Breastfeeding the Second Time

I feel that I am nearing the end of my breastfeeding journey with Jansen.  It has already been a year and six months and I can say that I enjoyed this more than my first time.  It is not just because my kids have completely different behavior but because I am more prepared in terms of information with my second baby.

When I gave birth to Julia, I was not that well read in terms of how breastfeeding works.  I thought that it would be naturally easy but I also believed that my own milk will not be enough so I will need to supplement with formula.  It was only when I read up on breastfeeding sites and blogs that I learned all there is to know about exclusive breastfeeding. But this happened when I already gave birth and I have consumed half a can of formula already!

Now armed with my experience with Julia, I learned these realizations:

  1. I should not be hard on myself. We all have this expectation that everything shall go according to plan.  It would be ideal if we will all be perfectly healthy, have ample milk supply, and our babies will latch on the spot. But this is not always the case for me. It took a while before I got my decent milk collection.  I started with a few drops which can easily discourage anybody.  I keep telling myself that I just need to be patient and should not give up.  It took two weeks of round the clock feeding before I felt my milk increase. Also, it is perfectly normal for the baby to take his or her time feeding.  Sometimes it takes hours with just a few minutes break. I think just giving in to the demand and not to account the frequency and duration makes it a more stress-free experience.
  2. There is no right place to breastfeed. Before, I would search for nursing stations and discreet nursing spots before feeding Julia but with Jansen I just go with the flow.  If he’s hungry, I usually find an area where I can sit and then nurse on the spot.  I also plan ahead and wear loose clothes and nursing tops before going out though.
  3. There is no need to buy expensive nursing tops and nursing covers. I highly suggest a nursing cami or sando that can be the inner layer of any loose shirt.  It covers the belly and the shirt can cover the chest. From experience, my babies dislike the nursing cover! Who wants to feed warm milk and have their head covered in a tropical weather? I swear they look like they showered after a feeding. Poor poor guys!
  4. Breastpump and storage containers are all you need. Pumps are useful for working moms but this is not necessary if you don’t plan on staying out too long.  It’s always better to direct feed anyways. Pumps are great because you can save up on buying the expensive milk formulas. I am very lucky that my office allows me to have pump breaks in the office.  However if you don’t have a breastfeeding area (which is already required by law), I suggest a freemie cup coupled with your breastpump of choice.  This pump is super discreet and I learned this from my cousin.  You can really pump in your workspace without people noticing!
  5. Keep it super simple. If you are having second thoughts about buying a particular product, you probably don’t need it.  I learned this when I have accumulated stuff that I only used a couple of times.  All I need now actually is my pump and breastmilk bags in the office.  When we go out, I just bring diapers, baby wipes, lampin and change of clothes.
  6. Build up a stash but not too much. Donate milk every three months. Moms are paranoid beings and I am no exception.  I take pride in my milk stash haha! But when Jansen reached his 1st birthday, I found myself with too much milk that our freezer already lacks the space for actual food.  Now I donate every two months so that other pre-mature kids can benefit from my extra milk. I donate in the Philippine Children’s Medical Center with number (02) 588 9900, ask to connect to their milk bank and look for ate Cecille.
  7. Expect the unexpected, or should I say, welcome the unexpected.  This one is a little hard for me since I crave orderliness and schedule. What I do to lessen this is to schedule meetings and inspections at specific times during the day so I don’t find myself rushing or wanting to finish the work earlier.  And if nothing goes according to plan that day, I just try to be positive that things will be normal tomorrow! The rule of thumb is to have at least one oz. per hour and if I do, I am already perfectly happy.

When Julia said to me at 2 years and 4 months “ayaw ko na, malaki na ako”,  I felt this sadness that my quiet cuddle was over. And like when I was with Julia, I will miss our cuddle sessions every night.. I guess we have to think of other ways to bond beyond this. For Julia it’s arts, for my little Jansen, I still have to figure it out!

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Zambales Beach Getaway

We seldom go out of the house on weekends because of the horrendous traffic conditions in Metro Manila but on rare occasions that we do, we opt for something more natural than the mall.  It’s not that malls are a bad thing, my daughter misses the mall so much that she did a happy dance last Monday when I told her we will be going.  It’s just that weekends in malls are so busy and constricting.  A few months ago, we headed to Zambales to enjoy the waves.  Julia, as usual went swimming as soon as we arrived.  She loves the beach and making sand castles.  Jansen, as usual went for the food hahaha! Here are our pics from that day.

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Poppit Creations

Iya got this gift from her Tita Lani because it comprises two of her most favorite things!  One, it is a craft kit and two, it has something to do with bunnies.  This set is a supplemental kit and not a starter pack but the lack of a clay popper did not hinder her little hands from making all of these. Poppit is an air dry clay molding set similar to playdoh but lighter and softer.  You mold, cut, assemble, decorate and wait for 24 hours to harden.

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Halloween 2016

We love Halloween!

I stumbled upon our pictures last year while sorting through old photos.  I only got to post one photo in Instagram and it’s not enough tell the whole Halloween Party story…

As usual, I was still thinking about what Iya will wear up to the last minute.   I wanted it to be easy to make, assemble, and wear because I don’t have the time to create a detailed costume.  Jansen was only 10 months around this time and I still lack my sanity.  My options were the ready made ones like the princess dresses, Chinese costume, or her Minnie Mouse Halloween themed dress.  However, I felt that she was over all these and I wanted to try something new.  I suggested that she go as a Starbucks barista instead.  I got the idea from my friend’s daughter who wore this two years back.  I found it so cute and doable that I bought a mini apron in Starbucks right away.  The apron had been in her closet for two years already! Talk about early preparation!  To complete this, I needed a white polo shirt, khaki pants, and black tie that I bought in SM boys wear. When I told her my plan she insisted that Jansen should also wear a costume to match.  She was the one who recommended that we dress him up as a cup.  I searched the internet and found the perfect thing! A white onesie painted with the logo and wrapped by a brown cup sleeve.  I got the brown cloth from my mom’s sewing box, asked Henry to buy a green fabric paint and got to work on Jansen’s costume.

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The Starbucks Barista and the Cup!
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Flower

by Julia F. Bernardo

 

Just bloom and bloom

Inside my room;

I will take you to the window seat,

Where the sun will always greet.

 

I will water you day and night,

With the help of the sun’s wonderful light;

From a seed you will grow,

To a flower that I know.

 

When you were a bud you were shy,

Now you are looking up the sky;

And now we finally meet,

Oh your beauty is a treat!

New Character

Julia’s new obsession for the past month and still going strong is the “Merbun”.  This is a cross between a Mermaid and her ever favorite bunny, thus the birth of the Merbun!

She has been busy searching the internet for her new character and was happy to report that there were no Merbuns in Youtube.  Google proved to be less than successful because there were about two sites who yielded the Merbun result.  Oh my ever competitive Julia..

She also made a book about the little Merbunny.  It’s about a bunny who loves the sea that progresses to her full Merbun glory haha! Here it is with some of her practice poems.

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Gender Pay Gap

I chanced upon this article this morning and yes it happened and it is a reality for me.  When I graduated, I had high hopes that I will be part of the whole employment pyramid and will rise above the corporate ladder.  I thought of being the head of my firm and will be the master of my time.  I never considered that I will have and raise a family.  I was idealistically independent.  However a series of events led me to believe that I was not fit to be employed in a private firm let alone handle one.  I felt more at home with academic work so I pursued my masters degree and worked full time (but still contractual) in government office. I eventually got married and had a kid.

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