Divisoria Mama

for people who want to know more about Divisoria and my journey towards being a Mama!

Warning: This Breastfeeding Mom Kicks Butt August 25, 2011

Filed under: Baby,Mama Stuff — erclimchu @ 4:41 pm
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Baby Rori in the Breastfeeding Room

My full name now is Elizabeth Co Limchu, I used to be Elizabeth Reyes Co.

It has been a family joke that whenever we would throw a fit or get into a fight that we are “Reyes na Reyes.” Seriously, we have stories within the Reyes family that would make you say “OMG! Really!?! “ But other than being quite the hotheads, I can proudly say that being a Reyes is one of the best things about me. They gave me character. They gave me fire. I don’t really take things sitting down, and I don’t back away from a fight unless I think it is wiser to do so. We are tough. We are fearless.

I’m very stubborn, and the good thing about my stubbornness and hardheadedness is that I actually use that to get me through tough times. I’m so hardheaded; I wouldn’t allow myself to fail.

When I gave birth via C section, I specifically gave my OB my birth plan which included “no formula, no glucose water for baby” and “room in immediately.” Unfortunately, the hospital I gave birth in is NOT very breastfeeding friendly. So my daughter who was supposed to be roomed in immediately was kept in the nursery. I called up the nursery, asking how come my baby wasn’t in the room yet, they said there were no instructions yet, so they have to verify with the pedia. Then I asked if they can make it faster coz I had to breastfeed my baby, and since I had specific instructions not to feed anything to my baby, she might get hungry. And I really wanted my baby to get collostrum. Then the nurse told me: “Mam, it’s ok,  I think someone already gave your baby formula” This made me so mad I wanted to hit someone with the handset in my hand.  (I’m not a violent person, promise. It’s just hormones and violent thoughts) When I questioned them about this, she just told me, “Mam, I’ll check then get back to you.” Which she didn’t do. This fueled my anger even more. So I called some people that I know who are breastfeeding advocates, and asked them what to do.  One person who really was ready to help even if it was already midnight was Ms. Nona of The Breastfeeding Clinic. She really helped me think of what I wanted, and know how I should speak to the staff and let them know that I know my rights. She even volunteered to speak to them on the phone should they refuse to believe me. Let me tell you, the people who are fighting for breastfeeding rights nowadays are not to be taken lightly. Ms. Nona for example is the first and currently the only non-doctor in the Philippines who passed the accreditation for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants or IBCLC. In short, she’s one tough breastfeeding momma.

After being aware that the mother in 313 (that’s me!) was ready to bite someone’s head off, someone called me and told me there was a mistake, that my baby wasn’t given formula after all. This didn’t appease me; it just made me think that other than being incompetent, they are now trying to cover up their mistake by lying. In the end I got to the truth. This to my utter dismay, she was given glucose water— twice! Imagine my anger and rage… I mean I have prepared myself for this for 9 months! I knew it was gonna be hard and painful, but it was a decision that I made! And to have that decision made for me without regard for my preference was totally unacceptable for me.

As if going through all this hoopla wasn’t enough, they told me that I cannot room in my baby yet. And the feeding time for the baby will start 7:00 am. I gave birth at 1:51pm, this was already 1:00 am. I asked the nurse “so you mean all the babies there are on a schedule? That they can only go hungry at 7:00am? And not a minute before that? I want to breastfeed my baby. I don’t care who you have to call, bring her here if you can. Do it now! I will breastfeed my baby.”

She called me back after a few minutes. Told me that they have spoken to their superiors and the only way I can breastfeed my baby is IF I CAN STAND UP AND GO TO THE NURSERY MYSELF. I just had a C-section a few hours before. I was not even allowed to use a pillow, and here they were asking me to stand up, get in a wheelchair and walk to the breastfeeding room alone (coz husbands are not allowed), with my catheter and IV, sit in a chair, and breastfeed my newborn baby. Crazy right? Did I do it? OF COURSE I DID! It was for my baby. A bulletproof tank couldn’t have stopped me. My husband kept asking if I’m sure I want to do this. I might faint. Thank God I’m not the fainting kind of girl. And I told him, even if I feel like fainting; I wouldn’t allow them to see me faint.  I breastfed my baby at 1:00am, 3:00am, 6:00am and 10:00am. And every time I would go feed her, a nurse would tell me, “Mommy you know, you should feed her formula by now, she’s getting hungry, sayang she’s big pa naman, she’s gonna become thin in no time.” or “Maybe you should give her water? Since you don’t have any milk yet?”And I would say something like “I’ll take care of it…thanks” Even if I total disagree with them just because I knew my daughter will still be in their care after I breastfeed…


alone with Baby Rori in the breastfeeding room, with IV and catheter on, but still breastfeeding

When my OB called and found out what happened, she was so mad, she went up to the nursery and scolded all the nurses. How dare they tell me – her patient to get up after a major operation? They said, the reason they told me to go to the nursery was to DETER me from going. Little did they know that it only gave me more drive to do so! Coz this breastfeeding mom kicks butt and would do anything— as in anything for my baby.

Baby Rori roomed in at last

So to sum up this post: here are some pieces of advice:

1.)    If you plan to breastfeed, look for a breastfeeding friendly hospital.

2.)    Make sure everyone who will handle your baby gets a copy of your birth plan.

3.)    Find a supportive pedia, particularly one who supports and believes in breastfeeding.

4.)    Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t breastfeed your baby.

5.)    Kick some butts if you have to and do it with poise.  =)

 

My Big Baby Birthing Experience August 19, 2011

Filed under: Baby,Mama Stuff — erclimchu @ 12:11 pm
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So here was the deal. I was armed and ready. I took classes for everything pregnant. Birthing class, Breastfeeding Class 101, 202 and 303, Yaya trained and ready, monthly checkup with the OB was going as planned, baby stuff all washed and ready to use. Birth plan printed and signed. During my 6th month of pregnancy, my OB was concerned that my baby was small, but after some tests, they reassured me that she’s fine and her size is still within normal range. Then one day, towards the end of my pregnancy, during a Biophysical Profile (BPP) – this is also Ultrasound, but takes longer and is more detailed coz they quantify the figures, baby’s physical measurement, amniotic fluid, etc… They told me the news. You’re having a BIG BABY.

The sonologist couldn’t believe the measurement she was taking. She had to repeat it 3 times. But in the end the result was the same. At 39 weeks, my baby was already 8.14lbs and I was only 50% effaced ( for the non moms,  meaning my uterus has not thinned out totally. It has to be 100% effaced during birth) and I was only 1 cm dilated (to give birth, cervix has to open up to 10cm). My OB’s first reaction of “OH! MY!”  kind of gave me the clue that I’m gonna be a challenge for them.

So after multiple BPPs and NST (non stress test – this is when they hook you up to a fetal monitor, and monitor your baby’s heartbeat, contractions and movement) I faced my fears and talked to my OB about the inevitable – C Section. I know a lot of people who gives birth thru CS, and I know it’s not a big deal, other than the fee is double of normal birthing, but this was huge for me coz for almost 9 months, this wasn’t what I was psyching myself for. It felt like I studied so hard for a certain exam for so long, then none of the questions in the test was gonna be taken from the book that I studied from.

But thanks to friends and family who gave birth thru CS, they have appeased my mind that if CS is the only way to go, then embrace it. My sister in law even told me: “Just think of it as saving your vagina! Haha!!!”

So when I talked to my OB, I was more prepared with my questions and was ready to hear the answers. I asked her if is it still possible to give birth naturally (meaning using LAMAZE method -no anesthesia) and normally (vaginal birth). Take note that by this time, not even a week has passed since my last BPP, and my 8.4 lbs baby was already 9.7 lbs. at 40 weeks, at 41 weeks, she was a whopping 10.0 lbs  (I swear she grew on her own and I didn’t overeat or anything, and the next person who would ask me if I did will be sucker punched in the gut… just kidding… ) She told me that some can give birth to big babies normally, but it’s up to me. I was having strong and consistent contractions by this time, but still 1 cm dilated. The way to do it was to induce me, which would make the contractions even stronger, hopefully to dilate faster. But I was worried coz 8 out 10 people I know who didn’t dilate and were induced ended up in CS anyways, with the mom so tired and in pain and the baby stressed. So I requested that if it seems that what I wanted was impossible, instead of inducing me then waiting 6 hours to dilate (my doc only gave 6 hours so as not to overstress the uterus and the baby) then wait if I could actually still give birth normally – which might jeopardize the health of the baby should she be too big for me to push or God forbid her shoulder or her tummy gets stuck, I requested to give birth via CS. No more trial for normal since even if I dilated, the baby might not fit anyways. And I would rather sacrifice anything than hurt the baby.

And so I was scheduled for CS the day after. The night before, I called up some friends and family and asked what I should expect coz above all, what I feared most was the unknown, and the only way to prepare myself was to KNOW what will happen. When I went to the Delivery Room, the moms who I saw the day before writhing in pain were still there, still in pain. And I was secretly thankful that I wasn’t in their shoes. Things went smoothly, there were moments that I was scared, especially since throughout my pregnancy I was expecting that my husband would be there with me during my labor had I been prepped for a normal birth. But since I was gonna have a CS delivery, hubby wasn’t allowed in the room (but I think some other hospitals allow that now, but not in the hospital I was in) Being an over thinker, the scariest part was the waiting for the OB and the anesthesiologist, lying on the operating table, staring up the big lights and wondering —-How things would go? Would I be ok? Is this the best decision for the baby? I hope she’s normal — and pretty and intelligent too if it’s not too much to ask from God … Can that male nurse just GO AWAY!?! 1st time Mom with no undies on the table here!?!

Then they came. The team who will help me see my angel. They were confident and efficient. My anesthesiologist I remember kept saying “I like that!” he kept making casual conversation with me, telling me that I’m tall “ I like that!” and when he found out I wanted to be awake during the operation so I can immediately latch my baby,  he only had to give me “one tap”— another “I like that!” and the male nurse that I wanted to go away was there for a reason, to help me bend to a fetal position – which is really hard with my huge belly so my “i-like-that anesthesiologist” could inject me through my spine, another “your strong! I like that!”, when he found out I’m having a big baby, “I like that!.”

After several more  “I like that’s”, and a few moments of not seeing anything but the sheet in front of me, hearing others calling out medical terms, others making casual conversation and some eerie noises of medical equipments later, and the longest moments of deafening silence, I heard the most beautiful sound— The sound of my baby girl crying. I remember my OB giving the staff some of my instructions according to my birth plan. Latch immediately, but since I had CS, they had to cut the cord first and the baby was still a little groggy I guess coz of the meds. No immediate bathing for baby, just pat dry.

And when I saw her, and it made it all worth it. All the pain, worries, sacrifices was forgotten. Some people say giving birth is over rated, that it’s just another human experience, but I beg to differ. I felt a different kind of emotion when I saw her. She took my breath away, she made me want to be more. She made me MOMMY. In all my eloquence the only sentence I was able to utter was— “Ang ganda ganda nya…” then she was brought to the nursery and I was off to lala land…

Check back in once in a while for the continuation of this story…

 

A Daughter/Sister’s Heatbreak August 1, 2011

Filed under: Mama Stuff — erclimchu @ 11:04 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our Last Family Picture

     I’m about to be a mom in a few days, that is, if my baby will cooperate and make her grand entrance on Aug 4, 2011. If not then I might have to go through some test that I assume will be painful or uncomfortable in the least. So, hopefully our little princess will be punctual unlike mommy who is always in the last 2 minutes before the start of every event.

     But before I was preparing to be a mom, I have always been a daughter. A very spoiled one at that. I’m the youngest girl in the family, and was the center of my mom’s world. She was everything to me. She made feel like being loved is the most natural thing that every daughter deserves to feel. Her world stopped just to make sure mine was on the right track. No sacrifice was too big, I never had to suffer anything other than the petty things that kids has to go through during childhood. I felt invincible just because she was my mom, and she loved me so and I knew that when she is around, I will always be loved by her and no other person can harm me, lest they want to see the wrath of a mom protecting her child. She was everything to me, my dad, my super mom, my confidant, my head cheer leader, my best friend and my best enemy too. We had a love/hate relationship that would be so up and down it felt like a roller coaster ride at times. But regardless of how much we fought, our love was also as fierce. I dont think i can ever love any other person the same way. Maybe I can love as passionately, but not the SAME way I have loved my mother.

   I also had a younger brother, and he and our mom had a different relationship. They became playmates. They would go to the zoo together, go to parks and have picnics. They did the things even my mom and I didn’t get to do. Maybe because while I growing up, our business wasn’t that established yet so my mom had to spend more time in the store working. Even though we saw different versions of our mom, I love my brother very, very much. When he was growing up, I took on the role of the disciplinarian, and my mom was the spoiler. So whenever my brother was being troublesome, my mom would call me to scare the heck out of him. I was the big, bad sister not to be messed with. Period.

     And then one day, my world turned upside down. My mom was caught in a very bad situation. She was robbed and she got hurt. Very severely hurt  that she didn’t survive. And it was the worse day of my life coz my mom is the strongest person I knew and all of a sudden she wasn’t there. I was so lost I didn’t want to move or feel anything. I wanted to be with her. I wanted to hurt every single person who hurt her, including myself for not being with her. I was in such excruciating pain all the time and I tormented myself even more by living every single moment I spent away from her. Every meal I missed, every night I spent out, every argument we had. The pain was so deep, I thought I would never resurface.

     But whenever I would see my brother, I would pick myself up, act mature and strong to make sure he wouldn’t wallow in the misery I wished to stay in forever because of my grief. So he became my rock. My reason to get up in the morning, my reason to live. The same way I was the reason my mom wanted to live after she and my dad got separated. I had to learn to live so he can live too. I had to adjust my treatment of him, instead of being the unapproachable, strict “achi” or sister, I had to be the sister who he can talk to when he needed me. I had to learn to me a mom/sister to him. And 2 months after our mom passed, he told me how much he misses our mom, and we both shared our pain and grief…

     While in grief, I would pray in church, and keep on asking God to please, please give her back to me. Like a child praying hard for something really wished for, I would promise to do anything, sacrifice anything… just let me sleep and wake up from this nightmare and everything would be a very bad memory. But every time I woke up, I would still be in the same bad dream. In the world where I didn’t have my mom with me to love me, and care for me. If pain, tears and heartaches could kill, I surely have already died a million deaths.

     I had to make a choice for our future. To continue the family business here, or go abroad with our other siblings. I chose to stay here, and be responsible for the the stores in Divisoria my mom left. It was hard work, but I knew that I was more lucky than others who get left behind by their parents. And I’m lucky who had siblings who gave me room to grow. They let me do things the way I thought best with little interference and a lot of support.

     To survive, I had to deceive myself that my mom is just on an extended vacation and I would have to be in charge while she’s away and I have to make her proud. It’s been 4 years… I sometimes still ask her in my prayers “Mom, I’ve been good, please come back now…I’m still waiting… ” or I would pray to God “God, please, please I beg you, please lend her to me, even just for 1 day, or in my dreams… please….” and sometimes I would see her in my dreams just like I prayed for…

     I grew up the day our mom passed. I was 25. It felt like I turned 40 the day after. And up to this day, I would always ask my mom, “Am I doing this the right way?” Whenever my brother would be winning contests in school, or getting good grades or awards, I would feel like my mom and I raised him right. But whenever he would be so stubborn or lazy or irresponsible, I would still ask my mom “Mommy, how could you have handled me, my being maldita?, coz this is so hard! What should I do?!?” Thankfully my shoti is a good kid, he listens and understands. He makes me so proud, he makes our mom proud. He’s very unlike me growing up, gosh I was a handful. He’s thoughtful and considerate. Of course he falls flat on his face at times, he frustrates me so much I want to pull my hair. But he’s learning, and I pray to God and Mom that I’m on the right track… Coz I’m really trying to make my mom proud so that I can see my mom happy again the day God decides that I’ve been through enough and would lend me my mom in my dreams again.

     It doesn’t matter how long, I would still wait…

 

 
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