Friday, January 30, 2015

Grand Baby Fair 2015

Today officially marks the start of Baby Company's annual 3-day Grand Baby Fair at SM Megatrade Hall! :)  I've been waiting for this event my whole pregnant life, and I was so thrilled when I received an email saying that since I am a Mom Card holder, I could go to the preview shopping exclusive to members on January 29, which was yesterday.  

Because preview shopping meant avoiding congested halls and extremely long lines at the cashier on the actual 3-day sale, I decided to take a half-day leave and went to the fair yesterday.  Yes, I was THAT excited. :)  I even woke up so early! Heehee.

The event did not disappoint.  It's aptly called Grand Baby Fair because it was indeed grand.  I think there were more than a hundred booths, and each was offering discounts of at least 20%.  Below are some photos I took, when my shopping cart still allowed me to (it was already chockablock full after a couple of hours). =D

My 2-hour stay at the fair was frenzied! Like Cinderella, I needed to leave at 12 on the dot so I could make it to a meeting at 1pm in Makati.  Good thing I still managed to buy these items:

  • crib/playard - Little Munchkin already has a nice wooden crib for her nursery, but hubby and I wanted a second one to be placed in our bedroom
  • feeding bottles & extra nipples - I plan to breastfeed, but I still need feeding bottles for expressed milk :)
  • newborn diapers - I bought 3 dozen disposable ones (and maternity pads)
  • baby clothes - I got tie-sides, mittens, booties, caps, and pajamas.  All white from Beginnings Baby.
  • beddings - I got two sets, one for each crib.  Each set includes fitted sheets, comforters, bumpers, a pillow, two bolsters, and cases.  One set even had free matching curtains and a small hamper! :)
  • nursing pillow - I bought a pink one from Uratex! :)
  • stroller pad - Got a pink one with flowers! :)
  • baby wash - I bought the one from Pigeon
  • liquid cleanser - for Munchkin's bottles :)
  • mild laundry detergent - Got two 1-kg powder boxes from Cycles

This list of purchases is very short compared to the list of baby essentials Little Munchkin will be needing.  Ang dami ko pang kulaaang!  But I guess these will do for now, the rest can just follow (hopefully at the baby shower! Hehe).  And oh, Rolly is going back to the fair today to get my electric breast pump from Pigeon.  The model I wanted wasn't available yesterday, but I was told it will be there today.  So I'd already tick that off my list, too. :)

After I paid at the counter, I was given a "swag bag"! Yaaay!  This is exclusive for Mom Card holders for a minimum single-receipt purchase of P3,000.  Since I spent about 13k for all those little things above, it's just right that I get these freebies! :)  I hope Rolly gets another one later when he buys the electric pump. =D

For mommies or mommies-to-be out there, you have until Sunday to march to SM Megamall!  :) I'm sure it will be a whole lot more jam-packed than yesterday, but I tell you now that it's worth it. :)


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Childbirth Class by Rome Kanapi: Day 4

Today's 4th of 6 sessions with Ms. Rome! :)  So, what did we learn today?

6 Ways to Progress in Birth

1. Cervix softens or ripens
2. Cervix moves forward from posterior to anterior
3. Cervix thins / effaces 100%
4. Cervix opens / dilates from 0 to 10cm
5. Baby's head must rotate and mold to fit through the pelvis
6. Baby descends in the pelvis by station; from -5 to +5

Image from Pinterest

We were also taught the breathing patterns for the first stage of the birth process, the modified Valsava Method, gentle exhale pushing, and how to resist pushing when it's not yet time to push.  We practiced pushing, even the boys! :) Different positions during delivery were also demonstrated, and I think I'd have to go with the one sitting down (as if you're just pooping).  This way, it's more natural and easier for the baby, thanks to gravity.

A film about the birthing process was also supposed to be shown in class, but the DVD player acted up so it didn't push through.  Whew!  I have a week to prepare my nerves for the sight of a baby actually exiting a vajayjay.  Hehe.  I wasn't sure I wanted to see it (and still am not, I think).

There were many other little things taught today, but I'd rather not go through all of them here. But of course I won't skip the bit about the surprise waiting for us before the class ended.  The guys from Pigeon were there to demo their products, and there were freebies --- a feeding bottle and disposable breast pads! :) Yaay!

Here they were demonstrating how the silent electric pump works. :)
Notice the big, fake boobie? =D

Fours down, two more sessions to go! :)


Saturday, January 24, 2015


It’s been two weeks since we became “helpless.”  Our helper, Ate Beth, left poor Rolly and me, and we’ve become tired and worn out ever since.  No, she did not leave because we were such horrible employers; she did because of health reasons.  Her blood pressure was unpredictable, making her okay one moment and extremely dizzy and cold the next.  She did not want to burden us anymore with her unexpected ‘can’t-get-out-of-bed-today’ days. If I may cite an example,  on the day before Christmas just as she was about to go on vacation, she suddenly felt nauseous and threw up many times, making us rush her to the hospital. :( Haay. 

Now I am seven months pregnant, it’s not very easy for me to just hop out of bed and do the chores all of a sudden because our yaya’s sick.  Not to mention I'm such a lazybones these days. All I want to do is sleep, sleep, and sleep more. 

Rolly and I are now back to Tag Team mode, just like the old days when I wasn’t pregnant yet.  I’d do all the cooking while he takes care of the rest, hehe, like dishwashing, feeding and cleaning after our dog Blair, cleaning the house, et cetera.  It’s been an exhausting two weeks for Rolly especially.  I’m just glad I’m married to a very responsible and loving man.  One who wouldn’t even want me to lift a finger, if he only knew how to cook.  :) 

Cartoon from :)

If I see a falling star tonight, my wish would be for us to find a good replacement for ate Beth. Someone who will take good care of us (who are low maintenance anyway), one whom we can trust, one who will treat us like family. Help us find her, Lord. I know You will. 

We didn't need to wait long.  We already have a new helper!  She arrived last Wednesday, Jan 28. 
Thank You so much, Lord! :) Hoping she's the one! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Third Trimester

Dear baby munchkin,

You are now on your 28th week in my tummy, and this means we're already in our third trimester! :) Yippee! Good job, darling!  We're now in the homestretch of pregnancy, just a few more weeks to go! :)

Just hang in there, okay?  Please don't come out until we've reached 37 weeks at least!  I want you to be healthy and strong and fully developed before you face the outside world.  If you get bored, you're more than welcome to do some kickboxing in there, I won't mind at all.  :) And during your silent moments, do not forget to say your little prayer to Papa Jesus so that you two will get closer and closer each day.  Okay, baby doll?  We love you! 

You and me today, at 28 weeks :)


Monday, January 19, 2015

My Supersized Feet

BIG TUMMY - check!
WIDER HIPS - check!
FAT ARMS & LEGS - check!

Now another part of my body has joined the bandwagon - my feet. What used to be a 6 (sometimes even 5 and a half) have now grown to a sad 7 or even 8 in some brands. :( I knew my feet were growing coz I could already feel the serious discomfort with my old shoes, but man I wasn't expecting that significant jump in size. The other day, hubby and I were at the mall looking for new pairs for my now much stouter feet, and I was shocked when they couldn't even slip through a seven. The length of the footwear was ok, but the part where the mid-foot strap was felt way too snug. I asked for size 8, same thing happened. :( Oh well, after denial comes depression, then goes acceptance. I got to the acceptance phase, I've moved on (hahaha, kala mo breakup).

I just wish that after Little Munchkin pops out, my feet, at least, would go back to their normal size. A five-foot woman with elephant feet doesn't look cute. =/

Update on November 11, 2015
Today, 7 and a half months after giving birth, my feet have not completely returned to their normal size.  I was size 6 before pregnancy, now I'm at size 6.5, and I think it's staying for good. 


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Childbirth Class by Rome Kanapi: Day 3

Today was the day with the most practical learnings so far! :) The best one for me, I think, was the step by step process on what usually happens when the about-to-pop mommy gets to the hospital on D-Day.  

from :)

  1. Hubby will bring me straight to the hospital's delivery room (instead of the E.R.).
  2. An internal exam (ouch!) will be done by the resident doctor.
  3. The fetal heart rate will be checked and closely monitored.  My blood pressure, too.
  4. I will be asked questions such as my (and hubby's) blood type and Rh factor, my menstrual cycle history, medical history, etc.  To make my life easier, it's advised to just bring an accomplished info sheet (included in our class handouts); best to prepare 5 copies.
  5. While the Q&A is happening, hubby could already do the room selection.  TIP: find out the room's cutoff hours!  In case I'll be at the hospital at 11pm and the cutoff is 12am, it's better to wait for an hour than pay for the short amount of time spent in the room before the cutoff.
  6. I'll be asked to change to the hospital gown.
  7. Admission.

We also tackled enema, amniotomy (rupturing of the bag), and ways to induce labor if it's taking a while. The class was also divided into groups of three couples to discuss the medical pathway versus the physiologic pathway during labor; for instance, IV fluids for hydration and energy versus drinking fluid or eating as desired.

That's it for session 3! :) And oh, by the way, there were freebies!!! Yahoo! Thank you, Mustela! :)

I haven't tried any Mustela product yet but despite that, I think this could be my brand of choice.
The lady from Mustela explained the science behind the products so well, I was pretty convinced! :)


Friday, January 16, 2015

Our Nursery Project

Dear Little Munchkin,

How's my 27-week old baby girl? :)  You've been so active today!  I wonder if you're aware of the special project your dad and I have started working on --- your nursery room! :)  

It officially kicked off yesterday when we went to the mall to buy painting tools --- a set of brushes, a roller, plus buckets of paint. The room we've reserved for you had cream-colored walls and an ecru closet, and I've always wanted to color them differently for you.  Guess what paint I chose?  Because you're a sweet, little girl, I picked white and pink!  How predictable, I knooow. =D  Hehe.  Hope you'll like it when you're big enough to know colors, darling. :)

Today is a holiday, but it's been a no-rest day for your dad.  He woke up early this morning to start lining up the floors with old newspapers, in preparation for his painting job today.  He started at around 9 am, and up until this moment (it's past 9 pm now as I write), he's still in the room painting the walls, your walls.

Left Photo: Rolly doing the first coat of the white wall and closet.
Right Photo: Him working on the pink wall.

See how much your daddy loves you, Munchkin?  He hasn't even taken a shower yet!  Hahaha. =D  I could feel how tired he is, only resting when it's time to eat, but he's not complaining. After all, it's his little girl's room he's prepping up. :)  Say  "thank you daddy" when you can already talk, will you? :)

We love you baby!  We can't wait to finish this project for you.  We hope you'll find it pretty and cozy, perfect for deep sleeps (so that mommy and daddy can steal long naps, too! ;)


Papal Visit 2015

Yesterday, His Holiness Pope Francis arrived in Manila for a five-day state and apostolic visit. I wish I'd get a chance to see him in flesh, but that's highly unlikely as I am stuck at home. :(  If I weren't pregnant, I might join the crowds gathering in places where the Pope has been set to traverse, but my belly as big as a watermelon won't permit me.  Thank God there's non-stop media coverage, I get to see him on TV. :) 

Well, welcome to the Philippines, Pope Francis! :) Thank You for your compassion, humility, and love. Your malasakit means so much to us, Filipino Catholics.  We love you! :)

A proud Catholic,

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Childbirth Class by Rome Kanapi: Day 2

Rolly and I learned so much today! :)  As stated in the class outline I shared in my Day 1 post, for Day 2 the topics for discussion include presentation, position, and station; stages and phases of labor, and breathing techniques, among others.

According to Ms. Rome, the baby's presentation in the uterus could either be cephalic/vertex or head-first, breech or butt-first with flexed hips and knees, or transverse where the shoulder, arm, or trunk is first. 

Photo from

As many of us may know, the normal presentation is cephalic which occurs in 97% of pregnancies.  If the baby is in a breech or transverse position, CS is inevitable. =\  We don't want that mommies, do we?  Thank God our little munchkin was head-first the last time we checked.  Hope she won't do a somersault and get stuck butt-first anytime in the next several weeks. =S

How will mommies know when it's almost labor time?  Among the early stages are cervical effacement and dilation. Effacement refers to the thinning of the cervix, measured in percentage; while dilation refers to the opening of the cervix, measured in centimeters. Around the 37th week of pregnancy, the doctor will already begin to look for cervical indicators that labor is near.  

Today, the class also learned the phases of labor.

1)  Early Labor - this is the longest and the least intense phase. The cervix begins to thin (efface) and start to open up (dilate) from 0 to 3cm.  The bag of waters may break and the mucus plug might come out. Contractions will be mild to moderate lasting 30-45 seconds and are spaced 5-20 minutes apart.
What to do during this phase? Relax and rest, save your strength for later on! :) 

2)  Active Labor - by this phase, the cervix has already dilated to about 5 to 7cm.  If the bag of waters hasn't ruptured or the mucus plug hasn't come out, they may happen now.  Contractions are now more frequent, coming every 3-4 minutes and lasting for about 40-60 seconds. 
What to do during this phase?  Walk or move about to keep the labor moving; go to the bathroom often.

3)  Transitional (Advanced) Labor - this is the last and most intense phase.  The cervix dilates from 7 to its final 10cm.  Contractions come hard and fast, usually 60-90 seconds long spaced about 2 or 3 minutes apart.  We did not get to discuss this phase in detail today, Ms. Rome saved it for next week, probably because she didn't want to scare us just yet. =S

I can relate!!! Photo from =D

Before the class ended, we did our routine exercises again.

That's me trying to stretch as far down as possible.  You could see I'm not that flexible, hehe.

The husbands were also tasked to "inflict pain" on the wives by pressing a portion of our shoulders, just so we could simulate the discomfort of labor (but of course that pain will be 100x more!) and practice our breathing with it. And so that the boys could feel it too, they did the same among themselves!  Pero bakit parang hindi sila nasasaktan? =))

Ang saya pa ng asawa ko. It seemed like only the girls were affected by the shoulder pinch! =D

And that's about it for Day 2! :)  Next week ulit!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Childbirth Class by Rome Kanapi: Day 1


That is how I describe myself as far as giving birth or caring for a newborn is concerned.  I guess that's pretty understandable, given that this is the very first bun in my oven. :)  Thank heavens there's the world wide web now, so answers to my hopelessly ignorant questions are just a click away.  Still, I never felt that relying solely on my own research was enough.  It's the welfare of our precious little munchkin that's at stake here, so Rolly and I wanted to be at our most prepared state when the moment comes.  This resolve was what drove us to look for a childbirth/newborn care class for expectant parents.

When I googled the phrase "childbirth class Philippines," the top search results led me to Ms. Rome Kanapi.  She's a certified childbirth educator under the Philippine Association for Childbirth Education and a member of the International Childbirth Education Association.  I did further research and saw many good reviews about her and her classes, so Rolly and I decided to get in touch with her and signed up right away.  

Today's Day 1 of our 6 Sunday classes held at the Institute of Social Order, Ateneo de Manila University.  Upon arrival at the venue, we were given name tags and handouts. 

This was the course outline given to us.  I'm looking forward to Day 4 the most! :)

After introducing ourselves to everyone in class, we were given an overview of the course just like what the outline above says.  Then Ms. Rome gave us a lesson on maternal anatomy; she showed us a real pelvic bone and illustrated how the baby will pass through it during delivery.  

That's hubby with a baby doll and the pelvic bone.

My key learning today: it's important for the baby not to get too large inside the tummy so it would be easier for her to pass through the pelvis when D-day comes.  For Asians like me, a 6-pound 'passenger' is ideal.  This is why as early as now, I should learn how to curb my appetite, especially for sweets.  Waaaah.  I'm not sure I can do it. :(

Next up was prenatal stretching.  We were requested to bring a mat and a pillow, and the ladies were told to wear leggings, pants, or shorts.  We did the shoulder roll, the hand roll, pelvic rock, semi-squat, lunges, and Kegel/pelvic floor contraction exercises, among others.

Aside from stretching, we were also taught how to lie down and get up the correct way.

The hubbies joined the fun, too! :) They did the "leg swing" exercise.

After the exercises, progressive relaxation was next.  The lights were turned off, and we were asked to close our eyes.  We were told to focus on a particular muscle group, then let go and relax.  In fairness, it worked for me!  I would definitely try to do this regularly especially when I find myself burned out after along day at work.

And that's basically it for Day 1! :)  

Oh, let me share with you our 'first day high' photos!  There were fourteen couples in the class. Ms. Rome's always fully booked! :)

Presenting the husbands and wives of Rome Kanapi's Jan-Feb 2015 morning classes! :)
Almost all ladies plan to give birth either at St. Luke's BGC, Makati Med, or Asian Hospital.
That's Ms. Rome on the leftmost and in the middle (top and bottom shots, respectively).

So far so good! :)  For those expectant parents who are also interested to enroll in Ms. Rome's childbirth classes, you may reach her at (0917) 541 5114 or (02) 436 1757.   The fee is PhP 5,000 per couple inclusive of six Sunday sessions at Ateneo.  It's best to start the course when you're 5 to 6 months pregnant. :)  Hope this helps!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Souvenir Stretch Marks

Ever since my baby bump has started to balloon, I've always made it a point to check myself out in the mirror daily to see if not-so-pleasant pregnancy souvenirs, a.k.a. STRETCH MARKS, have started to appear. I had always been proud having seen nothing. During one of my OB visits, my doctor even made a comment that my tummy skin seemed well moisturized, and she's hoping I won't get the dreaded red streaks ever.

Well, today is a different story. :( Today, my tummy has changed forever.  

See those purple marks? It's their birthday today, when I'm exactly 25 weeks & 3 days pregnant.
My apologies if you're squeamish and you find this photo gross. =S Huhu.
(The dark line at the center is the "linea nigra", FYI.)

The stretch marks are unsightly, obviously.  Imagine my shock when I discovered them after shower; hubby even heard me shriek!  Oh well, though I was fervently hoping I won't get them, part of me somehow knew it was inevitable.  More than half of all expectant mommies get these red 'roadmaps', when the belly is already rapidly expanding to accommodate the growing sweet pea.   Unfortunately, there isn't much one can do to prevent them, there's no proof that these creams and oils promising a flawless pregnant belly actually work, though they may reduce the itch.  Take it from me.  Hubby and I have been doing our part, him slathering lotion on and around my tummy every night to keep the skin hydrated, but still, THIS happened. 

But what really causes stretch marks anyway?

Let me borrow this paragraph from

"Stretch marks are actually tiny tears in the supporting layers of tissue under your skin as it's pulled tight to the limit during pregnancy. Susceptibility has lots to do with GENETICS: Chances are, if your mother got them, you probably will too - while if she sailed through her pregnancies with smooth skin intact, you'll probably stay as smooth as your baby's butt. Rapid pregnancy weight gain can also make you more likely to get stretch marks. And darker-skinned women are less likely to get stretch marks as fair-skinned gals (plus they're not as visible on dark skin)."

In my case, I'm pretty sure genetics is to blame.  Up to this day, my mom's belly still has her zigzagging souvenir from me and kuya.  And now the streaks have begun zigzagging in mine. Waaah!  

But kidding and kaartehan aside, this is a very small price women have to pay in their journey to becoming a mommy.  The joy that a child can bring to a home is priceless, and no amount of stretch marks could outweigh that.  I look forward to the day when our baby doll is already old enough to understand, when I can show her this photo and tell her how she has left a mark on mommy's belly while she was growing inside.  I bet she'd be delighted (and grossed out, haha), the same way I was when my mom showed me hers. :)

Thank you for the souvenir, baby doll!  :) If these marks mean you're growing steadily and healthily inside me, then keep them coming! ;)  Daddy and I love you!


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