Birthing Story Episode II: Marcus Pietro

Marcus will be turning one month this week. I can’t believe it has been a month already since his first appearance to the world. It’s really time for me to share our birthing story before I forget about it (although that’s highly unlikely).

When my new OB-Gyne (I changed doctors in this pregnancy) found out that I gave birth via cesarean section with Lucas, she asked what was the reason. I told her there was fetal distress due to coiled cord. She asked me to get my medical records from my former doctor because she wanted to check if I am a candidate for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section or VBAC. I actually wanted that and upon finding out that I was a candidate, I got excited.

Until my 36th week came.

The baby was in an incomplete breech position and this was quite risky because if I ever go into labor, onr of his feet or even the umbilical cord could be the first to come out first. Very risky. I had to take it easy that week because we want to wait until my 37th week for me to go on labor for two reasons: 1. for the baby to turn around, head first, so I can give birth through spontaneous normal delivery, or 2. if he doesn’t change his position, I will be scheduled immediately for CS. I prayed so hard for the baby inside me to change position so I can have a normal delivery. On my 37th week check-up, we were relieved to find out that he has turned so it’s waiting game for me and Mike once again.

Before my 38th week, I had another check up and guess what? The baby was in breech position again. Pfft. My OB asked me for a date so we can already schedule my CS. If the baby ever turns around again, then we’ll cancel the schedule and, well, wait again. At that point I have accepted the fact that I will be giving birth through CS again. Oh well, at least the hassle of rushing to the hospital when labor begins is out of the picture.

January 29, I started feeling contractions already. I thought I could be giving birth that day. On January 30, I was brought to the OB-Gyne Center of St. Luke’s Medical Center in Global City where the staff started monitoring fetal condition and status. Mike wasn’t allowed to join me inside but they did tell us that when it’s time, they will call him inside the delivery room.

My doctor already told me that I won’t be sedated throughout the whole procedure unlike my first birthing experience. She said that if the mom is sedated, the baby could also be sedated when they pull him out. There has been some cases where in some doctors had to give medicines to the baby to wake him up. Of course I didn’t want that then I asked myself “then why the heck did my other OB agreed on me being fully sedated before??”.  I have never experienced being opened up fully awake and honestly, I was more terrified with the kind of pain I would be feeling when the anesthesiologist gives me an epidural. Seriously, I was sooo nervous.

Around 6 PM, I heard my doctor’s voice and that was the first time I felt relieved since I was brought inside the labor room. When she peeked inside the cubicle, she was already in scrubs and was surprised when she saw the fetal monitor report because I was already in active labor with moderate contractions! She immediately checked if the baby turned around because if he did, we’ll wait it out. He didn’t. In a matter of 15 minutes, I was being wheeled inside the delivery room.

It was bright and cold inside the room. It reminded of scenes from ER. Yes, I am THAT old. I was greeted by a pleasant, soft-spoken doctor in scrubs who was the anesthesiologist. No matter how kind he seemed to be, my nerves started getting on to me again and I nervously told him that I never felt the epidural being administered to me because I was knocked out when I gave birth to Lucas. He assured me I will only feel a little sting and then the numbness. Still, I was scared as hell. I kept on looking for Mike so he could be there when they give me the anesthesia but alas, he wasn’t in the room yet. One nurse asked me to be in fetal position then I felt cold liquid rubbed on my back and then a sting. The general anesthesia was administered. Then I felt a second, less painful sting. It felt like something as thin as hair was injected in my back. I then felt a cold, liquid-like stuff spreading from my spine down to my hips. In a matter of 2 or 3 minutes, I couldn’t feel my legs anymore. Then Mike was ushered inside the delivery room. Five minutes too late, Hun.

The rest of the procedure went well except for the chills that I had. My arms were strapped because I was shaking like crazy. Mike was holding my hand, the anesthesiologist supported  the sides of my head and occasionally asked how I was feeling or if I feel any pain. My doctor and her assistant were chatting away and occasionally checked up on me too. After a good 30 minutes, I heard my doctor say “6:45, baby out” followed by a cry. It was my first time to hear my baby’s first cry! I was so excited and I felt like crying if not for the uncontrollable shaking I had that time. My doctor already invited Mike to take pictures so that was the time he let go of my hand. I’m saving you the gory photos hehe. He said the baby looks like Lucas. After a few minutes, the other pediatrician walked over to me with my baby and gently placed him on my chest so he can latch on to me. He’s a natural, by the way. They unstrapped my arms so I can hold him while shivering from the cold and I whispered, “Hey, Marcus”.

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The lil guy stayed with me the whole time they were sewing me up and well, Mike just clicked away. I can’t believe it took them longer to close me up or maybe time didn’t matter because I was too busy staring at my new born’s face. Mike was even able to make an announcement already to social media.

Marcus and I were briefly separated as my requested pediatrician, Dr. Vienne de Lou Saulog checked him and while the staff cleaned me up. We were reunited in the Recovery Room. I wanted to sleep but I was still shivering so the whole four hours that I was there I was awake. I didn’t asked to be sedated anymore because I wanted to breastfeed Marcus. I wanted to learn the first steps in breastfeeding because I want us to be successful in it. What I didn’t realize is that I will feel the anesthesia wear off. The pain started creeping in and man, did it hurt! I asked for two shots of pain killers the whole time I was there.

When I was brought to my room around 1AM, my in-laws were there waiting for the newest member of the family. I wanted to sleep but I can feel the pain from my lower abdomen and I was very thirsty already. I wasn’t allowed even a drop of water until 6AM. I guess I had a short nap of 20 minutes until 6 in the morning came. When my breakfast was delivered, I immediately requested Mike to give me a small cup of water. Holy cow, nothing tasted better.

We stayed in the hospital for three more days. All the time Marcus was with me. On our second day, Marcus was already sleeping beside me. I am thankful for all the friends and family who visited us. It made my recovery better. Plus I am proud to introduce Marcus to them.

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Look at those yummy cheeks!

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Kuya Lucas visited Marcus the day after I gave birth. He was his usual happy self. When he saw his brother he looked a little confused until we told him that that’s baby Marcus. The baby in my belly that he has been kissing for 9 months. He warmed up to him after that. :)

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Before we left, Marcus had his first bath too. :)

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Taken after his first bath

Overall, I would say it was a pleasant experience. Why? The care that I got from the staff from the OB center to the nurses who visited regularly was a good experience for a mom who just gave birth and recovering. They were all very nice and understanding of my needs especially every time I buzz them to help me breastfeed. Having my husband hold my hand all throughout the delivery was the security I exactly needed that time. I can’t imagine going through that without him beside me. Hearing my new born’s first cry, and not being separated from him throughout the whole experience tops the list. I would gladly take on all the pain again if only for that reason alone.

Now, Marcus and I are doing well. I am recovering from my CS procedure and Marcus is feeding well and growing so fast! My heart is full with so much love for my three boys now and I can feel that the feeling is mutual. :)

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In his own bed finally at home. :)

Our New Norm

I finally had the time to blog! I welcome myself to the blogosphere again!

It’s been 23 days since I gave birth to Marcus and it’s on times like these when I am able to type away my thoughts. The truth is, I have a lot of posts in my drafts folder already. The only time I am able to do is when I wake up at 5AM after feeding Marcus or when the kids are asleep. I’d like to take this free time to share how life as a mom of two has been like :)

It’s not all hearts and flowers I tell you.

I mean, the family is crazier than ever!

Of course I expected the sleepless nights in the next six months and Mike and I had an agreement on how our set up will be like when Marcus arrives. I’ll be focused on him, while he is focused on Lucas because we were also expecting some jealousy from the new big bro. While we have introduced the idea of him being a big brother as soon as we found out that we’re  having baby number 2, we still didn’t know how he would react when he sees Marcus for the first time, or when he sees his brother latched on to me 24/7.

Then the yaya left all of a sudden one week before I gave birth! Just when we told her that I can give birth any time! She has been with us for four years then ran off with some guy. I know she’s helped us so much in the past but I can’t help but feel hurt and angry that she left us just like that. I am still upset that even if we still need a yaya to look after Lucas, I told myself she will be my last option. Sorry about the rant but part of the plan was for her to help me with Lucas when Marcus arrives. That plan disintegrated in just one day. Thank God for moms who are willing to help and support their daughters and help look after the grandkids.

I also forgot the part where Mike’s Paternity Leave will only allow him to be home for JUST seven working days. I’ve gotten used to him being home because of the long holidays and weekends since December that I totally forgot how our set-up will be like once he goes back to work. He is my partner in taking care of the kids now especially with an active preschooler around. I failed to plan how it will be like when I am left with the two boys.

I feel I am doing a better job taking care of an infant this time around because I am more relaxed, I have less anxiety and hey, I breastfeed this time around. I am also guilty of not being able to give Lucas the time he needs from me. Even if I spend time playing with him, I somehow feel guilty that I have to leave him playing alone because it’s feeding time for his little brother. I think he is already feeling a little jealous of Marcus because he’s trying to get my attention by being loud or naughty. I am not using my lack of rest as an excuse but sometimes I lose my temper to Lucas and putting him to time out seems to be the easiest way to handle his situation. What I love about him though is he does not vent his jealousy to his little brother. He loves him. He calls me immediately when Marcus cries and he likes looking at him. Yeah, that puts more guilt on me.

This is the new norm in our family. It’s crazier, more tiring, noisier…but I am so in love with it. I love that I get to wake up with 2 little boys and a husband who is just as spent as I am. It reminds me that our little family is growing.

I love feeding an infant (not from a bottle) every two hours and cringing with pain every time he latches on and changing a soiled nappy right after I just changed it. Well, ok, the latter drives me nuts. It tells me , though, how I can nurture a small, helpless baby and how much love I have for him.

I don’t mind the mess in our room or the whole house or the fact that I can’t take a nap during the day because Kuya keeps on asking me to print worksheets, or build his race track with him.  I fall in love with him and his big smile and loud laughter when we play together.

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I love seeing my husband giving Lucas a bath or changing Marcus; nappy or driving us to the clinic for check up even if he is dead-tired from work. I can see his love for his children and for me.

I don’t mind not being able to clean the house because it means I am spending my time more on the important tasks and people in my life now. Anyway, I’d like to call this “mess” organized chaos :p

So how’s life now with the new baby? It’s not all hearts and flowers but it has never been better. :)

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Intro: Marcus Pietro

He’s here! Everyone, meet the Little Peanut (who is definitely NOT a peanut at 7lbs!): Marcus Pietro.

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Marcus, as we fondly call him, decided he wanted to make an intro to our great big world on January 30 via cesarean section. I haven’t shared with you but my OB and I were hoping for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) especially after knowing that I am an excellent candidate for it. The little dude had a different plan though and on my 38th week, he decided he’ll stick on a breech position and come out of the world with pizzazz.

The Name

I received the same questions from our visitors in the hospital about his name. Only a few people knew about the name that we wanted to give our baby. Everyone else knew him by the name Little Peanut. Marcus was already decided even before we knew I was pregnant. We wanted to name our children after the evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Lucas took after St. Luke’s name and Marcus, after St. Mark. Deciding on the second name was tricky. We wanted it Spanish sounding like Lucas Gabriel to compliment our last name. We also originally wanted to use one of the names of the Archangel (like Gabriel) however, Mike didn’t like Miguel (too patronizing of his name), nor Raphael (we had several Raphael’s and Ralph’s in our family tree) and the other names, well, they didn’t really appealed to us. We still want a biblical name though but most were either too common or would commonly be mispronounced (like Job). One day I was talking to a Spanish colleague and he was asking me about the baby’s name. When I told him I wanted a Spanish name and that we have decided on Marcus as the first name he gave me a confused look and said, “Marcus is not Spanish. Marcus is Italian.”. Demmit, he’s right! It’s Roman to be specific. Duh, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Antonius (Mark Anthony). I gave myself a facepalm after that. I told Mike about it and that the Spanish name for Marcus is Marco but we have fallen in love with Marcus and we decided to stick with it. It also made deciding on the name harder. One day Mike messaged me the name Pietro. It’s the Italian name for Peter. It didn’t appeal to me the first time I heard it but eventually, it grew on me until it sounded perfect for our little one. Marcus Pietro has been finalized.

About the Boy

Marcus was born 7lbs at 38 weeks. He was a big baby considering Kuya Lucas was only 5.6 lbs when I gave birth to him. Now at 16 days he has the sweetest coos and cutest expressions. I see traces of me on his features (although it is still too early to tell) and surprisingly, Mike doesn’t deny it. He feeds a lot (he doesn’t seem to get satisfied) and feels like he already grew twice his birth size because my mom and I both can’t carry him long without feeling a little strain in our arms. He’s like any 2 week old now, sleeping, feeding, pooping nonstop. He likes to be swaddled too. His cord stump fell off on his first week so now he takes a bath which he absolutely hates. He’s starting to see things because he now follows the movement of my hand with a toy although his vision may still be blurred. He also hates it when I try to help him burp. He gives me that irritated sound as if saying “Mami put me down!”. Sometimes I wonder if he is already showing signs of his personality. Haha. He is my calm when we are together. Babies have that kind of effect on moms :)

So there he is, the newest member of the family. Another little boy who just proved my heart can overflow so much more with love for him, his Kuya, and his Dad. Join us as we unravel a new adventure in our lives now.

My Musings on the 38th Week of My Pregnancy

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We’ll be seeing you soon, Little One

In just a few days, I will be a new mom again. I anticipate the sleepless nights once more as well as the joys and anxieties for a new baby. I think I will be more relaxed parenting the new baby but it has been quite a while since I took care of one but I think I will do it better this time around. The big, big difference this time is I am now a mom of two children. I tell you, I think about it a lot. How will things be with a new baby and a preschooler in the house? What kind of my mom will I be to Lucas and to his baby brother? Will it be easier or will it be harder? Let’s face it, when I had Lucas, my attention was 100% on him. These past nine months I hope I have mustered another 100% for the new baby and Kuya.

Since I left the corporate world, I try my best to spend as much time with my eldest as I can. I enjoy every minute of it even if there are moments where we “argue” or I feel tired or I cannot play rough house with him like his Dadi does. When his yaya left (oh boy, this deserves a different post!), we got to do more things together and I got to guide him more. Today, I felt a little sad when we were playing together. I know it will only be a couple of days from now and there could be times when Lucas would ask me to play with him and I dread telling him, “Sweetie, I need to feed your baby brother.” or “Mami’s a little sleepy, Love.”. Oh man. I pray I would be given the strength to still do most of what we can do together now.

I, of course, cannot deprive the littlest one my attention and love because he needs it the most, but I also know that his Kuya will also need my time and attention. Mike and I have plotted a game plan and he agreed to fill whatever space I may not be able to give Lucas in the meantime. I asked him to make some sacrifices (like not spending time playing Playstation <insert raised eyebrow here>) and give his full attention to the kuya. On the other hand, I am also glad that Lucas is now a big boy who is already independent and can keep himself busy. I plan to involve him in taking care of his baby brother so he will also start having a sense of responsibility.  I have to admit, I don’t think it has sank into him yet that in a few days or weeks, he’ll be promoted to big brotherhood. Mike and Lucas talk better so I asked Mike to help me explain to him the changes coming on our way.  My prayer is that the adjustment for him will be easy.

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Ready, Kuya?

So as I wait for the Little Peanut to join our fun and crazy family, I will spend as much time as I can with my panganay (eldest son) and guide him to be the best kuya to his little brother. :)

 

Baby Shower for the Little Peanut

Lucas was quite an impatient baby. He decided to make a grand entrance to the world even before his godmother, my best friend, was able to give me baby shower.

Yes. I didn’t have a baby shower when I had Lucas. I never experienced having friends and family together enjoying some fun, silly baby shower games, having good food and celebrating the miracle of having a baby soon. I admit, I felt a pang of envy for all the baby showers I have attended and wished I experienced it too.

This time around, my wonderful wonderful best friend, Rachelle, wanted to be sure and threw a semi-surprise baby shower for me and my Peanut way ahead before my due date. Here’s a side story: It was supposed to be surprise shower for me. She was already coordinating with my sister for the list of my friends and family that they will invite. One night over dinner, we were seated together, me, Rache, Mike and Rache’s hubby, when my husband asked what will be the plans for my baby shower. Oh the look on my best friend’s face was priceless. Haha. To cut the long story short, the surprise baby shower turned out to be a semi surprise. I didn’t know anything about it except the part that I know that I have a baby shower scheduled. LOL.

Rache did an amazing job in organizing the party. I love her! I love that I had guests from work, family, my blogging friends, even from gradeschool. It was unfortunate that not everybody who was invited came but it’s ok. I think it’s safe to say that we enjoyed the party. :) Here are the photos captured during the baby shower.

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The super party organizer

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These ladies were taking the game seriously! :) Competitive much!

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friends

 

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balloons

gifts

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Kuya wanted to help :)

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Thanks for coming everyone!

It sure was good fun, yummy food, great laughs. Celebrating a new baby with family and friends feels wonderful :)

 

 

37 Weeks Updates and Activities

Wow. My last post was 19 days ago. I always get the urge to start writing a post but then admittedly, laziness kicks in. Not to mention I was advised by my OB to take it easy, rest in bed as much as I can until I reach my 37th week. You see, Peanut was in an incomplete breech position at 36 weeks. Good thing, two days before my 37th week (and with a heart-to-heart talk to my little one), he decided to be on posterior position (meaning his head is at the lower side of my abdomen, the ideal position for giving birth). So yay for the little one!

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The app says he’s as big as a wintermelon. For some reason, I, my pelvis and my back feel like he’s a LOT bigger and heavier.

Here’s how I look now. Ok I have to admit, I like how I look here so I’m posting heehee. Pardon my narcissistic rage.

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So now, we are just waiting for the little guy to decide when he would be coming out.

In the meantime, I have been experiencing sleepless nights mostly because I tend to take naps in the afternoon and I wake up in the middle of the night because I have to run to the bathroom. One early morning, I decided to do some origami and it gave me an idea for a small project for the baby. I will share it to you once I have completed it.

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I am also spending a lot of time with my Little Jedi. Although I cannot pick him up in school (which I really, really want to do), I have scheduled some activities for us. He enjoys working on worksheets.

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I used to make him some by hand during my first trimester bed rest but my husband recently discovered a site where we can download and print worksheet templates. You can check out the site here. They have worksheets for math and spelling and from preschool to (I am guessing) grade school. I am pleasantly surprised to learn that Lucas:

  1. Like math. He knows how to add already so I have downloaded a lot of math worksheets for him. These are always the first ones he finishes.
  2. He can read sentences. He can read the instructions well with exception to some words like “beginning” or “picture”. When he cannot read it, he asks me how it should be read.
  3. He is still not fond of art.
  4. He enjoys school and learning because he really likes working on the “worksheeps”. You should see the smile on his face whenever he finishes one.

A little downside on being pregnant and big with such a small frame is the fact that I have aches and pain all over. My pelvis, back and legs hurt a lot when I move around. Even if I want to unleash the OC in me and clean every corner of the house, alas, I can only go as far as our room. I cannot even bend down to sweep the dust under the bed.

I also miss baking.

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Since I am no longer doing training, baking has become my zen. I get lost in mixing ingredients and I feel like I am in my own little world when I start designing my baked goodies. Since my OB advised me to take it easy, she’s not encouraging me to do some baking for now. Sigh. I miss my pans and my rolling pin, and my beloved mixer. Baw. Plus, I torture myself by looking at photos of baked goods in Pinterest. Oh how I would love to make meringues, crinkles, sugar cookies, and experiment on cakes and cupcakes!

I have found the right time and little nook where I can say a little prayer, read a book or my favorite blogs to inspire me, and think of the many beautiful things that will be coming our way. I am visited by worries and anxieties every now and then. Whenever I get those, I talk to my husband about it. He gives me the reassurance that everything is going to be alright. I also get strength and joy from my children. I need to be the mom they need me to be, both to Lucas and Little Peanut.

And so, the waiting game has begun. Everything is in place (I think) and I will try my best to really take it easy and clear my mind and my heart of worries and anxiety. I can’t wait to see my baby boy. :)

Healthy Snack: Pita Bread and Tzatziki

Tzatziki

One of the best things about being pregnant is that you’re encouraged to eat. One of the challenges of being pregnant is that you have to watch what you are eating. At 34 weeks, I get hungry every two hours and admittedly, during and after the holidays, the fridge mostly composes of sweets (leche flan, ube halaya, cakes), chocolates given as gifts, sweet fruits (grapes), and more sweets. Who has the same problem? Raise your hand if you do!

Well, sweets are not the best snack option for a pregnant mom, nor does starving myself until mealtime. So I had to whip up a quick, easy, and healthy snack to get me through the next meal.

I have always loved Mediterranean food. The last time hubby and I went to eat at a Mediterranean restaurant, I realized that the food served were all healthy. It’s low-sugar, low carb, high protein dishes. That inspired me to make tzatziki. Tzatziki is a Greek sauce that is commonly used to compliment grilled meat like beef, lamb or even chicken. However, it is also a great dipping sauce for grilled pita bread or fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, or whichever you prefer. It’s so easy to make and so darn delicious. Here’s how to make it:

Tzatziki Ingredients

1 medium size cucumber

1/4 cup Greek or Greek style yogurt

2 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt (and a little bit more to taste)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

Procedure

1. Finely chop the garlic. Add salt and with the back of your knife, mash the garlic well. Put in a medium bowl.

2. Peel and grate the cucumber. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the grated cucumber. This is important so your tzatziki will not be watery. Add to the mashed garlic.

3. Add the yogurt, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and taste if it needs seasoning.

4. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving with toasted or grilled pita bread (this is what I did), veggie sticks or even corn tortillas.

Some recipes would include putting dill on the tzatziki. Since I am not a fan, I didn’t add it anymore. What I love about this dip is the longer it stays in the fridge and “marinades” in all the flavors, the better it tastes. :)

I’ll try to make hummus this week too and let you know how it turns out.

Enjoy!