Wednesday, October 24, 2012

HOMEStory Photo Shoot - A Preview

Toward the end of my pregnancy, hubby and I arranged to have pictures taken of our baby at the hospital aptly called a NEWBORNStory by Regina Hahn-Siy. Rej is a passionate photographer, but a wife and mother first and foremost. We learned about the services she offers from her mom Chiqui. Good thing that we did, too.

Since our baby had to be kept in the nursery for an entire week post birth, our NEWBORNStory photo shoot fell through. Obviously, Rej wouldn't be able to take pictures of our baby's many firsts. But we still gave it a go a few days after she was released from the hospital. Instead of the NEWBORNStory, we had a HOMEStory. You can visit My Story Photography to see a preview of the shots from that day. Check out the packages while you're there! We highly recommend it.

Adjusting at home with the baby hasn't been a walk in the park, that's for sure. For that reason, we honestly thought we wouldn't be able to go through with the photo shoot. But hubby and I were determined to get it done. With Rej's help, talent (and patience), we certainly pulled it off. Sure, we looked a little haggard in the pictures. LOL But hopefully the edited prints will look better.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Welcome Home, Lunakin

Hubby and I were simply overjoyed when the doctor said we could bring little Luna home tonight. We weren't prepared at all because we expected to bring her home tomorrow at the earliest. So, when we knocked on the door of the Special Care Unit of the hospital to "claim" our daughter, reality hit us like an over-speeding bus. I looked at my husband as we waited and I saw both excitement and fear in his eyes. I was grinning from ear to ear, but I have to admit I was just a big ball of nerves inside.

The door opened and the nurse wheeled out Luna in her bassinet. She handed all of Luna's stuff to us then proceeded to swaddle her. She lifted her out and handed her to us. Hubby more than happily volunteered to carry her. Incidentally, it would be the first time he holds her. Once she was in his arms, he just couldn't stop smiling. And mine was just as big, if not bigger.

At that moment, we were complete. We are now a family. And we're all going home. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

La Luna - A Birth Story

I was in my 40th week and still no sign of the baby coming. On Oct 8, I had my weekly checkup with my OB. She said I was still at 2cm, station -3, but at least I was 30% effaced. She ordered for a biophysical profile scan to make sure the baby isn't wrapped by the cord. The next day, Oct 9, I went in for a BPS at 3pm. Although the baby's BPS score was ok, the sonologist informed me that there was very little amniotic fluid. She recommended I call my OB right away and have myself admitted so they can monitor the baby. Arrived at the labor room in Delgado Hospital a little before 7pm, they did an IE and it was all the same except I was 50% effaced. Obviously, labor was taking too long. I wasn't even contracting. Since the amount of amniotic fluid was alarming, my OB told me and hubby to prepare because we most likely will have a C/S. But not before trying to induce labor. They gave me Buscopan via IV and for the next couple of hours, mild to moderate contractions came in at 12-15 minute intervals. Still not enough to get the baby out soon. I also started to feel my head ache with every contraction so they monitored my BP, which was higher than normal. That was the last indicator, I guess. My OB recommended we do the C/S so the baby won't get to a point where she becomes stressed.

I was given an epidural so I was awake the entire time I was in the delivery room. They cut me open and it took a while for the baby to be extracted because she was so reluctant to come out! It took 3 people plus the OB to corner and push/pull her out! LOL As a result, the OB had to cut me a little wider (imagine a big smile across the lower belly) and cut both sides of my obliques to make room for the hesitant baby. And to think she's only 5lbs 10oz. Had I given birth normally, I wouldn't have had a hard time pushing her out! But, as they say, there's a reason for everything. Good thing, too, that we opted for C/S because although the baby's Apgar scores are good and everything seemed ok by the 6th hour, there was still concern for her jaundice and sepsis.

She was immediately started on broad spectrum antibiotics and phototherapy. I was discharged yesterday but baby Luna had to be left behind to continue her treatment. Results of her blood culture won't come in until Monday, so we're hoping she'd be cleared to go home shortly after then.

We went back to see her this morning, tried to breastfeed her for the 4th time. She successfully breastfed yesterday, but I don't think she got a lot of colostrum out of it. I did pump last night and we brought that with us for her to take today. We're going back this afternoon to try breastfeeding again plus we have about an ounce of expressed colostrum to feed her. All in all, it's been a roller coaster ride. But we definitely can't wait to bring her home and smother her with kisses.

Some of our friends and family have been teasing us that after all the birth classes we had with Chiqui, both private and with the group, we ended up not using the Lamaze techniques during labor and delivery. But we tell them that even though we ended up having a c-section, the classes really helped us a lot, especially post delivery.

We used the same breathing and pain management techniques so I was taken off the IV after only 12 hrs post op. Started sitting, rolling over, walking, going to the bathroom, mentally and emotionally overcoming the pain, in less than 24 hrs post op. Angelo still proved to be a great coach after all. Our birth story, which turned out to be completely different from what we had planned, still is our best and most memorable story yet.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Special Delivery

My baby is finally here. Yay, me! Ok, snaps for hubby, too, for doing his part. Recovery is going to be long for me, but well worth it. Our baby needs some special attention, but she is being cared for by the best doctors and nurses, so we know she's in good hands now.

Just the other day, while we were driving, I turned to my husband and told him I still couldn't believe we were going to be parents. It only felt like yesterday when I was the baby in the house. And now I get to have one of my own. So surreal, isn't it.

Now that Luna is born, I feel like I have so much to give her, so much to teach her. I am looking forward to every lull and milestone with this baby. I thank God for giving her to us. She is the best gift yet.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Tick Tock Goes The Clock - Waiting For D Day

2 cm dilated, 30% effaced, station -3. For those of you who know what these words mean, you know I am nowhere near giving birth. At least not today. Maybe not even in the next couple of days. Or, worse, weeks. Sigh. Our baby is definitely taking her sweet time.

It would be a shame if it comes to a point where the doc will need to induce me. Hubby and I are really hoping things would progress normally, naturally. But, of course, the safety and health of the baby and myself are the utmost priority. We've accepted that. So, we leave it all up to Him now. And the baby.

So, baby, please listen to Nanay and Tatay. Come out already!!!

Photo Source:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Due Date Schmu Date

Today is my due date and the baby is in no hurry to come out. Hubby and I walked for about an hour around UP (University of the Philippines) this afternoon and now I'm about to have a wonderfully intense foot reflexology massage for 2 solid, glorious hours. If that doesn't bring on the contractions, I don't know what will.

The night is definitely young. The baby seems to be a little more active than usual so I'm hoping she just needs a little nudge and she's good.

Friday, October 5, 2012

House Call

Today we had a very special house guest - no other than Ms. Chiqui Brosas-Hahn herself. Last weekend, we attended her 21st Anniversary shindig and one of the prizes that was raffled off was a 1-on-1 birth and breastfeeding class with her right in your own home. Hubby and I were really gunning for the other raffle prize, which was a free NEWBORNstory photography package from Chiqui's daughter Regina, but we were just as thrilled to bring home the grand prize. And into our home she came. :)

We had to do it in the new house because, well, needless to say, the old house was a complete mess. So I went like really early this morning to tidy up a little, prepare a spread of light snacks and beverages, and make the place as welcoming as it possibly could.

Chiqui arrived and we didn't waste one minute. We reviewed all the topics we learned from our birth classes with her in August and covered some brand new ones, including a more in-depth tutorial on breastfeeding.

After all the birthing and breastfeeding talks, we had another topic we were really excited to talk about - insurance and investments. Aside from teaching birth classes and providing birth coaching services, Chiqui is also very passionate about her other job, which is working at Manulife. When her husband passed away some years ago, she really saw the value of insurance. That it wasn't for the dead but for the living. In her case, she had 5 children when she was widowed so she knows first hand what it felt like to provide for and protect her young ones. With that, we sat down and she tried to customize existing insurance plans to meet our own personal needs. It was very enlightening to say the least.

All in all, we were so happy we got the opportunity to go over everything again. And in a private class, no less. Especially now that labor is imminent, we feel like we're even more prepared for the birth. :)

Exercise: Breathing through early labor contractions.
Photo Source:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Here It Goes Again

I'm not talking about the Ok Go song, although I feel some of the lines from the song are quite applicable to last night's (until the wee hours this morning) events. So, what exactly happened? Well, I call them familiar bouts of indigestion and maddening Braxton Hicks contractions, similar to what I had on Sunday, except worse. Much worse. And it lasted a whole lot longer. Oh, it was baaaaad.

I was this close to asking hubby to come home from work at 2 in the morning, but I fought the urge. I knew it wasn't true labor. I was just in a whole lot of NEEDLESS pain. No big deal. lol

I was texting with my OBGyn, too, and she was very supportive all through out, asking me how I was doing from time to time, requesting I tell her as soon as I couldn't bear the discomfort or pain any more. I'm kinda happy (and proud of myself) I kept on trucking and stood my ground. Finally, by 5 in the morning, after throwing up all my insides and enduring back and belly pains simultaneously, I fell asleep and stayed asleep for a solid hour - the longest of the night. I felt much better by daybreak. Thank the good Lord.

And now, we dance. :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Weekend Mama-madness

So, this past weekend was quite eventful. On Saturday morning, rain and traffic and all, we went to our birth class instructor's 21st anniversary celebration slash insurance pitch at Manulife (very interesting stuff, I must say. So interesting that hubby and I are convinced I can have a go at marketing insurance myself after the baby is born. Very promising indeed). Won some nice prizes, like an umbrella, a premium Mustela gift pack, and the grand prize of the day - a one-on-one coaching and breastfeeding class with no other than Chiqui Brosas-Hahn our home! We were thrilled, of course. Especially me. I NEVER win prizes and raffles and what not.

That night, I met up with my good friend Cynthia, had some delicious wings and bleu cheese while watching the Azkals championship match against Chinese Taipei at Buffalo's (we won. Yay!), moved to Borough for a night cap of milk, cookies & cake, and went home stuffed and happy. Then, Sunday came.

Woke up really early because I was feeling extremely uncomfortable and my belly was just as hard, anything and everything hard. Thought it was just one of those things, but by 7am, it really didn't let up much. Called my doctor, explained I couldn't tell if they were contractions, and if they were, I couldn't tell when they started, ended, or how long they lasted because it was pretty bad all throughout. She sensed my discomfort from the sound of my voice so she asked me to go to the hospital and have myself checked just to make sure I wasn't in labor. After taking a quick shower and getting a few things ready, hubby and I were out the door and off to the hospital.

We got there, I had an IE, was strapped to the fetal monitor to check on the baby, and had a urinalysis to check if my UTI has cleared. Oddly enough, while I was in the labor room, I didn't feel an ounce of discomfort or pain. So, after 3 or so hours of monitoring (and sleeping on my part), everything seemed fine, baby was doing great, I wasn't having any contractions, my blood pressure was normal, IE showed I was 1cm dilated but not effaced, and my UTI has cleared. So, I was good to go home. Except we didn't because hubby and the FIL (father in law) made plans to pick up this vintage car they were buying plus do repairs on some fixtures in the new house. But not after having lunch first. We had some really good, authentic Thai food at this place called Krung Thai. After downing a couple of servings of Tom Yum, Pad Thai, and spring rolls, I knew I was going to pay for it.

On the way to picking up the vintage car, I told hubby to drop me off at the new house because I couldn't take sitting in the moving car for another minute. It seemed to make my back and belly ache even more. So, he hesitantly dropped me off and promised to be back as soon as they can (the place they were going to was a good 2-hr drive ONE WAY, thanks to the traffic). I chose to suffer in pain alone, in bed, without having to endure that kind of torture. Well, even after lying in bed and trying to relax, I suffered anyway.

The pain was really bad that time and it lasted from 3pm until around 4:30. I was having cold sweats, had urges to poop but couldn't, and I threw up not once but twice. I really thought, ok, I am in labor now for sure. But as soon as I threw up the second time, I felt a little better. To think I was this close to calling the guard at the gate to get me cab to the hospital. The ice cold water, menthol candy, and baby Zen music I played from my iPad really helped calm things down. I ended up snoozing until hubby and the folks-in-law arrived. Phew. And all that had nothing to do with real labor. The real thing has got to feel much worse, I imagine. Oh, dear Lord, help me.

Ended the night with some late Pho dinner at Eastwood. Rewarded myself with a steaming hot bowl of beef Pho and a glass of dalandan shake. Delicious. Best part of it all - I managed to keep it all down. And when we got home last night, both hubby and I slept like babies, thanks to the nonstop Zen music playing. Luna seemed to be lulled by it, too, which is very, very good for Mommy. lol

Yesterday, we met with the photographer who'll be covering Luna's first day/s at the hospital. Her name's Regina Hahn-Siy and she's the daughter of our birth class instructor Chiqui. Such a lovely, positive person. We're all super excited for the shoot.

Then, we were off to our weekly check-up with my OBGyn. After doing an IE, was told the baby was still a bit high up, probably at station -3, and I was 1-2cm dilated. Was given some evening primrose supplements to help soften my cervix and, hopefully, start labor in the next few days. Not before the free refresher's course set for Friday, I hope! But soon after that. 'Cuz, honestly, I can't wait to get Luna out of me and in my arms. :)