Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mother's Information Sheet

       In connection with my previous post, here is a sample of the Mother's Information Sheet that I bring with me to the hospital to help speed up or assist in filling out forms once we arrive for baby's delivery.

Mother’s Information Sheet

Name of Mother:  _________________________________
Age / Birthdate: __________________________________                                  
Blood Type & Rh Factor: __________________________
Name of Father: __________________________________
Age / Birthdate:  __________________________________                                         
Blood Type & Rh Factor:  __________________________
Last Menstrual Period or LMP:  ______________________   
Date/Year of First Menstrual Period: ______________________ (yes, they actually 
asked me this question while I was in labor pains!)      
Expected Date of Delivery or EDD:  ___________________
Age of Gestation AOG: ___________________ (No. of weeks upon admittance)
Gravida (G): ___________________ (No. of pregnancies)
Parity (P)    : ___________________ (No. of births > 20 weeks)

Medical Insurance: ________________________________
Attending Obstetrician: _____________________________
Attending Pediatrician:  _____________________________      

Medical History:

Allergies: _________________________________________     
Illness: ___________________________________________
Pregnancy Tests Done: (Examples below)
-         Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
-         CBC – Complete Blood Count
-         Urinalysis
-         Ultrasound
-         Group B Strep
Any Complications during this Pregnancy? (Examples below)
-         Spotting at 6 weeks, given Duphaston 2x a day
-         Premature Contractions and Slight Bleeding due to tiredness 
      at 34 weeks, given Duvadilan 3x a day for 1 week
Do you smoke or drink alcohol?  _______________________
Supplementary Vitamins Taken:  _______________________
Family Medical History: (Examples)
            -     Asthma
            -     Diabetes

As you Reach the Hospital Delivery Room:

How are your contractions? ____________________________
Any pink/bloody discharge? ____________________________
Any rupture of bag? ___________________________________
When was your last food intake or meal? __________________


BABY’S NAME:   ______________________________________ :) 


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Preparing Your Hospital Bag

     Pregnant and giving birth anytime soon? My sister in law just currently asked me what to pack in her hospital bag and I just realized that I have posts about labor, childbirth and pregnancy, but totally forgot to include this list! Now here it is ;)
    
    What to pack in Your Hospital Bag:

   1. Birth Plan - Don't forget this! A birth plan is discussed with your doctor prior to the actual birth but it also serves as a guide for the nurses and doctors on call at the time you arrive in the hospital. And if you are in pain due to labor, there will be no more time for talking and explaining so this is the best way for you to communicate your preferences for the birth.
   Check out my post about how to make your own birth plan.

   2. Doctor's Request Form - Your doctor will give you a Doctor's Request Form in one of your final checkups so do put it together with your Birth Plan.

   3. Mother's Info Sheet with Baby's Name - It's a good idea to prepare an Information Sheet about yourself prior to the birth to make it easy for you or your husband to fill out hospital information forms. It will serve as your guide in case you forget some information related to your pregnancy which the nurses will ask, and at least your husband won't be clueless either if this task is suddenly left to him. I also suggest that you put your Baby's Name at the end of this information sheet so that if your husband fills out the info about your newborn baby, he won't be making any spelling mistakes! 
    Here is a sample Mother's Information Sheet that you can use as your guide.

   4. Labor Notes and Notebook - Since I was aiming for a natural childbirth in my last pregnancy, I prepared a very detailed guide to labor and childbirth which became very useful during the early stages of labor. I included it in this list in case your husband will be taking on the role of your childbirth coach, as mine did. My notes were in outline form and typed on index cards which I placed in a photo album together with photos of Audrey and our family so my husband could show me every time labor was getting more and more difficult. 
     Do bring an extra notebook for jotting down your breastfeeding schedule when baby comes. This will be very helpful in tracking feeding times and answering your pediatrician's questions about the baby when she visits.

   5. Face Towel - If you know you will be doing some hard work during labor, do bring a face towel. I know I used mine quite often - labor wasn't a walk in the park, it felt more like a marathon!

   6. Music - If music relaxes you, do prepare a playlist of songs on your phone or any device that plays music. It can help you relax while in labor.

   7. Snacks - This is mainly for your husband haha! Depending on where you are in labor when you arrive at the hospital, you need to think about how Daddy will eat as well. Labor could take a few hours to several hours so it's good to make sure your husband isn't going hungry because you will want him to have enough energy to assist you and take care of your baby when he or she arrives.

   8. Massager or Tennis Ball - Labor is usually hard on your back so it's a good idea to bring a massager or used (but clean!) tennis ball (it's softer). This will help alleviate the pain and stress on your back while you are undergoing labor.

   9. Maternity Napkins - Usually the hospital provides (and charges you for these) but it's always a good idea to bring your own maternity napkins - even just one pack as backup.
       
  10. Toiletries, Toothbrush, Toothpaste - If you want to bathe in familiar scents, do bring your own shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Don't forget your toothbrush and toothpaste too! You want your breath to smell fresh for baby! ;P 

   11. Nursing Cover - Although hospitals usually provide a nursing gown, it's still good to bring your own nursing cover especially when you need to feed baby while you have visitors.

   12. Comfy Clothes - Make sure to pack comfy and nursing friendly clothes in your bag. You can use them for photo ops, a special dinner with your hubby (like what Asian Hospital offers parents of newborns) and for going home.
    Check out some breastfeeding fashion ideas here.

   13. Undies - This should be a no-brainer! Please don't forget to pack underwear! And pack more than usual just in case! :D

   14. Nursing Bra - Please be ready with your nursing bra at least a month before full term (as your breast size will be as is when you give birth). Don't forget to pack a few to match your comfy clothes (i.e. bandeaus for strapless dresses and strapped ones for shirts).

   15. Nursing Pads - With nursing bras must come nursing pads! Whether you prefer disposables or reusables, just make sure you pack them in your bag too. Leaks aren't cool! :o

   16. Nipple Cream - New moms will need all the help they can get with breastfeeding, and based on experience, lanolin nipple creams are a must. It's hard to get sore on the first few days of feeding your newborn (or ever that is!) so you want those nipples to be protected.

   17. Slippers - You'll want to be comfy while walking around your hospital room and bathroom so bring slippers!

   18. Soft pillow or cushion - Moms who give birth vaginally and have had episiotomies may find it difficult to sit on hard chairs. This isn't a necessity though but it can help you feel more comfy. 


    Now onto my favorite part... baby's bag! :)

    What to Pack in Your Babys' Bag:

   1. Baby's clothes (Sigh!! I love this part the most :) ) - I pack around 2 sets of outfits for my baby - A special going home outfit and a backup (which apparently was useful the last time because we had a free photo shoot care of the hospital) ;)  Outfits can include onesies, pants, and overalls with beanie and socks.

   2. Baby blankets - I also pack at least two baby blankets for swaddling! Nowadays though rooming in your baby right away is required so you might want to bring more than two even if the hospital provides some.

   3. Newborn diapers - The hospital usually provides these but you can bring a few extras in case, since newborns use up a whole lot of diapers per day

   4. Cloth diapers or Lampin - You can bring cloth diapers so when you are carrying or feeding, you're protected from spit ups and can easily wipe baby.
   
    Among the other items that hospitals provide are baby wash, cotton balls, and alcohol so you won't have to bring those.


    Other Reminders:

    1. Don't forget to install your Rear-Facing Infant Car Seat already. We used this baby head support pillow Diono 2-in-1 Head Support, Grey and we love it because when baby grows, you can take out the smaller head support and leave the bigger one.

    2. Get baby's crib or co-sleeper ready so it's all set when he or she gets home.


   3. Get your sterilizer ready and prepare all your breastfeeding storage cups. These Avent Via Breast Milk Storage Kit 1 kit storage cups were very helpful in my first few days as a breastfeeding mom because I would hand express my excess milk into them and store them in the freezer for future use. None of my precious milk goes to waste! haha! I use these cups because it's so hard to hand express milk into plastic storage bags. Also remember not to pump milk until after the first month so as not to get engorged.
        You can check out my Breastfeeding Essentials and Tips here as well :)


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day







My daughters are blessed because you are their Dad.
Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

        When my husband mentioned going to Bataan for another getaway with the girls last summer, I gladly obliged because he said that we could visit Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. I have been wanting to visit this place because of the architectural treasures that were present here - Filipino Spanish homes relocated and restored as faithfully as possible to its original design. If you ask me, we need more places like this in our country. It's a wonderful way to appreciate not just design and culture, but our history. Behind each house is a story. Some pleasant, some not so, but it helps us understand how our story as a nation unfolded during times of war and afterwards. And it shows how Filipinos lived then and how it affects the way we live now.
      Just a bit of warning before you go on - this post is full of pictures. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is really a photogenic place to visit. Whether you're using a DSLR camera or your phone, the photos just come to life. I am so glad we were able to visit this place last March. It was a very hot day when we went but we survived! 
     
     
Casa Mexico
The reception area for the tours is located here.


Casa Victoria
Check out the guardia sibil behind me hehe.


Casa Byzantina



Inside Casa Byzantina
The priciest rooms in Las Casas are in here.

The heat of the sun tired this little one out.

Walking around Plaza Belmonte

Plaza Atienza

Casa Jaen I

Audrey at Casa Luna

Casa Baliuag II

Peeking at Casa San Miguel
Our tour guide told us that the main stairs wasn't originally
located in front - but for convenience and added aesthetic, 

it was placed there instead.

Plaza Belmonte

Paseo de Escolta

Love this blue door!


Such detailed ventanillas!

An antique store

The girls were horse-watching and decided that they wanted to ride the kalesa!

       In between all of this, we took a lunch break which was quite satisfying. No photos to show as we forgot to take them! Too hungry and Natalie fell asleep already so I had no more hands to spare! haha! 
      We chose to eat at Cafe Marivent which offered Filipino and Spanish cuisine (since we opted not to include food in our day trip package). It was the closest resto to where we were so it was basically a no-brainer! hehe. The food was good and the servings were generous. The other two restaurants around Las Casas also offered Italian and Mexican cuisine.

Kalesa ride!
It was quite bumpy because of all the cobblestones but we had fun!

Happy girls!

Hotel de Oriente


Casa Luna


Enjoying the jeepney ride!
We decided to take a jeepney (it's free) to go to the beach area where there
were newer but still traditionally inspired houses that catered to beach goers.

Natalie enjoyed the jeepney ride so much that she didn't want to go down ;o

The houses overlooking the beach




      There were still other areas to explore at Las Casas but we decided to call it a day after checking out the beach area. Plaza Marcelino was just right behind but the heat of the sun just wasn't letting up. 
        Overall, I just enjoyed the experience. It satisfied my architectural eye candy ;) Day trip entry without snacks only cost us Php 685 for each adult and the kids (ages 2 and 4) were free. Not bad at all. I would definitely recommend a visit to this place, especially if you have friends or relatives visiting from another country. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mommy Thoughts

      Yesterday was the first day of school for Audrey. I had chosen a class that started at noon time instead of the all too popular early morning class that most parents prefer for their kids. I just figured it would cause me less stress and rushing. Or so I thought.
     For some reason, I was out of my element yesterday. I prepared Audrey’s clothes and things the night before, but a lot of things were going on at home in the morning. The kitchen sink needed to be fixed, my accounting documents needed to be prepared and picked up, and I had to get ready as well. I don’t know where the time went but it sure went by pretty fast.
     Before I knew it, we had to leave. And leave quickly so we can be a bit early if not on time. We hurried into the van, and as I was backing up, I bumped the car behind me! And I did this even with the sensor warning me! I just didn’t seem to hear it, but I sure felt it. I stopped and opened the door, hoping that there wasn’t any damage. And thank God there was none! Whew! That was way too close!
     As soon as I saw that the coast was clear and there was no problem with both our bumpers, I moved right along and drove to school. The girls were their usual jolly selves and whenever I would be driving a bit faster would say, “Careful mommy, you might bump a ca-ar!” in a sing-song joking way. And then they would giggle! I can’t help but laugh. In the midst of a stressful morning, here I am with two little girls who just make me smile. This little joke went on and Natalie even told me, “Watch out Mama, you might bump the trees!” haha! Now don’t worry, I haven’t been driving like a mad max driver, but I did drive a little faster than the average. Just ‘cause I didn’t want us to be late (thanks to the bumper incident).
     Sometimes I ask myself if I’m doing this right – I try my best for Audrey to be on time or early, but at times I fail. Although we are not perpetually late, just occasionally (haha), I just wish we would always be early. There are just so many distractions along the way.
     And when we got to school yesterday, we found out that some of her old classmates were moved or have chosen the earlier classes. And then I asked myself, should I have chosen the morning class too? So she can start early and end by noon? Ugh. Sometimes these questions in my head never end.
      I chose the later class so that I can prepare both girls with ease and feed them well in the morning. I knew that we won’t be able to do much when Audrey gets home in the afternoon but it just seemed like the more practical choice since we don’t have household help for half the week. I would have to do most of the cooking and cleaning. I guess I just don’t want to feel rushed.     
      I know I should also be thankful that I do have options – that I can work from home and set my own work schedules. I shouldn’t compare my situation with others. The best thing for me to do now is embrace my choices. Enough with the mommy guilt and uncertainties and move on. Nobody’s perfect and I sure am not. I just need to be more aware of our schedule for the day, try my very best at what I do and make sure I don’t bump into any more cars next time! :D
    

Monday, June 8, 2015

Flow House Manila

    Summer is practically over! Sigh! But before you bid it goodbye, I suggest you go check out Flow House Manila. Even if the hot sun turns into cloudy or rainy days, the waves of the Flowrider will remain the same! We are working on providing the place with more shade and hoping we could do it very soon so visitors can enjoy hanging out here even on rainy days ;)    
     And if you've never been here, it would be good to know that besides body boarding and flow boarding fun, you can take a dip in the swimming pools. Food and drinks are also available on the menu so hunger and thirst won't be an issue haha!

Our family soaking in the sun either in the pool or the Flowrider ;)

I had my post-birthday celebration here in the beginning of summer!
It was a great time with friends and even the kids
(the ones who reached the height limit that is) were able to try the Flowrider as well :)
Thanks to our friend Bing Avendano for preparing the yummiest food!
The kitchen then wasn't open yet since they were just about to launch Flow House Manila ;)
We would have gone hungry if not for her hahaha!
You can check out Patty's post here too (to see more photos and food pics ;D)

Here is a short video of the party ;)

video

Video by Kaki Tingzon of Thirty Six-O 


Here are photos of me and my husband at the exclusive media launch of Flow House Manila last March.
This turned out to be our date night ;)

Flow House Manila now.
You can relax and hang out with friends here (whether you're riding or not ;) )

Healthy drinks and frozen ones are also currently available at the bar.

Here's Audrey accompanying me on another one of my site meetings.
Natalie was busy with the mango shake so she didn't join the pic haha.
I didn't get to ride this time (all work, no play) but I'll be back again ;)

   Check out my previous post about Flow House Manila to see a bird's eye 
view of the site.

To learn more about Flow House Manila check out www.facebook.com/FlowHouseManila and www.flowhousemanila.ph

It's also best to reserve a slot if you plan to ride. Contact them at  0998 554 5035.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Post Script Designs

      I'm a paper lover. I used to collect and trade stationery as a little girl. And I love having personalized tags, name stickers and cards made. So it was such a delight to receive these personalized wrapping papers from Post Script Designs! :) Take a look at these wrappers with Audrey and Natalie's names and our initials.


We just love this very cute wrapper with sheep! :)

Banderitas for our Lemonade Stand!
I didn't want the wrapper retazos to go to waste so I also used them
for my summer homeschool project with the girls. The colors
blended well with our baby blue and yellow motif ;)

See? :)

Here are some of their other cute wrapping paper designs :)

They also have pillow boxes like this and money cards!

     Check out Post Script Designs on 
www.facebook.com/postscriptdesigns 
and @postscriptdesigns on Instagram.