Friday, June 28, 2013

My Pregnancy Journal - Third Trimester

On my Third Trimester, I started the actual preparation of baby's things. I'm very thankful to my mommy friends and my sister who willingly lent me and passed on some of their baby clothes which helped save us some money especially the crib. I would also like to thank my thoughtful colleagues and friends who surprised me with a Baby Shower. Those gifts I got were really a big help for us. And it was my first time to attend a baby shower! Haha!

Nov. 10, 2012 at Kitchen's Best. My surprise baby shower. Thanks S! :)

Here are some of the big priced items that we spent for:
1. Medela Breast Pump and cooler bag with ice pack
2. Farlin Sterilizer
3. Alva Cloth Diapers and Curity Gauze Diapers
4. Prenatal check-up, supplements and Anmum Materna milk
5. CGH Hospital bills (OB fee, Pedia fee, Anesthesiologist fee, room fee, delivery room fee, etc.)

Surprisingly, I didn't spend on baby bottles at first because I just used the 4pcs of Pigeon Peristaltic Plus 4oz. bottles that I got for free from the events/workshops that I had attended. I also initially used the sample sachets of Cycles and Cradles that I got to wash baby clothes and bottles.

I started packing my hospital bag and important documents and left them at my mom's house as CGH is nearer to their place. Btw, I transferred to a different OB when I was on my 5th month. It was my sister's previous OB Dra. Justina Go-Julio in Chinese General Hospital. It was just my personal choice, decision and instinct.

When everything was almost set, I decided to have a maternity photo shoot to capture the beauty of my baby bump before I gave birth. I have to admit that I'm vain. :) I inquired many photographers and finally chosen Red Stilettos Photography to do it for me. I got a good rate because she was my friend and she was very accommodating.

Nov. 18, 2012 at 35 weeks, just few days before I had rashes. Photo taken by Red Stilettos Photography.

And just the day after I had my photo shoot, I was stricken with the worst skin rashes ever! I was at 35 weeks (Nov. 24) when I suffered this rare pregnancy rashes called PUPPP, short for Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. It commenced when the stretch marks of my abdomen got inflamed with raised spots and increasing itchiness. Then my legs, thighs, arms and lower back eventually had tiny red rashes too, except for the face. Every night I can't sleep peacefully and in day time I can't function well because I kept on scratching those extremely itchy rashes. I even met a new friend online who shared the same sentiments as mine. My OB advised me to consult a derma Dra. Grace Ty on this. Before I visited, I had done my research so well that I already suspected it to be PUPPP. She prescribed me a topical lotion called Triamcinolone to be applied on the affected areas but I was very hesitant and careful as it contains some steroids that might harm the baby. I also tried using Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream and Grandpa's Pine Tar soap to help relieve the itchiness but it didn't help much. It just worsened over time. However, this disease is said to be harmless to the baby as it is hormonal and would go away soon as I have delivered the baby. Of course, I was worried too of the scars that might blemish my flawless skin but that was secondary, as long as baby would be fine. It was really disgusting and indeed caught the attention of people who saw those brown spots. As if those were some kind of a contagious skin disease, but not!

Nov. 27, 2012 at 36 weeks. The rashes were inflamed, very itchy and rough.

Dec. 3, 2012 at 37 weeks. Almost all skin were covered. It flattened and became brown spots. Same itchiness.

Two weeks left before I go full term or one month to go before my supposedly due date on Dec. 26. Those two weeks were the longest and most depressing throughout my pregnancy. I was distraught and had been counting the days, almost can't wait to deliver just so this itchiness would stop. I wasn't that excited anymore but I just prayed to God for a safe delivery and a healthy normal baby. I went to file my maternity leave and set it on Dec. 10 a Monday as I wanted to rest my brain already and just wait for my delivery day. I was anticipating that I might give birth anytime soon as I reached my 37th week.

I finalized my work on the night of Dec. 7 Friday as I was excited to take my much-awaited break. I took a bath, had our usual hearty dinner, brushed my teeth and prepared myself for a carefree peaceful sleep. It was also my time to finalize and do some last minute preparations for baby's coming. My closet was a mess and so full that I decided to pack away my pre-pregnancy clothes into a luggage for post-pregnancy use. During one of the routinary moments that I have to immediately answer the call of nature, I suddenly noticed that my pee was coming out beyond my control. I peeked through the bowl and saw some blood stains too. I quietly panicked and calmly told my hubby about it. I hurriedly gave a phone call to my OB and was instructed to proceed to the delivery room. That was around past nine in the evening.

We waited for an hour for the car to arrive as hubby's sister used it that evening. While waiting, I used the  remaining time to look up on the internet if it's a sign of labor. And because I learned from my childbirth class that when water bag breaks, the baby should be out within 24 hours. We hurriedly packed up and drove by my mom's house to get the essential things (Cordlife Kit and doctor's order) before proceeding to the delivery room. I started to feel some slight but tolerable contractions inside the car. I wasn't able to time the interval of my contractions as I was preoccupied by my nervousness. My hubby accompanied me to the 3rd floor Delivery Room. We showed the doctor's order to the nurse, asked me to remove my accessories and interviewed us for some details before we parted our ways. Hubby was told to return after an hour and I was assisted by a nurse to the Labor Room, bringing with me my Cordlife Kit.

Time was 11:30pm. The nurse told me to remove all my clothes and put on their blue disposable gown. A nurse took my blood pressure while another interviewed me for some details. A certain Dr. Sharon performed an IE (internal exam) and said that I was 3-4cm already. It was my first time to be IE-d and it was very painful. A dextrose was attached to my body and they injected something for faster effacement and dilation of my cervix. I could already feel the contractions come and go. My OB arrived at around 12:30am and attached an ECG belt to my belly to monitor my baby's heart beat. I endured the contractions at the Labor room for about two hours. The pain only got intense every minute just how dysmenorrhea feels like.

At around 2:00am, my OB asked me if I wanted to have an epidural anesthesia already. I was still hesitant at first because I thought I can still endure the pain but in the end I gave in. I was transferred to the Delivery Room, had an epidural and the contractions became more tolerable. I was IE-d the second time and I was at 8cm already! They attached a catheter and pressed my bladder to empty it. I was told to start pushing already when there is a contraction. Pushing in labor is just like taking a poop and you could hardly distinguish them anymore which one would come out. I had a hard time pushing out the baby because I was afraid my poop would come out in front of them. But they said it was okay so I did it. They even pressed on my upper abdomen to help push the baby out.

Welcome to this world Baby A! I was at 37w3d at the time of delivery.
I was awake all throughout the labor. I did my very best push and I finally made it at 3:09am! Wow! As soon as my baby was held in front of me, I couldn't help but to feel overwhelmed. I hardly could imagine that I was able to successfully deliver a child. I didn't cry out but deep inside I'm very happy and grateful that God really answers our prayers. I was just surprised to see that baby was so white. Her skin was all covered with the white-cheesy substance called vernix. First thing that got me fascinated was her girly tiny fingers and cute little lips. Glad that the nurses immediately put my baby to latch as I had reminded my OB many times during our check-up that I will be strictly breastfeeding my baby and rooming-in her afterwards. I was surprised to see my hubby inside the delivery room who took some photos of me and baby. I knew he was also deeply overwhelmed and happy to see baby normal and healthy. After that, I almost forgot that I haven't slept for the whole night. And all the evenings to come!

You know what really am I so thankful for? It is because baby was delivered at full term, just right after I passed my 37th week! What a relief! And with baby's arrival, I almost forgot that I had a rashes prior that! The itchiness eventually died down days after and the blemishes faded away weeks or months post-partum.

Stay tuned as I reveal my "ge-lai" experience and breastfeeding journey on my succeeding blog posts .

Thank you for your time. Hope you enjoyed reading my pregnancy journal trilogy.

Mommy Sally

P.S. Did you find any familiar or similar experience with my story? Any comments would be gladly welcomed. I would love to hear from you too. :)

My Pregnancy Journal - Second Trimester

On the onset of my Second Trimester, I came to the point that I felt that researching by my own is not enough. With not much resource person to ask, I took the courage and initiative to privately message thru Facebook my mommy acquaintances to interview their experiences and get some advice. I instantly gained some mommy and preggy friends and got instant access to the mommy world. It dawned to me that I still have so much to learn and prepare for. I was happy that all mommy friends I asked were really passionate to help and share their stories. Mommy talk is my proven way to start a conversation and make friends! :)

Aug. 4, 2012 at 20 weeks or 5 months.

On my birth month, many things had happened. I felt my baby's first kick on Aug. 1 at the end of 19th week. I was so thrilled! And because we were so eager to know the gender of our baby, by the time I turned 5 months or 20 weeks (half way through the journey), I underwent a Congenital Anomaly Scan and thank God everything was normal. At last, we were able to finalize the name of our baby girl.

Findings: Female, Cephalic presentation, No congenital anomaly seen.
By this time (Aug. 15), I had started to use BabyPlus
which a friend of mine had lent me. It's a small sounding device that I attach to my belly for baby to listen for an hour twice a day. But sometimes I forgot to use it especially when I'm out the whole day or when the battery ran out. Actually, I didn't finish the lesson and I'm also not sure of its effectiveness to the baby. I also listened to classical songs every night as they said it makes the baby smart.

At this month, I started inquiring for Childbirth Classes, Breastfeeding Classes and Cord Blood Banking. Yes, the journey to motherhood needs a certain amount of preparedness too. On the day of my birthday, I signed up for Cordlife and other classes. From then onwards, my weekends became fully loaded as I was so busy attending baby-mommy related events and workshops, apart from reading mommy blogs.

Some of the classes that I had attended are as follows:
1. Medela Breastfeeding Class
2. Rome Kanapi's Childbirth Class
3. Makati Medical Center's Pregnancy & Beyond
4. Mothercare's Baby & Me Club events
5. Mommy Mundo's events and bazaars

I bought this for myself after reading about it from someone else's blog. I love it coz it's full of information and no ads.

I enjoyed attending the workshops because not only did those helped me in my preparation for delivery and baby care, but I also gained a network of mommy friends from different walks of life. Not to mention that there are also lots of freebies awaiting the participants. Through those connections, it opened lots of opportunities for me to learn and grow as a new mom.

Aug. 18, 2012 Cordlife event at F1 Hotel with Ms. Everlyn Dalacat. My first ever event attended.

Aug. 25, 2012 All About Baby event in Rockwell Tent. My first baby bazaar attended.

Sept. 15, 2012 at Medela House with Ms. Abbie Yabot and Ms. Maricel Cua. My first breastfeeding class attended.

Sept. 29, 2012 at Mothercare BHS with Ms. Rome Kanapi. My first Baby & Me Club event attended.

Oct. 13, 2012 Moms on the Floor at The Loft@Manansala Rockwell. Made friends with a total stranger, Mommy Edel.

Tip: Enjoy your baby's kicking movements while inside your womb. It's an amazing experience that you will surely miss when he/she's out.

My last trimester is an exciting one. Read on my next post.

Mommy Sally

My Pregnancy Journal - First Trimester

I consider myself as one of the first few from our high school batch mates who got married early. Therefore, I don't have much friends to discuss the issues and experiences related to pregnancy. I decided to search the internet to get as much information as possible, looking up the meaning of some medical terms, what will I be expecting on the early stages, do's and don'ts and even subscribed in the BabyCentre website. I am really watchful of myself that time. And because I'm a curious and meticulous person, I read up on how the tiny life inside my womb is growing on a weekly basis. I imagined it based on how BabyCentre describes and compares the growing life with the size of a particular fruit.

Taken Apr. 29, 2012 at Bagoong Club Resto. My first dine out as a pregnant woman at 6 weeks.

I was preparing myself for signs of nauseousness (morning sickness), food cravings or mood swings which are the common symptoms of early pregnancy but I didn't experience any of those. I just found that some food tasted metallic thus I got not much appetite to eat not until I reached second trimester. Since the time we got married, we never had any household helper (maid) until I was 7th month. We all did the cleaning, preparing of food and washing of dishes by ourselves except for the laundry. And since I don't know how to cook, I was worried on how I would get to eat a healthy balanced diet. We either ate easy-to-prepare dishes or ordered from fast food chains whenever we were lazy. Another thing that bothered me was my job. It would take me at least one hour to get to the far far away land of Libis via commuting with four shifts of public vehicles. Yes, I travel that far everyday and spend almost three hours on the road. But since I was pregnant, I don't think I can manage to do that or rather risk myself doing it. Did I resign? Luckily, no.

Maxifol Folic Acid and Vitamin B Complex
May 21 the day I started working at home, I was two months pregnant already. So far everything was fine. I got hungry easily thus I heeded the advice of my OB to have small frequent meals and to avoid oily and spicy food. I drank a glass of Anmum Materna once a day and took folic acid (Maxifol) and Vitamin B complex during my first two months when the central nervous system of the embryo is being developed. Folic acid intake is essential at this early stage to prevent birth defects.

Caltrate Plus, Mosvit and Trihemic
Then on my succeeding months until I gave birth, my prenatal vitamins included the following: a multivitamins (Mosvit), a calcium (Caltrate Plus) and an iron (Trihemic). It didn't burden me to abstain from drinking coffee, softdrinks and tea as I am not a fanatic of those. What I missed was eating junk food and sweets especially chocolates. In fact, I sometimes found myself still munching on those but on small portions once in a while. Bad mommy! Hehe! But can't help or else I'll get depressed.

You won't believe, I stepped on the weighing scale almost everyday and recorded my weight. I think I started from 124 lbs. and ended at 146 lbs., gaining 22 lbs.(10kg) or an average of 2 pounds a month. Yes, I'm very particular with my weight gain because I don't want to experience difficulty delivering a big baby. Before I went for my monthly check-up, I made sure to note down all my questions and conditions on a small notebook. My usual concern was having constipation and the usual remedy was to eat lots of vegetables and drink plenty of water. Constipation is said to be caused by the iron supplement that we are taking. Once, I had a slight fever but I tried to avoid taking any medications as much as possible. I just kept on drinking water and fruits rich in Vitamin C. Every check-up, my blood pressure and weight was being taken by the secretary, then the OB would measure my uterus (belly part) to get the fundal height and check on the fetal heart rate thru the use of a Doppler. My fundic height started from 8cm until 29cm while my fetal heart rate started at 166 bpm down to 130 bpm. We didn't hear the heart beat yet on my first and second check-up. We started hearing it by week 12 and it really gave us a sigh of relief!

There were three things that I watched out for during my entire pregnancy:
1. my weight gain
2. my baby's heart beat
3. no signs of spotting

July 8, 2012 at 16 weeks or 4 months.

Tip: Be careful in any way that you can. Eat healthy. Drink your vitamins everyday. Have your check-ups monthly.

You may continue reading the next post for my Second Trimester story.

Mommy Sally

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Pregnancy Journey - How It Began

Being a mommy blogger, the most common topic that she would usually write about is her pregnancy journey. So allow me to share my own story too before all the detailed memories would slip out of my mind in no time. Besides, one of my reasons for blogging is to unload, de-clutter and free up some space from my almost-memory-full brain.

We got married last November 2011 and because the following year is the Year of the Dragon, we were pressured by our parents to have a "dragon" baby. Wow, that was hard because we had a deadline. The Dragon year started Jan. 23, 2012 and ended Feb. 9, 2013, which means we had to have a baby within that period. Counting backgrounds and taking into consideration the nine months pregnancy period, our deadline would be until April 2012 or within 5 months to do it.

Some people gets pregnant easily while some takes years. Ours, I can say that we were lucky to be just at the right time. And just to let you know, I used the Pink Pad application to track my monthly period and to know the fertile days because I am not familiar with counting. I would be glad if you can teach me how but I'll apply it next time. :)

For people who doesn't want to get pregnant, having their red flag days is a big Yes to them. But for those who are contemplating to have a baby, seeing that the red flag days are back breaks their heart. But we always have a next month to try again, improving on it each time.

We told ourselves that if we didn't make it until the deadline, we would just take it slowly. We didn't have a grand honeymoon (yet) as we are anticipating to get to our goal. But we were able to tour around Hong Kong on March last year and even went to Ilocos Norte on April, mainly to enjoy the tourist spots and nothing else. And that trip became our last before I got pregnant. 

My period should have came by Apr. 19 and thought it just got delayed. Second day, third day and then came the sixth day, still all clean. I was having doubts already and so for the first time, I bought a 2-pc Pregnancy Test sticks from Watson's on my way home and gave it a try. Oh my, two lines showed up! Okay, at first I didn't believe it so I tried again the next day and the result was just the same.

First test was done on April 24. Second test was on Apr. 25, 2012.

On Apr. 26, I even went to a diagnostic center to have my urine tested for pregnancy and it's positive. Apr. 28, my sister-in-law (SIL) referred me her OB friend Dra. Aida Muñiz in Metropolitan and had my first check-up. Apr. 30, I underwent a Transvaginal Sonogram (TVS) ultrasound at HealthMed. At that time, I'm 5weeks and 5days pregnant.

Diagnosis: early, single, live intrauterine pregnancy. Hello my tiny embryo!

Following a successful ultrasound: having a normal heart beat and the embryo is implanted inside the uterus, that's the time I announced the good news to my mom, immediate family members and my colleagues.
My hubby still couldn't believe that he's going to be a daddy. And I too couldn't imagine that there's a growing human inside me. It's really a miracle of life. We are very grateful to God for answering our prayers.
After all, we didn't regret being pressured by our parents to have a baby because sooner or later all couples would undergo that phase of their married life. For me, that's the essence of marriage, to have an offspring of our own. So why wait? I'm happy for bearing a child at this young age of 27. As the Bible says, "Go forth and multiply." 
And that's how my pregnancy journey all began. From then on, my lifestyle had changed and people treated me differently or rather with extra care. And I appreciated and loved it so much! That's one of the best part of being a pregnant woman.
I'll tackle more about my pregnancy journey per se on my succeeding blog posts. That's it for now. :)

Thank you for your time.
Taken Apr. 22, 2012 (Thursday) at Ying Ying Tea House. I didn't know I was pregnant. And this was my last cup of tea.

Mommy Sally

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Welcoming Binondo Mommy!

Hello to everyone!

I would like to welcome myself, The Binondo Mommy, to this blogging world. At long last, I have finally put this goal, which is to create my own personal blog, into reality. I'm so excited about it. I haven't been able to start this due to my hectic schedule being a working mom.

I have decided to start it on this day because it's the 6th monthsary of my baby. Baby A is growing fast and I want to document every milestone and memories I will be having as a new mom. I am preparing for when the time comes that my baby would ask me about the past, I can easily recall and let her read my life's story. At the same time, I also want to share some of my experiences to my family, friends and future friends with the hope of helping them in one way or another. And most of all, I want to improve my communication skills and be more expressive, to be able to start a conversation with people, and to be more in tune with what is happening in my surroundings.

And before I end my debut post, let me explain why I chose The Binondo Mommy as my blog name. Most obvious reason is that I am an inhabitant of Binondo. And when you hear of Binondo, first thing that comes to your mind is that people there have chinky eyes. And when you know of someone chinky eyed, your first impression is that they are thrifty.

With this, I wish The Binondo Mommy readers to have a pleasant journey with their life. May God shower this blog with many blessings, surprises and success.

Thank you for your time! :)

Here's a picture of me taken last year's Chinese New Year beside Binondo Church. Jan. 23, 2012.

Mommy Sally