Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Report an itch when you're pregnant

I disappeared from Topaz Mommy for a while back there! I've been busy going to and from St. Luke's Global for lab tests and consultations because I suddenly developed a strange itch all over my body in late March. At first, everyone assured me that itchy skin is what happens to pregnant women. Many people dismissed my concerns, especially since it's summer, and the heat and sweat can really aggravate any pregnant woman's discomfort.

But I've been pregnant twice before and while I have experienced itchiness as my skin stretched, my skin has never itched this much and this extensively. I was itchy from scalp to ankles. The itch was not on my skin actually but just underneath it, like a scratchy throat. It drove me crazy. I would lie awake at night, scratching away like mad, even crying. I thought I was going to go insane.

I changed soaps, shampoo, lotions. I went naked as much as possible since anything that touched my skin triggered the itch. The A/C units are on 24/7 so I'm scared to get the electric bill. I cut my nails super short. I dusted myself with cooling powder. I took cold showers twice a day sometimes. I scratched so much, I'm bleeding all over.

These are my legs. My poor, poor legs! I can't show you my tummy, my back and my breasts, but the scabs there are worse. I told a friend that my tummy and boobs look like the map of the London Underground. My husband is so alarmed. My sons Vito and Iñigo are alarmed. Vito applies boo-boo balm on my scabs while Iñigo kisses them.

Dr. Rebecca Singson, my OBG, thankfully, didn't dismiss my concerns. She said that there is a condition that affects pregnant women called intrahepatic obstetric cholestasis. Sometimes the liver becomes impaired by the pregnancy and instead of bile salts going from liver to the gut, it flows throughout the body instead. The bile salts build up and causes the severe itching. While this condition doesn't really affect the mother, other than driving her crazy from the itchiness, the condition affects the heart of the unborn baby. This can mean either a premature birth or, worst, a stillbirth.

Vince and I were terrified. Dr. Singson immediately ordered a battery of liver tests. Well, the tests came back normal. I'm fine. My liver is fine. But the itch remained. Clearly, something is not normal. Dr. Singson is still ruling out other possible causes (click here for a list of what can cause severely itchy pregnant skin) with more lab tests but so far, so good. We seem to be fine. So she told me to go on an all-natural diet—lots of fruit and veggies and homecooked meats, water only, no refined anything, no processed anything—since this is kindest on the liver. Vince told me to sleep, sleep, sleep since sleeping is when the body repairs itself. He insists, "Donya mode ka na! No more events unless advertiser. No more late nights working. Just rest!"

I've been praying so much because of this recent strange development. I don't know what to pray about since the lab tests say I'm fine! Finally, I just prayed that God heal my body from whatever it's suffering from that the lab tests can't find. I prayed especially for my little boy, whose heart beats so strongly inside me, that he be healthy and safe and to hang in there till he's good and ready to come out into the world. After a couple of weeks of praying and crying out to God, the itchiness has now dissipated. Thank You, God!

My liver tests say I'm A-okay.

We still don't know what happened there. Dr. Singson was never alarmed. She said I shouldn't worry because the lab tests say I'm fine, and even if the lab tests do say something is wrong, then there are ways to help me and the baby. Worrying will just add to my stress and stress is never good for me or the baby. So I pray a lot. I find that after I pray, my heart is assured and rested. Vince is still very worried, though. My heart is breaking for him. He says that until he holds his third son alive and well in his arms, he won't be released from the terror.

Please pray for me and Baby Chicken, dear mommies. I would really appreciate it if you cover us in prayer. I'll be 30 weeks pregnant this week. Just a little more waiting and then we'll finally hold my new baby in our arms and see him and hear him and cuddle him. I want nothing more than a healthy baby at the end of all this waiting! Thank you for your prayers!

P.S. If you're pregnant and have an unbearable itch, bring it up with your medical practitioner. Insist on lab tests if your concerns are dismissed. Better to be safe than sorry. Read about this mom's sad story: "When an itch during pregnancy is a sign your baby is at risk."

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Kiddie haircuts at posh Peppermint Salon

I've been cutting Vito's hair for a year now. I'm not a great haircutter, as you can see here:
My first attempt at cutting Vito's hair last year.

Going to a kiddie salon's been stressful because Vito freaks out when he sees and hears the other kids freaking out. Nagkakahawaan ba. Kainis pa the other parents kasi they're yelling at their kids, you know, yelling promises ("I'll buy you ice cream, kuya!") or threats ("Stop crying or else!!!") or taunts ("You're so duwag pala!"). Hindi naman kami maka-tiempo na walang tao sa salon. So, instead of getting stressed out, I just took it upon myself to cut Vito's hair. He doesn't have an ego pa naman so he doesn't mind looking awful haha.

But Iñigo is about to turn 2 and his curls were making people mistake him for a girl. So we decided that it was time for his first professional haircut. His first ever haircut!!! We also figured that maybe if sabay yung magkapatid magpagupit, they won't feel so afraid. So we went to Peppermint Salon in SM Aura. We guessed they'd like it there because every time we passed it, the boys would be so enchanted.

We guessed right! They loved it there! They loved that it was so bright and full of toys and things to do. There was a good selection of videos to watch. There was the promise of lollipops, too, so there was incentive to be on their best behavior. And look at how wonderful they were!

Vito goes first. We told him he has to be brave so that Iñigo will be brave.
We didn't have to worry. Iñigo just sat down in his plane and let the cutting begin. Not a peep!
Well, until the cutting happened around his ear. Then he acted annoyed, like there were mosquitoes in his ear.
Vito watching TV.
I love this part. Vito said, "Are you okay, baby?" Mommy melting here!
I love that red red red plane!
Vito got the car. Here he is checking out his new look.
No more curls! I'm sad! But he's still awfully cute nevertheless.
Happy with their lollipops!

Vince and I loved the salon, too, for all the reasons the kids loved it. I liked that the toys were clean, too. There was a good variety of toys and other activities. I liked the uniforms of the barbers, too, and how quiet and patient they were. There were still the loud parents and crying kids, though, but wala naman tayong magagawa sa kanila. Buti na lang talaga sobrang ganda ng place so my kids were so distracted.

Ang hindi lang nagustuhan ni Vince is sobrang malamok dun. Ako naman I didn't like that they didn't accept credit cards (I don't bring cash so I panicked nung magbabayad na). Medyo may kamahalan din siya but since the place was so nice and my kids liked it there, okay lang. Masaya na kami!

Peppermint Kids Salon and Spa Boutique is at the basement level of SM Aura in BGC, Taguig. Remember to bring cash and insect repellent!!!

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Anemone swimsuit for my pregnant body

Oh yes, we've come to that time of the year when my Facebook feed is crowded with photos of nearly naked people. So I was reminded of my Anemone find!

Just before we went to Batangas last month, I was desperately looking for a swimsuit for my pregnant body. Everyone told me to just wear a bikini but I have two super active little boys who would pull at that bikini within two seconds. It's a wardrobe malfunction, nay, a wardrobe disaster just begging to happen! I needed coverage. But I didn't want to look dowdy and boring and conservative!

Thank goodness for Rissa Mananquil Trillo who gave me a tip: Buy a maillot in a larger size! Of course! So simple, I feel stupid for not thinking of that! I went to Zalora to do some research first and saw that Anemone had an asymmetrical one-piece with a ruched waist. A ruche is a decorative feature but in my special case, all that extra fabric means it can accommodate my preggy belly!

Havana Asymmetrical One Piece (Php 2,795). I love that turquoise! So cool and so summery!

Asilah Asymmetrical One Piece (Php 2,795). I'm a stripes person so this really was my preferred style. I was only considering the Havana in case this one was out of stock. Thank goodness there was one large size still left in stock at Nothing But H2O in Robinsons Galleria!
This is what it's supposed to look like. Obviously, my pregnant body is NOT going to look anything like that! But I think I still looked cute heehee.

Cute lang, hindi sexy kasi no bikinis talaga for preggy me. Another advantage I also found with wearing a one-piece? It gives my tummy support! So my heavy tummy isn't sagging!

If you're pregnant, do get one (or both!) of these Anemone swimsuits! Buy from Nothing but H2O boutiques, or online at Zalora and NothingbutH2O.

*product photos from Zalora and Anemone Facebook page.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

How to wear leggings

This is me wearing my blue Elin Georgia dress as a top. I wore it with navy Mango leggings, Zara ballet flats, Ni-QUA clutch and my pearls. Oops, no makeup and hair not brushed!
Moms and preggy women love leggings. It's super comfy and versatile, but they forget that leggings are actually not pants. Leggings are too thin to substitute as pants so your butt doesn't have support and it ends up looking flat or deflated or, er, bouncy. Worst of all, some leggings are so see-through and, mommy, seriously, no one wants to see your butt! Or your vagina!

But we have to concede that the leggings have wormed its way from gym wear to outer wear. As you can see, even I have worn them to visit the OBG. So here are my tips on how to wear leggings:

  • Your leggings may be worn as pants but only if they're thick. If you can see through them, then those are not leggings. They're stockings.
  • Leggings should fall below the ankle. If it falls anywhere above your ankle, that's called gym attire. Wear only at the gym!
  • Printed leggings are fun but they look best on the skinniest legs because printed leggings make legs look big. Even skinny me can't pull off those things anymore.  
  • Your top must be long enough to hide your butt and your crotch. No excuses.
  • Your top must be short enough so that it doesn't look like you're super conservative. If you do plan to wear leggings with a dress, don't. Wear opaque tights instead. (Leggings don't have feet, if you didn't know the difference between leggings and tights!)

So what's great to pair with leggings? A long cardigan, cozy boyfriend/hubby sweater or any of your boyfriend's or husband's shirts, long button-down shirt. You can wear a dress but make sure it's short and that it hugs your body. A full skirt with leggings looks silly!

As you can see with what I did with the Elin Georgia dress (you already saw me in the gray version), I hiked it up to my butt so now it looks like a long shirt.
Everything covered! So I'm comfy, pretty, stylish and decent!

Gosh, I love my Elin Georgia dress! So versatile! If you want Elin maternity and nursing dresses and tops, too, shop shop shop at their online shop!

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Family fun at Pico Sands!

Summer is definitely here! So a few weeks ago, my family drove all the way to Hamilo Coast in Batangas where the residential and resort community of Pico de Loro Cove is.

Here's what it looks like from afar. The buildings are all residential condos save for the white one on the lower left side of the photo (that's the Pico Sands Hotel) and the country club (it's the set of buildings surrounding the pools).

Since we were guests of the property, we were lodged at the Pico Sands Hotel. This is a photo of the hotel facade. It's a small and airy place, quite cozy and nice.
Okay, I should just rename the title of this blog post to "Señorito Iñigo tours Pico de Loro Cove" because all the photos here are of that little guy!

Anyway, here's our room. This is the premier room and it's big! Lots of space for a family! Each room also has a balcony. Yep, every room gets to appreciate the fresh sea breeze or mountain air! The bathroom's nice and big and modern, too. Yes, it passed the test hehe. My husband and I are hotel bathroom snobs but we liked the bathroom of Pico Sands. We weren't amazed naman. We just like that it was clean and efficient.

Vince and Vito, tired from the long drive, chose to chill out in our big room with the big TV, so it was Iñigo and I who explored the country club next door.
This is us walking to the country club. So much green space! The little one ran about, which was a nightmare for his pregnant mama haha who couldn't waddle fast enough after him.

There are a lot of small pools. I don't know why they were designed that way. This isn't the kiddie pool area, by the way. We enjoyed that the next morning (sorry, no pics—they're in my phone!). The kiddie pool was nice and shallow and it also has a tall water slide. I also like that there were lifeguards everywhere.

Iñigo now explores the lagoon paths. This is a nice area for strolling and jogging. A little heart-attack inducing for moms with little kids who run very fast, too, because the side of the path just drops into the lagoon, so if you're going there with your kids, be careful.

As you can see, I made Iñigo walk far away from the water! 

The paths are right outside the residential buildings. When evening set, there was a lot of old people slowly jogging around, lots of couples out for a walk, and kids with their yayas playing in the grass.

Here's what the residences look like from the mountain side. Obviously, the coveted units are on the lagoon side, but I don't mind waking up to mountains and trees, so if you plan to get a condo unit at Pico de Loro, I'm telling you that the side of a mountain isn't so bad to look at!

Here's the view at night. All lit up and pretty!

We were out because there was a stargazing activity. This is my family with my former boss, Treena Cueva Tecson and her daughter, Hailey. Treena was my boss way back when I was in PR. Now she's the assistant vice president of PR of SM Hotels and Conventions (yep, Pico is an SM property), so we're at Pico as her guests. Thanks, Treena!

Pico de Loro Cove is open to members and their guests only. It's a very exclusive community! So check if you have a friend or family who is a member there. Or you can become a member, too. It's a really lovely place! I'll show you more photos after the jump...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Prince George!

I have a lot of posts lined up but all blogging is on hold because I'm on royal watch! The Cambridge family is touring New Zealand now and the star of the show is little Prince George and, boy, that kid is just adorable. Here he is at his first ever royal engagement yesterday: at a playdate!

I already have two of those and in a few more months, I'll have another cutie pie in the house! I can't wait! Boys are love!

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

My life!

Saw this photo on Facebook today and thought, "Omigosh. That is so my life right now!"
Exasperating. Infuriating. Exhausting. And oh so adorable! I love it. I really do!

UPDATE: Must clarify since a few readers are asking why my kids' faces changed. Guys, these aren't my kids. Like I said in the first sentence and in the photo credit, I saw this photo on Facebook. Mas cute ang mga anak ko naman!

*image from

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Proud mommy moment: Iñigo's a coin bearer!

 We're just delirious with happiness that Iñigo became part of a wedding entourage!

The problem with getting married waaaaaaaay later than all your friends is by the time your kids are flower girl/bearer age, no one's getting married anymore. And I hate to admit it—because you know unsentimental, cold-hearted, no-nonsense me—but it's been my dream that my kids become a ring/coin/Bible bearer in a wedding. So thank goodness for my former magazine staff!!!

First, Kabbie made my dream come true when she included Vito in her wedding entourage two years ago. Now, Elaine did the same when she made Iñigo the coin bearer at her wedding to her longtime sweetie Russell!

I won't rain on Elaine's parade by telling you all about their love story. That's her show. But she and Russell have been together forever, I saw them grow up and grow more in love, I... I can't say anything anymore because I might get carried away and spill some secrets! Yes, I may have been her former boss but I like to think I was also her friend since Elaine was generous enough to make me a confidant when it came to her affairs of the heart. So I'll let her talk about her love story on her blog (if ever!) and all I'll talk about here is how happy we are that Iñigo became part of their love story as well.

Pre-wedding fun. That's Vito and Iñigo running up and down the aisle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-style. We came early to help Iñigo get used to the huge church that is Santuario de San Antonio at Forbes Park. We were worried he'd be intimidated, but nope, he loved that red carpet! Methinks this kid will be my celebrity son. He likes the limelight a wee bit too much!

Lookit that proud little boy. Lookit his proud pregnant mama!

And here's the older brother! He's so cute, helping his baby bro enjoy the aisle even though there were lots of strange people (and strange statues) looking at them.

The groom in freak out mode. Just kidding. He was so chill and excited. He was busy making sure everyone was happy and cool and just as excited as he was. Russell's a great guy. Elaine's got her future in really good hands.

My little cutie! He walked, er, ran up that loooooong aisle all by himself! He didn't drop the pillow. He didn't cry or get scared. He was fantastic!

But nothing and no one outshines the bride! Here's Elaine in a ball gown and a veil that trailed meters-long behind her. She was so happy!

Milk break!

Me! We're still on milk break here. The kids were getting rowdy inside the church so we opted to wait outside while the wedding was happening so I didn't get to see anything!

With former OK! magazine girls, Lana, Kabbie and Nikki. And my boys! We're at Enderun's lawn for the reception.

Happy Vito! He's always a blur, my boy.

With the love of my life. Always.

The newlyweds start the dinner program with a dance. To 90s music! Such a fun couple! As long as you can find something to laugh about together, your marriage will be just fine, Elaine and Russ. Just have lots of fun, lots of sex, and never stop supporting each other. Always put your marriage first, yes, even before your kids! You are each other's safe place. You are on the same team. You are now one. Don't ever forget that!

And thanks for the super fun wedding! We had a blast!

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