Saturday, February 28, 2015

Hospital Bag Must-Haves

Munchkin and I are about to turn 34 weeks in a few days, and I've realized I should already be listing down our things-to-bring to the hospital so we could prepare just in case she decides to come out earlier than my expected due date. Our house is just near Asian Hospital, and hubby could easily go home in case we've forgotten something, but I would want to avoid that as much as possible 'coz I only want him close to me and our baby on D-day. Yes, yes.  Mushy then, still mushy now. =P

So what am I going to pack exactly?  Based on what we were taught in Rome's childbirth class and from my own research, these are my hospital bag must-haves:

  • 1 pack newborn disposable diaper
  • 3 pairs of mittens
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 3 tie-sides
  • 3 bonnets
  • 3 pairs of booties
  • 3 gauze diapers
  • 2 baby towels
  • 2 receiving blankets
  • body wash
  • small feeding bottles (just in case, but I intend to breastfeed right away)
  • coming home outfit

  • 1 pack maternity pads
  • 2 easy-to-slip-on dresses or pajamas
  • 1 pair slippers
  • 1 pair socks
  • 5 undies
  • headband and scrunchies (to hold my long hair back)
  • nursing bra
  • 1 nursing cover
  • breast pump
  • toiletries: face wash, cotton, feminine wash, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner (just in case I'll be allowed to take a shower in the hospital)
  • kikay kit: comb, powder, lip balm, lipstick, concealer (as if I will have the time and energy to doll myself up after delivery, hehe)
  • rosary and/or Bible (to keep me company during labor)
  • coming home clothes

  • Cellphones (his and mine) and chargers
  • Camera and charger (though I'm sure he will take photos using his iPhone)
  • Clothes for changing
  • Bath towels
  • Snacks
  • Pen and paper
  • iPad and books to keep him occupied while waiting
  • Cash and credit cards
  • ID cards (his and mine)

  • My info sheet
  • Birth plan
  • Philhealth form
  • HMO card
  • My prenatal book, ultrasound copies, and test results
  • Admission papers from my OB-GYN

Whew! =$  At the moment, our bag is still empty, but I promise to pack these stuff up very soon! :)


UPDATE as of March 14: Munchkin's bag is packed! :)


Friday, February 27, 2015

Intensive Whitening Only From Belo

These days when it comes to skin whitening, Kojic is the top-of-mind ingredient for Pinoys.  Proof that it has already dethroned papaya is the fact that too many Kojic brands have now started sprouting like mushrooms in supermarkets, groceries, and department stores, and they occupy much bigger display spaces than papaya brands such as Likas and Silka.

Kojic may be king now, but have you noticed any points of difference among Kojic brands in the market?  I haven't found any, because they're all offering the same:  skin lightening through Kojic Acid. Only one brand stands out because it didn't stop at whitening with Kojic Acid alone.  It combined Kojic with another powerful whitening active, Tranexamic Acid.  This brand is Belo. *wink*wink*

Kojic Acid is an organic compound that effectively inhibits the production of tyrosinase and melanin giving skin a visibly lighter appearance. Tranexamic Acid, on the other hand, is a peptide proven to inhibit inflammation and melanin formation. It is ideal for stubborn dark spots that do not respond to other skin lightening ingredients. Yes, including those spots that even Kojic Acid alone cannot address.  Now you see why Belo Kojic Bar (the product's nickname) is better than the rest. :) In fact, blind clinical tests show that it's 64% better than the leading Kojic soap brand!  Imagine that?  64% is a lot! Well I guess you really have to try it to believe it. 

Because Belo Kojic took the soap industry by storm when it was launched last year, there has been an insistent public demand for Belo to come up with other product formats which are as potent.  And... surprise surprise!  This year, the wish of fans is granted with the launch of new Belo Kojic babies: Belo Intensive Whitening Body Cream and Belo Intensive Whitening Face & Neck Cream! :) 

This body cream is essentially a LOTION. :)  It's just called body cream because the product is so rich
and the texture resembles that of a cream (unlike regular lotions which are thinner and watery).
SRP: P199.75 (150mL)

Yup, this face cream is not only for the face but also for the neck. :)  Very effective in evening out skin tone
and removing ugly blemishes and spots.
SRP: P249.75 (50g)

These two new products are the perfect complement to the Belo Kojic bar which happens to be for both the face and body. :)  Like the bar, the scent will blow you away and you'd want to keep smelling yourself the whole day! (At least that's what I do! Hehe. I would always catch my hands on my nose so I could get a whiff!) =D

The new Belo Intensive Whitening line is available in leading supermarkets, department stores, groceries, and drugstores nationwide.  When looking for it, here's a tip.  Look for the shelf that's dominantly orange and white, and there's where you'll find Belo Kojic. ;) And oh, before I forget, here's the brand's new TVC and print ad featuring no less than the beautiful Sarah Geronimo! :)

Lovely! :)


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Our Little Munchkin in 3D

For mommies and daddies to be, perhaps one of the biggest mysteries after the 'gender reveal' is how the baby looks like.  Will s/he take after daddy, mommy, or will s/he be a mix of both?  Well, for Rolly and I, those questions have already been answered.  We already saw our baby in 3D! :)

Look at that nose! :) That is undeniably Rolly's! :)  The lips, too!
Weeee!  Little Munchkin is smiling at mommy and daddy! :)
And then she's back to serious mode. Hehe. =D

I've always imagined my daughter to look like me, but basing it on these photos, I guess it's pretty obvious that she looks like her daddy.  When I was a baby, my nose was teeny-weeny, and nowhere will you find a prominent bridge.  The lips, we're guessing, are also Rolly's, because I don't have a shapely upper lip like that.  Hehe.  Because Little Munchkin's eyes are still shut, there's no way to tell if they're mine or her daddy's.  If they come out to be chinky, haaaaay naku naman, wala nang nakuha sa akin!  The eyes and the brows are my last chance!  Please please please! =D

We had Munchkin's 3D and 4D scan at In My Womb, Mall of Asia.  We actually had to go back there three times, because the sonologist couldn't take good pictures 'coz our baby would always cover her face with her hands and feet!  I wonder if she's just shy, or that contortionist-ish pose is her default position in my uterus. Hehe.  Good thing that In My Womb allows up to 4 re-scans if the baby's not being cooperative.  

Oh Little Munchkin, we love you very much! :)  We can't wait to see you in the flesh!  But for now, we'll just be content looking at these photos of yours.  We've got about 6 to 9 weeks to go! :)


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Childbirth Class by Rome Kanapi: Day 6

It was our last session this morning! And as planned, today was no longer about pregnancy and childbirth. Today was dedicated for newborn care: breastfeeding, diapering, and swaddling, among others.

Here, Ms. Rome was demonstrating how to clean the baby after s/he pees or poops, and how to put on a diaper. :)
Then it was the daddies' turn! :)  Kyle and Jason were putting on their sons' nappies,
while my hubby worked on our little girl. :)

More than the mommies, Ms. Rome focused on teaching the dads.  Hehe.  She emphasized how important the husband's help and support will be after the wifey delivers the little one.  I appreciated those words very much, though I know how supportive Rolly will be even without anyone telling him. :)

And, after all the demos and practice, we watched a 20-minute video about breastfeeding.

Though the film made it look like breastfeeding's easy peasy, I know better.  I've never talked to any mommy who didn't say how challenging it is in the first few weeks.  Some friends even told me that they didn't cry during labor, but they did while breastfeeding.  Scaaary!  I'll be needing more preps for this.  I am really, really determined to breastfeed our Little Munchkin. As they say, breast is best! :)

And that's it! :) We ended the morning with the awarding of certificates.........
Here's ours, yaaay! :)

......... and EATING!!!  Each couple brought something to share with the group, so there was sooooo much food! :) There were different kinds of pasta, pizza, roast beef, arroz caldo, mamon, cakes, and ice cream. Obviously, I wasn't able to take a photo because I was busy eating, and that was my priority at that moment.  Hahaha. =D

Overall, we had a very wonderful 6-Sunday experience learning from Ms. Rome Kanapi.  The fee was very sulit, our weekly trip to Quezon City all the way from the south of the metro was all worth it.  I would definitely recommend expectant couples to take her classes!  She's very warm and accommodating, in fact, she told the class that even after today, we can still call or text her if we have questions.  She even encouraged us to create a Facebook group so everyone could keep in touch. :)  Nice, di ba?

So that's about it!  I hope I would be able to remember everything we learned when labor day arrives. Wish me luck! :)


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Touring Asian Hospital

Munchkin and I are exactly 30 weeks and 3 days along today, and this morning was our scheduled monthly appointment with the OB at her clinic in Asian Hospital.  Since Rolly and I plan to have our baby doll delivered at Asian, we spent the morning (while waiting for the doctor) getting to know it better, checking out the birthing facilities, the inpatient rooms, and of course, the rates. We thought it would be good to be familiar with the hospital surroundings in order to plan our route for D-day, so we won't have to scramble for directions when I'm already having labor contractions. 

Okay, let's imagine that my Munchkin moment has arrived.  My bag of waters breaks, and I'm already experiencing moderate contractions.  Hubby and I decide that it's already time to go to the hospital.  Where will he bring me exactly?

To Genesis at the 3rd floor of Asian's right wing!  Genesis is what they call the hospital's birthing center. :)  

It's better to head straight to Genesis instead of the E.R. when you're about to give birth to avoid
unnecessary E.R. charges..  The E.R. guys will just also bring you to Genesis anyway.

Upon arrival at Genesis, I will be wheeled to the Triage Room.  This room is where I will continue on with labor until my cervix dilates to about 8cm. Hubby can stay with me inside Triage as I fight my way through the pain (ouch!).

The Triage Room is pretty big separated by curtains.  There's nobody there when we went to have a look,
but when we were about to leave, we saw a nurse wheeling in a pregnant woman in active labor. :)

When I finally reach 8cm, I will be transferred to one of the birthing rooms where I will wait 'til my cervix fully dilates to 10cm.  The photo below was taken from the door since we weren't allowed to go in, but from where we stood, the room looked spacious and comfortable.  I'm sure that at the peak of labor, I wouldn't care how the room looks like, but at least hubby will be cozy here, as he waits with me for our little bundle of joy. :)  And oops before I forget, this birthing room is for normal delivery only.  Genesis has a different one for CS, that one we didn't get to see anymore.

The birthing room we checked out was just right across Triage.
And yes, 1 is to 1 for the room.  No sharing! :)

The nurse says that after delivery, I will have to stay at the birthing room for about a couple of hours. Assuming that our Litttle Munchkin is 100% healthy and has no special needs, she gets to stay with me and daddy, too, after she's cleaned up! :)  Here, I will get to cuddle and breastfeed my baby for the first time. Just imagining it now makes me cry in happiness. *tears*

After resting for a bit post-delivery is the time when I will be transferred to my room at the 5th floor for our small family's private time together. :) Asian Hospital has different types of rooms for maternity patients: Presidential Suite, Executive Private, Junior Executive Private, Standard Private, and a Four-Bedded Room or ward.  Choosing a room is critical because in one of our childbirth classes with Ms. Rome Kanapi, she mentioned that in most hospitals, the more exclusive the room is, the higher the miscellaneous fees are!  I was surprised because I always thought the fees were standard, only the room rates differ.  Well, I asked the admissions staff at Asian, and she confirmed it!  That being said, the presidential suite and executive private rooms are definitely out of our options list when I give birth.  Hehe.  Hopefully, there will be one standard private room available when my time comes, because that is what we're eyeing. 

Across the bed is the dresser and closet, a small ref, and a TV.
The Guest Services staff told me that in other standard rooms, the TV is flat screen. :)
There's a built-in couch and easy chair with ottoman by the window. :)
And another comfy chair beside the bedside table. :)
The toilet and bath.  There's no tub obviously. :)

The Standard Private room is roomy! :) It's the most in-demand room for maternity patients at Asian Hospital, thus is the first to run out.  In the event that I need to be admitted already and there's none of this room available, our second option is the Junior Executive Private room.  We got a chance to check it out as well, and its only difference from the Standard Private is the fact that it has a two-seater coffee table, a better-looking closet, and a bigger flat screen TV.  It's also a little more spacious, but the size difference is really not so much.  But the price difference? Huge. Junior Exec is 65% more expensive than Standard Private.  

The coffee table inside the Junior Executive Private room.
The better-looking closet. Bow.

According to the hospital staff, even after we're admitted in the junior exec room, we can always tell them that we want to be transferred to a standard private when one becomes available. :)  We also asked about the room's cut-off time, and they said it's always at 11am of the following day.  That means if I get admitted at any time on April 15, for instance, I get charged for the room only at 11am of April 16. ;)

Here are photos of the lobby areas at the 5th floor where visitors could lounge.

This is the lobby near the Standard Private room we checked out.

This is nearer the Junior Executive room.

Now after the labor pains and the bliss of holding our healthy Little Munchkin, it's time to go home! :)  But before that, hubby has to first settle the hospital bill.  Hehe.  So how much would it really cost to deliver a baby at Asian Hospital?  The truth is, there is no definite answer.  The admissions officer could only tell you an estimate, because the actual amount depends on many factors, such as the procedure (NSD or CS), how many your doctors are and how much their rates are (of course some doctors are more expensive than others), the length of your hospital stay, the room you got, the condition of your baby (does s/he need to be in an incubator, other special needs s/he may have), et cetera.  We asked for estimated costs at Genesis, and were given a sheet of paper.  Note that the prices here are all "estimated for uncomplicated cases; professional fees of doctors (OB, anesthesiologist, and pedia) and room are NOT INCLUDED."  

Now let's do a sample computation for an uncomplicated normal spontaneous delivery:

  • Delivery at Genesis:  PhP 60,000
  • 3-day stay at a Junior Executive room:  PhP 18,000
  • OB's PF:  PhP 60,000
  • Anesthesiologist PF:  PhP 20,000
  • Pedia's PF:  PhP 20,000
  • TOTAL:  PhP 178,000

To reiterate, this is only a sample.  It could go much higher or slightly lower depending on the individual case and your choices.  Obviously, if you choose to stay in a 4-bedded room instead of junior executive, the room rate is much less expensive.  If you have super famous dream doctors in the team, it follows that their fees are much more as well.  If you're having a boy and you'll have him circumcised right after birth, then that would be added to the cost, too.  Again, it depends on you and your baby's condition and the choices you make. :)

That wraps up our tour of Asian Hospital for my maternity needs. :) If you have questions or would like a copy of the latest room rates, let me know by writing a comment so I could email it to you. :)


UPDATE as of 31 October 2018:
I just gave birth again at Asian Hospital last 13 October 2018, and this time it was a Caesarian delivery and was very different from when I gave birth in 2015 (reasons here). Hit the comment section below if you're curious about the rates and/or the experience. šŸ™‚


UPDATE as of 19 March 2020:
 If you are into watching videos, just watch our vlog entry below and you'll get the same details!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Childbirth Class by Rome Kanapi: Day 5

The 5th session of Ms. Rome's Preparation for Childbirth classes is a relatively serious one.  Why?  We talked about birthing complications!  Like, what will be the problems that can lead to cesarian section, as well as the conditions where moms could still go through a normal spontaneous delivery.  I took a photo of the board in class so I didn't have to take down notes.  Hehe.

After the detailed discussion, we watched a film about the Stages of Labor.  As mentioned in a previous post, I knew I needed to prepare my nerves for this. 

You might think I overacted, but I did cry discreetly in some parts of the video, especially the part where the mommy's in so much pain during labor.  I called my tears "tears of fear."  Hehe. Good thing it also showed the happiness in her face upon seeing her baby for the first time.  I imagined a thought bubble saying "It was all worth it."  Haaay, the love of a mother.  I can't wait to feel that feeling, too (the joy ha, I'm not looking forward to the pain, hehe).

So, next week will be the last session!  And we were told it will all be about the next several days after delivery --- newborn care!  Yaaay, I'm going to enjoy that sesh! :)


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