Monday, May 28, 2012

Never Grow Up

A few days before Mother's Day, the video of P&G's Best Job in the World commercial went viral. I've seen it shared by far too many motherhood blogs, and I've read how much tears it has caused its viewers.

I was not really a sucker for sappy videos but I went on and clicked it anyway. It was very heartwarming and Mother's-Day-ish, to say the least. But, forgive me for being anti-climactic, it wasn't tear-jerking for me at all. I guess I wasn't really the crying-over-video type. 

Then, mother's day-weekend came and I have completely forgotten about the P&G video. For my first mother's day celebration, my little family (Zohan and the husband) planned to go home to my province. Aside from seeing my lola, that would mean I would have a busy Saturday morning -- making our bed, preparing  our breakfast, washing the dishes, giving the baby his breakfast, giving him a bath, packing our things, and taking a bath and getting dressed, too. That would have been a walk in the park if I didn't have a clingy baby who wished to be carried all the time while I did all of that. Zohan made sure it was a memorable pre-mother's day by crying for every nanosecond that I separated myself from him. It was a stressful morning. No, stressful would be an understatement.

When I finished all the tasks (with a little boy attached to my sidewaist ala Angelina Jolie), his cue that he'd like to nurse came in. I slowed down a bit, settled on the couch and breastfed him. Since the entire morning went on like a whirlwind, the time that I sat down was the first moment of peace I had that day. For the first time that day, I actually looked into his eyes and realized how incredibly blessed I was. I had been entrusted with another being - to take care of, to nurture, and to love.. For the first time, I thanked God I had the chance to celebrate Mother's Day. Then, in a true Pinoy-movie fashion, the next song that played in the husband's laptop went on like this: 

When the song was about to finish, the husband came out of the shower and checked us out. You guessed it right, he was trying not to laugh because apparently, I was the crying-over-song type. Damn Taylor Swift. 

Here's the lyrics of the song, in case you want to have a good cry, too. :)

Your little hand's wrapped around my finger

And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything's funny, you got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up

You're in the car on the way to the movies
And you're mortified your mom's dropping you off
At 14 there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she's getting older too
And don't lose the way that you dance around in your pj's getting ready for school

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
No one's ever burned you, nothing's ever left you scarred
And even though you want to, just try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs
I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone

So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It's so much colder that I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on

Wish I'd never grown up
I wish I'd never grown up

Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
I could still be little
Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
Won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
And even though you want to, please try to never grow up
Oh, don't you ever grow up
Oh, never grow up, just never grow up

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The scar that fought no battle (VBAC Post I)

His first photo, right after the CS operation

I couldn't recall where I heard it, but I certainly caught somewhere that Caesarian scars were often referred to as battle scars. I'd imagine the battle to come in the form of several hours of labor pains in an attempt to go for vaginal delivery, only to be interrupted with a uterine rupture or a fetal distress. Another battle could be against the boredom of bed rest or anxiety of constant fetal monitoring after having been diagnosed with a placenta previa. There could also be an initial attempt to do labor but after several nerve-wracking pushes, the baby's head turns out to be too large or the mommy's pelvis too small to allow the baby to pass through. In all of these, there would be a gut-wrenching pain, from labor or otherwise, followed by a relief that when everything else seemed to fail, the mother would be summoned to the operating room for incision for her own good. These mothers would end up with a scar from the CS operation, but they fought a battle, and they fought hard.

As for me, I had a scar because I stuffed myself with too much pan de sal and gulped on too much iced tea and slept until it's time for bed again. How classy.

I had always wanted to give birth via normal delivery. In fact, I had prepared myself too much for it that it hurt so bad when I was operated on. For one, I did not take things slow when I was pregnant. In fact, I felt empowered when I was that big and could still do a lot of things. I never said no to attending hearings even until the very last day that I was at work. I was taking public transportation, to boot. And when I said public transportation, I meant taking that steeeeep stairs going up to MRT Magallanes station, walking on sunshine, taking the jeepney rides instead of cabs and repeating all of that several times a week. For another, I read up on everything I could lay my eyes on if it said "how to do vaginal birth". If the next chapter was about how to prepare for a caesarian delivery, I threw the material away. The power of the mind, you know. 

I guessed that arrogance caught up on me when weeks before I hit full term, my OB-gyne said  in a routine check-up that I was already at early labor stagewith 3-cm dilation! My OB-gyne was holding clinic at the province because I intended to give birth in my hometown, so after that findings, she advised against going back to Manila to continue with work. That was more than a month before my due date. Since I had nothing to do at the province but bask in the love of my relatives who thought pregnant women must not be put on a diet, you could already imagine what happened next, pan de sal wise.

Fast forward to one week before my due date and during my routine check-up, my OB-gyne noticed that the baby's weight had surged to 9 pounds! Yes people, this petite frame had carried a nine-pounder baby boy, so crossing out genes and family history, you could already identify the culprit here. Right there and then, I was directed to proceed to the emergency room for a CS operation because there was no way I could deliver that big a baby through the natural method. And since I wasn't prepped for that, I did not fast (I had a sandwich, what do you expect? I was stuffing myself crazy!) so they couldn't give me the sleep-inducing anesthesia. I was wide awake the entire surgical procedure, hearing their conversation and catching a glimpse of the knife and scissors and all. When Zohan was pulled out, he turned out to be 9.2 pounds.

There goes my battle - or the lack of it - for the scar on my abdomen. 

The dream of vaginal birth did not end there though because there was such a thing as Vaginal Birth after Caesarian (VBAC). In a tweet, Jenny Ong of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom mentioned that her OB-gyne was a VBAC practitioner. This news perked up the stubbornness in me and I lost no time in getting the doctor's contact details. After a few weeks, I found myself in her clinic and asking questions how I could prepare myself for VBAC. (Not that I am pregnant now, but in case there has to be a gap requirement from the first birth to VBAC, then I should probably get our calendar worked up.) She asked me a lot of questions, patient's history mostly, and gave me three basic points that would make a person a good candidate for VBAC.

Am I a good candidate? Watch out for the next post. (Oo, may ganon!)

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm saying goodbye to google..

...and saying hello to Dra. Vienne Saulog! Yes, I am now a step up to being an Alpha mom for having secured a trustworthy pediatrician for my son.

If you tolerated my ramblings long enough, you'd be aware that google was helping me raise my son. When to start with solid food? Google. What food to give him? Google. Was it okay that he didn't poop regularly? Google. Where were the branches of Anthology shoes? Google. Okay, that last one didn't count.

Well, you gotta give me some credit before you convince yourself how irresponsible a mother I was. Zohan had a pediatrician ever since he popped out from a stitch. His first pedia was the one who caught him from the labor room, while his second pedia was based in the husband's province. They both charged cheap, sure. But the problem with them was, they would only give the required vaccine shot for the month, collect the fees and wave goodbye. Too bad for them I was a first time mother who expected pediatricians to be as detailed as And so, there I was in their clinics, with an expectant ear and a ready wallet, agitated to listen to what I would pay for. As luck would have it, our check-ups would be as simple as shot-pay-goodbye, EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. (There's gotta be something that they could tell me because I need to keep this blog alive!) 

So, the search for the new pediatrician began. I always had Dra. Vienne Saulog in mind, because of the good reviews made by Maqui here and Maggi here. I was holding off visiting her clinic because I decided to complete Zohan's vaccines with the silent pedia, who, in retrospect, charged cheaper for vaccines compared to Manila-based pediatricians. I figured that there was really no rush because Zohan had been a well-baby (according to me!), so we waited until his 8th month. (Henceforth, his scheduled vaccines would only be boosters and would not be as often, and as expensive, I hope, as the vaccines he have had for the last 7 months!) 

Last 14th of April, we visited Dra. Vienne's clinic in One Health Center in Paseo de Magallanes. We camped in her clinic with Tita Eda, Tatay, Ninang Joyce and Ninong Enzo. I was asking the entire block in lawschool if they wanted to tag along but apparently, they had busy lives. 

It was all good except that we waited for two minutes, and two hours! In her defense, Dra. Vienne said her rounds in St. Luke's took longer than usual because of her scheduled out-of-the-country trip. But because she was just as talkative as, I forgave her. In fact, she was too accomodating to answer my ten-point questionnaire that it took us almost an hour to finish. She was very meticulous to the point that she checked up the little boy's every nook and cranny. She also asked if Zohan could recognize his name already, and the atribida nanay that I was, hurriedly said yes, he can! I called him Zohan! Zohan! I was practicing telepathy and tried to control his mind to look my way. But the kid pretended he didn't hear me. The husband, the sweet person that he was, tried to save my face and called out Zohan! Zohan! But the little boy decided, this one time, that he would not respond to his name, and would continue playing with the toy he was holding at that time. Nuninu, ni nu.

At any rate, Dra. Vienne was a welcome relief from the previous pedias that Zohan had. I would highly recommend her because finally, I would be getting my money's worth. Possibly even more. 

With all these toys, he wouldn't mind waiting!
As of our last check-up, Dra. Vienne Saulog charges P500 for consultation fee and holds clinic in the following:

One Health Clinic in Paseo De Magallanes, Makati City
MWFSa 3:00 pm-5:00pm
Tue Thurs 2:30pm-3:30pm

Asian Hospital
T TH 4:00pm-7:00pm
Fri 9:00am-12:00noon

St. Luke's, BGC
7897700 loc 7737
Mon-Thurs, Sat. 9:30am-1:30pm

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Mother's Day Post

I made a rather serious post about how grateful I was to my maternal grandmother, the person who raised me from childhood up until before I got married. After I hit publish, I received calls and comments from my cousins and friends telling me how touching my post was. Then it hit me that I just made a wrong move! 

You know how every mother's day, you read feeds in Facebook or timelines in Twitter that everybody has the best mother in the world? Well, days before Mother's Day, I  had announced here, in the most dramatic fashion, that I had the best grandmother in the world. Tough act to follow! To outdo that for my mother, I should probably stick a fork in the socket of your eyes to make you cry buckets of tears.

But you see, my relationship with Nanay was not drama-infused. It was not drama-less, though, because God knew how tear-jerking our struggles were. It was perhaps so sappy that in order to deal with it, we had to set our soft spots aside and bring out the tough cookie and humor together. When I think about it now, as I write this, I realize that there were actually very few instances in our mother-daughter relationship that we cried together -  it's either one of us was crying while the other couldn't care less, or we were both laughing our hearts out without a care in the world!

The first time I saw her cry was when she returned from abroad for the first time after six long years of separation. I was in fifth grade then. That moment when she hugged me, I thought she caused me a broken rib. I was prepped to believe that it was supposed to be a touching moment and I was expected to cry. But as far as I could remember, I just stood there without a tear in the eye, looking amazed and proud because man, I was in the city and sporting a new dress! Remembering it now from a different prespective, I must say Nanay had done a great job of maintaining composure because if I were in her shoe then, I would have wailed like a crying cow on New Year's eve.

The second time I saw her cry was when we had a heart-to-heart talk after my high school graduation and I was preparing to go to college. That was a rather long talk, together with her bestfriend Tita Zynia, and it was mostly about how I should use my new-found freedom wisely. At that time, my mantra was: MUST.GRADUATE.FROM.COLLEGE. MUST.NOT.GET.PREGNANT.  (I thought it worked because it was after several years from college graduation that I cooked a bun in the oven.)

The third time I saw her cry was the night before my college graduation, when I oriented her where to seat during the graduating rites. I said, very casually, that there was a special seat for parents of those graduating with honors, and that she and Nanang will have to seat there. Being the impatient person that I was, I found it difficult to put off breaking that news until that night, and to deliver it without jumping for joy - but the surprise in her eyes was so worth the wait. Besides, it was cool to deliver it that way.

I think that was the last time I saw her cry. She probably shed a few tears when I told her that I would be graduating from lawschool or that my name was on the list of bar passers, but I thought it was more of a sigh of relief and happiness that I heard. She probably shed a few tears when I broke the news of me getting married or she becoming a lola, but she made sure I did not sense it from her voice on the phone. Even before these momentous events in my life, she probably shed a few tears each time she'd miss my birthdays or recognition days in school; or when the weather abroad was too cold for her taking but I was asking for a new brickgame, so she just had to get up and work her ass off; or during that rebellious highschool stage when I preferred to stay inside my room rather than spend time with her despite her very short vacation. There could probably be a lot of times that I made her cry, but she sure did make me feel like everything was okay and we were doing fine. 

Apart from those instances, we usually spend our brief days of being together laughing. And when we are apart, we'd message each other with silly things. When things got a tad too serious, she'd always end it up by concluding "ayaw ko ng ma-stress drilon!" Yes, she had gotten the hang of me and my friend's beki language, and she could really pull it off! Now that she's a nonna to my son, I'd send her pictures of Zohan thru BBM, with specific instruction not to post it on Facebook because it wasn't the boy's best photo, or I was looking really dumb in the background. She'd respond yes but I would certainly find it in her newsfeed in less than five minutes. What a zesty mother I have!

I do not intend to be all mushy for Mother's Day. I've made her a lot of notes and letters themed with tear-inducing thank you's and I know it's getting old. I wanted this to be light and funny, because that's the way she is. Her struggle to raise me alone, and her persistence to do it with flying colors, transformed her into a very strong woman. And to keep her sane while she's at it, she has been forced to take life lightly and funny. If I get just half of her humor and her strength, I'd probably be half as good as the mother that I wanted to be. 

To my mudax, Happy Happy Mother's Day! Mahal na mahal kita. Yun na! =)

We don't really take ourselves too seriously, do we?

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