Zeeka’s Birth Story

A week before March 8, 2013, Ej and I and our obstetrician already decided that we were going to have a Cesarean section instead of a normal delivery due to my medical history and a number of reasons. I was quite relieved, but at the same time sad that I won’t be going through the experience of having labor pains and waiting for my baby to be delivered. But then again, to keep me and the baby safe, we opted to do the C-section.

I chose the date March 8, 2013. Dra. Sarmiento then advised me to be checked in on March 7, 2013 (the day before) in the afternoon. That day, I was so excited. I couldn’t keep still. People were texting me and wishing me luck. Thank you all for all your prayers.

At 3:30 pm, we left our home at Taguig to drive to Asian Hospital in Alabang. We immediately went to the admissions department. People were very courteous. The processing was also very fast. We booked a standard private room at the Asian Hospital at around 5:30 pm. We fixed our things and I could still eat until 12:00 midnight. Just to be sure, I ate my last meal at 10:30 then just drank water from that time until 12 midnight. That night, I had to undergo some final tests (urinalysis, etc.) and and some preparations (fleet enema, etc.). I met the doctors that night prior to the surgery — the anesthesiologist and the pediatrician.

The room was already quite big and comfortable (there was a pull out couch for Ej, my husband to sleep in and a couch for the yaya to sleep in), but I couldn’t sleep. I guess it was all the excitement.

At 7:00 am the next day, our birth photographer, Polly Fong of Oh Happy Day Birth Photography, arrived and took some pre-labor shots. I’ll share with you the pictures from Polly once I get them.

At exactly 8:00 am, March 8, 2013, I was wheeled into the Triage area of Genesis, the labor and birthing area of Asian
Hospital. Ej was with me the whole time. My doctor had one C-Section to do before me, so we had to wait. At around 10:30 am, Dra. Sarmiento, my obstetrician visited me and told me that we were about to start in a few minutes. At 11:00, they already brought me into the operating room and prepared me for the surgery. I was given spinal block for anesthesia. The anesthesia wasn’t that painful. It was actually cool not to feel half of your body!

Dra. Diana Sarmiento and the Team

Dra. Diana Sarmiento and the Team

Ej was allowed to come in and to take pictures. I was glad he was there. I could hear what the doctors were discussing and talking about. I was actually fully aware of what was going on. I wanted to talk, but I was thinking of the advice of everyone to just keep quiet to avoid having gas enter my stomach. I was feeling okay, but it was getting difficult to breathe. I think I remember the anesthesiologist say that it was because of the oxytocin or something. I kept on saying a prayer in my head during the entire time.

In a few minutes, at 11:45 am, our baby Zeeka was born. (Thank you Daddy Ej for documenting each moment wonderfully!)

Checking the weight of Zeeka

Checking the weight of Zeeka

Zeeka and I first meet

Zeeka and I first meet

Our first family picture

Our first family picture

Our Zeeka was born healthy at 7 pounds and 3 ounces. I remember that she had a really loud cry. I started to shed tears… tears of joy. It was an amazing experience! I couldn’t believe that this baby came from me. They brought her to me right away to latch. I really wanted to breastfeed so I wanted to see Zeeka right away. The first thing that came to my mind was that she was so cute! We had skin to skin but it was only for a few minutes since the doctors had to stitch me up already and I was having a hard time breathing.

Nothing can compare to the emotions that I felt during that time. I’m such a proud momma!

This is Zeeka’s Birth Story.

Love lots,

An Interview with Mompreneur Joyce Miranda Romualdez, Proprietor and Executive Taste Tester of Almost Gourmet

I love Joyce and the food from Almost Gourmet! My first encounter with Almost Gourmet was when I ordered food for our house blessing party for the family. I saw their page in facebook and I decided to try them out. I was so impressed with the food that I wrote about them in Manila Reviews: House Warming with Family: Thanks, Almost Gourmet! Since the food has captured my heart, I always order from Joyce for the workshops that we organize. I later got to meet her family and saw that she was a mompreneur.

Mompreneur Joyce Romuladez

Mompreneur Joyce Romuladez

IMG_0035

P1030376

Here is my interview with Joyce.

Ginger: Hi Joyce! Can you tell my readers a little something about yourself?
Joyce: I am a 33-year old WAHM with a home-based food business. Before starting my own business, I was a manager at a French company that taught English distance learning to companies in Europe. I got married in 2009 and gave birth to my first and only child (for now!) in 2011. I love to travel and discover new places and learn new cultures. I’m battling a never-ending love-hate relationship with food (and gaining weight). I am proud to say that I am still exclusively breastfeeding my daughter. 16 months and counting!

Ginger: Wow! Congratulations on that, Joyce! I also plan to EBF Zeeka when she’s born! Now, can you tell us more about this business of yours.

Almost Gourmet: Joyce's Business

Almost Gourmet: Joyce’s Business

Joyce: My business is called Almost Gourmet. We provide party trays, packed meals, dessert like cakes and cupcakes and C.I.Y. (Cook-It-Yourself) frozen food. I started the business in August of 2008.

Pasta Carbonara

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Ginger: With all the food businesses out there, who are you tapping? Who is your market?
Joyce: My market is anyone who wants delicious, affordable food delivered to their doorstep (or office lobby).

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Joyce: I started this business when I was still working in the corporate world. My office mates, who tasted my “baon” daily, thought the food was great, so I decided to sell packed meals to them first and then venture out to other offices and eventually homes when I quit my job.

Beef Salpicao

Beef Kare Kare

Baked Herbed Parmesan Chicken Sticks
Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a mompreneur? What are these?
Joyce: In starting any kind of business, the most difficult part is the beginning. Once you get past that, then things will be easier. Also, when I started Almost Gourmet, the money wasn’t as good as working in an international company. It’s still not, actually. Getting to hug and kiss my baby girl anytime I want to is what makes it so worth it.

Ginger: That’s nice! Nothing will ever compare to the time that you get to spend with your kid. What are three traits that you think a mompreneur, like you, should have when starting their own business?
Joyce: Courage, patience and perseverance.

Ginger: Any Unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Joyce: Accept your faults. No one’s perfect.

Ginger: And lastly, what advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
Joyce: If I can do it, you can too! Same with breastfeeding, it does get better!

Ginger: You see why I find this lady so amazing and endearing! 🙂 Thank you so much, Joyce, for all your words of wisdom!

Almost Gourmet Contact information:
a. Website: www.almostgourmet.com.ph (under construction)
b. Email address: almostgourmet@gmail.com
c. Mobile Number: +639178100110
d. Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/almostgourmet
e. Twitter account: www.twitter.com/almostgourmet

This is the day when I’m going to finally meet you, my Baby Zeeka!

Zeeka
*Free printable from http://www.ontobaby.com/

Hi Baby Zeeka,

Mommy and Daddy are finally going to meet our baby today! We are so excited to see you, Zeeka! At exactly 9:00 am today (By the way, mommy wrote this post exactly 3 days before today — that is how excited mommy is!), Daddy and Mommy will get to meet you for the the first time. We are so excited!

Mommy sounds like a broken record. It’s the excitement, baby Zeeka. I have no words to describe how I feel right now. All I can say is welcome to this world and I hope that you enjoy it as much as mommy and daddy enjoys it!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

For me, creating a birth plan is a nice activity to do before giving birth. I have created my general information sheet and my birth plan already. The general information sheet is the one that you will hand out to doctors, nurses and interns who keep asking you a series of questions that you already answered. I followed the format that Rome gave us in class.

My Birth Plan

My Birth Plan

For my birth plan, I created my own list of wants. This is a wishlist of all the things that I want to happen during labor, delivery and postpartum.

If you want to see a copy of my birth plan (of course I deleted my personal information, so just replace it wit yours), you can get it from this link:
Birth Plan Template

After creating a birth plan, do not forget to discuss this with your doctor. I actually discussed this already with her last week but we had to change our plans since I am going for a scheduled Cesarean Section tomorrow (Ooops, yeah! I forgot to mention that. I’ll tell you the full story later on).

Why is it important for you to have a birth plan. This is so as to guide the doctors on nurses on what you wish to have during this special moment in your life. I already asked our hospital, Asian Hospital, and the nurses really read what you have on your list.

Did you or do you have a birth plan already?

Here are some other resources that helped me come up with my plan:

Birth Plan Worksheet from BabyCenter.com

Creating your birth plan from American Pregnancy Association

Birth Plan Creator from PregnancyandBaby.com

What are the things in your plan? Please share it with me!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

I can’t imagine going through all of these experiences of being pregnant, preparing for the baby or having the baby without the support of my husband. I can just imaging how difficult life must be for single moms or even dads. I have friends who are solo parents and to them I give my very loud slow clap for I really admire all the effort and the strength.

For solo parents, who may be you, reading this, you are not alone in your journey. I came across this community of solo parents. They are called Bahay Amihan. Their goals are to promote the rights and privileges of solo parents, mobilize communities, stakeholders and duty bearers to provide the basic social services to the Solo Parents and their children and to empower Solo Parents through education, livelihood and psycho-social assistance programs.

Here is a copy of their brochure:

Bahay Amihan Brochure for Solo Parents (page 1)

Bahay Amihan Brochure for Solo Parents (page 1)

Bahay Amihan Brochure for Solo Parents (page 2)

Bahay Amihan Brochure for Solo Parents (page 2)

Bahay Amihan, Inc., a non-stock, non-profit, social development organization duly registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last June 13, 2012, was founded by a solo parent, Zena Bernardo Bernardo. She herself experienced all the hardships that a solo parent would go through trying to find ways to earn for her children, who were all honor students studying in the public school system.

She was granted a scholarship in the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina (PLMar) by the Office of the Mayor and pursued earning her BSEd degree and acquired license to teach Mathematics. She then pursued a career in social development work in public health and education sectors for women and children. With Bahay Amihan, she has finally found the opportunity to share the lessons she had learned through her experience as a young solo parent.

If you want to learn more about the projects of Bahay Amihan, click here: www.bahayamihan.org

If you want to help, you can be a volunteer. You can sponsor a solo parent/child into an empowerment program or have a collaborative project partnership with Bahay Amihan. You can also donate (cash or in-kind) to the following:

Local Bank: BAHAY AMIHAN, INC. – Banco De Oro (BDO) Savings Account No. 7330 0393 11
International Bank: IBAN : BE63 0003 2599 8408BIC – BPOTBEB1 – Communication: 100/9598/84550

I hope that this post helps spread the word about this community for solo parents. Do spread the word to people whim you think might need support.

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger