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 Para├▒aque 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.