Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mami's letter to a 4-month Star of the House

My dear Tala,

Has it really been 4 months?  I can't believe I am now putting away some of your clothes that doesn't fit you anymore. I can't believe it has been four months. But to think, it's JUST 4 months and I am already putting away some of your clothes? You are obviously growing up so fast! It was just like yesterday that I was so dreading to clean your navel with a part of the umbilical cord that hasn't taken off yet. How scared papi and I thinking that something was wrong as it has been 10 days and it hasn't taken off yet. I remember so vividly how your papi gasped so loud when it finally fall off after exactly two weeks. I teased him about his girly squeal for a week!  You look ultra fragil back then. You still are now but not as much as during your first days. You are growing up to a really beautiful child. I know you will grow up to a beautiful lady inside and out.

You are such a very happy and active baby. Always out and about discovering things around you. You have demonstrated that, as early as your 16th week in my womb. You are so amazing. But you know, it's ok to take a nap. You won't be missing out on many things. When you wake they'll still be there. You do need to nap for your development and then you'll be able to do more! Doesn't that sound great? And most of all mami gets tired too when you are always awake, kicking, moving your arms, playing with your drool, crying when you get bored in a position, making mami look silly to make you laugh, screaming when you notice me looking away from you, etc. We have all our lives to play, bond and do things together but please, TAKE YOUR NAP WHEN IT'S TIME TO!. A one or two-hour of continous sleep would be REALLY nice! :-)

Oh, and let me remind you that you just turned 4 months... there is no way you'd walk already so stop trying and requesting for me to have you on your feet.  I love to have you on your feet, it's fun I know especially when you start jumping nonstop while drool falls from your open mouth... but sometimes mami has some chores to do soooo, spend more time on your belly or on your back then make more attempts of rolling over.  You should be learning to roll over and crawl first, you know.  No jumping over development stages ;-) Oh, and I must tell your papi to stop teaching you how to walk.  You two are like partners in crime.

Speaking of your papi, I like the way you are getting such a close relationship with him.  I can see how you adore him.  He never fails to make you smile from ear to ear every time.  But don't you dare conspire with your papi against me or you'll see what you're looking for.  Just a gentle reminder from mami ;-)

But you know nap or no nap, too clingy or not, mami adores you soooo much. You are just 100% cuteness! I'd never get tired of staring at your beautiful face always full of expressions. And most of all, remember that mami loves you. Always. I should mention that papi loves you too or else he'd get all jealous and feeling left out.  He's a big drama, you know.

Looking forward to the rest of my life being your mami.


look at you with your I'm-a-big-girl-now face! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Little Monster

I don't know if Little Spanish Pinay has become an ultra sweet baby trying to kiss all my face or she has just realized she wants to become a monster who eats people's face, but yesterday, she was getting so worked out on what seemed to me as "eating" my face!  She looks at my face put on her here-I-go-mami look and then open her mouth and then arch her back forward and then woosh, eat whatever she gets her mouth on on my face.  It was really funny I scream with both giddiness and pain as sometimes she gets serious into biting!

This is her get-ready-mami face

and there goes the attack!

We Graduated!

Yes we did.  Tala and I finished our 6-week baby massage classes we've been attending every Friday.  It has been fun and a big riot to see different babies almost the same age as Tala.  There were times when one baby would start to cry and then one by one everyone will start to cry until we have a room of baby orchestra.  Those noisy little fellas.  It's also very cute to hear them babbling at each other or to themselves.. sometimes the midwife would have to talk louder as it's getting harder for her to be heard with all the goo-goos and dadas inside the room.

She was twisting and twisting trying to take a good look of all the things around her

Baby massage is a great way to bond with the baby apart from the other benefits it has for both mom and baby.  Here's a good read about baby massage.

What's more is that Tala and I gained some friends while attending the class :)

Look how these two knows how to socialize

The whole group

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh The Wakefulness!

Little Spanish Pinay is turning 4 months in 3 days and my golly she's become ultra mega active even more. Her wakefull hours at night is driving me crazy. She'd wake up at 3 or 4 am wide-eyed, wide smile, and a body with such energy to jump up and down - just wild. She'd start by talking to herself. It's not just the normal goo-goo, ga-ga, da-da but it's like a lot of aaaahhhhkkkkk sound.  She's like imitating the sound of an old screeching door...much similar to those of the haunted house in horror movies.  Sounds to me like she wants to scratch her pharynx on purpose. What's up with that.

Later on,  I learned that it's normal.  She's on her growth spurt and very active moment.  It's a phase.  I do hope so as I can't keep up with her round the clock.  She likes to play with us even at the wee hours of the night!  Did I say parenthood is a lot of work?  Parenthood is  a  LOT of work.  Oh the wakefulness!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Battle to Win

From the moment we planned on getting pregnant I've already set my heart that I am going to breastfeed. I am very much aware of all the benefits of breastfeeding to both mom and baby plus I always love the tender sight of a baby being breastfed by the mother.  And so when the time came, I did what I knew I had to do to be able to breastfeed Little Spanish Pinay.  It wasn't as easy as I thought especially with people around giving their opinion and unsolicited advices (and criticisms).  I didn't get the necessary support from the hospital where Tala was born either.  But what I have are my husband's support, the book I read about breastfeeding and the inspiration I have from my mom who breastfed all 6 of her children.  So the moment the nurse handed me Tala, I immediately positioned her to feed. The only thing I had in mind back then is for her to start sucking so milk can start to flow. I didn't have much idea if I was doing it correctly. I just knew it hurts. But I tried to endure it as I just want her to keep on sucking. That was a mistake. She wasn't in the right position that's why it hurts. I read about this but it totally got out of my mind as I was too focus on her to start sucking and getting the hang of breastfeeding. The first few days were really tough.  I've had sore wounded nipples for like 2 weeks, experieneced chills and a little fever. What's worse is that I was constantly being criticized for spending too much time breastfeeding Tala. There goes the constant chat about spoiling her and getting her used to my nipples. I just turned a dear ear. I know that I need Tala's stimulation for better milk production. It just felt right for me to offer her milk everytime I hear her cry.  It was my mother's instinct taking over.  I also tried to avoid pacifiers while milk production wasn't established yet. Another thing I got criticized on. And then the worst of the worst, I am constantly being told; "You probably don't have enough milk that's why Tala spends so much time feeding from your breasts. Why not try to give her formula as supplement". To think people who are giving me these comments are moms themselves! Big shame. Don't they know that this is the number one culprit that sends breastfeeding down to the drain? Once formula is given as a supplement, the baby's demand for breastmilk will lessen. If the demand is low, supply will be low. Putting the blame on a mother's milk for every thing that happens is beyond me; Baby demands more time latched on the breast - mommy doesn't have enough milk. Supplement. Baby is fussy -baby's hungry coz mommy doesn't have enough milk. Supplement. Baby doesn't sleep well - baby doesn't eat well coz mommy doesn't have enough milk. Supplement. Why has the society turned into the number one enemy of breastfeeding? When babies demand more time latched on, it is because they need it to stimulate milk production. When baby gets fussy because they are hungry often it is because mommy needs more stimulation to produce more milk. These are all natural process. Nature's way to help moms regulate their milk production. But instead of letting nature take its own course, people interrumpt it with pushing moms to provide formula. Isn't that a disgrace? Not only did I personally experienced this but have seen happening to other moms and new moms - know. Some mommies would give in to this social pressure especially when the pressure comes from other "experienced" moms, such as their own moms or mother-in-laws. Why wouldn't they? These very same people are people they trust. What I don't understand is that after all our moms and other moms of the old times took care of their children when formulas are unheard of, they've started to become advocates of it. It's like formulas are so great they are here to make braestfeeding a lot easier. No sir. Nah-ah. Formula is what kills breastfeeding. I have nothing against formula. Feeding one's baby with formnula is one's choice. And choosing that doesn't make a mom a bad mom. Not at all. It's the same with breastfeeding... it's one's choice.  And I do believe that when a mom chose to breastfeed, she should be respected and supported and not be pushed towards using formula. Sure, breastfeeding is a lot of work especially at the beginning. Almost all the moms and moms-to-be I know always says they would if they can. Of course they can. The sad truth is that the society would come to making them believe that they don't have enough milk so they need to combine breastfeeding with formula and then slowly, towards formula feeding exclusively.

Mothers are becoming victims of the battle between breastfeeding and society. The problem is that we are unsuspecting of this battle and so, fall victim of prematurely ending milk production. Until now, i get social pressure about giving formula even from my own pediatrician. When I told her one day that lately, Tala is waking up at the middle of the night so I wonder if something's wrong. What do you know...her immediate reply is for me to give formula at the last take of the day. She told me I probably don't have enough milk anymore. I should trust her as she is the expert and has degree about children's health but I asked myself what is her basis on saying that I don't have enough milk? Tala is gaining weight with a high percentile. Sheks very active and happy baby. I don't understand. People can curse for disobeying our pedia but let's just say I'm stubborn. I mentioned this to my midwife and here's her take on it: Little Spanish Pinay is in a period if rapid growth and so gets hungry easily and demands more milk especially at night. So she asks for milk more often to also stimulate the breast and tell my brain that it needs to produce more hormones for milk production as she is growing fast and thus needs more milk. Now that, I can accept. So for now, there'll be more waking up at nights. My midwife's last statement: Don't give up. 

It's a battle and as promised, not to my midwife but to my very own Little Spanish Pinay, I won't give up.  So help me God.

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