Posts tagged single mom
ANC MUKHA: ANGHEL

Last January, ANC TV Show, Mukha shared a part of my life story. Honestly, I just watched it yesterday. Why? hmmm, because I was still overwhelmed by the messages that I received. At some point, another tv show wants to air a more lengthy and detailed story but I decline.

It was never easy being a single mom may it be a past or present. Yes even if it is in the past, people can still judge you and say not so nice words towards your experience. Despite of it all, I will never be ashamed of being a solo parent. I know my story will be an inspiration to others. I know many will find comfort knowing that there will always be hope.

So, for those who missed the episode, I posted a copy below. Feel free to share it if you feel that it will bless someone.

Breastfeeding | #TheStruggleIsREAL
 Just to be clear, No! I am no expert when it comes to breastfeeding. Just like the rest, I had to read a lot of articles and forums while I was pregnant. I am just lucky to have friends who had successful breastfeeding journeys. They are my great support system. 

Back in 2009, Addy was considered premature in size because in Canada they follow of course the average size for Canadian babies. Addy had to mixed feed because he was jaundice and I gave birth winter time so no luck to sun bathe him. 

So with Arriana, I want to breastfeed her full time while I can. As early as 3 months, I was preparing for it. I want to ensure that my birth plan will be followed accordingly even post partum. I am glad that Makati Medical Center is a breastfeeding advocate hospital. They follow the DOH protocol so this means, NO BOTTLES, NO BREAST PUMPS allowed.



After giving birth, I am lucky according to our pedia because Arriana latches perfectly right away. A lactation consultant also went to visit us to teach me proper latching positions. I stayed overnight in the hospital and the next day, I am ready to go home but not Arriana. Arriana had to stay for a day or two depending on how she will respond with photosynthesis. 

Luckily, we just stay another day and on Arriana's 3rd day, we were able to go home. So my breastfeeding journey begins! I am so excited to go home because I will be able to spend time with Kuya Addy also. I am excited to pump, to build my stash and so on. I thought it is easy peasy as I see my friends doing it perfectly and yes, glamorously.

BUT I WAS WRONG!

It was challenging. It was painful! I was in constant tears at night due to pain. I can feel the pain traveling from my shoulders to my spine down to my waist and hips. Add that, I was exhausted from the constant feeding. My scoliosis is always acting up that leaves me with back pain. 

I was up all night feeding Arriana. I was hungry and thirsty all the time. It came to a point wherein I was saying it aloud, Inumin ko kaya itong alcohol? (What if I drink this alcohol?) 


Arriana will sleep for two hours but then I really can't sleep. I know, sabi nila pag tulog ang baby, sabayan mo.s(Sleep while the baby is sleeping) but that's also my time to pee, to take a bath, to attend to Addy, to eat, to wash Arriana's diaper cloth and so on.


Arriana keeps on crying even if I have enough supply of milk. Yes, so it makes me wonder what is wrong because definitely, it's not the supply. I only took supplements if I am on stress because it interferes with my milk supply but overall I have overflowing milk to a point that I'll wake up with ants crawling on me. (This part is not funny. Another reason for me not to sleep while she sleeps)

I checked on if she's latching properly. Yes, she does. I changed position countless of times. Check if she needs to be changed or probably she feels too hot or too cold. She may be colicky, gassy or she just wants to held. After all, she was inside my tummy for 9 months. Imagine how small her space was before compare to an entire bed or crib. In short, my Arriana was just adjusting.

Of course, there are times that she just wants to sleep. I had to follow the 2-3 hours feeding rules so I had to time her naps and wakes her up. There are times that she won't wake up that I had to undress her just to nurse her. There are times that I go to the washroom to pee once a day! yes, ONCE A DAY!


One time, while my partner was at work. I asked Kuya Addy to look after Arriana while she's sleeping. Yes, bath time for mommy. 


Five minutes later....

Kuya: Mommy, gising na si baby, umiiyak! (Mommy, baby is awake and crying!)
Me: Wait, I'm not yet done
Kuya: Mas importante pa ba pag ligo kesa kay baby? ( is taking a bath more important than baby?)

And a lot more stories which I can share on the coming days. But guess what? I am still exclusively breastfeeding Arriana. After a while it gets better. For me, I think after a month, I already get her rhythm when it comes to feeding. 


I am very proud and grateful to be able to breastfeed Arriana until now. I wish and pray that I can continue so until she wants to.

So if you are in the current situation, hang in there mommy! That shall pass also! 

For those who are not breastfeeding, I know you have your own reasons. Do not worry. It doesn't mean you're a bad mom. It does not make you any less of a mom. You are so blessed to be able to have a child as a blessing. As long as your baby is FED that is all that matters!


What is your breastfeeding experience or struggles?

Happy Breastfeeding month! 





Parenting | Arriana Janelle




So we welcome my second child named Arriana Janelle. For those who know my back story, I always wanted the name Arriana. If Addy was a girl her name will be Arriana Laurene. But as we all know, Addy is a boy. See what happened to Kuya Addy's name here





Fast forward 2015, when I finally knew the gender of my second baby, I am 100% sure that her name will be Arriana. Whenever someone asks if I already have a name, I would say," Yes,  Arriana." Everyone will always say, Arriana Grande? I will just smile politely and say "No, it's after my mom who's name is Arrian"

Arriana means Holy 

Since we already have Laurene in the family we had to search for the perfect second name that will compliment the name Arriana. 

Since my first born's initials is A E, I was thinking of having the same for Arriana so I thought of Arriana Elisse as her name. 

Elisse means Promised of God. 

However, my partner wants the second name to start with letter J since his name starts with J. With respect to my partner, I said yes to a second name that starts with letter J. Believe me, it was hard as I don't want the ordinary Jen, Jenny, Jane, Janet names. (No offense to people who has these names)

After months of searching, we finally have a second name!

Janelle means God is gracious. 

With everything that I've been through while pregnant; God is indeed gracious to me and to Arriana. It was the perfect second name. Thanks to a batchmate from high school who suggested the name when I was crowd sourcing in facebook.

I pray that Arriana will always live by her name. 
I want her to be reminded that God is gracious no matter what the circumstances are.
I want her to try her best to be holy or to be like Jesus to everyone.


Til next time!

My Birth Story | Baby Number 2



My last preggy photo

March 5, 2016 me and my partner decided to watch a movie in SM Aura. After the movie, we drop by at his friend's house for his birthday Salubong that is already March 6. Everyone was telling me that I might give birth that day. I always answer, "No! I always talk to Arriana and now I tell her she can come out March 8 onwards to give me time to finish some errands"



March 6, 12:00 noon, I woke up with the need to pee as usual but I already saw blood stains. I immediately sent a text message to my OB Dr Joanne saying there's blood. She asked if there's contractions. I answered no. She replied, "If in doubt go to the  hospital na. Then I sent her a photo ( Yes, sorry it may sound gross) but I just want to make sure because with my eldest, I never experienced the blood part just pelvic pain like menstrual cramps. With, I panicked because there's blood yet NO pain at all! My OB asked me to go to the hospital because there's a lot of blood. 

12:49pm, I even managed to sent my OB a message that I am at the hospital already. 

I am very vocal that I am more scared now than my first one. Weird, I know. 

Selfie at 2:10pm
 I was updating everyone by taking a selfie. The nurses keep on asking me my pain scale because contractions are every 3minutes but I am 3cm dilated only. I always answer, no pain.

I even managed to calm down the other girl beside my bed. She is having twins but not yet due yet. 

Selfie at 2:34pm

At 2:42pm they asked me to read and sign procedures etc. Of course, I took a photo of the paper too! 





What I dont like about this is how they internal examine me several times. Yes, I am scared whenever they IE me. And yes, it hurts more than the contractions. 

All these times, JB was outside settling our deposit. 

At 4pm, I was already transferred to the labor room. This was one of my concerns before because with Addy, I never transferred rooms. Everything was done in one room. Here I had to be transferred several times! (Delivery room, Labor Room, Operating room, recovery room and our room) 5 transfers! 

So JB arrived, I think around  4:30pm. There's a television so I can relax. But the contractions are getting stronger. Whenever there's a big one, I hold on to JB super tight. He will ask me a lot of questions: how are you, are you ok, what can I do. I was 6cm dilated at this time. 

Around 5pm, I asked for epidural already because
1. I feel tired cause since 1pm contractions are every 2-4mins on an average. So thats 5 hours already but I felt the pain around 4pm so okay, an hour of 2-3mins pain. 
2. I know I can tolerate the pain. I can manage. But I dont want JB stressing out
3. I thought its still a long way. I even thought I will give birth the next day or around 11pm since I am still on 6cm. With addy, contractions started 6am but I gave birth 10pm. No epidural since I labor at home and went to the hospital when contractions were 3minutes apart and I was fully dilated already at that time. Too late for epidural. 

They asked JB to go out for the epidural procedure. They will insert it through my spine. I even asked if its okay since I have a scoliosis and the doctor said yes. IT WAS PAINFUL!! I was telling them " Mas masakit pa ito than my contractions. Kaya ko contractions" ( this is more painful than my contractions. I can take the pain of my contractions) I was almost crying. 
Finally, when it was over, JB went inside my room again. I felt relax. Okay, so this is how it feels. NUMB. After 30mins, I felt cold. Super ice cold! Epidural gave me chills. They had to put something like a body warmer because I was shivering from head to toe. Then I felt asleep. I was so tired. JB was constantly waking me up! Asking me if I am okay because suddenly I was so sleepy. I keep on answering, " yes, I am ok. Let me sleep because it might be a long day still"

Around 645pm, my OB checked on me. I said NO IE pls! But I think she did! It just that I have epidural already so I did not feel it anymore. Waist down is literally numb! She poked my water bag and she said she will come back after an hour an I am ready to go by then.

7:45pm my OB went back to my room. She checked and she said okay you are fully dilated. She brief me on what will happen. Yes, I have to be transferred again, this time to the operating room. 

Probably around 8pm, I was already in the operating room. Full cast! My OB introduced everyone. Pedia of Arriana was there. My OB, of course. My Anesthesiologist who gave me my epidural was there. Another doctor to assist me with my practice push. Several nurses and of course, JB. 

My OB reminded JB to get ready with the camera for photos. 




Practice Push! 

8:11 Arriana Janelle is out! 

Yes, 1 push, 10 seconds. Whew! 

JB: is it done?
OB: Yes! She is so fast! Very good mommy Ley. 


We performed Unang Yakap (First hug) as they cut her umbilical cord. 
Our Pedia also assisted and initiated Arriana's first latch. Arriana had a good latch! I am a happy mommy! 

We are off to our next transfer! The recovery room. Now JB had to go buy dinner. I am so hungry too! But  I am so excited to announce Arriana's arrival. I am excited to see my mom and Addy! Yehey! Yes, Addy was allowed inside the recovery room wearing his own scrub suit too. (No photo! Cause Kuya doesnt want to) 







Kuya Addy loves his little sister so much! I am happy and sad at the same time. I wish my dad is here with me. But I know he is watching over us!



ADDY'S SIXTH BIRTHDAY LETTER


When I became a mom six years ago today I had no idea. No idea at all what it meant to love someone so much more than you ever thought possible. You made me feefl like the luckiest person on earth. To have such a beautiful and sweet baby boy to love and to watch grow.

And grow you have.

I can’t believe how fast you’ve become such a smart, funny, sweet and special young man.

Thank you for taking care of Mommy whenever I am sick. Thank you for hugging Mommy whenever I get upset. Thank you for loving Mommy. Thank you for understanding whenever mommy says, "next time anak, we have to save money"


Sometimes you may drive me nuts with your silliness.



I can’t help but wish time moved slower. Now, you really don't like it whenever we hug or kiss you. I wish I could bottle your smile and your innocence and have your small hands wrapped in my arms forever. I’m not ready for this.

Six is cool, don’t get me wrong, but it means that when Summer is over you’ll be in First Grade and I won’t have you like I do now. In a blink, we will be there. How can I pause time and fill my well with all these great memories?

you can be remarkably sensitive, and your keen memory for detail serves you well here. You have demonstrated an awareness of what’s going on in a room, with other people, that’s often taken me aback. You have wept for missing friends, places, and stages of your life, your tangible heartbreak seeming to emanate from a much older and more mature person. I have learned the sounds of a tender beating heart when you were willing to give up presents in order to help boys and girls in need. It takes a while to earn your trust, but once that is done it is tenacious and sturdy.


On this very special day, I pray that God’s favor, love, peace, mercy and grace will follow you every single day of your life. You were created to change the world for good and to put a smile on the faces of all mankind. I pray that you will be a solution provider, a source of joy for all and a chronic lover of God. You shall be the head and never the tail. Nations will come to you for solutions to their problems and you will be the pillar they will lean on. They will identify the grace of God on your life.


I promise to put you on the right path to greatness following only God’s plan for your life. Not my plan...God’s plan.


Thank you for being a source of strength to us. You are like a 20 year old stuck in the body of a 6 year old kid. You are not just a son but a great friend. You always make sure there is a smile on my face and even when I scold you for running around inside the house (because you know its a law. No running in the house!) with tears in your eyes, you still do silly things that make me burst into uncontrollable laughter. I am grateful to God for giving me a son like you. 

At just 6 years old, you have already made me a proud mother. When you brought home your certificate of excellence from school as the top student in class, you were scared when you saw tears in my eyes. Addy, those were tears of joy because you are fulfilling all the promises God has made over your life.


Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Never be afraid to fall. But always remember that in every mistake made, there is a lesson to be learnt. Whenever you fall, there must be something you need to pick up from the floor that will help you as you get up and continue your journey through life. In life, you will make mistakes but always make sure that there is a serious lesson learnt from that mistake so you don’t make the same one again. It’s important that you not only learn from your mistakes, but also from the mistakes that others have made.


Value friendship. Good friendship. Never be selfish in your relationship with people. What you cannot tolerate, don’t do to others. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Learn to say no when you have to say no so you don’t get entangled in commitments that will become a burden to you eventually. Don’t let anybody change the core of who you are. Don’t let circumstances or the world destroy the purity of your heart.

The world is a complicated place to live in. Not because God made it so, but because the humans in it have made it complicated. In all you do, look for the beauty in the world, the honesty and the positive. Living in a complicated and struggling world does not mean you have to struggle and be complicated. Don’t get caught up in their vices. Don’t get involved with the madness around you. Fix your eyes on the positive. Fix your eyes on God. Greatness awaits you Addy. I have seen it. I can feel it. I know it.


When you look back on these words in Twenty years, I need you to know that they are from the heart of a woman who is so proud to be your mother.

Addy, you have touched the lives of everyone around you with your honesty, your purity, your smile and your dance moves. May God never take his eyes off you and may His peace always be with you. Happy Birthday Addy and I love you more than words can ever express.


I am always in your corner, Anak. I’m the loudest cheerleader, the proudest mom, and the one who is always crying over how blessed she knows she is.

Please don’t forget that I’m your favorite girl.


Love,
Mommy Ley
On Father's Day
Being a mother is a tough job, but being a mom and a dad is tougher. I want to take a moment today and say Happy Father’s Day to all the Mothers out there who are Fathers too. You deserve the extra recognition of filling in for two salaries, two parents, and still staying sane (mostly).

This is our 3rd Father’s day of Addy and I am extremely blessed and honored to see my son loved by everyone. The never ending he-is-so-adorable compliments from other people are overwhelming.

Addy, You are the joy of my life. Sometimes I get so very busy that I forget to tell you that. Being a single Mom has its benefits: I get you all to myself. But it also has its down side: I have to work an awful lot of hours to bring home enough money for the two of us to live. Thank you for being patient with me and for understanding.  I thank you for helping shape who I am today. Thank you for teaching me lessons most people do not have to learn in life. Thank you for forcing me to rebuild myself. All of those things are important, great and wonderful, but mostly thank you for being the greatest gift in the entire world. Without you, I will be lost. You are the gift that smiles at me and hugs me every day, the gift that acts crazy and goofy and sings songs at the top of your lungs because you can. I thank you for being my son. I will enjoy watching you become the person I know you can be, and while there will be times it is hard to do it alone, the payoff in the end is worth it, the unfailing love between you and me; a mother and a son.

I want to say a very Happy Father’s Day to all the ‘daddies’ out there. I’m not talking to biological fathers, though some of them are daddies. I’m talking about every man who has held the hand of a child while a needle was getting shoved in their vein at the hospital, or every man who doctored a scraped knee and kissed away tears. I’m talking to every man who has ever read a child a bedtime story and tucked them in at night with a kiss on the forehead and a, “See you in the morning, buddy.”

For me, It doesn’t matter if the child was born of your blood as long as the child resides in your heart– that makes you a daddy.

So if you are a man and if you have children, don’t JUST be a father. Be a daddy. Be a man. A Real Man.


Little girls need someone who will kiss them goodnight.  Little boys need the example of a good man to grow up to be like and admire, someone they can hope to become, live up to.

The world needs fathers for one reason only — to procreate. The world needs daddies though, to make this world a better place, to bring our next generation up differently and better than the one before it, to constantly improve and excel.

But for today, tomorrow and the next after,  I will be stronger.  I will be braver. I will be wiser and tougher. I will be a mom, but most importantly, a dad.
Absent Father Syndrome

I guess it’s safe to say that most, if not all of us grew up with the idea that the father is the head of the family.  No family is complete without the head, just as no living body is anatomically complete without a head above it.  But what if the family has no head? What if, for one reason or another, a father figure is lacking in the family picture?  Can a mother and her kids alone still thrive as a normal family?

The answer, of course, is a resounding “yes!” 


Families nowadays no longer strictly comprise of father, mother, brother, sister and the family dog.  The white picket fence has been replaced with a rundown condo parking slot.  Single parent families are now a dime a dozen, and they prove to produce well-raised kids despite the circumstances.  Good parenting requires skills and supplements that are not exclusive to married couples. The challenge of any parent is to find the time to create and implement a vision-a strategy for molding a confident, hopeful and happy moral character out of the little personality you have been given.So, how do we cope with an absent father situation?

Co-parenting
Like what Ms Michelle Alignay said, solo parents stories are unique. Your story will differ to my story. Some solo parents are co-parenting with their ex partners. However, in my case, this is not applicable. So, what do I do? I have my co-parent list. This includes my parents, Addys ninong and ninangs, relatives (Aunts, Uncles and most especially my vibrant cousins) At this point, I have 12 co-parents. isn't it wonderful? It is a blessing because I have MORE. :)

Beautiful soul
I surround my Addy with beautiful souls, I expose him to loving people. Since I joined LOJ last September, I make sure that I bring him during Sundays. Not jut to attend the mass but also to be able to interact with the kids in the Kid's Ministry. At times, I bring him along during CG :) I thank my CGmates for welcoming Addy wholeheartedly.

Me and my friends saw how Addy changed a lot. He may not be fluent in talking but he knows more words now than before. He may not understand what's happening around him like the worship, talk, praises but I know as Bro Monty mentioned, he will feel it. I surround Addy with caring adults who sees him as special, who sees him as a gift, a blessing, and not otherwise.


Communication
I make it to a point to call my Addy from time to time. A simple, "How are you Addy?' or 'What did you eat for lunch?" In this way, he will feel that I am around him. I remembered him. This is our early start of having an open communication. Since I need to work for both of us, I am not with him 24/7 but I make sure that I talk to him everyday. I call him atleast five times a day. I make sure he knows when to say, Opo, yes, sorry, goodnight, thank you and I love you.

Time
"MOMMYYYYYYY! MWAAAAAHHHH" this welcomes me everytime I go home. How can I be tired? Nomatter how tired I am, I am full of energy as soon as I step inside the house. No matter how crazy my day was, I make time for Addy as soon as I get home. 
Believe it or not, it is a daunting task to be a solo parent. On top of that, Addy has no nanny to take care of him. My parents and I pre-schedule who will look after him. But next year, since Addy will be going to school. I might need to get a nanny already. Anyone interested? :D


Community
Makati feast is another place besides home where Addy can learn to build trust, self-confidence and a sense of hopefulness and excitement about the future. Another enviroment apart from home and school (soon) that will teach him new learnings not just about God but about realities in life.

Be Positive
Even though this is a difficult time for me especially that Christmas season is just around the corner, it can also be a time of growth and positive change. I examine our situation and determine what good can come out of it, be it a new career, new independence, a closer relationship with my parents, or even an opportunity to meet new people. No matter how negative the circumstance was that led me to this place, it is important to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. Just like how Bro Hermie said during worship, God makes miracles in our mistakes. I never really considered Addy as a mistake, but I consider him as my one big MIRACLE. He is my source of strength, happiness, peace and most of all, SANITY.


Maintain a relationship with God
This last, but most important, is the primary key to a happy family life. Together, we pray, talking to God through prayer is one way to build a relationship with God. Reading the bible is another way to build your relationship with God. I changed our bedtime stories to bible bedtime stories. In this way, I am also instilling not just good values but God's words to Addy. At this early time, He will be connected to God, my ultimate friend, lifetime partner and provider.


I  believe that Addy do not need perfect life in order to have a normal life and  to grow up whole. He will learn from mistakes (yes, even me) and can develop strength from bad times. What he needs is a few essentials designed to make him feel secure, connected, loved and accepted. Our life has changed dramatically. The only person who can determine the outcome of our life is me. I trust my good Lord that he will guide me and Addy along the way. I will come out ahead in life.Addy will grow up as a fine young man who love and respect his creator, neighbor and self. Addy will grow up as a man twice as much as his father. I will be forever his hero.

To Addy: You are my world Addy. I will never get tired of loving you Addy. You keep mommy alive. You are the one who gives me thousands of reasons to wake up each morning and go to work.  I love you no matter what you do or where you may end up going in life. I am not ashamed of you. I am not ashamed of what we are right now. I am proud to have you because I have one beautiful son. I have a loving son. I know one day you will understand, and I hope when that day comes, you will understand.

Relationships Die Without Commitment
Last night’s topic at the feast is about "commitment"  so expect that I will bombard you with notes about commitment the entire week

According to Webster, “Commitment is a pledge, a promise or an obligation.”

The first point from brother Jan Silan’s talk last night is, “Relationships die without commitment” I stopped for a moment when I heard that then I just said to myself, “True, I am glad I attended the feast tonight. Something is coming my way”

I've been pondering about the complex relationship between a single mom and the father of their child. It's sardonic because we separate or divorce due to irreconcilable differences, but then we're still forced to have a relationship with them for the rest of our life. We need to reinvent the current relationship and mold it into a peaceful and harmonious union, something that wasn't so easy to do after all the pain that we've been through.

In my personal experience, breaking up and letting go are two things that’s very hard to do. It is even harder when there is a child involved. I've had my fair share of heartaches, but this heartbreak was one of those excruciating breaks. The kind that brings you to your knees, gives you tummy twitch, fractures your heart, and makes it hard for you to breathe. 

So what if the father is not committed with co-parenting? What if we thought we were able to reinvent the current relationship, but found out that it is a relationship without commitment? That the other party is not committed at all, meaning the relationship is not there after all; it is indeed dead. This means that I have to be committed to my son twice as I should be. I need to be committed to him as a mother and as a father, more so, as a friend. Being a single mom is not an excuse not to be committed, for me it is another reason to be. I must admit, there were times when I sincerely wish that I could reconcile with the Father of my kid, but there is a reason we aren't together.  If I force it, one way or another we might hurt each other, more so, we might hurt our child; something I couldn’t bare.  That’s why I have to trust in God and his will for me. I don't play the blame game because it takes two to tango, two to have a relationship and two to break it. The pain subsided but there are days when it is fresh and raw and reality sets in. On those days I have to remember that my partner is God. I know God is committed to me. Would I like an earthly partner?  Of course, but I know God has to finish his work on me first.  I know in God’s time he will give me the perfect match partner that will be committed to us and to God.

I'm single for a reason. God is utilizing me for his purpose right now. He knows where my focus needs to be and he will not allow anything to interfere. This is the season in my life that I need to focus on my work for God and for my son. This is the time where I need to be committed to my son. This is also my time to be committed to grow spiritually. I think the Lord is preparing me for my life work and maybe even for my partner that he will give on his time and according to his plan. See, God loves to get us prepared. Our trials and experiences are all part of his master plan for our lives. He enables us to be broken so we can be made whole. 

I'm learning to be contented in my state of affairs and to embrace the season I'm experiencing. I slowly understand what it means to be still and listen to God. I understand how futile it is to worry and to have regrets and rehash the past because God is in control of everything. I've learned that he will take care of me and addy when I submit willingly and depend on him for my every need. He has taught me to be confident in my faith and have courage through him. I am learning the art of letting go and releasing people, places, and things that can no longer serve me or my purpose. I'm accepting my vulnerabilities, I'm allowing the tears to flow and I'm placing myself completely in his hands. The most important realization is I am committed not only in giving my son the things that he needs and deserves but also I am committed to my creator who loves me and my son unconditionally. 


Thank you Makati Feast
Mommy's First Birthday Letter for Addy
Writing my thoughts down usually comes easy to me, but for once, I find myself speechless. I have started this letter repeatedly as I am not sure what exactly to say. I guess I shall start with the words that I tell you each night before you go to bed: I love you my dear Addy. 

A year ago, you entered the world, stole our hearts and forever changed our lives. I remember that winter morning a year ago very vividly, when you came knocking at the door early morning. I guess you were ready to step into this world and move ahead, as you do so powerfully since that day. I remember so clearly meeting you for the first time, which was one year ago today. The doctor pulled you out and held you up, and when I saw you for the first time, you were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! You cried and it made mommy cry because I had waited so long to meet you and hear that sound. I held you in my arms and said; “Hi son!” and you looked right in my eyes and stopped crying.It was the most magical moment of my entire life. In that moment, I knew I was your mother and you were my son and you would change my life forever… I remember holding you in my arms for the first time and experiencing the whole gamut of feelings from anxiety to elation and bliss. My whole reality changed in that instant that I became your mom.

When we brought you home, I did not want to be away from you for even a moment. You were such a beautiful baby. I have to admit that for how many months I did not sleep, even though you did. I would lay awake at night listening to you breath. Feeling your heartbeat and waiting for the time you would wake so that I could see you again and get to know you even better and each day when that time arrive you and I would both wake with a smile on our face. I would look into your eyes each morning with the realization that I seemed to have known you all my life and I can’t explain that feeling to anyone but it is one that has filled me with more hope and love than I have ever known.

I am your biggest fan baby Addy and forever I will be. 

And now a year has passed since that amazing day. In this incredible year, I saw your very first smile, heard your first giggles, and I cheered you on when you began to roll for the first time. I cheered and cried as you struggled to crawl because I was so proud and amazed at how far you’d come. You came into this world, 5 lbs and 8 oz…a tiny little baby, so pink and soft, so innocent and dependent and absolutely perfect in every way. Now, you are a little boy…25 lbs, laughing, talking, charming waving every person who is lucky enough to meet you. You are standing and walking on your own. You are one today, but beginning a journey—A journey that will take you in many different directions and teach you many things. As I sit here and watch you cautiously take your first of many steps in life, I think of the man I hope you’ll become and that I will do anything under the sun to be a good mother to you and guide you in your journey through childhood and into adulthood. I know you will be an honorable man someday, with the integrity, strength, and spirit of a true warrior-- someone who stands up and fights for what he believes in. 

You melt my heart every time you smile, and when you lay your head on my shoulder after a long day…it helps make the world right again. Never in my life have I been so excited to wake up…it’s because I get to wake up next to you, my angel. I look so forward to when you wake up and seeing your precious, smiling face and I am excited for what the day might hold for the two of us. 

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss you, that my heart doesn't ache to hold you, or wonder what you would be like on your first birthday. But I know this: by having you, knowing you and loving you, I am a better person and will be a better mother to you. You changed me and for that, I am grateful. The love you filled my heart each day is something that will never spoil and cannot compare to any other love on this earth. 

This past year, I have watched you develop into a spirited young boy. You love music, especially when I sing. Every night I will sing to you as I dance with you in my arms. It's my special time with you and I hope you see how much joy you bring to me as I sing your lullabies. I am excited to continue to be your guide, your teacher, and your cheerleader as you discover the world around you. Know that I will always be there for you to celebrate your achievements and to help catch you in case you might fall. Also, know that you have taught me as much as I have taught you. I learned how to see the world through a different lens. From the amazement and wonder that I see as you discover something new to the determination and resolve that resonates as you test your limits. I have learned how a simple smile can turn my day around and how discovery is such a multi-faceted experience--for this I am humbled.

You have inspired me by just being you. The relentless effort you put into discovering the world and developing your skills in all its tiny variations have astounded me more than once. It makes me wonder why and when we lose the ambition and energy to be so vigorous in developing ourselves.

You have also awakened another level of being me. You made me think about life in a different perspective. You made me think about life beyond my own and its consequences, this still has me puzzled in many wonderful ways. Know that I’ll be here for you on your path through this thing called life. You can count on me for being there when you need support in all its subtle appearances. A hand to help you when you attempt your first steps, a hand to catch you in case you might fall, attempting another audacious effort at something you don’t master (yet). Keep on filling the pages of your book in your unique way, I’ll be reading along and helping you along the way. 

Sweet Boy, everyone who meets you is touched by your beauty. By your exceptionally deep embrace. By the way you take us in, and pour out your heart, startling us with the endlessness of your hug, how you pat us on our backs so tenderly, and look us in the eye, and make us all, each one of us you meet, feel so incredibly beloved. The wisdom you shine, the solid, rooted physicality you embody; the way your humor accompanies so much of what you do, your laughter tumbles out of you, seemingly limitless. The way you “Maaaaa” deep-throated like a goat when you are delighted, the way you won’t be pushed around or forced to do anything you don’t please. The way at times, we wrestle to put you to sleep like a baby lion, and other times toned to sleep like a baby monk, your startling strength, your bright will, your gentlest fingers stroking us with love. And as we begin to see these glimpses of your ego coming in, these moments of stubborn opinion, these emotional expressions of your inherent “me”, the dreaded shrieks of “mine”, we are humored and we are humbled to behold yet another angel diving headfirst into this difficult and wonderful realm of humanness.


mommy's wishes for you..... 

I wish you would have reverence for life and respect and love for human beings. That is also my first principle in life. I wish you became an independent critical thinker. Don’t follow anyone, and school of thought or any “ism”. Be your own person, create your own world; probe everything and any thought carefully. Never follow blindly. Be yourself, the way that you truly are. 

I wish you would not lose your sense of wonder and fascination for exploration of this world. Be a pioneer, explore in any realm; physical world or the world of mind; but I wish you would not lose your sense of wonder for this infinite world. I wish you would always be a philosopher, like all other children that are true philosophers and look at this world with wonder.

I wish you lived with inner peace in this world of turmoil and events. Remember that in all history of humankind, we have always grown. Humanity is yet in his childhood and infancy. We are becoming less violent and more mature very slowly and gradually over the period of thousands of years. There is hope, and much room for growth. Always in desperate and painful situations, look at the longer time horizon. We are gradually growing up as a species.

My little dearest angel, be the way that you want to be. Be yourself. You will always have my eternal love. I promise that I will never take you for granted. I want to be the mother that you deserve and that is so much pressure because you deserve the absolute best. I hope that I never fail you. 

You are perfect. Not perfect in the way I used to understand it. I thought that perfection was unattainable and useless, but through my eyes, you are perfect. Even with the flaws, the tantrums, you are absolutely perfect and I would never change who you are. You are my son. You give me courage to face another day. You give me the strength to be better. 

I wish I could hold on to your youth forever. I know that you are growing faster than I can keep up with. Soon you will have morphed into a handsome and have gorgeous children of your own to adore. I know that I cannot hold on to this moment forever, but I hope that one day you will read this letter and understand how much I love you. That word still seems to small, but I will always love you, as your mother, your friend, your biggest fan. You saved me Addy. You gave me hope in a hopeless world. 

Tomorrow we both have to start a new chapter in our lives. I have to go back to work. I have to go back to work in order to help make sure we have all the things we need. It breaks my heart to think about leaving you but I know that this year being at home with you have been the greatest gift I ever could have asked for. This last year has been an amazing journey. It has been the most rewarding, incredible, special time in my whole life. I will cherish the experience of your first year of life in a special way, and treasure it always in my heart. 

Words cannot express how much I love you, my prince, and my precious son. You are my sunshine, my heart, my purpose for being. You are my everything. I am so very proud of you and honored to be your mommy. This last year had filled with priceless memories and I look forward to so many more to come.

Thank you for coming into my life.
Thank you for being such a good boy.
Thank you for giving me strength in every trial that we face.
Thank you for loving me the way you know how to.
Thank you for being my son.
Thank you for being your beautiful you. I love you.

Happy birthday, my sweet boy. I look forward to learning life's lessons with you hand-in-hand.
First Christmas Letter For Addy
Christmas is a time of sharing, giving and forgiving. It is the time for the family to be complete. I have been waiting for this day to came, since it’s my precious Addy’s first Christmas. Addy’s Christmas may not be perfect, but still it is full of love and peace. Despite all of my worries and fears, I know in time Addy can say that his First Christmas is still the greatest…Addy can still say that his First Christmas is still perfect because he’s with mommy I am doing my best to provide you with that, but there are things that I have come to realize that you will have to find for yourself. I can only tell you about them.

LOVE AND AFFECTION 
I have loved you from the very first time that I realized that I m carrying you in my womb. My heart filled with joy at each flutter and kick. Then, when you were born, I used to hold you in my arms and rock you to sleep while singing whatever sweet tune filled my heart. I have tried to show you with every breath how much you mean to me. I have tried to give you affection and attention every day of your life. i will never get tired of loving you Addy. You keep mommy alive. You are the one who gives me thousands of reasons to wake up each morning and go to work. 

PROBLEMS IN LIFE
I have never been the best at problem solving. I have never been one that would stand up for myself when I should have. I let my problems get me down, but I will try to teach you to be different from me. I want you to be strong, independent and confident. I want you to be better and bolder than I ever could have been, That way, when problems come into you life, you will be able to handle them with honor and decency. I want that for you.

FOLLOW YOUR DREAM 
Whatever inspires you in life, go for it. Don't let any one tell you that you cannot reach your stars. If they were unreachable, they would not be yours. Just please be realistic about your hopes and dreams. Your dreams are not going to fall in your lap. You will have to work hard to achieve them, but don't give up. Don't lose faith in yourself. Whatever it is that you want in life, you can have. You just have to believe that you are worthy to have it and don't be afraid to go after it. mommy will always be by your side honey to help you, give you moral support for you to achieve your aspirations in life 


LOVE AND HAPPINESS
I wish nothing but love and peace in your life. I know that they will not always come, but know that it is possible. When you are old enough to find that special someone in life that you want to share all of your hopes and dreams, failures and successes, and laughter and tears with, hold on to them. True love is fading away in this world. If fate leads you to it, don't be afraid to take it and hold on to it. i want you to grow up as a true gentleman.


BE YOUR OWN PEOPLE 
Never let anyone force you into being someone that you are not. Be who you are. Remember that you were born in love and you grew up in love and that is the path that you should follow. Find you strengths and don't be ashamed of your weaknesses. Hold your head up high. 

TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT
Believe me honey, there will always be someone in life that will treat you wrong. Take it with a grain of salt. It may leave a bitter taste in your mouth, but you can always spit it out later. Don't let anger and hatred take you to places that you don't want to go. If you fill yourself with these negative emotions, then you leave little or no room for any thing positive.

REMEMBER THAT MOMMY LOVES YOU
Whatever and wherever you go in life, ALWAYS remember that I LOVE YOU. If there was one thing that I could do in life to shield you from one day's harm,I would do it without hesitation. I would lay down my life just to make you smile- if that's what it would take. I have struggled and sacrificed every day just to keep you happy and safe, and if I were able to go back and start my life again, despite our situation now, I WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING. I would gladly do it all over again for you. You are my reasons for getting up in the morning. You are reasons for trying so hard to in life. Without, I would have no one to love. I just hope that you love me at least a little. ALWAYS remember that i am trying my best to be a good mom and dad to you. 

Well, that is all that I have to say for now. I hope that you read my words and know that you are loved. I hope that the joys that you have given me life, come back to you ten fold, and that the sorrows that I have faced, never come to you. These are words from my heart to yours. Take them in and keep them in a special place inside of you. You are my world Addy. I love you no matter what you do or where you may end up going in life. I am not ashamed of you. i am not ashamed of what we are right now. I am proud to have you. I have one beautiful son. I have a loving son. i know one day you will understand, and i hope when that day comes, you will also say that you love me too..

Will love you always,
Single Mom Prayer
My God, I have such a wonderful child, a most precious gift I do not deserve. My heart melts into joy each time he looks at me, each time he calls me “Mommy“. He would embrace me and kiss me and all my troubles will disappear in a moment. Nothing else matters except his laughter and the brightness of his eyes. You know I would give him everything. I would give him the world if I can only do it. Gladly would I sacrifice everything for him, even my own life if need be so.

He brought me hope, he gave my life direction and a meaning I’ve never known before. Surely Lord, you have saved me through this child. Through him you have made known to me how much you love me.

But I am not worthy O God. I feel so incapable of taking care of your most beautiful gift to me. For what can I possibly give this child? My failures? My brokenness? My shameful past? What can I teach this child? How can I mould him into the person he was meant to be? What shall a single mom like me pray?

Yet you gave him to me, you’ve brought him unto my cold and shaking hands. Surely you must know my weaknesses, yet you must have also known I would call upon you to help me and to provide for the things I cannot do.

Help me O God. Heal me of my wounds so I may not pass on to him my bitterness. Heal me of my insecurities that I may teach him how to have confidence on himself. Blot out my sins that he may not be cursed for mistakes he wasn’t even aware of, and so that he can have a wonderful future ahead of him. Fill my heart with love even if I’m all alone. For how can I possibly give away that which I do not have? It is not easy indeed to be a single mom. Grant me wisdom. Grant me strength to face a harsh world so I can provide for him and give him everything he needs. Say unto me Lord that I am not alone for you will be my lifetime partner, and you yourself will be his Father. This child is blessed, this I know, and I thank you for all that you have ever done and all that you have in store for us from your boundless mercy and unceasing love.AMEN!

To all the single moms out there, I salute you. I hope that this prayer of a single mom somehow resonates the true prayers of your heart and inspires you in believing that the answer is sure to come, and is certainly on the way!
A Woman Is Now A Mom
I remember vividly the moment that I became a mother. Not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense.

It wasn’t the moment of conception, or the day that I found out that I was pregnant. It wasn’t when I felt the first kick of my precious addy’s little foot, nor was it when they lifted him and placed him in my arms, still wet and screaming after his exit from my womb. It was in a moment of blinding joy the evening after he was born.

I tried to rest that first night, after giving birth, but I couldn't sleep. While kirsten is in her la la la land already, I kept my baby with me most of the time.. I counted his fingers and toes. I nursed him. I started writing in my small notebook all information about Addy. Later that night I nursed himr to sleep and put hir in the bedside bassinet. I turned off the lights and climbed into bed after checking on him several times, just to make sure he's okay. Then I got back up and just stared at him. I felt as if my heart swelled several sizes and then I burst into tears. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the need to protect him, love him and do whatever was necessary to make sure he was perfectly happy. I tried thinking of a name because what i have is for a baby girl. I checked him again, just to make sure he's sleeping, he's fine. I texted everyone in the Philippines, States and even friends in Saudi and Oman.

The world seemed to stop spinning; only ADDY and I existed. Nothing else mattered.


And after 6 months, I realized that of all the things I've done in my life, nothing feels more important than the responsibility of raising a person brimming with self-confidence, the ability to love and the desire to contribute to society.

I am proud that my little one has never known a moment without love. A he grows older, he may not always recognize that love comes in a variety of forms: he may gripe about limited TV viewing, or roll his eyes at the thank-you and welcome letter that I insisted winnipeg people to write during my babyshower. But one day, my son will get it.

Being a mom feels like the most important job in the entire world. In effect, I can create a masterpiece! Sure, my son comes with genetic material that controls more than we know, but I have the awesome ability to direct those inborn traits to their fullest potential.

I can't be perfect at motherhood. But the well-being of my child demands that I always do my best. One day he will blossom into a man who is in charge of his own destiny, and is appreciative of the life he has been given -- if I do my job right.


If I could, I'd put "mommy" on my resume, because nothing has taught me as much responsibility, or given me as many new skills, as 9.10 kg wonder named ADDY -- who is now eating fresh mangoes, biscuits, and crawling around the house.

The most rewarding, and surprising, thing about motherhood is how much I can affect the future, even after I am gone. My son will one day graduate from climbing the dining room table to scaling much greater heights. And a lot of that is up to me.
On Being A Single Mom
It's long been assumed that motherhood brings meaning to our lives. We guide, love, nurture and support our offspring and sometimes feel appreciated in return -- all elements that can fuel our connectedness and satisfaction in the world. It's easy to find meaningful moments as a mom, but it's when things are tough that it seems we don't know how to interpret what meaning is. What if the greatest reward and meaning of being a mother is the growth our children force us to do?

Being a parent is a very hard job no matter how you slice it, but to further the true blessing that children are is to work equally hard on being conscious and mindful of the growth our kids call forth in us. Perhaps your patience needs work or your critical side needs to be quieted or you need to learn compassion or you could stand to give up some perfectionism. Parenting in a kind and loving way can only come if we face these issues in ourselves. Maybe this is the true meaning behind being in relationship with these souls.

As a parent, you accept from the start that it is all your fault. Every last inhibition, weakness and thing that goes wrong in your child's life is down to you -- however old they are. If they get bullied, bully, pick the wrong course at university or marry the wrong girl, it is all because you did it wrong. As a parent -- deep-down, you know you suck. You know it is not the kid's fault (however old the kid is) -- you made a hash of it.

I don't know it I am making sense here, I just feel like writing, writing randomly. Just whatever, probably I am back to reality that I have to face this journey alone. well, not really alone because I have my adorable ADDY with me.

I then realized. being a parent is really hard. Now, i imagine what my parents went through. Albeit, being a single parent is harder. You have to work twice as much. You have to work 24/7, there's no rest day, no salary, no lunch breaks,  no meeting, but it's full of overtime, of sacrifices for ADDY, of love for ADDY. After 6 months....it's sinking in....

It's hard because not all people can understand or willing to understand probably because they can't feel the things that i am going through...or any mothers are going through. I guess they have to be a mother first before they understand.


and as i am writing this senseless note..... someone send me an email......

"She Reminds Us"
by/with Mike Greca
Dedicated to all mothers

In mothers arms a baby sleeps
She swears she hears an angel breathe
Baby wakes and hungrily
By mammas breast the baby feeds

She Reminds Us
That love can conquer anything

Daddy's left them all alone
Always drinks but never phones
But she'll make sure her baby grows
If it's the last thing in life she ever does

She Reminds Us
That love can conquer anything
She reminds us
There are some things only wider eyes can see

Boy he grows
By mammas love
And mamma knows
That heaven above
Gives its angels just enough
Though daddy could not give
Mamma loves him twice as much to cover it
And the boy he grows.....

Days than years go flyin' by
And mamma's still working overtime
Makin sure her little boy becomes
Twice the man his father never was

She reminds us
There are some things only wider eyes can see
She reminds us
That love can conquer anything
Mamma loves, and her love is loud
Boy he grows into a man strong and proud
Mamma loves, and her love is loud
She reminds us that love can conquer anything

here's the video link for the song lyrics.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy1qtdmndUI

after watching the video......i realized that my eyes are wet....my heart is pounding.....

to all the mothers out there....im proud of you....i hope one day i can be proud of myself as well..

Unknown Emails
Back to blogging, just proves that shit is again just around the corner.

Has been a long time since I last wrote my heart out and now I can't even find the right words or emotions for the reason why I wanted to write again.

Could be...

Rage? Yeah, I'm in rage. I am not hurt, for hurt is such a weak word, I am angry. I want to explode and let all the anger out. I want the whole world to know that I am so pissed yet I remain quiet. I want to create a scene, a scene that all who'll witness will not forget and the look of rage in my face will be etched in the mind of everyone who'll see. But. I know I shouldn't. I know I should take the high road and be the better person. I know exploding will just cause more harm, more rage, more suspicions than good.

Or may be,

Alone? Yes, I am alone. I am surrounded by the bestest friends in the world but I still can't help but feel alone. Everyone seems to be there for me yet I am not where everyone seems to be. I know I have my little boy but still, I cant help it....at times, i still feel alone..

Or just..

Broken? I definitely am broken. I've been broken a number of times before. Have been repaired. But somehow, once you break no matter how hard you try to mend yourself, no matter who tries to fix you, no matter how long you try to patch and heal the broken pieces of you, you will always be broken and may never be restored to your true form. And, so am I.

And

Damaged? Too deeply damaged. I've been mocked, ridiculed, be-littled and jeered at by people who consider themselves righteous, that I would guess would not even understand a single word in this blog and was not taught the Subject-Verb agreement way back in high school but still, I again remained silent. I've been talked about for things other people doesn't even know of. Painful words have been thrown at me. Words that I know I am not and I could never be. Knowing myself, I could easily fight back for which I have all the right to, yet I didn't. IT"S BECAUSE OF ADDY....BUT calling my son "BASTARD" is a different thing...

May be

Deprived? Deprived by my own moral standards. Deprived of my own happiness. Deprived of doing what I want or even deprived of just wanting it. Deprived of following my heart. Deprived of things that could turn out to be a bridge to happiness, to contentment, to peace of mind.

But still

Hopeful. I know deep down, though the end may still be far away, there would be light at the end of this tunnel. Strong as I may be now, I know, I can still be stronger, I can pick myself up, and though broken, damaged, amd deprived but no longer angry, I have faith that I can be truly happy, of peace and contented.

I know, I have to do this...for me and addy.....
Oh No, It's A Boy!

I was surprised to know that my baby is a boy. Don't get me wrong, I am happy! However, I was pretty convinced that my baby will be a girl. So convinced that I prepared for a baby girl's name (Arriana Laurene) BUT I DO NOT HAVE A NAME FOR A BOY!

During my 9 months of being pregnant, I never had the lihi (cravings or pregnancy symptoms) I never had morning sickness. I never had dark spots. I was blooming. I was happy despite my current situation. So everyone will say, Oh, It's a girl! (ay, babae yan!)

But since it is pretty expensive here in Canada, I decided not to know the gender in advance. So here I am, surprised by my baby's gender.

I have to go home the morning after. Yes, I technically stayed 24 hours in the hospital. I have to think of a name pronto!

My baby boy's name is ADRIAN ENRICO!

Adrian from my Mom Arrian (change the 2nd R to D)
Enrico from my Dad Enrico

There! 

His nickname will be Addy. It was given by my Aunti Pet. Thank you Mama (Lola) Pet for a cutie nickname! see you guys soon when we get back!


xoxo
My Birth Story | Labor Of Love In Winterpeg

After nine months of having a big belly while trying to exercise for easy labor and making the most out of my WINTERpeg expedition (I hate snow guys), borrowing pants from my cousins and trying to eat healthy as possible (add up the diet that I hated because of my gestational diabetes from 4months until the time I am giving birth) Finally, the long wait is over.

Giving birth is the most momentous part of pregnancy, and involves a lot of hard work, energy, and emotion. It needs support from family, friends and of course your partner. (At that time I have my aunties and uncles and some cousins in canada with me; parentals are in the Philippines)

Two weeks before I gave birth, I had brief periods of contractions that grew intense. My doctor said It is normal, it's braxton hicks. It is a sign that I am now ready anytime to give birth.

The night before the real labor, we had our usual Friday family bonding; movie, popcorn, butong pakwan, wine and beer for them. King came over and out of nowhere he just said "You'll give birth if not tomorrow, by Sunday and it will be a boy"

I smiled at him and said, "I hope so, but everyone is saying it will be a girl since nothing changed with my appearance at all" But King just smiled back at me.

Around 12midnight I crawled into bed and read a book until almost one. I had to sleep because I started palpitating   (I have Mitral valve prolapse and Mitral and Tricuspid valve regurgitation, just google the terms cause I dont want to be too medical here haha)

I woke up around 4am because I felt a little pressure, I just thought it's braxton hicks so I went back to sleep. then, I woke up again because I of the pain. I checked the time and it's 4:10am. I realized that this is it, I am in early labor.

I went back to sleep and try not to wake up after 10mins but I did. Right then, I texted my mom and told her I am in my 1st stage of labor already, my contractions are every 10mins apart.

My mom replied and she's worried and nervous as she said. So I told her, not to worry about me and just go back to sleep coz she's in the Philippines and worrying about me can't do anything. I dont want here to worry. (bad decision that I told her too soon)

The contractions continued but it was manageable its just that I wake up EVERY TIME I have contractions. Around 9am I decided to went upstairs since my cousin and aunt is awake already.
I told them "I am in labor!"

I keep on walking and walking but I am just a lazy walker.
I tried climbing on the treadmill but it makes me dizzy.
I tried to get some sleep coz I am really sleepy....(at the back of my mind, I wanted to call King! he's right...I am giving birth anytime and he's nowhere to be found ZzzzZZZzzz)

I worked through each contraction by closing my eyes and focusing on the end result: My Baby.
If it's a big or intense contraction, I hold tight to a pillow and breathe. I still manage to keep track how many mins apart my contractions was.

With Kirsten's help, we were able to record all my contractions. If it's a big contraction Kirsten will let me hold her tight (sorry cousin for the scratches) I remember her saying "Ate this isn't my job you know, but I do love you" 

Around 5pm my aunt, uncle and cousin decided to go to church since it's Saturday (Yes, we go to mass every Saturday here)

As soon as they left, I took a shower in case I will deliver my baby At least, I was able to take a shower. Take note that contractions are every 5 minutes already.

Since I am home alone with our doggie Mikko, I decided to call Tita Hazel and I told her I am having contractions every 5mins and she said loudly, "What! You should go to the hospital already crazy lady! Are you crazzzzyy?" then she shouted, "Ate Ely, Ley is in labor and contractions are every 5 minutes already and she's still home!" "Call 911 hurry"

Before everybody in their house freaks out, I told her it's just me and mikko who's home and it's okay coz they will be home soon (Nope, don't want to pay 911, I can still take it) and the pain is a bit manageable still. Although at the back of my mind, If I am in the Philippines.... I am in Makati Medical Hospital already. (hahaha)

After I spoke to Tita Hazel I had a big contraction and I just shouted "MOOOOOOMMM"
then Miko started howling, I think he's trying to get some help coz he knows I am in pain. Miko keeps on howling from time to time whenever I hold onto something tightly because of the contractions.

Around 6:15 my aunt arrived already I told her my contractions are every 5-4mins apart.
Then she observed me, she said, "You're not going to give birth anytime soon cause you can still take the pain, you might counted the minutes wrong. Look at you, you're not crying at all"  But despite that comment, I know it's soon.

Around 8pm my contractions we're 3 minutes apart but like what my aunt said I can still take the pain, I just close my eyes, hold tight to a pillow and breathe. A few mins later, My Auntie from the states called, I told her I am currently in labor with 3mins contractions apart. She said,"You should go to the hospital already because you might give birth anytime, even if you can take the pain, you need to be checked cause you don't know how many CM are you now"

So we Mama Dina monitored my contractions then we decided we will go to the hospital alreadycause YES, it is every 3 minutes apart.

Around 8:30 we left the house, we arrived at the hospital around 8:45pm. In the admitting section the lady asked few questions;
Name
Address
Landline number
Copy of my passport
What the hell am I doing in Canada?
Why am I giving birth there?
She told me I have to pay for everything coz I am considered as a foreign patient..etc...etc....so on and so on. I just want to tell her that baby is coming out really, really, soon.

Then we went to the triage already. The nurse checked my blood pressure and how far I am.
She said, "OH MY! you're 10cm already"

My Aunt and I were shocked coz I am fully dilated already. At the back of my mind, I was scared, If I stayed any longer at home I could have given birth at home! Just like what my cousin Amiel wants to happen since he is a paramedic he wants me to be his patient but like King he is nowhere to be found as well. (hahaha)

They brought me upstairs in my labor/delivery/private room.
The nurses had to be fast. They check the heartbeat of my baby, my heartbeat, my sugar level and my blood pressure. Baby is okay. But I am not. My sugar is very high as well as my blood pressure. I thought I will deliver my baby in cesarean section, but they said I can have it delivered normally since I am fully dilated already, but now it's too late for an epidural. Great! No anesthesia but do I really need it still? Cause I manage the labor part which most of the people say the hardest part.

At that point, I am having severe back pain since I have scoliosis so the nurse decided to put a warm compress on my back and it helped a lot.  After a few mins, my contractions was every 2mins, EVERYTHING BECAME INTOLERABLE.

The hustle and bustle of the nursing staff bothered me -- I wanted complete silence. "QUIET," I said. "You're doing great," replied the nurse. (imagine, I have 3 nurses in the room, plus Kirsten, Ate Michelle, Auntie Dina and Auntie Dhel. Papa Caloy and Kuya Geoff were just by the door. Oh My)

Around 10pm I can feel the urge to push. I asked the nurse, Where's the doctor? The nurses replied, "She will only come if you're crowning already"

Unbelievable, but I can feel my baby's head is down already.

The nurse asked if I wanted some pain reliever and I said No, I was able to bare the pain and I want to experience this the natural way.

She went out to get some stuff. Since I do really feel the urge to push and I cant take the pain anymore, I buzz them and told the nurses outside that I am having the baby soon.

They all hurried inside my room. The nurse decided to check me again since baby is not crowning and may water bag is still intact. Then she said "Oh, I can feel the head, it's sideways that's why she's not crowning" then accidentally she popped my waterbag.

The nurses told me to push only when there's contractions and so I followed them. One nurse checked my blood pressure and it went up to 150/90 so she decided to put IV on me. At the back of my mind, I knew something is wrong with my BP and if I am in the Philippines, I will deliver my baby in the C-section, but I tried my best to remain calm as possible. I prayed hard while pushing. I just thought soon this will be all over. as my baby's head crowns, the doctor came in, while she's putting on her gloves I had a big contraction so I pushed so hard and I really blurted out I can feel I am ripping then my baby's head is out already.

No time for my Doctor to put on her second gloves and they all shouted "stop pushing" and since I'm not fully lying down, hmmm , how do I call the position? Semi-seated/ semi lying position, I looked down, my baby's head is out already and the umbilical cord is wrapped around my baby's neck. The doctor had to remove the umbilical cord as fast as she can. (No wonder, my baby is sooo likot inside my tummy)

10:45pm, February 7, 2009 Canada time, my baby is out and IT'S A BOY! We are all surprised!!
I cried! I can;t contain my happiness! It was so surreal!

He cried for 3 seconds and as soon as he reached my chest, he stopped crying. I cried again. Finally, 9 months is over. I can be with my love, my baby boy..

Despite the tear jerking moment, I even had the chance to laugh and say King was right! I gave birth on the day he said I will and it is a boy. Now he should be a ninong.

I FELL IN LOVE THE MINUTE I SAW HIM.. The pain disappeared and I was so relieved to have him in my arms. I couldn't stop smiling. HE WAS PERFECT! He was even MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN I IMAGINED.

SADLY, MY PARENTS CAN JUST SEE HIM THROUGH PICTURES...
Sadly, I have to face this battle alone with my baby.

As I held him, the nurses and doctor had to stitched me but at that moment I can feel no pain anymore. One doctor is checking my baby's vitals while I held him close.

The doctor and nurses kept saying they were amazed because he was my first and the birth happened so fast. I was amazed I did it without drugs or any other Anesthesia. I didn't think I was capable of that. When the doctor offered me Percocet, I laughed. What? Do I need that for now?

The next day, 10AM, we were home already! As if I had a drive thru or fast food delivery but with a baby!

Next time, I will have more faith in myself. If I can have a natural, unmedicated childbirth, I can do anything. Women should have faith in themselves. Our bodies are amazing and can do anything. I have respect for all women who give birth no matter what their circumstances. Pregnancy and childbirth is an amazing thing.

Now, after a few months of having my Adrian home, I just thought that I can do everything now. I can surpass any trials that will come along our way. I was able to do it during my 18hour labor without pain reliever.

I HAD MY LABOR AT HOME, NO ANESTHESIA, MY PARENTS ARE NOT WITH ME. I AM A SINGLE PARENT. WHAT ELSE COULD MAKE IT HARDER? But you know why it was so easy? Because God is with me.


I SURVIVED THE BIRTH PROCESS, MY HEART DISEASES AND THE CRAZY GESTATIONAL DIABETES! Add up the weather! It was freezing 45 degrees when I gave birth. Hate Winnipeg weather!

I never realized, I could die at that moment. My life was at stake. but it was all WORTH IT