Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Birthing Experience!

It's been such a long time after my last post, but here I am again.
This time, I am a mom.

The 9th of November will never be the same. As you would have guessed, that tiny force that inspired me to blog was born on that day of 2011. 


The day before my delivery I felt extremely exhausted. It was odd to me because from the start of my third trimester up until that weekend I was mostly energetic. In fact I  was so tired that I decided to skip going to our usual Tuesday church activities (my husband and I are active in a catholic movement for adult initiation into faith). By 9 pm I had just finished bathing and was now sitting on the bed contemplating lazily whether I had enough energy to write another blog entry.  I stared at the black screen of the laptop, slightly impatient. I was 40 weeks exactly. My pregnant friends and relatives had already given birth, but there I was, still "infanticipating". I wondered for the nth time how long it would be til I'd finally meet the little person in my tummy.

A much welcomed interruption came in the form of my husband. Home from church duties, he entered the room to kiss me hello, then walked out for a shower. Little did I know I needed a quick one again myself. 

I looked at the screen again but this time I felt something else altogether. My night dress was damp. Puzzled, I stood up only to realize I was sopping my underwear further. "Hun, I think I'm leaking!" I called out. What was that? He said as he returned to the room, with a face which most probably mirrored my own baffled countenance. "I'm leaking," I repeated.


After dealing with the swarm of sudden to-do's (I thought my hospital bag that had been sitting idly for a week was all we needed), I found myself smiling during the car ride for several reasons. 1) I remembered that old commercial from the 90's with the famous line "Dad, my water bag broke..." I dint think i'd have a similar scenario. I even bought a 100 peso watch in greenhills just because was excited to count my contraction intervals (i've never grown to like wearing watches btw). 2) My husband looked so edgy that i had to remind him to calm down most of the time 3) i finally felt the much awaited, initial discomfort of labor -- the very familiar dismenorria. "Let's do this!" I thought to myself happily.


It took us only 15 minutes to the hospital. My husband parked the car while I walked with a casual maternity waddle toward some nurses and doctors, and with a sheepish grin asked them to direct me to the labor room (yes, that's how not-in-pain i was). They'd been expecting me. My doctor wasn't there yet but had already called them to prepare for my labor. After changing into a hospital gown and answering a series of questions in bed there was nothing left to do but wait. I was strapped to a machine that monitored stuff. With my water bag gone, the baby had no protection over possible infections, but she was taking her time and I was only 2 cm dilated. A young doctor was with me throughout the vigil, recording my contractions, blood pressure, the baby's condition, and providing me with a bit of entertainment through chit-chat. I was supposed to get some sleep, but who could at such a night? 

The contractions somewhat became stronger throughout the waiting period but by 4 am it had grown weaker. The baby had gone down but was just "semi-engaged." So my doctor made another call to 
her staff to have my baby induced. An hour later i was given the treatment and i felt the contractions become fiercer and fiercer. 

Now on our last consultation my doctor and I had discussed my birthing plan. I wanted the epidural as a last resort, I said. I'd like to try the natural method with just some mental pain management, breathing techniques, a drowsing drug and demerol at the end. Boy was I absolutely clueless about the pain! There was very little time for pain build up. My contractions increased quickly. My 2 cm cervix opened to a four. 


"Doc epidural nalang!" right after the second gigantic contraction. (Haha!) Its a good thing 
contractions had "breaks" or i would have died right then and there!  It literally felt as if my insides were being shoveled mercilessly in all directions. I have proudly given up cursing, except on occasion but that night...well it's true what they say about women in labor...she just isn't herself. 

A doctor told me to focus on my breathing but I couldn't. I was panicky, dreading each wave of pain. I kept on asking where my anesthesiologist was. They kept saying she was on her way and that she drives fast...but that she lives in Alabang! That info just made the pain worse. I was going into the last phase of labor really quickly now. The doctors hadn't expected it to be that fast. They moved me from the bed to the stretcher, and I opened from a 4 to an 8! I wanted to push but they kept telling me to wait for the right time as they wheeled me in to the delivery room. From that quick trip to the other room the resident declared that i was now 10 cm dilated and that the baby had finally engaged! (Ang galing ng timing!)

I finally heard my anesthesiologist's voice as i lay on the delivery bed. A male nurse aid helped me get into a side lying position for the epidural shot, but every second was too much of a torture that i couldn't care less anymore if a hundred men were in the room. I would have skipped the sterilization procedure done on my back altogether if i had my way, quick as it was. I must have been complaining rather loudly because one nurse told me "ma'am wag po masyadong malakas , baka po matakot yung ibang pasyente." (I ignored her remark but in my head I screamed, "wala akong pakialam sa ibang pasyente!" Hehehe) 

Oh but the wonders of science! Epidurals are a gift of to women from heaven. In less than a minute after the shot on my spine, i felt my body untwist from the pain and drift to a more relaxed state. 


I noticed the morning sun changing the window shade to a lighter hue. It was morning and i knew the vigil was over and that i was inevitably giving birth. With jellied legs but a calm composure i was able to listen to everyone's voices and my anesthesiologist's instructions with an unclouded mind. My oby-gyne came just at the last few moments to prepare me for the pushing. Much to my surprise she instructed one of her staff members to call my husband and let him in. Initially she told us that hospital regulations don't allow husbands or other loved ones in the delivery room, even if my husband works as a nurse there. I was so glad she changed her mind about not letting him in. No harm done anyway. 

He held my hand and cheered me on as the doctor coaxed me to "push." (With the epidural it felt like i was just pretending to push since i couldn't feel a thing waist down.) After three or four pushes, our daughter came out and breathed her first. 

My husband cut her umbilical cord and she was quickly cleaned and handed over to me. My doctor finished up while my husband and I shared a moment so precious and new. He took a few photos and then left to check on our room and update our families. For an hour she lay on my chest crying most of the time while a nurse cleaned her up further. Small, helpless, and beautiful. 7.12 lb, 50cm, at 7:15 in the morning, born on her exact due date, November 9, 2011.

I didn't cry that day. I cried two days after when we were alone in the hospital room and she was sleeping in my arms. But I do remember that exhausted as I was from the night's long wait, all the pain I experienced melted away into nothing but a minute fragment of inconvenience. In place of it was an overwhelmingly merry miracle called Juliana Micaela. 

So please excuse me for abandoning my blog for the last 10 months. I've been taking it all in...the wonders, the blues, the hard sacrifices, the adjustments, the joy, the love...and having the time of my life.

Juliana at 2 days old


[This entry is dedicated to my daughter, to let her know of how she came into the world.]

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Video: Genesis by Ramos David

A friend posted this video about conception to birth on my fb wall. It's an animated video by Ramos David for Evil Cat Production.  While the choice of background music may not appeal to everyone, the animation is truly astounding! I only wish it were in HD. For a 6-minute clip, it speaks so much about the intricacies of how human life comes to be. Life is such a beautiful miracle. Here's the video: 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Baby Shower!

A billion thanks to my family and friends who hosted a baby shower for us last Sunday--love you all!

It was simple but very sweet of them, and we enjoyed it a lot! The theme was Dr. Seuss so my sisters asked the guests to show up in stripes and put some tiny diy cat-in-the-hat table centerpieces as decor. Can you find the table centerpiece? Haha.

They also put up some clever Seussical signs around the party hall...

Some games we played including Guess the Waistline for the ladies...(The good thing about pregnancy is that it gives you an excuse to have huge measurements!)

...and Milk-Me-Momma for the boys. (First one to finish got chocolates!)

(Here's a photo of my husband carrying a rather blurry bottle of milk to practice his bottle shaking skills.)

And who could forget the very useful gifts we got! 

Since it was a semi-surprise, they didn't show me the invitation! I'll get a copy of it and post it some other time. Meanwhile, 4 weeks to go til my EDD! Here's a photo of my best bump buddy these days. She's expecting a boy, and I'm expecting a girl. Future prom date maybe? Our due dates are just a few days apart.

Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Possible Preeclampsia

For my prenatal consultation on my 34th week, I was expecting the usual...regular baby heartbeat, good fetal growth, okay weight gain. I wasn't expecting my blood pressure to be 140/90. The doc's assistant checked it twice an hour or so, apart.  Reaching the 140/90 threshold I heard my doctor's voice pitch go up a notch, and a tiny involuntary gulp from my own throat, as she explained to me with urgency the word "preeclampsia."

Preeclempsia, from what I gathered from her explanation and previous book reading, has to do with rising blood pressure due to pregnancy changes and the presence of protein in the urine. There have only been theories as to why some pregnant women develop this condition. The danger here is that it could lead to eclampsia, a more complicated case which involves the mother having seizures or convulsions, and in which the only resolution is a pre-terminated pregnancy. Meaning, the mother would have to be induced or would have to have an emergency c-section to prevent the baby from harm or death.

With just a few more weeks till my due date, I wasn't expecting this news at all. The doctor looked down at my feet.The edema could be another sign of possible preeclampsia, she said. Sure, my feet and ankles had obvious swelling, but I thought that was somewhat expected and normal for pregnant women. Crap.

She then gave me my new responsibilities:

1. Have a urinalysis to check protein content
2. Fetal movement monitoring:  I have to feel for the baby's movements (any type of movement) 30 minutes to an hour after breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday. She has to move at least 10 times within an hour. If not, I'd have to call the doctor. (Reason: Before a fetus' heart stops because of the condition, the movements decrease first.)
3. Check my blood pressure three times a day, left arm, heart level
4. Bed rest making sure to lie on my left side most of the time (with bathroom and trips to the dining room rights) to help keep the blood pressure down
5. Low-sodium diet - no salty condiments: toyo, patis, bagoong, ketchup, etc.
6. Report to her at 8pm everyday via text.

So far, I've had my urinalysis but I'd have to hear the doctor's interpretations next week since I got the results after the her clinic hours. Our helper has been informed of my new diet and I've started gathering and eating tasteless recipes. I've checked the baby's fetal movements three times and I'm more than glad that she's still very active. My husband's been checking my bp and it's been normal, usually 120/80. He's also taught me how to check my blood pressure myself in case he can't because of his work schedule.

I don't know how long I'll be monitoring for possible preeclampsia and be tied to the bed, but I don't have to elaborate on how these little sacrifices are worth it. Hang in there baby, it's time for teamwork.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

House Staff Standards

I haven't been able to blog lately. Some little domestic drama alighted on our roof, as our first and one and only helper decided to go home due to personal reasons. With just a few more weeks till my due date (November 10th), she couldn't have picked worse timing. It just seemed stressful to have to train a new helper with my thoughts already on the baby's arrival.

 A few months after our wedding last year,  marriage felt like a long date that never seemed to end, but as my husband and I went through the transition of changing helpers, this made us feel like we are now really, well, husband and wife. Domestic duties suddenly feel more real. Am I making sense? Haha.

Luckily, we found a replacement through my husband's aunt. I have some apprehensions because of her age (she's 47 while the previous was 22). She's small and moves a bit slowly, plus she speaks and writes with the same energy. Though she knows Tagalog, I'm not 100% sure she understands me all the time because she's a bit mahinhin and it takes her a few seconds to answer. Perhaps she translates from Ilocano to Tagalog in her head first?

On the other hand, the good thing about our new staff is that her experience in rearing her 5 children plus 12 grandchildren, and being a house helper (she's worked in Abu Dhabi!) compensate for her lack of speed. There's also this humble and motherly vibe, which I appreciate. During these past few days of her "orientation and training," she has shown glimpses of tough diligence behind her weathered yet gentle exterior. There's probably a lot I can learn from her.

With the new helper, I find myself reassessing my standards and expectations for household staff. I don't want to be too nice, because we'd been tolerant and nice to our first helper and look where it got us? I don't want to be too mean either since I know that happy workers, work better. I hope I can achieve a certain balance in being queen of the castle along the way. There's really a lot to learn, still.  I wish standards were as simple to make as that classic movie, Mary Poppins. Remember Jane and Michael's job ad for the perfect nanny? Hmmm... I suddenly feel like singing. Here are the lyrics (from

If you want this choice postition,
Have a cheery disposition.
Rosie cheeks, No warts,

That's the part I put in.

Play games, all sorts
You must be kind, you must be witty.
Very sweet and fairly pretty

Of all the ridiculous ideas

Oh George, please.

Take us on outings, give us treats

Sing songs, bring sweets.
Never be cross or cruel,
Never feed us castor oil, or gruel.

Love us as a son and daughter,

And never smell of barley water.
I put that part in too.

If you won't scold and dominate us,
We will never give you cause to hate us.
We wont hide your spectacles so you can't see.

Put toads in your bed and pepper in your tea.

Hurry nanny, many thanks



and Michael


Friday, September 2, 2011

How to Change a Diaper (A Video Tutorial)

So I've got newborn disposable diapers, a diaper rash cream, a diaper bag, a diaper changing mat etc. I've watched my  mother change my youngest sister's diaper way back when I was around 10 years old, but as for hands-on be honest, I've only attempted changing a disposable diaper once...and it was quite messy.

Today, I decided to educate myself on changing disposable diapers. I browsed through a lot of videos but this simple demo by Shari Criso, a nurse, midwide and baby expert seems to be the most thorough one I watched. Here's the link on How to Change a Diaper

Next on my learning list ---changing cloth diapers. (The messier stuff!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Party Inspiration: My Cousin's Debut, 50's theme

I know this is supposed to be a blog about pregnancies and babies, but since I have this party inspiration segment, I just really have to show you this one party I attended. Last Sunday was such a blast...from the past! It was my cousin's 18th birthday, and boy, does her family know how to PAR-TEY! No holds bard on this one. This was so much fun. Her 22 page, magazine-type invitation alone is much inspired (Photographer: Rolando Pascua):

Check out the decked entrance at NBC tent:

(Yes, I was able to find a suitable dress for the occasion though 7 months pregnant, thanks to Gingersnaps)

 And of course, inside the tent itself:

Awesome details...Table Number:

The emcees:

A 50's Cadillac on display :

A Jukebox for a cake...and a very stunning celebrant in a beautiful Ezra Santos gown:

Some very entertaining program numbers by Zian & her entire family (They're the cutest, biggest bunch ever):

Of course I had to grab a party souvenir on the way home. Guests got to choose from a variety of designer perfume scents: 

Thank you Zian, for a rockin' good night!