LIFE is a DANCE if you take the STEPS. This is my DANCE. The story of my LIFE.

Dancing is moving to the music without stepping on anyone's toes, pretty much the same as life.

What’s In My Hospital Bag. =)

I was only 7 months pregnant when I prepared my Hospital Bag. I had to prepare it that early because I was on bed rest and I could pop anytime soon – if I move a lot.

Most moms use a Diaper bag when packing the things they will need to bring in the hospital. Me – i used a small trolley. 🙂

It’s much more convenient, easy to bring (as it has wheels) and easy to see what’s inside.

Here’s what’s inside my hospital bag.

I packed each item in a small pouch and wrote labels on it. The ones you will need first must be placed on top.

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These are my bathroom essentials. Bring home the bath soaps, toothbrush and toothpaste you get when you check in at the hotel.

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Pack small items for baby’s toiletries too.

 

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What inside – Sponge (Sponge Bath), Alcohol (Should be 70%), Bath Soap, Cotton buds, Dry Wipes, Cotton balls, Petroleum Jelly, Powder & Lotion)

Please note that most Pediatricians do not recommend that you use Lotion and Powder for babies. Well – you’re the Mom. It’s up to you. 🙂

 

Hospitals provide Newborn Diapers but they cost 2-4x higher. Tell your husband/caretaker to give the diapers to the nurse during delivery.

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Got this for FREE when I attended a Breastfeeding Workshop in St. Lukes. 🙂

 

The first stuff you would need is for the baby. Make sure that you place it on top or somewhere that it can easily be seen by the husband. 🙂 Don’t forget to put labels too. 🙂

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Receiving and going home outfit. 🙂

 

Pack extra clothes for the baby – in case you will have to stay longer in the hospital.

 

 

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Extra Clothes for the Baby

 

 

Pack the boys’ undies in a separate pouch. 🙂

 

 

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For my boys. 

 

 

Of course, MINE should be separate too. 🙂

 

 

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My Undies and Nursing Bras

 

 

Place your going home dress at the bottom part of the bag as it will be the last item you will need. What type of dress – should be comfortable and it will be easier for you to breastfeed. 🙂

 

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Bring at least 3 hospital dress (should have buttons so that it is easier for you to breastfeed). Hospitals have Gowns but I prefer to use my own.

 

 

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Brought 3 Dresses 🙂 

 

My boys’ clothes. 🙂 Aidan did not sleep in the hospital but he visited us every day and I had to make sure I had extra shorts and shirt for him (in case he needed to change).

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These items should be in one bag.

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Bring a big Laundry bag (again, you can get this for free at the hotels. haha) you can easily toss dirty clothes inside!

 

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You can also buy this Landry Bag at Daiso Stores. 

 

 

This one is really a must!!! Socks. You will feel cold after the surgery (I went on Caesarean Delivery). So, this will be your best friend. 🙂

 

 

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Socks from a friend – her pasalubong from Korea 🙂 

 

 

Documents! The most important thing to bring in the hospital. Since we used a small trolley, we placed the documents at the outside pocket. Make sure that all files are organized and tell your husband what are those for.

 

 

Never ever forget your makeup kit! It’s a must too!

 

 

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Yes – I had to put label on it it. So the Husband would know. Haha

 

 

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Love at first sight 🙂 

 

Other important things to bring are a fan and a rechargeable fan. You can never tell when you will need it.

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Cellphone charger, glasses, a good book and a selfie stick – yes, I brought them with me too. 🙂

 

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Yes – I brought a book about investing. hahaha

 

Do not ever forget your baby book. 🙂

 

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Always remember that it will be your husband or the caretaker who will be in charge of the hospital Bag. So, make sure that your things are properly labeled to help them find the things you and your baby will need. 🙂

Hope this helps you! =) =) =)

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My Breastfeeding Journey

I am not a breastfeeding expert. I wasn’t even able to breastfeed my eldest child longer than I would have wanted. I only breastfed him for 2 months, had to go back to work and during that time, I wasn’t equipped with the knowledge, gadgets and support groups about Breastfeeding; so I stopped. I felt guilty but am still thankful that he got my colostrum and was able to drink my liquid gold for 2 months. Better than none I guess.

For my second child, I made sure that I had the knowledge about breastfeeding. I attended workshops when I was still pregnant, read blogs of other moms, joined support groups and asked for friends advice. Yes – if you want to be successful in this journey, you have to listen to other people – whether you like it or not.

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Breastfeeding Workshop from St. Luke’s

 

 

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The Workshop was FREE. And with FREE Lunch and Snacks. 🙂 

 

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and… LOTS of Freebies! 🙂

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Gift bag from StemCord Philippines

THE START OF MY JOURNEY

Micah had Beginning Pneumonia when she was born. She had to stay in the NICU until she was well and when she had finished all of her antibiotics. It was unexpected; but during admission, I handed my Medical Notes to the doctor and made sure that they will follow. Whatever happens, i will breastfeed my baby. They should not and should never offer her formula or water after birth. I also did not bring formula milk in my Hospital bag; because I was determined to breastfeed – whatever it took.

I gave birth via Cesarean section and it took 24hours before I could move. But I had to feed my colostrum to Micah. It was painful, but I still managed to go to the NICU to advise the nurse in charge that I will feed my baby. I asked her to call me every time she sees hunger cues. It was not easy. Other Moms, are not able to stand for 3 days after the operation but I did it in hours. Because of the antibiotics and pain killer I took, I didn’t produce milk on the 1st day. Not even a drop. Still, I insisted that she latch on me because I believe that soon, my colostrum would come out. I also talked to a friend who was also breastfeeding and she offered to breastfeed Micah the following days in case I still find it really hard to travel from our room to NICU every 2 hours. I was touched and felt grateful that other Moms were willing to help me.

WE ARE FINALLY HOME

After 4 days, we were finally out of the hospital. My milk became stable, I continuously fed her and she was already gaining weight. Few days after breastfeeding, my nipples became extremely painful. I had to latch from one breast for a day to have the other breast rest and heal. It came to a point that my milk was full-blown in. I was painfully engorged, my nipples were torn apart-chapped and scabbed. But I still continued to breastfeed.

GOING BACK TO WORK

After 75 days, I had to go back to work. I pumped and stored  1 month and 2 weeks worth of milk to make sure that I had enough supply. A week before I had to go back to work, I tried giving her my expressed milk from a bottle but she wouldn’t take it. She was having nipple confusion because she was used to direct latching. It was hard for us especially for me as she kept on crying and refused to drink milk unless it was direct latch.

THE STRUGGLE NEVER STOPS

She eventually drank expressed milk from a bottle but we had another problem. Expressed milk stored in a Freezer Compartment can only stay for up to 2 weeks. But Micah didn’t like the smell and taste. I tasted it and it smelled soapy and rancid. I realized that my milk has a higher-than-average levels of enzyme lipase which overtime breaks down fat in expressed milk. And that causes cold milk to develop a soapy smell and taste. It is completely safe for babies but there are babies that are sensitive to the milk’s smell and taste – and Micah is one of them unfortunately. There is a way to avoid this but it will take so much of my time. I have to heat the milk until small bubbles form. I still have another child so I have to divide my attention to both of them. What did I do? I had to taste my expressed milk every day to determine how many days will it’s smell and taste to remain the same. I had to store it for a maximum of 3 days only.

A BREASTFEEDING MOM IS ALWAYS READY TO HELP OTHER MOMS IN NEED

Expressing milk takes time and effort and no mother wants her liquid gold to be wasted. So what did I do with the bunch of expressed milk in the freezer? I donated them. It was indeed a right time when a stranger asked for my help. Their daughter is a preemie and was in NICU and she needed breast milk. So, I gave everything to them.

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Some of the Expressed Milk i have donated. 🙂

THE DAY I RETURNED TO WORK

Two weeks after returning to work was really a struggle for us. But we are grateful that our Company offers Work from Home arrangement. I had to go to office everyday for 2 weeks to attend a training. So, it’s my husband’s turn to work from home. It’s a big help as well if your husband is supportive and hands on.

After the training, I went back to working from home for a couple of days a week. It’s a big help as I get to continue to breastfeed Micah. I also get to work in the comforts of our home and at the same time, make sure that I am able to take care our children. It’s hard to juggle tasks, but at the end of the day, it feels so rewarding to see that you are able to do everything. I want to be a full time mom (who doesn’t?). But I also need to earn money and contribute to our daily expenses. =)

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Expressing milk at work every 3 hours. 🙂

BUMPS ON THE ROAD

Breastfeeding is never easy. I have Plugged Milk Ducts every now and then. I am aware what it is, but I never thought that it could happen to me. I felt a big, hard lump that’s sore. It’s painful when I touch it and most especially when Micah’s latching on. I wasn’t able to sleep until my Ob-Gyne advised that I should take pain killer. I took Ponstan 500 and I was able to sleep. But when I woke up, the pain was still there. Even If I pump milk or had Micah latch (despite how painful it is), it won’t disappear. Also, I had a fever the following day. It’s always a struggle when you are sick because you cannot take any medication that you used to take. I am limited to Paracetamol and water therapy. But, again, it’s ok.

THE VERDICT

I’m glad I chose to breastfeed Micah. My plan is to exclusively breastfeed her until she is 2 years old. It’s always rewarding to know that I am able to provide my kids the best nutrition. It’s also a crazy feeling that my body is able to provide liquid gold that’s giving them a good immune system. Another rewarding feeling of breastfeeding is the bonding time that we have – plus I get to sleep better and longer at night.

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Glad to know that breastfeeding at the malls is so comfortable. 🙂

 

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My 2nd Trimester Journey

2nd Trimester

Just last month, I posted about my 1st Trimester Journey. I’m down to my last stretch now and I am ready to post my 2nd Trimester Journey.

At 20 weeks I was scheduled for CAS (Congenital Anomaly Scan) to check if the baby is developing normally and to check the gender as well. I am not a fan of 3d/4d and I am more keen to know that my baby is healthy and normal. CAS is a  very detailed scan that takes about 30-40 minutes. All of the baby’s organs are examined and measured too. CAS costs much than the normal 2D Ultrasound.  Good thing my OB only charged me PhP2500 for the CAS with Gender Determination. We checked the gender but she was on a breech position so the Sonologist cannot give me 100% assurance for the gender.

At  24 weeks, I had my blood tests done. It was an exhausting one because I had to undergo 8 hours of fasting and had to endure another 3-4 hours at the Laboratory for the OGGT test. It was also a bad decision to do it in the Laboratory near the house. Didn’t know that it was much expensive compared to Hi-Precision in Powerplant. And the result went out that I have high sugar level.

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I was referred to an Endocrinologist for  2nd opinion by my Ob-Gyne. The next week I went to  Makati Medical Center to see my Endocrinologist. I was told that I have Gestational Diabetes and I need to monitor my Glucose 4x a day for 2 weeks.  I am still blessed because the Diabetes Center of Makati Medical Center that time are giving away Accu-Chek Glucose Monitoring Set for FREE. You just need to buy the strips, present it to them and they will give you the Machine for FREE 🙂

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First time to check my Glucose and it went fine. 🙂

 

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Only .1 and I’m going to reach 140. 😦

I  was also  asked  to get a TSH test (for Thyroid) by my Endocrinologist.

Thyroid Test

It was painful than I expected

My energy levels are great too during my 2nd Trimester, with a bit of achiness from my lower back and legs. I also had an increase appetite but because I was monitoring my sugar 4x a day, I have to strictly follow my new diet.

It was also the first time I felt her kicks. I am always excited whenever I feel her kicks like a ninja.

At 27 weeks, before we bid goodbye to 2nd Trimester, my Sonologist confirmed that we are having a Baby Girl! 🙂  I was in awe when she said it’s 100% Baby Girl.

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What’s the Baby’s Name? The husband and I already decided to name her after Dada (Michael) and my name (Anne) as her second name. But because the name is quiet popular here in the Philippines, we changed the spelling to – Maychele Anne – Gift from God.

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A Tale of Surviving my 1st Trimester

1st trimester

Instead of complaining, (like most people do a lot), I always try to put a positive spin on everything.

I’d been wanting to write a blog about my second pregnancy but I didn’t have the time until tonight. 🙂

Pregnancy was never easy for me. Even during my first pregnancy with my eldest (Aidan), I was rushed to the hospital when I was just 32 weeks in (July 7-12, 2009) due to preterm labor; and when i was on my 36th week and 6th day of pregnancy, I was rushed for the second time to the hospital. My OB had to inject something to stop the contractions until I reached 37 weeks. I gave birth via Cesarean delivery, and it’s also one of the major reasons why we had a hard time deciding on having a second baby.

When the husband and I did decide to have a second child, it took us almost a year trying to conceive. At 32, with a regular 8-hour job, managing 2 small businesses on the side, managing my time to make sure I fulfill my duties as a wife and a mother –  were may be few of the reasons why It was hard for us to get pregnant again.

It was Friday morning of January 6, 2017, when I went to church and prayed really hard. God was so good because that same week, he answered my  prayer.

Sunday afternoon, January 8,  I decided to take a Pregnancy Test and it came up POSITIVE! 🙂

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We (Aidan, Dada and I) were so happy and excited with the good news! I was so thrilled to be pregnant again, thinking it would be easier compared to the first one.

There’s so much fun during your first trimester – getting a POSITIVE result on your pregnancy test, the FIRST ULTRASOUND, seeing and hearing your BABY’S FIRST HEARTBEAT, and most of all sharing the GOOD NEWS with your loved ones.

Mine was a MIX OF SORTS though.

I had a lot of discomfort, nausea, dizziness, severe headache everyday, indigestion, and most of all SPOTTING. I visited four (4) OB-Gyne’s (for a second-third opinion about the cause of the spotting), had several ultrasound to make sure the baby is safe, and had to take Duphaston twice a day for 2 months.

All four (4) doctors I went to, advised me to go on bed rest  to make sure that baby will be safe to avoid pre-term labor. I had to elevate my legs all the time for the first 2 months. Weird but It worked.

I was getting emotional everyday; especially due to the fact that I couldn’t take care of my son the way I used to. Mommy has to sit or lie in bed all the time, no energy to move around because I am always dizzy due to nausea. It was so hard to balance your own comfort and your family’s needs.

Yet, I am thankful that I am still blessed. I am on bed rest but I am able to Work From the Comforts of our Home (Thank you so much AMS), I have my in laws to support and help us in our daily needs and most of all, I have a loving husband who will drop anything and make us his first priority.

We are now on our 26th week, 1 more week and we’ll say hello to the final stretch of my pregnancy. We are so excited to see our new munchkin in  3 months. 🙂

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