Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Was I Too Naive To Hope For A Patch Adams?

I was not supposed to visit an OB yet but yesterday I woke up with my first "spotting" experience.  I was so worried and alarmed because I never experienced bleeding with my first pregnancy.  My hubby took a leave from work so he and Arya could go with me to the doctor.   But I told him that it would be better if I go alone so he could also save his energy.  And I would prefer if he and Arya would avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital as much as possible.

I have been asking friends for feedback and been reading on OB and hospital recommendations.  For my hospital choice, I had 2 choices- Hospital A and Hospital B - both top tier hospitals in the metro.  From my research, I was able to narrow it down to 3 OB's from  Hospital B.  As for Hospital A, I only had 1 OB on my list.  However, in case we wouldn't be able to get a reliable helper next year, I might consider giving birth in the province so at least my mom and sisters can help us take care of the baby.  Giving birth in the province is a last resort, though.  Prior to my "spotting" experience, I already called for an appointment with the OB in Hospital A.  I was scheduled for a consultation after a week since the OB was not yet available- she was out of the country.  My game plan was, if the consultation with Hospital A OB did not go well, I would proceed to Hospital B and take my pick among my three choices.  

Back to the story.  I was in Hospital B around 11 AM, Doctor 1 could not accommodate walk-in patients, while Doctor 2 was not scheduled to come in until 1:30 PM.  I did not want to wait that long because I was feeling nauseated and very tired.  So I went to Doctor 3's clinic, however when I got there, the secretary said that the OB had to attend a meeting and they would not be able to accommodate me.

I had no choice but to choose among the available doctors because my top 3 were not available.  I considered waiting for Doctor 2 but I figured that I would probably  be requested to undergo an ultrasound.  I wanted to go home ASAP and get it over with as soon as possible.  So I just decided to consult with Doctor 4- the available doctor that time.  I thought maybe fate was leading me to her.  And that even if she was not mentioned or recommended in the threads, she could be the doctor that I was looking for.  She could be The One. 

After around 40 minutes and 3 patients before me, it was finally my turn.  I told  Doctor 4 that I took the pregnancy test and that I have been feeling extra tired and nauseated lately so I was sure that I was pregnant.  I also shared with her that I experienced spotting that morning, the reason I was there in the first place.  She did not seem alarmed nor concerned.  Then she asked me where I plan to give birth.  I told her the truth- that I haven't decided where to give birth yet.  I did not want to lie to her. And I think there was nothing wrong with taking my time to choose an OB.  Besides, I was not planning to consult an OB until a week after.  I asked her to give me an estimate of childbirth cost and fees.  She asked if I had a normal or CS delivery with my first pregnancy.  I answered CS. Then she said, "So CS ka na uli".  I told her I was considering VBAC and I asked how much would she charge for a VBAC in Hospital B.  She said VBAC would cost around P200k+, same as CS.

After that, I expressed my concern and worry over the spotting/bleeding that I experienced earlier that morning.  She said she couldn't advise me anything yet and that I needed to decide on a doctor and hospital  first.  That a pre-natal consultation is different from a cold or cough consultation.  That I needed to stick to a doctor.  And she implied that if a patient plans to give birth in the province, she wouldn't entertain that patient.  What she gave me was a prescription for folic acid and a request  for an ultrasound. She did not even tell me to come back and bring the results to her even if the results would be readily available after the ultrasound.

Maybe my fatigue got the best of me.  It was only when I was in the ultrasound department that I realized what an unkind OB that woman was. I believed her way of thinking was not right. I know other friends who have 2 OBs- one in Manila and one in the province where they  plan to give birth. And what about the case of OFWs?   What if I am a pregnant OFW in Singapore but plans to give birth in Manila?  Her logic says that an OB in Singapore should not accommodate me as a patient since I plan to give birth in the Philippines anyway. 

Was it my fault?  Did I offend her?  Should I have lied?  Was I expecting too much?  Are my pregnancy hormones making me too emotional?  Was it wrong for me to expect just a little bit of concern from her for me and for my baby?  Because she clearly didn't express any at all.  She did not even bother to give me some basic precautions or explain the possible causes of spotting. I paid for that consultation.  I deserved her time and attention. Perhaps she was rushing because it was already lunch time and past her clinic hours, plus there were still patients waiting outside.  If that's the case, she shouldn't have accepted more patients.  But wait, I don't think she was rushing that time, because I just remembered she was still able to joke around with her staff for a few minutes before she turned my attention to me.  Maybe that encounter was a sign that Hospital B was not for me.  And whatever caused Doctor 4 to act that way did not matter anymore.  

The OB-sonologist was way more compassionate than her.  She advised me to avoid stress and to rest.  And to let go of things I could not control.  Whew! Doctors like The Unkind OB are  precisely the reason why I am more careful in choosing an OB this time.  I am blessed to know some highly competent and compassionate doctors  and I really wish there were more doctors like them- doctors who do not see us patients as a statistic or as a number. 

It's not my thing to vent online.  I just want to tell my story and let the mommas know that we deserve the right pre-natal care and that we should not settle for a mediocre service.  I did not write this to get some sympathy from my friends or from my fellow moms.  I wrote this in the hope that a doctor or an aspiring doctor will read this.  And decide to put some care and compassion into the equation and maybe just put a little bit more love and a little bit more passion in their profession. 

I hope you mommas did not experience the same thing I did. I would like to hear your happy OB stories.  OB horror stories are welcome, too.  Just leave a comment or email me at themommaclub@gmail.com.

Momma Jay

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Make Gift Giving Hassle-Free with GC Regalo!

It's the start of the ber-months tomorrow.  Before we know it, it's Christmas time.  And it means gift-giving season is here again.  What is your gift-giving style? Some people prefer giving practical gifts as they also prefer receiving such.  Even kids have their wish list or preferred items.  My nephew Jaden loves receiving toys.  I think it was two years ago, I bought a graduation gift for him that he was not thrilled about.  I got him a long sleeves polo so he could wear it on his graduation ceremony.  That's what my sister, his mom, advised, too.  She said he had too many toys, and at least she would not have to shop for his graduation outfit anymore.  When I gave the gift to Jaden, he did not throw a second look at it.  Seen zoned! No reaction.  Hahaha! But that was fine with me because at least I was able to help my sister save some bucks.  And also, I already spoiled my nephew with toys when he was younger.

The best way to make your loved one happy is to get him a gift that is included in his wishlist.  If you have the budget, buy everything in his list.  That will definitely thrill him.   But what if you don't have access to that list, or your loved one does not have such?  My dad is like that.  When we do our "exchange gift" every New Year, he's the only one who does not have a wishlist for himself.  He would indicate to give him something for my Mom or for Jaden (my nephew).  Very selfless, right?

I guess a fool-proof gift idea not just for the holiday season, but for all occasions, is a gift certificate.  Even kids appreciate receiving one nowadays.  And why not, with a gift certificate, they would have the freedom to choose an item they like.  Kids nowadays are very smart and practical.  And maybe choosy, too?  Just kidding.  I, myself, am appreciative of all types of gifts that I receive.  But as a mom, most of the time, I prefer to receive things that are practical.  So yes, I love receiving GCs especially if I can opt to use it from a wide range of stores.

My husband also prefers receiving an SM Gift Pass.  I am sure most of you have received one before, as companies usually give this out as part of their Employee Incentives and Rewards.  

As for me, I would not mind receiving a Sodexo Premium Pass as a gift on any occasion.

What about you, Mommas?  Please share your fool-proof and hassle-free gift giving tips.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Spelling Out Freedom With Freelancing

What comes to mind when you think of Freelancing?  Do you see it as merely a sideline job or as what we Filipinos informally call ‘Raket’?  By common definition, Freelancing is when you are self-employed, by offering your skills and services to clients or businesses, without necessarily being bounded to a single employer or a long-term contract. If you haven’t dipped your toes in Freelancing, then perhaps now is the time to consider.

Did you know that according to Upwork, a leading global online jobs platform, the Philippines is the third highest - earning country in the world when it comes to freelancing? In fact, more than 1.4 million Filipinos are registered in the platform alone!

With the sheer power of that number, it only attests to an overwhelming number of individuals who have found their fulfillment and achieved their #Lifegoals in Freelancing. This is not to ignore that like any other profession or job, Freelancing does have its own unique struggles, but if you’re the kind of person who wishes to feel and be more empowered in one or in all aspects of your life, then allow us to sum up what Freelancing can give you: F-R-E-E-D-O-M.  And yes, we do intend to spell it out literally, by giving you our take of what that word means in the world of Freelancing.  So if you’re an aspiring freelancer or entrepreneur, or avoiding a potential bout of “FOMO”, then read on!

1) F - lexibility and Autonomy

We live in the Digital Age, so it should come as no surprise the technologies that can allow us to work anytime and anywhere, and provide services to clients from anywhere in the globe! Say goodbye to long commutes and hello to telecommuting! Also, the nature of Freelancing can give you the flexibility and autonomy to work at your own pace and choose the clients and projects you want to work on.

2) R – ewarding Career
Who says that Freelancing can’t be a career or profession? For many who have gone this route, it has paved way for them to pursue their dream jobs without the constraints of a fixed job description or the frustration of being stuck in a mundane ‘9-5’ office job. As a self-employed professional, you are fully empowered to pursue projects that would nurture your skills and passions.

3) E – ndless possibilities
As a freelancer, there is no limit to the opportunities and possibilities you can pursue, now that you have full control of your career, profession and time. Whereas before, the most part of your day and energy would be spent in long energy-draining meetings and long commutes, Freelancing lets you color and fill each day with activities that you consider truly aligned in attaining your life goals.

4) E – nables you to design your own lifestyle
Are you a night owl who is most productive in the evenings? Dreamed of having your own 4-Hour Work Week? Or what about getting down to finally working on that business plan for your dream start-up? With Freelancing, you can get creative on how you design your typical week, that would specially cater to your unique personality, interests and quirks.

5) D – o things your way
Always had a need to be in full control of your work, surroundings and growth? Then Freelancing will definitely give you that! Being your own boss is one of the great perks of being a Freelancer, and that means getting things AND results done just the way you envisioned it.

6) O – wn your time
Ever wondered how it would be like to respond to emails in your swimwear, with your toes brushing the sand as it points towards a breathtaking view of the beach? Well, in the Freelancing Handbook, you are free to take a vacation in the middle of the week, just as long as you get the job done and your clients happy. Becoming a Freelancer means taking full control of your time and schedule.

7) M – ake room for the people and things that truly matter
And here’s the most important part. Freelancing enables you to spend more time with your family, and other things that truly make life meaningful. With Freelancing, it has paved way for the rise of thousands of hands-on mommies, who find fulfillment in being able to nurture both their families and careers. Whilst for many others, they found it in more time spent in pursuing volunteer work, or in endeavors which define their passions and values.

There you have it. That’s how you spell Freedom with Freelancing!

And if you’re itching to learn more about the boundless opportunities of being a Freelancer, then you’re in luck. This year, Manila Workshops, with the support of the Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT), will be holding the 2nd Freelancer Fair on Sept. 2, 2017, to be held at the Bayanihan Center, Pioneer, Pasig City.  It is the country’s first and largest event for Freelancers, which would gather together freelancers, business owners and brands for a whole day of talks tackling the Freelancing Landscape and the different opportunities in store for both existing and aspiring freelancers.  The theme for this year’s full day event is Cultivating Relationships, as inspired by the mission to cultivate, nurture and help more people discover how Freelancing can help them achieve their professional and personal goals.

For more information about this year’s  The Freelancer Fair, visit their Event Page.   Purchase your ticket through the link below and see you at the Fair!

Enter the code below to get Php 200 off for this event.



Pure Beauty x Watsons Philippines, Urban Shield Line: Going Beyond Limits with Nature’s Best Barrier

It can be quite a challenge to take great care of your skin when you’re a Filipina on the go. Up to 98% of us are exposed to and are affected by the city’s harmful elements and heavy pollution on a daily basis. Whether you’re on your way to work or running around the city for errands, you’re constantly exposed to dirt, grime, sweat, and sun damage. These irritants can stress out your skin, causing it to look dull and tired. Dust trapped in sweaty pores can cause you to break out and the harsh rays from the sun can cause oxidative damage, which result to your skin losing these protective cells that keep it looking young, fresh, soft, and supple.

At the launch of Pure Beauty Urban Shield

It is never too early to start thinking of ways to protect your skin. The best way to do so is by using products that can really nourish and protect from the inside out, before the worst damage happens.

It is for these reasons that Watsons Philippines is so excited to announce the launch of a new product line that will be every Filipina’s best skin care regimen. The Pure Beauty innovative Urban Shield Line is a very special anti-pollution range of products that is the first of its kind in the country. Inspired by nature and infused with the gloriously antioxidant powers of pomegranate, it is a line perfected by science to become your skin’s most potent shield against skin-damaging elements.

Drinks were served

The Pure Beauty Urban Shield line is the brainchild of renowned Korean dermatologist, Dr. Seong J. Kim. Nine out of ten women, who tried this line at panel testing, claimed that their skin was more supple and hydrated after switching to this regimen. Imagine stepping out into the intense heat with three umbrellas to shield you from sun damage. Dr. Kim explains that this is what the three-level protection that Urban Shield offers- one layer having fermented pomegranate fruit extracts and other plant extracts with high antioxidant content, another having patented IBRs ® with anti-pollution and natural skin defense properties, and the final layer having ultra-shielding agents, Galactomyces Fermented Filtrate and Phyto-Placenta, which make the range the best of its kind.

Very nice packaging

Pure Beauty Urban Shield is composed of the following products:
  1. Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes
  2. Clarifying Foaming Cleaner
  3. Clarifying Toner
  4. Reviving Serum
  5. Reviving Eye Gel
  6. Protective Day Lotion
  7. Renewal Night Cream
  8. Recharging Mask
Packed with the power of all natural pomegranate extracts and Pure Beauty’s IBR ingredients which allow for deeper penetration through fermented natural ingredients, the Urban Shield line is an essential for girls-on-the-go. For the best protection against damaging pollution, which also helps revitalize your skin and repair dullness, be sure to try Nature’s Best Barrier.
Glad to know these are safe for pregnant women

Visit all Watsons and SM Beauty Stores nationwide for your Pure Beauty fix! For product updates, follow Watsons at: http://facebook.com/WatsonsPH or go to their website at www.watsons.com.ph.

Friday, August 18, 2017

BDJ Rendezvous: Bella Mommies

July 22 was a fun day for The Momma Club because our friends from BDJ (Belle de Jour) invited us to their event BDJ Rendezvous: Bella Mommies.  It's a truly a celebration of motherhood as we listened to empowered moms share their stories, triumphs, and challenges.

The hosts- Isha Borromeo and Jasmine Juguilon 

My raffle entry

Louise Santos, the multi-tasker mom, said that there are difficult people that we will meet along the way.  She advised that we should always take the high road and be the better person.  With regards to time management, she gave some practical advice- write down tasks and prioritize.  She also pointed out that one common challenge of moms nowadays is finding a reliable yaya.   Based on her experience, she recommends that
during recruitment, be kind and be straightforward.  It would also be smart to ask for referrals.  Being "yayaless" can be really challenging and it would not hurt to ask help from  our family.  After all, what is family for?

Louise Santos

Again, I was reminded to ditch our enemy- the mommy guilt.  It's quite difficult, though, because we moms always think or feel that there's always something to be guilty about.  I think that mothers can be too hard on themselves sometimes- or most of the time, rather.  Like what Louise said, as simple as not preparing a nice-looking baon for our kids can make us moms feel so guilty.  And this is not healthy.  Because we should never compare ourselves to other mothers or women.

The second speaker was Ginger Arboleda, the mompreneur.  She said that perhaps we moms are scared or hesitant  to start our own business thinking that there is an existing business with the same concept.  But she said that it all boils down to execution.  We can always have similar ideas with other people or other entrepreneurs.  But the one who executes well, wins.  The moments in our lives prepare us for opportunities.  Ginger advised that we should aim to understand ourselves; we should aim to know and realize our strengths and weaknesses.  And if possible, let's outsource our weakness so we can allot our energy to more worthwhile endeavors.  Most importantly, before we start a business, we should define our purpose, cause, and belief.

Ginger Arboleda

Shari Macainag showed some pictures of how moms can dress fashionably.  In between and after the talks, raffle prizes were drawn.  Of course, the mommies were so happy to receive their prizes.  I'm happy that the moms I invited got to win some.

Shari Macainag

Happy moms with their prizes

Ian Banzon, the fitness coach, talked about the importance of  holistic health.  She also willingly answered some questions from the audience.  One question was- which is better, being a doctor or an athlete? 
To that, she answered that each has its own share of challenges.  As an athlete she thinks about herself.  And as a doctor, she thinks about other people.  And what inspires her to be both is her passion to help people have better lives.  She tries to imbibe her passion and apply it to her daily life.

Ian Banzon sharing some body weight exercises

Kudos to BDJ for a successful event- for making us moms happy and for inspiring us once again.  Until next time!

Happy mommies

My loot! :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Love That Protects

Parents are wired to keep a watchful eye over their children, making sure they are healthy and safe. Kids, on the other hand, would always want to go out, explore, and play with their friends. A child’s desire to explore out of arm’s reach usually sparks a semblance of fear in parents, prompting them to become restrictive of their little one’s day-to-day activities at times.

The reality is parents cannot be with their kids 24/7. There are times when they simply need to be away from their children to fulfill other responsibilities, like going to work and attending to household chores.

In a recent event held at The Atrium, SM Megamall, NIDO® ADVANCED PROTECTUS® 3+ showcased how it helps moms show their children a love that protects through an aptly heart-shaped activity booth headlined by interactive parent-child activities.

Busy Bee Arya

For kids, moms, and even dads to join in the fun, they simply need to buy one (1) 370g pack of NIDO ADVANCED PROTECTUS® 3+ or 5+ from the nearby selling booth to get a set of three (3) wrist tags. Inside, they can win special prizes by evading the dangers of the forest through the sound-controlled game Shout for Love, hugging to catch yellow hearts at Catch the Love Bug, expressing their creativity by coloring artworks at Color Me Love, and stating their commitment through a mom and child handprint and answering the question “How do you show your love that protects?”

The different activities allowed the participants to demonstrate their creativity and teamwork, and at the same time, provided parents and their kids with an educational, fun-filled family bonding day.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/NidoAdvancedProtectus3/  
Also, watch out for announcements on Cebu and Davao legs.

Friday, August 4, 2017

"The One Who Let Go"

I’m a sucker for love stories, both happy and sad. I love listening to a friend talk about a new found love. On the other hand, I cry with a friend who’s bleeding in love. Love is such a popular subject because all of us can relate to it. Who has not experienced its joys and pains? Even the famous hits are all about love. Those who have not loved have not lived. To quote my favorite author, "And those who have never been wounded in love will never be able to say: “I have lived”. Because they haven’t."

One day, I could not help but chat (with) an old classmate. I have not spoken to her in ages. It's only through Facebook that I get updates from her (oh, don't we just love Facebook). When I saw that she was online, I just had to tell her that I was so happy that she met someone. Prior to that convo, I saw her posts about her new boyfriend and it was perfectly clear that she was on cloud nine. She and her boyfriend looked very happy in their pictures together, that I could not help but reminisce my own love story. I'm sure you'll agree that seeing someone who's so in love brings us those memories of the honeymoon stage in our relationships. However, she told me that they have broken up. The reason being was the guy went back to his ex-girlfriend (ex-girlfriends are such a pain). I was expecting bitter and ugly words from her. But then, she said ...

“Let me tell you, though. I was the "One Who Let Go". But you know why I'm not that reproachful about the whole thing? Because after XX years, I got to feel once again that giddyness and floating feeling of having someone to love crazily and who loved you back in the same manner. Shame it had to end so soon, but to feel that again after a long time already makes it worth it. There was a time when I can sing again the songs that I eventually couldn't sing. I'm hoping that the next time love comes my way I can keep it for longer and I'd have more chances to cherish and nurture it.” 

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone who goes through a breakup has the same mindset as her? I've been through breakups before and my reaction was very far from hers (let's save this for another story). I admire this girl. I admire her maturity. Instead of cursing her ex-boyfriend and being such a BITTER OCAMPO about it, she chose to be positive and optimistic. 

To "the one who let go"- I admire you for doing the right thing. Many people stay in unhappy and complicated relationships, when they perfectly know their way out. But you chose not to. You are brave, strong, not to mention smart. This world does not need another martyr nor a masochist. Don’t worry, I'm sure you’ll meet Mr. God’s-will-for-you soon. Because, I’m telling you it’s true, when one door closes, another one opens. The best is always saved for last. 

From my old blog, published on Friday, March 09, 2012

Was I Too Naive To Hope For A Patch Adams?

I was not supposed to visit an OB yet but yesterday I woke up with my first "spotting" experience.  I was so worried and alarmed ...