Saturday, April 24, 2010

Grooming gifts for the baby!

My little boy is so lucky. Here he is, in my tummy, working hard to develop his little body to become strong and healthy and already he's got pampering products waiting for him!

Kiehl's Baby Gentle Foaming Hair & Body Wash 
and Nurturing Baby Cream for Face & Body

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pregnant pics at 6 months

This week officially marks my sixth month of pregnancy. When people see me, they tell me one of two things: "Your tummy's so big!" or "Your tummy's so small!" The tummy is never just right!

In these photos, taken yesterday before I went to media events, I wore my Gingersnaps t-shirt dress with an Infiniti bib necklace and Kenneth Cole purple peep-toes. I love my entire outfit! The dress is great--it really shows off my belly bump! The shoes are love--pretty, attention-grabbing and, most important to a pregnant woman, very comfortable. The bib necklace is fantastic, though a bit heavy, but it did have everyone ooh-ing and ahh-ing over it. And it's a great piece for getting people to talk about something else other than the size of your tummy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Loving my La Mer lotion

I feel very soft and young and luscious lately because of a gift Ina Casas of La Mer gave me a few months ago--a big tube of La Mer Body Creme. She told me it was a "Congratulations on your pregnancy!" gift but I haven't been using it because, well, I wanted to try out Palmer's Cocoa Butter first.

Now I use them both--Palmer's on the ever expanding parts of me and La Mer everywhere else. And my skin is so soft! I feel so gorgeous and delectable. And it's also so hydrating, I don't need to use it every day. So even if it's pricey, I don't feel like my money is draining away because I hardly use it. In other words, it lasts longer.

Oh, wait. It was a gift! Thank heavens! Or rather, thanks, Ina! But I'll still use it sparingly. I also have the Treatment Creme Foundation and the Powder, both of which are so marvelous on my skin that even with my pregnancy-caused acne and scars, I look flawless after application. Again, both were gifts.

Sigh. Now I have to really make more money. I'm getting spoiled with all these luxe gifts. When they run out, I don't think I can shell out thousands upon thousands for just lotion and makeup! Then again, I like to think that my life is getting better so maybe it's okay to be spoiled a bit!

*photo by Elijah Mendoza

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ria Prieto talks about non-invasive post-partum treatments

I get a lot of questions from mommies about safe beauty treatments while pregnant, and I promise you I'll write about this soonest (it's really simple--just stay away from Retinol!).

Meanwhile, this article by Ria Francisco-Prieto will be most helpful for mommies who've already given birth but are still mourning the loss of their pre-pregnancy looks (yes, it happens to all of us!).

Non-invasive post-partum treatments -, Philippine News for Filipinos

I know Ria from when she used to be the beauty editor of teen magazine Candy. Now, she's the beauty editor of Inquirer Lifestyle and the mom of two adorable boys. Definitely the woman to ask about mommy beauty!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The pulmonologist aplogizes

I never mentioned his name in my posts about my recent hospitalization at Medical City but he somehow found out about my blog and he called to apologize. Since I was in a place with hardly any signal, I couldn't hear him well so I asked him to text me instead. This is what he said:
"I just read your blog and I called to say how very sorry I am for causing you and your husband and family and friends so much stress and worry and pain. That was not my intention at all. I understand if you don't want to speak to me but I wanted to apologize personally and also thank you for giving me feedback so I may render better service in the future. If I can make amends, please let me know."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Perils of mommy blogging: Mean moms!

I was at my friend Jennie's house last week and we (Vince, Jen and her hubby Jeff) got to talking about how parenting just opens you up to judgment and criticism. You see, Vince was telling them how happy we were with the Babywise book Jen gave us for Christmas, and that we totally agree with that style of parenting. Jeff then mentioned that when they bring up that this is the parenting style they follow, they get venomous comments from other parents, usually those who follow the attachment parenting style, where the child is made the star of the family. And, based on my few months of being a mom-to-be, I admit that I'm already being attacked for being a bad parent to a child who isn't even here yet!

I'm not going to lie here--when I see a screaming, misbehaving child in a mall, a restaurant, in an elevator, in a movie theater, you can bet I have murderous thoughts--usually targeted towards the hapless parents--going through my head. The good thing about me is I keep my mouth shut. Having taken care of children myself (my sister, my niece and preschoolers), I do understand--yes, despite the murderous thoughts!--that caring for kids is a monumental task, and sometimes kids will really act out, no matter what you do.

So I must have been slightly insane when I decided to start this mommy blog!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pregnant pics at 5 months

I promised a reader I'll write about pregnancy style so here it is!

I still haven't bought maternity clothes. I just went to my usual dress haunts and got a medium (I'm usually a small) or a size 6 (I'm usually a 4). From the front, I don't even look pregnant. From the side, well, there you go--the big baby belly bump!

The secret to looking slim while pregnant is black, black, black! Y'all know that black can make you look thin, and pregnant Hollywood stars often turn to black to avoid looking too big. More fashion tips after the jump!

If you don't like black, stick to one color since it fools the eye into thinking there's one long length of you. I like dark green, navy blue, gray and white! I am especially fond of this Karimadon with a big  bow on the chest--makes my new chest look even bigger, but in a sweet way!
From the front
From the side

Busy patterns, which pregnant women seem to be fond of, just widen you. So avoid them. If you do like patterns (like me!), get the small kind--you know, tiny flowers, little paisley swirls. Do not get clothes with huge circles, big teddy bears, big flowers. Also, remember that you're carrying a baby; you're not the baby. So choose sophisticated touches, not prints that toddlers will wear.

Choose clothes that are tailored--yes, it's possible to wear tailored clothes even while pregnant. Just look at this black dress again.
This is again a Karimadon (which I wore with Vita Fede bangles and Schu flats) and it came with a big belt. No need to wear the belt but after I give birth, I can still use this dress and wrap the belt around my waist, which will hopefully reappear by Christmas!

You don't really need a lot of maternity wear anyway. I think I rotate about 10 dresses. Silk jersey dresses, soft knitwear, comfy cotton--clothes that flow over the body or those that show off just the boobs or the tummy celebrate your new shape without making you look dumpy and fat--even if we are! The trick is to look slim, not be thin. A lot of women just buy maxi dresses--they look so romantic. Some women I know wear jeans and short shorts--they look so damn hot! I'm not that kind, though (wish I were!). If I want to look sexy, I just bring out my mini dresses.

So just because you're going to be a mom doesn't mean you cease to be a woman. After all, you got pregnant because someone thought you were sexy enough to sleep with! Don't forget that sexy creature!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The G word

This is me at 19 weeks. I'm 21 weeks now. I am unmistakably pregnant, and despite the gas, the UTI and the heartburn, I am really enjoying my pregnancy. Finally!

When I became pregnant, I was very surprised. We weren't planning to have a baby yet, you see, even though people were telling us we were getting on in years (yeesh, I'm not that old!). So when we got pregnant, people were very happy for us while I felt... strange.

I wasn't prepared emotionally to become a mom so I spent the first trimester really crying a lot. It wasn't because I didn't want to be a mother--when I realized I was pregnant, I was surprised, yes, and then became even more surprised at the wonder and anticipation I felt. So, yes, while I was happily surprised to be pregnant, I found myself still in tears. I cried because I was so scared. Truly frightened out of my wits.

I think being a parent is a very serious job, that's why I never really wanted it. Even my current job as a magazine editor feels like play. For example, I could've been an investigative journalist or an opinion columnist... but those are serious jobs, ya know? I like to be just happy. And while I know parenting has its meaningful rewards, I just never felt like it was for me.

Part 2: A tour of St. Luke's Global City's maternity unit

In this second part, let's check out the rooms! I'll have to give you a heads up--my photos were hastily taken so they don't really do the rooms any justice. Anyway, so now that mommy and baby are safely through with the birth, these are the rooms St. Luke's Global City offers them:

The regular room:

I wish I had asked for official room measurements. But this room would be the same size as Medical City's deluxe room already. Except that the bathroom is much bigger (sorry, no photos of the bathroom--my husband thinks it's not nice to post toilets on my blog). And there's also a refrigerator. And WiFi and a flatscreen TV and DVD player! Oh, and I just want to say that that bed is soooooo comfy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Part 1: A tour of St. Luke's Global City's maternity unit

Today was check-up day! Saw my OBG Dr. Rebecca Singson at the St. Luke's Global City. She said my baby was big (yikes!) but that I was losing weight (yikes!). I don't know how that happened but she's not so worried although Vince is now nagging me to eat, eat, eat!

Anyway, everyone I know wants to give birth at St. Luke's but, like me, they're intimidated by the rumors of how expensive it is there. Well, folks, the rumors are true. It's pricey! I asked Dr. Singson how much I should prepare and she said that the highest cost—that includes the best room and doctors—is this: P90,000 for normal delivery and P190,000 to P220,000 for cesarean delivery.

"My goodness! My budget was less than that!" I gasped.

"Well, then let's do a normal delivery," she replied. "I don't see why you shouldn't have a normal delivery when your pregnancy is going so well. Nice pa pag normal kasi you really feel the process and you can breastfeed the baby immediately."

She also added that that's the highest cost possible. We can still lower that by asking for the least expensive room, asking the doctors (OBG, pediatrician and anesthesiologist, if needed) for discounts, and not staying too long, which is possible if the delivery is perfect. Some women go home the same day, for example.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Time to work hard for the money! A baby is coming!

I'm feeling much much better! Been sleeping and eating all day, just resting and getting stronger by the day. Thank you to everyone who wished me well and prayed for my Jelly Bean. If it's not too much to ask, please still include this little boy in your prayers, just a quick little breath of blessing as he's only halfway through his journey out my tummy and I wish him all the love of the universe—yours!

So just a tiny update on the preparations for the little one! One sentence: We've just about depleted our savings for him! While we haven't bought anything for the nursery yet—no crib, no changing table—we did splurge on these:
Li'l blue Mazda 2 that Vince named Zoom Zoom. It's blue! Vince can't wait to take his son for a spin in the blue car he bought the little guy. 

An Eames RAR rocker. Its curved runners are made of really hard wood that our parquet floors—made of softer wood—get marked! Hence, the rug underneath it. I guess we ought to replace the floor. Sigh.

The hospital bills. Another big sigh! Thanks so much for all your concern, folks. I do want to say that TMC wasn't such a disaster—I am, after all, better so they did their job well. It was just the pulmo and the health insurance that caused us pain.

We've also finished furnishing the house! Well, maybe we need to replace that old sofa, but for now it will do. Here I am, organizing my magazine pile. Vince is very keen on getting the house in order for his son's arrival so, aside from the cleaning, he's also bought pieces of furniture that have finally made our house cozier than ever.

Vince and I really wanted the house to be complete before the baby arrives. Everyone warned us that when the kid's here, it's all going to be about him so we kinda rushed to make sure we've gotten everything we wanted. And now everything's ready!

Well, we haven't started with the nursery. We figured we'd wait till we meet the little guy first. After all, what if we decorate his room baby blue, then he arrives and turns out to be a brooding no-nonsense creature of the brown and black sort? Yep, we'll wait till we meet him!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Part 2: Me in The Medical City (and why I'm changing hospitals)

My last post was about what made my confinement at The Medical City so stressful--it was the utterly insensitive pulmonologist. By the way, despite all that he did, I want to assure everyone that I was extremely polite with him after. Now I'll tell you about the other source of stress.

The other source of stress was HPPI. I've had comprehensive medical insurance before courtesy of my Mama's employ at Merlaco, but when I got married and especially when she died, obviously I can't be her beneficiary anymore. HPPI is the healthcare partner of the company I work for, and really, you do get what you pay for.

First, let me tell you about me and money. I've not made it a secret that I grew up in a home that was far from rich. I worked hard to get where I am and now that I have some money, I don't feel guilty spending it. I don't like it when people fight over money, haggle to the point of embarrassment, or even whip out their phones when the restaurant bill arrives and everyone's busy calculating what their share is--down to the last centavo. That's just undignified for me. It's just money, folks. It's nice to have but there's no need to fuss over it like it's the most important thing in the world. Sure, I like it that I have more of it now than when I was growing up but if there's anything being poor taught me, it's that money can be earned so don't be scared to use it.

Part 1: Me in The Medical City (and why I'm changing hospitals)

Last week, my cold turned into bronchopneumonia and acute asthma. Both being life-threatening conditions, I had to be confined at The Medical City for treatment. Now, I've always been the sickly sort so I've been in and out of hospitals all my life, and trust me, I've been everywhere--from clinics in the middle of nowhere and government health centers to really fabulous state-of-the-art hospitals. But last weekend at TMC, I had such a bad time that I asked to be released after 3 days even though the doctors wanted me to stay for a week.

So what happened? First, I want to state that most of the medical staff were wonderful. From the ER to my nurses, so I'd really like to thank them for taking care of me.
Vince had a hard time smiling last weekend.