Where the raindrops as they're falling tell a story...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Where'd my blog go?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Xian's birth

I was on my 38th week of gestation and couldn't imagine waking up the next day still pregnant. I gained 40 lbs in this pregnancy, way overweight. Good thing I'm healthy and the baby's healthy, complications should be rare.

I was already getting more and more impatient. On my 35th week, I noticed reduced fetal movement. I drove myself up to the hospital emergency room for a non-stress test. This, upon the prodding of my husband who was out of town at that moment. Of course, after my telling him of my concern and worry. Getting inside the labor room, the usual "Di pa diay ka due?!" surprise looks from the people around no longer surprised me. I was a whale, it was understandable.

36 weeks and nothing happened. 37 weeks, I started planning to attend my daughter's school's family day which is to happen the week after. I bought 2 kgs of chicken wing, marinated a day before and instructed the yaya to cook them crisp early the next day.

November 26 was my brother-in-law's birthday and Christening of his firstborn. I was ninang, in all my bloated glory. When my husband reviewed the pictures, he told me "kaanakon na kaayo ka'g nawong!" Must be the flared up nostrils. That night on our way home, I drove the car from Ayala to our house because the husband has to ride his bike home from his office. Yes, I still fit in the driver's seat but barely.
I didn't get much sleep during the night. Not the usual uneasiness brought about by the uncanny physique of a pregnant woman. It was different. I kept on waking up through the night for bathroom trips I lost count. I woke up at 5:00 am that Sunday. The Sunday that we are to attend my daughter's school's family day. I felt the contractions but dared not wake up my husband and daughter. I wanted them to get all the sleep they can since family day's gonna be tiring. I started timing my contractions using a trial iPod app. The intervals are already consistent and the intensity varied from moderate to very painful.

At 6:30 am, I woke up my husband and told him about the contractions. I even considered going to the family day thinking the baby won't be out that soon anyway, judging from my first experience. When my face started to contort during contractions, my husband grew uneasy and unsure about my suggestion. We ended up sending our daughter to the event only to perform their field demo accompanied by her aunt and nanny. They went back home right after.

It was 9:00 am when we finally went to the hospital to get admitted. I calmly walked to the IE room, that being not my first. I was surprised when the resident said I'm 6.8 dilated. I was amazed at how fast it progressed. My doctor, at this time, has been notified.

You might be surprised on how composed and calm I was when I got in. It was because I did all my research and had a birth plan in place. The birth plan that my doctor and the pedia fully supported. I wanted a natural, painkiller-free delivery and requested to room in with the baby right after. I wanted to establish breastfeeding right away and I felt that being groggy from all the painkillers would not help with my goal. I also knew that I have a big baby, and knew that I can still deliver him vaginally. In the slim chance that I can't I have outlined that as well in my birth plan. Everything is progressing as planned.
6 CM is the start of active labor. The pain is becoming more and more intense and came in closer intervals. Still I hang on. Natural all the way! At 8 CM, my doctor arrived. I was on my side the whole time since I discovered I can manage the pain better with that position. I brought a handheld massager to help ease the pain when contractions come. My doctor was a total darling. She massaged me everytime the contractions came and talked me through it. Deep breathing became more and more difficult. I kept on telling the baby to work with me, that we're a team.

My water burst when I was fully dilated, it was 11:00 am. All I wanted to do by then was bear down as I felt the baby bore down inside me. I helped myself into the wheelchair that's to transport me to the delivery room. When I got there, I notice there's a staircase by the delivery table. I did not notice that the first time! And because all I wanted to do was bear down and deliver, I climbed up to the surprise of the medical staff. Hoisted myself up and got ready.

All the fuss and noise inside the delivery room faded and I focused on the voice of my doctor. When my doctor said push, I gathered all of what's left and pushed. Believe it, I got Xian out in one push, all 8 lbs 11 ounces of him! The shape of his head is a testament to that.

As soon as the baby was out, he was placed in my breast and was guided to latch on. He didn't. I wasn't worried, all I can think of is how red and wrinkly my baby was. And even if he resembled so much like E.T., he was the most beautiful thing in the world. The feeling of finally being able to meet and hold him was exhilirating. Overwhelmed by so much joy, I ignored the latching issue. Maybe he wasn't really that hungry. I did ate a lot for the whole duration of that pregnancy.

After a while, the nurses gave up on working out the latch and cleaned him up, took his Apgar score. He got a whooping 9.10, how about that? He wailed like he owned the whole unit. It was a joy to hear! He was placed in the nursery while I was stitched up but that was all the nursery time he had. At the recovery room, he was brought to me. He latched on without so much of a fuss. He slept in my arms for the first time and I was wide awake enjoying and relishing every single moment.

We went to our room together. He was a bit jaundiced but all in all, I counldn't wish for a more perfect birth and I was wide awake to experience it all.

This Xian is a trooper, that I can be sure of.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Before 2011 started, I mentally listed down the things I want accomplished before the year ends. To wit:

1. Get pregnant, have a baby, hopefully a boy this time. Oh yes, this was planned.
2. Learn how to drive because if and when I get pregnant, I don't want to go through the unmentionable experience of riding a smelly cab when my hormones are all spiked and morning sickness was a bitch. I want to drive myself when the hubby is out of town or is unavailable. Also, so I can drive and fetch Xofi from school.
3. Major house remodel.

There are hordes of other things I want done and accomplished, but those above are the big ones. The smaller ones I can basically live without. So have I done those biggies? Hell yeah, except for the house remodel thing. Sadly, it was not because we weren't ready, but it was because we can't find a contractor decent enough who can deliver through. And by the time we thought we found one, No. 1 came and we have to have the house free from construction hassle. I had Xian last November 27, 11 in the morning. Coincidentally, it was also Xofi's school's family day. One we've been preparing and have every intention to go. We had to let Xofi go accompanied by her nanny and her Auntie Han because I cannot bear the thought of her missing another dance event (she already missed the UN celebration because we had to go home to Ormoc). The short but fulfilling labor and delivery of Xian Ellis is a different story altogether.

Driving is a bittersweet experience. I love the freedom it brings. I can now go to late night parties with girlfriends without having the husband wait up to fetch me. But the undisciplined drivers that our roads seem to harbor is beyond imagination. I would like to put it in perspective. I think these people are decent and respectable. I don't think they'd cut queues when they're falling in line personally. I think, however, that the politeness evaporates the moment their hands come in contact with a steering wheel. They think they own the road and they shouldn't be made to wait. That is the time that I would like to murder these self-entitled ones. 

All in all, it was a very fulfilling and blessed year. Despite the snags along the way, I can never complain. I have the most loving and supportive husband I wi ll never trade for Brad Pitt (for Johnny Depp, maybe, but only for a night). Xofia is a darling, acting like an Ate and never did violently exhibit her jealousy towards the baby.

Xian lets me sleep through the night as long as he can grab the boob anytime he wishes to (this does mean that I sleep with a boob hanging out, thank you very much!).

Needless to say, I am happy and contented and is exactly where I should be. Thank you, 2011. Now, it's time to take 2012 by the horn and see what surprises this new year brings. Happy new year, everyone! Cheers!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Whoever said parenting is easy?

Somewhere along the line, I may have lost the connection.

From a very short meeting with her teacher, I learned that Xofi had hit two of her classmates in two different occasions. When teacher called for her attention, she'd stick her tongue out and cross her arms in defiance. She also learned to purse her lips and roll her eyes for additional emotional effect.

That very day, the moment I came home, Xofi got a timeout and was grounded from watching TV for one week. She took it real well and understood the situation. She knows the reason behind the punishment. It took an impression on her that I've never seen her do those stuff again. Whenever she'd ask for just a little TV time and whenever I am about to give in, I remind myself why I'm doing it and I call on the husband for support.

I also had a little conversation with the nanny. First, the nanny herself provokes Xofi. She'd tease her and knowing how strong Xofi's personality is, Xofi would always fight back. I told the nanny to please stop the teasing as that will only bring out the tiger in her. Being the parents, it would be doubly hard for us to teach our daughter the right manners if she's always interfering with what she thought is only out of fun. Please let us understand that to a toddler, our idea of "fun" is not at all fun to her. The nanny still resort to teasing sometimes. I don't know if she's dumb or stupid or callous, or all of the above, but I see to it that I call on her whenever she does that. I also understand that the nanny doesn't have the same upbringing as I do, so I have to work on my patience on that department.

Second, we have a bully of a neighbor. The kid is of the same age as Xofi but Xofi's physically bigger. The kid hits people for no reason at all and cusses like a sailor. I learned that the kid hits Xofi just for fun, and Xofi hits back because it's the right thing to do. 'Atta girl, but I told my her to stay away from kids like him. I told her, bad advice or not, to not play with bullies like him. True enough, when he sees the kid in the neighborhood, she'd hide and go back to the house. One time, it was too late for her to go hide, she pushed his bike away from her and told him not to come near him.

If it's one thing you can do better growing up, it's choosing your friends wisely. I know I'm not always there to tell Xofi who to keep and forget. I sure don't wanna do that. I just want her to learn to trust her judgment and know what's right from wrong.

I don't want to lose the connection again and forget that my daughter is going through a time of rapid brain growth and leaps in emotional and cognitive skills.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Much ado about a name

And rightly so. The name that we'd give our son will stay with him for the rest of his life. It's just right that we spend most of our time thinking about it. With Xofia, I already knew the moment I learned that we're having a girl. Xofia Enia are modern and shortened versions of my grandmothers' names. With this second baby, it wasn't as easy. Even if I passed the naming responsibility/burden on to my husband, I couldn't help but stick my nose into the process.

The second name, we already knew. We wanted to give him a name that's taken from "Alice" -- my mother-in-law's name. So it was decided long time ago that his second name is going to be Ellis, a variation of "Elijah". Now comes the crucial part. The first name. We wanted it to start with X, the same as Xofia's.

Because it was my husband's turn to name him this time, he was deep in research after much prodding on my part. Triumphantly, he announced "Xian"! I liked it! Much like Christian with a twist, and we'd pronounce it "See-yan". Also, we liked that Xi'an is one of the oldest cities in China with rich history (read: terracotta warriors).

Little did we know that there's an actor named Xian Lim. We didn't know at that time of excitement because, really, we don't watch TV anymore. As anybody in this generation is wont to do, I googled the name "Xian" and google came back with pages and pages of "Xian Lim Scandal". That sent out warning signals. Really? Somebody has a name like that, and he has a scandal?!

Call me cheap and fickle, but that really put me off. I started looking for alternative names we may like. And trust me when I say, there's not much options out there when it comes to names starting with an "X". And Ate Xofi would not let us change the name anymore. She won't stop insisting on calling the baby Baby Xian. I took it in light strides.

Until last week, I wasn't able to slightly convince Xofi to change the name. I think I have found a name I like that the older sister agrees to. I may just have to keep on broaching the idea so she'd get used to it until the baby's out. For now, I plan to just keep the first name a secret. Not for long though, this baby's out in about a month. Excited much! :D


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