Friday, January 29, 2010

Tintin's Tip(s) No. 2: Baby's Home

After 3-4 days in the hospital, Yammy and baby are ready to go home. Based on my personal experiences, here are the stuff that you need to prepare ahead for the little one's arrival.

1. Air conditioner

Yes, if you can afford it (and the additional monthly bill that comes with it), go get one. The weather in our country tends to be hot and humid even during the -ber months. Just keep the temperature at a reasonable setting. Babies feel more warm compared to adults that a "cold" setting could still be "warm" for them. What I did was dress them lightly (i.e. long-sleeved tie-side shirt, pajamas, socks, and mittens), then cover them up with a sleeping sack.

Make sure that the filter is regularly cleaned.

2. A couple of towels

Baby towels are smaller compared to adult towels, hence, these are easier to manage. I personally did not use these to dry the babies after bath. I just used the towels to make sapin the bed cover. I used hooded towels to dry the babies after bath instead.

3. Hooded towels

As these are smaller than baby towels, these are easier to use when drying the babies after bath. Two to three are enough. I don't change towels every day unless these have been peed or pooped on. I change their towels every week under normal circumstances. I just make sure that these are sun-dried every after use.

4. A bathtub and a baby bather

First time mommies are very brand conscious. When I was pregnant with MiLo, I wanted everything "branded". I equated the brand with quality. Pero siyempre, kapag Fisher Price bathtub ang binili mo, expect to pay more. I recommend getting the Orocan bathtub. It's matibay and only costs 1/4 of the price of a branded tub. Mag-kamukha din naman besides your baby won't be using the tub for a very long time.

Instead of a bath seat, get a baby bather instead. I just feel a baby bather is safer for smaller babies.

baby bather

baby seat

5. Wash cloths

Just make sure to choose soft, cotton-like material to ensure that the baby's skin is not hurt.

6. Toiletries

I like top-to-toe washes because these are easy to use. Finding the perfect wash is trial and error. Look out for allergic reactions. Ask your pedia for suggestions. We started with Lactacyd baby wash, then tried Enfant, and eventually ended with J&J.

Have a stock of cotton swabs for cleaning the ears and nose after bath and a bottle of 70% isoprophyl alcohol for the umbilical stump.

7. Baby bottles

Even if you're breastfeeding, it's always better to have at least 6 2 oz baby bottles around because you'll never know when you need it. Prepare a sterilizer na din (I prefer the automatic type), bottle and nipple brush, and bottle tongs.

bottle tongs

8. Cabinet or Drawer

To store and organize baby's stuff. It's always a good idea to get them their own cabinet para you don't have to rummage through your entire wardrobe just to find a pair of mittens or booties. And baby cabinets are just too cute to be ignored.

You can have it custom-made by your karpintero or buy it ready-made at a furniture shop.

9. Crib

I recommend buying the one with a removable bassinet on top. We bought a wooden crib for MiLo in the beginning, but he only used it for 6 months and we bought another crib. Sayang, di ba? The removable bassinet can be used by younger babies and it can be removed and stored once the baby gets older.

But, if you're co-sleeping, a couple of bolster pillows will do.

Hope this helps. Until net time, ciao!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pretzel's Side Trip

Pretzel's journey wasn't so smooth. Her pediatrician informed me on December 21st, a day after her birth, that she has neonatal pneumonia and that she wasn't coming home with us the next day. She needed to stay for 7 more days for her treatment.

I only got to see my big baby when she was 2 days old. My heart broke when I saw a couple of tubes/gadgets attached to her tiny feet. One was for the administration of her medicines and the other to monitor her vital signs. She might be a big baby, but she is still very fragile. I longed to hold her in my arms.

Tubes attached to her tiny feet.
She is a day old.

I spent 30 minutes or so just staring at her. She is peacefully sleeping and said a quick prayer for her fast recovery. I apolgized to her for not taking good care of myself when she was still in me and that she had to suffer in the end. I said my goodbyes and she suddenly cried. I felt that she knew I was leaving her. The nurse told me that I can carry her. With the tubes attached to her, I was hesitant. I might hurt her, but the nurse assured me that it was alright.

I carried her with tender loving care. I sang her a lullaby and rocked her in my arms. She was comforted and fell asleep in an instant. I needed to go back to my room as I will be discharged any time. I put her back to her bassinet and she stirred and cried again. I picked her up once more and assured her that I'll be back tomorrow to visit her and that I'll be back every day until it's time for her to go home.

I left the NICU with a heavy heart, but I know that the doctors and nurses will take good care of her in my absence.

Pretzel spent her 1st Christmas at the hospital. While we celebrated at home, she was in the company of complete strangers. Strangers, who like her, were not celebrating with their families to take care of her and the other babies.

All set to go home.

A few more days passed and on the 28th, Pretzel went home. At present. Pretzel is doing very, very well and still gaining weight. At one month old, she is 9.9 lbs.

Pristine Yzabel
1 month old/9.9 lbs

Friday, January 22, 2010

Beautiful Blogger

Thanks for the the tag, Vayie. The rule looks easy enough. Let me try.

Rule: Share 7 confessions and tag 7 blogbuddies.

1. I had a kodigo when I retook my compre exams back in college. Take note, essay yung exams. Hahaha.

2. I have never been in a motel until I was married and we checked in because we haven't slept well due to the 2 (or maybe even 3) days blackout in our area.

3. I cannot do number 2 without reading anything.

4. I want to publish my own book. I have actually drafted one years back based on our love story and planned to give it to Jowell (who was just my boyfriend then) as an anniversary gift. We got married na and had kids and all, but I never got to finish writing it.

5. It frustrates me that I cannot wear sleeveless tops/gowns/dresses.

6. Aside from my husband, sisters, and brother, I don't have a best friend. I had one years ago, but we had a falling out because of a boy. Gawd! We are pathetic. Almost 6-7 years of friendship all gone to waste and she didn't even end up with him either. Sana nagkatuluyan na lang sila para hindi naman nasayang ang pagkakaibigan namin.

7. When I'm nagtatampo with my husband, I watch our wedding video and the tampo subside.

I'm tagging my fellow beautiful bloggers (naks!):

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tintin's Tip(s) No. 1: D-day Essentials

To celebrate the birth of our second child, I've decided to come up with a bi-monthly post about motherhood, parenthood, and stuff about raising children. These will be based on my own experiences, from other peoples' stories, from parenting forums, boards, and websites. Sources will be acknowledged.

Disclaimer: Even with 2 kids now, a toddler and an infant to be exact, I'm still not an expert on motherhood. I guess I'll never be. I'll always be a work in progress aiming for improvement.

To kick off this series, let me share with you what you need to bring to the hospital on D-day. These are mostly based on my own experience.

It is better to pack your hospital bag early than be taranta, but don't be too OA naman that you start packing as soon as you know that you are pregnant. You can start packing as early as your 28th week or you can be like me and pack your bags on the 35th week. I like packing on the 35th week marker kasi the clothes don't get too lukot/kusot and the bags don't get too maalikabok.

Pack 2 bags - one for you and one for baby. This is mainly for convenience. You do not need to rummage the entire bag looking for your underwear or something. I also pack a smaller bag for toiletries. Of course, inform your husband where the bags are.

All packed and ready to pop.

Stick Post-Its on your vanity mirror in your room to remind you of stuff you still need to bring, but still using in the meantime like lip balm, deodorant, toothbrush, haircomb, etc. unless you are planning to buy new supplies. I don't buy na these things for a 2-5 days confinement. These are readily available at home and I just need a constant reminder. Inform your husband that there are still some stuff to be packed. Just make sure your husband or someone else can easily find the things you listed when D-day comes.

Prepare your documents. There may be some documents you need to bring to avoid any hassles during the big day. With my firstborn, I just brought a photocopy of our marriage certificate and a couple of signed copies of a Philhealth form. I should've also brought my latest ultrasound report and all laboratory test results. I had to ask my husband to go get them at home. On my second delivery, I brought every ultrasound report and lab test resulst with me including my pre-natal record book. This becomes handy when interns interview you for your medical history. You just hand them the book, they take notes, and somehow you can relax. Also, do not forget your OB's referral letter.

On a side note, make sure that you have signed copies of the Philhealth form para hindi na ma-delay ang discharge mo unless you plan on reimbursing na lang.

Be ready with your pambayad, of coure, and have some (or lots of) extra. With my 2nd child, we were only prepared for a normal delivery, no complications (to the baby and I), and accomodations to a regular private room. I was to have a vaginal delivery and imagine my panic when my OB advised me that I will have a C-sec delivery right away. Read story here.

I delivered via C-sec, the baby had neonatal pneumonia and was confined for 6 more days after I was dischared, and we roomed in a suite. The cash we hand on hand was only half of what we needed. Our healthcard doesn't cover maternity and buti na lang it was December at madaming pera ang mga tao.

Now, what to put in the hospital bags regarless of the delivery type.

For Yaddys and Yammys (aka parents):
  • underwear
  • adult diapers and/or maternity pads (I personally prefer the diapers. The maternity pads are sooooo thick that they are uncomfortable na.)
  • toiletries (Maski sinasabi nilang bawal maligo after giving birth, magdala pa din.)
  • baby cologne
  • lip balm (especially helpful if you delivered via C-sec)
  • socks
  • towel and washcloth
  • set of clothes if you're not too keen on wearing hospital gown
  • husband's set of clothes
  • going-home outfit (preferably your maternity get up pa din kasi you'd still look around 6 months preggy)
  • slippers
  • maternity binder
  • padded bras and/or breast pads (Usually, first-time moms bring breast pads as they do not know yet how muck milk they produce. By the 2nd baby, they have a fair idea na.)
  • camera and spare battery (and film if needed)
  • mobile phone and charger
  • coins for the vendo machine
  • something to eat and drink
For Yabies (aka babies):
  • long sleeved tie/button-side shirts
  • pajamas
  • disposable diapers (Most nurseries provide a free pack of newborn diapers, but it's always better to have a spare pack.)
  • receiving blankets
  • mittens and booties
  • bonnets
  • wash cloth
The number of items you need to bring is up to you. The above is just a list of the most important things you need to bring. Aside from these, the love and support of your husband, family, and friends, and blessing from God for a safe delivery complete the D-day essentials list.

Hope this helps and next time I'll be sharing tips on things that the baby needs upon arriving home from the hospital.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pretzel's Journey

Rewind to May 03, 2009

I had 2 menstrual cycles back in March, skipped in April, and took a pregnancy test in May.


Rewind to May 16, 2009

It was confirmed through transvaginal ultrasound that I was 7 weeks and 2 days pregnant. My expected date of delivery was December 31, 2009.

Although the results were good, I wasn't too ecstatic. Finding out I was pregnant again in less than 2 years made me anxious and depressed for a short period of time. I was not ready in all aspects. Hindi ko pa nga masyadong nae-enjoy si MiLo, eh, may bagong baby na. I felt guilty at the same time as I was taking the pregnancy for granted. I skipped prenatal check-ups, didn't take my vitamins, didn't follow my diet, etc, etc. Then, out of obligation, I kept my appointments, took my medicines, and became a good patient again. But, I was still blaming my husband for getting me pregnant. I was like this for a couple of weeks until it hit me.

Rewind to September 23, 2009

I've noticed a drastic decrease in P's fetal activity since last night. P's a very malikot baby. In a day, I can feel P moving around 40-50 times, but at bedtime last night, I didn't feel P at all. I relaxed and tried to sleep thinking that maybe P has gone to sleep and will resume the kalikutan in the morning. All throughout the day, I was focusing on P's movement. The slightest sign would give me temporary relief, but deep down, I was scared.

Time dragged at work and as soon as the clock hit 3, I was out. I texted my OB right away, but I have already decided to go to TMC to have P's heartbeat checked. Maski kaninong OB. I was desperate and beginning to get paranoid. The entire trip from my place of work to TMC took about an hour and a half and I only felt P slightly move for 5 times, which is NOT so normal. I tried to remain calm while waiting at the OB's clinic. I browsed my mobile phone for MiLo's pictures to keep myself relaxed. Me being stressed out will do P no good. It took ages before Dr. Torres was able to accommodate me. He checked P's heartbeat and during the entire check-up, I only felt P twice. He assured me that P has a heartbeat, but he advised me to have a BPS tomorrow. I bargained with him if I can have it done on Saturday as I have work. He said NO!

I called my OB when I got home. She advised me to have my congenital anomaly scan tomorrow. I tried to bargain with her again and, naturally, she said NO! She has informed me that if P's state proves to be weak, I can't deliver P yet as P will not survive at 26 weeks. I knew that was coming and forced myself again to remain calm and understand Dr. Toy's instructions. I held back tears until the call was ended.

Rewind to September 24, 2009

The results of the congenital anomaly scan were all normal. P has good cardiac activity and no gross anomalies were detected.

Rewind to November 25, 2009

I had an insulin overdose after my endocronologist and I had a misunderstanding with the administration of the drug. I was advised by my OB-gynist to have a BPS and a fetal non-stress test (NST) to determine P's state of well-being. All is well with God's blessing.

Rewind to December 02, 2009

I was advised to have Estimated Fetal Weight determination and NST until delivery since I had gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). My doctors fear that I might be carrying a big baby and they were right.

Rewind to December 02, 2009

At 36 weeks and 6 days, my OB has given me my admission letter stating that I was to be admitted under her services and for vaginal delivery.

Rewind to December 12, 2009

At 37 weeks and 2 days, my cervix is closed, but effaced. I gave birth to MiLo at 37 weeks and 5 days.

P's EFW is 8 lbs and I was scheduled to have another EFW determination the following week.

Rewind to December 19, 2009

Here begins our birthing story.

around 12 noon

I had another BPS and at 38 weeks and 2 days, P's EFW has increased by 15 oz. As I had no scheduled check-up that day, I immediately called my OB and informed her of P's EFW and she was shocked that P has gained almost another pound (0.9375 to be exact) in only a week. She advised a C-section delivery at 8:30AM the following day and I was like "hu-whaaaat?!?".

around 4PM

Jowell and I went to her clinic as advised. She has given me another admission letter, but this time, I was to be admitted for C-section delivery. She explained why I can no longer have a Natural Spontaneous Delivery or normal birth. First, my labor was not progressing as an effect of the GDM. Second, if we wait until my 40th week, the baby will only get bigger and with my condition (hypertension + GDM + superimposed pre-eclampsia), a C-sec is inevitable.

We were excited to see P before Christmas, but we were not ready for a C-sec delivery. We were only prepared for a normal delivery without any complications and accommodations to a private room.

around 6:ooPM

I still went to SM Fairview to get an abdominal binder. Afterwards, we had dinner at Wendy's and went home thereafter.

around 9:30PM

Together with my husband, my parents, brother, and a cousin, we all trooped to FEU-NRMF. Again, just like with MiLo, I walked myself to the ER and did the paperworks myself. Once again, "I missed the drama of panicking if my water bag broke at an ungodly hour and sending my otherwise calm husband into a panic mode" (quoted from here).

After the SOPs, I was finally officially admitted at 1o:21PM and wheeled to my suite as all private rooms, semi and big/small were occupied. My mind started to compute the expenses and was stressed in the process.

Rewind to December 20, 2009

12 midnight

I was finally settled in and Jowell and I called it a day.

around 1:30AM

After waiting for the labor to begin, ironically, it all happened when I was already scheduled to have a C-sec. I wasn't supposed to go into labor. Scheduled CS na nga ako, di ba?!? At mamaya ng alas-otso y media yun!!! I endured the pain for over an hour or two making sure that I was actually in labor before waking up Jowell. I tossed and turned in bed as I counted the gaps between the contractions. The gaps were between 10-20 minutes pa lang.

around 3:00AM

When the contractions were 5-10 minutes apart na lang, I got up and woke up Jowell. While waiting for him to come into his senses, I walked around the room to lessen the pain.

When he finally woke up, the contractions were less than 5 minutes apart na lang and he called the nurse's station na. A resident was immediately sent to monitor my progress and my blood pressure.

My cervix was finally dilated and
the previous schedule set by my OB was moved from 8:30AM to 5:30 AM.

between 4:00 - 4:30AM

Two orderlies and a nurse went to my room to bring me to the delivery room. A pangpa-kalma was injectected on my arm before I was wheeled to the DR.

between 4:30 - 5:25AM

Outside the DR, I knew I fell asleep while they were preparing the room and themselves for the delivery. Whatever they injected to me was doing its work well. I was relaxed and barely noticed the people around me.

According to my Operation Record (OR), the spinal anesthesia aka SAB was administered at 5:13AM.
I had the same anesthesiologist so I knew I was in good hands. I'm more scared of the administration of the anesthesia rather than the delivery itself. I've heard stories kasi of overdose resulting to a vegetative state.

After the SAB was induced, my
anesthesiologist placed a pointed object (which I thought was a needle and later found out from my husband that it was the instrument my OB used to slice me) on my tummy and asked if it was "masakit" or "nakapatong lang". While the trials were made, I started shivering and when all "needle" tests were "nakapatong lang", my OB started the CS procedure at 5:25 AM.

5:38 AM

Pristine Yzabel Corpuz dela Cruz

I felt nothing and was slighty aware of what was happening around me. I knew that P was out when I felt a push on the top of my tummy, probably a fundal push, and my OB said "Tina, ang laki ng baby mo." And another commented, "Pwede nang binyagan."

I knew someone brought P to my bedside to breastfeed, but I was too sleepy to even catch a glimpse of my big baby.

Present Time

Taken on January 01, 2009

Pretzel has gained another pound since then. She, literally, is a bouncing baby girl. She is doing well in spite of the kapalpakans I had with the pregnancy.

Holding her in my arms and seeing her toothless smile, makes me regret BIG time the day I wish I was not pregnant with her. I now regret the day when I kept blaming Jowell for knocking me up again in less than 2 years. Pretzel and I had a rough journey, but we weathered it out with God's grace and the support of our family and loved ones.

Pretzel's journey has began.

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