long you are and your expected delivery date. If you already have your prenatal notebook, better to write down there, but otherwise you can also write it in a small notepad and put it inside your wallet so you’ll always have it.
Questions Checklist – Most of the time prenatal checkups only happen once a month, so for the next 30 days you will definitely have questions or concerns that you might want to discuss on your next appointment. Better to jot it down right away! Place notepads or post its on areas around the house like at the refrigerator door, beside the telephone, your bedside table, etc.. in that way, you can easily write your thoughts down as soon as you think of them. Then the night before your checkup, collate all these lists and make a summary to bring to your appointment. Do not be shy to show your OB that you have a checklist. She will appreciate it more that you come to your appointments prepared.
History on hand – Aside from your prenatal notebook, it is best that you bring along the results of your laboratory tests and ultrasound results. Your OB should have copies of these on file but better to bring it with you always for instances when your OB is not in on your checkup and a reliever takes her place who does not know your pregnancy history or for reference during ultrasound schedules.
Battle waiting boredom – Checkups usually entail hours of waiting especially if your OB arrives later than usual because she performed an operation or is assisting a fellow patient in giving birth. Bring a bottle of water, some light healthy snacks or a sandwich just in case you and your partner gets hungry. It is also best to bring to keep you busy while waiting such as a book, a magazine or your Ipad.
Prenatal checkups are fun and exciting especially if you leave your doctor’s office anxiety-free and assured that you and your baby are in good shape.
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!