Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gender Determination

I mentioned how in my previous post my husband and I weren’t sure we wanted to see our baby in 3d. Well, last Friday we decided to go ahead and do it anyway!

Finding out that UST Hospital charges PHP 1,000.00 for a gender 2D determination ultrasound tipped our decision scale. Face 2 Face offered a basic 3D Scan package for the same amount. For PHP 1000.00 you can get a 10-minute ultrasound, 2 pieces of colored photos of the baby and the option to know the baby’s gender.

And so at 24 weeks pregnant, we went to Face 2 Face’s SM North branch and availed of their 3D Scan package. It was a good thing I called to inquire about the time the shop opens. I called the SM North branch. The lady on the phone was quite pleasant, answering all my question. I found out that each branch had a different schedule so be sure to call in first. According to the lady, on Fridays, her branch is open from 12nn-8pm.

My husband and I arrived at the shop a few minutes after 12. When we got there, however, the lights were still off, and the door was locked. We ate lunch at Napoli first (found at the same floor…yum ,yum) but made sure to call the shop again at around 12:30 just to check and get ahead of an anticipated line. The lady on the phone said that she just had her lunch break but that the shop was actually open (uh-huh.) So while waiting for our pizza to arrive, I quickly went back to the shop to fill out a short form and have my name enlisted. There was only one couple ahead of us –good, I thought. But the lady told us that the doctor wasn’t to arrive until 2:30 and that the couple ahead of us availed of the Gold 3D/4D Package, which meant a 30-minute ultrasound session! We were told to go back at 3:00pm for our turn. Furthermore, our photos weren’t to be ready until 4:00 pm. Luckily, my husband and I were in a cheerful mood.   
Fast forward to 3 pm: The shop had around 2 other pregnant women in the waiting lounge, but since we enlisted early, it only took one or two minutes for my name to be called. The ultrasound was performed in a private room by a female doctor and her assistant. My husband sat on a couch while I occupied a stretcher. In front of the stretcher was a screen that showed the baby’s image, switching from 2D to 3D view. Even if the baby was only 24 weeks and still lacked fat under the skin, it was still an adorable, amazing sight to behold. Compared to the last ultrasound image, it had grown remarkably.

On to the main event: Gender determination.
 Benedict and I were eager to see our baby and know its gender. Up until we had the ultrasound my intuition told me I was going to have a boy, so did Benedict. We had already come up with a boy’s name months ago, but had never agreed on a girl’s name up to that point. Imagine our surprise when the doctor said “babae po.” What was that? Come again? Haha. The doc showed us the baby’s little private part and true enough, she was a girl! We felt disoriented for expecting the wrong gender, but happy nonetheless. Images of pretty dresses and bowties flashed before my mind. A girl! What a blessing!

Unfortunately, after a few minutes our little girl turned her back to the camera, so the doctor couldn’t get a decent photo of her face. She told us to go out for a walk and a cold, sweet drink, and then come back after 30 minutes. This is to trigger movement to a more camera-friendly position. We followed doctor’s orders and did a quick rescan around 4:00. After that, the lady at the front desk showed us her computer screen and asked us to pick out the 2 photos we wanted printed–one photo of the baby’s face, and another photo showing its gender. There were around 9 photos to choose from. Since Benedict and I wanted different photos of the baby’s face, we got 3 photos instead (an additional photo costs Php 50.00). We were then asked to return (once again) at 6:00pm to claim our photos. Meanwhile we made sure to broadcast the good news to our family and friends via phone and wifi. Here are the photos of our dearest: 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

To see, or not to see…Baby in 3D/4D!

I got a flyer from Face 2 Face, the Baby Ultrasound Company in SM North recently. (Excuse the wrinkles, I stash things in my bag unmethodically. A bad habit, I know.)

Having a 3D/4D sonogram seems enticing and exciting. One of my bump buddies said she’s definitely going for it since she wants to see how big her baby’s nose is, haha. I’m sure it’s going to be a joyful experience for her and her husband. And I’m pretty sure too, that most Filipinas who go through it have had the same sentiments. It’s the thrill of seeing the baby moving, and of course, who he/she looks like! Benedict and I are still up in the air on this one, though. Aside from it being an unnecessary expense, we’re not sure we want to let go of that element of surprise. We’re already set to know the baby’s gender (yippee!) so that surprise is practically in the bag. So, to see or not to see? That is the question. Ano kaya?

Meanwhile, my online research shows three companies that provide such technology in the country:

Face 2 Face, The Baby Ultrasound Company 

In My Womb

MD Care OB-Gyn Ultrasound Clinic 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review: What to Expect When You're Expecting

Love, love, love this book! If you’re bound for a nine-month “bumpy” adventure, this is truly a good read. What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Dr. Heidi Murkoff is America’s Pregnancy Bible. Now in its 4th edition, it has loads of current information for new-generation parents. Its comprehensive take on pregnancy takes its readers from preconception to post-labor (including coping with pregnancy loss) and everything in between. 

It has answered tons of my own questions…including embarrassing ones, with a medically professional, yet amusing tone. Some personal questions answered:

  •  Can I get highlights in my hair? How about my monthly wax?
  •   What’s safe when it comes to sex?
  • Can I really be this emotional?
  •  Is an epidural safe?
  •  What’s up with these skin blotches?
  •  Will my body go back to normal after delivery?

Part 5 was especially appreciated by both my husband and I. (Okay, so the part's entitled “For Dads.” Still, who was gonna stop me from reading it?) ;)

Lucky for me, my sister-in-law who’s also expecting gave this book to me as a gift. (Hint, hint, to friends and family looking for a great gift for parents-to-be.) This book’s a must-buy.

P.S. Did I mention they have website with lots of helpful tools and articles too? Here's the link:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Battling with Bed Rest?

So you're pregnancy gets a little tricky. Maybe you've had subchorionic bleeding or spotting like me. Your doctor probably gave you prescription for gamot na pampakapit, and a go signal for BED REST. Wow! Weeks of absolutely doing nothing but staying in bed? Who could be happier right? 

Well after a few days of bed rest duties the perks just didn't seem that great. Sure, I was given the royal treatment by my husband and everyone else in the house but I found myself battling with boredom and wishing it were all over. I began to miss going out, working, and playing with our rabbits Drizzle and Zorro (yep we got pet rabbits) who were as a general rule only allowed inside the house if they stayed downstairs. 

Imagine my frustration as I missed some important events in my social calendar. To make it worse, my 2-week bed rest dragged on to a whole month because of persistent spotting. Negative emotions piled on top of each other like morning sickness waiting to come out in one big lurch: worry--for my baby and our health, helplessness--since I couldn't find a satisfying answer as to why I had spotting, guilt--that I couldn't work to help my husband with the finances and household chores (though he kept assuring me I had nothing to worry about and that our new helper could very well handle the housekeeping). There were moments when, given just the right trigger, sent me crying like a heartbroken teen. Blame it on the hormonal changes. So how should one survive the bed rest challenge? I've listed some activities and ideas below: (Note: Some women have more bed rest privileges than others. Remember to follow your doc's orders ALWAYS.)

1. Blog. Start a pregnancy  journal or, if not, simply write about what you love. Blogging can give you an avenue to express your joys, confusions, worries, and whatnot. If you're not so keen on writing then reading other blogs can be fun too...which brings me to my next tip.      

2. Read up! There are so many things to learn about pregnancy especially if you're a newbie. Ask your family   and friends to buy you pregnancy books and magazines, or simply browse the internet to get loads of info. If you don't want to focus on being pregnant just yet, grab a good novel or the newspaper.  

3. Join an online community. And I don't mean just Facebook. Participate in forum threads that mean something to you. I personally find reading pregnancy and parenting forums entertaining. They lessen the loneliness and isolation since you get to read  about other pregnant women's concerns too. It helps to see that you're not alone in your battle. 

For some candid yet useful forum chatting with others like us, try my favorite . (I used to read a lot about their wedding threads too.) 

4. Have your friends come over and have a mini bedroom party! You need people to cheer you up and feel as if you're not in a prison cell. Call your bff's for some food and fun time. Booze should be banned though.

5. Play video/online games with the hubby (who knows, maybe you'll beat his top score!). Now would be a good time to load up on bonding with your better half. For most couples, cuddling and snuggling in each other's arms won't be as often when the baby comes.   

6. Get a hobby that doesn't require munch movement and can be done in bed. Some examples are creative writing, beaded-jewelry making, some form of needlework, etc.

7. Make lists! Make a list of baby names, baby things you'd need to save up for, your favorite recipes, important phone numbers, etc.

8. Get hooked on a TV series or have a movie marathon. Watch some of your old DVD's or borrow from people.
9. Be a beauty even in bed. Being in bed the whole day doesn't mean you have to look like a tired, old hag. Put on makeup in case of walk-in visitors, hydrate your skin with some lotion, paint your nails.  Maintain a beauty ritual as long as you're not disobeying the doctor's orders. 

10. Pray to God. Prayer always helps. During quieter times there will be moments in pregnancy where you may feel that really, your baby's life and yours, aren't in your hands. Meditative prayer is a good source for strength and inner peace, which we need, to cope with the many changes that are happening and will continue to happen in our lives. 


P.S. Got other ideas on battling bed rest boredom? Do share in the comments section!

Monday, July 11, 2011

My name is...what?

My husband and I have already picked out a baby boy’s name, but are still in the dark if she turns out to be a girl. It’s tougher to think of a name than I thought. Sometimes when I tell other people of my ideas, I’d get reactions like, “Nako! Wag yan, may kaklase akong bwisit dati na ganyan yung pangalan.” Or “Parang pang bold star yung dating!” (Thank you, original Machete, for forming such an association to our last name, haha).

I hope we can have that ultrasound for gender soon. Meanwhile, a growing list of the many ways Filipinos choose names for their children, is in my head. I will now attempt to make a list of how we label our little ones:

1. Colonial Names
It seems inherent in us to be attracted to Spanish and American names. No duh. They did make a huge impact on our history.  

2. Bible / Christian Names
      Our population is largely Catholic. Many names therefore, come from either the Bible or a favorite saint. My siblings and I all have second names derived from either saints or the Bible. My husband’s name was also inspired by a saint, and he insists that our baby’s name will also fall under this category.

          3. Names with meanings
      Largely popular these days is the method of actually checking for the meanings of your intended baby names (Google ‘Baby Name Meaning’ websites and you’ll find tons.) This a good thing, really. In fact I think all parents should check. My parents gave me 2 names which, when put together, turns out to mean “Strange Lady.” (Don’t get me wrong, I think my name’s agreeable …still, it would probably have turned out differently if they checked for the meaning.)

            4. Family combos
> Combo 1: Honorable names
To honor grandparents or departed loved ones, their names are sometimes reflected on the baby’s birth certificate as a second name.   
            > Combo 2: Dynastic Names
Junior, Senior, the Third, the Tenth? Some names have such power over families that they are passed from generation to generation. In my family, I know of at least three Manuel’s – My grandfather, my uncle, and my cousin.  
           > Combo 3: Marriage Medley
Take the first letter or a syllable from the names of the husband and the wife to come up with a unique nomenclature: Joselito and Marianella = Jomar.

      5. Nationalistic Names
      Amihan. Luzviminda. Bayani. Dalisay. With the recent celebration of Jose Rizal’s 150th  birth anniversary, I heard on TV that some Filipinos are actually named after him, last name included. (For more Filipino names, visit or

           6. Names inspired by nature, adjectives, and other objects
Rain, Charm, Lovely, Rocky. My cousin named her little girl, Narra, and is thinking of naming their soon to be born boy, Bamboo/ Kawayan. I also know of a friend who adds nature words as second names to her children – Sky, Star, Sun. Then there are weird ones…A priest told me once that someone came up to him and said that he wanted his son to be baptized as David Litku…as in Kulit!

7. International names
To be more unique, some take inspiration from other countries. Mishka, Aiko, Gustavo, Aaliyah, Johannes--I used to have a student named Ananda.

8. Celebrity and Character Names
Michael Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe (ay Pe pala), Venus, Adonis…Yes, I know of a baby who was named after Thalia (From the Mexican telanovela, Rosalinda).

9. Baliktarang- Pangalan
I recently received a pinoy joke about naming babies in my inbox that left me laughing hard:

NOEL: Ipapangalan ko sa aking anak, "LEON," baliktad ng Noel.
Nino: Sa akin "ONIN," baliktad ng Nino.
TOTO: Wag niyo akong maisali-sali dyan sa usapan ninyo!

10. Letter Fixations
      To do this, choose your favorite letter from the Alphabet, and pick only names that start with that letter. It really does narrow down your otherwise overwhelming number of choices. Hey! My husband and I can form a “B” family! Not.

Well, that’s all I can think of for now. Add some to the list if you can. As for Filipino NICKNAMES? That’s a whole other (laughing) matter!

Wonderful Onesies

“Cuuuuuttteee!” was the first word that leapt from my mouth when I saw six little new born clothes my sister-in-law (and future ninang) sent me from the States. I was in my second month of pregnancy then, and I definitely needed a perk-me-up what with the bed rest and nausea greeting me every day. As I looked at each of them, the first trimester sacrifices became a blur. The onesies made me want to meet and hold our little one right then and there. “Not for another 7 months,” I thought, “Back in the box so as not to get dirty.”

Now that I’m in my 5th month I open the box again just to enjoy that giddy expectant feeling. Ooooh… they’re adorably soft. Which one do you think I should put on our baby first? Here are photos of the onesies:

(The answer to that, dear one, is a resounding “no.”)

Onesies, by the way, are an actual brand manufactured by Gerber Childrenswear, but Americans use the word as if it were generic (just as we Filipinos use the words Colgate or Xerox to mean toothpaste and photocopy). They are more correctly called infant body suits, creepers, diaper shirts, babygro, babygrow, mameluco, or snapsuit (source: Wikipedia J ) Infants are usually dressed in these because they are easy to put on, like regular shirts, except they reach below the baby’s waist and are closed over the crotch to make diaper changing easier for us all!

In the Philippines, onesies can be bought almost in any baby store or online, I think. I’ve seen some in my “buntiscapades” (a.k.a. window shopping for my baby’s would-be needs). Where do you usually shop for onesies? Give me some links so we can do some shopping!