Monday, June 15, 2015

Tips for Expecting Moms

    Being pregnant can be a pretty overwhelming experience, especially if it's your first pregnancy. Here are some of the things I've picked up from my pregnancy that I want to share with other expecting moms.

1. There is more than one way to go about things

       I made sure to make this number 1 because I feel that this is one of the most important things to know and remember when pregnant. You see, every woman and every pregnancy is different and just because what your going through is different from what your sisters, friends or even celebrities experienced does not make your pregnancy less beautiful than theirs.

     Always remember that even if you do things differently than other pregnant women, does not mean you are a bad mother. Why do I say this? Because often times people tend to over step and comment about what you do while pregnant. Although they have the best intentions, sometimes people tend to voice out their opinions in an offensive manner. I personally have learned that I tend to be pretty pale when I am pregnant. I was borderline anemic during my pregnancy, even when I made sure to drink my vitamins and iron supplement regularly, and people couldn't help but comment about it, and would sometimes even question if I was taking care of myself. I often times found myself crying about it (WOAH! Hormones alert! I know), but after getting my post partum CBC results and seeing that I was far from being anemic, I realized that it was simply how my body reacted to my pregnancy and not because of something I did or didn't do.

     Whether you continue to workout regularly, dye your hair (yes, some OBs permit their patients to dye their hair as long as its during the latter part of the pregnancy and that its ammonia free dye), continue to drink a controlled amount of caffeine,as long as you're heading the advice of your medical practioner don't allow unsolicited advice to get you down.

2. Don't scratch! Make sure to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

     This is a trick I learned from my mom. She had 5 kids and no stretch marks. I know your belly can be pretty itchy especially during the third trimester, but resist the temptation and moisturize the area instead. Aside from putting lotion after every bath, I also put lotion when I start to feel the urge to scratch. I also heard from an office mate that his wife and a lot of their friends attest to Extra Virgin Coconut Oil helping keep those stretch marks at bay.

3. Water is your new best friend

      Staying hydrated is very important for pregnant women, and it's a good way to prevent UTI. I unfortunately learned this the hard way and had several cases of UTI during my pregnancy, thankfully nothing too serious that I needed to be confined and attached to an IV.

      I work in the BPO industry and in the beginning I would use my breaks to drink 2-3 glasses of water, because I've always been too lazy (and too forgetful) to bring a tumbler of water, but eventually I felt the urge to drink more often and I ended up bringing a tumbler everyday. It's also good to have water with you at all times, just in case you have morning sickness (or in my case eat, sleep, throw up, repeat).

4. Read, Read Read. Learn, learn learn

    Every day there are new discoveries and inventions and because of this there are a lot more decisions to be made when it comes to motherhood and parenting. Are you going to go for the Epidural or will you save it as a last resort? Will you breast feed or formula feed? If your baby is a boy will you have him circumcised after birth? Will you buy this brand or that? So many things to decide on and so many things to learn. Honestly, this is something I wish I did more of when I was pregnant because there are a lot of things I'm learning now that would've come in handy back then. Read books, browse on the internet (make sure to read from reliable sources) and discuss things with fellow moms. This will help you make decisions that you are confident in.

5. Enjoy it! 

     Morning sickness, swollen feet, weight gain, doesn't sound too fabulous I know, but believe me once it's over you'll find yourself reminiscing about your pregnancy and maybe even find yourself missing it.  There will be moments like when you feel your baby kick for the first time and when you first see your baby via ultrasound, that  you just want to stay in forever. Cherish those moments, take a picture, write about it on a journal, anything that will help you go back into that moment.


    Hope this helped and have a healthy and happy pregnancy!



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Reset

        I've always enjoyed writing and because of that I thought that blogging would come second nature to me, but it proved very difficult to maintain a blog without a clear "theme," forgive me for the lack of a better term. After numerous failed blogs, today I come back with a clearer idea of the direction I want to take this blog. This post signifies the shift of this blog to focus on posts relating to motherhood, babies and family life. What better way to begin this transition than by sharing with you my birth story.

     After careful thought I decided that I wanted to skip the epidural, yes, I was willing to experience labor and all its agonizing glory. I mentally and physically prepared myself for the contractions, I made sure to walk daily, I did birthing exercises, and my O.B. even asked me to start taking Evening Primrose Oil on my 36th week.

       I successfully reached my 37th week with no complications. That was it, my baby was full term and even if I ended up delivering prior to my due date it would be fine. I was excited and almost every possible scenario of how I was to give birth crossed my mind, all except what actually happened

       I was set for a check up with my O.B. who holds a clinic in Patients First at Glorietta every Sunday evening . As usual we were at Glorietta by 4 pm, anticipating the long line for my O.B, and to no surprise I was still 8th in line despite getting there early. By 6 pm it was still far from my turn, so Jim and I decided that it would be best for him to start shopping without me. Although it would be my first time to be alone at a check up, I wasn't worried since I was feeling okay and I was already at ease with my OB. After an hour or so it was finally my turn. After an Internal Exam, Dra. predicted that I would give birth any time the following week, so she already gave me instructions on what signs to look out for and even gave me a piece of paper with her admission instructions just in case I would need to be rushed to the hospital and she wasn't there yet. She gave me another prescription for Evening Primrose Oil and that was the end of the first half of my checkup..It's part of my O.B's routine to check the heartbeat of my baby every check up via ultrasound.


    As she checked the baby's heartbeat everything seemed to be normal, until she noticed that my amniotic fluid level was extremely low. She then instructed me to contact Jim and ask him to return to Patient First so that we could discuss what had to be done. As I waited for Jim at the hallway, my heart was racing. Everyone said that when your water breaks you'd know, well I didn't. Yes, I knew I could give birth any time and that there's always a risk of having a C-section, but for some reason having a C-section was something that I didn't feel the need to prepare for. I was successful at holding the tears back until I saw Jim and I started to tell him what happened. He consoled me and we waited patiently until we were called back into my O.B.s clinic. She gave us instructions on what to do next.

       We went home to have dinner and pick up our hospital bag and headed straight to Parañaque Doctors. My doctor had already phoned and provided instructions to the attending OB GYN at the ER. I was sent to the labor room and there they strapped a fetal heart rate monitor on my tummy and induced me. My OB wanted to give normal delivery a fair shot, so they would closely monitor my baby’s heart beat with every contraction to see if he could handle me going through labor. I was nervous, but I was thankful that like me, my baby was a fighter. After an hour, they examined me to find out that my cervix has not opened even 1 cm. A few minutes later, my O.B. arrived and even before she said it I already called it. I told her that I understood that even if my baby could handle the contractions right now, I was nowhere near labor and that the risk of him strangling on his cord gets higher the longer I postpone the delivery. They called Jim in and notified him that I was going to undergo a C-section. He held my hand and told me to be strong, and I started getting teary eyed when he left.

     I think that was the hardest part of delivering via C-section, the fact that you go through the process alone. I was wheeled in the operating room, and as I was being prepped for surgery I felt like I was in “Grey’s Anatomy” while the nurse started writing my name and stats on the white board. I was listening intently as the anaesthesiologist was explaining to me what I should expect from the anaesthesia and during the operation. She said that it was not supposed to make me sleepy, but maybe because it was already 2 am I felt my eyelids getting heavy. I was in and out of sleep during the surgery and before I knew it I heard my baby crying. For some reason I couldn’t help myself but say “aww” upon hearing his voice. They carried him beside me for pictures, and latched him onto me for a few minutes and then they brought him to the NICU. He had to be put under observation in the NICU because I experienced recurring UTI during my pregnancy and there is a chance that he may have been infected, but thankfully after 24 hrs he was roomed in as everything was okay.

      A lot of people were surprised by the fact that as soon as the anaesthesia wore off I started sitting up straight and a just a few hours later I was already on my feet. I guess it was because I witnessed what a fighter my son was and that energized me to fight through the pain of my stitches just so I could carry him and so that I could visit him in the nursery every 3 hrs to breastfeed. There’s a different strength that overcomes you once you hold your child in your arms.



      It’s been 4 months since that day, but until this very day I still recall some of the details vividly. I guess you can never  forget the day that changes your life forever. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lucido-L, Will You Join Me on My Journey?



           People wake up to bad hair days, I on the other hand was born into a lifetime of constant hair troubles. My mom has thick, curly, and unruly hair, which thanks to years of experience dealing with it she is able to manipulate it to her liking. On the other side of the punnett square, my dad’s side of the family is known for having thick, wavy hair. Unfortunately for me, I had the worst of both worlds.

         

          When I was a toddler and up to my early childhood, I was fooled into believing that I had nice hair, just because it never really gave me any problems. I'd have it cut short, and sometimes grow it up to chin level, which wasn't pretty bad. Our helpers would tie my hair in a quarter ponytail, braid it, and it would look good, but genetics caught up with me soon enough. By the second grade after deciding I wanted to grow out my hair thick, curly, frizzy hair welcomed me into reality.

           Of course growing up, I was jealous of my classmates, especially coming from an exclusive all girl's school, surrounded by schoolmates whose mothers would help them and teach them the ropes of grooming their hair. I on the other hand, grew up with my father's aunt since the time my parents separated, and she was born with beautiful thin, straight, smooth hair, so there was really no one to guide me as to how to deal with my hair. She was also unaware of the different salon treatments offered for the hair, and even if she did she found that it was a waste of money.



         Thankfully I was able to experience having long, straight, silky-looking hair when I finally convince my grandaunt to allow me to get my hair rebonded as a gift for my 13th birthday. Of course, my hair had to grow out soon enough and I was back to having thick, unruly, curly hair. After being introduced to bangs, I just felt as though I could never live without. 

      Sometime during high school, I was finally given the chance to spend more time with my mother, who not only paid for my next rebonding treatment, but introduced me to what I thought would be the solution to my problems, blow drying. I didn't have the right equipment at home, so I would rely on visits to the salon and my mom's hair stylist, who eventually became mine as well, to work their magic. 




      Back in high school, we weren't allowed to get our hair colored, so by the time I hit my freshman year in college I was introduced to hair dye. My hair isn't just black, it's jet black, to the point that some people thought I had my hair dyed black. Don't get me wrong, I don't completely hate having black hair, it's just that it started to seem boring to just stick to one color, and I always loved the way my features would appear differently because of the change in my hair color. I highly favored having light hair over dark, which is why at one point I even resorted to bleaching. 

     I've been introduced to different things with regards to my hair, but one thing I never really adapted for myself was hair care. I always seemed to blame genetics for the condition of my hair, which is completely wrong. That's why I've decided after torturing my hair for far too long that I was going to establish my own hair care routine. 

    And as if sent as a sign by the hair gods, one of my favorite bloggers, Tricia Gosingtian, blogged about the secret to her beautiful, lively hair despite having her hair colored, bleached, and frequently styled, Lucido-L products. 
  
    I really want to try their Treatment Oil Perm, because its not so much my hair being curly or thick that I hate, but it being dry and how it frizzes so quickly. I've been starting to try out conditioners which are a bit stronger compared to other conditioners, because they were meant to correct certain hair problems, however thanks to Tricia's blog I found out that maybe it's not only the product which I'm using that prevents my hair from being moisturized properly but its inability to lock moisture in, and the Lucido-L Treatment Oil Perm helps with that. 

   Also, as a part of my journey to better hair, I have taken it upon myself to learn how to style my own hair, which would include blow drying my hair more frequently, and even running it through an iron here and there, but before I can do that I must first protect my hair using a heat protectant. Lucido-L's Styling Milk Curl would be perfect for the job. 

     I can't wait to finally find the hair care routine perfect for me, and I'm hoping that Lucido-L will be a part of my journey to better hair. 




Monday, May 20, 2013

Bilboard Music Awards 2013

             From performance mishaps to echoing boos and a whole lot of set and costume changes, the Billboard Music Awards 2013 surely gave us a lot of things to talk about.

           


         This year's host is Tracy Morgan. Although I'm a fan of his humor as Tracy Jordan in "30 Rock" and his stints in "Saturday Night Live," his hosting didn't impress me as much as the past hosts have. His delivery seemed off and made it pretty obvious that there was a script to follow. 

         There were performances by Bruno Mars, Selena Gomez, The Band Perry, Justin Bieber and a whole lot more, but for some reason the ones that really got my attention were Ed Sheeran, J.Lo featuring Pitbull, and of course Prince. J.Lo really showed off the performer that she truly is, and Ed Sheeran's performance was such a breath of fresh air apart from all the other performers who seemed to focus more on lip synching and all the other shenanigans. And of course, who could deny that Prince's performance was a great way to end the night.

          Some trends spotted on the red carpet were jumpsuits, cut-outs and a whole lot of sparkle.


          Stana Katic stuck to a simple yet sexy striped jumpsuit. Two other celebrities however chose to steer away from simple and donned some pretty interesting variations of jumpsuits. Miley Cyrus stuck to a more modest neckline, but went for the wow factor with the details in the print. Personally, throughout the show and while browsing through different websites for the red carpet looks, I battled whether I loved it or hated it. How about you? Love or hate? Nayer's jumpsuit on the other hand was something I knew exactly how to feel about. Not only did she go for a bold print, she nixed the idea of a neckline altogether. As much as I salute her for being so bold and daring, I didn't really like it so much.

Stana Katic 

Miley Cyrus


Nayer


             Peek-a-boos were a trend seen in the Met Gala, and was very present in the Billboard Music Awards red carpet. Whether it be a little peek-a-boo through sheer fabric or some cut-outs here and there, these celebrities seemed to love showing some skin. Selena Gomez had three outfit changes, one for the Red Carpet, one for her performance and one to present an award. I actually liked all three dresses. The dress she wore on the red carpet was a sleek white dress with a thigh-high slit and some cut-out details and a hint of color here and there. Emmy Rossum sported a gown by who seemed to be the designer of the night, whose designs were also worn by Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez. I liked the  elegance that came with its silhouette and color mixed with details of sheer fabric. Jennifer Morrison on the other hand went for all-out lingerie. There are a lot of discussions as to whether lingerie inspired gowns are to be deemed acceptable as evening wear and there have even been attempts by designers like Pnina Tornai to introduce the element of lingerie into wedding gowns. Although I am not totally against the idea, this dress in particular didn't really sit well with me. What do you think? And to cap-off the peek-a-boo dresses on the red carpet is Ke$ha's risque dress. What appeared to be a modest dress had a big surprise on the side, a slit that showcased the singer's derrière. Although Ke$ha really did try to go for that more clean and put-together look by having a sleek hairstyle and putting on some beige wedges, this dress is definitely a big no-no for me. 

Selena Gomez


Emmy Rossum



Jennifer Morrison

  
Ke$ha

         Although peek-a-boos are a trend that's fairly new, sparkle on the red carpet is a trend that seems to have some great staying power. Some celebrities chose to shine down the red carpet and throughout the evening. In true Taylor Swift fashion, she wears a blue sequined mini dress with some interesting details and mesh detailing. Taylor has been seen wearing glossy dresses dozens of times and this number didn't disappoint. While Taylor Swift dons a more modern style, Jennifer Lopez on the other hand goes for a more classic color, a timeless one in fact, gold. Gold seemed to be the color of the night for Celine Dion as well. Although Celine opted for a more structured, modern silhouette. Gold may be as timeless as her songs, but I'm not quite sure if this modern dress is for her. Radiant as she may be, this just might be a little too "young" for her. 

        
Taylor Swift



Jennifer Lopez

Celine Dion

         As dull as her performance may have been, Selena Gomez' gold dress for the performance is definitely one of my favorite looks of the night. I also liked how Nicki Minaj went with a beautiful red gown as oppose to her usual tight mini dresses. 
Nicki Minaj

Selena Gomez

*I do not own any of the pictures in this entry






     












Monday, May 6, 2013

Met Gala 2013

             In the fashion industry, the Met Gala is considered as the creme de la creme of red carpet events. The annual event is hosted by Vogue as a celebration of the Metropolitan Museum's opening fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute. This year the theme was "Punk Chaos to Couture."

              Here are some of my top picks from this year's Met Gala.

Rooney Mara in Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci


Ivanka Trump

Dakota Fanning in Rodarte

Jessica Alba in Tony Burch

Lindsay Vonn in Jimmy Choo

Stacey Keibler in Rachel Roy

Olivia Wilde in Calvin Klein

Miranda Kerr in Michael Kors

Doutzen Kroes in Theyskens Theory

Emma Watson in Prabal Gurung


Ziyi Zhang in Jason Wu

Carrey Mulligan in Balenciaga

Jessica Hart
Elizabeth Banks in Atelier Versace

Check out other looks on http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/05/met-gala-2013-all-the-red-carpet-looks.html .
*all pictures and information regarding the who's wearing who are from the link above

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Amongst the Stars : Nagsasa, Zambales

       
       
  
   This was the view that bid us a safe trip as we were to ride a boat from Pundaquit to Nagsasa. During the boat ride, which lasted for an hour, we were able to witness the sky turn from blue with a hint of orange, to pitch black with the stars shining as though they were projections in a planetarium. The beautiful sky above us, the salty smell of seawater in the air, and the waves kept us company and hindered us from getting bored. 

     A trip to Nagsasa is the perfect escape from the busy city, and don't even try to cheat during your stay in paradise by being attached to your phone, because once your there no amount of stretching your arm up or looking for different nooks and crannies in the place will help you find even just one flimsy bar of signal. 
   
      The trip from Manila to the cove was a good 5 hours, but believe me it was worth it, and the whole trip back and forth, plus our stay in the cove itself only cost us 1700 php each, a small price to pay for a short date with paradise. Nagasasa cove offers a camping and beach experience rolled into one,.


              Breakdown of expenses: 
                          Bus from Cubao to Olongapo                        207
                          Bus from Olongappo to San Antonio               60
                          Trike to Pundaquit                                      30 
                          Boat for 4-5 pax                                     1, 700   
                          Entrance fee                                              100
                          Trike to San Antonio                                   30 
                          Bus from San Antonio to Cubao                  367

         For a genuine break from the stress that the city brings, I highly recommend that you plan a trip to Nagsasa cove. 
   
                         
A taste of the beautiful scenery during the boat ride