Sophie’s Birth: God is in Control

The day began with a grateful heart. God has spared our town from a threatening storm. The sun peeping through the clouds is a relief to the farmers who will be harvesting rice in a few days. The sunshine also gave me relief that I am not giving birth during a storm. One item from the fear list overcame.

Lunch came. Fluid trickled down my legs. Could this be a sign that Sophie is coming? I did not panic ’cause I thought it was just a normal uncontrolled pee. Nanay insisted that we go see my OB. Since the hospital is an hour drive from home we decided to load my hospital bag, Sophie’s clothes and other stuff we might be needing in case it’s time to give birth.  It was already pass 5PM when my OB saw me. She thought that it was only urine but upon further checking she noticed that it was a leak. After an IE, she said that it’s not yet time. She advised me to have a sonogram to measure my amniotic fluid. Readings are all normal. I have been leaking for 3 days but I am not really aware. I’m glad I keep myself hydrated. Otherwise, Sophie may have “dried up.”

I was advised to have complete bed rest. At the hospital for a night. This is with a hope that the leak may stop. I was given antibiotics to prevent injection. A protection for me and baby.

Screenshot_2014-09-20-01-56-16

A day have passed and I am still leaking. My OB came and I have hints that I might not have a normal delivery. Fear started to build up inside me. I don’t want to have a C-section. Another reason why I don’t want to undergo this operation is my financial condition. I don’t want to burden my parents for it.

I had an X-ray on my pelvic area to see if there is any progress. I don’t feel any pain except for Sophie’s weight pressing on my bladder. The reading came after lunch the next day. My anatomical build up can not support normal delivery. My pelvis is too narrow for Sophie to pass through. My OB have explained consequences and possible options. We may be running out of time.

Decisions. Decisions. Nanay said that if normal delivery possible then we should push for C-section. Sophie is our priority. She should come out for our safety. I just said OK then excused myself.

I secretly cried.

I cried because I felt like I’m a lesser woman.

This is not the kind of birth I have in mind. I don’t want it but I have no choice. Pipi is still at work and because of another storm it’s impossible for him to come home.

Screenshot_2014-09-20-01-56-23

5PM came. Nurses came to prep me up for the operation. I texted my Victory Group and friends to pray for me. In a matter of minutes, I found myself inside the operation room. The room was a bit crowded but I felt alone. No one is there to hold my hand. I comforted myself by humming worships songs inside my head. These lines were on the loop.
“You are great God, you are an awesome wonderful God. Mighty in battle. Better than life.”

30 minutes after I first heard Sophie’s cry. I kissed her before her pedia and a nurse took her to the NICU. She was observed for 24 hours, hooked with IV and given antibiotics.

My birth is not purely drama. In fact there was more things to be grateful about.

September 17 2014. I officially became a mommy. I thank God for sustaining me through my 37 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy. Baby Sophie came out healthy.

20140918_072041_20140918144155651I am alive! I have survived the C-section though my platelet count is low. My blood pressure normalized after having a slight eclampsia. No excessive bleeding. No blood transfusion needed. I did not experience labor pain.

Screenshot_2014-09-20-01-56-40

Nanay was able to keep calm during my operation.

Sophie’s birth is a reminder that God is the one who is in control of our lives. Yes, we can make plans but God will still have the final words. All glory belongs to God.

Buntistament 35: A Fruitful Week

September is here. Christmas season in the Philippines officially started.

How am I?

I’m all good. Nesting syndrome is coming back. Braxton-Hicks is felt more often than the past weeks. Yesterday was one of the toughest day I had or should I say toughest night. Getting out of bed is so painful. Groin area and tailbone is hurting like I am being split apart. I told Nanay about the pain and it alarmed her a bit. She worries about Sophie coming out anytime. She reminds me to assess every pain I felt and that I should be careful.

I shared the “pain” experience to my mommy-friends and they commented that my body is preparing for baby to get engaged on my pelvic bones. She’s really coming! That will be soon. I tried some hip opener routines I read on spinningbaby.com somehow the cat cow position alleviates the pain. I can’t do routine that requires to lie down on my back. Reason: I can not breathe. Baby weight is the culprit, I suppose.

As for my Little Toffee Pie, she seems to enjoy her final month in my womb. She’s expected to be a little less active due to cramped space. But, but her jabs and kicks are more solid. My little baby has harder bones by now.

20140907_084624_20140907210954049

Carrying Little Isabelle – my niece with Sophie in my tummy. How do I look?

What made me busy this week?

Shopping.A few trips to the mall was made to buy few more stuff for Sophie. Additional jammies and shirts and even underwear. Another trip was made to the market to buy textile for baby blankets. Nanay didn’t like the blankets available in the malls so we opted to go for custom-made.

We purchased 4 pieces of textile with 1 and 1/2 yard length. The textile was available in 96 width so a single length is already good for 2 pieces of blanket.

Total price for 8 pieces of blankets: PhP720.00 (total price includes 4x 1.5 yards textile at PhP142.5 plus sewing labor for PhP150.00). That ain’t bad at all. Baby blankets can cause around PhP200.00 a piece.

Church activities. Our church is undergoing a rebuilding stage. After 5 years, we went back to the building where the church begin 20 years ago.

I’ve always been a part of a church volunteer team before. I involved myself in some church planting activities, been a part of the ushering ministry then tech and prod team. The last ministry I served is kid’s ministry. Serving in those ministries have developed character and cultivated that servant leadership in me (I am still a work i progress though).

It’s really feels good to be serving in church once again. The best part: Nanay and Tatay serves with me. We joined the church clean-up last Monday. It’s a good way to reconnected and reunited with the church again – coming together to rebuild God’s church.

I can not really do much physical activities due to pregnancy but I can do social media and other brainy stuff. I decided to assume a position of managing the church’s Facebook account and start a blog for the church. The blog is to contain news, devotionals and sermon notes (while sunday preaching can not be recorded yet to be posted as podcasts). I am enjoying these kind of stuff.

House Construction: Construction of our home resumes again. We have some carpenters in the house! Part of the carpenters’ compensation is lunch and 2 snacks – for morning and afternoon. I lend extra hands in the kitchen and is in-charge of the dishwashing department. That includes cleaning up charred pots and pans since we are using the wood-fueled outdoor stove.

Odesk. God really honors our faith. A week ago, I opened another bank account with an intention to link it to my Paypal Account. As I received my new ATM card, I uttered a prayer asking for God’s blessing. I have opened an account as a declaration of faith that God can provide even in a dessert.

I needed and wanted to earn extra income even at home. I thought Odesk would be a good starting ground. I was a bit dismayed ’cause my first job wasn’t paid. Some were interested to hire me but contracts did not push through. I still continued to apply for VA jobs. As I wait and sought God during these times, he rewarded me with another project.

anne

Buntistament Week 34: The Tale of the Wicked Pregnant Half-Sister?

(Subtitle: How to Prepare the Youngest Sibling  for a New Niece)

In a matter of 4 weeks, Sophie will be out of my womb. Preparations are now full-blown. I thought I will not have a problem with our Little Tsang ’cause weeks before, she had been expressing her excitement for Sophie’s birth.

Lately, we have noticed some slight change on her behavior. She throws tantrums more often and we have been hearing her say some words the kind she should not say. Curse words, hate words, and treats to hurt Baby Sophie.

This made me realize that Thalia needs to be prepared for Sophie’s arrival, too.We have been strict with her on spending time on TV and computer because it’s her exam week. Computer has been locked with password to limit her access. It was her source of entertainment most of the time. Since it is locked for a purpose, we let her play with the kids in our neighborhoob.

We’re suspecting that the changes in her behavior is an effect of bullying. She may have heard lines like: “Such a pity, no one will like you once your sister’s baby is out!” “You’re no longer their princess!”.

There’s an instance when Nanay reprimanded our neighbors who told Thalia these similar lines. She explained to them that it is not right to bully kids with that kind of thought. It’s not right to bully, period! Bullying may cause discord among siblings and family members. I agree with Nanay. I can’t find the logic behind people wanting to hurt a little kid’s feeling. Aren’t they aware that their action may cause scars on a tender heart?

We have never told Thalia phrases that can cause her to feel insecure or jealous, because I know what these words can cause. Instead, we have explained to her the new responsibilities that she will assume once Sophie is out. We wanted Thalia to welcome Sophie with love and care. Everybody wants a harmonious home, right?

I admit I was a little harsh in dealing with her tantrums sometimes. I can be a little impatient and easily irritated.  Harsh in a sense that I raise my voice (disclaimer: no cursing and corporal punishments). It’s tempting to spank her sometimes but I am letting Tatay do that. By now, she could picture me as a wicked step-sister she saw in Cinderella. I could tell because I heard her say, “I am Cinderella.”

Thalia may have been feeling the same emotion when I first learned about her. She might feel “dethroned from her princess seat”. She may feel like she’s being deprived of love and attention. She may feel that the things that matter to her are slowly taken away from her. It was a bit more bitter on my part because she is a child of my father outside marriage. It’s easy to justify the hate. I have cried a couple of times over that issue thus affecting my work. My former boss gave me counselling sessions over that matter. She said that Thalia’s situation is enough pain for her (Thalia) already specially when she’s old enough to understand it. The society could stereotype her, treat her as a deviant, an outcast. She doesn’t need another person to judge her. What she needs now is another person, another soul to accept her and love her. She also adds that Thalia is another person who could love me. It was like an arrow that hits the bull’s eye. My boss is right. Now, Thalia is living with us and we are giving her the love and care she needs.

In the final stretch of preparation for Sophie’s arrival, we are making an effort to make Thalia understand that Sophie is another person to love, another person to care for. We also have to continue assuring her that even on Sophie’s arrival, she is still loved. We should also protect her from bullies. Tantrums and ill-manners will still be untolerated. Extra effort and patience is required to do this. I am now working on it. First activity: cook her spaghetti and sit with her as she watch her favorite fairy tale movie.

anne

The Joy of Waiting: Week 33

Two of my friends gave birth the past two weeks. Baby Sophie is now 33 weeks. I could feel her weight gain each week. There is now more stress on my back and middle joints. Getting up from bed is becoming a struggle. There is pain. There are discomforts. But excitement still outweighs them all.

Week 33 is also characterized by stronger kicks and jabs. I wonder what our little baby girl is doing inside. One thing I have observed, she seemed not to like pillows on my tummy. She wants to kick them away. It’s becoming a habit to rub the tiny lumps she creates on my tummy whenever she moves. I do this little guessing game of what part of her are those lumps. I think I felt her foot once,another time her knee. It’s really amusing to see my belly in different shapes. Sometimes it’s pointy but most of the time it resembles the shape of a supermoon. 🙂

My “basketball belly” gives a hint of Sophie’s position inside my belly. She’s head down, facing my back – the ideal position for delivery. Sophie can still do some back flips and other stunts ’til the delivery day. I hope she will be on that position when it’s time for her to come out.

20140817_083453_20140818175256281

Panic Happens

Panic wrapped me last night. There is an trace of unknown discharge on my shorts and I was like ‘what is this?’. I went through my notes of preterm labor signs. One pointer says: If there’s a discharge, do the sniff test. It smells like ammonia. False alarm, it’s just urine.  I do my pelvic floor exercises but leaks still do happen. Pipi laughed at the situation but I know panic crawled into him too.

After that moment of panic, I went back to bed to talk to Sophie. Rubbing my tummy, I ask her to hang on until week 37. She answered with a ticklish kick on my side as if saying ‘Yes, mommy. I will!”. I am now so much in love with our little Toffee Pie.

Birth plans: Delivery Day Wishes

I finished putting checks on my birth plan and gave a copy to Pipi. He thought birth plan was a medical insurance plan. I was like, ‘No, Lalabs! This is a list of procedures I wanted to be done to me and Sophie on D-day. It’s like my delivery day wishlist’.

I did not enroll for any birth class but I am gearing up for vaginal birth. I have communicated that to my OB and she is supportive of it. I wish there are birth classes in our community. Unfortunately, our rural health has not organized one yet. So to educate myself, I read and watch videos about labor and delivery. I also talk to some of my friends who are already mommies and ask about their delivery experiences.

Proper breathing and delivery positions are few of the important things I have learned. One birth expert says that labor and delivery is a natural process that we, women undergo. Our body knows how to breath when we go through it. All we need is a nice, slow, deep breathing to get the oxygen our body needs. Not the hee, hee, hoo, hoo breathing that we see in movies.

I initially picked semi-reclined position during delivery. That is prior to watching the best positions to do so. Now, I have reconsidered squat and hands and feet. These two positions makes gravity work for you and prevents tailbone injury. It looks awkward, yes! I will have to forget about the awkwardness. What’s important is for Baby Sophie to come out safely, with ease.

I want Pipi to be on my side when I push Sophie out. I am excited to see Sophie and her father have their first moment together. I am also hoping that there will be no conflicts on Pipi’s schedule so that wish could be fulfilled. Who will cut the cord? I want Pipi to do it. I am now imagining how he would feel on the cord-cutting ceremony. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to the outside world.  I want to capture that moment and immortalize it so keep the cameras and smartphones fully charged!

Other wishes: bring home the placenta for an old tradition. I will be blogging about that soon.

As I read more about labor, delivery and birth plan. It made me understand I can actually have a control of what’s gonna happen on D-day. But of course, these ideals can still change as need arises. I am really claiming that vaginal birth. Please, Lord please. Let’s do this!

anne

The Joy of Waiting: 3rd Tri First Month

Our Toffee Pie is growing so fast.  July 11, 2014, we officially entered the first month of our 3rd and final trimester.

How was it like to be on this trimester? Excited! I am super excited and nervous at the same time. I spend most of the days at home because I fear that Baby Sophie may come anytime. But of course, I am claiming that there will be no preterm labor delivery.

Heavy with Baby Sophie at 29 weeks and 5 days

Heavy with Baby Sophie at 29 weeks and 5 days

Tummy is getting bigger and feels heavier. Occasionally, I feel pain on my lower back and middle joints. My OB explained that this pain is caused by the additional weight that my body is carrying. I have also observed that I’m a little clumsier.  I now have to move slower and more careful. Pipi, I now walk slower! 🙂

My weight gain is at 2 kg in a span of a month. My OB is alarmed so she advised me to stop taking my prenatal vitamins but should continue taking calcium, iron and Vitamin Complex. I should really slowed down on those suman.

Some cardio activities are encouraged. I wanted to do my 20-minute work-out every day but the lazy side of me is preventing me to. So I do it every other day. It’s been raining lately thus I have no choice but to stay indoor because of . . .

Weak immune system. Bearing that the immune system of mom-to-bes are on the weaker side, I have to do ever possible measure to prevent myself from getting sick.

On my 29th week, I had cough and runny nose in the morning for a week. Thankfully, colds were cured by water therapy. I only have to deal with my morning cough. I was prescribed to take mucolytic and antibiotics for 5 days. Yeah, antibiotics! Doc Bringas assured me that Cefalexin is safe for pregnant mommies and unborn children.

Question in mind: Will my baby also get colds and cough if I have them?

Good news! The answer is no.

Sleepiness: Most of the times, I felt sleepy. My usual waking up time is 6:30 am. After finishing some household chores at around 9:30 am, I started to feel the urge to take a nap. I give in to it most of the times knowing that my body is now storing up energy for the big day. Am glad that the people here in the house are supportive of me. They just let me doze off when I need to.

 A Throwback on AntibioticsMeadow-Flowers-Clip-Art-222x250

This is already my second time to take antibiotics. The first one is during my 2nd trimester when I contracted UTI. Believe me, a decision to take antibiotics is scary. I read through the possible effects of uncured UTI among pregnant mommies and it was scary to know that it could be fatal to the fetus and may also cause preterm delivery. So I took my chances and prayed that the medication will not harm Baby Sophie.

Keep on Doing

  • Drink more water: since I ‘ve learned that I am pregnant. My minimum water intake a day is 3 liters. It’s so important that pregnant moms like me are properly dehydrated. It helps proper digestion; aids the transportation of  nutrients to the baby, and keeps the skin from drying.
  • Eat healthy. Consume less salt, oil and sugar. Avoid processed food. Consume more fruits and veggies. For me that means citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables.
  • Do cardio with proper warm-up and stretching.
  • Maintain proper posture.
  • Interact with baby by talking, singing and reading stories. My interaction with baby also includes rubbing my tummy specially when she’s doing her jabs and kick. “Yes, baby I felt you.”
  • Exercise proper breathing.
  • Rest.
  • Laugh more. Stay positive.
  • Pray for and speak blessings to our little one.

Have a happy buntis day!

osCV6L6 - anne

It’s a Girl!

By the time of writing, my Baby Lalabs is already 28 weeks and 2 days old. In less than 3 months, Pipi and I will be able to hug and kiss her. (EDD: October 2) Yes, Baby Lalabs is a girl! That means, she will no longer be called EK but SOPHIE ELISE or PIE.

SophieWhat’s with the name?

Pipi thinks that SOPHIE sounds cute kahit na makulit. So girly. Upon our research, Sophie is the cuter version of Sophia the goddess of wisdom. One of my favorite Lola is named Sophia.

The second name ELISE is after the name of Nanay Elisa which literally means God is my oath.

Jason Mraz sings “our name is our virtue” so the name should be a good one.

I can’t explain how thrilled Pipi is when he confirmed that Baby is a girl. Though even before he already had an inkling that it will be a female.

Ngayon palang madami na akong bilin for Pipi. That he should always tell that he loves Sophie, of how beautiful and special she is, to send her flowers on special days and to date her on Valentine’s day. In these little gestures, Sophie will grow up a smart lady. That she will be confident about her identity. That she will not easily fall for a guy offering a single stem rose ’cause her father had already given her dozens. ☺

Pregnancy and motherhood is such a wonderful experience.

osCV6L6 - anne

Good Food for Mimi’s Tummy

Tummies of mom-to-be’s work differently. Digestion slows down to allow proper absorption of nutrients from food intake. The slowing down of digestion can cause constipation.

The discomfort of waiting for ‘nature’s call’ is indeed on of the moments I dislike. There are times that I cry to Pipi cause I can’t unload. My OB have advised me to drink plenty of water, eat more veggies and fruits that are high in fiber. I religiously followed that. I consume a minimum of 2 liters of water each day. More fluids is required to beat the heat of the summer days.

Today, I am sharing a new favorite of mine: yogurt and fresh fruit salad.

This is from with chilled 125 g Nestle Creamy Yogurt, fresh mangoes and bananas ( lakatan), and condensed milk about 2 tbsp of it is enough. First, empty out the yogurt into a bowl. Expect it to be sour since this is the unsweetened kind. Condensed milk or honey are options for sweetener. Mix your chosen sweetener ang yoghurt. Add in the ripe mangoes and sliced bananas. Enjoy!

Favorite part of breakfast: fresh fruit and yoghurt

Favorite part of breakfast: fresh fruit and yogurt. A great replacement for ice cream and cake.

Yogurt is a good source of calcium. Baby Center has labelled it as on of pregnant woman’s superfood. The live microorganisms – the good ones that is, aids in healthy digestion.

Have a happy buntis dessert!

osCV6L6 - anne

Pregnancy Work-Out

Video

I have been feeling pain on my finger joints and soles of my feet lately – yeah like I-wanna-cry painful. According to some pregnancy articles I have read, this is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. (You may click the link to read more of it.) I have been active before my pregnancy. In fact I have been jogging until my 4th week (I was still unaware back then) and 30-minute walk is part of my daily routine until my 16th week. Perhaps, my body had been missing those days. Pregnancy should not stop one from doing exercise. Exercise is beneficial as a preparation of the body for the super changes that occurs during pregnancy. But of course, if you are having a risky pregnancy, it is REALLY IMPORTANT to consult your doctor or midwife before engaging to such activity. 🙂

Today, I have started with a low impact Preggie Work-out from the BeFit Channel. Check out the video below:

It’s low impact but sure to leave you sweating after 20 minutes. These are important reminders:

  • Wear a pair of comfie shoes. These sweeties will help prevent injury.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel something weird. STOP!
  • Drink water to replenish the lost fluids.
  • Wipe out those sweat.

Have a happy buntis workout!

osCV6L6 - anne

A Mother’s Prayer

As the world is celebrating and honoring every mother, baby is now 19 weeks and a day. Those soft kicks and butterfly like movements in my tummy has brought me so much joy. And yes, it’s really sinking in: I’M GONNA BE A MOM.

I read some bible passages to baby during my quiet time and these verses brought me to tears:

Psalm 22: 9-10 

Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

As I touch my tummy at night, my whispers of I LOVE YOUs comes with prayers. I am really pleading God to keep baby healthy. Honestly, there are nights I worry about baby’s condition. But I keep proclaiming that everything will be well with baby.

It is my prayer that Bebe Lalabs will grow up a woman or man after own God’s heart. Some one who will be God-fearing and someone who will be blessed with God’s wisdom, blessed with favor of God of man. Someone who will someday say the pray written above.

I am also asking God to give me the strength, wisdom to guide Bebe Lalabs as (s)he grows. I wanted to be Bebe Lalabs’ bestfriend.

Baby Lalabs, These are my prayers for you. Know that Pipi and Mimi loves you so much. 

osCV6L6 - anne

The Little Acrobat

Acrobatic shows can be tear-jerking. The first time I saw a sign of life on sonograms, it’s just a pulse. 2 weeks after, the tiny lump is now human-like. I always feel excited for sonograms now that I am expecting. Pipi is a bit diskompiyado. He fears that the series of sonograms can be harmful to baby. But, but on every acrobatic show the baby performs.. Pipi is (always) teary-eyed.

Bebe Lalabs at 8 weeks.

Bebe Lalabs at 8 weeks.

I am now in the middle of a new journey. Journey to a motherhood. There are a number of explorations put on hold. They can wait. When I return, I’ll have another travel buddy.

osCV6L6 - anne