Jul 12, 2015

Maddie Moments: Maddie's Chinese Name

I have a Singaporean then-officemate who is very fond of Maddie. She liked it when I told her that she is Maddie's "fairy Godmother" and true to that name, she would always give Maddie presents just because.

Friends, meet Maddie's Aunty Adeline :-)

Of all the things she gave our little girl, my favorite is her Chinese name. Yes, Maddie has a Chinese name! Here it is...

Since Madison is a Western name, Adeline instead picked a Chinese name that resembles Jayanne and has a nice meaning, too! According to her, Jia means "additional happiness" while Ying means "luster of a gem". And that's exactly what Maddie is to us! Jhay and I were happy then but when Maddie came, it was a different level of happiness altogether! Spending each day with her is just bliss. Seeing her smile, playing with her, watching her grow and calling her ours... Oh, what an honor to have been entrusted by the Lord with a lustrous gem!

One day, Maddie will learn the Chinese language, or at least how to write her name! :D

Thank you, Aunty Adeline! What a wonderful, unique gift this is!

Maddie and Adeline, 1 year later :)

Jul 11, 2015

Maddie Moments: Our Breastfeeding Journey

One thing that I am very grateful for is that I grew up witnessing the wonder of Mother's Milk. My mom breastfed all 6 of us (I for 2+ years -- thanks, Mom!), so I was 101% decided that I will breastfeed Maddie for as long as she's here. I would even joke then na sayang naman my big boobs if I won't put it to good use. Haha.

Yes, I breastfeed anywhere! I'm all for normalizing breastfeeding =)
Thanks to my supportive Momma and to the equally supportive hubby for this photo.

It wasn't a walk in the park, that's true. For us, it was a struggle. There were even moments that just had me in tears especially in the first few weeks but I held on for dear life because the benefits of breastfeeding easily outweigh the challenges. Breastmilk has all the nutrients a baby needs in the first 6 months. After all, it's not called "Liquid Gold" for nothing. And I was able to prove that when time came that I had really bad cough and colds and Maddie didn't get the virus. That's because studies say that when a mother is sick, her breasts produce antibodies that shield the baby from contracting the illness. Nice, no? God's work is amazing like that =)

Dear Jesus, please bless Mommy with more and more milk for me to drink. Amen. :)

And to top it all, the bond between a mother and a child formed when breastfeeding is truly incomparable. Believe me, it was a one-of-a-kind feeling being able to nourish a little human being!

So if you are a new Mommy or a mom-to-be, take it from me... Breast is best!

And if you are not yet convinced, let me share with you a post from the Breastfeeding advocacy group I joined in Facebook, Breastfeeding Pinays. It's written by one of its admins, Ms. Bonnie Factor, and I didn't bother translating because it has more impact as it is. It's quite long but it's worth really worth reading. 

For Pregnant Members and Moms with Newborns

May milk ka na pagka panganak mo pa lang.
The body starts producing milk as soon as the placenta has been removed.
Day 1 ni baby may colostrum ka na.
Sobrang konti nyan na hindi mo makita na meron.
Kailangan mong ipa-latch baby mo every 2-3 hours 24/7 round the clock para dumating ang mature milk.
Huwag mag panic kung umiiyak ang baby. Hindi sya gutom at for sure may nadedede sya sa iyo.
Umiiyak sya dahil 9 months syang nasa loob ng tyan mo at naninibago sya sa labas.

Biggest misconception na walang milk. 
Meron pero kailangang mag-latch ang baby mo.
Huwag na huwag bibigyan ang baby ng formula matutulog sya kasi apat ang tyan ng baka.
Dalawang pang digest, dalawang pang absorb
Samantalang ang sa human baby ay isa lamang at napakaliit pa kaya natutulog ang baby kapag naka formula kasi hirap na hirap silang i-digest ang mataas na protein contents ng formula.
Dinadaan na lang ng energy nila sa pagtulog ang pag digest ng formula.
Mataas ang protein ng cows milk kasi kailangan ng baka na tumayo na at makatakbo in 27 days while brain development ang target ng breastmilk.

Kung magbigay ka ng formula at natulog ang baby mo, sinabi mo sa katawan mo na walang baby na dumedede kaya hindi sya magp-produce ng gatas.
Yan ang dahilan kung bakit hindi mo dapat bigyan ng formula ang baby mo sa hospital dahil lalong hindi dadating ang mature milk mo at hindi kailangan kasi may gatas ka hindi mo lang nakikita pero meron, madede yun ng baby mo kung ipapa latch mo sya.
Make sure you have an EBF advocate pedia.
Ang tunay na EBF advocate pedia, hindi magr-recommend ng formula kahit ano pa ang mangyari.
Dahil lahat ng breastfeeding challenges magagawan ng solution without formula.
Dapat masunod ng hospital ang unang yakap protocol and rooming-in of your baby ASAP after birth. kung hindi, ito ay labag sa milk code at puwedeng i-report ang hospital sa DOH.
Para makasigurado, gumawa ng birth plan at i-discuss ito sa OB at kukunin niyong pedia bago pa man manganak.
Ilagay sa birth plan ang kagustuhan mong mag exclusive breastfeeding, pabantayan sa asawa or kasama mo sa ospital ang iyong sanggol para makasigurado na walang formula ang ibibigay bago ito ipasuso sa iyo at i-room-in.
Magpunta sa informative posters, FAQ at Admin notes photo albums ng BFP andun lahat ang kailangan malaman.

Napaka importante na sabihan mo ang pamilya mo na mage-exclusive breastfeeding ka, kadalasan ang mga well meaning family members ang mga dahilan kung bakit nagf-fail ang mom sa exclusive breastfeeding.
Kunyari sasabihan ang Nanay na mag formula na dahil iyak ng iyak ang baby at dahil wala naman daw nakukuha na isang napaka laking maling akala.
O kaya naman ay kailangang magpahinga kaya kailangang mag formula.
O kaya e pumapayat na daw ang baby kawawa daw kaya mag formula na.
O kaya e kulang daw ang gatas dahil hindi tumutulo.
O kaya e kulang daw ang gatas dahil hindi basang-basa ang damit ng gatas.
Ihanda mo ang sarili mo sa mga ganitong reaksyon.
Kunin ang suporta ng iyong asawa at pamilya.
Be firm with what you want.
Mag attend ng breastfeeding seminar at isama ang asawa, nanay at byenan sa seminar para maintindihan nila ang halaga ng breastmilk at ang hindi magandang epekto ng formula sa inyong anak.
Have the number of a breastfeeding counselor kapag pinanghihinaan ka ng loob.
Huwag munang magpa bisita o limitahan ang oras ng mga bisita dahil magpapadede ka every 2-3 hours.
Sa oras na pinanghihinaan ka ng loob, ang simpleng hindi pagdadala ng bote at formula ay makakapagligtas sa iyong sanggol sa formula.

Ang emergency back-up na kailangan mo ay ang makapagtukoy ng breastfeeding counselor na makakatulong sa iyo at hindi ang pagdadala o pagbili ng formula.
Kumbinsihin ang asawa na kunin ang lahat ng mga gawaing walang kinalaman sa breastfeeding katulad ng pagpapalit ng diaper at pagpapa ligo ng bago nyong anak, kasama na din ang mga gawaing bahay para matutukan mo ang breastfeeding ng iyong newborn 24/7.
Pagdating naman sa rooming-in ng iyong bagong panganak na sanggol.
kung walang challenge si baby dapat naka room-in na agad sya kay mommy.
walang doktor or hospital or sinuman ang puwedeng magpigil ng rooming-in ng bagong kapanganak na sanggol.
Ang lugar ng bagong panganak na sanggol ay kasama ang nanay nya.
maraming mga sitwasyon ang sinasabi na kailangan daw obserbahan muna bago i-room-in.
Kung hindi naman naka-incubator ang newborn, pwede syang obserbahan katabi ang nanay nya.
Kung jaundice naman daw, lalong pwede syang obserbahan sa tabi ng nanay nya.
Kung may series of tests daw, bilang magulang, tanungin natin kung ano ang mga series of tests na gagawin sa ating newborn.
Ang series of tests na gagawin daw, pwede pa ding i-room-in at kunin na lang ang newborn kapag gagawin na ang series of tests o d kaya sa harapan ng magulang gawin ang series of tests.
Kung nakitang naka swero ang iyong bagong kapanganak na sanggol, magtanong agad kung bakit.
Karapatan at tungkulin ng bawat nanay ang malaman ang lahat ng inpormasyon tungkol sa kanyang bagong panganak na sanggol at magtanong ng kelan, ano, bakit, paano ang mga proseso na gagawin kung meron man - lalo na at hindi pa daw nir-room-in.

If you are interested to know more about Breastfeeding, please search Breastfeeding Pinays in Facebook. Information is key! :)

A proud BF advocate,

*Credits to BFP for all the informative photos.

Jul 2, 2015

Maddie Moments: Her First Month

Being the crybaby that Maddie is, the succeeding days were still full of crying and in effect, sleepless nights but by the time she turned a month old, we were pretty much getting the hang of it. The key is indulging her in about half an hour of swaying while humming "My Nipa Hut" (yes, there is an English version of Bahay Kubo!) and then ever so carefully laying her down and quickly latching her on. 

Her 1st Month Portrait

We had a bit of a struggle since matakaw sya sa milk so she has the tendency to feed even when she's already full. The ending is Maddie throwing up and Mommy panicking >_< It's really good that I had Mamita around because she would always know what to do. I was starting to get a little paranoid about it so I did a little research and learned that it's normal since the baby's digestive system is still developing. She also outgrew that phase after a couple of months :)

Maddie loving the company of Mamita and Aunt Haley.

Maddie can see us and the things around her already so her eyes would follow moving objects around the room. She started to make small responses to the sounds that she hears, too.

At 1 month, Maddie also loves to be carried all the time. People would always tell me, "wag sanayin sa karga, ikaw din mahihirapan" but I really didn't mind because I thought I won't get to carry her in my arms forever so enjoy it while it lasts. Especially now that she's already big and she's living far from us, i really really miss those days.

That, my friends, is how a tired yet happy first-time mom looks like :)
The eyebags, omg! Hahaha.

Now back to her first month birthday... To celebrate, we had a small feast at home. We invited some of her SG Ninongs and Ninangs over to join the fun.

I went a little overboard with the food. Check out in the next photos how many guests we had. Sorry, excited lang! :)

Maddie's Ninong Mike, Ninong Wendyll and Ninang Sara. These 3 were my officemates and housemates the past years.

And now, with our current housemates.

Three cheers for Maddie's first milestone!
Happy 1st Month Birthday, little one! :)

Jun 27, 2015

Maddie Moments: Her Birth and the First Few Weeks

Mommies have an insatiable desire to document their child's development, especially the first year of life when most of the "firsts" and important milestones happen. Hence this series I will call Maddie Moments :) It's quite a job trying to go back and recall the happenings from 1 year ago but I'll still do it because one day, I know I will visit this blog and be thankful that I took the time.

Here goes...

For someone who works overseas, I consider myself fortunate to have been with my daughter for 6 months. Some parents had to leave their children as soon as they have recovered but me, I got the chance to be with her for half a year. So even if it's not the most ideal set up, I am thankful. I have to say it was really challenging being a new mom but hey, it was also the happiest I've been in my life!

So friends, please allow me to share with you some of my treasured moments with our pride and joy, Maddie =)

February 13, 2014, Thursday, 5:50pm
Raffles Hospital, Singapore

After 12 hours of induced labor including those few minutes (but felt like forever) of administering the epidural, we said hello to Jayanne Madison, a cheeky princess who changed our life in every way possible. She weighed 3.23 kilograms and is 50 centimeters long at birth. My first impression? She looked so much like Daddy!

What her name means
Jayanne is a a combination of her dad's name ("Jhay" but I opted to remove the h) and that of Saint Anne, the patron of the church where we regularly attend mass here in Singapore. I've been praying to Saint Anne for her good health and safe delivery throughout the 9 months and she granted my request. On the other hand, Madison means "child of Maud" so tell me, what could be more fitting than that? :)

We had the privilege of taking our first family picture on Valentine's Day 2014. What a precious day of hearts for our little family! =)

And here's Aunt Haley... she's okay about not being the bunso anymore. She's in fact excited to have a new playmate! =)

One thing that I liked about the Women's Center in Raffles Hospital is that they have this hands-on experience for daddies on how to give newborns a bath. They said that caring for the baby isn't always the mommy's job. Daddy has to have the basic know-how too! So there's J trying to conceal the nerves with a smile.

The nurse giving Daddy a hand. Maddie is already crying her lungs out at this point so you could see that Jhay is getting really tensed. Good thing the nurse was very helpful throughout the session -- she explained the process and also demonstrated the right way to do it. She's Filipina, by the way, so she was extra nice to us :)

That's the winning smile! :D Good job on your first challenge, Daddy! More to come!

The day we brought her home
On February 16, after a 4D3N stay (parang bakasyon lang! haha), we were discharged from the hospital. Some photo ops before we left...

The first-time grandma! And she doesn't want to be called Lola ha, it's for the oldies daw.
Hence, she is Maddie's "Mamita".

Out into the world you go, little one!
Fear not because Mommy and Daddy are here for you. Always =)

Welcome to your Singapore home, Anak!!!

The first night
The whole idea of Jhay and I having our very own baby girl still felt surreal until this very first night. It was the moment all new parents dread -- Maddie crying and crying and not wanting to stop! We did everything to soothe her but to no avail. We tried all possible breastfeeding positions but she won't even latch. We were all at wit's end but after so many tries and calling all the angels and saints, she started to feed. It was a glorious Mommy moment! Thank God for a husband and a mom who supported me all the way!

Note: No photos here because we were too tired and too stressed to even think about getting a camera! T_T

The following days
Slowly, the next days got a little bit better. We enjoyed watching her every move and loved her a lot more! And true to my first impression of her, as I kept posting photos on my social media accounts, more and more people were telling me that she takes after her Daddy. I was trying to argue at first but inch by inch I was convinced that the only thing she got from me was her eyes. The rest were from her Daddy!

Her first bath at home.

Off to her first check-up!

Her eyes and skin are still a bit yellow here due to jaundice but the pedia said it's normal for newborns. It went away after a couple of weeks with regular exposure to Mr. Sun :)

 I could stare at this forever.

 Her first time to meet Jollibee! This is after one of her pedia days. The hospital is near the only Jollibee store in Singapore kasi.  :D #para-paraan

 Cutiepie in her very first onesie! ^_^

 Oh my, she is growing up too fast!

Trying out her first ride :)

 Hurrah for milk time!

 We love you too, Anak. More than you will ever know.

 With my ob-gyne, Dr. Tony Tan. At first I was reluctant to have a male OB but as I was contemplating on switching doctors, I thought of googling his name and found out that he is the president of the OB-Gyn Society of Singapore! How cool is that? And yes, he lived up to that title. He's really good! If you are pregnant and staying in Singapore, I highly recommend Dr. Tan :)

Thank you, God, for the two greatest loves of my life.

 Hello, virtual friends of Mommy! Glad to meet you! :) 

And that, friends, is Maddie's first few weeks of life. Thank you for bearing with me as I take a trip down memory lane. There's more to come! Hope you stick around! :)


Mar 29, 2015

A Letter to my Darling Madison on Her First Birthday

Note: Everyday I tell myself that I want to make peace with my blogging self but I just have too much in my hands that I can't even open my blogger account to write a decent post. So during my 3-hour flight back to Manila on my daughter's (yes, I have a daughter now!) 1st birthday, I took out a pen and paper and wrote away. I just thought I want to share it with you :)

My Dearest Madison,

Today, you turn one. And while I still find it surreal that it has been a year since that faithful day, I thank the Lord endlessly for the indescribable joy your arrival has brought into our lives. I have always thought that moms get overly emotional when talking about their daughters in their blogs but today I understand where those beautiful words are coming from. You fill my heart, my darling Maddie. You fill it with so much love that I have never ever thought a person could possibly have for another.

You see, the day we first met was the day my and Daddy’s lives changed forever. In the beginning it was just that feeling of being on Cloud 9 – you know… staring at your sweet little face and not getting tired, seeing you smile as if you can comprehend all the happiness going on in the room, capturing photos of you looking back at the camera, staring at you some more not being able to believe that you actually came from me. How in the world did someone so adorable come out from the silly, immature, carefree (not to mention, unhealthy) me? Like, how is that even possible?

But then again, you were entrusted to us by God for a reason – to make our already beautiful life even more amazing. Sure there were really tough times like the zombie nights trying to make the crybaby you sleep, the breastfeeding woes, the days Mamita had to go back to the Philippines for immigration reasons and it was just you and me while Daddy is at work, and the most difficult moment of all when we had to leave you in Manila. It was probably one of my most emotionally challenging moments (second only to Grandad’s passing) but you know what, baby, we found solace in knowing that that is only temporary and that that little sacrifice equates to giving you the best future – the one that you deserve =)

So today my little love, as I sit on the plane imagining holding you in my arms already, I whisper to God, like I always do, to bless you every day of your life. To keep you safe, keep you healthy and help you become a good Christian. I also pray for your happiness, anak. Ever since you were a baby, you have that contagious smile – the kind that when people see, they can’t help but smile too. May you always have that smile on you as you grow, because that keeps Mommy and Daddy going. We used to live for each other, Anak, but we live for you now. Everyday we wake up thinking that we’re one day closer to being with you for good We look forward to being there on your next milestones, to running after you (though Mommy really can’t run) and playing house with you, to teaching you how to make little dreams and helping you chase them. Life is an amazing ride, my dear, and please know that Mommy and Daddy are here with you as you enjoy all the beautiful things God has in store for our family.

For the mean time, please enjoy your Minnie Mouse party and the company of family and closest friends.

Happy, happy 1st Birthday, Darling. We love you oh so dearly.


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