On Breastfeeding and Post Partum Depression

I’ve been posting a lot on social media — just some daily updates after giving birth to this cute little baby.

Baby Yani

I recently mentioned in one of my posts that I’m glad that I have documented a lot of stuff during my pregnancy with Zeeka and also created some post partum blog posts after. Weirdly, my blog has been my own personal resource during these times that I’ve given birth again. Some posts that I read again were the ones about breastfeeding.

I’ve been stressing about my output recently, but knowing that I went through the same things with Zeeka 8 years ago gives me comfort that I can actually do this again (because I’ve done it successfully before).

Breastfeeding Mommy here!

I don’t know if it’s because of my age that I feel that I’m having a hard time waking up most hours of the day. I feel so tired and so drained. To top it all, I’ve been experiencing post partum depression. I didn’t have this before, but with this pregnancy, I’ve been feeling a lot of emotions and I know these are the hormones acting up. I would suddenly cry and feel sorry for myself. Thoughts would occupy my mind — like how my body isn’t mine anymore. I would feel so sad and alone. I would just cry out of the blue.

It was hard. I thought I was going crazy (really).

It’s a good thing that I have EJ, Zeeka and our kasambahay, Ate Len to help out around the house. EJ has been really supportive when I have my bouts of sadness. He would hug me and just be there, and that makes me feel better. Just having someone by my side who’s just willing to listen helped me feel better. Zeeka was also so cute to hug me and say that she’s “filling my bucket”. She says that all of us have buckets that need filling up with love, kindness and generosity from other people. I was touched and her hugs were truly appreciated, like I was doing something right as a mom.

I mentioned what I was feeling to my doctor, Dra. Sarmiento, too. I’m the type who wants to know what’s going on with my body, so I knew that talking to my doctor was a good idea. It was nice that she reassured me that this is normal.

I also mentioned what I was going through to my friend, Frances. She mentioned that she had undergone the same thing with her pregnancies. One thing that she said that helped me a lot is when you feel the emotions coming, just acknowledge and know that they are hormones acting up. Be aware of this. This advice really helped me a lot. Whenever I would cry and go through these things that I’m feeling, I would remember what she told me, and would say to myself that these are just my hormones doing this to me.

I’m feeling better now and don’t go through these episodes as much anymore.

To mommies who are experiencing post partum depression, know that it will pass. These negative emotions and feelings that you are having now will pass. It took me close to a month to get back to feeling like my usual self again.

But now, one of my biggest struggles still is breastfeeding. I’m so happy that now, I produce around 2-3 ounces of breastmilk for Baby Yani every time I pump. I get to use my electric pump now since she’s been sleeping longer. I’ve noticed that when I was stressed about my supply (especially during the second and third weeks after Yani was born), it would affect my milk supply.

I’ve learned new things and used new tools during this pregnancy related to breastfeeding.

One is that each baby is different, so you have to learn together. When comparing Zeeka to Yani in terms of breastfeeding, they’re different. Yani knew how to latch and suck well right on the first day. In terms of schedule though, she had a more unpredictable schedule as compared to Zeeka. She eats a lot, too.

Two, there is this new tool that I use. It’s a Milk Saver Pump. Check out this video that I made to see how it looks like: https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSe67A3VL/ Basically you attach it to your other nipple while feeding and it collects your milk let down. I will write or take a dedicated video of this soon and share it. I was surprised to see that I had a lot of collected milk!

And lastly (at least for this blog post), always try to relax. Being confined inside our homes for a long time can affect our mood negatively. And if you feel bad, this will affect your milk supply. Try to relax and chill. Watch funny shows, listen to your favorite playlist, etc.

So there, those are my thoughts for today. Let me know if there are things that you want to know about my breastfeeding journey. I’ll write about more experiences soon! Feel free to share stories also with me in the comment section. Love you all!

What You Should Know if You’re in the Middle of a Lawsuit

I have a friend who’s in a middle of a lawsuit right now and it got me wondering about people who are in this situation. I’ve always been a fan of courtroom dramas so I wanted to know more about this. I gathered some information fo people who are in a middle of a lawsuit.

It’s not always easy to find out that you’re in the middle of a lawsuit. You might be looking for information on how to deal with it or trying to figure out what you should do next. This blog post is designed to help people like you who are in the middle of a lawsuit and need some guidance on what they should know.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

#1 Keep all the relevant documentation safe

You need to keep all of the paperwork related to your lawsuit together, so it’s easy for you or someone else to find later on if necessary. This is especially important during a lawsuit because having everything documented will make things easier for your lawyer, and they can use that information as evidence in court.

Keep this documentation organized from the beginning, even if you’re not going through a lawsuit right now. Suppose anything happens at any point down the road where you need proof of something. In that case, it could be helpful to have a record saved somewhere safe, like an encrypted file stored online, or simply kept with other relevant documents in one place (like a filing cabinet). It might also help to take photos of important documents if you can.

#2 Don’t say anything that might be harmful to your case

You should limit the amount of information you share about your lawsuit in public, especially on social media. You never know what someone might do with that information or who they will tell it to. The last thing you want is for someone else to sabotage your case by sharing something important before you’re ready for them, too, because then there’s nothing you can do to fix it. 

And even if no one does anything malicious, sometimes people just don’t think things through and may say something without meaning harm which could also be damaging, so try not to let this happen either way, even if all of this seems like overkill, at least keep conversations relevant only towards the topic of your specific lawsuit off social media so other non-involved parties won’t get confused or have to keep up with too many details.

#3 Get a good lawyer and listen to their advice

It’s important to keep in mind that you need quality representation for car accident cases and someone who knows what they’re doing and is trained for this specific reason. If you end up getting a bad one, then it might not be their fault because there are plenty of lawyers out there who may have experience but don’t know how to win the case or do anything beneficial with that information. 

Make sure your lawyer has good reviews from other people so you can trust them, otherwise find someone else if necessary until you feel confident enough about their skillset. And always listen to what your lawyer says. Even though it seems like common sense, sometimes the best thing for your case is something simple that most people wouldn’t think of themselves without being told specifically what needs to happen next.

#4 Don’t hide anything from your lawyer

Your lawyer needs to know everything so they can be the most effective, which means you shouldn’t keep anything a secret. They will find out anyway, and it could damage your relationship with them if you hold back information that might have been helpful for their case just because you didn’t want to share something personal or embarrassing. 

If there’s not much time, then at least tell them all of the important details about what happened before meeting with them in person, so they don’t waste any time asking questions when they already know most of what went on (and this is true even during mediation).

5 Smart Lessons Every Child Needs To Learn About Money

As a parent, there are so many essential things that you must teach your child including how to communicate with others, how to learn about different things, and how to eat properly. However, one lesson that is often overlooked but is just as vital is educating your child about money. Sharing with you some of the things that I shared with my own daughter about money.

Money in relation to Time 

One thing that many kids don’t grasp too easily is that money isn’t just an abstract concept. In fact, the value of money has a direct (if fluctuating) relation to time. Indeed, giving up our time to work is how most of us earn our money, and helping your child to understand things from an early age can provide them with a healthy respect for both working and spending. 

With that in mind, start by exchanging pocket money for chores completed. Write out a chart with the value of each item next to it and as your child gets older you can let them choose what they want to do that week, depending on their need for money or time. 

Saving it” is good 

The next lesson that every child needs to learn about money is that saving it, rather than spending it as soon as they get it is oftentimes a good idea. During these years of their lives, it’s good to teach them this discipline of creating a habit. Of course, when they are very young you can help them get into savings by getting them a piggy bank, or opening them a bank account. 

Later on, you may encourage them by matching the amount they save each month. There are even money management apps that allow parents to get a notification when their child spends or saves, which could be very useful here too. 

Investing it” is better 

While saving is good, teaching your child about investing their money is a crucial lesson if you want them to have financial stability in their future. However, it is vital that you cover all the investment options such as stocks and bonds, Forex Trading, crypto currency investing and even property investment, as well as the risks involved. Above all, helping them to understand compound interest, something you can do with toy coins or bricks can be a lesson that proves valuable throughout their lives. 

Keep track of their spending 

Another essential lesson that every parent must teach their child is how to track and manage their finances. The good news is that doing this is so much easier and more fun than it used to be because we are no longer reliant on pen and paper ledgers. Instead, there is a range of apps that offer an easy-to-read visual display which can be much better for kids as they learn to budget. 

Do good with your money 

Last of all, to set your kid up for a happy and healthy future, it’s vital that you educate them on the power that money has to do good. Indeed, there are many opportunities to do good in and for the world by offering financial investment or support. 

In particular, giving regularly to charity, something that it is a good idea to model for your children in your own life. 

Meet Little Yani: The Birth Story

My due date with Yani was actually on October 9, 2021. But weeks before, I remember telling EJ, my husband, how heavy and sluggish I’ve become. I had a history of having Gestational Trophoblastic Disease during my first pregnancy, so I had a Caesarean section with Zeeka. So with this, just for the doctor to make sure that everything is fine and dandy inside, I also had a C-section with Yani.

So going back, I initially wanted Sept. 29, 2021 to be the date of the delivery. Since we had weekly checkups with doctor and weekly ultrasounds, the last Ultrasound stated that my placenta was grade 2-3. Doctor Sarmiento explained that she wanted it to be at grade III, meaning the baby could breathe on its own already. So personally, I chose the delivery date to be moved a little bit further, to October 1, just to be sure.

So once we chose the date, Dra. Sarmiento gave us instructions to get a RT-PCR test (validity of the results is only for 7 days) and the instructions to show the admissions of Asian Hospital once we get to the hospital. She advised me to come a day before the operation, Sept. 30, 2021. Check out of hospital patients are at around 5:00 pm so she advised me to be in admissions at 3:00 pm. There are instances when there are no rooms for the patients, so if this happens, she advised us to go home and be in the hospital 3 hours before the operation (again, just in case there were no rooms). The husband can just wait outside the delivery room.

Getting Ready for the Hospital

For some reason, we had 3 huge luggages prepared for a 4 day stay at Asian Hospital. As compared to the one luggage, one duffel bag and a few backpacks that we brought during Zeeka’s delivery, we had to bring a lot of bags with other extra stuff because of safety and security. First of all, one difference is that we had to bring food for EJ. We didn’t want him going in and out of the room. We had brought a lot of cup noodles, Jamaican patties (which surprisingly lasts a while), our own bottles of water, coffee, etc. We brought a lot of food!

Next, we had to bring lots of alcohol, disposable and reliable face masks, and other disinfectants.

We brought all of these stuff, apart from the usual baby stuff, mommy stuff and daddy stuff that we brought.

For those undergoing a Caesarean section, don’t forget to bring your binder and maternity pads, too.

Checking In

We left our home at 2:00 pm. We were at Asian Hospital at around 3:00 pm. It’s usually a one hour drive from BGC to Alabang (less than an hour if you use Skyway). We parked in the basement and there were elevators that took us directly to the Upper Ground floor where Admissions is. When we got to admissions, we gave them a copy of doctor’s orders and our RT-PCR tests. There were just around 5 people there. Normally, those who are suspected to have COVID go directly to the Emergency Room. Most of the patients in admissions were there for other operations and procedures.

I was secretly praying that they would have an available room. I really didn’t want to come back the next day. It was fortunate that after waiting for around 30 minutes, we got to book a standard private room at the Asian Hospital. We just had to wait for the patient to check out, which was totally fine. By around 5:00 pm, we were in our room and we fixed our things and settled in.

My CS operation was at 8:00 am the next day, so the nurses would pick me up at 7:00 am. I only had until 12:00 midnight to eat and drink water. In the room, the nurses would do a routine check of my blood pressure, oxygen levels, etc. I also had a urinalysis test. The representatives also of the anesthesiologist and the pediatrician came to visit and check up on me.

I got to sleep for a few hours. I wasn’t nervous, but as mentioned, I felt heavier every minute. The baby, I felt, wanted to come out already. It felt more comfortable for me to sit on the chair than to lie down on the bed. So all throughout the night, EJ and I were looking for the most comfortable position for me. I told him that we switch places and for him to sleep on the bed instead, but he didn’t want to. So I moved back to the bed so that he could also get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, both of us were excited and anxious that we both didn’t get to sleep. Lol!

Day of the Delivery

The nurses & doctors started coming in at 6:00 am (did an allergy test for the medicine that they will give me… don’t know which medicine though) and finally at 7:00 am, they wheeled me out of the room. By the way, as much as possible, even while in our room, we hardly removed our masks. We only removed then when we ate. So while I was wheeled to the triage room (where they prepare you for delivery), I had my mask on.

In the triage, they gave me antibiotics via the IV line. Oh man, I forgot how much that hurt. It hurt in the arm, but after a while, it was fine. My nurse gave it in two parts so as to make the pain bearable.

Then if you are undergoing CS and you haven’t shaved, the nurses will shave it for you. This is so that the cut won’t get infected and to keep the area clean and free from any obstruction.

Dra. Sarmiento, my doctor, talked to me right before the operation. I love my doctor. She makes everything feel so easy, and she has a way of calming me down. I love knowing what will happen; keeping me out of the loop makes me panic. She did a good job explaining what will happen, because I totally forgot what happened 8 years ago when Zeeka was born.

At 8:00 am (probably… I didn’t have a watch), I was wheeled into the operating room. My anesthesiologist then told me that he had to inject the anesthesia at my back. I had to roll up like a baby, which was hard to do since my belly was huge. Lol! I had to sit up and roll forward for him to finally inject it.

Little by little, I started to feel numb from my upper belly to my toes. I could breathe and I could hear them talking. I could also feel a little bit of pressure on my lower half of my body, but nothing hurt.

I could hear them saying that they needed to apply pressure to push the baby out. I said … “go ahead”. I remember responding to their questions.

Then at 8:41 am, I heard them say, what a huge baby. Lol! The doctors asked me if I had a name for her, and I said, “yes, her name’s Yani”. I saw EJ say “hi!” and “are you okay?” from a distance and I heard them talking to him. I heard Yani’s cry as they were cleaning her up.

After a while, they brought her to me. It was love at first sight! Just like how it was with Zeeka, I got teary eyed as Yani latched on to me. We also had our first picture with Yani.

The nurses then had to take her after latching, because the doctors had to close me up and stitch me up.

For some reason, I then couldn’t breathe as my nose filled up with mucus. The anesthesiologist said that the medicine really had that effect. He put drops on my nose and after I got stitched up, I could then blow my nose. I think that was what made me feel uncomfortable during the whole procedure… just that.

Meet Rafaela Ariadne P. Arboleda (Yani)

Yani was born 8 pounds and 1 ounce at 8:41 am. Even if I’m a second time mom, everything about this pregnancy was special and there were (and will be) a lot of firsts!

Yani, we can’t wait to see you grow up and be there to witness each milestone. We love you so much! When you read this in the future, we’ll gladly share with you more stories of how we prepared for you during these crazy times! Hugs and kisses from mom, dad and manang Zeeka. 🙂

What Stocks to Buy When you have $100 on GoTrade

I posted on Facebook that I was testing out GoTrade, and a lot of friends responded. GoTrade is an application where I purchase foreign (mostly US) stocks. I made an intro blog post on Gotrade here: Buy Foreign Stocks with GoTrade

Personally, I find it to be more convenient than the other platforms, because of these things:

a. GoTrade allows me to purchase fractional shares. In other platforms, I need to purchase at least 1 share of stock for some popular stocks. But some of these these popular stocks costs hundreds of dollars to just purchase 1 share. With GoTrade, I can buy fractional shares and get in on the action when gains are seen from these stock shares.

b. I love that it’s so easy to cash in. You can cash in using GCASH, a UnionBank Account or a BPI account. I’m sure they will add more soon, but these three options are enough for me.

c. Withdrawing from GoTrade is also very convenient with a very affordable transaction fee of $4. And the money is deposited in a matter of minutes with instant withdrawals.

One question that I was asked by friends when I posted is which stocks did I buy.

I started with depositing $100 right off the bat (I wanted to experiment and test quickly). By the way, please do not take this post as financial advice. I am not a financial advisor or financial planner. I only share what I have experienced and what I am doing with my personal portfolio.

So for that $100, I placed them in these stocks.

  1. TESLA

I was attracted to purchase US stocks because I saw that a lot of vloggers where talking about AMC (during the time I started). Personally though, that time, I really wanted to purchase TESLA stocks. This is how I stumbled upon GoTrade.

So I initially placed $10 on this stock.

I then wanted to test out purchasing other stocks so I researched about it and wanted to place in ETFs. ETFs are exchanged traded funds. ETFs are like mutual funds, but ETFs are bought and sold throughout the day on stock exchanges. ETFs are basically created for individuals who want to mitigate risks, because instead of purchasing just one stock, the ETF helps you by actually investing in different stocks.

I was so excited to see ETFs from Vanguard in GoTrade. Vanguard is a trusted name when it comes to ETFs for most investors. They have different ETFs focusing in different sets of stocks. The ones that I purchased are VTI, VOO and VGT.

Other stock shares that I bought initially are those of the Pharmaceutical company, Moderna and that of a tech company, which is Google (for obvious reasons). I also later on invested in a lot more technology companies (which I will share in a different post soon).

Another segment that I was looking at was REITs or Real Estate Investment Trusts. REITs are basically investing on Real Estate without really owning properties for rent such as commercial spaces, malls, etc. We know that Real Estate investing is nice to have in our portfolio, but while I save up to purchase properties, REITs will do. I’ve been noticing that now, local companies like Robinsons Land and Megaworld are releasing REITs.

In GoTrade, they have different choices of REITs. I personally invested in O or Realty Income, Ares Commercial Real Estate and LTC Properties. Feel free though to research more about these different companies.

So there you have it. So for my $100, these are the companies that I invested in.

Some things to note…

I do dollar cost averaging, so I make it a habit to place a little amount every week if possible. I place around $20 a week at least (as much as possible).

I also check on the stocks that issue out dividends. You can check it on GoTrade by checking the Dividend Yield of the stock.

So that’s it for my answer to what did I purchase with $100 dollars. Hope this article helps.

If you haven’t downloaded GoTrade, you can look for it in the App store or Google playstore. You can use my invitation code to get in.

Use this invitation code so you can use Gotrade! It’s by invitation only 🙂

If you have any questions, feel free to comment on the section below! Have a great day!