Category Archives: My Heart Speaks

How Motherhood Has Changed Me

Motherhood has primarily changed everything in my life and largely, in ways I did not expect. It altered my perspectives and thought processes. I used to be driven and motivated by my own needs and wants; but now I must admit that they mostly revolve around my child’s needs.

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With my son after the Sunday worship service

God knows how I have worked harder to be more patient, thoughtful, kind, caring, and gentle. I did not realise how selfish I was until motherhood showed me how selfless I can be.

I am not always successful at living by those virtues but I’d like to believe that I am better than I used to be. Make no mistake about it; I am far from perfect but I certainly am a work in progress everyday.

Motherhood has also helped me to relate better to anything about children. My instincts have sharpened and my spirit has strengthened. Similarly, being a mother has helped me to better understand and emphatize with my very own mother. However, I regret that I haven’t been a perfect daughter.😩 But that would be another story.

Truly, I cannot imagine what my life would be like had I not had a child. I have always wished and prayed to become a mother and God has been so good to grant one of my heart’s desires. It’s indeed one of the most beautiful blessings that God has graciously bestowed on me.

The intensity of the love that I feel for my child is simply indescribable. I could not fathom its depth and I could not find the perfect adjectives to describe how he has actually made me feel. I feel blessed and challenged as a mother!

Motherhood is the most rewarding, awful, beautiful, heartbreaking, awesome, horrible, joyous thing imaginable that has ever happened to me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in this world!

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A Birthday Tribute To You, Ate V a.k.a. Star Chuu!

Dearest Ate V,

Today is another blessed day for you. As you recount God’s numerous blessings, let me also recount the ways you have touched my life in one way or another.

Remember the first time I have had my first encounter with you at the COMELEC office? I was then working for a Non-Government Organisation and our short exchange of pleasantries was rather friendly. I had no inkling then that you’d soon be my “partner in crime”; be that in the execution of my daily duties as a public servant or otherwise. We may have frictions every now and then but they were minor; and I see to it that I look up to you not only as the alterego of the Boss but also as my “Big Ate”; you have my respect being my senior.

But let’s not talk about age. Let’s talk about how good you were to me.

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I saw how some were treating you like crap and you felt less respected. You cried a river for some petty and not so petty issues. I have been a witness on how dirty “politics” can play in such an environment. It’s sad. Our daily struggle was real as we fell prey to all sorts of gossipmongering and fault- finding environment and we felt that if at all, we were acknowledged for our effort and dedication, there was never any mention.

These were all a thing of the past but I vividly remembered these paved the way for us to get strongly bonded and connected. As you whinged about your ordeals, I showed you compassion and empathy; and you offered me similar support when I was on the same path as a neophyte in public service. I am not known to kiss anyone’s ass but I will always thank you for encouraging me, for keeping me strong, for always giving me that gentle nudge and push when the goings get tough. You spoke so highly of me and I always had your back. I felt your support all the way through; I felt encouraged, motivated; I felt bravery in times of cowardice. You have always lifted my spirits up.

We ultimately got even more connected when we shared the same interests. I was able to encourage you to blog and that’s when our friendship reached a notch higher! Seeing each other everyday at work was never enough; we had to continuously support each other virtually through our blogs. Isn’t that so amazing?

We led an active lifestyle by going to our badminton sessions almost every night; we scheduled out-of-the-country trips together. I was grateful when you acted like my Mum, “Ate”, and friend all rolled into one when you protected my petite and fragile stature by volunteering to lift my heavy and overloaded baggages; yes! How can I forget it?

You were ever so willing to take on those little tasks that I can’t find the time to perform; you were always ready to assist in every way; in the most unselfish and dedicated fashion.

How can I not laugh at your hilarious antics especially when you were trying to speak using the English vernacular? I don’t need to expound more as you know what I mean. Haha!

I miss the way you shared with me your nightmares and dreams from the night before and out of curiousity and for fun, we both look up its meanings by Googling and we ended up delving deeper into the issues in our lives.

You touched the very core of my being when you took the time to see me one last time at the Gensan Airport to offer your prayers; just a couple of minutes before my boarding time and READ: you almost missed me as I was already queueing up going inside the departure lounge.

You have my full admiration as you have been a wonderful single Mummy to your kids especially to your unica hija Vyne, a great daughter to your loving “Mamang”, a dear sister to your siblings, and a caring and beautiful friend to anyone you know.

You may be unaware of it but you have made such a big impact in my life. I thank the Lord for the blessing of meeting and knowing you; paving for friendship and sisterhood to blossom in more ways I can ever imagine.

May God continue to bless you in the same way that you have blessed my life.

Happiest birthday! I miss and love you!

Love,
Lainybelle

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Failed Mission

Saturday was a pretty hectic day for my son and I. We were out for a mission- shopping! We arrived at the shops as early as 8:30 am; most of the shops weren’t even open yet!

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Jamie at the shop

We didn’t get home until past 5 in the afternoon.

It helped that Jamie did not give me a hard time; he was a good boy the entire time. He ate a full Chinese food for lunch. Onlookers were staring at him with eyes opened wide while he was devouring his meal. Lol!

However, our mission wasn’t accomplished. I didn’t find something nice for him so I didn’t force the issue.

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Ad to lure consumers to shop till you drop!

 

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Clever marketing strategy

 

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Children’s wear

 

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Right!

So it basically turned out to be a window shopping day for Jamie and his Mummy. It was a very long day for us but I had fun spending the time with my son.

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Just a Little Leap of Faith

In life, we sometimes take risks- we don’t even know where it will take us. But don’t we all aim for one thing?

Success.

To achieve success, it seemed normal to make some sacrifices- big or small. In the face of failures, we continue to push forward and have been motivated by the looming success that we can see right at the very end.

It is something pivotal, life-changing to say the very least. Two essential human emotions that normally keep us going forward or backward are Love and Fear respectively.

These two forces are normally intertwined and must co-exist for one to be superior over the other.

Three and a half years ago, I made the most crucial decision in my life. But prior to that, I had a secured job in the Philippine government and a blogging gig on the side with a not-so-meager income combined to boot. Just enough perhaps to buy myself a knickers and a lippy, Lol! 😂

I had a great circle of friends both online and offline who made my life so colorful and meaningful; they filled my life with so much love, joy, and adventure.

Everything was within my comfort zone: my family and I can dine to any restaurant of our choice at anytime, I can do my morning walks to the City’s Oval Plaza at the break of dawn, worked out like a slave at the gym on my lunchbreaks which was only a stone’s throw away from my work place, play badminton at night time with family, workmates, or pals, go to Church, meet up and malling with friends, window shopping, beach getaways, short trips overseas, etc.

My loving and adoring family was also within reach. We had created so many memories over the years. I was in my most comfortable, happiest state, and most of all, I was where everyone wants me to be- safe.

I was in that status quo when my then fiance and I decided to make the monumental move of processing my visa to Australia. When I look back at it now, everything seemed so tedious, taxing, and full of anxiety and apprehensions. I would often declare my doubts of whether or not I would “fit”; and his answer was always on the affirmative- without a shadow of a doubt!

And true enough I did! But it didn’t take much longer when the feeling of homesickness struck me like a disease! I felt so alone in this foreign place- I felt the pangs of pain in my heart and was terribly missing my comfort zone back home!

I began to doubt myself and the choice I had made.

While I was in the midst of my own doubts and fears, strangely enough, I continued to enrich my human abilities by performing the role of a mother and a wife; I also tried to immerse into the new cultural discoveries in Australia; honing my skills at work by expressing my intent to learn more and furthering my knowledge; my cooking experiments were quite a normal sight in the kitchen (LOL!); and furnishing the tiny home we moved into in the beginning of the year kept me preoccupied as well.   I intend to soothe my racing mind; keep it somehow calm and collected by reviving my blogs therefore blogging to my heart’s content once more. I am aware I have done so less for my blogs, I am not here to justify nor attempt to give any lame excuses. For this bit, pardon my indolence.

Despite the negativities and the initial difficulties, I have reached this far and I am not backing down. It was worth every chaotic moment.

In saying that, I am taking the leap of faith on myself right here and now! I am going to conquer my fears, nurture the things that I love doing, and make it flourish. I am reopening my heart to new possibilities, pushing away the unfounded doubts and apprehensions. I am hopeful that I can find more love and laughter in whatever endeavour I wish to undertake.

In our pursuit for success and happiness, the big stumbling block in most cases is ourselves. Indeed, life is too short and far too precious to be too wrapped up in our own fears, thereby robbing us of the joys that we truly deserve!

Love wins! 😘

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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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