Sunday, August 18, 2013

Why learn to how to hand-express breastmilk?

 It is breastfeeding month and I have not posted much about the topic recently.  I've thought about what new thing I've learned about breastfeeding and the first thing that came to mind is hand expressing breastmilk.

I'm not an expert in hand expressing  but I must say that learning how to do it has a lot of advantages.  I still need a lot of practice but I appreciate this skill more now as I breastfeed the twins (compared to my breastfeeding days with Ben three years ago) .

First of all,  my output in hand expressing milk is (usually) more compared to the pump.  This was particularly helpful when the twins were in the NICU and I had to leave expressed milk for them at night.  When I pumped, I barely produced enough for one baby but when I hand expressed, I was able to produce enough for two.  

Hand expressing is convenient and cost effective.  If you know how to hand express properly, you can do it anytime anywhere you're comfortable with.  All you need is a sterile container for your milk.  Sometimes, when I'm in a rush to leave the house, I'll be content with just bringing along a towel and a sterile bottle.  It's a good skill to have especially if you leave your pump behind or if it runs out of power.
Labor of love and of bare hands - still needs a lot of practice though!

Also, even if you have the pump, you'll notice that you can still hand express some milk after your pumping session.  It's more quiet than a pump, too!  When I express milk at night to build my supply for the twins, I usually end up hand expressing milk instead of setting up the pump.  This way there's less chance of waking up the kids and I save more time.

Another advantage of hand expressing is less chance if developing clogged ducts.  Hand expressing milk and massaging go hand in hand.   When you hand express, you can easily feel if you have lumps or which part of the breasts has clogged ducts that need attention.

So are you now convinced that this skill is "handy" as a breastfeeding mom? If yes, try learning it by watching the youtube video in this link :). As an added tip, should you decide to do it, try to find a way to make sure you "catch" the milk letdown from the breast you're not expressing from.  Every drop of that liquid gold counts!

Oh, and you do you know that you get more milk if you relax while hand-expressing? During our LATCH Breastfeeding Seminar last weekend, Velvet Escario-Roxas was able to observe me expressing milk.  She reminded me to take deep breaths because I was doing it too quickly.  Yes, those of you who know me are probably not surprised because it's part of my personality to always be in a hurry.  It just goes to show that breastfeeding, even when expressing milk, should be done with love.  Having to express milk for your baby may not be "fun".  Direct feeding your baby is always way better.  But when you do need that extra motivation to express milk for your child, just remind yourself of its benefits.

PS. It is my personal wish that most hospitals would be able to teach  moms of newborns how to hand-express.  It's quite empowering to see actual milk coming from you especially during the early days when you'd question yourself if your supply is enough.  While this skill is not strictly a "must" in order to successfully breastfeed, it can really be helpful.

Friday, August 16, 2013

What's new with ahia Ben :)

 It's time for an ahia Ben update, don't you agree?:)

Our eldest is still (at times) a baby at heart but there are the little signs that remind me that time is indeed moving forward and this little boy is growing up each day.

As shared by his teachers, I am happy to say that Ben has been learning to develop deeper friendships with his classmates.  This is something that I also noticed this year.  He's asking for playdates and is more sensitive towards his peers.  He'd comfort a classmate when he sees someone crying and would say sorry when he accidently bumps someone or spills something.

In an attempt to encourage him to read and write, we enrolled Ben in reading classes at the Learning Library.  We're fortunate they have a branch nearby at Wilson street in San Juan. The sessions are just 30 minutes long which is adequate for Ben's attention span.  He sits down with an instructor and reads a story after which he will answer some questions to test his comprehension. They also tackle one letter a day, practicing how it sounds and how to write it.

As an ahia, there are days when Ben is still adjusting to his role as a big brother.  We try to give him tasks that would let him help take care of his sisters.  There are moments when he would willingly do them, and instances when he'd require a lot of encourgement.  We're happy with his progress, though, especially since he willingly includes the twins in our evening prayers. It's a real challenge trying to juggle three children.  What Bry and I usually do is greet Ben first before his sisters when they are in the same room.  We also suggest our visitors to do the same thing because we notice that if we give him ample attention, he won't feel jealous towards the girls.  Should you have any  additional tips for us, we're all ears.  I'm sure things will become more challenging as they grow older.

Have a good weekend, everyone!
Lets all remind each other to count our blessings :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mommy Nats Birthday Giveaway!

It's August! Yehey! It's time for a simple birthday giveaway :)

I love reading.  I used to have a lot of books way back when I still didn't have Ben and the twins.  I like the feel of holding an actual book and turning the pages.  When Bry and I started having kids, I switched to eBooks / Kindle because I can easily get back to what I was reading through my phone or Ipad.  

I still prefer an actual book, though :) and this giveaway is a combination of two things that are close to my heart, prayer and reading.  I am giving away a copy of Father Johnny Go's Quick Questions, Uneasy Answers.  It's a wonderful book with reflections tackling a lot of the things we ask about God and our faith.  What's nice about this book is each point of reflection is just about 3 pages long.  The type of reading is just right for a busy parent.  It was also my reading material when the twins were in the NICU.  

To join, simply provide the following details as a comment on this blog entry or link:

1.) Full name and email add
2.) A prayer intention you wish to share so others may pray with you

See? Very simple!!!
Good luck, entries until the end of the month will be accepted :)

PS.  I am a huge fan of Father Johnny.  His homilies and online recollections are touching, direct to the point and very current.  We have the honor of having him at our wedding and Ben's baptism.  We (Father Go and I) also have the same birthday.  How cool is that? :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Our Mind Museum Visit

We recently took Ben to the Mind Museum, located at 3rd Ave in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.  I've been curious about the place and admittedly we were a little stressed because it was an impromptu visit.  Nevertheless, we were glad we decided to go through with it.

Bry took a few photos which I'm sharing here.  I apologize for not taking lots of them.  We were busy running after Ben who enjoyed exploring the place.

What I loved about the Mind Museum is that it made most of its space.  It's basically divided into 5 exhibits, namely: Universe, Technology, Earth, Life and Atom.  The items in the exhibits are very interactive.  They stimulate each of your senses (yes, they even have a scents exhibit and there's a snack bar for your taste buds) which is perfect for curious kids.  We will definitely be back especially when Ben goes to big school already.

This month is a good time to visit the Mind Museum because they offer a discount from P600 to P450 for the adult 3-hour pass if you dine in any restaurant in the Bonifacio Global City area.  Take note that the regular tickets are good for  3 hours (9am-12nn, 12nn-3pm, 3-6pm and 6-9pm during Saturdays).  3 hours is more than enough to explore the place but the museum also sells all-day passes for P750.  Also, the museum is closed during Mondays.

Have you guys been to the Mind Museum? How was your experience?

You can find out more about the Mind Museum in their webpage right here  You can also order tickets online and get discounts if you are using your Mastercard.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Twins update at 3 months :)

The twins just turned 3 months. Yes, it has been more fun now that they have more waking hours but with this month comes the growth spurt.  The marathon feedings at night are very challenging but when I feel tired, I try to close my eyes and be thankful that God has entrusted such wonderful girls to me and Bry.  I'll still feel tired but somehow I get by.

The twins still continue to show their difference in personalities.  Bridget likes watching ahia Ben play and doesn't mind it when he's noisy and makes a mess of their room.  Bea prefers to watch the trees from the window and gives a little frown when their room isn't orderly. 

I feel blessed to still be breastfeeding the twins.  I still prefer feeding the girls one after the other than feeding them at the same time.  However, I tandem feed the girls when needed.  I'm only comfortable feeding them via the football hold.  I've been trying to research on other breastfeeding positions for twins.  Here's hoping I get to learn another position by the time they reach four months :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Focus on the " Finish Line"

The past few days have been challenging for me.  The twins have been keeping me up all night and because I've been stressed, I haven't been pumping my best yeild. There were moments when I'd cry just to release the pressure I was feeling, then pray hoping that things would get better.

I'm blessed to have Ben, and I hold on to my experience with him and tell myself that the twins will grow up and reach his age, too.  Ben is sort of the "finish line" or the "goal". I try to look back at those challenging nights during his newborn days and tell myself, if I survived during those days, then there's a chance I'll make it this time, too. When I am worried about my capability to feed for two, I tell myself that during Ben's days, I had more than enough milk so maybe this time I'll be enough for my two girls.  These nights may be challenging but just as Ben eventually slept through the whole night, so will our lovely daughters.  It's just a matter of time.

So here's sending hugs and mommy/daddy powers to all new parents out there.  Lets all hold on and have faith that things will get better (sleep-wise and feeding-wise) :) 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Behind Every Breastfeeding Mom is a Supportive Dad

This Father's Day, I would like to honor these special men in my life by sharing how important their support has been in being able to breastfeed Ben and now, Bree and Bea.  One would think that breastfeeding is just the mom's responsibility.  But the truth is, a mom will find it very hard to breastfeed if she isn't supported by her husband (and dads).

Bry and I started our breastfeeding journey with Ben without attending any seminar or training.  It was tough because Ben fed frequently and even if we knew breastfeeding was best, we actually didn't know specifically why it is so.  Over time, as I was researching how to improve my supply, I also found out the many reasons why breastfeeding is best.  I'd share these with Bry who became even more supportive as he was more informed of its benefits.

It doesn't take a big gesture to support a breastfeeding mom.  It's the little things that mean a lot.  In our case, Bry would make sure I'm hydrated.  He'd also feed me while I'm breastdeeding.  He's very understanding with my pumping my schedule, helps me clean my pump parts and makes sure I have a proper place to express my milk.  Another important thing is that he understands that not each cry is a hunger cry.  This is especially important now with the twins.  He would cuddle one of the girls while I feed the other one. And when they do need to be feed at the same time, he helps me position and latch them properly.  

My father and father-in-law are supportive in their own ways, too.  They never questioned my supply.  They make sure I eat healthy dishes, and would spend time with Ben so I can focus on the girls.  They may seem simple but it goes a long way.

It just goes to show how important it is to have the support from the men in our lives in order to achieve our goal to provide our children with the best start in life.

And a special shout-out to brother-in-law, ahia Popoy! You and achi are doing such a fine job with Basti.  I'm sure with your guidance, he'll be a loving big brother :) 

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there :) 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Winner of Daddy Bry's Bday Giveway!

Hi Everyone!

A special thanks to those who joined our giveaway to celebrate daddy Bry's birthday month.  Here is the winner as randomly chosen by the superdad

Congrats, Mommy Evelyn Chua :) We'll email you to get more details as to how to send your yummy Kitkat snacks! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy 2nd month, girls!

Happy 2nd Month, Bree and Bea :)

It's been quite a ride with the twins and ahia Ben. Now that I'm not on house arrest anymore, it's becoming a challenge to strike a balance between spending quality time with Ben outside the house and spending time with the twins who are still at home all the time.

Ben can really be a handful and my lack of sleep can make me quite cranky.  Therefore it is a blessing that despite all the craziness, I am still able to get to know the twins better individually.  I must say, they're basically two different babies who just happened to be born almost at the same time.

Bree reminds us so much of Ben, physically as well as her demeanor.  She's the better latcher and likes her needs to be met instantly.  Her naps are short and likes to ne cuddled all the time.

Bea on the other hand, is more laid back.  More often than not, she would willingly wait for her turn after her sister is fed.  She does take her time, though.  When I tandem feed the twins, Bree would often finish earlier rhan bea even if Bea had a headstart.  Bea's eyes are bigger, too, which can be quite endearing when she stares at you wide awake at 3am.

I am trying to keep myself from wanting the twins to grow up quickly, but I do admit I am quite curious as how they will show their differences in personalities as they grow older.

Please join me and Bry as we give thanks for another month with the kids (yes, kulit ahia Ben included) and for their good health. :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Daddy Bry's Birthday Giveaway!

Happy Birthday, Daddy Bry!

I'm proud and blessed that Bry is a hands-on dad. Now with three kids, he's juggling between going back to basics with the twins (diapers, burping, swaddling) and handling a spirited pre-school-er like Ben (reading/counting, discipline, and answering questions like "if girls don't have birdie, how do they wiwi?")

Bry cupfeeding Bridget at the NICU during the twins' early days
Most important of all, he understands that a happy mom makes a happy home. He'd let me get some rest in the evening by taking care of Ben so I have energy for the twins' night-time feedings. He's supportive with my goal to breastfeed and is willing to do his part to make things easier. Last but not least, he understands why we need to once in a while take a break from all the craziness at home, have dinner out and unwind. He makes me a better mom and I'm lucky to have him as my partner in taking care of the kids.

So for our simple give-away  I'd like to honour one of Bry's recent favourite snacks, GREEN TEA KITKAT! One lucky reader gets a small box of green tea KITKAT and because he loves trying out new things, we'll throw in small pieces of some other flavours as well. It's not much, but hopefully it can serve as a reminder that as parents, we do need a break once in while :)

yum! yum! yum!

To join, simply share the following info as a comment here or at this blog entry's facebook link:

Happy Birthday, Daddy Bry!
Full name
Email address
What do you do to reward yourself/ when you need a break from your parenting duties?

Good Luck!

(Entries will be accepted until May 31!203)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just Do it!

(belated) Happy Mother's Day ... :)

I always wanted to be a mom.  When we had Ben, I realized what a challenge motherhood can be.  Still, Bry and I wanted to give Ben a sibling.  What we weren't expecting was that Ben will have not just 1 but 2 sisters :)

Family and friends have been asking me how  we manage handling 3 kids.  That has always been my concern ever since I found out I was pregnant.  Now I realize, no matter how much we prepare for parenthood, sometimes you just have to trust your instincts and just do it.  The same goes with breastfeeding the twins. I    take things a day at a time, thankful for each day that the kids are fed and healthy.  Breastfeeding is working for me because it makes me consciously think of the twins even when there's a tendency for their brother to monopolize my time and attention.  There are moments when I feel so overwhelmed I'd cry but somehow the Lord is able to give me that extra burst of energy when I need it the most. 

What also gives me strength is that I am lucky enough to be surrounded my supermoms who inspire me.  They are there when I need a boost and when I think of them, I'd tell myself, if they can do it, then I can, too.

I must admit, there are times when I wish the kids will grow up a bit faster so they can be independent, but I know once they do I'll miss this stage in their lives.  We love you, Ben, Bree and Bea.  May you love each other as much as your dad and I love you :)

Why I Vote

It's election time again and just like the last election 3 years ago, I was a breastfeeding mom. It's an effort to prepare to leave the house to vote, pumping and endorsing the kids to the yayas, not knowing exactly what time I'll be back, but I am glad I did it.

I vote because I want to set a good example for my kids, that one should make an effort to do one's civic duty and let his/her voice be heard. I want my kids to grow up caring about the issues around him / her even when it can be tempting to just be apathetic. I want them to feel blessed that we are in a country where our voices are heard. Yes, it may just be one vote, and chances are not all the people you vote for would win. What is important is you made your stand and commit to do what it takes to be part of something, in this case, choosing the leaders for our country.

Bry and I are still assigned in different precincts  but by the next election, we plan transfer to the same precint so that eventually all 5 of us (with the kids) will be able to vote together. Hopefully there will be more improvements in the election process by the time it's their turn

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ge Lai Survival Guide

Gelai is the chinese custom of a month long recovery period of a mom after giving birth.  The rules behind Gelai stem from the olden times in China when access to hot water is very limited.  Still, many Fil-Chi moms still practice it.  Here are some tips how to survive 30 days of being on house arrest and no shower (yikes!!!)

1.  Plan ahead - as you approach your due date, make a list of errands : groceries, haircuts,  your dental check-up, check-up of the older kids, etc.  Bry, Ben and I got haircuts a few days before I was scheduled to deliver.  We also made sure our pantry was full.

2. Watch TV Sitcoms - I love watching tv sitcoms because they're able to give me a short break from all the craziness that's happening.  They're great pumping buddies, too, since they're just 20 minutes short.  My favorites:  Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Raising Hope, New Girl and The Big Bang Theory

3. Take lots of naps - I read somewhere that naps are God's gift to the impatient.  In a way it is true.  When you're tired of waiting, a nap helps you pass the time.  In case of a newborn mom, naps are important to get enough energy.  I usually have to take a short nap after lunch and after dinner so I can take care of the twins properly.  When I am left to take care of the twins all by myself, I do my best to put them to sleep until reinforces arrive.  Of course, ahia Ben needs his nap, too!

4. Watch what you eat and drink
Moms who go through gelai have a certain diet.  Generally speaking these dishes are nutritious but if you are nursing, you have to observe the effects that eating these dishes have on your milk.  Some babies are sensitive to chicken, wine, chocolate, and other herbs.  If there are signs of allergies on the baby, try to revise your diet and check if the symptoms persist.

5. Break a few rules
Strictly speaking, Gelai calls for a mom not only to postpone taking a shower for a month, but also to avoid drinking anything cold and to always wear long sleeve tops/long pants (among others).  The reason behind is to avoid getting sick during this recovery time since it is believed that whatever sickness you get during gelai, you'll get it for the long term.  I do my best to follow all the rules but given that I gave birth in the summer, I would occassionally wear short pants with sleeveless shirt and have a drink of lukewarm water.  Also in our case, I'm not suppose to leave the house or take the stairs but didn't have any choice since I had to go back and forth to the hospital.

6. Have someone do errands for you 
No matter how much you prepare, chances are you'll need help with some of the chores especially in your first month.  Have someone do the groceries, cook food, go to the bank, etc. 

7. Make a list of the things you plan on doing once you are a gelai graduate
- It helps to know the finish line is around the corner, and planning what you'll do once you can officially go out and about may motivate you to finish the month.  Mine was being able to watch a movie with Bry and going to mass.  

8. Have a newborn shoot at home - your little one will only be little once.  Why not have the experts document this precious phase? Try Stanley Ong Photography !($

Whether you believe in Gelai or not, hope you'll find some of these tips useful in surviving being a mom to a newborn.  In my experience, doing it the second time around doesn't make it easier, but knowing what to expect makes you wise enough to think of ways to make it more fun / bearable.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Small Victories

Last week was a week of small victories. Nothing fancy, but sometimes having the little things go your way can cheer you up big time.

I've been thinking of buying swimming fins for Ben but didn't know where to look for one that's his size. Luckily, his coach and fellow parents from his swimming classes told us about Aquamundo, a shop for swimming and diving wear in Makati. I was able to buy it in time for Ben's next swimming lesson. I was also able to buy him a new pair of goggles to replace the one he broke, yehey

I was also determined to watch two movies during the week. I wanted to watch Sarah Geronimo and John Lyodd's It Takes a Man and a Woman and of course the much awaited Ironman 3. I've been looking forward to watching these movies for months. It may not seem like a big deal but planning to watch a movie when you have newborns at home isn't easy. We almost didn't make it to the time slots we planned on watching because of traffic. For both movies, we had to ask the ticket attendant to let us in even if we were late. During the Ironman show, we even had the usher of the theater go to the ticket seller to tell her that there were still available seats in front. We were lucky we were able to make it. (PS. We were lucky with the other movie, too! It takes a Man and a Woman has been in theaters for a month by the time we watch it, some movies don't last that long)

It may not seem much but sometimes having the little things go your way can re-energize you big time. What's your latest "small victory"?

(Movie poster photos courtesy of wikipedia :))

LAB Wears Mommy's Day Promo

Great news mommies!!! The wonderful ladies behind Latch A Babe Nursing and Maternity Wear are having a promo :) see the photo below for details. Hurry and share your photos and get a chance to win discounts :) I'm also sharing a photo of me and the girls, courtesy of Stan Ong (who else!) As you can see, their Cher dress in mocha is one of my favorites. It's very flattering to a mom's post partum figure and I get compliments like "You don't look like you just gave birth to twins" ... well, it's the magic of the dress and actual breastfeeding, of course!

Looking forward to seeing your lovely photos in the LAB Facebook page, Good Luck, mommies!

Friday, May 3, 2013

NICU Diaries: Breastfeeding talk at the Hospital Nursery

Ahia Ben visits his shobes

I spent almost 2 weeks at our hospital's nursery feeding the twins. During that time, I heard a lot of things about breastfeeding / feeding newborns. Just wanted to share my thoughts about them

1. Breastfeeding is best for baby - this one is something I agree with. Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits for both mom and baby that can't be found elsewhere.

 2. Know how to hand express - I honestly think all moms who are interested in breastfeeding should be taught how to hand express milk before leaving the hospital. I learned how to do it during Ben's second month. In the case of the twins, it became a lifesaver during their early days. I think I was able to express more milk by hand than the pump when I was just starting. Anyway, the skill costs nothing and comes in quite handy during emergencies (and not noisy, too, hehe)

 3. Avoid using the pump as it will damage your breast - Direct feeding may be the prefered way to feed your baby but a pump can be your best friend if you use it properly. Try not to go over 20 minutes when pumping and massage to help unclog your milk ducts

 4. "I just came here an hour ago for a feeding, gutom na naman?" - Isn't this the story of every mom during the first few weeks of breaatfeeding? With the twins, I lose count how many times I feed them especially at night. When it comes to newborns, you watch the baby and not the clock. Easier said than done though, but hopefully frequent feedings will lead to more supply

 5. "Doc, can you please prescribe me formula milk just in case?" I've encountered moms who were sent home with recommendations from their pediatrician as to which brand of formula milk to use just in case they want to stop breastfeeding or start mixfeeding. I hope these doctors were able to explain to the moms the benefits of breastfeeding before talking about what kind of formula milk to give. I am not anti-formula, but I am for encouraging moms to breastfeed for as long as they can, and letting them of the benefits so they can make an informed choice.

 6. "She is a lactation consultant" - Strictly speaking, a lactation consulatant is one that is internationally certified. We only have a handful of them in the country. Then there are lactation counselors like us in L.A.T.C.H , who voluntarily provide support to moms. Then there are lactation therapists/masseuse. All of them can be helpful in your breastfeeding journey if you match your requirements with their skills.

 Hope this info is helpful especially for new mommies. Good luck :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Birth Story (and then some.. :) )

Let me start by thanking the Lord for a safe delivery of our two princesses, and of course to everyone who sent their well wishes through calls, text and Facebook. To those who liked their photo, we know who you are and we appreciate taking the time to click and say hi.

Now, meet the Tan twins, Naisha Bridget and Naevea Beatrice .. :)

We wanted to name the girls after saints, which is why we chose Beatrice and Bridget.  Bry chose the name Naevea which meant "alive" and I chose the name Naisha which meant "special"

Born a minute apart, weighing around 3.8 pounds. We know that they'll be tiny from the start. That's actually the reason why they were delivered early. The twins have been growing slowly for the past two weeks which cause the doctors to be concerned. Thank God they're okay. We would have wanted them to be delivered full term but as long as they're healthy and safe, we were prepared to welcome them early.

So the day of the twins will be delivered arrived, and I was as nervous as ever. I told Bry to arrive just a few minutes before the surgery so he didn't have to leave Ben behind very early in the morning. It was scary being taken to the operating room by myself even if this wasn't my first time. I was also worried that Bry would not arrive on time to see the girls being delivered. Thankfully, he arrived just as the doctors were about to start the surgery..

As the girls were being delivered, I felt very nervous.  I kept on praying that they'll be fine. I was relieved when I heard a baby's cry and then another one a minute after. I was also relieved that Bridget was able to latch properly. Bea tried, too. She was able to latch gently then the girls were brought to the NICU right away for monitoring.

During the next few hours. I stayed in the recovery room until I was stable enough to be transferred to the regular room. I wanted to talk to Bry and ask him how the girls were doing but I was told that he wasn't allowed inside. Thankfully, the two girls were brought to me for feeding in the recovery room. They had a blood pressure monitor attached to them and were in an incubator to make sure the temperature around them was stable. Not so bad, I thought.

The next few hours were a blur, I was tired and everything was happening fast with visitors and feedings. I was feeding the girls one after the other until several hours later when they were brought to me at the same time.. it was a challenge breastfeeding them at the same time with their tiny mouths and soft heads/neck. I was grateful there were nurses to help, and even more grateful that when I tried to express milk, there was actually colostrum coming out. This gave me hope, maybe I can actually feed the twins after all.

The first week was quite challenging. After the first day, I had to be the one to go the NICU for feedings. It was hard getting up from bed and walk with a c-section wound. It was tiring going for feedings round the clock. There was one time I felt asleep while feeding the girls at the NICU. Thankfully the nurses were able to (literally) catch me as I was able to fall while dozing off.

As we coordinated with our doctors, it became clear that the girls needed to stay behind until they gain some weight. It was really a challenge, they lost a lot of weight during their first 5 days. This is normal for newborns but the twins can't afford to lose a lot since they're very light to begin with. The doctors suggest we cup feed to monitor their intake, and so that the twins can be fed while I am not at the hospital. I knew where they were right but that meant I needed help since I was still building up my supply. Thankfully, there were kind hearted and generous moms who offered to share their liquid gold. We are forever grateful to them. You ladies know who you are. Thank you for helping us with our goal of giving the girls only breastmilk.

As I go back and forth the hospital's nursery to direct feed (while recovering from a c-section), I tried to tell myself that what I am doing will benefit the girls in the long run. (This is especially true for female babies.  Long term breastfeeding decreases their chances of having ovarian and breast cancer) The nurses would tell me that most parents would just leave milk for their babies who stay behind and not feed directly any more. I feel blessed that I have the support and means to go to the nursery twice a day for feedings. It was hard work, but I know feeding them directly would increase my chance of breastfeeding the girls successfully. It was also a challenge leaving Ben behind at home. There was one morning he woke up without me and Bry by his side. When our helper told him that Bry was at the office and I was at the hospital, Ben said "oh no, I am alone again". I felt very sad after hearing that, I prayed that the girls will be allowed to go home soon so all the kids are in one place. It was stressful worrying about Ben whenever I am at the hospital and worrying about the twins whenever I am with Ben

About a week after I left the hospital, I got my wish. The doctors were seeing a trend in the twins' weight gain and were cleared to go home. It has been a wild ride ever since. We're getting to know the girls better each day, and at the same time trying to help Ben see that he's now a big brother. We are a work in progress, often-times  Bry and I would be in "survival mode", taking things a day at a time. We're happy, harassed, lost, stressed, but we are finally COMPLETE :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

My wardrobe of nursing and breastfeeding clothes, loving Latch A Babe Maternity and Nursing Wear

When I was pregnant with Ben, I bought clothes that were for my pregnancy.  I thought of breastfeeding but I never thought of buying nursing clothes until I gave birth.  As I began to enjoy nursing Ben, my wardrobe evolved to mostly breastfeeding clothes, and because Bry and I were planning to give Ben a sibling, I made it a point that most of my clothes, particularly dresses, are for both maternity and nursing.  That way. I'll be using them for a long time.( take note that there are clothes for maternity only, nursing only and for both)

One of my favorite maternity and nursing wear is LAB's Cher Dress.  I got mine in choco (brown) and love the fabric and the print.  Here are some photos of me wearing it while pregnant and nursing.
preggy me at MTQ on Palm Sunday, Father is asking if I am ready for the twins, I quickly replied "no" haha

nursing Bridget

Full view of the dress :)

I'm so happy there are brands like LAB wears that make me look good even as a bloated preggie and a harassed new mommy.  To see their collection, you can check out their Facebook page here

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Magic of Stanley Ong Photography

Last week, we were fortunate enough to have Stanley Ong and his team spend time with us for maternity and family shots.  Stan does home service photo shoots which are both convenient and relaxing for his clients.  I have been a fan of his work and was admittedly a little nervous about the shoot.  However, Stan was able to make us feel at ease and was great with Ben.  Here are some of the photos, and while I love my solo shots, my favorite ones are those with our little master.  Looking at his recent photos made me realize how much he has grown.

With all the anxiety as we wait for B1 and B2, it was nice to take a breather and simply enjoy the last few weeks being a family of three.  Of course, we look forward to meeting the twins and sharing with family and friends their newborn shots ( care of Stan's team, of course :) ).  

You may check out Stan's website at and email for more info.  You can also book him for events, too!

Have a Blessed Week ahead :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

winner of Ben's giveaway

My apologies for the super delayed post :( Trying to catch up on updating the blog since it has been a very hectic month.  Anyway, we are happy to announce the winner for Ben's birthday give-away of Play-dohs.  I managed to get  a shot of Ben picking the winner but it was a bit blurry.  I was the best among all the ones I took, though, hehe.  The challenges of taking a photo of a super-likot boy :)

Congrats to mommy Gen for winning the give-away! We'll get in touch with you as to how we can send the simple yet fun prize!

Daddy Bry and Mommy Nats cook with Ben's class

Sharing with everyone some photos of Bry and I cooking with Ben's classmates.  Bry prepared polvoron while I prepared fruit salad with the kids.  We are happy that Ben is in a school where there are opportunities for the parents to be involved.  Our activities were quite simple, just pouring and mixing, but we still got nervous doing them.  I really appreciate Bry  for taking time out from his busy schedule at work to do this with the kids.  It may not be a big deal but I am sure Ben will look back at the photos with fondness and realize how much effort it took for his papa to join him in class.  Thanks to teacher Karen for the photos.  Here we go... :)

We had containers so the kids can take home what we made together.  The finished products turned out quite well (yehey), not bad considering we are not really experts in the kitchen.  Hope everyone had a good month.  Ben will surely miss school when the school year ends in a couple of weeks.