Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New mom, new worries, new needs (or rather wants), and a new blog

I've been putting off, or rather, slacking off writing an entry regarding my experiences as a new mother, and a breastfeeding mother at that. And oh, add to that mix babywearing mother, too. The experiences I've had this past three and so months have been vast and full of emotional and physical strain that I'm now forgetting the when's of those moments. Besides, how can I remember the frustrations I had when I found myself at home alone with the baby, unable to find the time to really eat (when J's at work) and to primp myself just a bit, when my now 3-month old baby boy graces me with his smiles, coos, and giddy laughs?

As a way to diarize these new moments of motherhood, and to share the joys I've experienced with others, I created this new blog to focus on my journey as a mother. As a mother who loves wearing her baby and is now addicted to carriers. And as a mother who's determined to breastfeed her baby up to at least two years for all the benefits the baby will get.

So, to start this blog rolling, let me share some recent events in my life that led to the conclusion: while I want what's best for my baby, I want it done in a somewhat easy way.

Breastmilk is best for babies up to two years and beyond. Or so the new ads of formula makers say. And the two breastfeeding classes I've attended told of studies that show how breastfeeding a baby for up to two years reduces the risk of genitic diseases to be inherited by the baby by up to (or was it at least?) 50%. And being someone who hasn't experienced going to the hospital for an operation or for any other serious illness before giving birth, I want my baby to experience the same thing and not inherit his dad's heart condition. While J's condition may have been in-born and not necessarily genetic, his family does have a history of heart conditions and I don't want my baby having those. Thus, my determination to breastfeed up to at least two years are now firmer as when before, I only wanted to breastfeed up to at least one year.

And this determination led to buying a pump, a manual pump from Tommee Tippee. It was easy to use when I as at home and started stocking up on my supply in preparation for my return to work. I'd pump once, maybe even twice a day an hour after baby feeds or when I'm engorged and baby is sound asleep. However, pumping with it made my nipples sore, on the same area each time, until sometimes, at some point, would make it bleed. I discontinued using it for a while, thinking I was pumping too hard due to worrying on my milk stock, thus, wounding myself in the process. A few days before I went back to work had me discovering there was a defect in my pump. I was not about to buy another pump since an aunt from Australia was sending us a package, which includes a pump. So, for my first 5 days back to work, I used my defective pump, being extra careful so as to not make me bleed. I was even pumping both breasts, but wasn't emptying them effectively due to the defect plus the time constraint.

Thankfully, after that first week, the package came and I got my new, but still manual, pump. It was Avent Isis. With all the ads and reviews I read on this pump, I was excited, even if I'm a Tommee Tippee fan (all my bottles, sterilizer, and yes, the pump were Tommee Tippee's). However, when I was disassembling the pump to clean it for my first use, I was a bit aggravated. It has a lot of parts for a manual pump and my previous pump only has 3 parts. There's the pump, the handle and a white thing where the milk goes towards the bottle. Now, with the Avent Isis, there's the silicon petal massager, the white valve, the other silicon plug that sits above the white valve, the handle, the cover, and the horn itself. No matter. It's a pump and it's a gift and if I want my baby to continue drinking breastmilk, the little things shouldn't hinder me from pumping at work.

So I used the Avent pump. I was a bit disappointed with the output. I expressed lesser milk than when I was using my other pump (and being really careful at it, too). But I kept at it, not having any other choice as buying another one of the same brand as my previous pump would be a waste and not at all necessary.

However, another drawback on my pumping at work came. It was tiring. Having to pump both breasts during my pumping sessions takes too much time and effort on my part. It was a good thing that transactions at this time of the year were few. But, wanting to take less time pump during my morning and afternoon breaks, I now just pump one breast at a time, mimicking the way I'd feed my baby if I were at home. But still, my hands and fingers grow tired after each session.

So now the hunt for an electric pump. I turned to my e-group for advice. Buying an electric pump is not within our budget right now, especially a double electric pump. So I had to ask just how efficient it'd be if I'd get a double electric. I was ok with buying a single electric, if only to ease the effort it takes when I use a manual one. I'd just buy a pair of breast shells to catch the leaks when I pump/nurse from the non-nursing breast. But since it was really expensive either way, and I was set to buying Medela's Freestyle for all the conviniences it promises, J is really hesitant, bordering to completely rejecting the idea. Our cashflow is not exactly overflowing. We make ends meet just so, with a little bit of savings on the side, especially now that we have a baby. So purchases that are nearing the 5 digit amount, especially more, are taken into consideration. So my need, or rather, really a want needs to be discussed.

I've been wishing and eyeing an electric pump but not really too bent on purchasing one as right now, I don't really need it... yet. But by next year, I'm not sure if I can live off pumping with a manual breastpump. Plus, the fact that my baby boy had just about almost finished the stock I made for him in just a day yesterday. He left two bags and add the two bags I brought home yesterday... Le sigh.

So yes. I want to breastfeed my baby until at least he's two years old. And yes, I'm one of those who want the easy way to doing things. And yes, in the long run, I've saved up for the electric pump I'm dreaming off and more instead of buying formula.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Birthing Story...

As shared in the egroup N@W... :)

Finally, I can finally share something to this group and it's my birthing story.

For the past couple of weeks, especially last month, ang dami kong nabasa who were waiting to give birth. Akala ko, I'd be one of them this month. Yung aabutan ng EDD and manganganak sa gusto sana naming maging birthday ng baby namin, which is September 26. Yun kasi yung supposed wedding date namin this year but napaaga because I got pregnant. Hehe. So far, during the early days of this month, cooperative naman si baby. My whole pregnancy was relatively easy. I didn't have any morning sickness, no unusual cravings, no pre-term labor, etc. The only complication I did have was spotting during the 6th week, the week I found out I was pregnant. But that was only such a tiny drop of blood I saw when I peed and hindi na naulit. My OB prescribed meds to make the baby hold on in my womb and not be consumed by the bleeding inside. Thankfully, it worked.

Anyway, as my OB was due to leave for a week for a conference in Rome, she made sure to check all of her patients the day before her leave, which was last September 8. My cervix was still very much closed, much to the satisfaction of my OB. Sayang din daw kasi dahil finally, i-inaugurate na yung bagong Delivery Room sa MMC on the 15th. Dapat daw abutan ko yun kasi the lamaze room is really big. (I was planning to give birth via lamaze all the way by the way since I have a high tolerance on pain.) And she was all for September 26, too and she said that most likely, masunod gusto namin ni hubby with the way I'm being "good".

Come Sept. 9, 3:30AM, I woke up with a start. Kasi I was feeling pain in my lower abdomen and back. Parang may gas and I thought I just had to poop. So, I stood up from the bed and went to the toilet. Siguro I was there around 15-20 minutes, trying to poop. I had a bit of success but the pain was still there. Giving up on the bowel movement area, I cleaned up and went back to the room and just sat. I was in pain. Not constantly but every so often. Bigla ko na lang naisip na, contractions ba to? I haven't had any experience of those Braxton Hicks kasi so I wasn't sure. Or kung meron man, di ko naramdaman. So, I stood up again and got my watch and my phone. I was timing the duration of the pain and the intervals. After several timings, I concluded na contractions nga ata yung nararamdaman ko. My contractions were kinda irregular but they weren't stopping. I was contracting for 30-60 seconds within 5-10 minutes. Di na ko nakatulog. I was lying horizontally on the bed, my head beside my husband's stomach, and I was grunting and groaning every so often. I decided to wait and see just how much my contractions would progress, and wait for my alarm.

When the alarm sounded, I slowly stood up and gathered clothes for my bath. Like what my childbirth teacher said, take a bath since I wouldn't know when I would be able to take one again after giving birth. I felt that this is it. It's either today's the day or it's a false alarm. But from my contractions, I'm leaning towards the former. Feeling this, I called up my mom but sadly, she wasn't up yet. It was my sister who took the call. It was around 5:45AM already at that time. I just told my sister that it was nothing and I put down the phone and took a bath. It was hard work, as I had to stop and clench my fists for the pain I was feeling. It was bearable, tolerable, but it was still painful. I told myself, I can do it. I'm going to give birth without any painkillers. And with that thought, I was able to continue my morning ritual. When I was already grooming myself, already dressing up for work, my mom called and the first thing she asked after I said hello was, "Ano? Manganganak ka na?" I mean, there wasn't any other reason for me to call that early if not for that. I just said, "Oo? Ata? Malay ko!" Natawa sya sa sagot ko and she proceeded to ask questions on what happened, questions that stemmed from her own birthing experience. The last thing she asked was, "Ano? Papasok ka pa?" Sabi ko, "Oo naman. Mas mabuti na yun since mas malapit ako sa ospital just in case." And she said, "Tama yan. Saka kaya mo naman, eh. Sige, tawag ka na lang ulit pag sigurado ka na."

At this point in time, I still haven't fully woke up my husband. Kawawa naman kasi kung totoo. Mapupuyat at mapapagod yun sigurado so I only roused him a bit after I took a bath to tell him I was feeling pain. He asked kung contractions daw ba, and sabi ko, di ko alam. He kinda dozed off again after that but after talking to my mom, I woke him up for real this time. Sabi ko, kelangan na nyang gumising kasi kailangan naming mag-empake dahil baka nga mapa-anak na ko. Ayun. Tumayo bigla and asked how I am. I just told him, go get ready while I decide on the clothes we'd pack for the hospital. It was good timing, too, maybe, as it was just the night before na I decided to take out the baby things we bought and fold them neatly. Lalabhan ko dapat during the weekend. Yun pala, kelangan kong alisin mga tags para derecho na sa bag the day after. Yun na ata yung nesting instinct na sinasabi nila.

After packing, we had breakfast, or he had breakfast and I had a bit of water. Di ko feel kumain and kahit tubig parang ayaw ko. I was trying to bear the pain while keeping my mind together, constantly looking at the second hand of the clock every now and then, sometimes asking my husband to massage my back because of the pain. And then it was time to go to work. Supposedly, we'd be taking a cab (buti na lang, sa Ayala branch papasok husband ko that day. Parang tiniming lahat ni Lord ang mangyayari...). Kaso, ang tagal. Finally, nag-shuttle na din kami. Ayoko sana mag-shuttle kasi madaming tao and pano kung sobrang sakit na, di ba, at kailangan ko nang dumerecho sa ospital? But we made it to my building, the two of us walking at a somewhat normal pace. He left me inside my building and told me to text my OB, and to text him for any developments and that he's just a block away from me.

When I arrived at the office, there was only one of my co-department that already arrived and I immediately warned her that I may give birth any time that day. Then one by one, my officemates arrived, with me giving them the warning. I already texted my OB at that time, telling her what I was feeling, giving her the details that she'd need to assess my situation and after a minute or so, she called me up, with her greeting as, "Patricia! What happened?! I thought you'd be good!" and then on we went talking, with her giving me instructions to meet her at her clinic as her flight was delayed that day. After five or so minutes, she called again, asking me how I was and when I told her it was the same, she told me to go to the delivery room instead. Dun na lang daw kami magkita kasi gusto na nya ko pa-monitor. Meanwhile, my male officemates already called the clinic, asking how to go about getting me to the hospital because I might give birth that day. They said they have an arrangement with the bank car so we just have to call them when I'm already going to the hospital. After about thirty minutes, I was ready to go to the hospital so I shut down the computer and, accompanied by my two male officemates, went down. We were met at the elevator by the nurse, carrying a wheelchair and told me to sit on it. I refused, vehemently, because it was easier to ignore the pain when I was standing.

We arrived at MMC via the bank car at around 10+AM who dropped us off at the main entrance. Me and one of my officemates waited at the elevator as I told my husband I'm already at the hospital, while our other officemate bought me the medicine that my doctor told me to take. At the delivery room, I told them why I was there, and then they started asking me questions, me answering them as accurately as I could, and then they were ushering me into a hospital/operating gown. They were asking my officemate if he was going with me and I said that he's not my husband and that my husband will be arriving soon. After about two minutes, my other officemate arrived, bearing with him the medicine I asked him to buy, and then the nurse turned to him to usher him into a gown and he said that he's not the husband. We were laughing and joking and the nurse told me that we'd be going to the birthing room already when Jaypee arrived and my officemate, the latter one, told the nurse, there! There's the husband. So thanking them profusely for accompanying me, I told them I'd text them if and when I've already given birth.

Upon being admitted in the birthing room, several nurses and interns attached me to a machine, to monitor my contractions and the heart rate of the baby, and an IV as the last liquid I had was still around 8AM. The resident OB there was in touch with my OB, and after another round of the same questions (I didn't bother handing out the info sheet I made as I was still lucid and alert enough to answer the questions with the same answers), she did an IE. I was already 4-5cm open. That was around 10:45AM. I wasn't closely monitoring my contractions but after some time, the resident checked the monitor and said that since my contractions are still too far apart, I was given medicines to make my contractions lessen in interval. By then, I was grunting and groaning and holding on to Jaypee's hand like there was no tomorrow. Some moments later, I was checked again and I was already 7cm. Sometime in between that and my first IE, they broke my water bag and repositioned my cervix. It hurt as I felt them probe and tug inside. Plus, there were the contractions I had to deal with.

Finally, my OB arrived and she went, "Patricia! Buti na lang delayed yung flight ko." And then she asked how I was, if kaya ko pa or pa-epidural na ko, etc. She did an IE and I was already 7-8cm. But she was worried as medyo mataas pa daw si baby and the heartbeat fluctuates too much. Medyo mataas daw than the normal but what she was worried on was pag nagco-contract daw ako, bumababa yung heartbeat ni baby. She asked me if there was cord during my last ultrasound and I told her none. She's hoping na head compression lang yun and not coil. She also said baka daw magphoto-finish sila ni baby since she felt the head pero yun nga, ang taas pa daw. She told me she'd leave later on to pack her bags and have her husband bring it to the airport while she'd go back there in the hospital to check if I'd be ready to push. And then during her tests and worry, sabi nya, normal pa rin yan. Cord or not, I'm going to deliver normal. She'd make sure daw.

Continued monitoring was done and the contractions were already long and short in between. I was groaning and grunting, muttering "God" every so often and crushing Jaypee's hand. I wanted to stand up and walk around, but it wasn't possible. I had to be monitored. The next IE had my OB worried. She said my cervix closed a bit. I was back to 7cm. Ayaw ko daw ba mag-epidural pa. Kasi daw, the epidural will help relax the cervix, making it dilate faster. She explained that maybe, my cervix closed a bit was because, our tendency pag may masakit is to clamp on that area. Baka ganun daw ang nangyayari. It got me to thinking if I should continue going thru lamaze or not. I'm more concerned on my baby's well-being and that being said, I decided to just go ahead and get an epidural. My OB's more than happy to oblige. Sabi nya, now, she can manipulate na when the drug's taken effect.

I was given epidural at around 1PM. The preparation for that was agony. Jaypee was asked to leave the room, leaving me with a male nurse to hold onto and several other interns, residents and nurses. I had to sit forward, endure the coldness as my back was cleaned, all the while holding onto the male nurse's arms for support when the contractions came. I kept on thinking, come on Mr. Anesthesiologist, where are you?!?!? I can't hold on to the position any longer and I wanted Jaypee beside me, not the male nurse nor the other staff there. And then the anesthesiologist came, and then he was explaining to me that I would be given a local anesthesia first before the catheter would be injected. I just nodded ok and I felt the prick. It was nothing. What had me jerking in surprise and a bit of pain was the next prick and at that, I knew that the epidural was next. The taping of the tube came fast enough and then I felt cold seep through my back and I knew that it was the anesthesia already, about to go into my system. After that, the anesthesiologist explained to me that the medicine would take effect for one hour. I'd know when it was wearing off when I can already feel the contractions, maybe not the pain but there would be something. Several minutes later, my OB came back and she did an IE again and she said I was back to 8cm and told me, see, much better, as I wasn't squirming around when she checked me. After that, she left again.

I didn't see my OB for a while and I was in a relaxed state, not feeling any contractions nor pain. We started watching tv to pass the time. I was IE'd again and this time, I was already 8-9cm. The resident there must have told my OB as after that, they had me practice pushing every contraction and they started preparing the delivery room. I think it went on for around 30 minutes or so, with one of the residents pushing the baby to go to the middle as s/he was situated at my right side. And just before 3PM, my OB arrived and checked me. I was already fully dilated. She was beaming. Meant to be daw sila ng baby ko.

So I was transferred, prepped for delivery (with my legs too numb to help with the moving from one bed to another), instructed to hold onto the bars when I was told to push, etc. My OB can see the head already when they lifted my legs as she said, "Is that hair?" And I thought, ha! Takes after me, as I had a lot of hair when I was born. It took two contractions, with three pushes each to deliver my baby. Episiotomy was done on the first contraction. I could hear the clips of the surgical scissors and my OB exclaimed at my husband to not look as she didn't want him seeing her cut me. After she was done, she called him back so he can see our baby come out. Two residents helped me with the pushing. One during the first contraction, the other during the second.

Then finally, someone said baby out at 3:30PM, and I saw him being lifted and then he cried. Jaypee was all smiles. He was beaming and then he said, "Kakulay ko!" I paid him no heed as I know there was still blood all-over our baby. After a few minutes, I turned my head to look at him and then I exclaimed, "Ha! Kakulay ko," because our baby was actually fair-skinned after being cleaned. I then watched my OB stitch me up as I saw the thread go up and down. Sabi nya sobrang photo-finish daw sila ng baby ko and Medyo malaki daw yung cut nya sa kin kasi maliit daw yung butas ko and yun nga daw yung reason sa pag-fluctuate ng heart rate nya during contractions. While she was stitching, we tried to have the baby latch pero after a successful latch, ayun, nakatulog. Kawawa naman. Stressed na stressed ata. Usap pa kami ng konti ng OB ko, telling me na weren't I thankful for epidural at madali nilang namanipulate yung panganganak ko? I said, yes, buti na lang. After that, sabi nya, she'd hand me over sa reliever nya and after she congratulated me, alis na sya papuntang airport. Sakto lang. 4PM na yun.

After that, recovery room for two hours (which I tried to back-out of since gising na gising pa ko) and then onto my room for the next two nights. My in-laws were there and soon after, my family arrived. Just in time kasi kakadala lang ng baby sa kin for breastfeeding.

It was an exhaustive two nights at the hospital, up until this last weekend dito sa bahay. Non-stop visitors kami plus add the fact na he'd wake up every 2-3 hours to feed and get changed. We also had to monitor his yellowing sabi ng pedia nya, which is normal naman daw but since he had a very rare blood type for Asians (O negative, which is more common sa Caucasians, which had me thinking, wow! Pang-foreigner ang dugo ng baby ko! hehe), we have to make sure the yellowing doesn't reach his stomach. If it does, dalhin daw namin kagad sa kanya. He told me several other factoids about my baby, like he passed the hearing test and that we had to expose him to the sun sometime between 6-9AM, rashes are normal, and that sneezing, coughing and hiccupping during breastfeeding are all normal.

So right now, baby and I are establishing my milk supply. My husband Jaypee tries to help with whatever, helping in changing his diapers, asking me what I need when I breastfeed at night, etc. Thank goodness for paternity leaves and block leaves. Kahit meron na kaming helper, I'm very appreciative of his presence and support while I'm recovering from child birth.

And this ends my loooong birthing story. Sana di kayo na-bore. Hehe :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On becoming a mother... well, almost. Still getting there... Excitedly waiting

When I found out I was pregnant, and I was still single at that time, with plans of our wedding still in the works for the date was still very far, the very first thing that I thought of was, "How in the world am I going to tell my parents?!" and then "Is this for real?!?!?!?" and then lastly, "Oh, my. There's something alive inside me." I was in a rollercoaster of emotions. I didn't know whether to be happy or sad, to announce it to the world or keep it to me at first. Of course, I told my husband, fiancé still at that time, about it and he was ecstatic. I wanted to tell him, "Shush! Can't you tell how conflicting it is for me?" But of course I didn't. We both wanted a baby. But not at the moment as we're still preparing for our wedding and our current budget wasn't focused on rearing a family yet. Besides which, we wanted to enjoy having each other to ourselves first before spreading our love to a fruit (or fruits, because I seriously want five) of our affections.

But anyway, my emotions changed the nearer it got to our new wedding date, because I don't want to have a child out of marriage (with all the legalities and papers attached to it when we finally do wed and then have the child's name changed, etc), and getting near to our wedding date means securing my baby a future with less paperworks (birth certificate needs not be changed, surname needs not be changed, just sign and fill-up on the appropriate blanks, etc) and just waiting for him/her to come out.

The wedding came and went and while I was being somewhat extra cautious on what I eat, where I go, how much I walk, etc. while thinking of how much do we have in our account and how do we manage an apartment by ourselves, I found myself really preparing for the baby when I started reading books and articles online on pregnancy and all the complications that comes with it. I even bought a book, What to Expect When You're Expecting which was really helpful and insightful as it describes week-by-week changes in your body and the baby's development. I also signed up at the WTE website for email. And as my pregnancy progressed, I started looking up on baby stuff: bottles, clothes, sterilizers. And then I started thinking how I want to raise our baby. I knew that I wanted to use cloth diapers for my baby, reason being more eco and budget friendly. I also knew then that I wanted to breastfeed exclusively, and I read up loads of articles on breastfeeding and even cloth diapering, finding tips and warnings, mothers' experiences (both good and bad)...

My free time was spent looking up on baby stuff that I can buy online, what was good, what was bad, what was recommended. My first ever purchase was a sling and I could already imagine myself holding my baby close to me at all times, alert and aware of his/her every need or want, and being there to supply whatever it is at once. And then I was looking at bottles, Onesies, tie-sides, socks, baby legs, sterilizers, breast pumps, and any other pieces of merchandise related to having a baby and breastfeeding.

And little by little, my stock of baby things grew. We now have a few clothes (tie-side ones), booties, caps, mittens, two dozen chino pinos (courtesy of my line manager), five 150ml bottles, three 260ml bottles, and an electric sterlizer. We're also going to receive a box-ful of baby stuff, courtesy of our godmother in Australia who seemed to be more excited in baby-shopping than us. Hee. :)

And as my little pile of baby things increased, so does my thoughts on parenting. Or rather, on being a mother. The choice of exclusively breastfeeding was a major one. I want the best nourishment my baby can have and breastmilk is the best for infants, especially the first few drops that will come out immediately after delivering for those tiny drops contain enzymes/chemicals/whatnots that would help jumpstart, boost, and strengthen the baby's immune system. It's tailor-fit for a baby's changing needs. It'd establish a close bond between the baby and the mother. And a lot more other benefits both for the baby and the mother. Plus, breastfeeding is closely associated with attachment parenting, something I want to practice on my baby when I give birth.

Attachment parenting, on the other hand, promotes practices that creates strong bonds between parents and children. It promotes breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and baby-wearing, or something I call going-back-to-basics type of parenting. I wanted to breastfeed, I wanted my baby to sleep between me and my husband, and I certainly want to wear my baby. When I read about this, I immediately became a follower, and while I don't read up on it too much that I'm becoming a fanatic, I think I got the basics of it. It's basically going with your instincts, going back to what was practiced long ago when technology and science weren't that advanced. When nurturing and raising a child was something instinctive and comes naturally. You do what you feel is best for the baby and consequently, for you.

I'm still far on the long road to becoming a real mother. I'm still pregnant at this point and while I may seem to know a lot about being one, I'm pretty sure nothing beats the actual thing, when I'm already holding my baby in my arms and trying to practice what I've read up on and what I feel is right. There surely would be rough roads ahead, with thunderstorms and hurricanes making the path more difficult, and I actually am anticipating just how and what I'd do when the time comes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Of married life and everything that comes with it

So it's almost four months since I got married and settled in quite comfortably in our new house, an apartment on loan(?) by my parents while we save up and buy our own. It's been exciting, frustrating, liberating, and a whole other round of emotions all packed into one. Especially since I'm already pregnant.

We started living in the apartment immediately after our honeymoon, when we got back here in Manila last April 21. We first went to his house to get his bags of clothes, then to mine to get my own... plus we unwrapped a few gifts that we would need in the apartment, like an electric water boiler, pillows, and bedsheets. We cleaned up the cabinets we would be using for our clothes, covered the foam mattress with our new bedsheets, and slept.

The next day was spent going back to my parents' house (which, thankfully, is only 5 minutes away), to unwrap our gifts and then shop for appliances (with our cash gifts) we would be needing. We spent almost two weeks without a ref (because I was a bit picky and the delivery date was after one week, but we deferred it further to a Saturday, May 1, so we would both be at home to receive the appliances) and a washing machine. We had our clothes (from the honeymoon) washed and dried via a laundromat, ate out (or ate at my parents' since I was slowly getting my clothes), and just relaxed and slept at our new house.

When we finally got our appliances, we immediately went to the grocery store to stock up our pantry. And I was poring over recipe books to see what cooks quick and stores long since we generally only eat at home during dinner time and on weekends. I love cooking for him, serving him, and plainly doing things for him when my pregnant belly wasn't a hinder yet. I'm not the best cook and there had been failures in the past three months but his appreciation of my efforts (even if I still think he's just being biased) makes me feel very pleased.

Laundry day is Saturday and this has been a point of argument for the two of us since, as we still don't have a household help, we have to do it and Saturday morning is the best time to do it. And when I say morning, that would be around 8-9AM, not 10AM, when we usually do it because he sleeps so soundly I don't want to wake him up and his sleeping habits make me want to sleep in, too. But we get the job done, even as my belly grows big. I separate the clothes (white/not so white and colored), place them in the machine and let the machine finish the cycle, then he'd hang them up outside.

What we need improvement on is keeping the house clean. Especially the bedroom and bathroom. We rarely sweep the inside of the house, and we ask someone else to clean the bathroom every other week. It's still livable, but our house is quite chaotic. Hopefully, when we already have a helper (which we're planning to get a few weeks before my due date to get the house ready), the house will be more in order and clean.

Living by ourselves wasn't much of a transition. I didn't have to adjust too much or felt alone or bored (well, at first since we didn't even have a tv nor radio... hee). The transition was very smooth for me and even until now, I kept thinking why I adjusted very well to my new life. My life as a wife. Things I'd like to do for him and around the house are only hindered by my bulging belly and bouts of tiredness (which seem to be at its peak lately). We're surviving on our meager salaries. I do get frustrated at times when there's something I want to buy, especially for the arrival of our little one, but we have a budget to stick to and even if it's hard, we manage. It is quite hard, admittedly, to let go of some of the luxuries I've been used to, even him, I suppose, but it's something I've already foreseen before so it was easier. Besides, I haven't really lived a life of comfort so the few inconveniences I've experienced were easy to let go.

We're starting from scratch, quite literally, I think, as we don't have the essential things when we first moved in and the cash gifts that we received were enough to let us buy what we don't have. So we're living on our salaries, both of us trying to save for the future, for our coming baby, and we're just thankful our parents are happy enough to help us out for things that we need.

We're setting our sights to have a helper by next month, to clean up the house and ready it for the baby. It'll be heavier on our budget but easier for us. Hopefully, the things we're praying for will be granted to at least ease up one of our worries.