Mom Things · Uncategorized

It’s Official

It has been a while since I last posted. It has been a very long while. The reason for my absence is I am officially a MOM! I gave birth on March 4, and everything has just been a blur since then. My little one is officially two months old today. I have no idea where those to months went because all I remember is ripping myself open to push her out… and now we’re here.

Before giving birth, my husband had been suggesting that we stay at my mother-in-law’s house for a year so I will have someone to help me with the baby. Of course, I vehemently opposed this, thinking I am more than capable of taking care of the baby on my own. Well, I got what I wanted.

Over the course of two months, I juggled breastfeeding, diaper changing, laundry, cooking, doing the dishes, sweeping, mopping, toilet cleaning, ironing, and dusting. All of these I had to deal with on a daily basis. The problem is, at the end of the day, the house is still a mess!

If you’ll notice, the list does not include sleep. Personal hygiene is also suspiciously absent from my list of activities. That’s because I neither slept nor brushed my teeth. Who has the time? Seriously! If we didn’t have windows I wouldn’t even know if it’s day time or night time. Everything just blurs together. Despite all that I still don’t have enough time for everything that needs to be done. I’ve been dreaming of chopping all my hair off just to save me some time shampooing and drying.

My social life has been deleted. I can’t even carry a Facebook conversation with my friends. I think about saying hi to some of my friends but then I think about how much energy I will spend typing and replying. Just the thought of having to exert more energy on a conversation that will not get my house clean is exhausting.

I tried starting a post in this blog a few times. I wanted to announce the arrival of my baby girl. Unfortunately, every time I stared at the empty space, and thought about moving my fingers, I just couldn’t do it. I was too tired.

Despite all these things that I am ranting about right now, though, I wouldn’t change a thing. I always thought those silly Mother’s Day ads were just being cheesy every time they talked about how mothers love their kids so much. When I was pregnant, I was worried that I wasn’t mother-like enough to be someone’s mom. To a certain degree, I guess I’m still not like most moms. I still feel like I’m playing around most of the time. But there really is something magical about holding my baby. I feel all my aches and pains melt away whenever I see her toothless smile.

I didn’t think I’d be like this, but I am happy that I’m finally a mom. ūüôā

Pregnancy Rants

High Risk Pregnancy

It has been a loooong time since my last post. The reason for that is I have been in the hospital, strapped to a machine, and cut off from all contact to the outside world. It’s great to be back!

Let me start by sharing what happened. Several weeks ago, my husband and I went to my OB for my regular checkup. My OB was just as surprised as I was to see how huge my tummy had become. Considering how far along I was, it didn’t seem normal to her. She asked me to go to the ultrasound clinic to have a biophysical profile score (BPS) and non-stress test (NST) done.

We went off to the ultrasound clinic right after my OB appointment. The OB-Sonologist was with another patient when we arrived so her assistant had me do the NST first. During the NST, two devices are strapped to my tummy to monitor my baby’s heart rate and contractions. I was also given a button to press each time I felt my baby move.

After 20 minutes, the assistant printed out the NST results and asked me to transfer to the other room where the OB-Sonologist was waiting for me for my BPS. Basically she just uses her ultrasound machine to measure the different parts of my baby. She tells me later on that everything is fine with my baby as far as her measurements are concerned, it’s just that her head is a little bigger than the rest of the body. She said this was common in babies of moms with gestational diabetes.

The OB-Sonologist then asked her assistant for the NST printout so she can read it to me as well. That’s where things started to turn sour. She frowned as she looked at it and asked the assistant if she was given the correct printout. She then asked me to transfer back to the NST room. She wanted another NST done.

After another 20 minutes of monitoring, the OB-Sonologist checked the new printout and shook her head. She told me I needed to go back to my OB to show her the results. Based on the NST, I was having contractions that were 5-12 minutes apart. It was not a good thing.

At that point, I was getting a bit worried. I contacted my OB and sent her the results thru Viber. She called me within minutes and told me I need to go to the hospital and ask to be admitted for pre-term labor.

Extremely confused, my husband and I drove to the hospital ER and told them what my OB asked me to do. After checking my ultrasound results and discussing among themselves, the ER doctors told me I need to be admitted into the high risk pregnancy unit. I was in labor and my baby was only 32 weeks old.

I didn’t understand anything they said. I didn’t feel anything different. My tummy would feel stiff once in a while but it goes away and it doesn’t hurt. What pre-term labor? What’s 1cm dilated?

I was taken to the high risk pregnancy unit where they confiscated everything I had including all my clothes. I was not allowed to see my husband or even keep my phone so I can contact him. An intern was assigned to monitor my contractions throughout the night. It was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. The last time that I was in a hospital as a patient was when I was born.

The next morning, a doctor introduced herself to me and said she will be handling my case. She explained to me that they need to stop my contractions because my baby was too young to be born. They also had to inject steroids to help my baby survive if in case they couldn’t stop the contractions.

I was told that the cause of my early labor was because I had too much amniotic fluid in my tummy. This condition was called polyhydramnios. It is a common complication of gestational diabetes. Because my tummy was so full, my body thought it was time for me to give birth.

I was also told all the other possible side effects of polyhydramnios. These included umbilical prolapse, excessive bleeding after giving birth, and stillbirth. I couldn’t stop crying. It was all my fault. If I had been more disciplined in my diet, this wouldn’t be happening to my baby. I put her life in danger because of my gluttony.

Days went by and I was getting more depressed. I didn’t have anyone to talk to and I couldn’t even move around since I had the machine strapped to me. Not even my husband was allowed to visit me inside the high risk pregnancy unit.

One night, the nurse on duty woke me up and said he had a gift for me. He handed me a cordless phone and told me to say hello. I did and I heard my husband’s voice on the other line. He said he’s been waiting right outside from the first day I was admitted. He told me that the nurse felt so bad for him that he decided to sneak the phone in just so we can talk for a few minutes.

That nurse was an angel, and I will always be thankful for what he did. I know what he did was against the rules and he could have gotten into a lot of trouble if someone important was trying to call his station. But that phone call gave me strength and snapped me out of the pity party I was throwing for myself.

After some time, the contractions stopped and I was finally allowed to transfer to a regular hospital bed. They had to monitor my blood sugar before and after each meal to make sure my polyhydramnios won’t get any worse. A few weeks more and I was allowed to go home.

I’m not entirely out of the woods yet since I am still diabetic and there’s still excess fluid in my tummy but it has gone down considerably from when I was admitted. All I have to do now is wait for my baby to come. I’m at 37 weeks now and it’s only a matter of time.

Pregnancy Rants

Today was a bad day…

I’ve been cooped up for months and today was one of the few days I got to go out. In the last seven months I probably went out for a total of 30 times, OB appointments included.

We don’t have a full-length mirror at home so I was shocked to see myself in the mirror while shopping earlier.

I am HUGE.

Or at least my belly is. It’s not even like the pretty pregnancy photos I see on my newsfeed. I’m just oddly shaped and awkward. It was ugly.

We went home and I was going to cook rice. My belly bumped the rice container and everything just ended up on the floor.

Every part of my body now hurts or itches. I’m covered in hideous rashes, some of them have turned into a ghoulish dark purple color that’s just gross.

My husband refuses to touch me now and insists on sleeping with a pillow between us. He’s too afraid of accidentally hurting my belly.

I don’t know why I thought I can do this…

Pregnancy Rants

It’s ITCHY!

I am on my final lap towards becoming a mom. At 31 weeks, I thought I was in the clear and it’s only a matter of waiting for my baby to jump out into the world. I thought wrong.

About two weeks ago I started feeling an itch on my belly. People have warned me that this will eventually happen and that I should not scratch because it will lead to stretch marks. Thinking this was nothing more than the overstretching of my skin, I decided to ignore it.

One week later, I started noticing tiny red bumps on my tummy. I asked a friend if she had red bumps during her pregnancy and she said it was natural. The skin is stretching so there will be red marks at some point. Okay then. Everything’s fine, I guess.

A few days ago, I checked my tummy again and the red bumps have turned into full blown rashes and they looked very angry. The tiny red bumps turned into masses and became unbearably itchy. It wasn’t just itchy, though. There were times that the masses were so sensitive that I have to take off my dress because it stings.

I couldn’t sleep from all the itching and stinging. My sister suggested I use sunburn cream to soothe the itching. Her theory was that my gestational diabetes was causing the itch. I tried it and the cool cream relieved it a bit. But it would just come back with a vengeance after an hour or so.

It became so unbearable that I couldn’t believe it’s just normal stretching of my skin. I finally decided to go see my OB and get myself fixed before I scratch all the way through my uterus. As soon as my OB saw my tummy, she immediately said,

“This is PUPPP.”

What’s PUPPP, you say? It’s¬†pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. This supposedly occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy. It happens to one in every 150 pregnant women and only happens during the first pregnancy. Lucky me, right?

My OB prescribed a topical cream that I can apply twice a day after showers. I will not post the name of the cream here because I don’t want anyone self-medicating without consulting their own doctors. I bought the cream and it gave me some relief.

Unfortunately, PUPPP does not get cured with creams or other medication. It can only be relieved. The only way for it to disappear completely is to give birth. In fact, despite using the cream, my rashes have gotten worse. They have now spread to my arms and legs.

Sleep is no longer possible. I will only fall asleep if I’m absolutely exhausted from scratching. And if while sleeping I happen to wake up because of my teeny bladder, there is no more going back to sleep.

Why am I posting this? One reason is because I’m so cranky due to lack of sleep that I need to vent or I will bite my husband’s head off. Another reason is to let others know that this is a thing and if you are experiencing this right now, I absolutely feel your pain.

All I can do right now is tell myself (and possibly other expectant moms) that there’s only a few more weeks left before this is over. I will get to meet my little bundle of joy and this will all be worth it…. unless her first word is “dada…”

Pregnancy Rants

Eating for Another

Happy New Year everyone!!!

So it took me a while to get my next post out because my husband and I¬†went on vacation and there was no internet. None. At all. Not even a smidgen of mobile data. It was still the most fun I’ve had in a long time, though.

Before we left for our grand vacation, I got two bits of news regarding my pregnancy. The first one, of course, confirmed a lot of the gender prediction myths people have been telling me. Yep, you got it.

My baby is a GIRL!

My initial reaction was fear because I didn’t really do so well as a girl. I have very limited interest in “girl stuff” and spend most of my growing up years playing video games. I kind of doubted if I’d be the best person to raise a girl. Now that I’ve gotten used to the idea, though. I think it could be fun to play dress-up with my baby. ‚ô•‚ô•‚ô•

The second bit of news that I got is, well, a bit serious considering the first one got me thinking about clothes shopping and play dates. My second glucose test confirmed that I have gestational diabetes.

My mommy friends did warn me beforehand to lay off the chocolates and cookies. I didn’t listen. Who the hell lays off chocolates during Christmas, right? If I only listened to them.¬†I’ve seen other pregnant women eat everything in sight without having to worry about diabetes. I guess I shouldn’t have assumed I’d be as lucky. *sigh*

Well the up side is, my doctor says it usually goes away after giving birth. So there’s a good chance that I’ll be able to go back to my old eating habits in three months. The down side is, I need to follow a strict diet and monitor my blood sugar three times a day.

The monitoring is a bit expensive but is bearable. What’s hard is the diet. Have you ever been on a Christmas vacation where you can’t eat anything that tastes good? It’s not just sweets that I have to avoid while on my diabetic diet. I can’t have anything oily, I can’t have too much carbs, I can’t have too much red meat. It’s pure torture.

I am soldiering on, however. Following my diet is hard but I can’t even begin to imagine how my baby feels inside me after I drowned her in sugar these past few months. She has grown bigger that she should be. She also had to put up with all the contractions cause by my gestational diabetes. If she ends up hypoglycemic after birth, it will be on me as well. I’d rather not have my cake that affect my baby’s health any more that I already have.

When you’re pregnant, people say you are eating for two. Most of the time this is misinterpreted and women end up eating double of what they usually eat. What eating for two really means is that it’s not just your health and nutrition that you need to worry about.

Gestational diabetes¬†is only one of the possible complications of poor diet choices during pregnancy. While the temptation to give in to every food craving is nearly impossible to resist, it’s best to think about what it will do to the baby.

Pregnancy Rants

Myth Busting

Whew. After a very gloomy post about infidelity last week, I thought something a little fun would be nice. I just hit my sixth month (woohoo!) and we’re scheduled for an ultrasound next week to find out our baby’s gender.

This had me thinking about all the things I’ve heard from family and friends about my pregnancy.¬†Most of them were trying to predict my baby’s gender but there were a couple of interesting ideas as well. I’ll get right to it so you can see for yourself.

1. Hanging a towel over your shoulder will result in the baby’s umbilical cord wrapping around his neck.

My aunt was pretty adamant about this when she saw my towel over my shoulder as I was brushing my teeth. It’s a convenient place to put a towel if you’re gonna dry yourself immediately after doing something. Somehow the baby will emulate this and wrap his umbilical cord around his neck. I won’t know yet if this is true until I give birth but I can’t see how it can be.

2. Stepping over your husband while he’s sleeping will transfer morning sickness to him.

I’m pretty sure this was made up by vengeful housewives who wanted to punish their husbands for knocking them up. However, I was having such a hard time during my first trimester that I did actually try this. It did not work. My husband kept sleeping like a log and I kept hurling like a geyser.

3. Scratching your itchy belly will cause stretchmarks.

I believe they’re¬†called stretchmarks because they’re the mark of stretching. Nevertheless, I don’t have stretchmarks *yet* so I will sacrifice myself in the name of science. I am scratching only the right side of my belly and resisting to scratch on the left. This should mean I will only have stretchmarks on the right side, right?

4. Eating a pregnant woman’s food will make you sleepy

While sleeping has never been a bad thing in my opinion, it seems the sleepiness caused by a pregnant woman’s food is similar to a coma. So many of my relatives¬†were deathly afraid of this. If there was food on the table or anywhere near me, they would interrogate me first, “Did you eat from this? DID YOU EAT FROM THIS?!”

Whoa… chill..

5. A protruding belly button means your baby is a boy.

My belly button has gotten a bit squished but it’s still very much in. This means my baby is a girl, I guess? I’ll find out next week but that’s one vote for girl based on the signs. Why baby boys push out navels is something I wouldn’t understand.

6. Morning sickness during pregnancy means your baby is a girl.

Well if that’s a true indicator then my baby is a girl and she will come out in a frilly pink dress, a tiara, and lots of pink fairy sparkles. My morning sickness was so bad I sincerely thought I would not survive my first trimester. I googled this a bit and experts supposedly say that there is no real link but I’ll find out for sure next week. Vote two for my baby girl.

7. A round belly means your baby is a girl, pointed belly is a boy.

What exactly does a pointed belly look like? I have seen hundreds of pregnant women and their bellies all look round to me. Nevertheless, I declare my belly round. Vote three for my baby girl.

8. Darkening of your neck means your baby is a boy.

The baby’s added testosterone supposedly darkens the mommy’s neck. I did a quick search on this but could not find any conclusive answer. People tell me my neck hasn’t darkened at all so my baby will most likely be a girl. Vote four for my baby girl!

9. A cheating husband will have a female firstborn.

Okay, so I just HAD to put this in because even before I got pregnant, people have been telling me this. It’s supposedly a way for karma to punish the husband for his misdeeds. The baby girl will grow up and her dad will watch her break her heart. If it’s true, though, karma please leave my baby alone. My husband is very sorry. ūüė¶

(Vote five for girl.)

10. Great skin means your baby is a girl.

My skin has always been good. I can’t say it’s absolutely great but I don’t get pimples and my pores do not exist. That hasn’t changed in the last six months so does that mean my baby is a girl? If that’s the case, this is vote six.

That’s my list. So far all signs point to me having a girl. I’ll find out next week! In the mean time, is my list the same as yours? I’m sure you guys have heard more. Let’s compare notes and tell me which ones you’ve proven or debunked.

Relationships

Lies and Ties

It’s been a while since my last post and it’s mostly because this one has been cooking for a while. November is always a difficult month for me as it has a lot of painful memories. The reason it took me forever to finally write this down is because I want to be careful about how I get this message across.

When it comes to romantic relationships, a lot of people have probably experienced infidelity. Either they have been cheated on or they have cheated. People have different standards of what cheating is. It can be as simple as a flirty text message, or as complicated as having another family hidden somewhere. Regardless, this post is about how one can deal with being cheated on.

To start things off, let me tell you about my story. I was in a relationship with a man who I thought was a decent guy. He talked about his mom a lot and he generally acted like a gentleman around all women. Unfortunately, I found out he was cheating on me less than a year into our relationship. That began five long years of repetitive arguments wherein I would catch him cheating, we would fight, he would apologize, and we would get back together.

At this point, most people would ask me, why the hell did I stay for half a decade? While initially I would answer because I love him, and for the longest time I believed that, I realized eventually that wasn’t true. I was in love with who I thought he was. And when I found out some six months into our relationship who he really was, I was angry with myself.¬†I stayed in the relationship out of pride. I refused to accept that I was wrong in choosing him. I thought if I stayed and gave him everything, he would change and turn into the guy I hoped he would be.

I was wrong. After all those years of putting up with his lies, he broke up with me. He said he didn’t want to hurt me anymore. Less than 24 hours after breaking up with me, he announced his new girlfriend. She was one of his students, and was eight years younger than me.

This broke me. Even though I say I didn’t really love him, he broke me. The affair had been going on for months and everyone at our workplace knew except me. I had my suspicions but I thought it would just be another fling that he would get over. I was so humiliated and hurt that I couldn’t work. I spent all my vacation days to leave the country for a month. I went to Singapore and stayed in my room, crying the whole time.

When I returned, I threw myself into work. But I was angry. Angrier than I’ve ever been in my life. I was a supervisor and my team took the brunt of my fury. I was yelling at everyone for every little thing. I thank them that they understood what was happening to me during that time.

Now this is the part where people would ask me, what happened after that? I like to annoy them by saying we got back together, we’re married now, and have a baby on the way. ūüôā

WHAT?!

Yeah, I hear you.

So how did that happen? Well, after six months of crying and yelling at people, my sister who is a devout Christian invited me to go to church with her. I don’t see her much and thought I could sit through church for an hour and a half if that meant we can go hang out after. I was a non-practicing Catholic. I even almost cancelled that Sunday morning because I wanted to sleep in. When I was about to text her to cancel, she texted me first, saying she was waiting outside my apartment. So… LoL. Off to church we go.

I was not religious in any way. A lot of things have happened in my life and I ended up living some twenty years without entering a church. For some reason, though, I was invited to go to church on that exact day to hear this message,

“It is not a wife’s job to change her husband.”

If you’re not religious, you may call it serendipity or luck or just plain stupid. But at that moment, I came to realize something. I realized I spent the last five years being angry because I was trying to change a man and was failing miserably.

Now this post isn’t about how God magically healed me and changed my life. I know not everyone buys into that and I want everyone to understand that you don’t have to be the religious kind to deal with the pain the same way I did.

The key thing I want everyone to understand here is: Change Yourself. This is something that was very hard to swallow when I started out. I was a proud and independent woman who always, always followed the rules.

Why should I change? He’s the one who did something wrong!

That’s exactly the problem. Whether you are in a relationship, or just ended one, you should always focus on what you can do to improve. You are not doing this to please the other person, you are doing this for yourself. Do you know how exhausting it is to hold on to a grudge? You won’t know until you feel how light it is to let go.

For months, I focused on myself. I thought about all the things I did wrong in the relationship. The nagging, the yelling, and even throwing his past mistakes in his face during arguments. All those times, I could have just backed off and let things go. I thought about all the hurtful things I said whenever we argued. All those things I could have let slide. I saw how toxic our relationship was. I realized that’s not the kind of person I wanted to be. I had to change. Not to win him back, but to be better.

Several months after breaking up with me, he asked if we could talk. It turned out the little young thing he was with had gotten over dating older men and found something else to amuse her. He said he missed me and wanted to get back together. (Stop rolling your eyes, I see you!)

I wasn’t seeing anyone during that time and I did miss him. I said we can start over. I’m still not sure if I should have just moved on but the first few months back together were the hardest. I felt such a strong urge to make him suffer the way I did. I was still so pissed. Everything he did annoyed me. Every time he tried to do something nice, something cynical would pop in my head and it would take every ounce of willpower in me to hold my tongue. (We would be in the mall and he would¬†point to a cute little girl in a fairy costume and all I could think of is, “Oh, maybe you’d like to date her, too?”)

It was hard as hell but you know what? It became less hard over time. Months went by and eventually the cynical remarks stopped popping into my head. I stopped clenching my fist whenever he would say he loves me. I stopped getting annoyed by the things he did. I just started being happy again.

This post isn’t meant to tell you to get back together with your cheating ex. By all means, leave his cheating behind and find someone better. This is meant to tell you¬†that trying to change a person you can’t control will only make you frustrated and miserable. Focus on changing someone you can control – yourself.

Whether or not your current partner is meant to stay is beside the point. Try saying “good morning” or “I miss you” a bit more. Try ending arguments sooner. Try to not bring up past arguments when you’re upset. It would be hard, I know. But try it anyway. If your partner doesn’t respond to it, it doesn’t matter. You’ll feel better if you change to improve yourself, instead of changing to get a result from your partner.