My Journey to Motherhood

For the last 2-3 years I have suffered from a very bad case of hormonal imbalance. My menstruation became abnormal that my husband and I have been fearing the possibility of us unable to bear a child. We sought treatments after treatment until I came across my present OBGyne who saved us.

I just finished my three-month treatment which was absolutely fine but after the treatment my menstruation didn’t come. I thought it had failed again but after seven weeks I took a pregnancy test and everything became a miracle.

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First Trimester

I think every first trimester is not easy. I was really sick, I had asthma, I had pneumonia, I had urinary tract infection and I had otitis media. I have been heavily medicated during that course of my pregnancy. I was also so emotionally ballistic. My mood was the one that transitioned drastically. I was crying, shouting, became hot-headed. I was basically a mess which was especially heightened because my husband and I was planning our wedding.

One good thing that happened during that time though was not having morning sickness. My food preferences didn’t became so weird I just didn’t like some food especially milk which is a ‘meh’ because I need it for the pregnancy obviously.

Second Trimester

The second trimester was exciting for us especially for me because it felt lighter. I genuinely liked being pregnant at that time. It was like being pregnant but not. My bump was showing and it was looking good. I was fashionable and happy at that point of my pregnancy. I had so much energy that I am beginning to think that this pregnancy is going to be easy.

The most wonderful part at this point was our wedding and our gender reveal. We were stressed as hell but as happy as we could be and happier when we found out that our baby is a girl. Our precious little girl was growing inside me and I am beginning to feel her kicks. Marlicia Hope, will be out soon.

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Third Trimester

At the beginning of the third trimester, I felt so exhausted and my daughter’s kicks became very uncomfortable especially when she is hitting some bony parts. I was so swollen that people begin to think that I am already due on the next day. It was truly a stretch for me to go out and get out of bed.

The whole week of 33rd and 34th week, I began to feel sick again. I had colds that won’t go away. My nose was so congested and I frequently had headaches. My husband began to notice that my diastolic blood pressure went up from 70-80 mmhg to 90 mmhg. On the 23rd of March, while working, I began to feel dizzy. My blood pressure shoot to 140/100 to 150/100 which was temporarily controlled by medication. I went to my doctor the following day and was subsequently admitted for preeclampsia.

I was admitted for two days and was released because my blood pressure was controlled. I was advised for a month’s bed rest. I obliged but on the 28th my blood pressure rose up again. The anxiety that I may deliver my baby prematurely did not help my situation. The following day, I was vomiting and I was so dizzy that my doctor decided to have me under C-section. I was hopeful that she will be okay but at the same time I was afraid that I blamed myself for my situation and any bad situation that my child will be in.

On the 29th of March 4:59 PM, my beautiful baby girl was born, crying and was apparently healthy. I was so happy to hear her strong cries, to see her beautiful face, to hold her, to see her breathing, to feel the warmth of her small breaths and to hold her small hands. My beautiful baby has come.

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Six hours from delivery, we received news that our baby had pneumonia and that she has to be hooked to an IV, oxygen supplementation and receive medications. For a week our baby had fought a tremendous fight, the fight to live. We were heartbroken, angry, afraid and distraught with what she is going thru. Seeing her body with all this horrendous tubes, all the medications, all the small cries for help and how her little body so beaten, breathing so fast, so hungry, so afraid and upset of everything she has gone thru. I was still recovering but I was not minding all my pain because I have to be with my little girl.

It is true that faith will get you thru the toughest part. After a week, she was healed. No hooks, no tubes and no more pain. It was a miracle. I couldn’t wait to go to the nursery and hold her for hours, kiss her, sing to her and feed her. My life turned a 360 spin. I wasn’t ready, motherhood didn’t came with a manual but it came with one thing and it is overwhelming love that on March 30, 2015 at 3:37 pm I wrote:

To my beautiful daughter Marlicia Hope,

I was so scared that you’d come out before your expected but now that I see you I have nothing but pure happiness. Seeing your small face, tiny hands and feet, seeing your every breath and feeling your heartbeat made me so madly in love which I never thought would happen to me. In an instant you swept me off my feet.

Baby girl, my little princess, I will be with you in every fight. I will always love you when no one else will. My baby keep up the fight. Grow healthy, happy and full of love. I am not perfect but I will try to be th best mother I can be to you.

My love, may God shower you with blessings. May God protect you and cover you with His blood and Holy Spirit. I love you so much baby girl.

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Getting Hitched

Do you ever have that situation wherein your life seems to fall into place without you doing anything or you just did something so little? My husband and I met that way. I was a medical clerk and he was an emergency room nurse. It started as a teasing which later turned into our first date, into constant communication, into our first kiss and into making it official. 10929071_10204982121245552_2315396710864234847_n I’ve never met someone so opposite yet so compatible with me. So opposite and so alike, that is what we are. There was not a room for pretense except for all my hormonal-induced drama which I guess made our relationship became a bit stronger. We amazingly made it despite the fact that we all have big personalities on our own.

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I am genuinely in awe to the kind of love that we have. We make so many mistakes and had so many fights that we have grown and learned what we meant for each other. I appreciate him so much that in my moodiness, he manages to make me laugh especially during my not-so-cute fumes. I think I can grow old laughing with him.

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And because we had so many happy yet bumpy rides, we naturally wanted to get married. We don’t really have a romantic proposal nor any dramatics on the background. We just agreed to.

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Our wedding was really simple and solemn with my 20-weeks baby bump slightly showing. We want nothing so grand, we just want our loved ones to be happy with us on a very a wonderful little church and a very comfortable venue. We shared our love in our own unique way. 10320354_10204982210687788_7891910349617246873_n 1797344_10204982205127649_8739594621047128235_n 10690138_10204982429213251_1807255582189984051_n We never said our vows since our church has rules on personal vows but let my vows go mainstream. “To my dear husband, I don’t know how God and the universe brought us together. Both so opposite and both alike. Magical can’t even begin to describe how we started. I won’t use anymore flowery words except thank you. I can’t thank you enough for making me happy through the years. And I have a never ending gratitude to God because he gave me someone I really needed, really wanted, who I am able to forgive over and over again, who I am able to take care and able to grow old with. No fancy words just you and me and our little angel to have and to hold with God as our center…”

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Photography courtesy of Ravie Wong

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Videography courtesy of Tibo Martinez

Treasuring Friendships

I have had lots of acquaintances but I only have a few friends. We are not complete anymore but my friendship with them remain despite the distance, despite the change in lifestyle and despite all the circumstances. I am blessed to have good friends who never lead me to stray and values me in my hermit moments. And because of these people, I defined friendship in a different way, not by frequency but by the constancy of your few and memorable moments together.

I got to spend a little more time with a few of my girlfriends Lovette and Emerald in one an overlooking restaurant. This is fresh and amazing time. And I noticed that our conversation has been always the same. We do things the same although with much lesser time and it was really fun. It was just like the old times.

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The Drift

Papa and I were so close when I was young. I admired him so much for pretty much everything. When I was in second grade, he and I started to become oil and water. We never clicked like we used too. He lost his job to a very extreme case of gout. Our family seems to be so afflicted with rapid increase in uric acid causing our joints to inflame badly. So with all his joints inflamed including every little joint, Papa came home defeated and probably depressed.

Mama is a public librarian. She has a meager salary and ended up with so many loans just to get us through. I used to complain so much of our life and as well as Papa’s lack of determination to help us. I was astounded by the fact that he spent his days angry, moody and simply sits on the chair day by day. I never understood it as a young child and was still full of pride when I became a young adult. And as stupid as I was, I did only come to realize that Papa was clinically depressed on his deathbed.

Clinical depression is condition characterized by symptoms categorized by Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder. It is a serious condition that may lead to suicide but it is treatable if the patient is willing to undergo medications and therapy treatments.

In our country where going to a therapist has it social stigma, awareness for such disorder remains a little bit behind bars. Social awareness is a must not just for clinical depression but all other psychiatric disorders because our society plays a big role with the probable development and worsening of condition that has high mortality rate. Going to a therapist is not to be shamed of, it has to be addressed before it worsens.

Support from the family is another big thing. My Papa would have been a little better if I had made it a little easier for him. I was to consumed with anger. Luckily despite everything Papa has my mom and my other siblings. Me I was just angry probably depressed too.

I urge everyone to be aware of your family, friends and other acquaintances. They might be going through something. A little encouragement,  a smile or a little act of kindness would make a whole lot difference for someone.

Tinago Falls Revisited

I can’t remember when was the last time I went to this majestic falls. I repeatedly come back to her whether or not I can go down easily or not. Tinago falls, proud to say, is among the most beautiful falls in the world.2014101155852

Tinago falls is one of the 32 falls in Iligan City that is open to the public. In the early 90’s, the falls was yet to be reached by people because you have to go down in a difficult terrain. On the half of the 90’s era, a resort was made on the area. They made the stairs downwards so that people can easily go down. The resort was closed because of mismanagement but the stairs remain. Today what is wonderful is that Tinago falls was engrossed again with mother earth, the ghost of the past resort was engulfed in nature’s structures.

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Tinago was named so because the falls is located in a gorge-like area. It is enclosed by the two mountains bordering between side of Buru-un, Iligan City and Linamon, Lanao del Norte. Between each side are local entrance areas were people ask for donations.

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Tinago is a deep falls with crisp blue to dark emerald green waters. I will always remember that even though Papa had a very difficult time going down because of his arthritis he went down with us and enjoyed the place. He marveled at the beauty.

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Fast forward 2014, Tinago Falls is still very beautiful. It is still iconic and breathtaking. So when you do come by to our place, visit Tinago and drool over her.

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DIY Make Up Brush Holder

I have been into make up lately. A little late bloomer for it. So I had just begun my make up collection. First stop are the make up brushes. I had bought individual make up brushes at first and I just store them in multipurpose plastic boxes in their own packaging. It is a tasking thing to do since I have to remove all the brushes I need one by one.

While browsing the internet the high-end brushes like Sigma, have this wonderful brush holders that has a cover to protect the brushes from dusting and other stuff. Since it is pricey and not readily available in our place, I made my own. It is cost effective and it will save mother earth as well.

So here are the things you need:

  1. An empty plastic bottle (soda bottle, water bottle, etc.)
  2. Cutter, paper cutter and scissors
  3. Glue and glue gun
  4. Old empty carton box or old paper folders
  5. Any decorated or scrapbooking paper

Instructions

1. Cut the cleaned and dried bottle in half using a cutter and scissors to smoothen the edges.

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2. Using the top of the bottle. Measure the length of the area on which you can cover it with paper. Do the same with the lower portion of the bottle. However, if the lower bottle portion has an unusual shape then follow the other steps.

3. Cut the paper and cover the upper and lower bottle using a glue gun. For the unusual bottoms cut a portion of the carton and smoothly paste the scrapbook paper on top of it.

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4. After covering, cut the carton in a much higher length than the lower portion of the bottle, about 1 inch or measure the length of your brushes so you can get all of it easily. Then put it inside the lower portion following the circle shape of the bottle. For the unusual bottoms, use the covered carton and put it inside the bottle following the its circle shape. Fasten both using a glue gun.

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5. Put your brushes inside and cover.

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Compact Travel 2013

January – My boyfriend and I were scouting for a venue to cater the upcoming wedding of his brother. And on that day also, I promised some of our missionary priest friends to visit their place in Pindugangan. On the way to Spiritans’ Home, there are beautiful boulders that we stopped by to take a picture. We also stopped by one of the iconic houses in our place, our former President’s home, the Macapagal House.

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February – What is fun about my work is that I have two gay co-workers. There is something about gays that I really enjoyed. So we had our mini date in Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park. And I had to explore Jimenez, it my work place after all. It’s a simple old town with beautiful things to offer.

March – Sweaty and having so much fun. My boyfriend and I run with our dogs to a fun run. It was the first fun run ever held in our place that people enjoyed it so much as well as our fur babies.

April – Summer time here. We decided to have a family vacation and went to my mother’s hometown, Molave, Zamboanga del Sur we enjoyed the “fiesta” and had some water splash on the towns natural spring pool. Then we head after to the famous Dakak Beach Resort  in Dapitan City. Sun-basking, theme parks, Rizal’s niche and family time.

May – It came like a blast. I celebrated mother’s day with my mom and her friends in Dahilayan Forest Park in Bukidnon enjoying the cold, the fun and most of all the zipline. Then I had one of the most beautiful experience in my life having to go to the beautiful island of Siquijor.

June – I was pretty much in the sick zone. I attended to a local fiesta and ended up with an IV hooked around because of diarrhea and dehydration. I was the only physician available to attend to their hospital. Good thing when I got home, my dog Moccah was there to comfort me.

July – Since my boyfriend loves the food from HUKAD, a local restaurant which means to serve food, he purposely went to my workplace and dropped off Ozamis City to enjoy their delicious food.

August – My nephew and niece with their parents are coming home from Dubai to have a vacation. I had a wedding to attend, I need to circumcise my nephew and I had to work, date, play, etc. Busy month for me. We went to Davao City and enjoyed the D’leoner Resort. We had a blast because my sisters are there also. It’s just that Papa is not around anymore to enjoy with us.

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September – It’s my father’s first death anniversary, my sisters came home and brought our mother to the family’s hangout the Don Arc Beach Resort in Initao Misamis Occidental. And I went with my gay friends again to the famous river in Jimenez, Misamis Occidental, Camil. It has its legend but I just enjoyed the view.

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October – You know Rio in Brazil has the famous Jesus Christ statue watching over the place from the mountains. El Salvador, Misamis Oriental have also their Divine Mercy Statue. It has been the staple for tourism and spirituality of the place.

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November – Water falls tour. Our place Iligan City has 32 waterfalls but only 19 is open to the public. And here is just two of it, Mimbalot and Maria Christina falls and their respective parks.

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December – It was family time and the food which my mom cooks were divine.

I had a blast in 2013. It was full of realizations and fun. Trials and tribulations came but what is more important is how you grow and how you live your life with the memories and lessons you have.