Saturday, December 27, 2008

Counting my blessings and being thankful for them -- HAPPY NEW YEAR Everyone!

I stumbled upon this simple but heartwarming poem at Blue Mountain. Since I cannot post the e-card here, I thought of posting it as part of this blog instead.

Despite a very bumpy ride this year, I am reminded of how blessed I am to have a very supportive and loving family, thoughtful friends, a home we can call our own, a job that I love & loves me back and most especially - for the most wonderful gift of all -- our Maia.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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What amazing gifts the New Year brings!
An entire year's worth of wonderful opportunities, given to us one sunrise at a time.
Many of the moments ahead will be marvelously disguised as ordinary days, but each one of us has the chance to make somethings extraordinary out of them.

Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life.
The secret of success is turning that diary into the best story you possibly can.
Have your pages on understanding and tales of overcoming hardships.
Fill your story with enthusiasm, adventure, learning and laughter.
And make each chapter reflect time doing these things.

Follow your dreams.
Work hard.
Be kind. Do what you can to make the door open on a day that is filled with inspiration in some special way. Remember: Goodness will be rewarded. Smiles will pay you back.

Have fun.
Find strength.
Be truthful.
Have faith.

Don't focus on anything you lack. Realize that people are the treasures in life, happiness is the real wealth.

Have a diary that describes how you're doing your best, and the rest will take care of itself.

-- Douglas Pagels

***reposting from a Blue Mountain e-card







Sunday, December 21, 2008

Struggling to stay awake and sucking at it

Three days before Christmas and I am working my ass off at 530 in the morning. Due to the long break this holiday season, we are doing closing activities before Christmas and thus the early work hours so we could catch our counterparts in the US to resolve issues immediately.

 

Since I gave birth to Maia, my previous 8-hour snooze time was broken into 2-hour naps. But being your child’s slave will never equate to being somebody else’s slave. Now, I am struggling very hard to keep myself awake. I really feel like giving in to the Sandman's call right now. So to thwart temptation I resorted to composing this short blog (hahaha…)


Coffee used to be my rousing tonic. But since I am still breastfeeding, I can only take minimal doses of caffeine.

 

 

That leaves me with one alternative wake up remedy -- slapping myself.  It's not even an interesting choice.

 

I wish I’d win the lottery today so I can devote the whole day exclusively for Maia. But then, I never tried joining the lottery so I guess this one will remain a wish until I decide to do something with it. (another hahahhaa…)

 

Whew. My only motivation right now is the thought that by 3pm I’ll be playing with my little girl again. Which brings me back to –

 

-- the reality that I should be cleaning up my mailbox by now and doing what I am paid to do for the next 8 hours.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Three Girls and Two Babies - Finally reunited!



For most Luzon 'immigrants' like me, Christmases and long weekends always translate to plane ticket expenses because these are the only occasions when we get to spend time with our families.

An officemate once asked me - "Am I still able to save up even if expenses like this eat up most of my bonuses?", well the answer is a definite NO. For 8 years now, while others get to spend their bonuses for shopping I have been splurging them on plane tickets and gifts (read: Pasalubong) for my family and close friends back home. But that's alright with me. I'd trade shopping for quality time with my family anytime.

Since T and I became a couple, the plane trips have become more exciting because I get to share a plane seat with somebody I chose to share it with. Not somebody randomly chosen by the airline's check in officer. During the four years that we've together, we enjoyed this routine - Christmas or New Year at our place. T has always welcomed the idea of having to breathe fresher air, eating fresh seafood, my Mom's cooking (well, he used to abhor it since it's never like the Kapampangan cuisine he's always been used to...but now he's learned to love it), and just having one lazy week all to ourselves.

But since we now have a baby, plane ticket expenses now equate to vaccination bills and baby supplies. We can't afford trips to Antique anymore. It's a sad reality that I have to face. I have no choice but to give up this annual routine that I have been enjoying for the past 8 years. It was depressing for a while but I eventually accepted the fact that I now have a family here in Cavite. And that this is what I call home now.

But I guess, emotions defy distance. Plus the fact that I've always been close to my family (especially to my Mom and my sisters), they sensed that spending a lonely Christmas here in Cavite is not really my idea of a cheerful holiday. So guess what?! -- the girls in my family decided to come over instead. They even brought along my cute and really adorable nephew - Gogol! This weekend became a mini-reunion of sorts for us. We just enjoyed 2 days of movie marathons, Mommy's buco salad and watching Gogol play big brother to Maia. It may have been crampy (how do you fit 6 adults and 2 babies in a 33 sq m house????), but we managed (and are still managing) somehow. Having my sisters and my mom over for the holidays is the best Christmas gift for me and Maia. I hope this becomes a tradition (**wink**wink) -- next year with Daddy and my bro joining us hopefully??? Hmmm...maybe I should put that down on my 2009 wish list already.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"Have Free Hands...Will Pull...

...my hair" - This is my daughter's latest obsession.

The mommy was in panic mode again yesterday. Just when you think the only terrible tricks infants can do are to cry their hearts out anytime they feel like it and enslave you to death, another one surfaces. I thought I was going to die of heart attack yesterday.



Me and the baby were alone yesterday afternoon as our helper left to visit some relatives. I was pretty sure I was in control of the situation so I let her go. I was leaning on the fact that I have been a hands on mom for 7 weeks now, I am very confident I know how to handle SNAFU's with grace already. What else could happen for the next few hours that I am not familiar with yet?

But then again, (I should always remember this one) as my wise Tita Ninang would say -- "do not underestimate these babies" Tsk tsk...

Around 4pm, I put her down to take a leak. Before doing so, I made sure she was secured and has no way of falling down our bed. I made sure of that because she was in a playful mood and by playful I mean - super likot mode.

But then just as I entered the bathroom, she gave out a terrible, frantic cry. At this point, I am confident I could readily interpret what each of her cry means. And this one I only heard once before. That was the time when I nipped off a part of the skin on her thumbnail when we  were clipping her nails the first time. Like that one, this was also a real cry of pain. And that instance I felt my heart go up to my head. I ran back to our room to check. My heart was raising fast by then. But guess why my baby was yelling in pain...she caught a handful of her hair and started pulling really hard. I heaved a sigh of relief seeing that. I almost felt like laughing only that I cannot muster one hearing her cry like that. So I went to pry off the hands. But even that was difficult since she has super strength when she's crying. Haaay...this is what one gets for having a 7-week old baby that had so much hair on her.

I chided myself after that. See, I felt like it was my fault. A week ago we finally freed her hands from the restricting 'muffins' (term her Daddy uses to refer to the mittens). We felt she's ready since we've already trimmed her nails. And indeed she was. Once freed, she liked feeling Mommy's face. She liked putting her fist into her mouth and trying desperate hard to fit all of it in. She would laugh while doing all these. It did not cross my mind that one thing she might have fun doing too was to pull her hair.

Well, that was another lesson learned for me. I'm just thankful nothing as bad as I had imagined happened. But then again, just to be sure, should I cut off her hair already? Hmmmmm....   


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Everyday is a new discovery!

I finally decided to take off Maia's mittens after six weeks. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Maia's favorite lullaby

Two of Us


Two of us riding nowhere
Spending someone's
Hard earned pay
Two of us Sunday driving
Not arriving
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

Two of us sending postcards
Writing letters
On my wall
You and me burning matches
Lifting latches
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats
Standing solo
In the sun
You and me chasing paper
Getting nowhere
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats
Standing solo
In the sun
You and me chasing paper
Getting nowhere
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

We're going home
Better believe it

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nail clipping disaster


Mommy was finally able to hear mass with Daddy today. She went grocery shopping after that because Maia's milk supply is going on nil. Since she was gone for almost half a day, she was really excited to play with Maia when she got home.

Remembering that the tiny nails she cut off yesterday from Maia's left fingers were still a bit sharp, she immediately took the baby nail clippers and went to cut off the sharp ones so Maia fingers can finally enjoy freedom. Too bad for her, she was too excited to do the trimming and forgot that the ones on her left thumb were already trimmed properly. When she pressed the nail clipper, Maia squealed in pain. Mommy panicked for a bit when she saw a little blood on her skin and realized that she clipped skin instead of nails. She dropped the clippers immediately and went on to soothe Maia. Guilt however won over already since her tears already flowed out before she can stop them. Mommy felt really bad for hurting Maia. Good thing, Maia did not cry for long. She stopped after crying for seconds. That was a bit relieving. But still, Mommy got really scared and won't clip Maia's nails anymore. Not till her fingers had grown big and stubby.

Just wanted to tell you how sorry I am baby. Mommy will be more careful next time. I love you.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tracking Maia's Progress

Being a first time Mom, everyday is not always ordinary for me. After a month, I might have established a routine with Maia but still I never fail to get daily doses of small surprises from her.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend Nostalgia

While we were trying

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mommy's Labor Story

Hello Maia...

After a month, Mommy is now going to tell her labor story. Just so years from now, when you are able to read, you will know the events that took place before she delivered you.

Friday night, Mom and Dad went out to dinner to celebrate their wedding anniversary early. Daddy picked Racks since he had been dreaming of eating succulent baby back ribs for sometime now. Mommy yielded since she herself wanted to binge on something during this last few weeks of her pregnancy. Truth be told, she had voluntarily put herself on a strictly vegetable overloaded diet since the doctor confirmed your existence, and now she's really missing all the bad stuff that she had been eating then. And today, Daddy's letting her eat what she wants. She just had to stay low on bad carbs though and sugar since they don't want to worry about diabetes the last minute.

After dinner, Mom and Dad windowshopped a bit. Taking note of some stuff they're still missing on your layette. Mommy was really enjoying herself but they had to cut their date short because it was running late and at this point she also gets tired pretty fast. Her feet could not take on the weight anymore since you've grown really big and heavy. So at around 9pm they headed home.

They slept early since Mommy was already pretty tired. At around 430 am the following day, Mommy felt something gush out of her. She initially shrugged off the thought of going to the bathroom because she was thinking it was just a heavier than usual discharge and it was nothing to worry about. But then she started feeling some cramps on her tummy so she went on to check. And you know what came out? A bloody discharge! It was probably the mucous plug already. Mommy panicked a bit but was able to collect herself almost immediately. She proceeded to wake up Daddy but he would not budge. So Mommy just went back to bed. She was still sooo sleepy afterall.

But at around 530, Mommy was already having regular contractions. She timed it and it was around 10mins apart. Pain was still bearable though. They lasted just about 5-10secs and that's chicken pain for Mommy. But then, she's now really wishing she could talk to somebody.

Since grandma left for Antique a few days earlier, it was only her and Daddy at home. She does not want to panic at this point though so she just texted Doc Chie just to let her know the mucous plug has dislodged. Then she texted grandma, kika Tabby, kika Isah and Mommy Ninang. But since it's pretty early, she was not really expecting anybody to respond. To her relief though, Mommy Ninang replied after a few minutes. Mommy wanted to shout for joy knowing somebody's already awake.

At around 7am, the contractions were a lot stronger and painful. They are now 5 minutes apart. Doc Chie told Mommy to go the hospital already. Mommy Ninang and Daddy Ninong came to fetch Mom and Dad and drive them to the hospital. It was really a blessing to have Mommy Ninang and Daddy Ninong around. They were always there for Mommy and Daddy.

930am, they arrived at Las Pinas Doctors and waited for Doc Chie. She came at around 10am and examined Mommy. She told Mommy she was already 2cm dilated. She went on to write Mommy's admitting orders and instructed Mommy and Mommy Ninang to proceed to the ER already so Mommy can be prepped up for admission. Everything went so fast after that Mommy hardly had time to process the reality that you are already coming out!

When we reached the ER, the staff proceeded to prepare Mommy for your delivery. They stripped off Mommy's clothes and forced her wear their horrendous hospital gown. Mommy had no choice but to follow orders though. And besides, Mommy was already in pain she could not complain anymore. Good thing, Mommy Ninang was there to massage her tummy. At around 11am, Mommy said bye-bye to Daddy and Mommy Ninang and she was brought up to the Labor room already. All throught out, Mommy was never scared. She was more excited to see you she had no time to think of scary thoughts.

When the nurse wheeled Mommy in, the room was still empty. Mommy was glad she had the nurses and the room all to herself. She made a mental note though to never shout nor cry. She knew she had to save her energy for the finale. What she did was to keep texting family and friends. She made sure Daddy is updated of what's happening. She was informed by the nurses that she was going to be internally examined every two hours to check on the progress of her cervix.

At around 2pm, Mommy felt really dizzy. She threw up. It was probably due to the pain she was experiencing. It was also around this time when company arrived. She was wheeled in right beside Mommy. At around this time Mommy was 3-4 cm dilated already. The dilation is slow, but she's thankful there is still progress.

The nurses kept asking Mommy if she wanted epidural. But since you are coming earlier than she expected, she had not discussed the mode of anesthesia that she was going to get with Doc Chie. Now, she cannot decide if she's going to get one. But she knows she can still handle the pain. So she asked the nurse how much time she still has to decide. And she was informed that she had to get it before she reaches 6cm otherwise the epi will not work as expected anymore.

But when Mommy reached 6cm at around 5pm, she was still smiling. The nurse told her, "6cm ka na Ma'am, nakangiti ka pa rin...tiisin mo na lang. Kaya mo na yan!" The words were like morale boosters for Mommy. The sort of lifted her spirits since fright was starting to creep in at this point. Mommy's really glad they allowed her to bring her phone with her she's still getting enough encouragement from her friends and of course from the family.

Pain was progressing that by 7pm, Dra. Rabano (mommy's anesthesiologist) decided to pump some Novaine on Mommy so she can go to sleep. This made Mommy really groggy. After that, Mommy's memories were blurry. Her consciousness would go on and off. But she vowed not to push until she sees Doc Chie's face so she was still praying that you will hold on also.

At some point, Mommy already lost track of time. She only heard somebody yell 9cm and Dra Rabano was already beside Mommy and coaching her how to push. When somebody said she's already fully dilated, Mommy was soooooo happy to see it was Doc Chie standing in front of her. But then, when Mommy tried to push the first time, she was really having so much difficulty. Doc Chie decided to find a bigger nurse to help Mommy push. After 4 tries, you finally came! Whew...Mommy just waited for you to move and she fell asleep. Hay. But it was a great feeling to deliver you baby. Mommy will never exchange that for anything in the world.

Friday, November 14, 2008

First Month on Mommyville

Our baby's turning a month old in 2 days. I am desperately trying to win a trophy from Supermom awards but I guess I will have to have years of experience before that dream becomes a reality. But despite the frustrations and the moments of desperation, there are fascinating discoveries that I will never trade for any prized trophy.

Here goes -

  • She can be really quiet on certain days and would become colicky on some. But on days when she has colic attacks, she loves it when Mommy rubs/massages her tiny tummy. I can tell it really soothes her because she would easily fall asleep after.
  • She loves it when Mommy puts her arm over her tiny body when sleeping. It's probably comforting and makes her feel secure.
  • She loves it when Daddy plops her down on his soft pillows and rocks her to sleep. Smile is a priceless reward he gets after this moment.
  • She enjoys sponge baths before her naps.
  • Playtime with her is around 8am to 10am and 8pm to 10pm.
  • She enjoys the feel of Mr. Suns rays on her face every morning.
  • Even if mommy is always out of tune, she loves hearing Mommy sing to her. It her little signal for bedtime.

Time flies really fast. I can't believe it's been a month. Sometimes, I still can't believe I can finally hold her. The sight of her really takes my breath away. Now I can finally say, motherhood indeed is an out of the world experience.

I love you Maia!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Perineal Massage

Thursday, November 6, 2008

endless challenges

Yesterday baby Mommy is worried sick. Your fever hit 39 and she could not think how this could happen to you. After all, she was very careful of you. But Mommy has to stay strong for you. She prays hard that you overcome this challenge as you did when you were still in her womb.

She's just glad you never showed any signs of diminishing appetite. You still are ravenous when it comes to drinking your milk. and for that Mommy is very thankful.

Since yesterday afternoon, your fever has already slowed down. Now you're down to 36-37 and that is really wonderful. On our return trip to the doctor today, let us hope for the best news. We'll keep praying.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Some Kind of a Wonderful Wedding Anniversary


Good afternoon Maia. Today Mommy and Daddy is celebrating their first wedding anniversary...and guess what? They received the greatest gift any married couple can ever have. They now have you!

Initially Mommy wanted a celebration. After all, the first year is a milestone. But then, thinking of the financial challenges up ahead, she opted not to press the issue anymore with Daddy. She thought they can always celebrate after she delivered you already. She bets, the celebration would be a lot more fun since you are there to share it with them already.

The only thing that Mommy was praying was for you to arrive early so she can enjoy more time with you. Guess what, God is really good. She heard Mommy's prayers and 2 days before their wedding anniversary -- YOU came! Wonderful, isn't it?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Baby Shower at ON



Today is Mommy’s last day at work. After this, it’s waiting time. A loooong waiting time. Yesterday the OB-Gyn at the clinic in Mommy’s company commented that Mommy’s a candidate for Caesarean birth due to the size of her tummy. It kind of irked Mommy since she was not soliciting for any advices. And besides she was not Mommy’s doctor.


Good thing, Mommy's office friends threw her a surprise (literally) baby shower. That took away the irritation. They had cake, pansit and ice cream. What made Mommy even happier was they allowed Mommy to have ice cream (just two teaspoonfuls, Mommy swears).

It was a great way for them to express their goodluck wishes to Mommy. Fact is, Mommy was very touched she almost cried when she saw gifts and food set up for her. She's really happy to have found friends like Tita Yette, Tita Madz, Tita Ty, Tita Mie, Tita Mhay and Tita Kat.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Breastfeeding is best for babies :)

 

Even before we got pregnant, I already am bent on breastfeeding our baby if ever we are gifted of one.

 

My sister has been doing it for my nephew till now at 21 months. I had a friend who did it for more than 3 years. Their babies babies rarely got sick...if not never. The stories they shared to me were very inspiring.

 

I was a breastfed baby myself. All 5 of us are. Had my Mom not done it, asthma would have consumed me by now.

 

As one of the ad campaigns in a local tv station would go, every mother wants the best for her baby...the best diaper, the best toiletries, the best milk...what else, but one that is tailor-made for her baby - her own breastmilk.

 

I was going through the last pages of one my favorite pregnancy reference books (Baby love by Marivi Blanco and Ipat Luna) this weekend and I thought of sharing the reasons why a Mom to be should chooose to breasfeed (p.s. these are mostly direct quotes from the book):

 

  • Breastmilk is Designer milk. Imagine a personal/chef who determines from day to day what you need to eat to stay healthy and then cooks it up fresh at each meal. As oppose to formulas based on cow’s milk which are based on one unchanging recipe. Eventually, they could lead to nutritional deficiencies in your infant. Just like any food, fresh is always the best.
  • Breastmilk is alive. Every third of a teaspoon of human breastmilk contains one million living cells. They function like a microscopic SWAT team sent by Mama to protect and defend her infant.
  • Breastmilk is more stable than cow’s milk or formula.
  • It is more digestible than cow’s milk. This is because lactalbumin, the type of protein easier for babies to absorb than caseinogen, the protein component in cow’s milk.
  • Breastmilk prevents constipation and diarrhea. Additional perk: because of human milk’s easy digestibility, the poop of babies who are exclusively breastfed smells sweeter and is less likely to cause diaper rash.
  • It has low sodium consisting of only 30% as much mineral salts compared to cow’s milk.
  • It supports a higher calcium level in your baby’s blood.
  • It keeps your baby fit, not fat.
  • It lowers the incidence of middle ear infections, gastroenteritis, pneumonia, and cancers of the immune system. It also protects your baby from developing asthma, allergies or eczema. It is also found to lower incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • Breastfeeding encourages mother-baby bonding.
  • Breastfeeding may save you future orthodontist bills.
  • It discourages babies from being picky eaters.
  • Breastfed babies are smarter than formula-fed babies. Numerous studies have found that children who were breastfed as babies are up to 8 IQ points smarter than their formula-fed peers.
  • Lastly, it is totally natural and ecologically friendly.

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With that, I just hope I do get to breastfeed Maia. I've heard just as much discouraging stories about how some mothers have exhausted all possible efforts to do it only to have their babies refuse their milk.

 

But with the proper support, I think I can do it. Hehe.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ready, Set, Go??!!!!!

There was a little commotion at home in Iloilo today. One of my sisters was a bit frantic. Seeing a missed call from my Mom at around 5 am this morning, she texted Mommy back asking how things are. Turns out the immediate thought that came to her mind was that I already went into labor and that my Mom was calling to tell them the good news.

But no sister dear. My last trip to the OB did not yield any signs that I am delivering Maia soon. So for one week now, I have been doing a lot of walking, stretches, massages and indoor exercises with the hubby as my assistant. We look funny doing the stretches and the massages but its all for the best. My OB wanted me to be prepared as much as possible for the hardwork that is soon approaching. After the good news from the diabetologist last Friday, we are again pursuing our initial goal of going for a normal delivery.

Emotionally, I am ready. The tension however seemed to have shifted to the hubby. Now it’s him who assumed the overly anxious, worried expecting parent role. With his current emotional state, you can just imagine how relieved I am now to have my Mom around while we anticipate Maia’s arrival.

Now that we are on our 37th week (and a lot of people kept telling me it seemed like I’ve been pregnant forever already) we’re definitely all set to go. Our hospital bag is all packed. We’ve considered and rehearsed some of the possible routes to the hospital.  Only thing left for us to complete/finish would be the renovations at home before our little angel’s arrival. Both the hubby’s and my family’s been very expressive of their excitement lately. It’s funny because the uncontainable exciting mood seems to penetrate through my swollen tummy. The baby seemed pretty active lately. It’s as if she’s telling us how enthusiastic she is to join us out here.

Hang in there sweetie, Mommy and Daddy and the rest of the family eagerly awaits your arrival. …For the meantime, please help Mommy and Daddy pray for your safe delivery.

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Update on Maia's progress:

YOUR BABY THIS WEEK
...Week 37

Your due date is so close that you could easily deliver at any time! Chances are very good that delivering from this week on, your baby will be healthy. Take a deep breath…labor, delivery and motherhood will all be amazing and wonderful experiences!

Your Baby: Baby's weight continues to increase, reaching around 6.5 pounds (3.2 kg) now. While baby is about 21 inches (53 cm) long, his limbs and tummy are all growing rounder and chubbier every day. His skin is less wrinkly now and most of the redness has turned to a hue that reflects your baby’s ethnic heritage. By this time, most babies descend down into your pelvis, head first, getting ready for birth. In about 3% of pregnancies, babies turn in the other direction, a situation known as a breech presentation. If this is the case for your baby, don't worry as this often changes—sometimes just hours before labor!

Monday, September 29, 2008

One more battle to hurdle (Haaaay...)

Just barely five more weeks to go but the challenges we are forced to hurdle seem to be endless. Saturday morning we went to take my Oral Glucose Tolerance Test which was actually ordered by my OB only as a sort of precautionary measure. She never requested to me to undergo testing because she found something unusual in my recent check up. Neither of us expected that it would usher in additional worries.

Per my OB’s instructions, I woke up at around 5am Saturday to fix myself an early breakfast. It was a light one consisting only of a cup of oatmeal and milk. After that I went back to sleep till 830am. My OGCT appointment was at 9am and we arrived at the clinic 5 minutes early. I took the glucose concoction at around 930am and was asked to come back at around 1025 so the lab technician could take a sample of my blood for testing. We were to come back for the results in the afternoon, just in time for my regular weekly check up with the OB.

At 4pm, the Hubby went up to the Lab to get my results. We got the shock of our lives when we saw the results. My sugar level was almost double the normal range. My initially reaction was of disbelief. How could this happen when I was very careful with my diet all through out my pregnancy. I still kept thinking the lab just screwed up with the test. I told myself not to panic and wait for my OB’s advise. The hubby was quiet all this time. I guess, he was also caught in a web of disbelief himself. He was after all the main witness of how cautious I was with my diet. He knew this was one of my worst fears. He’s probably thinking of how he can comfort me when the panic sets in.

A few minutes past and my OB came in. She called us in and had this to say, “What happened????!!??” I could only shrug my shoulders in response. She asked me if I ate or drank anything before the lab gave me the glucose mixture and told her the last time I ate was at 5am, just as she told me to. All this time, she had this worried look plastered on her face. By then I realized we are again facing one more crisis on this pregnancy. That was when I blurted out my earlier thoughts. How could this happen, I was so careful with my diet. I could count the times I ate dessert since I became pregnant. I was a dessert monster before but I gave that all up upon confirming my pregnancy. All this time, I told myself to stay away from chocolates because they were poison. And I did stay away from them as much as I can. I might have snuck in a morsel or two. But they were literally morsels and I only did that twice in the past 8 months. But then my OB told me, it was probably because of the genes knowing that my aunt is currently having a tough fight with diabetes. Then she told us, all we can do now is find a way to treat the diabetes before I go into labor. We have roughly about 5 weeks to do that. It’s gonna be tough but we just have to stay optimistic that we get this fixed before our baby comes out.

So she went to get me an appointment with a diabetic specialist. Monday came, I went off to see this doctor. And just as I expected she too was worried upon seeing my OGCT results. Normally, she said they would really suggest insulin shots for sugar levels that high. But thankfully, she too was doubtful of the results. So she’s ordering more tests before she prescribes the insulin shots. Now, she’s placing me on a stricter diet. But this same diet is almost similar to the diet I have been observing the past 8 months. Come Thursday, I will again take two more tests to confirm/(un)confirm the earlier findings.

While we count the remaining days before Maia’s arrival, all we can do is hope and pray (really hard) that it does not get more complicated than this. I can only wish that my baby won’t suffer much at birth. Prayers and a stricter diet are the only weapons I have right now for my baby and me. Haaay...I am really trying my best to stay strong and not let worry overcome me.

Baby center article on Gestational Diabetes

Long read but definitely loaded with information:

What is gestational diabetes?

This is a type of diabetes that some women develop during pregnancy. Between 2 and 7 percent of expectant mothers develop this condition, making it one of the most common health problems of pregnancy.

When you eat, your digestive system breaks most of your food down into a type of sugar called glucose. The glucose enters your bloodstream and then — with the help of insulin, a hormone made by your pancreas — provides fuel for the cells of your body. Like the type 1 and type 2 diabetes you can get when you're not pregnant, gestational diabetes causes the glucose to stay in your blood instead of moving into your cells and getting converted to energy. Why does this sometimes happen when you're pregnant?

During pregnancy, your hormones make it tougher for your body to use insulin, so your pancreas needs to produce more of it. For most moms-to be, this isn't a problem: As your need for insulin increases, your pancreas dutifully secretes more of it. But when a woman's pancreas can't keep up with the insulin demand and her blood glucose levels get too high, the result is gestational diabetes.

Most women with gestational diabetes don't remain diabetic once the baby is born. Once you've had it, though, you're at higher risk for getting it again during a future pregnancy and for becoming diabetic later in life.

How is it diagnosed?

Your blood sugar will be evaluated during glucose screening and tolerance tests.

How does having gestational diabetes affect my pregnancy?

These days, most women who develop diabetes during pregnancy go on to have healthy babies. Your practitioner will monitor you closely and you'll most likely be able to keep your blood sugar levels under control with diet and exercise, and by getting insulin shots if you need them. But poorly controlled diabetes can have serious consequences for you and your baby.

For most women with gestational diabetes, the main worry is that too much glucose will end up in the baby's blood. When that happens, your baby's pancreas needs to produce more insulin to process the extra glucose. All this excess blood sugar and insulin can cause your baby to make more fat and put on extra weight, particularly in the upper body.

This can lead to what's called macrosomia. A macrosomic baby may be too large to enter the birth canal. Or the baby's head may enter the canal but then his shoulders get stuck. In this situation, called shoulder dystocia, your practitioner and her assistants will have to use special maneuvers to deliver your baby. Delivery can sometimes result in a fractured bone or nerve damage, both of which heal without permanent problems in nearly 99 percent of babies. (In very rare cases, the baby may suffer brain damage from lack of oxygen during this process.) What's more, the maneuvers needed to deliver a broad-shouldered baby can lead to injuries to the vaginal area or require a large episiotomy for you.

Because of these risks, if your practitioner suspects that your baby may be overly large, she may recommend delivering by cesarean section. Fortunately, only a minority of women with well-controlled gestational diabetes end up with overly large babies.

Shortly after delivery, your baby may also have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) because his body will still be producing extra insulin in response to receiving extra glucose from you. Your delivery team will test his blood sugar at birth by taking a drop of blood from his heel. If it's low, you'll want to feed him as soon as possible, either by breastfeeding or giving him some formula or sugar water. (In severe cases of hypoglycemia, he might be given an IV glucose solution.)

He may also be at somewhat higher risk for jaundice, polycythemia (an increase in the number of red cells in the blood), and hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood). If your blood sugar control is especially poor, your baby's heart function could be affected. Some studies have found a link between severe gestational diabetes and an increased risk for stillbirth in the last two months of pregnancy. And finally, having gestational diabetes makes you about twice as likely to develop preeclampsia as other pregnant women.

Will my baby be monitored during my pregnancy to avoid complications?

Your practitioner may want to monitor your baby more intensively during your last two to three months of pregnancy, depending on the severity of your diabetes and whether you have any other obstetric problems. She'll explain how you should begin counting your baby's movements during your third trimester so you can alert her immediately if you sense that your baby is less active.

If you're unable to keep your blood sugar under control or it's high enough that you need insulin, or if you have any other risk factors, you'll probably begin to have fetal heart monitoring (nonstress tests or periodic ultrasounds around 32 weeks to check on your baby's well-being. (This kind of ultrasound is called a biophysical profile.) If you can keep your diabetes well under control without insulin and you have no other problems, you might not begin these tests until your last few weeks or until your due date.

Your practitioner may also order an ultrasound around 29 to 33 weeks to measure your baby and estimate his weight. At that point, if your baby is already getting too big, you might be started on insulin. She may order another one closer to labor if she suspects your baby is large, but ultrasound is not usually very accurate at determining a baby's size late in pregnancy. Depending on your circumstances, you might be induced before your due date, or your practitioner may recommend delivering by c-section.

NOTE: If your diabetes was diagnosed in the first half of your pregnancy, it's more likely that you had unrecognized diabetes before you conceived. In this case, your provider may order a fetal echocardiogram (an ultrasound that focuses on your baby's heart) because the risk of birth defects, especially heart defects, is higher if your blood sugar was high during the first eight weeks of pregnancy, when your baby's body was being formed.

How will I know if I have gestational diabetes?

You may notice that you're more thirsty, hungry, or tired than usual or that you have to urinate more frequently, but these are common, normal symptoms during any pregnancy. The fact is that gestational diabetes often has no symptoms (WHICH WAS EXACTLY MY EXPERIENCE). That's why almost all pregnant women are given a glucose screening to test for it between 24 and 28 weeks.

However, if you're at high risk for diabetes or are showing signs of it (such as having sugar in your urine), your caregiver will recommend this screening test at your first prenatal visit and then again at 24 to 28 weeks if the result is negative. If this test result is positive, it doesn't mean that you have gestational diabetes, but you will need to take a longer follow-up test for a diagnosis.

What factors would put me at risk for gestational diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association, you're considered at high risk for this condition (and should be screened early) if:

· You're obese (your body mass index is over 30).

· You have a history of gestational diabetes (you've had the condition in a previous pregnancy).

· You have a strong family history of diabetes.



Some practitioners will also screen you early if:

· You're found to have sugar in your urine (your urine is tested at each prenatal visit).

· You've previously given birth to a big baby (some use 8 pounds, 13 ounces as the cut off; others use 9 pounds, 14 ounces).

· You've had an unexplained stillbirth.

· You've had a baby with a birth defect.

· You have high blood pressure.



Keep in mind that many women who develop gestational diabetes don't have any risk factors. That's why most practitioners will order the screening at 24 to 28 weeks for all their pregnant patients as a matter of course. On the other hand, a small number of women may be considered at such low risk that they don't need to have the screening test at all. You're part of this group if you meet all of the following criteria:

· You're younger than 25.

· Your weight is in a healthy range.

· You're not a member of any racial or ethnic group with a high prevalence of diabetes, including people of Hispanic, African, Native American, South or East Asian, Pacific Island, and indigenous Australian ancestry.

· None of your close relatives have diabetes.

· You've never had a high result on a blood sugar test.

· You've never had an overly large baby or any other pregnancy complication usually associated with gestational diabetes.

How is gestational diabetes managed?

It depends on how serious your condition is. You'll need to keep diligent track of your glucose levels, using a home glucose meter or strips. Eating a well-planned diet can help you keep those levels where they should be. The American Diabetes Association recommends getting nutritional counseling from a registered dietician who'll help you develop specific meal and snack plans based on your height, weight, and activity level.

Your diet must have the correct balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, while providing the proper vitamins, minerals, and calories. (Plan on little or no candy!) To keep your glucose levels stable, it's particularly important that you don't skip meals, especially breakfast.

This may sound daunting, but it's not so hard once you get the hang of it. And don't think of yourself as being on a "special" or restrictive diet. The principles of the diabetic diet are good ones for everyone to follow. Think of this as an opportunity to get yourself and your whole family into healthier eating habits. If everyone in the house is eating the same foods, you won't feel as deprived.

Studies show that moderate exercise also helps improve your body's ability to process glucose, keeping blood sugar levels in check. Many women with gestational diabetes benefit from 30 minutes of aerobic activity, such as walking or swimming, each day. Exercise isn't advisable for everyone, though, so ask your practitioner what level of physical activity would be beneficial for you.

If you're not able to control your blood sugar well enough with diet and exercise alone, your provider will prescribe insulin shots for you to give yourself as well. About 15 percent of women with gestational diabetes need insulin. It sounds scary, but remember that it's the high sugar and not the insulin that's dangerous for your baby. Recently, some practitioners have been prescribing oral medications (such as glyburide or metformin) instead of insulin for gestational diabetes, but the safety and effectiveness of these drugs is still a matter of debate.

Will I continue to have diabetes after my baby is born?

Probably not. Only a small percentage of women with gestational diabetes remain diabetic after delivery, and experts suspect that most of these women actually had undiagnosed diabetes before they got pregnant. To be sure, you'll need to have a glucose test about six to 12 weeks after delivery. This test requires an overnight fast and can be done at your six-week postpartum visit.

Does having gestational diabetes put me at higher risk for diabetes in the future?

Yes. About two-thirds of women who have the condition will go on to have it in future pregnancies. And a few studies have found that about 50 percent of women who get gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within the first five years after delivery. Your risk is highest if any of the following apply to you:

· You're obese.

· You had very high blood sugar levels during pregnancy (especially if you needed insulin).

· Your diabetes was diagnosed early in your pregnancy.

· The results of your postpartum glucose test were borderline (that is, they were relatively high, but not high enough to classify you as a diabetic).



Your practitioner will let you know how often you'll need your blood sugar tested, usually every one to three years if the results of your postpartum test are normal. Keeping your weight down, making healthy food choices, and exercising regularly can help you ward off the disease. You may also want to avoid using the progestin-only Pill for contraception after you have your baby. In women with recent gestational diabetes, it has been associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Your child will also have a higher likelihood of childhood and adult obesity, and of developing diabetes. It's important to help him eat a good diet, maintain a normal weight, and stay physically active. Be sure your child's healthcare practitioner knows that you had diabetes during pregnancy.

For more information on diabetes, contact the American Diabetes Association.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Books, books, and books =)

First time ko ata mag post ng meme (not even sure if this qualifies as such). pero natuwa lang ako sa kanya (reposting from tintin's lang actually)...na realize ko dami ko pa kelangan basahin...or tapusin basahin...

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own Multiply so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them. ;)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
101 Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk
102 Dream Jungle - Jessica Hagedorn
103 Gangster of Love - Jessica Hagedorn
104 Dogeaters - Jessica Hagedorn
104 The Words of Every Song - Liz Moore
105 Hairstyles of the Damned - Joe Meno
106 Tender as Hellfire - Joe Meno
107 The Snows of Kilimanjaro - Ernest Hemingway
108 As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
109 The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
110 Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom
111 For One More Day - Mitch Albom
112 A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

 

Heading for the home stretch....

Today marks the completion of 8 long months of my body manufacturing its own version of tiny bones, organs, and muscles. Sometimes, the hubby and I can’t help but stare in awe at my very swollen belly. All the fears we have when we were just 3 to 4 months along seemed to have just melted away. Haha. At long last, just one more month of uncontainable excitement and we will finally see the tiny version of our genes combined. 

After confirming my pregnancy, I have been rigorously educating myself on how to keep myself healthy all through out my 40-week journey to motherhood. As my pregnancy progresses, so does the readings. Sometimes, the hubby would comment that this seemed to have become an obsession for me especially since I would always share with him whatever knowledge I have acquired during the day. There were days when what I read would really fascinate me. And then there were days when they would stir up the neurotic in me. But regardless of the mood that they were able to set me on a particular day, I always felt those things I learned were really fun, helpful and useful facts of/on life.

My greatest realization though is that through out this whole experience…I have become more patient, more cautious, and a lot more cheerful. This pregnancy has sort of led me to finding the better version of me. I guess, I might not be really consciously aware of this before but I think it is now the right time for me to affirm that this is one experience where I found the real purpose of my existence. J

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hospital Ocular at 33 weeks

Good morning Maia!

Last weekend, Mommy and Daddy went to check on the hospital where they're expecting you to be born. It was okay. Met Mom and Dad's expectations added bonus was most of the people who knew Mommy's planning to give birth there has nothing but good feedback to share so that takes away Mommy's worries.

Doc Chie was a bit surprised when she realize you're homecoming is just about 6 weeks away. Mommy thinks she's just as excited as she and Daddy is. She was kidding Mommy though about Caesarean birth...but no...Mommy will prove she can do this. You're helping her right???

Last night, Mommy also packed up more of the stuff both of you will be needing come D-day! She's almost about 90% done. Good thing she made a list of all the stuff she needs to pack. Mommy's getting really forgetful lately. She sometimes wonders if she's transferred all her brain cells to you. But that's okay...anything to make Maia better is okay with Mommy.

Now that we're almost done with the packing, it's only Daddy who's still got a long list of to-dos. Let all hope he gets them all done before you come home. We can't wait baby...we are just soooo excited to welcome you.

Just 6 more weeks to go...

Fetal development in pregnancy week 33: fetus in eighth month for all the weight and bulk you’re lugging around these days, you’d think your little champ should weigh much more than a mere 5 lbs and measly 17 inches in height, but nope, that’s about the average size for a baby in its thirty-third week. In terms of appearances, they’re getting cuter and pudgier every minute as they pile on the baby fat for those adorable little wrist rolls and chubby toes. And as we’re sure you’ve already noticed they’re getting stronger with every passing day. Nowadays, it’s possible to observe a well-placed kick just by watching your belly—but you already knew that didn’t you? Although they’re getting stronger, your bigger-by-the-day baby is losing space to move around, so the actual rate of movement will drop off in the last few weeks, despite that powerful drop-kick they’ve been working on. Hey, did you know you’ll continue feeling their movements even during labor?


And how's mom doing? Here’s a good way to deal with your mounting impatience: map out your plan of action for the big day. It’s an important and necessary step that’s also pretty soothing and fun. So, get out a piece of paper and pen. If you think about it, planning all the details now can be a real saving grace once Massaging the perineum (the area around the vagina) can reduce your chance of it tearing during delivery the chaos and pain of labor starts up. This would include having a packed bag with a change of comfortable clothes, reading material, maybe an i-pod and your camera or camcorder (whichever you decide, if any at all). Know your driving route to the health center. Or if you’re delivering at home, make sure you have the delivery room prepared (equipped with your most favorite soothing music), and all necessary instruments and materials ready for use. Of course, get your doctor or midwife on speed-dial. Massaging the perineum (the area around the vagina) can reduce your chance of it tearing during delivery and there’s no time like the present to start. Be on your toes (not literally, just mentally) as it's now totally conceivable you might have to spring into action any day! Then again, it might still be another seven weeks

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Approaching the home stretch...

Just 57 more days to go! For several weeks now you have been keeping Mommy awake on the wee hours of the morning. Daddy discerns you are indeed a night person and 3 am is when you start making your stretches for the day.

But Mommy cannot complain. When she was just 3 months along, she was already wishing she could feel you move so she'd always be assured that you are indeed growing inside her tiny tummy. Now the tummy's not that tiny anymore. It has swelled up to great proportions and Mommy cannot deny, she sometimes feel like a penguin when she walks. Sometimes you would start poking her near the ribs and she can't help but cry out. She was pretty sure you heard her so she makes a mental note to stifle the cries next time. Just so you won't get offended or anything. Because the pokes maybe painful but Mommy welcomes them whole heartedly.

Only thing is, Daddy gets upset when Mommy tries to wake him up too at 3am. But then Mommy assured him it's gonna be that way soon anyways so he might as well get used to it. But Daddy does not yield. Despite Mommy relentless call for him to wake up, he's only response is a louder snore. But Mommy knows he will come around pretty soon. Maybe sooner that expected. *wink*wink.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Battling Stress, especially while pregnant

10 High-Stress Personality CharacteristicsRecognize Chronic Stress...Then Do Something About It! -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer
Stress has been so ingrained in our days and in our culture, that we probably don’t even recognize it any more. We may believe that the general underlying sense of uneasiness we feel is normal and acceptable. Or we might blame the tension and stress we experience—in traffic, at work or at home—more on what’s happening “to” us than what’s happening “within” us.

The problem with this attitude is that it brings on a sense of helplessness, that there’s nothing we can do about stress other than cope. This thought alone is a source of stress, isn’t it?

When you realize that the stress you experience may have something to do with you, it helps you take control and start to solve the problem. Here are 10 personality traits that are symptoms of being highly stressed. Some are characteristics that, by their nature, add even more stress to your life. This list will help you recognize if you are highly stressed and give you ideas for doing something about it.

How many of these qualities do you exhibit?

Over-planning each day. Do you feel the need to stick to a strict schedule? Do you live in fear of falling behind or overlooking a task?
Doing several things at once. With too much to do and not enough time, it’s easy to think that “efficient” means doing everything at once. He who chases two rabbits catches neither.
Extreme need to win. Do you feel like a failure if you don’t come out on top—even when the only competition is your own expectations?
Excessive desire for advancement. Highly stressed people need confirmation from outside sources that they’re doing okay and performing well.
Inability to relax without feeling guilty. Do your weekends become opportunities for “accomplishment” and “getting something done.”
Impatience with delays. When you’re under pressure, everything in life takes on urgency and the additional burdens to get everything done as fast as possible.
Overcommittment. Are your chronically late or forgetful of commitments? Does your schedule cause problems in personal or professional relationships?
Chronic urgency. See #6. Now!
Highly competitive drive. Have you forgotten what it’s like to have fun for fun’s sake? Have you “grown up” so much that playtime actually causes you anxiety?
Compulsion to overwork. Is your office more familiar to you than your backyard? Do you find yourself missing out on what you might otherwise deem “meaningful”?

Monday, August 11, 2008

What's in a name?

Tips on baby naming from babiesonline.com:

Choosing your baby's name can be a very emotional experience. Sometimes it's easy. Usually, it's not. There's so much to consider, but the most important thing to remember is to love the name. Here are five tips to help you make the right decision:
Don't rush! - It's a good idea to have one or more baby names in mind, but don't decide until you hold your baby in your arms. When you look into those beautiful eyes, you'll know.
Talk about it - Other than, "Is it a boy or a girl?" the question you'll be asked most is "What will you name your baby?" You've probably already heard that one a hundred times. Talking with your spouse, family and friends makes it at team effort and it's fun, too. You might even have a baby naming party. Check out your family tree. Call relatives, especially those you haven't talked with in a while. Of course, don't expect a unanimous decision, but everyone will feel like they helped play a role in an important family decision.
Say it out loud - How does it sound? Whisper is softly and then loudly. How about when it's said with a middle name or your last name? Does it rhyme? If it does, does it sound good? Think about associated nicknames and say them out loud too. Does the name pass the "playground test?" Kids can be pretty tough. Would you say it loudly at a mall? If not, don't give it to your child. Do you have another child with the same sounding name or even the same first letter? Sometimes, that can be confusing when said aloud.
Spell it out - It's amazing how creative parents can be. Unfortunately, that's not always best for their child. Creative spellings or pronunciations of popular baby names will have your child constantly correcting those who mistake it with its more popular version. You can't forget the initials, either. What do they spell or represent? And, if you plan to call you child by a pet name, it's probably best to register the full version at birth, so your child has the option to later use a more formal version.
Make it meaningful - Your baby's name should evoke happiness and pleasant feelings. It should reflect qualities and traits that you hope your child will possess. Family names are great and give your baby a rich heritage, but if you don't like the baby name, it probably won't feel right, even if it pleases relatives. A unique baby name may make your child stand our and feel extra special. But, if it's too unusual, it could cause problems. It's also very important that your child has a name with clear gender identification And finally, it's always tempting to pick today's most popular baby names, but will it be popular 10 or 20 years from now? And, do you really want your first-grader with the same name as four others in the same class?
We know this is not a easy decision, so we've developed a few "baby names" tools to help. You can review lists of popular baby names or search our baby names databases for the origins and meanings of baby names and search by the name's first letter. These databases are updated every day and we are always looking for more handy tools to help you make the best decision.

So why Maia Isobel?

I've always been fascinated with names like Tala, Diwata, Musika. They're just very Filipino and the first impression that comes to my mind when I meet people with these names is that they were raised as well-rounded, artistic people.

When Tibs and I were choosing a name for our baby, I had these names in mind. My only issue is that I've personally known people with exactly the same names and I would not want to make it sound like I named by baby after them. Not that they did not turn out to be great people.I'm  pretty sure that in their own little way,  they've become achievers by now. Despite that, however, I still want our baby to adopt a name that's unique.

So I kept searching...mixing and matching names of characters and people that had great influence on me. At the same time, pressing the hubby to come up with his own list as well.

While I was on bed rest, Maya birds never fail to visit me. Hearing them chirp outside of our bedroom was kind of therapeutic. Then I thought Maya is a really nice name. Plus it still has a Filipino touch to it. But then I remember a girl named Maya who was a close friend of my sister's in grade school and that brought me back to my earlier predicament.

But I was unnerved, i kept searching for variations and I stumbled upon Maia. It's not really Filipino but still sounded like it and I thought it fit our baby's history really well. Maia in Hebrew means close to God. And that was how this pregnancy made us as a couple. We became close to God. Now we just need to come up with the second name because Maia's dad found Maia so plain. At first, I came up with Maia Isabella. It fit well. Especially with the family name. It sounded like she's 'tisay' or something. (hehehehe...) But then, I thought Isabella is not really a significant name to us. So Tibs decided to change it to Isobel, after Isobel Campbell of Belle and Sebastian - his favorite band. So there...that's how we came up with Maia Isobel.

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