Caleb's Newborn Photos

We asked a fellow Filipino living in Bangkok to do Caleb's newborn photos. Her name is Mia and she is a photographer. 

We discovered each other through Instagram. I have already been following her for quite some time. I was drawn to her account because (1) she is a fellow Pinay mommy in Bangkok, and (2) she takes excellent photos. 

The timing couldn't have been more perfect as she can take Caleb's newborn shots. 

Caleb was eleven (11) days in these photos. And it's as real as it can get, with peeling skin and everything. 

And I fell in love all over again...

Kuya Javi

Me and my two boys

All photos are from Mia's site.  

Interested? Check out the photographer.

Mia Y. Marchadesch-Jaranilla
Like her on Facebook - miaymarch  

Trust you enjoyed viewing these as much as I did.

Happy weekend!

Fighting Baby Blues

Mr. Google defines baby blues - or the more correct terminology would be postpartum depression - as:

Postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery.

Now this hit me real hard when I gave birth to Javi. I was stressed and depressed at the same time. Stressed because I had no idea how to raise a newborn. I gave myself a hard time with breastfeeding. Our environment and situation in Cebu did not help then. I was forced to remain at home. Sleep deprivation was also a factor. I really thought I was going crazy. And there was the self-pity part. I was questioning my decision of not getting a nanny. 

As I went through my second pregnancy, I knew I had to fight postpartum depression. I need to be better. I have my older son to look after to. It's not all about the baby now. 

During the first couple of days after giving birth, I was extremely emotional. I had Jed to lean on. And he understood me better this time. It's important he knew what postpartum depression is all about and he didn't just think i was having a meltdown. 

I seriously did not know what to do. I still don't know what I am doing until now. But I am getting by. One day at a time. 

My mother is with me now. And she has been a big help. I also have a helper who comes in every day to make sure the house is clean, we have clean clothes, etc. 

Next week, my mom will be going home. And I think I am prone to postpartum depression again. I need to fight it. Like I am fighting  it now. 

So what helps me?

God. Reading the Word every day. Praying all the time. I am seriously surprised I have the strength and grace to get me through each day. My husband is now in the US on a business trip and I am getting by. 

Little treats such as a cup of coffee from Starbucks, a short meet-up with a visiting friend, a trip to the grocery store, running errands, cooking a dish, shopping. I am grateful I have my mom here who watches over Caleb when I go out. It'll be a different story when she is gone but Caleb will be big enough and I can put him in his baby carrier and I can bring him with me. 

My "happy thoughts"

A suitable environment. Being in a city like Bangkok makes me happy. I can go outside our building, walk for 5 minutes and I've already accomplished so much. Yesterday, I picked up my son's birth certificate from the hospital and I chose to walk home. Found a baby store and a bagel kiosk on the way so I ended up shopping. A dear friend said I am a city girl. She is absolutely right. 

My shopping finds

Time management and routines work for me. I am the type who needs to have a schedule. I schedule almost everything. It used to annoy Jed but I think it has become very useful now. I have a set of tasks I need to do every day. I also have a list of chores for my helper to do when she is here. I'm trying to put Caleb on a schedule (babywise parenting). The only problem is my firstborn Javi. He is the unpredictable one. 

Letting it go. I may run on a schedule but it is a flexible one. The one thing I notice which changed in me is I am not as strict as before in following a schedule. I know there will always be interruptions. Instead of stressing myself over them, I learned to let it go. No one is going to die if a task has not been done. 

I am still not successful in breastfeeding. My milk supply is not enough. But I am not beating myself over it. It's not the end of the world if I can't exclusively breastfed my baby. Not being too hard on myself makes my disposition a lot happier. 

The big difference right now is I asked God to take control. On the day we went home from the hospital, I did not know what to do or how to work this out, my only prayer was to leave it all up to God. And that is how I am fighting postpartum depression.

As my friend reminded me, we are not super mommies, we do have a super God. Best reminder ever.

My September 2013 in Photos

The BER months are here!

In the Philippines, it signals the start of counting down to Christmas. A few eager beavers have already put up their Christmas decorations at home.  

For me here, September is a big month. It is still preparation to giving birth. Nesting is in full swing. 

It turned out to be a memorable month as I gave birth to Caleb towards the end. 

Day 1 - Together (You can have all these yummy goodness for 180 baht or US$6. Comes with fruits and a drink. Gotta love Bangkok!)
2 - My name begins with...I (The letter "I" and "i" is for island)
3 - Lines (I LOVE stripes. PERIOD.)
4 - Alone (My son is back in school. Finally getting some alone time - a proper quiet time together with breakfast.)
5 - Here forever (Yes, love grows right here at home.)
6 - Getting ready (Time to clean what needs to be cleaned)
7 - White (After hours of fasting or more like starvation, four blood tests and both arms like this, the doctor ruled out gestational diabetes. Yay!)
8 - Made by me (Nesting and OCD at work. Created this chart so our cleaning lady and any one in my family may do the laundry when I give birth without breaking the washer and ruining the clothes.)
9 - On the wall (My cork board at home. It has calendars, the FMS photo a day list for the current month, vouchers, post-it notes, flyers and food delivery menus.)
10 - Sweet (The only syrup I want for my pancakes. Even if its sugar is 48 grams. Gasp!)
11 - What I did today (I enjoyed coffee time alone. At 37 weeks, this is the calm before the storm.)
12 - Shadow (My shadow (Javi) and his shadow)
13 - Unexpected (These came in the mail today. A dear friend from Germany surprised me with these goodies.)
14 - Liquid (Fresh coconut juice!!)
15 - Season (Officially 38 weeks)
16 - Frame (My favorite frame(s) in our home)
17 - In front of me (My doctor advised me to get some more rest so I have an excuse to put my feet up while watching The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.)
18 - Vintage (My 1st generation iPad which I have no intention of replacing. It still works fine and I have my phone anyway.)
19 - What is this? (Oh dear, found expired packs of instant coffee in my Kopiko stash. Yup, that's how long I haven't seen or had them.)
20 - In the morning (My challenge every morning is to wake this sleepyhead and get him ready for school.)
21 - Rule of thirds (A lemon curd muffin I had for breakfast)
22 - Made me smile (Went for a mani/pedi today)
23 - From my childhood (Earrings from my paternal grandmother's tambourine necklace)
24 - Space (I obviously have a space problems. These are my mug collection which I cannot put on display for lack of shelves.)
25 - H is for... Helly the Helicopter (My little boy's current obsession is this Korean animated television series, Robocar Poli. Helly is one of the major characters.)
26 - Curve (My very colorful nursing pillow)
27 - WTF? (Just when our cleaning lady left for the day and the floor is sparkly clean, my little boy spilled his yogurt. Yes, that's how life is with small kids.)
28 - 10 o'clock (Breakfast at Rocket Coffeebar)
29 - Gold (I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. (1 Samuel 1:27 NIV))
30 - Found (Flowers from well-wishers)

So how was your September?

Welcome Caleb!

Our very own Caleb came into the world evening of September 28th. I was 39 weeks pregnant. This is his birth story. 

What's in a name?

My husband and I fell in love with the name Caleb while watching the movie Fireproof. Kirk Cameron played the lead character whose name was Caleb. We already picked out a name for a firstborn so I told the if we ever have another son, we would name him Caleb. Then God granted us another son. 

God orchestrated every single thing leading to Caleb's birth. I was tired of being pregnant and hoped to give birth earlier this time. But I wasn't feeling any contractions until the night before I gave birth. 

My little family is in a foreign land meaning it is just the three of us. We do not have someone to leave our firstborn with. We honestly did not have a plan. I thought that in case I give birth before my mom gets here I can manage on my own in the labor & delivery room while Jed looks after Javi. I was dead wrong. And God knows this. 

September 28th 

My mother and sister arrived a day before I gave birth to Caleb. The timing was just perfect. I did feel contractions while waiting for them to get to our place then it disappeared and I felt okay. The following morning, we managed to have breakfast in our favorite brunch place then even went to the mall to shop/window shop. We headed to the hospital for my weekly check-up around lunch time. 

We then found out my cervix was already 2cm dilated. Of course, I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital anymore. I had a proper lunch as I remembered feeling so hungry and thirsty when I gave birth to Javi. I was in the Labor Room by 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The preparations and contractions began. 

The rest of my family went home. Jed came back with our stuff. Javi was at home with my mother and sister. God really wanted them here so they can look after Javi. And I needed Jed to be beside me through labor and delivery. 

I dreaded going through labor again. Labor pains is not something a woman wants to go through again. And it was as painful and horrible as the first time I experienced. My only consolation this time is the hospital here in Bangkok has excellent facilities. I had the labor room all to myself. It was where I delivered Caleb. And Jed was with me the entire time. 

The labor suite at BNH Hospital

We were even watching Taken 2 an hour before I delivered. Jed turned the TV off as the story line of the movie is not calming me down. 

At 9 o'clock in the evening Caleb was ready to come out. And I gotta hand it to my OB-GYN, the intern/resident, nurses and the rest of the staff, I had a normal delivery. This time without epidural. They only gave me pain killers. I had a lot of help pushing. My OB-GYN had to use a vacuum extractor on Caleb as my efforts weren't enough. I just cannot push the pain away. I may know what to do but at that time I just can't do it. All I could think of was the pain. 

When I saw Caleb, all my worries were gone. He is a healthy baby boy. 

With Caleb
I stayed in the hospital for two nights. Recovery is easier because of the normal delivery. Friends and colleagues even had the chance to visit us and show us some love. I got flowers and Caleb got gifts. 

I was very happy with our hospital, BNH Hospital. The facilities and service were excellent. Their delivery package turned out to be cheaper than St. Luke's Global in Manila. No wonder medical tourism is booming in Thailand.

God has been so good to us the entire time and he planned every single thing for us. He is the only one who knows what is best for us -- not me. He knows I needed my mom and sister to look after Javi. He knows I would need Jed to be with me the entire labor and delivery. He spared me from experiencing labor signs at home and there was no need to panic.

Sharing with you photos during the birth of Javi and Caleb. It's amazing how similar the two photos are. 

My cup overflows...

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