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Archive for June, 2009

i am loud, talkative and i have many friends but i don’t think i was ever as popular as the time when
i got pregnant. the round thing bulging in front of me, which made it hard for me to see my toes, made
me an instant celebrity.
it was late in 2006 when my belly started growing bigger and rounder. first, it was just my friends at
hallmark who paid extra care and attention to me and my delicate status. i loved all the attention
plus the leniency. if i get late, all i get are sympathetic looks even from the bosses (well, they are
really nice people to begin with, and my commute that consisted of 2 jeepney rides, 1 mrt ride and 2
footbridges was truly hellish even for someone who’s not preggy!)
after a while, even people from other departments in the office who barely looked at me when i was
still single and skinny started greeting me with wide smiles and talked to me as if we have been
friends since childhood.
it’s not that i did not like that or anything. in fact, i enjoyed it pretty well. i loved how the
other mommies in the office kept track of my pregnancy milestones, how they all gave me pieces of
wisdom (which proved to be really helpful!) and how they even compiled a set of pregnancy clothes for
me.
and i really had a great time reading the survey “what is wendi’s child going to be, boy or girl?”
some were not contented just giving a guess, they even analyzed the shape and size of my tummy to
justify their hypothesis. (the result of the survey? “boy” won hands down)
i felt so important, i felt that my child was really lucky. it felt wonderful knowing that the people
around me were so involved with what i was going through.
the bigger my stomach grew, the more popular i got. even strangers began approaching me, talking to
me, asking when i was due, if i already knew if it’s a boy or a girl, if i was drinking Anmum. some
even went as far as touching my tummy. imagine walking mindlessly in a shopping mall when suddenly you
feel something weird on your belly. you look down and you see a hand! is that weird or what?
the popularity does not end with strangers caressing my bulging stomach. at the mrt, i also enjoyed a
special privilege. sure, i got squeezed in that hot box so many times during my pregnancy but almost
every time, someone would offer me their seat a second before tears start dropping down my cheeks.
but there was that one time when my round tummy got squeezed against the door so hard and still none
of them offered me a seat. i was so tired, i could not help but cry. some ortigas girls (who were also
standing) saw my tear-stained face and i heard them say, “kawawa naman ung buntis.”
i must admit, somtimes i took advantage of my being pregnant. all i had to do was grunt a little and
hold my belly as if i am in pain and sure enough, all it would take is a few seconds before a kind
soul stands up and gives me his/her seat. hehe. (of course, the acting part was not at all hard given
that i was REALLY tired carrying a huge load in my tummy all the way to ortigas.)
the grunt acting was not only effective in the mrt. it also worked well when i had to stand in long
lines or when i want to enter a door that is not supposed to be an entrance. people (even security
guards who according to hannah have “maximization of power” syndrome) were surprisingly kinder and
more considerate to big bellied women.
another time i felt so loved was when my college blockmates threw me a baby shower. great food, lots
of laughs, beautiful gifts, and endless love and kisses. i don’t think i ever got to thank therese and
jeng and all my blockmates for that very wonderful time.
(my other baby shower hosted by my high school friends got cancelled because i had to give birth that
day, more on that on labor day: the great birthing experience)
yes, being pregnant has lots of perks. but the biggest perk of it all is knowing that you are carrying
the person you love most inside your womb. by the end of your 9-month journey, you will be happy (to
see your child), relieved (that you are no longer “fragile”) and sad because your popularity has come
to an end, as the real star has come out.

i am loud, talkative and i have many friends but i don’t think i was ever as popular as the time when i got pregnant. thepreggy round thing bulging in front of me, which made it hard for me to see my toes, made me an instant celebrity.

it was late in 2006 when my belly started growing bigger and rounder. first, it was just my friends at hallmark who paid extra care and attention to me and my delicate status. i loved all the attention plus the leniency. if i get late, all i get are sympathetic looks even from the bosses (well, they are really nice people to begin with, and my commute that consisted of 2 jeepney rides, 1 mrt ride and 2 footbridges was truly hellish even for someone who’s not preggy!)

after a while, even people from other departments in the office who barely looked at me when i was still single and skinny started greeting me with wide smiles and talked to me as if we have been friends since childhood.

it’s not that i did not like that or anything. in fact, i enjoyed it pretty well. i loved how the other mommies in the office kept track of my pregnancy milestones, how they all gave me pieces of wisdom (which proved to be really helpful!) and how they even compiled a set of pregnancy clothes for me.

and i really had a great time reading the survey “what is wendi’s child going to be, boy or girl?”  some were not contented just giving a guess, they even analyzed the shape and size of my tummy to justify their hypothesis. (the result of the survey? “boy” won hands down)

i felt so important, i felt that my child was really lucky. it felt wonderful knowing that the people around me were so involved with what i was going through.

the bigger my stomach grew, the more popular i got. even strangers began approaching me, talking to me, asking when i was due, if i already knew if it’s a boy or a girl, if i was drinking Anmum. some even went as far as touching my tummy. imagine walking mindlessly in a shopping mall when suddenly you feel something weird on your belly. you look down and you see a hand! is that weird or what?

the popularity does not end with strangers caressing my bulging stomach. at the mrt, i also enjoyed a special privilege. sure, i got squeezed in that hot box so many times during my pregnancy but almost every time, someone would offer me their seat a second before tears start dropping down my cheeks. but there was that one time when my round tummy got squeezed against the door so hard and still none of them offered me a seat. i was so tired, i could not help but cry. some ortigas girls (who were also standing) saw my tear-stained face and i heard them say, “kawawa naman ung buntis.”

i must admit, somtimes i took advantage of my being pregnant. all i had to do was grunt a little and hold my belly as if i am in pain and sure enough, all it would take is a few seconds before a kind soul stands up and gives me his/her seat. hehe. (of course, the acting part was not at all hard given that i was REALLY tired carrying a huge load in my tummy all the way to ortigas.)

the grunt acting was not only effective in the mrt. it also worked well when i had to stand in long lines or when i want to enter a door that is not supposed to be an entrance. people (even security guards who according to hannah have “maximization of power” syndrome) were surprisingly kinder and more considerate to big bellied women.

babyshower2another time i felt so loved was when my college blockmates threw me a baby shower. great food, lots of laughs, beautiful gifts, and endless love and kisses. i don’t think i ever got to thank therese and jeng and all my blockmates for that very wonderful time.

(my other baby shower hosted by my high school friends got cancelled because i had to give birth that day, more on that on labor day: the great birthing experience.)

yes, being pregnant has lots of perks. but the biggest perk of it all is knowing that you are carrying the person you love most inside your womb. at the end of my 9-month journey, i was happy (to see me child), relieved (that i am no longer “fragile”) and sad because my popularity has come to an end, as the real star has come out.

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some of you would probably say that this post is rather late for it is june already and summer is over. not quite! for my family and i who live in a vacation spot, summer is all year round! as long as the sun is shining right above our heads, nothing can stop us from packing our swimsuits and running off to the beach, which is roughly an hour away from where we live. (there’s one that’s nearer only a few minutes away but quite crowded already).
mikkel has gone to the beach much more times than a regular two-year-old because his parents happen to be beach bums. (the flexibility of our online careers allows us to indulge in a beach escape whenever we feel like it).
well, anyway, if you are planning to bring your kid to the beach anytime soon or next summer, you will find these tips very useful.
1.  invest in a good quality sunscreen. my son inherited the kind of skin that i have which is the kind that does not easily get sunburned (or get that stinging sensation after long exposure under the sun). both mikkel and i just turn dark brown instantly without any pain whatsover. but i still invest in a good quality sunscreen not because i intend to protect his or my complexion (which is not the primary objective of a sunscreen anyway) but to protect our skin from harmful UV rays.
when buying sunscreen, keep these tips in mind:
* get the right SPF factor. SPF means sun protection factor. common notion is that this is the degree of protection you can get. not necessarily. consider the duration by which you normally burn under the sun without protection. let’s say 20 minutes. multiply that number by the SPF on your sunscreen. for example 20 (minutes) x 15 (spf) = 300. 300 is the number of minutes you’re protected with that sunscreen. i bet you didn’t know that huh! 😉
* get one that has protection for both UVA and UVB rays.
* opt for one that is free from PABA or para aminobenzoic acid since many children (and even adults) are sensitive to this.
2. avoid sun exposure from 10 am to 2 pm. this is when the sun’s heat is the strongest.
3. bring lots of water. mikkel always gets thirsty as a horse after roughing it his with dad in the water for hours. that and the strong heat of the sun can easily dehydrate anyone.
4. prepare simple meals. i love cooking and there was this one beach outing where i prepared really nice but elaborate dishes that took me quite the whole day. it didn’t leave me time to spend with my little darling. so take my advice and don’t bring your penchant for cooking at the beach. it’s a day to spend with the family, not with the pots and pans!
5. don’t forget to bring an extra plastic bag for the wet suits. i go to the beach all the time but i still always forget this! is it just me?!
anyway, more andda, ganto ba yung rak!more beach trips for us!!!

strolling along with my baby

some of you would probably say that this post is rather late for it is june already and summer is over. not quite! for my family and i who live in a vacation spot, summer is all year round! as long as the sun is shining right above our heads, nothing can stop us from packing our swimsuits and running off to the beach, which is roughly an hour away from where we live. (there’s one that’s nearer only a few minutes away but quite crowded already).

mikkel has gone to the beach much more times than a regular two-year-old because his parents happen to be beach bums. (the flexibility of our online careers allows us to indulge in a beach escape whenever we feel like it).

well, anyway, if you are planning to bring your kid to the beach anytime soon or next summer, you will find these tips very useful.

1.  invest in a good quality sunscreen. my son inherited the kind of skin that i have which is the kind that does not easily get sunburned (or get that stinging sensation after long exposure under the sun). both mikkel and i just turn dark brown instantly without any pain whatsover. but i still invest in a good quality sunscreen not because i intend to protect his or my complexion (which is not the primary objective of a sunscreen anyway) but to protect our skin from harmful UV rays.

when buying sunscreen, keep these tips in mind:

* get the right SPF factor. SPF means sun protection factor. common notion is that this is the degree of protection you can get. not necessarily. consider the duration by which you normally burn under the sun without protection. let’s say 20 minutes. multiply that number by the SPF on your sunscreen. for example 20 (minutes) x 15 (spf) = 300. 300 is the number of minutes you’re protected with that sunscreen. i bet you didn’t know that huh! 😉

red floater

* get one that has protection for both UVA and UVB rays.

* opt for one that is free from PABA or para aminobenzoic acid since many children (and even adults) are sensitive to this.

2. avoid sun exposure from 10 am to 2 pm. this is when the sun’s heat is the strongest.

3. bring lots of water. mikkel always gets thirsty after roughing it with his dad in the water for hours. that and the strong heat of the sun can easily dehydrate anyone.

4. prepare simple meals. i love cooking and there was this one beach outing where i prepared really nice but elaborate dishes that took me quite the whole day. it didn’t leave me time to spend with my little darling. so take my advice and don’t bring your penchant for cooking at the beach. it’s a day to spend with the family, not with the pots and pans!

5. don’t forget to bring an extra plastic bag for the wet suits. i go to the beach all the time but i still always forget this! is it just me?!

anyway, more and more beach trips for us!!!

for desktop

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bath time with mikkel means huge splashes of water on my face, wild screams that can be heard next
town, banging of walls, throwing of shampoo bottles, drowning soaps into the pail, and the whole
bathroom turned upside down, inside out.
my overly energetic and mischievous curly top is just too fond of water to keep me sane. it is
horrific, i tell you. i always find myself screaming louder than ever. “mikkel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
the good news is i have found a couple of tricks to make bath time more bearable.
1. bring his favorite toy in the bath. this is the best tactic so far in distracting him during bath
time. however, his penchant for the toy only lasts for a few minutes so i must always bring a
different one as an added precaution.
2. tell him to scrub and rinse himself. mikkel is the kind of kid who thinks he’s already an adult.
that’s why he loves it when i give him tasks that reinforces this belief.
3. put him in a small tub of water. mikkel loves this so much that he stays still for a couple of
seconds, long enough for me to get most of the shampoo out of his hair. take note, rinsing his hair is
the most sensitive part of the bath time because he just would not let anything touch it.
4. sing songs or act out plays. when i do this, mikkel would stare at me, watch me, and forget for a
little while about his mission to get wild during bath time. if he gets tired of my act, i do another
one until i finish off his bath. this can be pretty exhausting given that you are already exerting too
much physical effort attempting to contain a kid gone wild.
5. struggle and plead. well, this hardly ever works even if i cry fake tears. but this has become a
normal part of giving my kulit kulot a bath.
for kids who dread bath time, it’s a different story. here are some ideas that might help:
* join your kid in the tub. it makes a child feel safer knowing that you are also in the water with
him.
* find out what he is scared about bath time. if it is the cold water, then go give him a warm bath.
if it is the scary rubber duckie you try to distract him with, ditch that. if it is the weird
accummulation of hair in the drain, clean your bathroom more often!
* tell your kids stories about bath time and be sure to tell him only nice stories so he has fond
memories to associate bath time with.
* make bath time interesting. it could be a new set of bath toys or a little bath game or some singing
of happy songs.
i don’t know how many baths i still have to give mikkel before he gives a calm and pacified approach
to this activity. i surely look forward to that day!

mikkel bath

bath time with mikkel means huge splashes of water on my face, wild screams that can be heard next town, banging of walls, throwing of shampoo bottles, drowning soaps into the pail, and the whole bathroom turned upside down, inside out.

my overly energetic and mischievous curly top is just too fond of water to keep me sane. it is horrific, i tell you. i always find myself screaming louder than ever. “mikkel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

the good news is i have found a couple of tricks to make bath time more bearable.

1. bring his favorite toy in the bath. this is the best tactic so far in distracting him during bath time. however, his penchant for the toy only lasts for a few minutes so i must always bring a different one as an added precaution.

2. tell him to scrub and rinse himself. mikkel is the kind of kid who thinks he’s already an adult. that’s why he loves it when i give him tasks that reinforces this belief.

3. put him in a small tub of water. mikkel loves this so much that he stays still for a couple of seconds, long enough for me to get most of the shampoo out of his hair. take note, rinsing his hair is the most sensitive part of the bath time because he just would not let anything touch it.

4. sing songs or act out plays. when i do this, mikkel would stare at me, watch me, and forget for a little while about his mission to get wild during bath time. if he gets tired of my act, i do another one until i finish off his bath. this can be pretty exhausting given that you are already exerting too much physical effort attempting to contain a kid gone wild.

5. struggle and plead. well, this hardly ever works even if i cry fake tears. but this has become a normal part of giving my kulit kulot a bath.

for kids who dread bath time, it’s a different story. here are some ideas that might help:

* join your kid in the tub. it makes a child feel safer knowing that you are also in the water with him.

* find out what he is scared about bath time. if it is the cold water, then go give him a warm bath. if it is the scary rubber duckie you try to distract him with, ditch that. if it is the weird accummulation of hair in the drain, clean your bathroom more often!

* tell your kids stories about bath time and be sure to tell him only nice stories so he has fond memories to associate bath time with.

* make bath time interesting. it could be a new set of bath toys or a little bath game or some singing of happy songs.

i don’t know how many baths i still have to give mikkel before he gives a calm and pacified approach to this activity. i surely look forward to that day!

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how to distinguish toys with real educational value

i must admit, a part of me secretly wishes for mikkel to become a
prodigy. this is probably why, i give him all sorts of educational
toys to make him smarter.
he played with shape sorters, stackable rings, plush building blocks,
and musical toys as an infant. and he is now toying with puzzles,
books, abacus, and dominoes as a toddler.
of course, toys won’t really turn any kid into a genius. but they do
help in the process of mental and physical development of a child.
various educational toys can nurture early learning and hone crucial
skills such as hand to eye coordination, spatial awareness, motor
skills, cognitive learning, visual perception, sensory exploration,
problem solving skills and the creative imagination.
like most moms, i also find it difficult to choose toys for my little
curly top. try entering a toy store and you would be bombarded with a
vast array of choices, all claiming to be educational and beneficial
for your little one.
so how can a mom distinguish toys that have true educational value?
well for one, real educational toys are engaging. they do not simply
make a passive observer out of your little child. if you would to
choose between an education DVD and a set of building blocks for your
toddler, the right choice would be the latter. after all, it is not
advisable to let children below 2 watch too much television even if
it is supposed to be educational.
apart from that, real educational toys encourage interaction and
communication. you should also try to buy toys that are related to
the interests of your kid. this way, the fun factor in playing is not
eroded by the whole concept of educating your kid. after all, kid’s
play should be fun and enjoyable.
moreover, educational toys should always be age appropriate. toys
that not suitable for your child’s age are not beneficial for them.
more importantly, they can also pose danger for your child’s safety.
speaking of safety, it is not enough that you get a toy that is
educational. you should get something that is durable, of high
quality, and will not put your little one at risk.
toys do play a big part in a child’s life but this can never replace
the quality time we should spend with ourmikkel exploring his new toyDSC_0528 copylittle ones to make
playtime more fun, educational, and worthwhile. 🙂

DSC_0528 copy

i must admit, a part of me secretly wishes for mikkel to become a prodigy. this is probably why, i give him all sorts of educational toys to make him smarter.

he played with shape sorters, stackable rings, plush building blocks, and musical toys as an infant. and he is now toying with puzzles, books, abacus, and dominoes as a toddler.

of course, toys won’t really turn any kid into a genius. but they do help in the process of mental and physical development of a child. various educational toys can nurture early learning and hone crucial skills such as hand to eye coordination, spatial awareness, motor skills, cognitive learning, visual perception, sensory exploration, problem solving skills and the creative imagination.

like most moms, i also find it difficult to choose toys for my little curly top. try entering a toy store and you would be bombarded with a vast array of choices, all claiming to be educational and beneficial for your little one.

so how can a mom distinguish toys that have true educational value?

well for one, real educational toys are engaging. they do not simply make a passive observer out of your little child. if you would to choose between an education DVD and a set of building blocks for your toddler, the right choice would be the latter. after all, it is not advisable to let children below 2 watch too much television even if it is supposed to be educational.

apart from that, real educational toys encourage interaction and communication. you should also try to buy toys that are related to the interests of your kid. this way, the fun factor in playing is not eroded by the whole concept of educating your kid. after all, kid’s play should be fun and enjoyable.

moreover, educational toys should always be age appropriate. toys that not suitable for your child’s age are not beneficial for them. more importantly, they can also pose danger for your child’s safety.

speaking of safety, it is not enough that you get a toy that is educational. you should get something that is durable, of high quality, and will not put your little one at risk.

toys do play a big part in a child’s life but this can never replace the quality time we should spend with our little ones to make playtime more fun, educational, and worthwhile. 🙂

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6i was supposed to have my baby shower the day i gave birth to mikkel. who knew he’d pop out 13 days earlier? when i went to the clinic of my ob-gyne (who also happens to be my dear aunt/ninang) for my routine check-up, mike and i were still laughing about the names we thought of for our son the night before.

gustav, picasso, vondrew, bogart, and buhawi were just few of the many crazy choices we had in mind until we settled for mikkel andrei, which we thought was nice and will not give him a hard time.

while we were waiting, my doctor arrived. it was around 12 noon. i greeted her and she lightly touched my larger than life tummy. she looked at me skeptically and said, “bakit ang tigas nyan?” i just shrugged and kept laughing.

during the check-up, i found out that my cervix was already 4 centimeters dilated. what, i was already at the end of early stage of labor and i have not even noticed it yet? wow! but the first thing i said was, “oh no, what about my baby shower?!” my aunt/doctor could not help but laugh. i was already in labor and i was still worrying about the baby shower.

then the real panic set in. “wait, i haven’t packed yet! i’m not ready yet! mikkel’s not yet supposed to come out until the 16th!”

do you remember the feeling when your grade school teacher thumps her ruler on the table and screams, “finished or not finished pass you papers!!!” multiply that anxiety twenty times and that was what i felt when i learned it the hard way that that babies can come out a lot earlier than you expect.

it was my first day after i left work for a leave of absence and i had so many plans in mind–read up books on giving birth, share my pregnancy joys with my friends during my baby shower, and pack my giving birth bag. i did not plan on giving birth that day!

that’s when i realized that my baby does have a thing for catching me off guard and surprising me. first, my pregnancy came as a big shock for me and everyone who knew me and now, this!

my family and friends who were waiting for me at home for the baby shower were just as alarmed when they got the news. they turned the place into a mad house as they plowed through my things to pack everything that i needed and tore down the neatly wrapped gifts of baby bottles, blankets, and bibs.

when mike brought me to the labor room, i was not panicking anymore. i returned back to my usual bubbly self because i got excited to see my baby. i remember the nurse telling me that i was required to poop. it was quite embarrassing but then i did what i had to do.

after a few minutes, i achieved success and got out of the comfort room. a nurse walked to me and interviewed me about basic personal information. what is your name, do you have any family allergies, and so on. i was still very cheerful because i was not feeling any pain yet. i was even telling myself, “is this it? is this the dreadful, mind-blowing pain that my officemates kept telling me about?!”

i was brought into another part of the labor room where i waited with two other ladies. the other has been there for more than a day and i really felt sorry for her. she looked like she’d give anything just to get her baby out of her.

i was reading the newspaper when the first pang of pain struck me. i remember glancing at the wall clock and it was 4pm that exact moment. if you have experienced dysmenorrhea (menstrual uterine pain), where you feel like your insides are doing crazy knots, it was like that, only a hundred times more agonizing.

if not, imagine a 6 inch nail being pushed into your belly button and the excruciating pain reverberates throughout your whole body. i winced, twisted and somersaulted in pain. nothing helped. so this was what they were talking about! one of the doctors came to my side and asked me to stop egg-rolling all over the bed because i might fall off.

the fact that mike was not around because husbands were not allowed inside the labor room as per hospital rules did not help me at all. if only i had him to hold onto, the pain would probably be much more bearable.

because i didn’t have any choice and i was going insane with pain, i called on to the guy doctor in sight and asked him to hold my hand for “moral support” (yes, i actually said those words! i saw this doctor again months after in the same hospital and i swear i was just too ashamed to even say hi.) he stared at me with a strange look on his face and jokingly muttered something like, “no thanks, you might bite me.”

the pain would go away after some minutes much to my relief. but the bad news was that when it came back it was even a lot more painful. what made it worse was that i felt really alone amongst the sea of faces of doctors, nurses and patients that were all strangers to me.

i was feeling quite high because of the sedatives injected to me a few minutes earlier but i still had an inkling of what was happening. after a while, i saw a blurry but familiar image. it was my aunt/doctor. i was teary-eyed upon seeing a familiar face.  my aunt asked me how i was and assured me that everything’s going well. her being there gave more relief than the sedatives were able to give me. after checking up on me several times, my aunt instructed people to get me to the delivery room.

finally, it’s time.

my travel from the labor room to the delivery in a stretcher was like a scene taken from an episode in ER, or at least that was what i imagined. there were flashing lights, heightened emotions, kaleidoscope images of doctors and nurses frantic and panicking, and a powerful orchestra music to heighten the drama and suspense. i doubt that it was really like that. it was probably the sedatives.

when i arrived in the delivery room, it wasn’t an ER episode anymore. i felt like i was in a movie and i was the star. spotlight was on me and my vaginal opening. the director was my aunt and the supporting characters were the other doctors and nurses beside her.

i had to open my legs wide and they buckled down my feet. i don’t remember the exact chronology of events but what i can never forget is the energetic, high pitch toned doctor beside me who relentlessly cheered on me, screaming, “kaya mo yan wendi, kaya mo yan, parang tae lang yan, parang isang malaking malaking tae lang yan!!!!”

i also remember someone saying something like, “hindi pa pumutok ang water bag nya, putukin na natin!” again, i don’t know if it’s the sedative but i heard a loud gush of water similar to a waterfall after they pinched my waterbag.

another thing i remembered was feeling a huge round thing coming out between my legs. that was the time my aunt asked to give a long hard push, which she said i cannot retract because the baby might be pulled inside.

i gave the longest and hardest grunt that i can give in my whole lifetime, that made virtually every vein in my body stand on my skin. i heard my aunt and the other doctors cheering because i was apparently doing such a great job in giving birth.

after that one seemingly endless push, the real star came out. my life is never the same again.

after i dozed off, i imagined myself receiving an award for best performance in a giving birth role, the first person i mentioned in my thank you speech would have to be of course, mike my ever supportive husband. i read in books like first time mom that many typical first time dads are uncomfortable, nervous, and somewhat insensitive to the needs of his partner. mike is the complete opposite of that. giving birth would not be a breeze if not for him.

then i also thanked my whole family and mike’s family for every small and grand thing they did to make my pregnancy wonderful and easy. i won’t forget to mention my friends also, especially those who stayed with me during the ups and downs of my journey as a big bellied woman.

and of course, the person who showed mikkel the way to the outside world, my aunt, my doctor, Dra Beatriz Villanueva. she is truly one of the biggest reasons why i never had any qualms or fears about giving birth even though it was a completely new endevour for me. her unwavering support and priceless guidance ever since i was a child and throughout the whole nine months of my pregnancy and even after, is just something that i would never be able to thank her enough for.

if there is one thing i can brag about this whole experience was that i never felt a single strand of fear at any point, not even for a second. for someone who is always fraught with anxiety, this is a very big deal. but this would not have been possible without the people around me who are the primary reasons why i was able to go through all of this with flying colors.

3the series of weird events in my birthing experience concluded in the recovery room, where i found myself a few hours later. the other patients were sound asleep but i was restless. i hardly had any energy and yet i felt the urge to find someone awake to ask something. when some doctors came in, i immediately asked them, “is this a dream? am i dreaming? did i really give birth or am i just dreaming again? ‘coz if i am dreaming again, this is the fourth time this week!!!”

the doctors laughed and said, “this is the real thing, dear.”

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paglilihii never really believed in things like “paglilihi” where a pregnant woman asks for incredulous things like a pineapple with no eyes or a smooth guyabano or a purple ponkan. i thought it was just a woman’s way of getting back at her husband for making her big and miserable.

when i got pregnant in 2007–wait are you waiting for me to say that i finally believed in paglilihi because i experienced the same thing? no, i never really asked mike to get me some weird fruit from some alien planet.

but what i do remember is having adverse reactions on food that i was normally fond of. like shawarma, for example, i hated that food so much that i secretly cursed the woman selling shawarma in a stall in mrt shaw boulevard station each and every day that i went to work.

(i know she was just doing her job and she wasn’t doing anything bad to me but i was a big bellied woman with an irrational mind, so sue me)

i also hated bagoong, which used to be my favorite. but because i was stubborn, i tried to resist this aversion and i still ate bagoong a few times. my baby never accepted it and once it reached my tummy, baby throws and returns it back to the sender.

the only thing my stomach would accept in the realm of fastfood s and restaurant during the peak of my morning sickness pregnancy stage was a 1 piece burger steak from jollibee. take note, 1 piece only. 2 pieces would be a different story.

good thing, i didn’t have any aversions towards homemade cooking as long as i cooked the food myself. as for “paglilihi” per se, the only real craving i had was for a pair of twin popsies (chocolate flavor) which i MUST have in one way or another every after i had my routine check up with my ob-gyne.

i still didn’t want to call it paglilihi back then. i thought of it more as a routine like it was a standard procedure in a maternity check-up–blood pressure check, weight check, internal examination, twin popsies.

the more bizarre part of this concept that many old folks believe is that your baby becomes what you eat. for example, if you ate kambal na saging, you would get twins. if you ate a fried frog, your baby would say “kokak” instead of cry.

as a kid, i remember watching inday badiday’s eye to eye show where she sometimes featured babies with abnormalities which are purportedly caused by the paglilihi of their mothers.

in one episode, i saw a baby that was covered with hair all over. his mother said it was because she ate too many baluts when she was pregnant.

my baby did not become twins just because i love twin popsies but a neighbor said that is the reason why his skin is chocolate-y 🙂

from what i know, there is no medical explanation for paglilihi and for all i know, it is probably just a coincidence that your baby resembles your favorite pregnant food. true or not, the important thing is that you choose to crave for foods that will not be harmful to your little one. 😀

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