Another Angel

You surprised me when I got back from Hawaii. I thought I was jet lagged. I was feeling strange… Always hungry, body warming up, and feeling tired. Then a couple of days of feeling that way, I decided to check. Just maybe, who knows I may be pregnant.

True enough you were alive. I saw you on your 5th week. Yes you were tucked in a sac, with a heartbeat. I had mixed emotions… Could not believe that at 39, I would be going through pregnancy again. But I did get excited that you have come, my love. 


I settled in my heart, that I would slow down to have you. I chuckled how since 2012, I have not stopped breastfeeding. I am sure I will commit to breastfeed you like Josh and Anna. I wondered if you were a girl or a boy.  I am happy that my pregnancy symptoms were not as overwhelming as the last one. You were going to be someone great because I prayed that God would use you and make you beautiful.

Then, I started to bleed. I never bled in any of my pregnancies. Doc says just to take progesterone and isoxilan and you should be fine. I checked on you and you were there showing off your heart to me. It was beating but not at optimum. Doc says there is blood above the sac. I should stay still and relax. So mommy did. 

Two weeks later, I brought your older brother  Josh to my check-up. He was excited to see you. He has been kissing mom’s tummy and praying for you. Then Doc said, you no longer have a heartbeat. Joshua blurted “Baby died?” I had to tell him, you returned to Jesus.  Joshua could not believe that baby is dead and is in heaven. He says he wants to go to heaven too.

I was crushed inside because I will not have the opportunity to meet you here. I will have to wait for heaven to know you. Baby, know this… I love you even when you were mine for a little while. Oh Daddy was more sad because he wanted you so much!

I now have to wait for when you will come out of me. It’s a very strange thing knowing you are still in my uterus but no longer alive. 

I thank the Lord for the opportunity to be pregnant again. I thank Him for the weeks I held you,  baby. But in everything, I will still choose to say… The Lord gives, the Lord takes away… And yet,  Blessed be the name of my Good and Faithful Lord.

Getting to know you..

The faithful day of the birth of our second child has arrived. It meant being away from home for 3 days and being confined in the hospital. I requested to enter the hospital on the same day of delivery because I wanted to spend as much time with my 2 year old son. He won’t be allowed to visit the hospital and 3 days is long. My heart goes out to him because he has been feeling the blues and acting very needy and moody. It’s unsaid, but Joshua did feel anxious about the new baby.

God was with us as we delivered my daughter Anna via cesarean section. All my blood donors failed the conditions required by the hospital’s blood bank. Yet, the Lord in His sufficiency guided my doctors and allowed me to recover without any need of blood transfusion. Also, my gestational diabetes was non-existent as well. I had normal blood sugar and blood pressure. I was very healthy to deliver the baby. God is to be praised. Even my internal organs when my OB saw it during the operation said that they looked much better than 2 years ago. There is healing happening in my body and I give God the glory.

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Anna our daughter is such a blessing. She weighed 7.2 lbs and 51 cm long. She latches really well and breastfeeds a lot. She also sleeps a lot and is a very easy going baby.

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My twin sister was so kind to baby sit Joshua while I was gone. Her kids were a big help in making Joshua busy. However, Joshua still had trouble adjusting to no mommy at night. He had night terrors and would wake more often and cry looking for me. Daddy Steve also doubled his time and effort to keep Joshua bonded with him.

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As I was recovering in the hospital, I kept praying that I’d recover fast and that the adjustment of Joshua will be a breeze. I asked God for grace especially because I’m going to be breastfeeding the little one and still have enough attention for my toddler child. I was getting anxious in the hospital and looked forward to going home.

On the third day, I finally got discharged. Though I had a cesarean operation, God gave me strength to move around. I looked forward for the meeting of Joshua and Anna.

When we got home, Joshua was sleeping. I got all emotional that I had to kiss and hug my baby boy. He went through an emotional roller coaster in the past days.

When he woke up to meet Anna for the first time, he looked at her and kissed her. He was awkward with me, but not with Anna. He played all day in the room where Anna and I was. When I breastfed Anna, he took the other side and tried to do the same. When Anna cried he would be so concerned and he would look and try to kiss her hoping she would be pacified. Joshua is a sweet and loving brother. I feel so blessed!

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I’m enjoying this blessed week of family. Joshua and Anna are getting to know each other more each day. Daddy is really taking the extra mile to be Joshua’s best friend. Anna is such a sweet angel because she is so easy that I get to spend time with Joshua as well… Now the awkwardness is gone! Truly prayer holds the family together.

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Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6-7‬ GNB)”

Gestational diabetes inspired cooking

I was so busy with many activities in November that I really became quite laid back on my pregnancy. By the time I took my gestational blood sugar test, I’m one month to go to my planned delivery date. And to my surprise, I failed the test. I’m diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

At first, I was upset. Because December is a feasting month with lots of Christmas parties. I pitied myself and thought of all the sugar-filled food I will miss out on… Brazos de Mercedes, leche flans, puto bumbong, ice creams, chocolates…

I also learned that a healthy diet in a 9″ plate would be half vegetables, a quarter on meat and a quarter on carbs. Also, no cheating can be done because I now have a blood sugar tester and I need to prick my finger either before meals or after. I had to keep my blood sugar level at 95 or below before meals and 130 or below 2 hours after a meal.

Then suddenly encouragement from family and friends poured in with suggestions, recipes, and I started researching dishes for myself. Never would I think, I’d be preparing food for myself everyday. But I have to say, I am so enjoying it… I have been cooking not only for me, but for the rest of the family!

Here are a few of my favorites!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0722.jpgPork Loin salad with yogurt dressing

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0762.jpgPaleo Broccoli with bacon grapes and celery on lemon mayo dressing! Yum!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0796.jpg okra salad with olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0817.jpgRoasted Vegetable Salad with olive oil balsamic vinaigrette! This is an awesome surprise because it tastes so good!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0799.jpgChicken pita with apple, celery, onions on mayo mustard dressing. What a filling treat!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0805.jpg Vegetable overload with bacon on 3 cheese quiche! Cooked on turbo only and it was yum!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0922.jpg Sugarless rolled oat cookies with banana, apple, raisins, and sugar free chocolates!

I don’t know, but what turned out to be bad news, God turned out for good! My hubby has been requesting and asking what healthy dish I’ll be cooking. He rarely requests that from me! But now, he is interested with my cooking and encourages me. I cannot explain what’s stirring in me… But I’m inspired to cook! God is helping me see a different perspective. Lemons can be turned into yummy lemonade, as they say.

No Sugar Christmas

It was just last week that I was free from obligation and decided to take the glucose test for my pregnancy. At 33 weeks, my glucose test was unlike my first pregnancy. This time around my blood sugar was above the range of the normal and I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

I look at myself and my limbs are rather small but my belly is obviously growing. No one would figure that I have gestational diabetes. Okay, I had a hard first trimester. I was nauseous and I had a bad case of morning sickness that I lost 10 lbs in 1 week. To top it all, I was stressed with forced weaning of my breastfed baby because I needed to care for the baby in my womb and myself. So, in short this pregnancy was hard on me physically and emotionally. That’s why when I had the urge to eat, I did not stop myself from any of my cravings.

I had occasional junk food, and maybe a month that I chewed on one chocolate bar a day. Then I stopped eating that way. But when I did stop… I found myself to have some blood sugar issues.

This means buying a blood glucose tester and pricking my finger at least 3 times a day. It also means getting a better and healthier diet. The only sad thing is — it’s Christmas season! Everything seems great to eat with sugar!!!

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So far eating salad with non-honey based dressing, brown rice, and one piece of non-fried protein has kept my sugar level in check. Good thing that fructose from fruits has not been banned but is limited.

My first pregnancy did not reach this point. Now that I’m older, everything seems more difficult. But I am still sooo blessed. Never did I imagine to be blessed with another child… The Lord God is so good. A little sacrifice and a little cheat (as soon as I can find sugarless ice cream and other food) will help me thru the Christmas season.

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Motherhood made a Healthier Me

Before pregnancy, I was one unhealthy woman. I was lazy to exercise and I let go of my healthy diet and got my body accustomed to junk food. As skinny as I was before pregnancy, my lipid profile showed that my cholesterol was out of control. I also skipped breakfast, did a lot of midnight snacking, slept late (around 12mn to 2am). Talk about major bad habits, I had them!

The only thing I was proud of was that I did not smoke (I quit this one about 10 yrs ago), and also I did not really drink alcohol except on special occasions. But on the overall I was not healthy. Then, unexpectedly, I get 2 lines on the pregnancy test. This means fixing up my life. Now that I am providing nourishment to a baby in my womb, it made me decide to drastically change my lifestyle.

Healthy Me during Pregnancy

Healthy Me during Pregnancy

The good thing was my body started to crave for breakfast and so I had that back on my diet. Also fried food made me sick, so this made me want boiled food, steamed dishes, proteins and vegetables. I had to discipline my body to avoid junk food. Though I wont lie that I had several occasions I cheated. Ok… it was with Cheetos and chocolates (mommies admit that you can relate!). But I discovered that fruits replaced these cravings.

Since I got pregnant at a much later age and having no exercise, I really felt the age of my body. I decided to do yoga for pregnant women at home. That helped support my body for the weight, but really the back aches were no longer preventable on the last trimester. In my wishful thinking, I could have been more prepared for the pregnancy. But who knew I would even be pregnant after 7 years of waiting!

There were also foods that a pregnant woman is refrained from eating… Such as raw food – fish or meat (sashimi to prosciutto) because it can cause bacteria that can make a mother sick. Also having a balanced control of patries and sugar-filled food can prevent getting gestational diabetes.

After child birth, being healthy is still required for those who plan to breastfeed. Since my son is getting all his nourishment from me, I have to ensure I eat healthy to provide what he needs. That means staying away from caffeinated drinks (because it keeps your baby awake even when he is tired), away from too much sweets (because it depletes the milk), staying away from chocolates (it can cause allergies to your baby), staying away from too spicy foods (because it causes gas and reflux to your baby), and away from a lot of preservatives (because it gets passed on to the baby).

Ever since Joshua came into our lives, he has been my motivation to stay healthy. I pray I get to maintain this even after he weans. I have never felt this good about my body and its all thanks to motherhood!

The bible has a similar account about being healthy in motherhood. The story of Samson’s mom:

There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. Then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing

Just like Hannah

“I want to have grand kids, so double time!” that was part of the speech of my father-in-law during our wedding years ago. It was everyone’s well wish and expectation for us to conceive and have “mini-me’s” running around. But it was not an easy journey for us.

After a year of marriage and not conceiving, I visited the OB-GYNE to find out what can be done for me to get pregnant. My ultrasound would show I have polycystic ovaries. The doctor said that the cyst was small and it should not bother us. The only solution also to this syndrome is to just get pregnant. It seemed like an easy solution, but it was far from easy for us.

I remained very hopeful. My husband and I prayed, fasted, believed that we would get pregnant. Different options were given to us, pills, exercise, following a menstrual cycle for days of contact… however the months became years and I began losing faith.

I admit that I was getting disappointed with God. I would cry every time my period would come. It pierced my heart when people would ask why we were not getting pregnant and received their suggestions on what we should do. There was a year that everyone around me was getting pregnant (even my own dog!)… but I remained barren. It came to a point that I needed to blame someone why I was not conceiving… I started to blame my husband because at that time he was not open to get himself checked. I wondered why God was not granting our request… I was getting bitter towards God that I’d say “I don’t care if I don’t get pregnant”. Truthfully that was the total opposite. I did care.

God never gave up on me though. God was working on me, stretching my faith muscles. Through His Word He reminded me of Hannah. For years she was barren and mocked for being childless. She too cried to God. Her account is found in the book of 1 Samuel 1.
v 10 “Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.”

But after Hannah cried to the Lord, she left this concern in faith, not in doubt or bitterness. After Eli (the priest) saw her in the temple crying he pronounced a blessing to her and she left no longer depressed.
v 18 “Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad”
The bible accounts that “the Lord remembered her plea”; v 20 “and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”

I had to learn to trust God’s plan and timing for everything and for everyone. I was becoming impatient and seeding doubt. Thank God for friends who never stopped praying for us, and that encouraged me to believe.

In 2010, my twin sister gave birth to her 3rd child, Jonathan David (JD). I was with her at the labor room, and I had the privilege to see her baby right after delivery. I held her little one in my arms, and began feeling hopeful again of God’s promise to me and my husband. The week after, I took a step of faith of seeing a specialist that would assess our situation. I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. The week after, I was wheeled in the operating room for a laparoscopic procedure to remove the adhesions and polyps in my uterus and the cysts on my ovaries.

I was a Stage IV Endometriosis patient. In short, infertile. But that did not stop me to believe that God can open my womb. My husband began to follow the footsteps of Isaac who prayed for his wife. Genesis 25:21 “Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins.”

Okay, we did not have twins. But three months after the procedure we were pregnant! I cried for joy for the Lord remembered me. However, on our 5th week check up, the doctor could not find the sac. My blood (hcg) test says I am definitely pregnant, the pregnancy test shows 2 lines. But there was no sac.

We started to pray, and I believed God will show us a miracle that the next test we will see the baby in the uterus. We flew to Manila to have myself checked there… The findings — possible ectopic pregnancy.

The doctor explained to me that I had to undergo another operation again. She also told me straight that I can lose one of my fallopian tubes if the baby implanted in it. I was crushed and my husband was too. Both of us were crying the night before getting confined in the hospital. I was grieving to lose this child. That night I could not sleep, I kept talking to God. “Lord, please tell my child how much I want to be his/her mom.” I was talking to my baby and telling my baby “I love you, you made me excited to be a mom. I already miss you even if we have never met. You must know I want to have you so much.”

Joy Mendoza, my close friend and discipler called and cried with me… She said, “I am so sorry Mit. How are you feeling?” In my heart, I was not angry at God. I told her, “I know this is God’s will. The mere fact he made me pregnant is already a miracle. I am not disappointed with Him.” I worried about losing my fallopian tube, but the doctor assured me that I can still get pregnant with just one tube.

That day in June 2011, I had another operation to remove the fetus before it raptures my fallopian tube.

After the procedure, when I opened my eyes in the recovery room, my husband told me this “Guess what… the baby was found in the abdomen, it implanted and found blood supply there. But the sac could not sustain so it was ready to be removed. So, they did not cut your fallopian tube. Your reproductive organs are all intact.”

When I heard that I had peace. I thanked God for being so gracious, and for giving us a child that was so considerate to give way for another baby in the future by implanting in the abdomen rather than in the tube.

Like Hannah, I cried and grieved before the Lord, but God gave me extra grace and an increased faith. I had more confidence than before that I would conceive in God’s perfect time. Then, I moved on everyday believing that I would receive. In fact, there was no pain in my heart about the loss. I felt God’s presence and firm love for me and my future.

And true to God’s promise… I conceived again in April 2012. This is now our precious baby Joshua. God is indeed faithful, His love never fails. This is why I claim these verses as my life statements: “Everything is possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23) and “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37)

Pregnant by faith

Pregnant by faith

God does move mountains!

Initially, I was planning to deliver the baby in manila, so I saw my sister’s OB-GYNE when I was about 5 months pregnant. She looked through my medical history and decided its appropriate for me to get a Congenital Abnormality Scan (CAS). This scan is done via 3D or 4D ultrasound to see if the baby has any problems or is in the pink of health. It will be the time also that one would know the gender of the baby and to see a bit of the baby’s features. With lots of joy on this pregnancy I was excited to see my baby.

I asked my sister-in-law, Pria to join me for this momentous occasion. We were both giddy and excited to see the baby.

The scan is about 30 minutes long. The doctor shows us via screens in the room the baby in the uterus. My baby was moving, kicking, and responding to our voices! I was smiling from ear to ear. Then the doctor asks, “do you want to guess the gender?” … I said a quick prayer “Sana Lord, boy” … But whatever is the gender, I’d be happy. My prayer was granted, when the doctor revealed we are having a baby boy. Suddenly, I can hear Pria with tears in her eyes reporting via phone what we both could see to my husband… We were so elated!

After checking, my baby has complete fingers, complete toes, no cleft lip… Then the doctor became silent. She kept going back to the heart. Then she told me, “you need to see your doctor”. I asked her what she could see, and she refused to explain to me. In minutes she called another sonologist to come in our room, and she checked my tummy again… They both concurred that their findings was the same. I did not know what they saw, but I knew it was not normal.

Having our celebratory merienda at Landmark, i opened the results and the finding was a probable DEXTROCARDIA. I was not sure what it meant but cardia is definitely heart… I researched it and it meant that the heart was not pointing to the left and the possibility of other organs to be on the opposite side as well… As I told my husband who was at the province at that time, he worried so much and asked God, “Lord, why?” He was upset and he did not want me to be disappointed with this circumstance. I laughed and told him, “I am not worried, we are on God’s special lane, I know He will do something.”
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That night, I felt God assuring me He is in control. I talked to Pria and told her not to tell anyone because I believed God will do something about this. We kept it a secret until the prescribed 2D echo doppler has been done. The only thing is that procedure can only be done a month after. So it gave us a month to pray and practice faith. We entrusted this update to only a few friends who prayed with us.

I embraced this verse and declared it over my baby “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). I kept saying out loud, my baby is a perfect gift from God, so he will be perfect! I surrendered, trusted and believed in this promise.

Sept 7, 2012 we got a schedule with the head of pediatric cardio in St. Luke’s global for a 2D echo doppler test. Dr Jonas del Rosario was very cool and made me and hubby relaxed. He was not going to say anything until he sees the heart of the baby. Holding hands, my husband and I prayed and thank God for this baby and the test. In about 20 minutes of scanning, he shows us.. “Look, his heart is pointing left, his valves are all normal, his stomach is on the left, your baby is normal.” Looking at the screen and seeing my baby’s heart beating, I smiled! All I could say was “thank you Jesus, thank you Doc, thank you Jesus!”

We experienced a miracle that day. God is in full control. Out loud, I would declare like a little kid, “I knew it! I knew that God would do something”. Indeed He has, and with increased joy, I believe God still moves mountains in this modern-day. He moved my son’s heart… He can move anything!