Monday, August 29, 2011

I Survived Hong Kong

I had doubts, honestly. At the last minute, Yakee was still having some fever and we had to bring him to the ER for an ear infection scare. We also had to bring our non-portable nebulizer with us to Hong Kong.

And the lack of sleep, the late check-in time at our hotel, the walk to Harbour City... all those just really made me want to hibernate in the hotel with the kids.

But though we had to skip Ngong Pin and didn't really get to go around Hong Kong island much (or eat at Jollibee Hong Kong)... and I didn't get to go to Linea Negra as planned... we still survived the trip to two amusements parks and only Yamee seems to be the worse for wear. He's down with colds. But there hasn't been any major meltdown yet.

My roaming got busted so I really had to stick to hubs all throughout the time. Good thing I am no career woman who needed conference call services while on vacation (and good thing hubs also was spared with a lot of work-related problems). We usually got back to the hotel at around 12 midnight so the kids were really exhausted... and I normally wouldn't be able to sleep from exhaustion.

But again, we survived. I survived. I am now starting to tell our tales.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Lost Episode

It's probably one of the top things a parent is scared of... losing a child. I like to believe I keep an eye out for Yakee most of the time, and have impressed on him time and again how important it is for him to stay close.

Unfortunately... he will test his limits.

While atShopwise earlier, I saw him already making a game of sorta hiding from me by walking in the middle of displays where the goods will hide him from me. He liked that I would have to wait for him to become visible again before I proceed to where I intended to go. I didn't lose my cool but I reminded him to stay close.

As I was checking out bread, I told him again not to wander off. But I think he did the hiding thing again just when I walked around a bread counter and bent forward to check out more bread.

He must have missed me, panicked, and walked away (in the direction of his right) looking for me.

I remained calm, mostly because I was still in denial about him wandering off. But I was already pondering whether I should inform hubs already. I asked the guard nearby if he saw a child matching Yakee's description and gave instructions that should he do so, to hold onto the boy even if the boy tries to get away (him being a stranger).

It was a lucky thing that Yakee didn't wander off outside the grocery (we were at Harrison!) and most shoppers were probably family people. In our prayer tonight, Yakee said thanks that a man found him and told a woman to help him find his Mommy (I am assumming, a husband and wife). They were assisted immediately by a grocery clerk and I ran into them as I was passing the cash registers as I checked each aisle.

Yakee was crying but he still kept on eating his popcorn. The clerk commented that they found him crying but he never stopped eating popcorn.

Yakee cried and cried and cried while holding onto me. Then I carried him while I scolded him (and scared him about how some bad person could have taken him and he may never see us again and vice versa). I informed the guard about having found him, and proceeded to talk to him again about how easy it is to lose each other... and how, if he doesn't mind my reminders, I might lose him in HK (I also added that nobody will help him because they won't understand English, bwahahaha).


I need to brush him up on situations like this one.


If it had taken longer to find him, I think I'd have run away too!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pre-Natal Pediatric Consultations Are Necessary

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we join the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action in it's "Talk to Me!" theme where participants will share personal experiences, insights or recommendations in communicating breastfeeding intentions and goals to their support system. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."
First of all, I was lucky. I had a husband who did not even question my breastfeeding intentions. In fact, he was even the one who called LATCH to reserve slots for us at the first breastfeeding class they ever held (back in Malayan Plaza, March 2007). This was before LATCH's partnership with The Medical City, that offers free breastfeeding classes to would-be parents, began.

And my mother-in-law couldn't raise any objections about my breastfeeding decision either, because her own daughter would do it for four years. And my Mom, though she encouraged me to mix feed so I can still continue working, was already based abroad and didn't have much say in how I lived my family life.

So, again, I am lucky. If there were people who tried to undermine my decision to breastfeed, it was doctors who I saw for sinusitis and allergy attacks. But I knew enough not to listen when I didn't need to. I was empowered.

Which brings me to the title of this blog post.

It is not common practice here in the Philippines to 'shop' for a pediatrician before giving birth. However, aside from the fact that you will see your pediatrician more than you will ever see your gynecologist, and you will entrust to a pediatrician the most precious thing ever in your life (your kids' health), a pediatrician also has much influence over your parenting.

And that is where breastfeeding comes in. It is a parenting choice, not just a feeding option, for it will require a certain lifestyle, a degree of commitment, and a lot of compromises and sacrifices. And if you're a first time parent who do not know any better, you can easily be scared, swayed and undermined.

In my experience, many first-time moms ask "They say my milk will come in after a few days from the delivery, so what will my baby feed on till then?"

Imagine if all pediatricians (and nurses) tell these new moms to have their babies latch as soon as possible because 1) they have colostrum to offer and 2) direct feeding is the stimulation required for the flowing, mature milk to come in.

Imagine if these moms who want to breastfeed are supported from Day 1 by their pediatricians, instead of being charged formula at the nursery where their newborns stayed.

Imagine if pediatricians didn't just check your baby but also met with the parents and talked about newborn care.

And so, I hope, aside from looking for the right gynecologist, or hospital to give birth in, would-be parents would also exert a lot of effort in finding a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician before they give birth.

Would-be parents can ask for referrals from trusted people (family, friends, their gynecologist, or in this internet era, cyber experts). They should arrange for a consultation and expect to pay the usual PF charged by the pediatrician. And they should ask their questions, after all, they are paying customers.

It would be more prudent to just tell the doctor that you are looking for future pediatricians that you can work with. Then, express your desire to breastfeed. Proceed maybe by asking them about the breastfeeding practices in the hospitals they're affiliated in, or whether they had breastfeeding training.

These two links also provide questions one can probably use, although I feel some of the approaches suggested may be too forward for our culture.

Finding breastfeeding-friendly pediatricians

Choose a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician

Other tactics that you can use is raising other concerns to indirectly raise the issue of breastfeeding, like:

* Doc, I am really anxious about feeding my baby. What can I expect the first few weeks? What happens when I go back to work?
(if supplementation with formula is given as a ready option, then you might as well assume that any complaint from you of sore nipples or exhaustion or colds will also result in the same 'solution' from that doctor)

* Doc, we have a strong allergy history. Are there things I can do to reduce the risks of my baby getting them?

* Doc, I want to breastfeed. I'm just wondering though what scenarios will be deal-breakers with that desire?

* Doc, if it's a given that the baby is healthy, how long before you allow such baby to be roomed-in?

* Doc, what are your thoughts on co-sleeping?

* Doc, I believe some newborn babies cry a lot. What are the common reasons for that?

Yes, indirect may work better for us Pinoys... plus, you get a greater sense of what a doctor stands for that way, instead of asking questions answerable with a yes or no.

Bring your spouse/support system in this 'shopping spree' and really try to get one you know you can trust and will work with you, not against you.

I have heard enough stories of pediatricians commenting that a breastfed baby was underweight or small for his age... but most are actually referring to the wrong charts or paid to push certain formula brands.

Let's keep these doctors on their toes. Make prenatal pediatric consultations a top priority during pregnancy and reduce, if not totally eliminate, those moments when you'd be made to feel as if you're not doing enough for your child just because you chose to breastfeed.

And once you've chosen your pedia, include him/her and your brestfeeding intentions in your birth plan.


Other participants to the carnival include:
Apples and Dumplings: Communication and First Time Breastfeeders

Dainty Mom: Creating a Pro-Breastfeeding Culture in the Family

Truly Rich Mom: Truly Rich Tips (esp. for moms) - How to get others to support you in breastfeeding

On breastfeeding: Say it, claim it, get support!

EthanMama: My Best Breastfeeding Support System — My Husband

TouringKitty: Communication through Breastfeeding

Escie's World: Ready, Get Set, Go! for Breastfeeding

J and the Three Boys: I'm breastfeeding, and that's that.

Nanaystrip: BreasTALK : Text, Retweet, Share your Knowledge and Experiences

PenpenEspie: A Shout out to My Breastfeeding Buddies

Project Blog by Kate: Talk and Make It Happen

Newbie Wife: How I Taught the Family to "Breastfeed"

Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Effective Communication Bucket List

Go Help Yourself: “6 persuasion tips for breastfeeding moms and advocates”

Mommy Kuwentos: How I recruited my top breastfeeding buddies

Handy Mommy: Communication Decision

Dinna: Making It Known


Sunday, August 14, 2011

1 Week Before Hong Kong

A week before we leave for Hong Kong with hubs' family and... Yakee and I are still medicating (and he is still really coughing!), I still suffer from post-nasal drip and Yamee has a fever and refuse to eat.

What a happy lot, eh?

We also still haven't bought extra batteries for our cameras (and I can't quite locate my waterproof cam's battery charger) and I haven't decided yet on whether I would put my Sun phone to roam or just use a spare Samsung phone (I wonder though if samsung cell phone batteries will stand longer in HK's humidity compared to Nokia's).

I have not purchased new clothes, nor have we checked the luggage bags we intend to use. I have not mapped our proposed IT in Googlemaps yet too.

I can actually go on and on... I guess I am being complacent because I have been to HK before and it's a very family-friendly toursit destination where English is spoken. But still, cramming starts tomorrow... officially.

Tonight, I deal with internet obligations.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Grown Ups

I watched Grown Ups (Adam Sandler movie) last night and was really entertained. More than that, it reminded me so much of my hubs' HS friends, who we often see over kiddie birthday parties. The repetitive reminiscences and references to their years together at La Salle Zobel, the things our kids get into when they're together (if my son would only remember, he'd say, the girls terrorize him since there are more of them and they usually refuse to play 'with a boy'), the desire to see your child playing outdoors... all those from the movie appealed to me.

Sigh. It's good to have your kids grow up with the kids of your friends. It's like getting extra cousins.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Antsy Yamee

I just tell myself it's another growth spurt season... but Yamee has taken to acting up during bedtime which necessitates me outting him to sleep downstairs so that his older brother and father could sleep.

This, in turn, means I get to watch a lot of TV. While I now know that Newell does rv repairs and upgrades, and that there is a hotel in Camboadia that takes in only one set of guests, and Andrew Zimmern first knew that ice cream is eaten IN/with bread by Filipinos... it also means I snack a lot (because I breastfeed more) and sleep less.

And yes, I know, I watch a lot of TLC.

Oh Yamee... please settle down to a happier normal. And stop propping yourself up in a standing position when Mom isn't looking... unless you're willing to do it in your pen. It's quite dangerous for you to be doing that unattended, you know.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Milk Mama Diaries - Blog Carnival for August

August is Breastfeeding Month so although we've only held a breastfeeding carnival last month, we are doing it again!

For our topic, we will be adopting the theme Talk to me! Breastfeeding - a 3D Experience" by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) on a more personal level.

We will deal with communication, as the third dimension in breastfeeding support. So, for the blog carnival, we want participants to blog about how they communicated their desire to breastfeed and/or breastfeeding goals to their support system.

Maybe you have an interesting story about how you informed your husband. Or tell us how you enlightened your parents and well-meaning friends, or taught your nanny to handle expressed breast milk instead of preparing formula. How did you reply to those challenging your decision, your child's weight gain, or any of the myths surrounding breastfeeding? How did you talk to your doctor/s or boss/es and had them accommodate your breastfeeding decision? Do you have tips? Share!

Read my July Carnival post to get an idea of how a blog carnival post looks like. To join the carnival, please fill up this FORM. Please include this short blurb on the top of your post:

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we join the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action in it's "Talk to Me!" theme where participants will share personal experiences, insights or recommendations in communicating breastfeeding intentions and goals to their support system. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."

If you don't have a blog but would like to join, please email me (delisyus[at]gmail[dot]com)or Jenny so we can arrange to have you hosted as a guest blogger. Deadline for registration for the carnival is on August 14, 2011. Posting instructions and carnival rules will be e-mailed to all participants on August 15 and the carnival will go live on 17 August 2011.

Kindly note that we really expect participants to stick to the theme. We currently do not moderate or screen posts but we do reserve the right to exclude your entry from the list of carnival participants should your post be offensive, irrelevant to the carnival theme, contain personal attacks, off-topic articles, articles that are anti-breastfeeding or articles that are aimed to market products or services.

Kindly note the deadlines and please POST your entries on 17 August 2011. The deadline of 14 August 2011 is also strictly observed for REGISTRATION.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Panicking Over HK Trip

It's still a good 3 weeks away but I am already stressed by our impending HK trip. Partly, I am not sure if my boys can take the stress. And then, it's been real rainy the past few weeks and I really don't want us just getting wet and sick there. I also haven't really washed the backpack we're going to use for our daytime jaunts (since the sun hasn't really shone lately for any decent laundry to dry) and we haven't purchased extra batteries for our cameras.

I did buy some long-sleeved shirts for Yakee already and some thin Chute rompers for Yamee (who, I expect will stay warm when I babywear him) but I was hoping we'd have a chance to wear funny tee shirts, or just coordinated ones, in a picture. I'll see if I can get matching polo shirts for the boys.... in red (because my nursing tops are just really either black or red).

Hopefully, Yakee will really have fun with his cousins. He's started asking us if we're already going to Disneyland every time we go out. And he doesn't seem to remember that we have to FLY somewhere in a plane first... *stress*

Monday, August 1, 2011

LATCH Kicks Off Breastfeeding Month Fabulously

It's Breastfeeding Month and I am happy to share that the breastfeeding org I am affiliated with has loads of exciting things to offer.

First, check out this wonderful, wonderful logo/theme:

The GIVE LIFE part is oh-so-true for developing countries, where the poor don't always have access to sterile equipment and water nor enough money to buy formula or afford medical care.

The LIVE LIFE part serves as a reminder that breastfeeding NEED NOT LIMIT a woman/mother to enjoy the things that she loves... in fact, it may even get her doing more (after all, a lot of mompreneurs started their breastfeeding accessories business after being inspired or seeing a need/niche they can fill).

Now, LATCH has also partnered with ABS-CBN and Working Mom Magazine. The product of this collaboration is a magazine spread on breastfeeding in public (as moms go about their lives) in the August issue of Working Mom.

Yes, the Moms are dressed in Eden so you can really see how the new collection works

What's more, if you buy a copy of Working Mom's August issue, you can use that mag and gain free entrance for the whole family to the All About Baby bazaar happening on August 13, 2011 at Rockwell Tent.

Drop by the LATCH booth to meet and mingle with the LATCH ladies, attend a free class and avail of free counselling :)

Also, LATCH will have a Best Beginnings in Breastfeeding Class at The Medical City too on August 13 (instead of September 10) from 9-12 noon. So, would-be Mom... there really is no reason for you to say the information isn't out there :)

See you all!