Kabuwanan

Kung puwede lang,
idudugsong kita sa makirot kong balakang
sa dakong tadyang
kung saan, ayon sa alamat,
dinukot ako para ka makapisan

Ang pugad ng ating supling
ay tatawid sa iyong tagiliran
sabay tayong ngingiwi sa bawat tadyak
at bundol ng bumbunan
sa ating mga pantog

Pareho tayong matatali
sa bahay
sa higaan
sa upuan
Pikit mata, kakalimutang may trabaho sa opisina
(at mapabalitang iresponsable o sadyang maarte dahil daw
“Pregnancy is not a disease”)

Dahil ang pagiging inahin/amahin
ay trabahong hindi maaaring paghintayin

Pero dahil kami,
ayon sa alamat,
ang kumagat sa mansanas
Mananalangin na lang

Na kung puwede lang
Hindi na sana kailangang magpaliwanag
Para maunawaan

Para sa lahat ng buntis ngayong tag-init.

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Bloody Show

A tablespoon of blood.

On our way to the labor room  with all the women of the household in tow. Doctor’s order.

Pustahan? False alarm or game na? Malamang false alarm.

Paging Potling

I cannot wait to give birth. I want to give birth. NOW.

It’s such a selfish thing to wish for but I have my reasons. Please note, that there is no basis for the order by which they are listed.

  • Potling turned 35 weeks old yesterday. As per her last ultrasound, our baby girl is 6 days ahead of her “week age” by biometry (size, weight, head and abdominal cavity circumference, etc.). That makes her “technically” 36 weeks old. Babies born at 36-37 weeks are already considered full term. So, she’s safe.
  • I Cannot stand the pain and discomfort anymore. My tummy feels like it’s going to burst anytime. The overstretched muscle and skin makes me feel like I’m going to explode one of these days. – like the girl from Charlie’s Chocolate Factory that turned into a blueberry something.
  • Sleeping has become a burden. I have to always lie on my side (left, preferrably) to give enough air to Potling. But I am as big, and heavy, as a cow. Lying on my side brings so much pain. Turning to my other side to ease the pain is also an ordeal.
  • My size and gigantic tummy makes it very difficult to move around. Washing the dishes and brushing my teeth with a bulging tummy is a challenge. I have to work hard just to have a satisfying “washing/wiping” of certain body parts. I cannot even cut my toenails anymore.
  • I stink. I smell really weird even when I’m not perspiring and despite daily baths. Husband has been quick to say that he’s not complaining and he understands the wonders of the pregnant woman’s body… but that doesn’t help at all. For the first time in so many years of physical intimacy, I feel insecure about my body. Because I stink.
  • Every single day of my first trimester was cursed with painful gums. A visit to the dentist revealed that I have 4 extra teeth. They’re strategically located in areas closest to where there should be no teeth (end molars). Because of the distance, I have to go to a bigger clinic to have them extracted. And because I am pregnant, the auxiliary teeth cannot be extracted. I have to wait. When I reached my 6th month, badass teeth were making their presence felt. The book that I’m reading calls it – pink brush. It means bleeding gums that lead to bleeding that lead to pink toothbrush. Mine aren’t pink. They’re bloody red all the time – to the point that I get dizzy with the smell of blood. After I give birth, I’m going to make sure that the four enamel-coated bitches are banished from my mouth. I will ask the dentist to given THEM to me so I can put them in a bottle and curse at them everyday. Oh, what does this have to do with the pregnancy? Tenderness and swelling of the gums is apparently the effect of raging hormones, plus the fact that during the last trimester of pregnancy, the mother and the baby start fighting for calcium. The weak teeth become weaker.
  • I just cannot wait to see Potling. It’s like receiving your Christmas gift during the first week of December and then being told to wait until Christmas eve before you open it. I’ve never been great at waiting. Patience is not one of my strongest virtues.
  • I’m getting tired of whining about the pains, fears and discomfort of pregnancy. Husband has been the major sounding board and I’m beggining to feel bad for him.
  • I love to take care of people that are important to me but I don’t feel comfortable in being the recipient of care, pity, concern, etc.
  • I am super excited about breastfeeding! I hope to fulfill our dream of raising an exclusively breastfed babe.  I’ve been told by very many helpful mommy friends that there will be sweat, tears and blood… they also asked me to not give up on it. Promise, I won’t (fingers crossed).

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Birthday Bash and Updates

I turned 28 last Sunday. I am still pregnant. I miss blogging.

After the gelatinously-giddy entry, I had to make a decision: share or keep story from my OBGYN. My first choice was to not let her know about it. My OBGYN is extremely dedicated to the safety and well-being of her patients. This means that every irregularity that I reporty to her almost always brings me to the Emergency Room of a hospital that’s a 120-peso cab fare away from home. It also means no less than PhP 1,500 worth of emergency room and lab fees plus meds. She doesn’t charge for the visit – how can one hate her for being so caring? She just wants to make sure ALL THE TIME that the baby and the mother-to-be are safe. Anyways, at the end of the day, I decided to tell her that I think I’ve lost the magic plug. Her follow-up question was – any contractions? Oh no… Yes. Why can’t I lie?

With that, I was ordered to visit the wonderful place that is the ER. On the afternoon of my peaceful 28th birthday. On our way out of the house, I was greeted by… S U  R  P  R  I  S  E!!! The shouting was silenced by my declaration. Sorry family, we’re on our way to the hospital. I still feel guilty for not having the (social) presence of mind to invite my parents, sisters and uncle to come in for at least a glass of water. They ended up taking me and husband to the hospital.

I was hoping I’d give birth that day, kinda bad because Potling was just 34 weeks old then. It’s becoming more and more difficult to live life like a watermelon with legs. But it wasn’t time yet. Although… once again, just to be sure, I was ordered to go on bed rest.

I haven’t written anything since that fateful day. Mulai (our laptop) is always accessible but it just didn’t make sense to wirte and not publish right away. Naks. As if, I actually have readers. But seeing that my mental notepad is running out of space due to the things I’ve been wanting to write about, I’m giving in. I’m writing in notepad and leave the date of publishing to fate (that also means to the kindness of my husband’s heart – he is my link to the world).

As for Birthday Bash? My dear friends from work prepared a special dinner/snack for me and Mother D. Ninang Q was the mastermind and Josie Pussy was the accomplice. Everybody was thoughtful, sweet and kind that day. Hope I can give back the favor of contributing to surprise lunches/snacks/dinners for ALL of them when their birthdays come. One day, I’ll write about the special people in the event. For now, I’d end this entry with Josie Pussy’s public announcement during the event.

“We are the three mothers. I am Mother Josie. He’s Mother Domeng and she is the motherfucker.”

I love it when Pussy says that. It makes me feel great about myself. Don’t ask.

Sixth Deadly Sin: ENVY

Like greed, envy may be characterized by an insatiable desire; they differ, however, for two main reasons. First, greed is largely associated with material goods, whereas envy may apply more generally. Second, those who commit the sin of envy resent that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, and wish the other person to be deprived of it. Dante defined this as “love of one’s own good perverted to a desire to deprive other men of theirs.” In Dante’s Purgatory, the punishment for the envious is to have their eyes sewn shut with wire because they have gained sinful pleasure from seeing others brought low. Aquinas described envy as “sorrow for another’s good”. [From Wikipedia]

Check this out.

SWEDEN
16 months paid leave per child – for ALL WORKING PARENTS (mother and father)
minimum of 2 out of the 16 months is REQUIRED to be used by “minority” parent (usually father)

ESTONIA
18 months of paid leave for mothers starting up to 70 days before due date
fathers are entitled to paid leave starting from the third month after birth

BULGARIA
mothers get 45 days 100% sick leave prior to due date, 2 years paid leave and 1 additional year of unpaid leave
pregnant women and single mothers cannot be fired

UK
mothers are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, 39 of which is paid, with the first six weeks paid at 90% of full pay and the remainder at a fixed rate

AUSTRALIA
“most employees in Australia are entitled to at least 12 months’ unpaid leave for the primary carer, and new parents are able to receive a Baby Bonus of A$5000 paid in 13 fortnightly instalments, which is roughly equivalent to the parental leave payment made to parents in New Zealand. From January 2009, the Baby Bonus has been restricted to parents on a combined income of less than A$150,000.”

PHILIPPINES (Emailed to me by our Benefits Team)
Your Maternity Benefit amount will be dependent on the number and amount of your SSS contributions. Maximum amount is Php 30,000 for Normal delivery and Php39,000 for C Section delivery. Insufficient number of contributions may not be eligible for SSS Maternity Benefit, however; 2 months of Maternity leave will still be in effect. Maternity leave is 60 days for Normal delivery and 78 days for C Section.

New Category: Survival Kit – Bureaucracy

Anyone who ever had to do business with the government through its very many offices knows what a pain in the ass it is to get clear and accurate instructions from the silos that we, taxpayers, are funding to flourish. Yes, some agencies have websites – none of which can claim being up-to-date and REAL. Yes, some have call centers – and nobody answers the phones. Yes, some have information desks – and they are proven wrong by their own colleagues.

I got married last January. I’m due to give birth in April. To say that I am so FRUSTRATED with the cryptic process flows of the local government, city hall, SSS, BIR, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG, etc. Accomplishing government paperwork is like participating in Finders Keepers while nursing a sprained ankle. It makes me want to pray for civil war… For the bloody rebirth that we need as a nation.

But then again, I’ve always believed in the challenging adage that “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Instead of whining about the vortex that is government processes, I will just post significant information from my exploits with the monster Red Tape. Hope you find them useful.

Tell me how

As D Day nears (Potling’s turning 32 weeks on Friday), more and more things to do-buy-decide on-discsuss are emerging. There’s one that I cannot seem to decide on.

I’ve been told to cut my hair.

Mom-friends shared the challenge of having to maintain long hair while taking care of a baby – breastfreeding included. But how can one say goodbye to something as pretty-ful as this?

curly-sue3

 

I grew my hair for the past three years in anticipation of our wedding. I wanted long hair on D Day. This pic was taken from that day… And I wasn’t so happy with the length yet – but was quite elated with the magic that hair gel and my own hands did (no curling needed hah!). I want longer hair on our “real wedding.” And I cannot afford to cut my hair now  if that’s the target.

As I was gently combing my hair using my fingers this morning, I made a pact with my fiesty locks.

We will rock this world.