Monday, October 29, 2007

Third Anniversary

Today, Boydee and I 'celebrated' our 3rd wedding anniversary. Yup, it's been three years but the love remains just as strong, even stronger as when we made our vows before God and our loved ones.

We celebrated a few days early by spending an overnight at Edsa Shang, thanks to Mommy Nonie and Dhia Louie. Then, today, we heard mass to thank God for putting us together and choosing us for each other.

Today, though, was coupled with such anguishing news that our celebration was dampened. We had a repeat ultrasound for baby number 2 this morning. It revealed that there was no improvement from the last ultrasound, meaning, my water therapy didn't work. The kidneys and bladder weren't visually clear based on the scan because again, there was too little fluid. This suggested that the cause of the oligohydramnios is most likely a congenital defect on the part of the baby. With that, and the fact that I could see him so clearly in the scan moving around and with a normal heartbeat literally tore my heart to pieces. And I am helpless. We are helpless.

In the same way that it was not anybody's fault that I lost most of my amniotic fluid, there is also not much we can do to have prevented it from happening, and not much we can do to 'save' the baby, for now. We were advised to go to the US because there, the baby might have a fighting chance of survival, if his organs are not in that bad of a shape. First step will be a diagnosis to conclusively determine the cause of the oligohydramnios. From then, we will decide what steps to take. I continuously pray that God will lead us to make the right choices.

Just as it is only God who can create life, only He alone can take a life, and more importantly, in this situation, save a life. No matter how much education, riches, sphere of influence we acquire in our world, we are still helpless and powerless when it comes to life and death. That power alone lies in God.

So, really, no matter who we are, what we've achieved, we can never be independent enough to live without Him. We aren't the masters of our destinies; God is. We can only bow to His will. We can only trust that He wants what is best for us. We will just have to learn to "enjoy" the ride, have faith, and be ready to deal with whatever blows are sent our way.

Today, Boydee and I dealt with one big blow - that of facing the uncertainty of our 2nd baby's fate. But as we memorialize our 3rd anniversary of love, I am grateful that God gave Boydee as my partner in facing this tough journey ahead. So, yes, we may be feeling really down now, but God always reminds me, through today, that there will always be countless more blessings He has given me. Perhaps, He will grant us a great miracle. Or perhaps not. Regardless, we submit to His will, and we thank Him for our faith. Without it, I would definitely lose my sanity.

For now, I place everything in His Hands. All in Your hands, Lord.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Looong Day...

Yesterday was Doctors day for me and our 2nd baby in the morning and for Bric in the afternoon. Much as I am very, very grateful to Doctors; visiting them is a bit stressful. Not only is the waiting time long, you also know that you're going there because something is wrong. I am just so glad that I have a very supportive, loving and strong husband with me.

The morning saw us going to Dr. Ma. Estrella Yu-Flores, a perinatologist in Capitol Medical Center with my ob-gyne, Dr. Mitch, who went out of her way to accompany us. Dr. Flores was very motherly and seemed to know what she was talking about it. Although we pretty much knew what was happening already through research in the internet, it still helped that an expert was talking to us up front. But what she gave us that was most important was hope. She said an amniotic level of 2cm based on SPV (single pocket value?) is borderline low but still acceptable for her, meaning there is still a chance the baby will survive. She advised me to drink at least 3-4 liters of water a day and lots of rest. We will do a repeat ultrasound on Tuesday to find out if my water increases enough for us to do a congenital anomaly scan. From there, we can determine whether our baby's kidneys are functioning or whether there is an obstruction in the ureter. If it is discovered that it is a congenital defect that's causing the oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid), then we wait til our baby surrenders. If not, we do careful monitoring until I reach my 7th month. Then see, if I can reach 9 months so that we can bring baby out.

I have surrendered our 2nd baby to God to do as He pleases. We will do all means possible to save him/her but if it is not meant to be, or if he will just suffer and not live a normal life, then we pray that God take him peacefully and without suffering. I know God has His reasons. Lord, our baby is all yours. Just guide us as to what decisions to take.

In the afternoon was Bric's doctor time. He was having diarrhea last Thursday, vomitting on Friday, rashes on Friday night and had no appetite. His weight dropped from 11.5kg to 10kg in a span of 3 days. It was very alarming. Tita Doc Jamie Agbayani asked for a stool exam to find out what's causing the diarrhea. If it was viral, it should go away in 3 days and he should be well in 5 days. If it was bacterial, then a more complicated treatment would be required than just hydrite and a lugaw-apples-banana latundan diet.

At 5:15pm, we tried to feed him supper and hydrite. He covered his mouth with his hand and wouldn't open his mouth. If we forced the lugaw in, he would spit it out. If I were more transparent, I would have been so hysterical. Why wasn't my baby eating???

Manang Linda suggested to have him "patawas" (not sure what the english translation of this word is - it's kinda related to quackery). We called Randy Kalbo whose neighbor was a 'mangtatawas'. He said Bric had a sprain on his hip and needed to be massaged. We asked him to come. Right after the call, Bric's appetite came back, and after his 'hilot', he went about sleeping so soundly. This morning, he's feeling better and his appetite's improving. I believe he's on the road to recovery. We also had his stool exam last night and it suggested a viral infection which means it should go away after 3 days which was yesterday. Is it science or quackery that healed him? Regardless, I am grateful that our baby is getting better.

All throughout these two ordeals, my heart has sunk many times and sometimes, I do not know what to think, what to pray for. I only lift everything to God and trust He will never leave us alone. I am also very thankful that I have so much love surrounding us - Boydee and I - through our families. We are consoled that our prayers are multiplied many times because our families and friends are praying for us. They cushion whatever blows come our way.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Boydee and I just came from what was supposed to be a routinary 5-month Congenital anomaly scan of the baby and to finally determine the gender. Last night, I prayed for a normal, healthy, strong baby girl and on the way, I prayed the novena to St. Therese. I asked God for a daughter, this time around. But perhaps, I should've prayed harder for a normal, complication-less pregnancy and delivery.

The whole pregnancy was too fuss-free. Too fuss-free, in fact, that there were times I'd get paranoid. So I was kinda anxious to have my ultrasound today to check if everything was 'normal'. Little prepared us for what we were about to find out. But we took it all in stride. We know God is still watching over us, despite the circumstances.

The sonologist, Dr. Alexandra Cruz found out that I had very little, hardly any, amniotic fluid in my uterus. This early in the pregnancy signals a bad sign. While the normal level would be at 12 cm, mine was at 2 cm. That is really, really low and really, really grim. Boydee and I were stumped. Literally. I felt dazed out, as if this wasn't really happening. I mean, I couldn't and didn't even feel any pain, or any abnormalities all through out this pregnancy.

Possible causes of this rare occurrence are: hypertension, diabetes, placental problem, leakage (all ruled out), and most likely a congenital defect of the baby. It is suspected that our baby's kidneys didn't develop properly. At this stage in pregnancy, our baby is supposed to help in the supply of water. Find out more in this link.

As of now, externally, our baby is growing normally and his/her heartbeat is normal. We don't know how long she'll be okay given this situation. We will be seeing a perinatologist with our ob, Dr. Mitch Dado tomorrow.

For now, we pray God will see us through this ordeal, however way He wills it. We trust everything happens with His divine knowledge; we know He is with us all the way.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Meaner Than Usual

Is it hormones or pregnancy per se, or is this my baby's future feistiness manifesting itself through me? Throughout this second pregnancy, I am meaner than usual. Miss Sungit, in other words.

Just today, I felt like 'making parinig' this robust girl in the elevator who was standing right in the middle and not budging even when she saw that there were a lot more of us wanting to get in. I was almost this close to saying aloud to our staff, 'There's still space for one more (to Nelson who opted to just stay behind and wait for the next lift) but there are people here who don't want to move in." Of course, I stopped myself.

The 2nd instance was at Mercury Drug when this fat girl occupied so much space at the counter even when we were already there leaning on it. She just shoved herself in. I stepped back and tapped my fingers impatiently on the counter, feeling helpless but so wanting to make her sungit. I found my chance when I had to sign for my credit card bill. I intentionally expanded my elbow so that it seemed as if I was 'innocently' nudging her. Naturally, she moved. Hehehe...

And then, my conscience got the better of me and my guilt sinks in. Sigh... Why am I meaner this time? Waaahhhh :( I hope this doesn't mean our 2nd baby will be sungit too. Oh God forbid!!!

Looking back, I kinda think I was a sungit kid when I was much much younger, when I didn't know the value of friendship and pakisama. Being an only daughter with two brothers who got along with each other so well made me sort of a loner. But in the latter part of grade school, I realized through friends how the world could be so much better if you shared a part of your life with others. So, the Miss Congeniality in me started to blossom.

Perhaps it is ok to be sungit sometimes. As Ate Rona said, "You're pregnant! You have the most convenient excuse to be mean!" Hehehe... That said, I feel slightly better but the Dr. Jekyll in me still, thankfully, manages to win over Ms. Hyde.

Pregnant or not, excess of hormones or the lack of it, there will always be a constant struggle to be nice or to be rude, to be sweet or to be feisty, to be good or to be mean. It is our call, our inner conscience, self control and maturity that will determine what choice we take at every chance encounter we face.

In the end, if one wants to earn merits in heaven, we will always choose the harder way which is the way to goodness. Given that, there are gazillions of opportunities to earn our merits in heaven with each new day that presents itself. We just have to listen to our conscience most times.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Baby

It is so hard to picture Bric without a smile on his face. It is so easy to make the corners of his mouth curl into a smile or a giggle. I love my baby boy!!!

When Bric is asleep on our bed, I sometimes lie down beside him and just watch him. I can not help but thank God for this beautiful gift. Only He could have thought of making Bric the way he is - such a happy, smiling, adorable, cute baby! When I look at him, I wonder how this wonderful creature ever came out from me. I don't consider him mine, or Boydee's alone. I know he is God's son, no one else's. God made him. And I am just so thankful He entrusted this smiling baby to us.

When I was pregnant with Bric, I asked God for specifics. Now, on my second pregnancy, I still dwell on specifics but the details I leave up to Him. I know whatever I ask for, He can think of something better. I just really pray He'll grant us a baby girl this time. And perhaps, after I give birth to this one, I will give my body a rest, and devote my time taking care of my 2 babies who grow up sooo fast!

I hope our 2nd baby will be just as smiling as Bricky Boy!!!

ps Bric's upper tooth is showing!!! It's gonna come out soon!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Thoughts on Turning 33

Nothing much.... Hehe.... Really. As the years go by, I become less and less excited about my birthday but more excited about the birthdays of my loved ones, especially if I have a gift I'm excited to give. Now that my birthday's just a few hours away, I feel "normal".

We're flying to Cebu tomorrow. By we, that's Boydee, Bric and I with Yaya Mila, of course; Daddy and Mommy; Rondic and Lai; Rod and Zhar. The boys are going to attend the JC Nat Con in Cebu while the girls are there to have fun. Hehehe... Dad and Mom are going to celebrate my birthday with me and to join the family since most of us will be there. Ate and Japa can't make it (boo hoo hoo) because it's Rogan and Raegan's portfolio nights. Randy and Stella, on the other hand, are on their honeymoon in Europe. Lola opted to stay in Manila.

Mommy Nonie and I are excited to have my family again in Cebu. More than my birthday, it's the trip I'm more excited about.

So anyway, my wish list...
1. A normal, healthy, strong, loving, beautiful, intelligent, kind hearted, happy baby girl who will get along with Bric and bring joy to her grandparents and parents. I hope she'll get my complexion, Boydee's happy disposition and heart, my discipline, Boydee's eyes minus the banlag, either of our noses, my hair!, my lips, my legs, fingers, toes and height, Boydee's butt!, his charm and my faith. If God decides to give us a boy again, then I wish for all things above except that he be handsome and straight. If you know what I mean. :)
2. Black skinny leggings that are ankle length and will fit me (maternity).
3. US Visa for Yaya Mila
4. To be able to leave for the US after Bric's birthday and party and still not be obvious especially to the immigration officials that I am on the way... A smooth entry into the US when I eventually go there to give birth
5. PEACE and Harmony
6. Good health, long life, continued blessings for Daddy Boy especially, our families and the people I love
7. Protection from harm for my loved ones.
8. for God to always be present especially in our family
9. success in our endeavors
10. A safe, normal, natural delivery :)

These wishes aren't particularly meant for my birthday. These are my daily prayers, minus the leggings. There isn't much I wish for myself because I am just so happy and content at where God has placed me now.

So, on my birthday, instead of wishing for stuff, I'd rather like to thank all those who've filled my 33 years with love, laughter and lessons. Most of all, I thank God for giving me a life so blessed with His presence. I thank Him for conjuring for me this dream of a life. I can not ask for anything better than what He has already given me. I thank Him for His friendship and for listening to me whenever I have something to say, for granting my prayers whenever my heart whispers to Him.

Thank You Lord for planting me where I am and for putting so much Love into my life through the people around me, through the little miracles You send me everyday. Thank you, Lord, for my life. I hope I will be a worthy instrument of Your love.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Birthday Gift for Mommy Nonie

This coming October 22, Mommy Nonie will be celebrating her 6-th birthday. She specifically reminded me not to get her an expensive gift. She said she'll appreciate a card or something simple more. So, I decided to give her an accordion album with scraps of her and her favorite apo (I'm just making the assumption here. hehehe), Bric! Here are the LOs!

Credits: Trish Jones Eclectic Mix Collection, Miles Kit, Road Trip Kit and Sun Porch Princess

Monday, October 01, 2007

The 1st Talulot Festival!

In the latter part of August, Mario Martinez and Allan Nataya were given the herculean task of organizing the 1st Talulot Festival by the ExCom. They were supposed to get it up and about in just a short span of a month.

Never the weak and the surrenderers, they willingly accepted the challenge, despite sleepless nights and a foot or was it finger operation for Mario. And my, my, did they pull it off!!!

To propagate devotion and awareness of Saint Therese in our community and the presence of the Shrine, we decided on introducing and organizing the 1st Talulot Festival - a mini-Sinulog of sorts, and hopefully to become THE banner fiesta of Pasay City. It was to be a rose parade/street dancing competition. After a series of meetings, we got the cooperation of Barangay Captain Castillo who also helped us with arranging a courtesy call to Mayor Peewee Trinidad. Both were very enthusiastic with the idea. Barangay Captain was, in particular, such a major contributor to the success of the festival. He got all his Zone Leaders to participate in both contest categories.

On September 30, it was all systems go despite the gloomy clouds and the weather forecast of thunderstorms. Albeit the occasional drizzles and the wet ground, all the participants gamely strutted about and gave their all especially in the street dancing. We had 7 float contenders and 6 street dancing competitors. In both categories, VAB's Zone 2 made a sweep winning P30,000 and P20,000 for the respective category.

The zone residents patiently sat on the streets to watch and cheer for their respective zones. It was a successful 1st festival considering the short time given to both Mario and Allan. So, to both of them, congratulations!!! And to our MVC staff, the community, Tita Cora, Barangay Captain Castillo and his zone leaders, thank you so, so much for sharing our vision and your support!

Lastly, let us not forget the whole reason for this celebration. Let us remember St. Therese and continue to ask for her intercession. May more people come to know of her little way towards heaven; may more people be showered by her talulots (petals) of blessings and miracles; and may we, who have been touched by her love, always remember and remain grateful of her intercession.

Mid Autumn Festival

It has been a yearly tradition in our family in Cebu to play the game of dice every August moon Festival, when the moon is supposed to shine the brightest in that year. It falls every 15th of August in the Lunar Calendar so it keeps on changing in our western calendar. This year, it fell on September 25.

I was set on introducing this family tradition to my family in Manila. Being the only authentic Chinese in our family (I say "authentic" because both Japa and Lai look kinda Chinese too!), I felt the pressure to familiarize myself with the rules of the dice game since they were depending on me to be the 'game master'. I had volunteered, even offered, to organize this game because I think it would be fun especially for the kids. My childhood memories always included this experience - of winning hopias (and eating the smaller ones right away) and most of all, receiving those crisp, new bills and keeping it in my locked safe. Up to now, I still have my winnings. I know because the money is just so new - although some have been outdated, meaning the bills have become obsolete and therefore, not legal tender. Still, I think they'd be great souvenirs and glimpses of the past for our kids.

Back to the story... I began my search for the hopia set by asking Dexter Go of Sulpicio Lines. His parents play the dice game with us in Cebu. He referred me to DEC and Salazar Bakery. While waiting for Yaya Mila to apply for her US Visa, Manuel and I went to Binondo to see for myself the hopia set, the dice and the rules. The rules sheet was very important! That was to be my kodigo! The DEC hopia set cost P1,250 but their dice looked ugly and the rules were in Chinese!!! My next stop was Eng Bee Tin, home of my favorite hopia. There I found the perfect hopia set - P1,000/small set, P1,500/big set. The instruction sheet was both in English and Chinese and the dice were decent and presentable. I have found my hopia set!

The Dizon clan are a very game bunch that's why I just LOVE organizing parties with them. My siblings are very helpful and supportive. To complete the theme, I prepared a full Chinese menu and asked everyone to at least wear a Chinese-themed outfit.

That day, Ate helped in writing the rules on the white board and served as my loud speaker that night in explaining them. Boydee and Lai actively helped in the drawing of lots while Rondic was quick to know the rules and served as an impromptu game master. I became the treasurer and hopia distributor with the help of Stella, 'waitressing' the 32 and 16 pieces hopia. Our dinner was mixed with lechon since Lola insisted in adding a dish for RJ's birthday which happened to fall on that day. So, we had a feast!

Lai won the jackpot that night of P2,000 and the giant hopia. I hope everyone had fun and that maybe, we can do this every year. I, for one, would like my kids to grow up having this memory too. And I'm only too glad to be able to share a part of my culture to my other family. Till next year!!!

Our menu: Chinese lumpia buffet from DEC, Wilson @ P50/piece
Sweet and Sour Pork from Wan Chai
Dragon Balls from Wan Chai
Pata Tim by Melinda
Steamed Grouper with ginger and soy sauce by Melinda
Yang Chow Fried Rice by Melinda
Crispy Fried Chicken by Melinda
Lomi by Elmer sponsored by Tito Rey
Black Gulaman with Almonds and Nata de Coco by me!
Mango Sago by Melinda
Fresh Mandarin Orange, Fragrant Pears and Pomelo from our new Binondo supplier referred by Dexter
Lechon from Lola Nene

Congrats Lai! And, to RJ, happy, happy Birthday!!!