Friday, May 27, 2011

Missed the Laughing Baby

Yesterday, we went home to a laughing baby girl. I was just sad because she only laughed for a few more minutes after we got home. I wanted to get a video of her laughing but our camera's battery died down on us. Our yaya said it was the first time Miya laughed! She would always smile or giggle but I've never seen her laugh like that. I wanted her to laugh again and again yesterday but she started to get in a bad mood when we got home. Well, she wanted me to feed her apparently which made me feel good in a selfish kind of way. But I really hate missing on those things, missing seeing her milestones, and I miss her everyday! When I thought about it last night, I only get to be with her (awake) in less than 5 hours a day. She wakes up before we leave for work but that's only 30mins max. When we get home, we usually eat dinner immediately so we can play with her. After eating, we play with her a bit then I give her a bath (if it's too hot) or spongebath. Then she gets sleepy and takes a powernap for about 30mins. We get to play again only for a short time and then she gets sleepy again and I rock her back to sleep. Before going back to work, I can make her sleep by putting her in her rocking chair. But nowadays she really wants to be nursed to sleep or rocked (carried) to sleep. I think that's sweet too. So last night, because I felt so bad I put Miya to sleep on our bed (she sleeps in her crib), I nursed her side-lying (I usually stand up, pick her up from her crib and nurse her cradle-hold) and we cradled all through the night. Last night, I said a little prayer to God that I won't get impatient with Miya when she wants to be carried and I'm already sleepy, that I will carry her every time she wants to even if she's so heavy already, but please please let me see her every milestone. I prayed that God will allow me to see every single (small or big) milestone of Miya. Lord, please hear my prayers!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Working and Breastfeeding

Oh yes I am back to work! Thankfully, there were no drama on the home front. Surprisingly I didn't have separation anxiety from Miya. I guess it helped that I was pumping milk for her while at work (I look at her photos and videos while pumping).

On my first day back to work, I woke up around 5:30am took a bath and expressed milk for Miya. After expressing milk, she woke up! She doesn't really wake up that early when I was on maternity leave. I guess she knows in a way. I fed her and put her back to her crib. We "talked" while I got dressed. And this has been going on for the last four days (my first day was on a Tuesday). Miya and her yaya then go downstairs with us - me and the hubby leaving the house while Yaya and Miya go to the poolside to get some sun.

On my first day back to work, I expressed milk only two times. I was a bit stressed to express milk in the expression room at work because the set-up was only for two mommies and there isn't any cubicle for each one. You just have your back at the other mommy while you do your own thing. Plus they introduce themselves to me! At first, I was like I don't need to know your names (yes I'm an introvert like dut!). Another mommy even kept on talking to me while I was pumping milk. I wanted to tell her "Please I need to concentrate while expressing milk." Later on, I get the introduction bit. It was in a way our very own support group. As for my stress, it didn't help that I didn't bring the plug of my breastpump so I was relying on batteries. I felt I was having a hard time getting enough milk. See, my breastpump can be used with batteries or plugged in (electric) but since I had to use a transformer (US bought) I decided not to bring one. The milk I was getting was not as much compared to when I was still at home expressing milk. I even had to ask a friend for a one-on-one tutorial on how to use my hands when expressing milk. But by yesterday, I guess I got used to the set-up in the expression room, I was comfortable using my breastpump at work (I bought a transformer for work). As it turned out, I was using the breastpump differently. See, the breastpump that I have is borrowed. When Joema bought the transformer for it, he left the manual at ACE Hardware. So I had to make do with the box on how to set-up the thing. (I know I should've donwloaded the manual). Anyways, aside from the breastshield there's a plastic nipple protector that I put inside the breastshield while pumping. Yesterday before I started pumping, the nipple protector fell on the floor and I stepped on it. So I had to pump milk without it. Turned out more milk was pumped simply because the milk wasn't strained by that plastic nipple protector haha. Another thing that made me uncomfortable pumping milk at the office is my clothes. At home, (this is TMI!) I don't put on a bra so I just hike up my top and there are my breasts ready for feeding. I don't care anymore if my yaya sees them. If I can breastfeed not wearing a top, the better. So although I was wearing a button-down top at work, it was a bit difficult for me to have my bra on and hike it up while expressing milk. It didn't help too, that on the first day I didn't bring my nursing cover. Day by day I had to make some adjustments like the next day I already brought my nursing cover. I was really freaking out that I won't be able to have enough milk for Miya while I'm away from her. But as I grew more comfortable expressing milk at work, my milk production grew. At first I was expressing 1-2oz per session. Yesterday, I had 3oz per session and I was expressing milk at 3hour intervals. My schedule is 5:45am (at home), 8:30am, 11:30am, 2:30am (all in the office), then 6pm and between 8-9pm here at home.

I had to ask my yaya to write down Miya's feeding schedule while I'm away. Well for the days she wrote down, Miya feeds four times for 3-4oz per feeding. So the first few days that I was only getting 1-2oz, yaya had to get frozen milk that I was able to store before going back to work. You see, I started pumping a month before. For me it worked out better than starting two weeks before going back to work. Because I was able to store a lot of milk and I was able to get comfortable with my breastpump (albeit the wrong usage haha!). I was even able to donate milk after the first few weeks because we had to defrost the ref and Miya wasn't really drinking the milk I expressed. Because while I was still on leave, we started feeding her 1oz a day by bottle. We had a hard time teaching her how to drink from a bottle. The first time we tried, my mom fed her while I was taking a bath because I read that the mommy shouldn't be there so the baby won't be confused. My mother said, Miya didn't have any problems, she drank like a pro. The next time we tried, my mom fed her again while Joema and I were out doing the groceries. When we came back, my mother said we should try feeding Miya while I was there for me to see the problem because that time Miya had a harder time taking the nipple of the bottle. So the yaya tried feeding her while I was there, or I tried feeding the bottle to Miya (a friend said this worked for her and her baby) but to no avail. Miya would just cry and not finish the bottle (only 1oz!). Anyways, I eventually thought of letting yaya take Miya every morning down to the poolside for some sun (before this I was the one who took Miya every morning) at the same time feed her the bottle. It was the perfect plan! Miya finally learned to drink from the bottle and I had time to pump milk. This went on until I had to go back to work. My schedule for pumping milk while I was on leave was 8am (or whatever time Miya was taken downstairs by the pool which depended mainly on her waking time), 11:30am, 4pm, 8pm. So I was pumping and breastfeeding her at the same time which I still do now that I'm back to work. The first day I was gone, when I came home Miya immediately fed directly from me. Babies really know and prefer their mommies. This was what worried me the most when we started bottlefeeding her. I worried she might not like feeding directly from me anymore. But even if she was just fed by that time I came home, Miya wanted to feed directly from me. So sweet!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Miya's First Overnighter

I'm a little bit apprehensive to have Miya sleep overnight in other houses even if it were my parents'. I was worried she'll get fussy and cry so much and wake up the neighbors in the middle of the night. But fortunately, my worries were uncalled for. Last Friday we slept at my parents' house since Joema was away for a team building activity in Subic. Miya slept on time the night we were there and she woke up for her usual feedings during the night. All in all it wasn't a traumatic experience for me. I'm so proud of her.

Here she is during breakfast the next day.

Miya's 3rd Month Birthday

30 April fell on a Saturday so it was a lazy day for our birthday girl. We played with her when she woke up. I love playing with her right after she wakes up. She's extra "talkative" during that time.

For lunch, we had food delivered from Max's, the cake was bought the day before.

We watched a documentary on Queen Elizabeth after lunch then had a nap before going to Reyna's place for Shawie's despedida.

I can't believe our little tabachingching is now 3 months old! I love the three months we've spent together. Next week I'll be going back to work and I'll surely miss spending the day with her. Miya, please don't grow up too fast while Mommy's away. I love you!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

First Date (and the Aftermath)

Last night was a milestone for me as a mom. I was able to leave Miya for 4 hours for a dinner and cinema date with the hubby. We usually go out to buy groceries (just me and him, our first date technically after I gave birth was in a small grocery store haha!) but we leave Miya with my parents and not with yaya all alone. It was a dry run of sorts - for me, Miya and our yaya - since I'll be going back to work in two weeks. We had dinner first at Pepper Lunch in Shangri-La Mall. I've missed that place but I think the rice in their servings is not as much as before. When I was pregnant we used to frequent that place because I love their abundant rice. Yum yum!

While eating I kept telling Joema I want to call our yaya but it wouldn't make sense coz I was out of the house for just less than an hour. He told me to just relax and finish eating so I figured, okay I'll wait before the start of the movie because by then it'll be more than an hour already hehe.

After dinner we watched Thor. Well not before I called our yaya. She reported that she already fed Miya and that she also has eaten already. Half-way down the movie, I missed Miya terribly. I can feel the milk ejection reflux while watching the movie. So although the movie was amazing (my favorite scene is when Thor got his hammer back!), I wanted it to finish early for us to go back home already. After the movie, I texted our yaya. She said she fed Miya again and that she's now ready for bed.

When we got home, I was so happy to get back to my baby. She smiled at me when she saw me hehe. But I had to pump milk first because my breasts were so full with milk. So after talking to her for a while, I went back downstairs to ready the breastpump. Our yaya said she just fed her at 8:45pm (that was now a few minutes after 9pm). But Miya was still hungry because she started crying when Joema was holding her already. So I had to go up again to feed her and pump at the same time. I think Miya missed me too! After feeding her, Joema took her from me and I continued pumping milk. After I was done, I had to go back downstairs to clean the bottles and the pump and sterilize them. It took me a while because when I got back to my mag-ama Joema said, "Ang tagal mo, iniintay ka ni Miya." True enough, my daughter who was so sleepy had her eyes half-opened waiting for me (this was already 10pm and she's usually asleep by this time). So I nursed Miya to sleep and it was the happiest feeling in the world - to be back in my baby's arms (or the other way around).

A Love Letter to the Father of My Children

Dear Honey, Yesterday was Father's Day but I don't think any celebration is enough to celebrate how good a father you are to our k...