Category Archives: My Heart Speaks

Jamie, Our Miracle Baby: My Birth Story

This time last year, at 12:14 high noon, I gave birth to our firstborn, Jamie. My birth story should have been told a year before but stories like these never really grow old, don’t they?

Today, I felt the sudden surge of mixed emotions; but topping them all is the feeling of gratitude. I decided to pen this down with no intention of recalling the horror story of my struggles and pains while on labor; but rather, to recollect what a beautiful miracle I had been given since Jamie was born.

I will not sugarcoat. Going back, it was not an easy journey because of hypertension issues pre-pregnancy. I had to be closely monitored especially towards the end of the 3rd trimester. As I went in for my 34th- week regular check at the Ambulatory Clinic, my blood pressure had a sudden spike which alarmed the Doctor on duty. So I was strictly advised to be confined in the hospital until further notice.

I was forced to file my Maternity Leave at work two weeks earlier than originally planned because the Doctors could not give me a definite day of discharge. That meant it was a leave without pay for 4 weeks; not until the baby was born! They had to keep me in the hospital and take a close watch on every single thing; looking for every possible sign of eclampsia, a deadly complication of pregnancy when one suffers from a relatively high blood pressure.

I can still vividly recall, one Doctor admonished that if I was to give birth on my 35th week, it wouldn’t be so much of an issue. But I was told that it would be better if I could hold the baby in until 37 weeks.

I can’t believe my good fortune! I reached 38 weeks and 1 day! I couldn’t wait for much longer!!! I felt like I had been pregnant forever! I was getting heavier each day! I walked like a penguin! The painful pressure was almost unbearable towards the end!

My birth plan was vaginal birth. I was reassured that despite my hypertension issues, it should be fine as an epidural shall be administered which helps in keeping the blood pressure low.

I feel the need to emphasise that I have a very low pain threshold. I even had to wear a gas mask just to be able to bear the excruciating pain of an internal examination! It was THAT bad! It was a very traumatic experience for me!

I was scheduled for induction early morning of 16 March 2015.

While preparing for my induction, 7am of 16 March 2015

While preparing for my induction, 7am of 16 March 2015

With my mother, giving endless love, support and encouragement

With my mother, giving endless love, support and encouragement

All set for the induction procedure

All set for the induction procedure


But everything didn’t go as planned. I felt the onslaught of labor; I was 3cm dilated when I screamed: “After this, I won’t be able to bear the intense pain anymore!!!” I felt so desperate for any type of relief. And that’s when the Anaesthesiologist administered the epidural. It felt heaven after that! I was so impressed that I was all set to push!

But Jamie got distressed! His heartbeat slowed down; the Doctors declared they needed to do an emergency caesarian. I had to quickly sign a waiver before they wheeled me into the theatre. Everything happened so swiftly! In a matter of less than 30 minutes, Jamie was out.

Jamie at birth

Jamie at birth

But we didn’t hear him cry at all. I felt numb; my world stopped when the doctor came over to me and explained: “Your baby’s not breathing; we need to quickly bring him in to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).” I was dumbfounded! I was lost for words! All I knew was that I blankly stared at my husband’s eyes while he was holding my hands so tightly! After a few minute interval since the Doctor spoke to me, I heard Jamie; he cried so hard like there’s no tomorrow. I felt the tears streaming down my cheeks!!! The feeling was indescribable!

After the heart-stricken moment, I learned from my husband that the Doctors instructed him to stay with our baby in the Special Care Unit as I will fare just fine on my own. He will never forget when he had the first glimpse of Jamie- he was all blue!!! And he wasn’t breathing! It is such a huge miracle to have Jamie in our lives despite the traumatic ordeal on the day he was born.

My husband takes pride in the fact that he was the first one that Jamie saw. He kept repeating it to me.

Daddy with precious JAmie

Daddy with precious JAmie

Jamie had to stay in the Special Care Unit of the hospital for 24 hours. I had to be wheeled in to where he was so I can breastfeed him every 2 hours. It felt surreal holding him in my arms! I soaked and basked in the glorious moments of Jamie in my arms at last!

My precious, sweet little darling boy

My precious, sweet little darling boy

After giving birth to my precious son, I still had to be closely monitored by the hospital personnel for any possible symptoms of eclampsia and infection. We felt “trapped” for 2 weeks and 1 day in the hospital but I must say it helped tremendously for my speedy recovery- but I will have to admit that my recovery has been rough.

Eventhough my birth story didn’t unfold exactly as I imagined it to, it is a very positive experience and it taught me many things. Our story is one I will be forever grateful for and immensely proud of. After all, it brought the sweetest baby boy into our lives and that is all that mattered to us in the end, no matter how he came into this world. We love him to pieces and can’t imagine life without him.

Today, we look back on that same day last year with so much gratitude. Parenthood has its ups and downs; hills and hurdles. It is actually never-ending. But I take a little pause to count every single blessing that we have. We thank our awesome God for this beautiful gift of life He has given us. I thank Him for our lives, for giving me a family to love and be loved by them. I could not thank Him enough for giving us Jamie. He’s a cheerful, adorable baby boy that’s keeping our world go round. He is the main source of our joys; the primary reason why we keep thriving despite life’s challenges.

Happy 1st birthday, my precious son! May you grow up into a young fine, decent man- just like your Daddy. We love you to the moon and back!!!

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It’s a Jamie-Free Kind of Day

Being brand new parents, it’s quite hard to find a time just to be on our own- Mum-and-Dad time. If my recollection is right, the last time we had it was on our wedding anniversary; we still had my pretty Mamang to mind Jamie at the time so we were able to enjoy a cozy dinner date.

In October last year, I impulsively booked a lunch reservation unsure if we can have another Jamie-Free day. Luckily, my MIL did not mind at all babysitting Jamie. As a matter of fact, she enjoyed minding him. So this was the second time my husband and I had the chance to enjoy each others’ company post-baby.

We had a full day. I guess it’s better to just watch the video that I made as it encapsulated everything that transpired for that special day. I feel too lazy to write, LOL! There was no occasion to celebrate but it was a good time to rekindle the bonds as a married couple.

It must be noted though that we both suffered from separation anxiety so we had to make do with watching Jamie’s videos during the entire train ride on our way home.

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Fatherhood and What It Really Means

I deemed it appropriate to ask my husband what fatherhood means to him. I’d rather not put words into his mouth thus I felt the need to ask. He briefly retorted that it is an incredible thing.

Being the persistent blogger that I am, I further asked:

“Incredible in what way?”

Getting his perspectives of what fatherhood really meant for him is actually a good idea. However, I personally find it self-serving. There is no way he would speak high and mighty about himself because that’s not just him. My husband is such a low-key, low-profile individual who has got no hang-ups in life. No fuss, no dramas.

So I entirely deviated from what I actually want this post to mean. I feel that I saw all the tranformations that took place when he became a father. I say that because from the day he performed the first nappy change and when he stayed up all night to nurse our then newborn babe, I could not have imagined that he would be so strongly connected, involved, and supportive; but he amazingly is!

From a mother and wife’s perspectives, I saw with my very own eyes and felt from the depth of my heart how fatherhood really meant for my husband. Seeing the beautiful relationship between husband and son unfolding before my very eyes is unmatched!

My  precious gifts!

My precious gifts!

Coming home from work everyday now has a totally bigger meaning and purpose. With all the mundane tasks that he has to perform around the house, fatherhood has definitely sunk in.

He has been a hands-on Dad performing several tasks all for the love of Jamie: changing nappy, changing clothes, washing and sterelising feeding bottles, settling the baby to sleep, and waking up in the middle of the night to feed him when I am too deadbeat to do it.

Apart from that, he wakes up very early in the morning so I could get more sleep, feeding and nursing our baby each time I am preoccupied with other household chores. On top of it all, he has the ability to transform himself into a funny clown when the need arises. When our baby feels bored while watching him wash the dishes, his rare antics, which include doing the Michael Jackson breakdance (LOL!)- would immediately plaster back the smile on Jamie’s face.

He has that very special interaction and connection with our son that I find so rare and special!

My precious boys!

My precious boys!

He is indeed doing a marvellous job looking after me and our adorable bundle of joy. He has done a conscious effort of being there all the way for me as his wife and the mother of his son.

I would have felt so miserable had he not been putting his weight into all these. I am the luckiest because he helps me out in the best way he knows how. Not only does he recognize that his support means a mountain to me but he also finds it imperative that I need time to be alone. “Me” time to reinvigorate me so I’d be ready to face another day. He’d so often volunteered to mind Jamie; prodding me to go out with friends and have a good time. There was an instance where he babysat and out I was with some girls enjoying a videoke marathon. Lol!

This is the kind of man I married two years ago who is now a doting and an incredible father to our adorable son. Both of them are God’s perfect gifts to me. They make my life worth the while!

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On Motherhood and the “Jamie First” Rule

My last blogpost was about me reentering the workforce after a couple of months Parental Leave. That was more than a month ago before my mother went back home to the Philippines. Read HERE.

To say that the transition is tough is an understatement. But that’s to be expected. If it’s any consolation at all, we were able to establish our daily routines soon after she left. For working parents like us, we felt it was very essential especially that we have to look after a not-so-newborn-babe. The established routine made things a LITTLE organized, if not putting COMPLETE order in everything.

The life-changing transition is exhausting and draining. I entirely forgot the last time I combed my hair straight after having a shower in the morning. To save time, I have been doing it in the car on our way to work and that includes making myself tidy and presentable for work. Read H E R E.

If there’s anything, parenthood had taught us selflessness. My husband and I was able to implement a “Jamie First” rule around the house. Jamie MUST come first and foremost under whatever circumstance- NO buts, NO ifs. If out of habit we unconsciously break it, we have each other to remind the “Jamie First” rule.

"Jamie First" Rule

“Jamie First” Rule

Being brand new parents, we realized that having a baby is not all about perfect smiles, giggles, and cuteness overload at all times. We had to deal with poos, wees, snots, vomits, cries, and screams at ungodly hours.

I must admit that in the beginning, I felt occasional resentment because I could no longer do the normal stuff that I was so used to doing- taking a shower first thing in the morning, going to the toilet to answer the call of nature, unlimited Blogging and Facebooking, napping, and I could not believe it that combing my hair had become a “task” that’s often impossible to perform! My entire time was wholeheartedly devoted looking after my newborn. I felt the frustration and exhaustion to the core. I was missing the old “Me.” I find myself crying a river after waking up in the middle of the night to perform the repeated cycle of feeding and nappy change.

I was cursing myself for feeling the frustration and exhaustion. I felt I was a total failure! My husband had to pacify me; he had to repeatedly remind me to be kind to myself and that I am doing an amazing job. He never fails to give me that morale boost!

Apart from the physical exhaustion, motherhood also entails non-stop worrying from the big to the most trivial things. The constant paranoia was eating me alive especially after the first few weeks of giving birth. I am an anxiety-ridden first-time Mum! It’s absolute insanity!

But nobody said motherhood is going to be a walk in the park. It is difficult; it is very challenging. But we were told, it will only get better.

I chose to be a mother and I can’t allow the long trying nights of exhaustion wear me down nor the feeling of anxiety and resentment take over my life.

Modern day version of "Sisa"

Modern day version of “Sisa”

Our little Jamie ain’t gonna be a baby forever. We were warned not to blink an eye or else, we’ll miss it. Drinking in our little miracle at this stage is what gives myself and my husband the joy in its purest form; I could not even fathom the depth of our love that he had stirred in us even before he was born. He instantly stole our hearts from the second we laid eyes on him!

Breathing him in by staring at the stillness and innocence of his eyes; listening to his babbles, coos, ahhs, and gurgles; holding his tiny hands and feet; and swooping gently his tiny body into my shoulders or close to my bosom to give him my sweet caress and cuddles are the little things that did not only mean the whole world to him but also to me and my husband. These are the adorable and precious moments of his life that will be forever etched in our very beings.

This amazing creature is ours! Wow!

My Jamie Love's tiny feet

My Jamie Love’s tiny feet

Time passes by so quickly and I still have not fully wrapped my mind around the solid fact that I am now a mother. I still can’t believe my good fortune! Is it just me being weird or do you Mums out there ever get used to this feeling?

There’s a lot of humps and bumps along this journey but there’s absolutely no regrets. I would not trade any of it for the world!

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All Things Fall Into Place

The bliss of parental leave is over and I had officially reentered the workforce last week. On my first day, I had to get a hang of things at our new work location.

New work building

New work building

They had to get me set up on my first day as my previous account was disabled. Access to work emails, programs, and facilities were successfully done. There were minor glitches here and there but they were swiftly addressed to by the Service Desk. They had me get up to speed at work in no time.

I was on Parental Leave for close to half a year. The transition period from being the primary carer of my first born to being a full-time working Mum is such a massive challenge. It was also a very emotional time for transition. I am floored by how much I kept thinking of my delicious and beautiful little boy while I was at work and to say that I missed him tremendously is an understatement.

We are blessed that we still got my Mum to render assistance to us for the time being. It kept my mind generally at peace and calm. The big transition is still contained at the moment but once my Mum goes back to the Philippines, that’s when the real big challenge begins. We would have to deal with it sooner or later.

It helped hugely that my new work location is now closer to home. It means less time for travel and more time spent with my family. It’s also flexi-time for me. The most beautiful thing of all is that I can work from home once a week.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 8.47.03 pm

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 8.47.46 pm

That means I can work even on my pajamas and without having the need to take a shower. LOL! Seriously, it is a very important aspect of my job especially now that I have literally embraced to be a full-time working mother head on.

Surprisingly, motherhood changed me in ways I had never anticipated. Suffice it to say that for now, my goal is to create a balance in every aspect of our family life for the welfare and best interest of our first born. It will never be easy but “Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason (Albert Schweitzer).”

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