Breastfeeding Woes

In Real Simple's 18 Common Phrases to Avoid in Conversation, it touched on the topic of breastfeeding.

Don’t say: “Do you plan on breast-feeding?”
Why: The issue can be controversial, and she may not want to discuss her decision publicly.
Instead say: Nothing. Unless you’re very close, don’t ask. If you slip, make up for the blunder by adding, “And do you feel comfortable telling me?”
Finally, there is a "rule" which explains that breastfeeding is not something you openly talk about. Especially when there are issues that go with it. Not a lot of people realize that breastfeeding could be a sensitive issue. It is to me.

My intention was to breastfeed my firstborn exclusively. I was all psyched that that was possible. I was ready for breastfeeding; I was equipped with the best breast pump, feeding bottle with disposable liners, nursing pad. I did not have any thing should my baby be formula-fed.

Then Javi was born and my breastfeeding nightmare began.

No one thought me the proper latching. Milk was not coming out. I did not know what to do. I felt so alone. I couldn't run into anyone who could help me.

In breastfeeding the first few days are crucial. And I screw up those critical days. I wished there was a lactation consultant available who would have guided me and would have told me what I was doing wrong.

I was the ideal candidate for breasfeeding - a stay-at-home full time mother who knew the benefits of breast milk and had every intention to breastfeed. I had all the time in the world.

I did everything to increase my milk supply. I was downing malunggay capsules like they were candies. I even had rashes from all the shellfish I ate. But my efforts only allowed me an ounce of milk every time I express. I fed Javi the few ounces I could express.

I never experienced engorgement. None at all.

I contacted LATCH and even made a friend with their Cebu-based counselor. I went for a lactation massage but that did not help one bit. I may have been too late. The manghihilot's explanation was my body is not built for producing and storing milk. It sounded absurd as I believe that God equipped every mother with the ability to breastfeed. There was no formula during the time of the mothers in the Bible. Then I realized that the lifestyle now is much different from the time of the Biblical era. And it is possible that certain factors of the our current lifestyle did contribute to my low milk production.

I try to stay away from breastfeeding mothers who think it is a grave sin that I do not breastfeed and that their children would be more intelligent and talented than mine. They are lucky to have had it easy. It is not the same for everyone. I have tried and I failed. So please stop pointing it out.

This experience has prompted me to be vocal regarding my support for the Reproductive Health bill. The RH bill promotes breastfeeding through joint effort between local and national governments. It is not enough to see the words "Breastmilk is best for babies." What we need is to educate the mothers. I hope to find lactation consultants nationwide and not just in the posh hospitals in Metro Manila.

Maybe I'll get my chance to breastfeed when God blesses us with another baby in the future.

World No Tobacco Day

Put out that cigarette, please.

Even just for today.

Most of us may have heard of Ardi Rizal, the two-year old smoker who smokes 40 cigarettes a day. His story is very disturbing.

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No One Saw It Coming

There goes my presidential bet as he conceded to Sen. Noynoy Aquino.
"Sir, hats off to how you ran your campaign. You have class."
Would love to see him run for office in 2013. I am really fond of this man.

My observations --
  • The biggest surprise in this recent presidential election is the rise of Jojo Binay. No one even thought he would be making it. But he has been on top since the tallying of poll results had begun. So will it be him or Mar Roxas? Mar Roxas did not see this coming as he had been continuously number one on the surveys.
  • It was not Manny Villar that was the threat to the presidency of Noynoy Aquino but Joseph Estrada.
  • Richard Gordon is #6. Eddie Villanueva surpassed him
  • The Filipino people, apparently, have very short memory. Joseph Estrada is #2.
  • Same set of people in the senators list: Revilla, Estrada, Santiago, Drilon, Osmena, Enrile, Cayetano, etc. I was hoping for new faces and new names in the Senate.
  • The House of Congress just got interesting with Manny Pacquiao, Lucy Torres and Lani Mercado.
Kudos to COMELEC for the success of the first automated polls. The election was generally peaceful. The results came in pretty fast. Thank you, Lord, for that.

I promise that in the next election, I will vote no matter what. It feels strange not seeing the indelible ink on my finger.

Now let's set aside our differences and move towards working on making this country a better place to live in.

"Me" Time On My First Mother's Day

I asked for "Me" time on Mother's Day. My wish was granted. Jed took care of Javi. My two boys bonded at home.

I'll walk you through my day using photos.

Started my day in Starbucks with a Dark Chocolate Macadamia cookie
and my favorite Iced Caramel Machiatto.

The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu

Foot spa, mani/pedi while watching It's Complicated

Salmon for lunch from Cyma

I got to see a movie, Iron Man 2. Yay!
(I also found out I can bring babies to the moviehouse as long as it's GP. Hmm.. something to think about.)

Now this is funny. I bought myself a Mother's Day cake because I love marshmallow icing and I couldn't resist the cake from Red Ribbon.

When I got home, I found a cake --

Time to bond with my two boys. Dinner at our now favorite restaurant, Ching Palace. There's still no crab available. We settled for rock lobster.

I forgot to bring my camera. Boo hoo! Blame it my depleting memory.

I only have this photo of my two boys from my cellphone.

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Happy Mother's Day

Today is my first Mother's day. There are those who started greeting me last year when I was about three months pregnant. But it didn't feel right. Not yet.

I have been a mother for six months. Now yes you can all greet me now. I've also seen how important Mother's Day. Unlike Valentine's Day which is more of a Hallmark driven holiday, Mother's Day and Father's Day should be celebrated.

Now that I'm a mother I appreciate mothers even more, especially my own mother. I understand her more now. Geez, raising a child is no easy task. I really believe that this is all possible through God's grace.

My life took a 180 degree turn as soon as Javi was born. I suddenly do not have time for myself. Motherhood teaches you to be selfless.

If I didn't have Javi today, I'd probably have found a job. I would be more fit than ever as I have all the time in the world to spend in the gym. I'd have read all the books I want to read. Jed and I would be now VIP in the movie houses and have seen all the movies we want. We would have traveled, too, to far-flung areas. I would probably have ventured into baking, too. Or maybe I would've been a professional blogger by now.

While I didn't have all those things or time to do all those things, I have this little boy who keeps me so busy I realized 24 hours in a day is not enough. I began putting his needs before mine. I cannot bear to see another person taking care of him that I decided I will be the one to raise him. Motherhood is a sacrifice. I used to be in full control of my life and my day, now it's up to Javi. I plan my day around him. Every single day is different.

Life is simpler now. I am happy when he smiles at me. When he put those little arms around me. Or when those tiny soft hands touch my face. Kisses for him means opening his mouth a little and gently putting them on my cheeks with saliva and all. And I wouldn't trade all that for anything in this world.

I love watching him grow every day. I just hope he won't grow up too fast.

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Sun, Sea and Sand

We love out of town trips. Having a infant did not slow us down. Although we have to consider the needs of our son. I am pleased to learn that there are many baby-friendly places/resorts everywhere.

We took off this Labor Day weekend for some time in the beach. It would be good to expose Javi to the sun, sea and sand.

I have been so used to packing for the little boy that I put up our travel check list on Javi's Tumblr site. Since there is no yaya, we do not scream, "I wish yaya was here!" when we take our little trips. We enjoy every minute with the little boy.

His first time swimming in sea water.

Javi Loves the Beach from Irma Arricivita on Vimeo.

My two greatest loves

I also love watching my two boys bond. Jed works long hours. So to see him spend this much time with Javi makes me very happy. Jed feeds him, gives him a bath. They swim together. Giving baby a bath when we're away from home can be very tricky. And I say my husband is very creative.

We love discovering Javi's new tricks. On this trip, his favorite activity is rolling over until he gets tired. It's also very hard to take a decent photo of the three of us with either Jed or me holding the camera as Javi loves touching/grabbing our faces or the things he sees.

Edit: I failed to list down the little things that made this trip special.
  1. I had a full body massage while my two boys watched the sunset.
  2. I ordered a margarita which took me a very long time to finish. This signals my drinking days are over.
  3. We all slept in. I slept as early as 9:30 in the evening on the first night. Woke up at 1:30AM though then after an hour of internet time, I went back to sleep. On our third morning, we woke up at 7:30AM. Yes, even the little boy slept that long.
  4. I took a break from house chores.
One day our little adventure will take us around the world. I just know it. I have faith.

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