Saturday, April 24, 2010

Meet Mita Ysabel Mangila Ponce

April 8, 2010 wasn't really my schedule to give birth to our baby, but since I was already having contractions every 8 minutes, my OB-Gyne decided to make an emergency CS.

Initially, my husband and I decided, April 20 will be the date, since I'm on C-section, we have the option to choose the birth date for our baby. Our OB agreed with the date but reminded me that I shouldn't go on labor on any dates prior to April 20, it's (I think) a no-no to go on labor if a CS procedure will be done on pregnant women.

I went to my OB's clinic on April 8 just for a check up but my OB sensed a regular contraction, meaning it was just time for me to bring out Mita Ysabel Mangila Ponce to this wonderful world.After an hour or so a baby girl now completes our family, my husband Lem, myself and our son Leon, gladly welcomed Maia to the family.

Thanks to all, our family, relatives and friends who likewise welcomed Maia and congratulated us for our baby girl.

Thanks also to the One up there who blessed us with another angel. Now we have two :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day

Today's Earth Day, let us do our share in keeping mother earth a good place to live in, not just for us but for our children and our children's children.

Mother Earth has been good to us, providing us with so many things. From the basics such us food, clothing, shelter and medicine to name a few and to the more complex - to the extent of degrading her such as logging and mining. The latter which is we shouldn't do and promote, still many already have benefited from these activities.

Simple actions such as the common waste segregation, reducing, recycling and reusing can be a good start in doing our share of saving mother earth.

Waste segregation - this can be started in our own household, segregating per se biodegradable materials from non-bio degradable materials. Further, segregating reusable materials, recyclable materials thus reducing consumption of various "hazards" to the environment. It is also advisable to clean materials before segregating so as to avoid pests in the household. We can set up properly labeled boxes or crates for the materials we are segregating.

Avoid using plastic materials. We can start by reusing shopping bags or by bringing our own shopping bags in doing our groceries and doing our shopping. There are a number of non-governmental organizations who promote the use of "katcha" bags or coco-cloth bags in their advocacy of helping our environment. Supporting them by using
these bags will also support their cause in saving the environment.

Go Green! - plant trees in our backyards. If we do not have enough space in our backyard, potted plants will do. Plants in any form help the environment by absorbing
carbon dioxide we emit and transforming them to oxygen. Plants also absorbs carbon emission of various appliances and vehicles. There is a computation on-line where we can compute for our household carbon emission and the corresponding number of plants/trees we need to plant to absorb the carbon we emit.

We can also join in local environmental organiza
tion who promotes planting of native trees to offset our carbon as well as help save our environment particularly saving the Philippine's Natural Forest.
These are just a few practices we can start with. With these simple acts, we can make a difference for our environment. Let us make Earth day everyday.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Second Baby coming out soon

March 30, 2010 was my scheduled visit with my OB. Since I'm already on my 35th week and 3 days, we discussed the possibility of scheduling my delivery on the 20th of April since I'm on c-section.

While doing the regular check-up on my tummy, my OB mentioned about not reaching the desired date. As she sees it, my tummy's quite low a
lready, she suggested for us to get an earlier date just in case. While on our way out of the clinic, me and my husband decided that we schedule it on the 15th of April, the latest. So, on my next check-up, which is on the 10th of April, we'll tell my OB that I'm ready to be opened on the 15th, hoping only that I won't experience labor pains before that date.

Anyway, with barely 2 weeks to go, both me a
nd my husband are getting more and more excited about the coming of our second baby. Leon, our first-born is already 3 years old and he too is quite ready as he's already accepted that he'll be a "kuya" soon...sometimes telling me that he'll help me prepare the baby's milk (which is still far-fetched at the moment because I'll be breastfeeding the baby just like what I did with Leon) or change the nappies...cute! Although there are still times when he tells us that he's still our baby :)

Since all of Leon's baby stuff can still be used by the baby, there are still a few stuff to buy though. I've received a nursing pillow from my office friends, given to me during the baby shower with a free pack of small-sized baby nappies. A close friend gave me a stuffed dolphin also for the baby. She gave Leon then a stuffed dog.

Today, we're off to buy the following:

1. Feeding bottle nipples for new born - just to be ready, I'll do breastfeeding though
2. Diapers for new born
3. Bedding with mosquito net
4. Cloth diapers - we want the baby to have his/her own set of these.
5. Baby bag - though Leon's bag is still good, Daddy M wants the baby have his/her own as well.

I've asked the nanny to wash all baby stuff and are now ready to use. Plus the above additional, we're all set to welcome our second child to this wonderful world.

Leon's first

Last March 27, 2010 was the wedding of our friend Djop to his girlfriend Gaile. Both are my office mates and friends but Djop is more our friend since we started in Haribon almost at the same time. The wedding ceremony was held at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish, in UP Los Banos, Laguna, while the reception was at the Sarimanok Ballroom of the Art Center, also in UPLB.

I was supposed to be the wedding coordinator, unfortunately because of my condition, both parties decided not to. Beside, I guess, it will be difficult with me as our son Leon is one of the flower boys. His first time as a member of a wedding entourage.

Me and my husband was already having a difficult time making him wear a barong and black pants, we were thinking, what more making him march the aisle. Leon has only turned 3 also this March, for us, he was still a baby.

On the wedding day, it was still difficult to make him wear the barong and black pants, we were just fortunate that another officemate's son, who was also a flower boy, helped a bit in convincing Leon to wear the attire. My husband, had to wear his barong as well just to make sure that Leon will wear his - like father like son thing.

We overestimated our son though, come marching time even though it wasn't his time yet to march, he walked down the aisle when he saw the other kids marching.

With his beautiful "trade-mark" smile, our 3-year old Leon, came marching confidently down the aisle. Looking at him, made me quite teary-eyed...he was just a baby I was cuddling, now he's already had his first march as flower boy. I'm so proud of my Leon!

Spice of Life

Early this year, Haribon Foundation, the organization I am with, conducted various orientations for the employees. One is the Wellness Orientation in which we invited speakers from PhilCare (formerly PhilamCare) and the Philippine National Red Cross.

Orientation with PhilCare is regular in such a way that they come to us annually to give us orientations on various topics, this year topic is on the most common infectious diseases. Which is good because the nature of work in Haribon entails working with communities and network. As the saying goes, Prevention is better than Cure.

While with the PNRC, this is our first time. We invited our members to join in the orientation, although only few came. After the orientation, we were all one in having a blood letting activity in Haribon, which will be open to employees and their family, Haribon members, networks and partners.

Learning about the activity, DENR-MIMAROPA which occupies the 3rd & 4th floor of the building we are in, decided to join forces with us for a bigger number of donors. Finally, we were set on March 11, 2010 for the blood letting activity, held at the conference room or DENR (which is bigger than ours).
Even before we had the activity, I, personally was open to donating blood, it is quite unfortunate because every time I try donating, I get rejected because of low red blood cells composition (????). For this year, I can't again, because I am on the family way :(.

What I did was talk to my husband to donate blood - as per the PNRC, any family member who donates blood can request for blood for any family member who needs one. At first, maybe he was thinking I wasn't serious, said yes. From the period of orientation until the date was set, I kept on reminding him of the schedule, he just dismisses me all the time. Thinking again, he can get away with it.

Until finally, it was the week of the activity. The donation was on a Thursday. Monday of that week, I again reminded him, now, realizing that I'm serious, he was giving me alibis such as it's number coding day and that he will be weak going to work (I told him to come with me to the office so he can be the first one to donate, then he can go to work afterwards). Tuesday, his alibi was that he was scheduled for a work out on Thursday (which he normally does, to be able to bring the car before the number coding time schedule). On both days, I was the one dismissing his alibis. Wednesday, I again reminded him. I made it through a phone call to his office. I told him that donating blood is beneficial not just to him but to us, his family, his parents and my mom - when such time comes that we will be needing blood transfusion, having a record, he can request for us. I even got to the point of reminding him that I'm due to give birth soon and might need some blood if matters comes worse.

I guess, I was able to put some senses on him, that he decided to donate but still with some inhibitions. During the conversation, issues of needles and blood came out - that was the real reason why he wasn't really into donating blood.
My husband, by the way becomes weak at the sight of blood and needles...notably common to the male species...sorry to say though.

An office mate of his, who was already a donor, overheard (I guess) our conversation, offered that she be enlisted in our activity. Making it more difficult for my husband to back out, as his office mate will be traveling all the way from their office to ours to donate while he wont.

Thursday came, my husband arrived after lunch for his turn to donate blood. I came along, not just to give him moral support but to see if he'll get weak at the sight of his blood and the needle. --- he didn't, but still managed to mention to me that he donated 450cc of blood and that it was too much for him :D.

Just recently, I had to go on some laboratory test in relation to my pregnancy, which entails extraction of blood. While in the hospital, waiting for my turn, my husband mentioned that for him, it wasn't really fun going to hospitals and working there for that matter. The conversation made me smile. I'm the opposite, as my dream back then was to be a doctor.

Funny though because we are exactly the opposite when in comes to situations like this but these are personal identities which makes us love each other more, makes us appreciate the importance of each one of us. Makes us realize that despite being married to each other and 2 people becomes 1, we still hold on to who we really are - giving spice to our life.

Visita Iglesia

Just like other Catholics, me and my husband, with our son tagging along, practice Semana Santa by doing the Visita Iglesia. I myself, has been into this even when I was still in college. Visiting 7 churches during Maundy Thursday for prayers, offerings and thanksgiving as well.

For this year, we were supposed to go to a nearby province to spend the Holy Week. But since I'm almost due to give birth, me and my husband decided not to, instead go east of Metro Manila for the yearly Visita Iglesia.

We started with San Jose Manggagawa Parish Church within the Loyola Subdivision in Markina City. There I prayed and offered my mom's present condition. Asking for Jesus to bring with Him the sufferings of my mom. She's due for an Iodine Radioactive treatment in relation to her thyroidectomy. She's had a radiation treatment last month, but needs to get this one soon. I prayed that she'll get through this one, will lesser treatment afterwards. I also prayed for my dad's death, still hoping for answers to many questions and for closure in the family.

Next stop was at the Immaculate Concepcion Parish Church in Concepcion, Marikina. Unlike the first church we went to, Immaculate Concepcion is a big one. I've been passing by this church so many times but it was my first time to get in. Here I offered prayers for my parents-in-law, that they be free from any illnesses and that they maintain the good relationship they have now.

The third church we visited was a
lso in Marikina City, in Calumpang, the Our Lady of Abandoned Parish Church. Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish is also known as the San Roque Church. Easy to find as it is located just beside the OTTO shoe building. Our Lady of the Abandoned also houses the Marikina Catholic School. Here I offered prayers for my family. Thankful that each and everyone of us are healthy. I prayed the my husband be kept safe and in good health, same with me, so we can provide well for our son and the coming baby. I also prayed that our son Leon be free from any sickness that plagues a lot of young children nowadays.

The fourth church we visited was the Our Lady of Light Parish in Cainta, Rizal. The church is along A. Bonifacio Ave. It is within the same compound of the Cainta Catholic School. Quite a big church, may be able to accommodate residents of Cainta and nearby municipalities. Here, I prayed for myself. I prayed for a safe delivery of our coming baby, which my O.B. said might come sooner than we expected. I likewise prayed that I be free from too much worries, insecurities, inhibitions --- all that bothers me, which hinders me from doing what is supposed to be done. I prayed for a more healthy me so I can be more of service to my husband, our son and the new baby, to my mom, parents-in-law and loved ones.

Fifth on the itinerary was on church in C. Raymundo Ave., Pasig City. Unfortunately, because of the procession of devotees to Antipolo Church, we weren't able to make the left turn towards the said street. We instead proceed to Mary the Queen Parish in Greenhills - the one beside . Here I prayed for my siblings, my sister and two brothers. That they be healthy and safe. I did offered to the Lord the not-so-good relationship we have with each other. Praying more that we're able to settle our differences and for a better relationship with one another. I did offer to the Lord our sufferings, I likewise prayed that all of us be enlightened from what it is that makes our relationship difficult.

Just a plus, here we saw Vince Hizon (a well-known cager) and his wife, who, by the way, is prettier in person than on tv.

Our sixth church is the St. John the Baptist church in San Juan. We weren't able to enter the church as it was closed but the Holy Sacrament was displayed beautifully in the church grounds, with lots of floral decors and flowing water under
neath. Here, I prayed for my husbands sister and his step siblings. That his sister be free from any illnesses as she's overworked already. I prayed that she find her time to attend to herself...she works hard to provide well for their five children but it is equally important that she also takes some time out for herself and for her family. It was just recently that my husband met his step-siblings, I likewise prayed for their good health, safety and that they be given a chance to get to know each other, anyway, they're brothers and sisters.

Last in our itinerary was the Santuari de Santo Cristo also in San Juan. We almost didn't make it as my husband who was driving the car, wasn't really sure of where he was going. San Isidro Labrador is located in F. Blumentritt St. in San Juan, quite hidden. It is an old spanish-style church with (again) the usual brick facade and walls, just by the look of it, you'll know it's an old church but is well maintained. Last but not the least, my prayers were for all of us, offering to the Lord all our sufferings, worries, problems, the heavy loads that we personally can't carry by ourselves. Asking the Lord to bring with his all of these and help us because I know He is stronger than all of us. Without Him we will not be able to go on with our daily lives.

In all of these churches, I offered to the Lord, not just the challenges we face in life but I also thanked Him for all the good things that happened to each and everyone of us. Thanking Him that we were able to surpass challenges, that life wasn't too difficult as compared to the past.

Visita Iglesia for me is not just commemorating the Lords sufferings, but this is also the time for me to reflect on the good things that happened to me the past year. This is also my chance to thank the Lord personally for saving our sins, taking up our heavy load, and still be there for us in times we need Him most. This is also my time to rebond with the Lord, make my personal relationship with Him more stronger.

I am not so much of a devote Catholic, I do go to church every Sundays and Holidays of obligations and for this year I've started hearing mass on first Fridays, I try to be a good person by following His teachings, but I do know I have a good relationship with the Lord. I do pray though that my children will be just like me in terms of our faith in the Lord, if not better.