Category Archives: My Heart Speaks

Miscarriage: The Pain and Grief of Losing a Precious Baby

It was the same day today last year when our hearts were stricken with grief and painful loss.

I can only count in my fingers the number of people who have grieved with us and shared our pains when we lost our first baby in April 2014.

I have been meaning to write about this when my heart is ready. I aim of giving comfort and emotional support to the parents who have had or is undergoing the same plight like we’ve had. If you have never walked our shoes, you will never get to understand what it was like. Those who have had successful, smooth and uneventful pregnancies cannot understand either. They don’t understand being scared to sneeze, pee, walk down the block without being terrified.

If you are reading this and you’ve also went through a miscarriage, let me tell you that you’re such a strong woman! Please allow me to reassure you that it was not about something you did or didn’t do that caused the loss. It’s nature’s way of getting rid of something that’s never really meant for us.

You are not alone. I know from the minute you learned of your pregnancy, you have imagined yourself of becoming a mother to a beautiful baby but it’s never gonna happen in the 9-month time as it was earlier anticipated because of miscarriage. But if it is of any consolation at all, at least you are now aware that you are capable of getting pregnant. In God’s time, when you and your body is ready, infanticipating will just be around the corner once again.

I have heard of some people who may have sounded to “know-it-all”; saying you-should-have-done-this-you-should-have-done-that loads of bull; but believe me, you never deserve such kind of “guilt-tripping” from anyone and making you feel that you are such a failure. Some women were even subjected to listening to the inquisitor’s advice and suggestions as to what they should be doing to move things along.

Looking back, two Doctors confirmed on my 9th-week sonogram that our baby stopped growing and it was not a viable pregnancy. They explained that when something goes wrong in pregnancy, it is bound to happen and your body’s gonna detect it sooner or later and it will eventually find its way to getting rid of it, thus the miscarriage. Miscarriage in early pregnancy is quite common- 1 out of 5 women- yet we don’t hear much about it because not too many talk about it. It may be from privacy issues or women fearing judgments.

Perfectly understandable.

My first pregnancy was not easy and my HCG levels showed as early as 7 weeks that I may miscarry.

HCG levels dropping down

HCG levels dropping down

Imagine our favorite Doctor bluntly saying that right to our faces! It’s like the entire world was on us! It was devastating! But we never lost hope. We prayed for a miracle and never gave up. Countless tests were done and each time HCG levels came back and results showed it’s dropping, I could only break down and cry.

For my case, I’ve chosen my body to do it’s own course. It was a personal choice that I thought best for my well being. No need for a D&C even when I was given a D&C referral by my Doctor. The wait was incredibly longer- almost one long agonizing month but it was the best choice I have ever made. At least, I wouldn’t have to go under the knife.

I would have never wanted to go back and recount the painful ordeal of losing our precious angel. But for the sake of giving comfort and emotional support to those who are in the same plight right now, I can only look back with so much strength and courage. It was not an easy path to take but under distress, it proved our strength and faith as a couple.

I am aware that not too many people are willing to talk about the grieving and the loss. We ourselves preferred to grieve in silence. But in the midst of our pains and struggles, I vowed that I am gonna lift the spirits up of those who have lost their precious angels once I have bounced back and when my heart is completely ready. I realized that the more open and transparent I remained, the more I find true friends who truly supported me in my ordeal and who reassured me that I have their backs no matter what. I am now at a place where I chose to share some of my life’s struggles, downfalls, pains, joys, and blessings without feeling shame and fear of judgments because I have learned that our lives should be a living testimony and it is always for God’s greater glory.

From my mother with love

From my mother with love

A friend at work

A friend at work

She has been a reliable friend

She has been a reliable friend

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SMS from my Manager at work.

SMS from my Manager at work.

During the darkest moments, I gained strength from God and my husband who had always been there all the way; some friends who were willing to share the pains with me; and people who were unknown to me but offered encouragement and support by virtue of their articles online. In similar fashion, I would like to pay it forward. In one way or the other, they have helped me have my confidence back in myself through their powerful and encouraging articles.

Two months after the painful and unimaginable loss, we were over the moon when I fell pregnant for the second time in a span of one year after a heartbreaking miscarriage. It is quite hard to calm our nerves down after such a heart-wrenching ordeal.

a friend trying to calm my nerves down

A friend trying to calm my nerves down

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My husband and I hoped and prayed unceasingly that once we reach the 16th or even beyond the 20th week mark, we can relax just the slightest little bit. In the strangest most non-sensical way, I was highly anxious and scared to the core that if I let my guard down for the tiniest piece of a moment, everything will come crashing down on me again and I’ll find myself miscarrying again.

But everything manifests at the right place, the right time, and the right way. We just have to keep putting one foot infront of the other and God will always respond to our spoken and unspoken prayers just like He did with ours.

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Little Jamie in my Tummy

If things had been different, I would have loved the maternity shoot to be over and done with in the second trimester of my pregnancy. It was during that time when I had never felt so good and my annoying zits and acne suddenly stopped showing up. Like most pregnant women, second trimester was the best time! I was big enough to “look” pregnant but not too big to feel uncomfortable. My tummy was nicely growing bigger which would have been perfect at that stage for a Maternity Shoot.

However, we were confronted with life’s issues and challenges; we were left with very little choice so we had to do what we ought to do. When we slowly settled in, that’s when we realized we had not even prepared much about things for our little Sweetheart.

For a first time Mum-to-be, I have always wanted to document our little angel in my tummy which we decided to name Jamie by the way, regardless of gender (a separate blogpost on this later). Though a Maternity Shoot is not a necessity, I have always believed that photographs are the best keepsake I could ever have with my first pregnancy. And like any other “firsts” in ones life, it is always worth capturing and remembering forever.

With that in mind, it was only when our little sweetheart Jamie turned 28 weeks and I began to feel the baby kicks with greater frequency and intensity that the feeling became so real to me. I have truly embraced this pregnancy! That’s when I felt the need to organize things for the shoot.

We felt very lucky and blessed that suppliers came in handy. Our hearts are truly overflowing with gratitude and appreciation to these amazing people for making the Maternity Shoot possible:

CAROLINE
Her generosity and kindness is outstanding. She went out of her way to accompany me two weeks before the shoot to look for outfits that would fit the preggy me. I have been in deep dilemma on finding the perfect size of clothes and shoes. Nothing seems to fit me right! Having someone around to shop made it so much easier. Not only did she spent time with me but she also insisted on paying for the boho dress- that is simply generosity at its best! She also volunteered to repair the knitted green top so it wouldn’t hang loose on my arms. She did the sewing by hand. Her act of kindness is sincerely appreciated!

MIRA
She is my bridesmaid who performed the role of a Maid of Honor in our wedding. She volunteered to do my hair and make-up for the shoot to spare us from paying someone heftily. She definitely saved our day! She painstakingly took time to perform a trial make-up a day before the shoot. She did a marvelous job!

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She was assisted by her Sis-in-Law, Susie. I couldn’t be anymore grateful to these lovelies for giving me enough confidence to smile for the camera despite feeling ugly and fat at 31 weeks.

DECORS AND MOTIFS
The proprietress of Decors and Motifs, Sis Maureen, is a personal friend with a big heart. I was over the moon when she happily expressed that she is gonna style the shoot’s backdrop with a Vintage Garden High Tea setup. I thought that was it. But like the wonderful person that she is, she also provided the floral crown using the finest range of silk flowers for my Boho outfit and the silk bouquet of flowers for the Vintage outfit. She went above and beyond in helping us do the shoot in style! Not only was the indoor shoot done at the showroom in the comfort of her own beautiful home, but she also allowed us to use parts of her house for the shoot. What a beautiful person she is! I am simply lost for words for all the help she has been extending to us!

MICHAEL BILLANES PHOTOGRAPHY
I am personally impressed by Bro. Michaael’s portfolio. I can never thank him enough for his time, patience, and for unselfishly sharing his gift. Admittedly, I was his first in his Maternity portfolio but no one would have an inkling it’s his first time to capture a bump of a pregnant woman. He did the job masterfully!

MY PRINCE
I have to commend him for always being there for me. Despite the stress and drama brought about by my “pregnant brain” (haha!), he made himself available and was always ready to smile for the camera when his presence was needed. I love him even more not only for being my official driver by default to and from our shoot locations, but also for helping me out in everything especially in the midst of all my discomforts, aches, and pains.

The outpouring of love, help, and support from all these beautiful and amazing people had made the Maternity Shoot all the more possible. Though things had not turned out as initially planned on the day itself, all’s well that ends well. I could only be grateful that these maternity photographs were beautifully captured at 31 weeks of my pregnancy.

Here are some of my personal favorites (Warning! Picture overload ahead!). I took the liberty to do my own edits. Please take note that pictures were handed over to me raw and unedited. Proper credit goes out to Michael Billanes Photography.

Vintage High Tea Garden styled by Decors and Motifs

Vintage High Tea Garden styled by Decors and Motifs

As you continue to browse through each of these photographs, please keep our little family in your prayers for a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery as the Beginning of Our Journey to Parenthood is yet to unfold.

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My beautiful bump at 31 weeks

My beautiful bump at 31 weeks

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The Beginning of Our Journey to Parenthood

For couples like us who’s planning to be parents, seeing a positive home pregnancy test result brought insurmountable joy and excitement.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

It felt even surreal when it got confirmed by a General Practitioner. We can only quip:

“This is finally it!”

Pregnancy confirmed!

Pregnancy confirmed!

We planned for year 2014 for us to be parents. We faithfully prayed that if it’s not too much to ask God, we be given a chance to care for a little angel as the fruit of our love. We said unto each other, “if God won’t allow us to be parents, that’s His plan for us and it is always for the best. We must accept His will accordingly.”

God performs miracle in mysterious ways. We did not wait for too long even when we were under the most unviable circumstances for conception- we were unfit physically when we both had bouts of colds and coughs and I was under extreme stress due to daily commuting to and from work.

Our pregnancy is more than enough proof that when His faithful children fervently prays for what their hearts desire, they will never be forsaken. No conditions are ever too big for God to conquer, no dreams ever too unreal to come into fruition.

Truth be told, as we both think of all the circumstances prior to infanticipating, everything was seemingly bleak but God bestowed His sunshine unto us and He became our light in our entire journey in trying to conceive.

My husband would often remind me: “Where is your faith? We have God in our lives so we have nothing to worry about. Let Him do all the worrying; He will fix everything for us!”

My Prince is simply the best thing that has ever happened to me! He stood up for me in our highs and lows. He gives me comfort and cheers me up when homesickness slow me down; next to God, he helps me restore my faith when I feel defeated by life’s hills and hurdles. I just know that he will be the best father to our little angel.

They say that one can never be ready for parenthood. You learn your way through it hands-on. As we financially, physically, mentally, and psychologically prepare ourselves of this Herculean responsibility- like always, we can only offer ourselves in prayer unto God; that once again He empower us with His Holy Spirit so that we can be perfect nurturers of the gift that He bestowed unto us.

God will always be in control and for as long as we entrust everything to Him, we will survive life’s storms and adversities.

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A Loving Tribute to a Very Special Woman: Sis Maureen

It is a rare occurrence when someone comes into your life from out of nowhere; just touches your entire being, and simply transforms you inwardly. The feeling is somehow indescribable.

That is how Sister Maureen had made me and my husband feel when she came into our lives. If only our hearts could talk, there are actually no words to define what it actually feels.

A tribute to Sis Mau on my personal Facebook page

A tribute to Sis Mau on my personal Facebook page

Comment thread

Comment thread

She is not a blogger but she is the entrepreneur behind the website Decors and Motifs. She was the artistic and creative woman who styled our wedding reception.

Bridal table styled by Decors and Motifs

Bridal table styled by Decors and Motifs

But never had I thought that she could be more than just an event stylist in our lives.

When we were at the lowest point of our lives and we thought we had nowhere to go, without second thoughts, Sis Maureen came to our rescue. I felt the tears streaming down my cheeks when her help came just when we needed it the most. She went over and beyond to extend help to us when we were lost and completely in the dark.

As a matter of fact, as I write this, I can’t help but shed a tear once more. It is for the obvious reason that God always knows when and how to intervene. I firmly believe it is for this reason that Sister Maureen was placed into our lives. Sans family here in Australia, she made me feel I am one of her own. NO questions asked.

Each time I look back and think about it, I weep. I weep because in this hard times where the world is so full of evil and wickedness, there is this one beautiful soul who chose to be the light in times of our darkness, distress, pains, and struggles.

She has always been a constant figure in our lives since our wedding day. Although we sparingly spent time together, we do make sure however that we share each others’ life’s circumstances every after Thursday Worship Services or via the internet and SMS. Times spent were very momentary but her sincere friendship, warmth, genuineness, love and kindness had emanated in our lives through and through. It touched the very core of our beings. She has never spoken ill of anyone. She is a woman with no hang-ups in life. Simply dignified!

Having been the recipient of her family’s goodness, we can only thank the Lord for putting into our lives the right people. I am completely aware that this blogpost will never suffice to repay what she has done for me and our little family, yet I want everyone to know that there are still good people around us. Her act of love and kindness is one of the concrete reasons why my faith in humanity was restored.

We will be forever grateful and indebted to her and her family. With our love, my husband and I wishes her and her entire family a beautiful loving journey on this earth. May she continue to touch more lives in similar fashion she has lovingly touched ours!

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Special Birthday Presents from the City that Never Sleeps

Like she always does, Ate J never fails to send out her birthday presents to me regardless of the circumstances. I am aware she is in the thick of things of late and sending out a birthday present my way was least expected from her. I was very touched with her thoughtful and sweet gesture.

The birthday surprise my have been foiled because of a missed delivery.

The missed delivery

The missed delivery

However, it did not fail to bring a smile to my face and unsuppressed joy to my heart. I felt so loved and special by a person that I haven’t even met yet in the flesh. It is incredibly heartwarming that a special virtual friendship like this could exist.

Please allow me to brag a little bit about the gifts I’ve got overseas for my birthday :-)

I can't wait to open it!

I can’t wait to open it!

The personalized card is the first thing I always take a look at.

The personalized card is the first thing I always take a look at.

Everything is personalized! Simply lovely!

Everything is personalized! Simply lovely!

First every maternity dress for the preggy me! ;-)

First ever maternity dress for the preggy me! ;-)

As always, the tag was snipped off

For reasons known to me, the tag was snipped off ;-)

A Coach tote

A Coach tote

Inside the tote was the first ever gifts I got for our baby!

Powder puff

Powder puff

The power Coach slippers

The power Coach slippers

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

All these gifts were very well thought of long before my birthday. I have surmised the warnings in our private conversations were well meaning.

It goes like this:

“Please don’t get too big or else your feet will go bigger. Ikaw din! Hahaha!”

Now I completely understand why.

I can’t wait to show off all these lovelies ;-)

Meanwhile, I am sending my biggest virtual hugs and love to the most generous person there is in bloglandia. Thank you so much Ate J for the gifts and the special friendship. May God always bless your kind and generous heart.

Love yah always!

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