Thursday, March 27, 2014

Red, White and Black: Stimulating Infant Vision

Did you know that the first colors an infant sees are red, white and black? I learned this before Ella was born. So to stimulate vision and thus stimulate brain development, I replace their baby mobile attachments with something red, white and black. 

When buying a baby mobile, opt for a not-so-expensive one wherein the attachments can be replaced. I bought ours for just P299 at Robinson's Department Store's baby section. There's a dial that you turn around for it to play music - nice and simple with no need for batteries! Just create anything with red, white and black with just enough size and weight to replace the original attachments on your baby mobile. I used cartolina to create the figures in the picture but you can use fabric and stuff it with cotton. That way they can also be the perfect first stuffed toys for your little one! Happy crafting!

your every woman,

No Baby Monitor? No Problem!

We saw a baby monitor at a baby stuff shop while I was pregnant and hubby thought we may need it. I told him we don't have a big house and Serene won't have her own room (Even Ella doesn't have her own room yet!) so we won't need a baby monitor. It wasn't until Serene lived with us for a couple of weeks that I realized the need for a monitor.

You see, our house is an up-and-down type of apartment that has 2 bedrooms on the 2nd floor. The nanny and my mom sleep on one room while my whole family sleeps on the other. There would be times when hubby sleeps in the morning after coming home from evening work and the AC would be on. We maximize AC time by sleeping with him in the afternoon. I can only sleep 2 hours in the afternoon given that I'm not working yet and since Serene is still asleep, I leave her in the room with her dad. That's when I need a baby monitor! 

Good thing my Sun cellular subscription includes unlimited calls to Sun numbers and Ella has a Sun cellular number! Why? Here's how this has become a solution to my baby monitor dilemma:

1. Call Ella. 
2. Answer Ella's phone.
3. Mute my phone and turn loudspeaker on.
4. Turn on loudspeaker on Ella's phone. 
5. Leave Ella's phone near baby and bring my phone downstairs.
6. Problem solved!

You can see that we have cheap phones. But if you have Internet at home and smart gadgets like iPads, iPods, android phones, etc., you can even have video baby monitor! Heck, you can even monitor your baby at work if your smart gadget has continuous Internet! Brilliant right? Hope I didn't compromise the baby monitor making industry though...

your every woman,

Make Your Own Bubbles

Let me share with you a recipe my grandparents taught me when I was small. All you'll need are the following:

Fresh gumamelas (More gumamela, more fun!)
1/2 cup liquid detergent soap (Can be replaced with 2 tbsp powdered detergent soap diluted in 1/2 cup water)

Isabella wanted to buy a bottle of bubbles for when her younger cousins come over one weekend. Now, it's very easy to just buy a bottle of bubbles, not to mention it's not really expensive at all. However, I wanted Ella to learn something new from me so I told her to ask for fresh gumamela from our neighbor's garden.

If you have a juicer, just extract the juice from your gumamela flowers and add it to the soap. The gumamela juice is sticky and it will enhance the bubbles' tensile strength compared to the bubbles one can make out of soap alone. If you don't have a juicer just like me, you can just pound the gumamela, put the pound gumamela inside a screen-type fabric or bag and squeeze to extract the juice. Mix all the juice you've gathered with the soap and that's it! 

Just use an empty bubble container with wand. If you don't have one, just like me (again!), you can just place the bubbles inside any covered container and make a wand out of the center of a palm or coconut leaf or use drinking straw! Have fun!

your every woman,

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

VBAC Journal - The End

Why the end? Well, because I already gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. However, my VBAC dreams indeed ended because I gave birth to her via CS again. After the 1st part of the VBAC posts, I was able to find a new OB. She did not seem to be a VBAC advocate but what made us choose her is because she offered to treat us as a house case, that means my delivery would be handled by residents and there would be no professional fee, just hospital bills. We needed the extra allowance in finances because having VBAC here in the Philippines (compared to VBAC articles and testimonies I've read from the US) is complicated. I was told that if my cervix opens 3cm, I would have to be confined at the hospital until I give birth and not wait it out at home. On the other hand, if I would not experience spontaneous labor by my 40th week, I would have to face the knife. 

Come February 19, my 40th week via LMP, I still wasn't experiencing regular contractions. My cervix was only 2cm opened. I was allowed to be mildly induced which meant staying inside the labor room that charged per hour. 24 hours passed and my cervix only opened 3cm, no regularly strong contractions and I was drained because I was no longer allowed to eat. I was asked if I still wanted to go through. I was torn because I was thinking about the hourly rate of the labor room until who knows how long, the possibility that the trial of labor would still fail and the expenses on top of a possible emergency CS. My husband, although supportive of VBAC, consoled me that our goal is to let the baby out safe and healthy despite a possible failure of TOLAC and that he would stand by me whatever my decision would be. I chose what's best for all of us and went for CS. 

I gave birth to Serenity Grace on February 20. It would've been happier if I had a successful VBAC but I'm happy to share that the breastfeeding policy of the hospital enabled me to breastfeed my daughter as soon as I gave birth until now and my CS wound seemed to heal faster than it did when I gave birth to Ella. Aside from being able to do crunches sooner and a hindrance to the possibility of having more children, I practically still achieved the things I feared I wouldn't from a CS delivery and that's what matters most.

you every woman,