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!
February 27

Setting my Preschooler straight

When my son turned 3, he came to a stage wherein he loved to test boundaries. Just like any kid, his favorite word became “No” and the more you asked him stop, the more finds pleasure in repeating the same offense. As a first time mom, it was very frustrating and tiring to be always arguing with him. I’ve tried timeouts but this did not work because after minutes of standing still in a corner, he goes back to his old ways as if nothing happened. At one point I became guilty of constantly shouting at him but of course this is not effective because what was instilled in him is fear and not realization of what he did wrong. Spanking for worse offense also became a source of discipline but I personally do not believe in this because most of his worse acts involve hurting himself and others such as his grandmother or yaya. Physical pain to stop him from inflicting pain is not a very logical idea.
After all the trial and error we finally came up with something that matches his personality; and that is privilege deprivation. For every wrongdoing, I give him a warning and tell him from the start of what it will cost him if he repeats the offense such us reduced time to watch TV, not being allowed to play with his favorite toy for a day or limiting his computer usage during weekends. This method worked for him because by depriving him of something he enjoys, the impact of his disobedience became more of a personal experience. He realized that actions do have consequences. I’m a working mom, so for this method to work, I have to involve his yaya and grandmother (Mama), whom he spends most of his waking hours with. Within my son’s earshot, I talk to Yaya and Mama that he is not allowed, say, to watch TV in the afternoon because he did not pack away his toys. By letting him hear my instructions, he is aware that even though I am not at home, his punishment still applies and I will know if it was followed or not. This improved our relationship because it saved me from getting angry or getting stressed while imbibing in him the lesson that I want him to learn.
As each child is different, so does the discipline method that works for them. What works for my son may not work well with others. How about you fellow mom, what’s the discipline method that works for your kids? I would love to hear your thoughts.
February 25

Reading time Pregnant Moms!

Pregnancy brings in so many changes to a woman’s body and life. Aside from words of wisdom from my doctor, mom and mother-in-law, I educate myself by researching and reading a lot. Here are my trusted sources of pregnancy information:What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Even now on my second pregnancy, I still religiously read this book. It contains a month by month guide on what’s happening to your baby all throughout your nine month journey. It also has a question and answer type of discussion on common concerns during pregnancy, in which topics are very relatable. My second pregnancy is very sensitive and complicated so for the past 6 months I’ve been reading the portion about Common Concerns and ailments during pregnancy. Reading answers a lot of my questions helps ease my anxieties on the well being and condition of my unborn baby.

Babycenter.com Babycenter. Com is website which tackles everything from pre-pregnancy concerns to parenting big kids. For pregnant moms, they provide a week-by-week progress report of your baby and your body. I also enjoy reading forums especially when I have concerns about my complicated pregnancy. It enlightens me to know the actual experiences of other moms and it calms me to know that other moms where able to cope with the conditions I have.

 

Wikipedia.com
I know you may be wondering why I included this is in my list. Wikipedia is my source of information for particular medical terms that I hear from my OB-gyne especially now that my pregnancy involves a lot of sensitivities. I love reading about the technical terms as well as the history. Although, readers must be critical as well in checking the sources provided in the site if they are reliable so as not to get the wrong information.
Smart Parenting (SP) and Working Mom (WM) Magazines These two are locally published magazine designed for parents with kids whose age ranges from 0-6 years old for SP and 0-teens for WM. They also tackle common pregnancy concerns. What I appreciate most is that the magazine is especially made for Filipino families and therefore the topics are relatable to our culture and even provides discussion on some beliefs and “pamahiins”. It provides dangers and benefits, and even a little history on the pahiins which makes it easy for parents to understand the origin behind it. Those articles allowed me to see which ones are Ok to follow and which ones to let go totally. I don’t subscribe to any of the magazine though, because there are instances when rerun of topics are done.
With the great miracle growing inside our body, it is best to be armed with knowledge and information on how to take care of them before we can actually see them. Happy reading Moms!
February 22

Sending Toddlers to School

During my time, children start to go to school at age 5 or 6. But nowadays, even 6 month old babies have schools designed for them. I used to disagree in sending kids to school at an early age because it might cause them to lose interest later on because of burnout having been exposed way too early. But when my son became a toddler, I had a change of heart. I soon learned that toddlers have very sharp minds and they absorb everything like a sponge. Also, since he is an only child, my son had very limited exposure to kids his age, and thus, he gets very uncomfortable when and shy, to the point of being scared around other people. Furthermore, we noticed that when he’s at home, he gets to watch a lot of television and gets exposed to noontime shows and telenovelas, which are not appropriate for his age. It is for these reasons that we decided that send our son to school at age 3.

Choosing a school for a 3 year old is a crucial decision. We do not want to put him in a traditional school wherein everything is structured and kids are asked to just sit still and listen. We immediately decided to send him to a non-traditional school, or for some, it is called progressive school. I’m not an expert in early child education so I will just use the term non-traditional school instead. The big difference in a non-traditional school is that children have a lot of hands-on experiences. Considering that they are a very young group, the curriculum seems like 2.5 hours of play for them but it is in fact, integrated with comprehension activities, science, social studies, values formation, math and of course, physical education.
My son’s first school year is about to end soon and I must say, sending him to school early was a wise decision. He became more confident and we have seen a great improvement in his social skills. He has also become more considerate of others, more independent and more inquisitive. He is also more articulate.
Parents nowadays are lucky that there are many schools, traditional or non-traditional, to choose from. All you have to do is browse the web to find the school nearest and most convenient to you.
February 14

Things not to stress about during pregnancy

I admit I’m one of those pregnant moms who worry about almost everything. Which is why the article below from babycenter.com helped ease my anxieties. I also added my comments on the items which I was able to relate to.

You can view the article at http://www.babycenter.com/0_what-i-wish-id-known-not-to-stress-about-during-pregnancy_1472865.bc?bclink=section&scid=preg_2_20120209:1&pe=MlVBSVRuSXwyMDEyMDIwOQ.._

BabyCenter moms look back on their pregnancy and tell you what to cross off your worry list.

“Don’t stress if you can’t get everything done that you had planned each day. The baby won’t know if the housework isn’t done!”

“It’s okay to tell co-workers that you’re not interested in their advice. Every pregnancy is different.” – Of course, as Filipinos, our culture is very different. It may be considered impolite to say that you’re not interested in their advice. Rather, just do not take in everything that is being given to you. Choose what and what not to follow. Each pregnancy is different so just listen to your instincts and to your body.
And if you start to get uneasy with the conversation, just say a polite “thank you” and change the subject.

“Remember, every problem has a solution, and confiding in someone who’s close to you or who you think can offer help or support is a step forward. Don’t be afraid to talk to your partner, OB, or midwife.”

“Don’t stress about how you look. You’re performing a miracle — growing a person inside of you — and that’s a fantastic accomplishment.” – I’m guilty of this! I’m trying my best now to follow the advice here

“If you trust your OB, let her do her job and follow her recommendations; if you don’t, find a new doctor who you do trust. You should never be afraid to call your provider with big and small problems.” – I agree. Together with your husband, your OB will be your partner for the next nine months and thus, you should be comfortable with each other. If you’re not comfortable with her or doesn’t fully trust her, then better find one whom you can work better with.

“Don’t stress about tough times with your partner. A baby tests any couple’s relationship.”

“Don’t stress about things like food or weight. Just be sensible. There’s no need to give yourself an anxiety attack over the pint of ice cream you just finished. Take it as your special reward for everything you’ve accomplished so far in your pregnancy, and move on.” – Guilty as charged!

“If you’re doing everything in your power to make healthy choices, don’t worry so much. Women have been having babies since well before we knew what to do and what not to do.”

“Mothers-in-law don’t know everything!”

“Don’t stress too much about things in the environment you think might harm your baby, like standing too close to the microwave or pumping gas. Remember, the vast majority of babies are born healthy.”

“Don’t worry about labor. It is what it is. Just educate yourself on your options, and be ready to make informed decisions. Beyond that, just take a deep breath and go for it. It’s not as bad as you think it’ll be.” – Yes, educating yourself not just in labor but also about pregnancy will be beneficial for you and your baby.

“Don’t stress about how the baby is fending in the womb. It’s a roll cage, but your baby is probably comfortable in there.”

“Every little twinge doesn’t mean something is wrong.” – I believe since we can not see the baby inside our womb, it makes us worry about anything and everything. It is always best to ask your doctor should you have any concerns. Better be safe than sorry!

“No matter what decisions you make, someone will always disagree. Try not to let the negative comments upset you, and if you’re really worried about something, talk with your doctor or a nonjudgmental friend.” – A good and trusted friend is one of the greatest blessings a woman can have during her pregnancy with all the hormones and emotions going haywire!

“There’s no such thing as a stupid question, especially for first-time mothers. Being pregnant and birthing a child are unique experiences, and a woman will never know what it’s all about until she’s actually done it herself.” – I agree!

“It’s okay if you don’t have everything ready for your baby. Newborns don’t need a whole lot in the beginning.”

“When I accepted heartburn, back pain, lack of sleep, and moodiness as a normal part of pregnancy, they didn’t seem to bother me as much anymore.”

“If you’re worried about being a good mom, you probably have nothing to worry about. My husband keeps telling me that bad mothers don’t worry about whether or not they’ll be good moms.”

“I had never really been around children, and I made mistakes, but as long as you love your baby and are careful with the important stuff, you can’t harm him or her with small mistakes. You’ll soon get comfortable with the routine.”

“Don’t stress too much over all the “rules” pregnant women now have. A bath warmer than lukewarm won’t lead to disaster. If you accidentally eat a soft cheese you’re not sure is safe, there’s no use worrying after the fact. Our mothers had fewer restrictions than we do, and we turned out fine.”

Hope this article helps pregnant moms! Have a happy pregnancy!

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

Category: My Family