Baby Bump, My Faith, Thinking out loud, Wife and Love

Baby # 3

First blog in a long time again.

I have not given birth yet, I have a month to go, but this journey of being pregnant the 3rd time has been the toughest, I must say. Taking care of 2 hyper boys, managing a small  business and activities left and right, I did not expect I’d be this exhausted. I am not complaining, these are all facts and real life drama of my life. Haha. I thought my body can keep up with all the gatherings and commitments, but No, and the heat is not helping at all.

At the onset of my pregnancy, I knew this was already different. I knew from the very core of my being she was a girl because I have prayed for it and believed with all my heart plus the physical symptoms were so different from my last 2 pregnancies which were both boys. They say every pregnancy is different, I couldn’t agree more. But this was way different from just physiological.

My pregnancy is a confirmation of God’s promise when He said  “I will give you a girl” even before I missed my period (I’ve been praying for a girl for 4 years already). I made a deal with Him telling Him that if i get pregnant by December, it was already my answered prayer. My last period was November 8, if my memory serves me right. Come December 8, I missed my period but I wasn’t really sure I was pregnant so I waited for a couple of days more before I asked my husband to buy me PTs (i always use 2 different brands to be sure). We really were not planning to get pregnant on December because we booked an out-of-the-country family vacation for our second son’s 2nd birthday and our 7th year wedding anniversary on January. But God had better plans for us.

Fast forward to a couple of days, I was positive in both pregnancy tests and went to my doctor for confirmation. I was already 8 weeks pregnant and she immediately found the heartbeat. It was love at 4th sight! Hehe.

Fast forward again on my 5th month, I had my routine CAS (Congenital Anomaly Scan). The first thing we saw on the monitor was the bum. I was used to seeing something dangling in between but this time there was nothing. Nada. Zero. My doctor told us (my husband was with me the whole time) just to make sure she will check it again after she checks the features and vital organs of our baby. But my heart was already shouting for joy and thanksgiving, God was faithful to His promise! After a good 20-30 minutes, she went back to check her bum and said “99.9% she’s a she.” But she wanted to really make sure. Usually, boys reveal their thingy as early as 18 weeks and I was about 25 weeks at that time already. It’s actually easier to detect boys than girls from my POV. When she said 100% and typed GIRL on the screen, I could not talk or think anymore. All I remembered running on my head was “What an amazing and powerful God we serve!” Then blank stares again. In short, I was in awe and shock at the same time.

Here’s a photo of the ultrasound I posted the day we found out about the gender.

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We named her Liana Noelle. Not the typical I and K (Husband’s and my initials) but the grandmothers’ initials.

Liana (Hebrew) = My God Has Answered

Noelle (French) = Christ is Born

 

 

Breastfeeding Journey, Liana Noelle, Mommyhood

(Re) Relactation

If there’s such a term as re-relactation, that’s what I am doing right now.  I don’t have any problems with my supply, even before when I didn’t know about lactation aids, my supply was already abundant (I even had mastitis on my first breastfeeding journey). Click here to ready more about it.

This breastfeeding season for me didn’t start great. The moment we went home from the hospital, I got engorged. There were many lactation nurses in Cardinal Santos (they do rounds on every room in the Maternity area) to check on the mommy, educate moms on proper latching and nursing their newborn babies, they even have massages which I had with our eldest (cos I was also engorged the first time I gave birth). Good problem right? Engorgement means too much milk but it was so painful! It was both dreading and fulfilling. Since Liana was still a few days old, 3 days to be exact, her latching wasn’t as good yet and she barely wakes up to feed. All she did was sleep the whole day. I had to wake her up every 2-3 hours to nurse her but she always ends up sleeping on my breasts. I tried hand expressing, putting warm to even hot compress on both my breasts, pumping in between latching, but still all my ducts were clogged. It was so painful, I couldn’t sleep anymore. Even the lymph nodes on the left armpit was palpable already, that’s how engorged I was!

I had to resort to going again (Here’s my story in getting my breast aspirated) to my breast surgeon to have the milk aspirated so I can function well (I really can’t explain how uncomfortable and painful it was to have oversupply of milk and not have it consumed by your baby). She tried massaging my breasts and confirmed my clogged ducts but refused to have them aspirated. She didn’t want the milk to be wasted (forgot to bring milk bags!) She advised that I properly massage so milk will flow naturally. The next day, I called a lactation masseuse to come to our house to have the clogged ducts removed. The massage was successful, although she wasn’t able to fully empty my breast, only latching with the baby can empty them.

Prayers really do work. I asked my friends from church to pray for me and Liana the whole time I was experiencing this ordeal (hehe). It was hard for me because I was also nursing a painful incision, adjusting to having a 3rd baby with 2 clingy boys (who just recently learned to sleep in their room, imagine the sepanx we were all feeling), and going through a lot of emotions post partum. Praise God for my husband who was with me all this time.

Fast forward to now, Liana is feeding more, hopefully it will be regular already. I gave her time to learn to latch effectively. I wasn’t forcing her anymore to feed even if I felt my breasts will already explode. What I did before with my first born did not work with her now. So I just pumped and kept my milk (which I eventually donated to a baby in need. See how God beautifully orchestrates everything? I was still in good hands inspite of the pain and challenge I was having). My trusty pump was a big help in this journey so I advise moms to invest in a pump that they believe will suit their needs. I’m using Spectra 9+ Electric Double Pump, one of the best investments I made in my mommy career, haha! To know more about why I chose Spectra among all other brands, read here.

So now Im back to regular programming. Liana is 2 weeks old, a peaceful sleeper and a  certified poop machine. I experienced changing her 3x in a span of 5 minutes. Haha! Or sometimes I just sat down after cleaning her then boom! there she goes again. It only means she’s getting enough milk and she’s growing up really well. Not complaining, just sharing how fun it is to take care of a newborn. Plus, girls are really different from boys. Liana lets us sleep, unless she’s hungry or needs a nappy change. Other than that, she already sleeps through the night. Praise God! Even my husband was asking why I don’t wake him up anymore. I don’t need to in the first place. So we’re really blessed. I still wake up in the wee hours to check up on her and her nappy.

Anyway, here are my tried and tested galactagogue treats I thoroughly enjoyed taking. These are my “luho” because we don’t pay for formula milk. An actually good excuse to our husbands. Haha!

Mama’s Love Lactation Treats – Chewy, fudgy not so sweet brownies and cookies and really effective in increasing milk supply. 1 brownie a day is enough plus they are really yummy! The owner is also so nice, she even made prenatal brownies and cookies for me when I was preggo and craving for her treats.

Contact details: 0916-3017333; mamasloveph.com

Mother Nurture Malunggay Coffee and Chocolate Mix – the only lactation drink in the Phils! This I swear is so effective it actually helped me build my stash on my 2nd baby (which were also all donated).  Mixes are sweetened by Stevia so they are safe for those with high blood sugar. Choco is so yummy, I am not kidding! You should try it as well. Haha! The reason why I became a reseller of the mixes is because I believe in them and their effectivity to help boost milk supply, plus they are all natural and locally made.

There are resellers in major areas of Manila and even provincial areas. Let me know if you want to order 🙂

Shoot me up a message if you want to share your breastfeeding journey 🙂

 

 

Liana Noelle, My Faith, Thinking out loud, Wife and Love

My Birthing Story #3

They say “Third time’s a charm”. While its true that our third and only baby girl is charming literally (haha!), my experience on this third Cesarean operation is different from the first 2.

Those who follow me in Facebook and Instagram know that we had a false alarm earlier the week we were scheduled to have the CS Operation. But I wasn’t dilated yet and was advised to do normal chores and wait ’till the weekend comes for the original plan.

Weekend came. Left our 2 boys with their grandma at our house (Thank You, Lord, for grandmas and helpers). I was feeling normal, no contractions just the usual heaviness of the big tummy. I far as computation goes, I was 38 weeks and 1 day that day (July 29). I admitted myself while my husband looked for a parking. We got the CS Package of Cardinal Santos, this was around 57K inclusive of a small private room, OR/DR/Neonatal charges for 4 days. If you have PhilHealth and SSS, better. They’ll still deduct them just present necessary documents. We were charged the whole amount for deposit already before we knew we would have to wait for a small private room to be available. My OB already texted me and told me to go to the Delivery Room to prepare for the operation. So I again, went by myself to the DR, while the husband waits for a room. Fast forward, we were put in a regular room which was bigger than the small private because of availability purposes. I consider this a blessing from God, He made sure we were comfortable 🙂

Here’s a detailed procedure of what they did to me ( I am hoping I won’t forget anything, this will be a great help for moms who’ll have their CS Operation the first time or have been through the operation but forgot all about the procedure)

  1. Delivery Room.
  • I was strapped for NST (Non-stress test) for quite a time. Residents, nurses (a lot of them) kept coming back to ask me information about myself and my medical history. It helps to keep track of the tests you’ve done or medicines you took or any condition you had during your whole pregnancy. I was bombarded with a lot of questions, good thing I have a little medical background of the terms and I was keen enough to tell them every single detail I can remember. It helped them treat me accordingly since I was borderline GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus)
  • Skin Test and IV Insertion. The 2 that I hated the most pre-op. Skin test is to test if you have allergies in the antibiotic/s they’ll give during the procedure. A small needle will be inserted in your subcutaneous skin and it stings a lot, i tell you, to make a bleb (a bubble underneath your skin). They’ll encircle using a pen and will write down the time the administered the drug. If redness or rashes appear, it means you are allergic to the drug. Good thing for me, I was clear of allergies. For the IV insertion, I requested for a doctor but I guess no one heard me so a resident came and thank God, he hit the right vein so he didn’t have to re-insert because it was really painful. They had to give me a larger tube cos I will be given medicines all throughout the operation.
  • Change of gown. Nothing underneath you. Make sure you don’t cellphone or any valuable inside the delivery room anymore.

2. Operating Room

  • First, kudos to my OR nurse, she is super nice and kept me really comfortable and calm the whole time before I got groggy. (I forgot to ask her name)
  • Anesthesiologist came. She was my special request because I barely felt anything on the first 2 CS operations. She was sweet and calm and just very informative about what she’s doing with me. But this time around, she had a hard time getting the right spot on my spinal column. The bending or baby position part was the hardest here because I really cannot bend more than I bended already so a guy doctor had to help me so my back would arch like a C. Finally after 3 tries, she got it already. I was already praying and singing worship songs as I was beginning to feel so uncomfortable. But before I knew it, i felt pins and needles and heaviness on my lower body. The resident anesthesiologist had her needle ready to test if the drug was working. I think my body took around 5 minutes to be totally numb. When I said I can’t feel anything anymore, they started with the procedure.
  • I was wheeled in maybe 15 minutes before 2 pm and baby came out at 2:14PM. That was fast! It has always been fast. As soon as my drapes were up, they called in Ice to cut the cord (he cut the boys’ as well) , take photos and follow Liana to the nursery where they cleaned and bathed her. It’s his prerogative to follow our babies so to make sure there will be no mix up. I think I was the only one in the OR that time so less worries for us. 😉
  • During the closing or suturing part, I felt chills. I had chills on the 2 previous and I hated it more than the labor. I couldn’t stand the fact that I cannot feel anything but i was having chills on the upper part of my body in which i cannot control. It was torture to me. Maybe my anesthesiologist  saw that i was beginning to get agitated  so she administered something that helped me relax. Then I fell asleep. In between the suturing, I keep on waking up, i felt it was taking them forever to close me up. My anesthesiologist kept on reassuring me that it’ll be over soon. So I think I slept throughout the final closing of my tummy
  • I stayed in the recovery room for 7 hours until the doctors cleared me to go to my room with our baby girl

Basically, that’s what happens during the whole CS operation. Recovery for me was fast but it was the most painful, maybe because its the 3rd time and I’m older now compared to my 2 previous operations. Although I was able to stand up and walk in less than 24 hours, I still consider this the hardest, even in breastfeeding (will share my experience in another post).

Hope this post helps! Shoot me up a comment if you have questions or anything to share regarding your birthing experience 🙂

Sharing my going home photo with our little princess, Liana Noelle 🙂

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Baby Bump, Liana Noelle, Mi Familia, My Faith, Thinking out loud, Wife and Love

A Letter To My Boys

It’s official. I will be giving birth for the 3rd time via scheduled Cesarean section on Saturday. The past 9 months have been a physical and emotional roller coaster ride for me and the whole family. But God remained faithful and His steadfast love have been our anchor for strength, protection and faith.

This blog is intended to be published & read during my CS Operation. I do believe its my hormones (emotions) and nesting stage that I am encouraged to write a love letter to my 3 boys, since they will be sharing, in a few days, the house with a little princess aside from their mommy queen. Hehe.

Let me start with my youngest boy..

To Kole, my mini-me, 

You’ve been a surprise to us from the moment you were conceived until now that you are 2 1/2. Everyday you never fail to surprise us with your silliness, naughtiness and your cute antics. I know deep in your heart you understand that you will not be the baby of the house anymore and I pray and hope when you see Liana, you’ll take care and love her as much as you love playing with your stuff toys. Hehe. I learned so much from taking care of you.. another level of patience, perseverance, selflessness, even humility. And I never thought I would fall in love for the 3rd time. You are the most sweet & loving son. Thank you for always filling our love tank to the brim! Continue to bring laughter into our lives. I love you more than you’ll ever know. You are our forever big surprise!

To Kuya Kaleboy, daddy’s carbon copy,

My super understanding Kuya. Our first strong-willed child but now the forgiving and patient one. Most of the time, we lovingly discipline you. I know now that you’re turning 5 that you understand why we do this. It has to sting for you to remember that you need to be an example to your siblings when it comes to sharing, being kind and obedient. We don’t want to put too much pressure on you that’s why we are continuously reminding you of your role as a big brother to your siblings. You keep on hearing the same things over and over because that’s how important they are. They will look up to you, anak. But with your big heart and understanding mind, we are confident you’d easily pull this off. That’s how much we believe in you, Kuya. Continue to be the one who always asks never ending, out-of-this-world questions, always eager to learn more about the world around you and curious with just about anything you see and hear. Thank you for making me and daddy always proud. I love you more than you’ll ever know.

And to my main man, my hunny potpot,

I love you, more than words can say, more than my actions can express. Putting into words my love and gratefulness to God for giving you to me is just impossible. You are the best gift I’ve ever received from our Lord. Building a family with you as my husband & leader has not been easy but I enjoyed every moment of it because you made it fun for us. Every single day is laughter with you. You work so hard for our family, not only providing for our needs but also our wants. I could never ask for anything more from you.. except to put the boys’ to sleep without you sleeping first (hahaha!) cos I always end up putting them to sleep. But I understand because you are tired from work and all, and that’s completely fine. We are partners in everything.  I am so happy we’ll have the little princess arriving really soon. You know how much I’ve prayed for her and waited for her. I can’t wait for you to see her as well and fall in love with her. This will be a very different take on parenting now that she’s a girl, too fragile, sensitive and too girly? So be prepared! Haha!

I love you, my boys! Let’s all welcome our answered prayer, our Little Princess, Liana Noelle *insert happy heart emoticon here*

We can’t wait to see you, Liana. We are so excited to enjoy another of God’s awesome blessing to our family. 🙂

PS. I was able to hold my tears but the contractions, never mind. Haha!

 

Thinking out loud

Acea Resort, Subic

We prayed and God answered! I’ve asked Ice to bring me to the beach before I pop and this quick outing is God’s answer to us 😊

It’s a fairly new resort, they just opened last November. It’s beautiful but there are lots of renovations still on- going but the main halls, rooms and pools were all ready to use.

The downside I saw during our quick stay was the maintenance of the pool and the menu selection. The pool seemed dirty (pool tiles) already considering the newness of the resort and very few food selection in their menu, even their breakfast buffet. It’ll be nice if they’ll put more food to choose from, especially when you’ll stay longer than 1 night. 😊 (this is my pregnant, always hungry self, talking)😜

But the rooms were big, 2 double beds for their deluxe room, breakfast included for 2 adults. One room can fit 4 people (including kids). Their bathroom is love! I love the rustic feel it gives out. 

The whole place is just small, perfect for families who prefer less crowded places (like us!). I must commend their Kiddie Pool, even I enjoyed playing there 😅 

We are of course, happy and grateful to have this relaxing quick getaway with the whole family. It was an overall fun experience especially for the kids! 

Sharing with you some photos 😊

Iñigo Kaleb, Mi Familia, Thinking out loud

Our Preschool Story

I was planning to homeschool my eldest who is turning 5 this October. But the plans changed when I got pregnant. It became harder and harder for me because of my sensitivity and emotions and it seemed like my patience in teaching him shortened a mile (me being too hormonal, I must say).

Basic lessons like alphabets, colors, numbers, shapes, phonics, etc were so much easy to teach when we only had 1 kid. I taught him these lessons even before he turned 2. It was easy back then, smaller house, 1 kid, no baby bump. I still persisted in teaching him everything I can (no formal curriculum yet as homeschooling starts at 6 y/o) when I had his brother, even after I gave birth. But it seemed like we never progressed. He was saying no to the lessons I was introducing him like reading and writing coupled with fun activities.  In my heart, I wanted him to know everything but I also knew he wasn’t ready yet.

Fast forward to my 3rd pregnancy, it got tougher. Early this year, we enrolled Kaleb for pre-kinder sit in at a small preschool inside our village. My husband and I wanted to test the waters, if homeschooling or regular school will work for us. Wherever God leads us, we will go.

3 months passed and Kaleb got to meet new friends, bonded with the teachers, got to wear a school uniform & we experienced being parents of a school boy 😜 Legit! Hehe 😂

In Kaleb’s case, we wanted him to learn lessons more so, we wanted him to meet new kids so he can relate, play and communicate with them.  Also, he is the type of kid that listens to authority when his environment or the kids around also cooperates. At home, his only classmate is his little brother who by the way, always wants to play with our activity books. Normal, right? Kaleb was so used to being alone and being the center of attention we needed to get that off his shoulder.

To save me from the not-needed stress (hormones again), putting him to a regular preschool was the best option in our season right now. He’s very eager to learn but his attention was not into it yet. Somehow, putting him in preschool was effective, with teachers and classmates around him. It worked for him. And we are happy with that. We agreed to officially enroll him to K1 class which starts this June. Exciting new season for us again.

Here he is during their Quiz Bee (we didn’t know he participated) but such a happy surprise to us. He came home with a bubble as a prize! Couldn’t be any prouder!

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Baby Bump, Mi Familia, Thinking out loud, Wife and Love

HK Disneyland 2017

How many of you know that traveling with 2 hyper boys while 3 months pregnant is such a challenging task? May I see a raise of hands? Haha. Superman and Wonder Woman mode to all the dads and moms who decide to travel with their tots. Salute to all! Hehe. But the memories and smiles of our kids are incomparable.  And when they remember the fun times, you’ll tell yourself “It was all worth it.” AND IT IS!

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Disneyland HK, January 2017. Celebrated our 7th year wedding anniversary and Kole’s 2nd birthday 🙂