Yesterday, while I was dressing up Alon for sleep time, he declared. "Di na ako magdede kasi malaki na ako." I was actually thinking he was trying to impress his new pretty (temp) yaya. Haha! When we got to bed, I reminded him of what he said. He confirmed that he would not be nursing since he was a big boy already. How proud I was! Except he woke up several times in the middle of the night, semi-conscious, asking to nurse. I refused, reminding him of what he said.
Today, he declared it again. And yes, we did not nurse to sleep. Hopefully, there will br less waking up tonight so he won't be begging to nurse.
That Baby Blues cartoon is true indeed. Bittersweet. I feel so relieved that he is almost ready to wean. To be honest, I'm a bit tired of nursing Alon but it's just less stressful to let him nurse than battle him every night. Besides, it helps with my milk supply for Alab. But in a way, I am wistful of the past two years and almost ten months of nourishing my son.
Let's see if this is finally it for Alon. I hope for Alab, I achieve two years too. At least, this Sunday, we will be reaching his half-year milestone. I will be a quarter of the way of my goal. Yey!
When I was younger, I told myself that I would never allow a boy to hold me down. It was actually the movie "Kramer vs. Kramer" that led me to that resolve. I didn't want to be Meryl Streep leaving her family because she did not know who she is.
While I was single I made the most of what I had and to do as much as I could with my NGO salary. I had lots of fun with good friends who were the perfect travel buddies and gimik partners.
Then I met someone the moment I stopped looking. Things changed a bit but I was lucky enough to be with a man who had the courage and security to let me fly, whether with him or on my own. Eventually, I married that man on a Friday the 13th in 2008. A couple of months after I flew to Netherlands to pursue my masters. Nope, that boy did not tie me down and even wished me a wonderful time, which I did have.
The fates, however, like to play tricks. Now, they made me eat the words I told myself many moons ago. I can't believe that a couple of boys tied me down! One aged 2.5 years and another 2.5 months.
The Pope Francis fever is ongoing in the Philippines. Two and a half years ago, I would have chosen to brave the crowd and the rains just to see the Pope. Twenty years ago, I was a scraggly 16year old who carried 24 cans of Coke in her backpack and walked from the Vito cruz LRT station to the Grandstand with that load by herself with no posse to go with, just to attend Pope John Paul's Mass. I did meet up with a friend after (who had his other friends who consumed most of my Coke!) and we eventually got lucky to bump into the Ateneo contingent. Luckier still that as we were trying to meet with the Ateneo contingent, it was the Pope's convoy that we first bumped into! Oh, the joy of that surprise encounter. :)
I will not have any surprise encounter right now with a Pope I adore and admire greatly despite the fact that the Nunciature is probably 3-4KM away from where we live. I have been tied down by those two, in particular, the smallest of the bunch.
I'm missing out a bit, I know. But the Pope himself has consoled me during the meeting with the families as well as his homily in Tacloban when he made mention of the Mother. That is my role now, one I have embraced fully and sometimes obsessively.
FOMO - fear of missing out. I have missed out a lot with Pope Francis in terms of having a personal encounter. But I have several TV networks to provide me consistent updates. And seeing him, even through a small screen, is already enriching and spiritually nourishing. But there is no camera to follow my boys around and I am definitely their number one devotee. I am the one they call "mother." When Alon wakes up, he calls for me first. When Alab wakes up and I greet him, he has this sweetest smile that assures me he is happy to see me.
I will not be able to say I was there waiting for the Pope to pass by or to listen to him say Mass personally. But I can say that I put to sleep a two and a half year old to sleep by chanting "Viva Il Papa, Papa Fracesco." Neither boy will remember what I chose to give up during these five days but I will. (And I will remind them every time they are naughty! Hehe!)
My labor with Alon lasted about six hours in the hospital. Probably additional four while doing my business in the office that morning. I thought that was fast hearing stories from friends. Apparently not compared to Alab!
My OB did warn me that labor the second time around would be faster. I did not realize how fast was faster!
Alon came out when I was 36weeks 6 days with him. So when I reached the 37th week, I was getting a bit impatient though full term is really 39 weeks. During the wait, I'd have very uncomfortable Braxton-Hicks contractions which could be mistaken for labor so when the actual labor came, I was again assuming it to be a bad case of BH!
I have been suspecting early labor since Saturday but did not pay it much heed knowing I will just be sent home if I was less than 3cm dilated. Or they may make me stay which would up the cost of the hospital unnecessarily (cheapskate, remember). Sunday morning, the contractions were getting more frequent. But according to my contraction timer, it was still early labor.
I wanted to go to Mass early and Jan said we can walk around Ayala Triangle to induce the labor. We weren't able to do as planned because the brunch Jan was preparing was ready by 2pm. Hehe!
By 3pm, I suspect that I was in active labor already but I still did not want to go to the hospital. I had to concede though that Mass and Ayala Triangle were no longer a good idea. I told Jan there was a Mass at MMC at 7PM so we could go there instead.
By 4.30PM, I called my brother so he can stay with Alon while we were at the hospital. I took a bath and Jan got my hospital bag ready. I wanted to wait until he got to our place but by 6PM, I decided to finally go because the pain was getting really, really uncomfortable.
We got to the hospital around 6:30PM.
Since my pregnancy was unremarkable (always a good term in doctorese. Hehe!), we were able to avail of the maternity package. This included the anaesthesiologist and related meds. So again, there was the surprised nurses and resident when I opted not to have an epidural. In a sense, it was crazy indeed when it's paid for. I just wanted to be drug-free the entire experience.
I have to admit that I was *this* close to asking for it because the pain was none like I experienced with Alon. While it was six hours, it was a gradual increase in pain that was tolerable. This time, it was a sharp increase that I was not ready for. I was gripping the bed rails like mad, the nurse was telling me, "mommy, baka masira po!"
As usual, these crazy hospital staff kept asking me the same questions I was asked prior to admission. I wanted to shout at them and tell them to go ask each other because can't they damn well see how much pain I am in. I just answered anyway. And all those effin' forms I had to sign, papers they kept shoving to my face while in the middle of a contraction. Argh.
I wanted Jan to be with me since we were doing lamaze but they said they can only let him in in the delivery room. We were still in the labor room. I asked of we can have the birthing room instead which we would just pay on top of the package. Crazy hospital said that was not allowed since I was having the package. In the middle of my pain, I was arguing with them about their insane logic. After all, I was willing to pay extra. This time, I was glad they did not heed the customer because it was unnecessary. I was also asking if I can go to the toilet because I felt like I was going to poop. They told me I can just use the bed pan instead. (No, it was not poop but Alab getting ready).
I was yelling so hard with the pain, I pity the other moms hearing me. Jan could hear me from outside. My OB was not yet there, so the resident was handling me. And of all the things to tell me, "mommy, don't push yet." WTF! No way am I not going to push! I wanted the pain over and done with! And besides, it's not like I can help it.
So we were still at the labor room when I heard "crowning!" They had to rush me to the delivery room. I was asking for Jan already. He still wasn't there. Still no sign of my OB. It was probably between five to ten minutes since they transferred me to delivery that Alab came out. He arrived before my OB and before Jan.
My doctor arrived in time for clean up and episiotomy. And she gets full fees pa din as agreed. Swerte niya. Hehe! We were transferred to the recovery room. I was so hungry I asked Jan for a Burger King meal.
At 7:25PM, we welcomed Alab who was 47cm and 6lbs 13 ozs upon arrival. He came out after 38weeks and 4 days. While he took his sweet time in my tummy, he wasted no time getting out when he was finally ready. :)
My first time away from Alab was spent watching Mockingjay, which I really enjoyed. Though I was half wondering if that was a good idea since it was quite a heavy movie. Which was to be expected since I read the book anyway.
What was the experience like, this day off...
1. Kung mamalasin ka nga naman! I ended up seated beside THAT moviegoer who gives a running commentary of something you are actually seeing yourself. "Uy, daming flowers." Who barely has an idea what's going on, "madami pala flowers dun..." Who has to give an opinion which shows he barely understands the complexity of things, "parang baliw!" Referring to Pollux. Wanted to smack him but had to restrain myself.
2. Finnick Odair is so damn hot, it's ridiculous. What kind of jaw is that?!
3. Effie Trinket can rock that jumpsuit in so many ways!
4. PSH. :(
5. Revolution scenes always make me cry. The courage of the nameless people who choose to fight in the name of freedom. I think of Syria, Iraq, Rwanda... I feel blessed that I can speak up without fear of being shot.
7. "Hanging Tree" scene... Wow. So powerful.
8. My poor Peeta.
9. Margery Tyrell is even hottermas Cressida. Wish I canwear my hair like that!
It's funny how my labor story for Alab is somewhat close to Alon's mainly because I was still not sure if it was Braxton-Hicks or real labor already. Giving birth one time did not really make me any wiser about it.
With Alon, it was a Wednesday. I had contractions in the morning but not much feeling any different from false labor so I paid it no heed. I got ready for work and rode the jeep. For the first time in ine months, somebody was actually kind enough to make space for me rather than having me go all the way inside th vehicle.
Walking to the office, I was feeling more pains but I was still not sure. When I got to the reception, I had to stop a bit to breathe and keep still as the pains came. I was told I look like I was giving birth already. I said I wasn't sure but would probably need to take a leave the next day if such pains persist. Hah! When I got to my room, my colleagues was telling me I was looking pale already.
I had my contraction timer with me and it did seem the contractions were becoming more frequent and constant. I thought maybe I should give the doctor a visit. But before I did, I told my colleagues to let me wrap up a few things with HR and do some emails before I go. There was no need to worry because it will take time to deliver.
I did all the stuff I wanted to do. HR was kind enough to lend a vehicle to bring to the hospital but I asked to be brought home instead since I had my hospital bag there and Jan was still home. By the time I left the office, it seems I was in active labor already. I still did not leave for the hospital. I had a small meal of crackers and sardines, in case labor would take a while. Then I took a bath, just in case it will take some time before I get to do it again.
Finally, we took a cab to the hospital. We went straight to the delivery room declaring myself in labor. Since I was not eligible for the package, we got a lamaze room. Because we did plan for lamaze. The doctor took an internal exam declaring me 4-5cm dliated. Good. Halfway there!
Imagine the shock and awe when I told the nurses and residents that I don't intend to have epidural. The "supportive" resident told me, "are you sure? No Filipina has succeeded so far." I wanted to smack her if I weren't in so much pain. I joked instead, "an anaesthesiologist costs. I didn't budget for it." Which is half my reason indeed. Why pay so much for a guy who'd stab me with a long needle? Besides queens and princesses gave birth au naturelle back in the days and lived to rule countries. Hehe!
Good call for me. I gave birth after five hiurs. Breathing exercises helped. The resident was finally on my side when after a ciuple of hours her internal exam revealed 8cm. She said I can do it since I was dilating fast. My wonderful husband took a photo of me while pained. I yelled at him, "what the hell?" To which the nurse chirped in, "Sir, she's okay. she still knows what you are doing."
So the Moment was coming without me knowing. I thought I was going to poop so I wasn't pushing properly. The doctor said that that was exactly the baby ready to go forth into the world, that I had to make do like I would if I needed to go. So "go" I did. And hurrah, Alon was born at 6:07PM at 2977kg, 47cm.
I thought I did it quick but wait til you hear Alab's labor story!