12 Months and Counting

Yesterday, my little girl turned one! (YAAAAY)

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I met my first big goal as her mum, which is to breastfeed her exclusively for a year. Great big pat on the back for me (woot woot!). I never really thought that I will be able to complete breastfeeding my tiny human for 12 whole months! Why? I usually hear moms saying (even my own mum) that the milk just goes away after 6 months or that the milk is not enough that is why they switch to formula or they get sick and switch to formula. While I totally understand mummies who mix feed or formula feed their tiny humans, I had set that goal of mine even before she was born and I was determined to keep at it for as long as I can.

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To say that my breastfeeding journey was a walk to the park would be an untrue documentation of my experience. I did go through a lot of downs which almost made me quit in giving her my liquid gold, but discipline, determination, and confidence in myself helped me push through. (ACHIEVE!) I mean, I experienced having an extremely low output (at 2-3 oz per pump) when I had to deal with extreme work deliverables paired with 5 hours of sleep. Still I pushed through and decided to help myself by going crazy over lactation treats.

treats

 

The biggest challenge I faced was acquiring chicken pox! In my mind, how will I continue breastfeeding my bunny when I have pox all over my body? Can I breastfeed her even if I have it? Can I still pump even I have pox? Will my meds be bad for her?

So I researched and researched, and I did find the answer thanks to the breastfeeding groups I was a member of. I persisted in breastfeeding her. My aunt, mum, dad, and e took care of her while I was sick. I pumped in the morning, but eventually direct latched her just making sure that I cover my whole body and just expose ’em mountains. I will hand her off to my mum, dad, aunt, or e after. I wasn’t allowed to carry her or kiss her or hug her until the pox faded. At night, before we enter our room I sprayed lots and lots of Lysol and again covered my whole body, just exposing ’em mountains as she slept next to me. This was us for a week and a half. Thankfully she never got the pox, and I succeeded in breastfeeding her even if I had the pox. (If you have it and your breastfeeding, suggest you continue breastfeeding. Chicken pox has a two week incubation period meaning your tiny human was already exposed to it so she actually needs your milk more!)

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Now, even if I hear other people telling me that I don’t have milk anymore and should switch to formula I just say no. I still have a bigger goal in mind, which is to breastfeed her for 2 years. I have learned from my experience that you need not have expensive electric pumps or a freezer filled with breast milk just to succeed in your choice to breastfeed your tiny human. What you need is:

  1. Confidence and support – this is the most important thing, mommy! You need to believe in yourself, that you can do it. When you believe in your body’s capability to provide for your tiny human you will see that your milk will keep on flowing. Of course you will need support from your hubby. Don’t mind what other people say, but you should get him on the same boat. Thankfully E is very supportive, he is a registered nurse so he knows the benefits of breastmilk
  2. Discipline and Determination – This is second most important must have mum. As a working mommy, I have scheduled pumping sessions. Thrice a day, every 3 hours. So that’s at 10 AM/1 PM/4 PM. Of course there are times when I miss out on a pumping session, but I make sure that I make up for it the next day. It’s a law of supply and demand at work here. When you pump you empty the milk out which triggers your body to produce milk again. You should also set goals for yourself, just so that you will be determined to keep at your breastfeeding journey milk
  3. Water, lots of water – Drink as many as you possibly can. Seriously! You need it. You will even fill that thirst that seems to never go away every time your tiny human nurses or when you pump. (Just as if you are in a dessert for days)
  4. Support Group of Breastfeeding Moms – This I found through Breastfeeding Pinays and Breastfeeding Advocates Group on Facebook. I learned a lot of things from mums and also got support from mums here.

I’m finished with my first big goal, now I am back to my tiny goals. Aim now is to meet 15 mos!

3 months to go

90 days

2,160 hrs

129,600 minutes

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Banahaw Heals Spa Review

Last Monday, we originally wanted to watch either Mockingjay or Second Chance, but then my back betrayed me. Thanks to my back pain we ended up going to Banahaw Heals Spa near our place (just a 5-10 minute walk depending on how fast I walk).

banahaw heals spa

Before leaving, I had to prep up Alex (read here: fix the room before we leave so that when we get back I don’t have to deal with a messy room AND leave her with my aunt and mom). This whole prep thing took up 30 minutes. I was super excited for the massage so while we were walking to Banahaw Heals Spa in my mind I was repeating over and over and over again, you will get a massage, you will relax, you will unwind. I seriously wanted to brisk walk, so we can get there faster but I didn’t want to add any more body pain to my already aching back.

The Banahaw Heals Spa branch near our place just had around 3-4 single rooms and 1 couple room. We were both Banahaw Heals Spa virgins so it took us 5 or so minutes to pick which service we will avail of. They have many different types of massage available but they are most known for the 5-in-1 massage (combination of thai, swedish,traditional hilot,shiatsu, and tuina). It will be super easy to just jump in and say we will get the 5-in-1 massage but in our minds we can avail of the massage plus plus.

banahaw

They have many different packages that you can check depending on your budget and the type of need that you have. E went for Package #1. This was for back pain and he wanted to try ventusa therapy. I really wanted to try that too, but the spa assistant warned us that for ventusa, they don’t recommend showering 1-2 days after. I can’t afford to not shower for a day or two (hello I can’t show up to work looking cray cray and smelling cray cray too especially because I have to endure hot and messy commute to and from work) so I went for Package 5. Package 5 included body scrub and the 5-in-1 massage.

After registering we were whisked away to 2 hrs worth of relaxation. For my Package, I tried the body scrub and the massage. Confession time here, FIRST EVER BODY SCRUB! I heard from a friend that it was nice but that they will really scrub off your whole body, exception was the private areas only. I wasn’t prepared for it! So when I entered the tiny pop-up room ( just enough to fit a massage table and 3-4 steps from the table), I just laid down and waited for the attendant assigned to me. She came in after 5 minutes with two bowls – one with warm water and one with the body scrub. For a first time body scrub everything went well, I was just repeatedly fighting off the urge to laugh out loud while she was scrubbing my tummy and my armpits. Hello? How can you not laugh when a person scrubs your armpit???I kept on doing yoga breathing to relax myself and even bit my lip to stop myself from laughing. Na-achieve naman, I didn’t laugh or giggle or anything. Congrats me!

After showering off the scrub we began with the 5-in-1 massage. It was like being a flour with lumps which needed extra kneading. The spa assistant really went after my back lumps a.k.a lamig. I know this because I heard the tiny burps she made (which in traditional hilot was a sign of the lumps or lamig getting eliminated from your body). After the mix of traditional hilot, shiatsu, and swedish she began yoga like stretching with me. This was my favorite part, I really felt the back pain disappear when she did it.

Unfortunately, E and I weren’t in the same room, no more couples room when we got there, so I didn’t see the Ventusa cups treatment. I did hear his spa assistant brief him that the Ventusa cups when placed on his back will be a bit itchy (confirmed this with him, it really was itchy daw but he hardly noticed because he fell asleep after). When I asked him how he felt after, he said he felt great except for the fact that some of his muscles felt as though it took some beating (flour nga kasi ang peg).

Overall I would rate this spa place a 4.5 over 5.

They need to develop more their massage areas so that it will really feel private versus what they have now. The service and price however is great already! We only paid P1.3k! For other spa shops it would probably cost P1k per person!

You can know more about them through their website:

http://banahawheals.weebly.com/services.html

 

 

Dear Daughter Pt. 3

Hi Bunny,

Same with my second letter to  you, I write this while you are sleeping beside me (with the AC’s hum and your papa’s snore as my background music). Oh how time flew by so fast. On Tuesday you will be turning 11 months old, and just one more month until you turn a year old! I didn’t really think that time will pass us by so fast. Even though I never missed any of your big firsts, but I still want to push the pause button if that exists. I don’t want you to grow up so fast. I want you to stay tiny, always needing mommy, always asking for milky, always smiling and not worrying about big girl problems.

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I know that I am thinking way ahead, your papa would always tell me that my mind wanders off too much to the future that I sometimes let the moment pass by. I am just worried that you won’t need mummy as much when you turn a year old. I just worry that the hugsies and kissies (gummy kissies) will disappear. I worry that you wouldn’t be as attached to me because you won’t need milky that much. Your papa told me that I am worrying about trivial things, that you my little bunny, will still need mummy. That you don’t just need me because of your milky. Well, enough of me worrying about silly things then.

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Oh my little bunny, mummy started thinking about those things because you achieved so many milestones the past few weeks. Your first step towards your papa (which is so awesome because I know that he will remember that forever and because it happened with just the two of us in the room), the first time you fed yourself, your first independent sip from your sippy cup, your first clap, your first trick or treat, and your attempt to mimic head, shoulders, knees and toes (but really just reaching your head and your knees because your big chunky arm is on the way of your tiny hands reaching your shoulder!

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You make mummy so proud with each first you achieve, even if you look like you rolled on a bed of rice or squash, it is okay. It’s all part of your tiny step to independence. Just always remember that mummy will be here for you no matter what. I will drop everything just to be by your side when you need me, day or night.

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I love you from the moon and back.

Mummy