Saturday, May 29, 2010

Breastfeeding Saves Money. More Importantly, It Saves Lives

I would just like to share a recent article I wrote for POC. Breastfeeding Saves Lives may seem anti-formula. It really isn't. I am not even anti-milk companies per se. But I am against the measures they go to deceive consumers and undermine breastfeeding.

And sure, they are actually lucrative employers. And they do employ thousands of Filipinos. If they bail out, thousands will lose jobs. All true.

But the thing is, formula feeding already results in sick kids. Those who can afford medication and hospitalization will chalk it up only to bad luck and growing pains. After all, all kids get sick. That's how they build up their immune system. Few ever suspect that it could be the milk they're giving to their babies that are actually making their kids sick. And few definitely know that breastfeeding really offers protection. Few get past the liquid milk they see. To most people, it's almost the same banana.

But it's not.

Heck, even organic soy milk uses added cane sugar which makes it already totally different from breast milk.

And formula feeding results in death. Deaths that could have been prevented.

People might say, it's not anymore our fault if other people are too poor to afford sterile water and equipment. That it's not our fault if they dilute the milk they give to their infants. And yes, it really isn't our fault.

But it's still everybody's responsibility to make sure the truth is heard and known. And the poor seldom know things. It's very easy to undermine their remaining abilities and rights, like breastfeeding their child, because they seldom know better.

That's what the advocates are fighting for.

How can a woman say she made an informed choice if she didn't have all the facts? Formula companies keep saying they added this and that to their milk, but they don't say that adding those things do not really count because there isn't proof that those are absorbed by the body anyway. They have guides on how to prepare their milk but do they also say that not following that guide may result in a sick child?

And do they own up to containers containing chemicals or contaminants?

Breastfeeding saves money, and not just because you don't have to buy formula. Breastfeeding saves lives... I can't think of any higher purpose.

Crab Binge

Seriously, if I wasn't pregnant and I was some other woman, I would probably looking for the best weight loss supplements available after what I did.

I ate lunch for three hours!!!

Hubby cooked sweet chili crabs and shrimp for me. It's really bad of him to buy two kilos of crabs for me to feast on, and the sauce he made was just soooo delicious that I ate lots and lots of rice.

Actually, I only ate 1.5 crabs and it wouldn't have taken me so long to eat it, although I like savoring every nook and cranny of it, if I wasn't also pacing myself. Plus, at fist I was shelling shrimps for my hyper son. And I was watching the movie Scorpion King. And for the last plate of rice and crab, I made sure to eat real slow so I won't have reflux or indigestion. So far, so good... but it's only been an hour after I finished eating. And I know eating such a hefty meal would mean I'd be overly hungry in an hour or two again only because of too much gastric juice in my tummy.

Everything has a price, hehe.

I just hope I don't barf later.

Oh and I have resolved to eat the rest of the crabs tomorrow instead. I'd eat a lot of light things from now on till tonight.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rains and Two Steps Back

Like what I said, just when I was starting to feel human again, I take two steps back. I barfed for two consecutive days (i think i'd beat those taking clinicallix in weight loss) and I am feeling weak and dizzy all the time again. I also had spotting yesterday, which was a little shocking for me as the blood was red and not just the usual streak in my discharge.

And I can't explain my palette again. I dread eating again because I don't feel satisfied or full, but hunger pangs will get me retching again.


The upside is that it rained more today than yesterday. Hopefully, it will rain some more tomorrow. Our parched, parched land needs water and everybody needs a reprieve from the assaulting heat.

And I did finally finish my breastfeeding article.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

John Travolta and Kelly Preston Expecting!!!

I was super thrilled to find out only now that Kelly Preston is expecting. And at age 47 too!!!

I know that a new baby will not diminish their departed son's memory, but I think it will really help them heal some more. Plus, Scientology aside, I love that they truly love each other and that they have a thriving, stable marriage. I'd rather couples like them have more kids than those celebs who just end up pregnant, hook up for a time and then move on.

I wish them well!!

Nauseous Again

I was able to walk home from my son's swimming lessons yesterday. I felt fine. So I stayed till 2 PM downstairs and only used the aircon when Yakee was napping. Then I went down with him.

I didn't like the heat but felt I could tolerate it. And I was telling myself not to be so overly high maintenance just because I was pregnant.

I felt fine until around 7 PM. I ended up barfing again and now my tummy is very sensitive again. Minutes downstairs get me heaving again. So yeah, just when I thought I was already fine, it turns out, I am still not.

This is just like m,y acne during my adolescence. One day you see things clearing up and then the next day, you're looking for an acne cleanser that works again.

It's a never ending cycle of hormones! I am so tired of it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mommy Is a Geek

I bought these books at the Anvil sale last year. It was only recently that I really opened one and was even surprised that there was a dinosaur book among them.

I ended up reading all. I loved them. I think they're really, really, really great for grade schoolers because they make science interesting and fun. Hopefully, there'd be more issues on sale this coming December although I've just given birth then so I really don't know how I can go. Hehe.

There's also a children's book sale going on till June 6 at Robinsons Place Manila and there were so many reference books that are affordably priced. I told hubs, they're books that I know I'd read and love. I hope I can prevent myself from super shopping!!!

My Son and Nail Biting

My son has recently started enjoying his nails by biting them. As his Mom, I would deny any insecurities on his part. I think he really likes making that crunching sound when he bites his nails. Sigh.

I am close to putting some garlic on his nails to discourage this new habit. Plus, ginger is treatment for bad breath anyway, so maybe it will improve my son's morning breath as well since it makes me wanna retch (note, I am pregnant and super sensitive). I just haven't checked if some garlic on his fingers will burn his skin. Plus, I am a little scared that he'd accidentally rub his eyes with his gingered hands instead.

I try not to reinforce the habit but I really think I should do more to nip it in the bud.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yakee, Yamee and Me

These are some of the few pictures of me and Yakee in Marinduque. I still generally held the cams so there were only a few. Plus, not a lot were flattering. For some reason, hubs also kept on taking pics of the cleavage more than me and Yakee together. Hehe.

But though few and far between, I love having pics with my son. I hope he somehow grows up knowing we had a lot of tender moments together. Oh and well, technically, there are three of us already in this picture. I know my legs seem huge but my arms and thighs have actually shrunk a little as most of my weight are channelling themselves towards my tummy. I haven't gained much weight as well, mostly it's a body rearranging its form.

Now, ever since Marinduque I have been voracious again. I have checked if it could be a sign of gestational diabetes or its just really pregnancy hormones that's causing me to be always be so hungry. I get awakened in my sleep again because I have to eat every two hours or so. And milk and crackers aren't enough anymore. Part of me wonders if Yamee will be a poster Arevalo baby, an enthusiastic eater to the core. Yikes! And what if he's a voracious feeder? I am still grooming myself for all those breastfeeding months/years again... what if he's not like Yakee who just eats enough. What if he wouldn't quit my breast?


Were we wrong to call him Yamee? *cringe*

Three Tips for Getting Cheap Cruises

A cruise is one of the best vacations you can take. It gets you away from all the busyness of everyday life by putting you in the middle of the sea or ocean where you are only surrounded by water and the beautiful sky. The only thing better than booking a cruise is knowing how to find cheap cruises so you do not have to break your budget. Here are some tips to save money on your next cruise.

Book cheap cruises through travel agents or discount cruise booking websites. If you book your cruise directly though the cruise line, you may end up paying more. Travel agents and travel websites often have lower rates for customers. Shop around before making your final decision because prices could fluctuate a great deal.

Look for companies offering inaugural cruises. Inaugural cruises are cruises that include a ship's maiden voyage. Most companies do not advertise these cruises except through word of mouth. You may be able to find a list of available inaugural cruises on user-based travel websites or by simply asking your travel agent for information about them when planning your trip.

Book a repositioning cruise. A repositioning cruise is when a company must move a ship from one area of the world to another due to the off season. For instance, European cruises experience their peak season during the spring and summer months while Caribbean cruises are not as popular during these months. As a result, the companies must move their ships from the Caribbean to Europe. You can book cruises on these ships that are getting moved and enjoy all of the same features without the same price because it is better to charge lower prices than to have the ships go empty. Check with your favorite cruise lines to inquire about this type of cruise to help you save money.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Yamee Stirring

At three and a half months, it's highly unlikely that I would actually feel Yamee moving already. But 2nd-time (and onwards) moms have attested to feeling their baby earlier because they could already distinguish between the usual turns of their intestines and the baby. Some have even felt them as early as four months.

Well, last night, I know I officially felt Yamee inside stirring. I put my hand on my tummy and didn't feel any movement there, but for a minute or two I felt her (naks, am calling Yamee her!) rolling inside me. It's like a tickling feeling on the inside, something I knew was separate from the intestine tumbles and gastric juice movements and hunger pangs.

I loved it.

I love you, Yamee.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

On IDs and Photos

I started unpacking some of our stuff from our recent trip. I saw my son's Lozada Swim School ID card and couldn't help but wonder if he would be able to fill up all the slots there and complete his lessons. Such a great picture I printed for it too! Well, we will see next week if I would have energy again to go with him, and charm to appeal to his instructors to accept him back after a long absence. He did learn to fearlessly dive in the waters of Marinduque.

I am also reminded of the recent HP printer commercial I saw, with these peacocks comparing more colorful plummage. We have an HP printer and I really should print more pictures and have hard copies of our digital files. I also really should complete my son's baby book already since his brother or sister is due this year. I can't have two kids without a proper album to their name!

I wonder though if we should invest on an id card printer on top of our colored printer. I have seen some models which seem to offer more versatility and are more user-friendly. Plus, they use cheaper inks. Then I can tag all our luggage and bags with ID cards bearing our faces. I can do the same for family and friends and give it as gift, considering we have been official photographers in our circle for the longest time.

I also want to pepper my mother-in-law's rest house with pictures of her grandchildren, especially ones where they're enjoying it there. Am sure pictures of kids playing in the sand or splashing water, or my son handling a chick or frog, will make her smile all those days she's there and we aren't.

Some ID card printers are also really portable which will be great to have on trips if we want instant prints. We could also immediately give photo prints as gifts to people we meet during a short vacation.

But okay, okay, that's another expense that will have to wait till after I give birth. Let's see if it starts to feel necessary!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Back from Marinduque

There weren't any walk in tubs in my MIL's resthouse, something that one could probably enjoy in nearby Bellaroca. But my in laws' home there was a true hideaway, with open balconies and tree houses and the ocean breeze for natural ventilation. My son had the pebbles, the sand, fishes, frogs and chicks to play with aside from the cool, clean water.

So yes, it sucks a little to be back in Manila, just when I have adjusted to sleeping all through the night, lulled by the ocean waves crashing on the shore. But I am thankful that Marinduque helped cure my son of his respiratory woes.

And there will be all the trips back there in the years ahead. After all, it is another home we could keep coming back to.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

To Pack or not to Pack

Actually, I believe I will end up packing for our Marinduque trip tomorrow. But I am still observing myself and my son. So far, we're both keeping our meds down, eating well and even surviving the heat here downstairs.

I am sitting on the fence about bringing our DSLR. Ever since this pregnancy, I have not been in the mood to shoot. And if I won't in Marinduque, then it's just a super bulky thing added to Pappie's load.

Good thing I need not worry about things like iphone accessories or whatever. My Sun phone won't even be working there. And good thing we have that portable USB player already. I just hope hubs got to download a lot of things to amuse me with.

But really, all I want is to lounge in the hammock on the porch, overlooking the sea. I just want to eat, sleep and read there, just like I did during our honeymoon. And Yakee can just roam free and go after the chickens and frogs. What bliss!

Pregnancy Weight Gain

Not sure if I have already gained weight. People who see me say that I seem to have lost some. Actually, I know the pounds just relocated somewhere else. But my tummy isn't that big yet. I actually look the same as I did before I got pregnant. And since I have never been the type of pregnant woman who get to binge on food, I guess it's really true that the little I do get to take is being all used up by my growing Yamee.

I wonder though how I'd fare six months after, when I really do start gaining weight. Up to how much will I tip the scales? Would I have to check diet pill reviews six months after giving birth because I wouldn't be losing the pounds like I did with my first pregnancy?

I certainly hope not.

I have no fantasies of dropping down to 120 pounds again but I really hope all the breastfeeding will help me shed the pounds. I don't want to be overweight the rest of my life, and it's really gotten so very hard to exercise.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All Barf

After being discharged from the hospital, I was okay for a while. Still a little weak and nauseated but I could manage the heat without aircon and could keep my food down. Plus, I wasn't spotting anymore.

And then came the election day heat. I should have appealed to my MIL's good nature and asked for the aircon use but I didn't. I let myself wallow in the heat last Monday which resulted in hypertensive feelings. And then I couldn't eat anymore. And I barfed what I couldn't eat. We had to stay another night because I was too weak and dizzy.

And then I started spotting again. And now need aircon 24/7. Just eating downstairs would give me the dizzies.

Barfing irritated my nose, which resulted in my allergic rhinitis badly triggered. Then the coughing and sneezing made me barf the little lunch I had. I had to ask my OB for an antihistamine I can safely take because I badly need relief. And I took Plasil again because I don't want to be barfing anymore.

I am truly, truly exhausted.

I have reached a point, many times, when I wished I didn't get pregnant in an El Nino year. As if that's better than an Ondoy year, no? Hay. This pregnancy has just really been tres difficult.

And you know what, I never thought i'd reach a point where I would actually feel better after barfing. I hate to barf so. And I have usually had the spirit to keep it at bay. But now...

Johnson's Baby Bedtime Discoveries

Nuffnang has just sent me an e-mail asking me to invite Mommy friends to a series of Johnson & Johnson's Bedtime Discoveries events. I assume this is open to Mommy bloggers.

Mommy EyeBall: Characteristics of a Good Baby Sleep
15 MAY 2010
9:30 AM - 12:00 NN
Café Via Mare
Level 1, Power Plant Mall, Lopez Drive Entrance
Rockwell Center, Makati City
~ ~ ~

Nursery 101: Creating a Sleep Environment
22 MAY 2010
9:30 AM - 12:00 NN
Café Sweet Inspirations
311 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, QC
~ ~ ~

Mommy & Me Sparty: Benefits of Touch Therapy
29 MAY 2010
9:30 AM - 12:00 NN
Seattle's Best Coffee
Ground Floor, Cyber One Mall,
Eastwood City, Libis, QC
~ ~ ~

Bedtime Stories: Bedtime Activities for Your Baby & Baby Lullabies
5 JUNE 2010
9:30 AM - 12:00 NN
Dome Café
Ground Level, Solid Mills Building,
Dela Rosa St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
~ ~ ~

Wrap Up! Mommy Gets Good Sleep
10 JULY 2010
9:30 AM - 12:00 NN
Figaro Coffee
Level 3, Robinson's Galleria, East Wing
EDSA cor. Ortigas Ave., QC
~ ~ ~

So pick a date and venue convenient to you and contact Trixie Esguerra / 09234576817 / to RSVP. Friends who have attended such gatherings before had loads of fun aside from going home with some freebies. Plus, you can easily consult with the fellow moms and speakers after on what's the top eye cream to use to tide you over those sleepless nights during the first months after delivery and exchange parenting and mommy tips on caring for a newborn. No support like a mommy support.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reunited with Son

I really don't ever have to be checking out diet pill comparison literature because my son is an effective, natural way for me to lose all appetite and sleep.

But the first moments of having him lying beside me last night (we decided to let him sleep here with me in my hospital bed) was really bliss. I really felt myself calm down a lot. It felt like I was home.

Unfortunately, he decided it was fun jumping up and down my bed which got me dizzy and retching.

Plus, since he sleeps in so many different positions, at one point even resting his head on my legs, I woke up at 3 AM and couldn't get back to any sort of rest. After two hours of staring at his sleeping form, I decided I have had enough and went online.

He was cute and happy and all gimmick-y when he arrived here last night. We lost him to cartoons though. But before sleeping, he did let me finish telling him a story.

I really missed my darling little boy. And I thanked my in laws for adopting him for a few days. I could see he didn't feel neglected or abandoned at all. And that's all that matters.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Visit

Yakee visited me in the hospital today. He actually cried out in glee when he saw his Ninang but seeing me was not such a big thing for him. He did kiss me, gave me an Eskimo kiss, and would stand near my bed, but wouldn't really ask to be held. I think he's being conflicted by his feelings, knowing I am still sick and possibly believing that he has to be a big boy and can do without Mommy.

Plus, he's having lots of fun. When my niece asked her Mom to go, Yakee echoed the sentiment. They wanted to go swimming again. And they did, in my niece's inflatable pool, till about 9:45 PM.

At least my in-laws aren't screaming for some prevera because Yakee was misbehaving. He's just really having a grand time vacationing. Now, we're even more worried that he might not like being brought back home. Haha.

It's bittersweet seeing how less and less he needs me as he grows older... but this is a testament to how secure he is that he is loved. And I take credit for that, with hubby of course. I am just blessed that my in laws really adore him too. And are really supportive.

Emo Mom

I asked for some space from Yakee and was wishful thinking about using the aircon 24/7. I got my wish in the form of confinement and hospital bills. For the first time ever in his life, he didn't sleep beside me. And I am actually cold from the a/c.

So I cried most of my afternoon yesterday, slept. Cried some more last night. It's not that I really worry he'd be crying and pining for Mommy... it's just that I wasn't ready for the separation. Plus I was feeling guilty already about not being in the best moods to play and read to him, and now this.

But he did tell me last night, "Mommy, don't worry. Yakee big boy."


He is a big boy already. Soon he may even be asking me about human growth hormone and what it does. Right now, he's hankering for swimming and playing with his cousin. And I think, stress eating.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Another Rant

Pregnancy really should be considered the best best diet pill of all, although of course, it isn't a pill and a pregnant mom's goal is not to lose weight.

Two days of barfing, extreme nausea and an overall feeling of uselessness. And to think I was looking forward to the first trimester ending. I am trying to remain hopeful though that the aggravated nausea is because my hormone levels are switching to 'normal' again. But gosh, am I hungry. I can't even drink water now without wanting to hurl.

Maybe I should have a go at those preggie pops downstairs, since my brother locked the screen door and I can't get to any cold milk. Sigh.

Yamee darling. Mommy is really, really exhausted now. Please, please cooperarte. Thank you. Love you.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Unproductive Insomnia

I was hormonally pissed last night and couldn't sleep so I was up till past 3 AM trying to work on my article for POC. Most nights of the week, I really think I need a variety of sleep aids just to make me feel well-rested. It sucks but the most comfort I get is telling myself it's training for when I am at the mercy of an infant again.


The thing is, I would either be awake till 3 or 4... or wake up around that time and be unable to sleep anymore. But I am still not getting things done. I am still not doing good in terms of meeting personal deadlines considering I am not exactly swamped with work right now. I often while away my time in message boards, looking for an opportunity to help and enlighten, but it's also just annoying having to repeat myself. Because ultimately, my good post will just be buried under all the new posts.

I am being unproductive. And haphazard in my thinking.

And I am losing sleep which makes me crankier than usual.