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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting All Emotional

My pregnancy hormones are going wacko these days. Yesterday I found myself crying while watching a late night country music concert on tv. It was hardly heart-wrenching after all it was was country music artists singing carols but it brought on the waterworks! This morning, I again started to tear up as I listened to Nat King Cole sing "I'll Be Home for Christmas" on the radio while driving to work. I don't know why ... and with no warning whatsoever I just got goosebumpy and tingly and then the tears just start flowing. I had to reassure my co-workers that I was okay when I walked in the office with puffy eyes. And just this evening, Jojo was being extra nice to me (he offered to make dinner AND wash the dishes afterwards) since I had a slight headache, well, you would think he offered me one of his kidneys the way I started feeling all weepy and emotional. I think Jojo did start to think I was acting a bit strange. It's sort of funny since I don't really consider myself the mushy / sentimental type. I do get emotional at times but it takes a lot to make me burst into tears. These days, well, it just seems to happen so randomly and so often. I can be sitting at mass listening to the homily and find myself moved to tears. That has happened on more than one occasion. Or it could be me just sitting quietly, reading baby books and when I think about my very own Jellybean, I can actually will myself to cry. It is kind of weird, funny and strange, all at the same time =)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My List of Things I am Thankful For ...

I have much to write about ... but will reserve that post for another day. Instead, today I choose to be positive and focus on the things I am THANKFUL for. Where do I begin? There are so many things I am grateful for - here are my top 20:

1.) First and most of all, I am so thankful for this beautiful baby we have been blessed with. Sometimes, just thinking about Jellybean makes me feel all weepy with joy. Call it pregnancy hormones, I like to think of it as my very own miracle.

2.) My husband, Jojo. I truly can not think of anyone that is so perfect for me in every way. He has made the last 11 years we have been together absolutely amazing!

3.) My mom. They say that when you get older (or become a mom yourself), you get to realize just how awesome your own mom is! That is 100% true. I have the bestest mom in the world who has been a true inspiration to me.

4.) My brothers and sisters - most especially my sisters (Atsi and Joy) have been incredibly supportive of me ever since but most especially now during my pregnancy. I am so lucky because I'm blessed not only with siblings but also best friends.

5.) My in-laws. I can't get over how supportive and thoughtful they all have been. From my parents-in-law to all 12 of my brothers and sisters-in-law. Yes, that makes 14 in-laws all together! Not to mention my 12 nieces and nephews! And also, my other brother-in-law, Mark, and his amazing ability to fix things around the house. He did a super job on the nursery closet!

6.) My aunts and uncles (at least the ones that still matter). I am grateful to know they are supportive of me and my family. Special thanks to Uncle Junior and Auntie Lillian for their support during my pregnancy.

7.) My friends both here and in Manila (and actually around the world). I don't get to see them often nor do we get to talk all that much. But despite the hustle and bustle of life, I know that they are there when I need them.

8.) Having a beautiful home that I am proud of - and a newly painted nursery that just lifts my spirits every time I walk into the room.

9.) Having a job that I actually enjoy going to every single day. It's not the best job, nor is it the most prestigious and high-paying one. But I enjoy working there and get a lot of satisfaction from the kind of work that I do.

10.) My colleagues and my boss. I work with some of the quirkiest people around and it makes every day pretty exciting. You can be sure there is never a dull moment when we're all together!

11.) Our health - although Jojo and I have a few issues here and there - overall we are blessed with good health that allows us to enjoy our lives together.

12.) My guama. She was very important to me when I was growing up and she continues to be an important person in my life. I don't get to see her these days but I am comforted knowing she is healthy and well.

13.) Having enough money to buy what we need but not too much money that we lose ourselves in it. I love knowing we have enough to indulge ourselves once in a while but I also love the fact that I can live on a budget (and don't need crazy expensive things to make me happy!).

14.) Having an awesome OB-GYN. Dr. Chen is truly one of the best doctors ever! I wish all doctors were as reassuring, caring and knowledgeable as he is! I am so glad that I found him.

15.) Pre-thanksgiving online sales that have allowed us to get a beautiful crib and dresser set for almost half the price (compared to retail stores). I absolutely love bargains!

16.) Facebook and the internet that have made the world a smaller place and have helped keep everyone in contact!

17.) I am thankful to have the holiday spirit in the air! It truly is starting to feel like Christmas. The temps have dipped down low, there are Xmas carols everywhere, and everyone just seems to be in high spirits!

18.) A 4-day weekend to spend with my husband and our family. Nothing planned but lots of things in-store!

19.) An awesome second trimester - with no more morning sickness and weird cravings. I am also equally thankful that so far things have been going so well with my pregnancy. Looking forward to the last 3 and 1/2 months! Here we go ...

20.) Having my dad as my very own guardian angel. These days I find so much comfort in having him near and knowing he is watching over Jellybean.

For these twenty things and so much more ... I am truly thankful.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Name Game

After polling our immediate family and several close friends (that are considered part of the family), we have come up with a final tally of votes for our baby girl's name. There were three choices ... (See my earlier post entitled "Third Letter" (last Nov. 7th) for a brief explanation of how we came up with the three favorites). Honestly, we love all three names almost equally - Jojo has his favorite and I have mine. But overall, we would be very happy and very proud to have Jellybean carry any of the names. Which is kind of why we decided to poll people ... we could not bring ourselves to decide on one on our own.

Anyway, it was a pretty tight race. The first round went to "Julianna Elise" as it was a clear favorite among my nieces (and I have 7 of them!). Then the votes swung in favor of "Jodie Helene" as my in-laws rallied around that name. "Jamie Gabrielle" also emerged as a winner when we heard from my family as most of them I knew wanted to honor my dad. In the end, after much see-sawing back and forth, well, there is still no clear winner as we have emerged with a TIE!

Final count:

Julianna Elise - 10 votes
Jodie Helene - 13 votes
Jamie Gabrielle - 13 votes

So we know for sure that Jellybean will be named after her grandmothers ... or in honor of my dad and archangel Gabriel. For those that have not voted ... feel free to throw in your two cents worth. We will definitely consider those votes too. However, we thought we would ask my guama to make the final decision and be the ultimate tie-breaker ... we'll see if she agrees =)

So, for now, stay tuned ... we don't have a name picked out YET but we are getting closer! =)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Personal Dilemma

I am going through a personal dilemma at this time. It has nothing to do with work (to be honest, that's been going pretty well lately). It has nothing to do with decorating the nursery (although shopping for furniture has been taking a LOT of my time lately - there's is just so much choice that it's kinda overwhelming). It has nothing to do with my pregnancy (well, maybe it kinda does, somewhat). Anyway, let me start at the beginning.

Last 2008 while I was in Manila, I noticed I had a lot of falling hair. (Yes, my dilemma has to do with my hair!). Anyway, I attributed the falling hair to stress (I just recently quit a very stressful job and was going through a tough time with my dad's illness). In 2009, the falling hair continued even if it was a less stressful year. During my Xmas visit to Manila, my Auntie Rose brought me to the clinic of Dr. Alan Ong a well-known hair expert from Australia. Dr. Ong prescribed some extra vitamins, a shampoo and a topical hair solution that I had to massage into my scalp twice a day. I was assured these were natural medicines and so I religiously applied them for the next 5 months. They actually worked - I did feel the thinning had decreased.

In May of this year, I ran out of the meds and asked my mom to send me some from Manila. She sent them through my Auntie June who arrived early July. By that time, I had a "feeling" I was pregnant and so even if I had the meds, I chose not to apply them since my doctor told me it would be better not to because of my condition. So I stopped - cold turkey. The next few months - the falling hair started up again but nothing alarming. However, by the end of Sept. I noticed a significant loss again. I consulted with Dr. Chen, my OB-GYN, who assured me that falling hair, although not typical during pregnancy was normal because hormones are out of whack.

By the end of October, I noticed I was starting to develop a slight bald spot on the crown of my head (nothing too hideous and not noticeable when I styled my hair - but there is no denying it was there - and it seemed to be growing too!). This started to scare me so I made another appointment with Dr. Chen and discussed the problem with him. This time, he thought it may be better to go see a hair/skin specialist (Dr. Wilson). I met with Dr. Wilson last week.

To be honest, Dr. Wilson could not tell why I was losing hair - especially in the crown area of my head. He ruled out alopecia areata and other possible diseases. His only idea was a type of female pattern baldness. This was a bit scary! But he was optimistic that we could still do something about it. HERE LIES MY DILEMMA: Dr. Wilson prescribed a mild-potency topical medicine (a gel-like substance called Luxiq) that needs to be applied to the affected area twice a day. The medicine is very mild (according to Dr. Wilson). He assured me it would be ok to use since I was already well into my 2nd trimester (although he did say if I was in my first trimester, he probably would not prescribe this). I was relly doubtful and asked if he could check with my OB GYN just to make sure. So while I was waiting in his office, Dr. Wilson called Dr. Chen. I was told that Dr. Chen gave his ok too for me to use the medicine. But later when I went home and did my own research on Lixiq, my fears were not allayed. There was not enough medical data or studies done on pregnant women to assure it would be safe for the baby.

I am so torn up about this. On the one hand, this losing my hair issue is really driving me crazy. I honestly feel like it is all I can think about these days (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration ... but you know what I mean). I am really so upset not knowing if this is temporary or if it will progress even further. It is so frustrating. On the other hand, I can not risk using the medicine and harming Jellybean. I am scared that it may hurt her or may cause her to get sick. I honestly don't know what the effects would be. Jojo has been so supportive but I can tell he's at a loss too. He knows I am bothered by this and wants me to be happy but I know he worries about the baby too. So far, I have not used the medicine. I keep thinking about Jellybean and can not bring myself to use it. Am I being paranoid? Weird? Overly dramatic? or just plain stupid? Sigh.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Peek at the Nursery

We're getting ready to fix up the nursery. My brother-in-law, Mark, offered to help us paint the nursery. My other brothers-in-law (Jay, Lee, Roy and Jojo) have been contracted to help put the furniture together. My mom has generously offered to buy the crib and chest set as a gift to her first ever apo. And Jojo is ready to crack open his wallet to pay for everything else for our unica hija. I've done nothing but window shop at stores and online the last few days getting everything in order. We are ready!

Here is the theme of our nursery:

I chose yellow (actually it's called Pale Sunlight) for the primary color. I wanted a bright, sunny room for our baby girl. I shy away from princess themes in shades of bubblegum pink (honestly, I got a headache looking at all that pink!). I also wanted bright accent colors that make the room attractive but charming all at the same time. And who does not love butterflies? They just make the room seem so happy =)

I am so excited to start working on the room. We are setting aside the Thanksgiving Weekend to get some serious work started! =)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Third Letter

Dear Jellybean,

Happy 5th month! Boy, time sure is flying by these days. In just 4 more months (more or less ... and I am definitely hoping it's the latter), we get to finally meet you. We are sooo excited! We have your latest sonogram picture posted on the fridge and every day I walk by and see your beautiful face. I know most people say that all babies look alike, especially in their sonogram pictures, but I can already make out some of your features (maybe this is just me and my active imagination). But irregardless, I just know in my heart that you are beautiful!

We've been making so many preparations for your arrival. Shopping for furniture, decorating your nursery, and endless planning with any one and every one for when you finally come join us. One of the biggest preps is coming up with your name. Both your dad and I want to make sure we give you a special name that will let the whole world know just how special you really are. After thinking and praying long and hard, we have come up with three favorites:

1.) JULIANNA ELISE (because these have been two of my most favorite names since forever). I love how both names sound so charming and romantic.
2.) JODIE HELENE (because we would love for you to be named after both your grandmothers - my mom's name is Judy and your dad's mom's name is Helen. We think it would be wonderful to have you named after the two most important mothers in our lives.)
3.) JAMIE GABRIELLE - (because we wanted you to be named after two special "angels". My dad's name is James and I am positive he is now your very own, special angel and of course guardian angel Gabriel, who I have been praying to to keep you safe).

My personal favorites are Julianna and Jamie while your dad favors Jodie. We sort of got stuck for a while and decided that since we would like to share raising you with our immediate families, then they should get to vote on your name too.

So far, the results have been:
1.) Julianna Elise - 8 votes
2.) Jodie Helene - 10 votes
3.) Jamie Gabrielle - 5 votes

Your grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins on your dad's side came over for dinner last night to vote. We are still waiting for my side to cast their vote (that's 6 more additional uncounted votes) and of course your Uncle Ogie, Auntie Vange and cousins in Manila have yet to be polled. So it's pretty much still anything goes in terms if your name. But we thought the whole process of naming you has made you feel more real and closer to us. And has brought you closer to your immediate family too. Everyone is just so darned excited to meet you! And remember, no matter what name we give you, just know you will always be special and always be loved.

See you soon my little Bean!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Wonderful News

Today, Jojo and I were at the Magella Medical Center for my final ultrasound at the lab. We were both extra excited because today was also the day we were going to find out the gender of our baby. Jojo and I waited with bated breath as the technician started the ultrasound procedure and went over each of Jellybean's features and parts - identifying each one. She started with the head, the brain, the face, the heart, the spine, the internal organs, the arms, hands, fingers, and skipped over to the legs, feet and toes. She told us every part of Jellybean was perfectly forming and the absolute right size. Everything was going so smoothly. Finally, after Jojo asked for the fifth time about gender, she pronounced "It's a baby girl!".

A BABY GIRL! I know that "happiness" is an emotion but I honestly felt actual physical manifestations. My tummy tingled, my breathing quickened, tears of joy came to my eyes, and I felt chilly all over upon hearing the news. Jojo got to his feet and came to stand by me and had the hugest grin on his face. He was thrilled to hear the news and later said "baby girl, you rock my world". Hahaha! We are, of course, thrilled to have a healthy baby but also thrilled to know we are having a little princess come join our family. Jojo kept saying "I'm going to have a daddy's girl!".

A few minutes after my ultrasound, the technician had a doctor come in to confirm the tests and he concurred saying "it is a girl". So unless there is some huge mistake or a miracle that changes things, it looks like we're having a daughter. Isn't that wonderful??? I can't think of any way that this day could get any better!