baby, Love, Mamahood, Uncategorized

Embracing Mamahood

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It has been 11 weeks since I gave birth to our precious darling, Kirsten Eloise. Yes, 11 weeks. I’m sorry it took me this long to post an update to introduce her to the bigger world. I needed time to get used to the new normal.

Birth Story

Regular contractions began at 10pm on April 19th. At 10am the next day, I was fully dilated and ready to push. After an hour at it, my OB announced the possibility of a c-section since the baby isn’t going down because I am too narrow for her. We tried a few more pushes but all of a sudden baby’s heart beat dropped really bad and there was a gush of blood—the placenta partially separated from my uterus. Everyone in the room started rushing, a nurse quickly put the O2 mask on me and my doctor yelled that she needs the operating room, STAT. They rolled me into a room full of doctors, nurses and I’m not sure who else but as I look up to those very bright lights above the operating table, I prayed to God to take over. That was the first time I completely lost control of my body and mind.

Then I woke up in the recovery room.

As groggy as I can be, I cried my heart out looking for my baby. Is she okay? Is she hooked up to a machine? Is she alive? Did I get a blood transfusion? (I’m so scared to have one).

The nurse assured me that she was born healthy and perfect and no, I did not get a blood transfusion but they need me to stay for an X-ray and a CT scan to make sure all inside me are working fine since things happened very fast.

It took them 4 hours to finished all of that. 4 hours! I already got separated from my baby. I lost that first skin-to-skin encounter I have always dreamed of when still pregnant. I felt cheated and was very sad while waiting but it all faded away when I finally met her. She is indeed all perfect!

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Postpartum

The first week was tough. A lot of learnings with major ups and major downs. We learned how to change her diaper, feed her, burp her by doing it several times a day. Then we had to go back to the hospital and stayed there for four more days because I had a high fever due to an infection. But I am fully recovered now and enjoying all of it more and more each day. Mark and I worked so well together. He took over everything around the house while I tend to our newborn round the clock.

Mamahood

11 weeks in, I am more relaxed now from being very anxious all the time. Eloise and I have mastered breastfeeding exclusively, she is now sleeping 4-5 hours stretch at night time and naps well during the day. She’s a very happy baby and growing crazy fast that I sometimes want to hit pause.

It’s a wonderful yet scary feeling to be fully responsible to another human being who solely depends on me for her survival. It’s true when they say that motherhood is not for the faint of heart. God’s extra grace is definitely required.

Here she is from birth to 2 months old. Introducing, Kirsten Eloise Laurente. Born on April 20, 2018 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Sending lotsa love and cuteness your way!

I guess from now on this blog will be full of stories about her and our family’s adventures. I am grateful to God for giving me this wonderful new role in life. It’s not all glitz and glamour but I wouldn’t trade being my child’s mother for anything in this world.

Love,

Angelique (finally, a mama!)

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Faith, Love, Mamahood, Pregnancy, Random

Random Musings on a Wednesday Morning

The One Year Mini for Women – March 14 entry

R E S T

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. Psalm 127:2

Rest is not a suggestion from God; it is a commandment.

Most of us don’t get enough of it. Rest is not just sleeping; it is doing something different from your normal work, something that will refresh and reward you.

Since God modelled rest for us, there is no doubt that we will find spiritual significance in it.


For people like us who belong to the “middle class” employees, rest or taking time off work is always associated with money, bills to pay and food to eat.

Simply put: No Work = No Pay

However, my husband and I strongly believe that the only key is to live within our means. By doing so, we always have enough to live by while being able to set aside some savings too without compromising our health, time with family and time with God.

Minimizing our expenses works great for us. We do splurge some time but we rather spend the money on things or activities we truly enjoy.

Valuing experiences over possessions is one thing we want to pass on to our children.


This morning, I received an email from Service Canada saying that my leave benefits has been approved and pay cheques will soon come through. This means that for the next 60 weeks, I will be on leave with pay. This means, I get to spend the full year taking care of our baby. (Oh thank You, Lord for Canada!)

I was off work since 28 weeks pregnant and was only working part-time prior to that. It definitely put a strain on our monthly budget but with few adjustments to our lifestyle, we still have more than enough to eat well and live comfortably.

Now that my leave is settled, I just have to focus on getting ready for little Eloise’s arrival. Gotta start packing that hospital bag!


Finally! Spring is just around the corner.

As temperature begins to rise, so as my excitement to drive around the city, hand pick some cherries, have picnics by the lake, and eat barbecue and all sorts of grill. *grinning*

With our baby girl on the way, a very different summer awaits!

Fellow mommies and/or daddies out there, can I get some tips on what to pack in a diaper bag during summer trips? Thanks in advance!

A wonderful rest of the week to everyone. ❤️

Faith, Love, Mamahood, marriage

A Letter To My Daughter On Her Father’s 31st Birthday

Dear Kirsten Eloise,

Today is your father’s birthday. I am most grateful for this day because He have made him for this life that we now share.

I have loved your papa for five years. Even though I just met him few months before that, it seemed like my soul had known him my entire life.

I met him at a period when I was broken into pieces. A time when I was trying to rebuild myself and start all over again in a foreign land. I doubted his intentions at first as I was too scared to be wrong again. I took my time. I prayed very hard.

Then I found myself ready to take another big leap of faith.

Three months after, I watched him get down on one knee as he asks to embark on a journey of a lifetime. Everything I have hoped for suddenly unfolded right before my eyes.

Our love story was well orchestrated.

The kind that was written in heaven.

From then on, loving your father without any hesitation has been the most meaningful decision I have ever made.

I pray for a lot of things for you, my little one.

First one being that you will be a woman who clearly knows your worth. I want you to always know that you are far more precious than riches in this world. You are a princess of heaven. Please do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

I have wasted so much in my lifetime looking for myself in the wrong places. Back then, I thought the only way to be complete is to belong to another human being. There was this gap in my heart that needed to be filled constantly. Until I found out that I only belong to the One who created me. You as well, my daughter, belongs to none but Him.

Another prayer I pray for you often is that you will find the love of your life. As I have found mine.

Love is simple. It should not confuse you contrary to what the world says. You will know it in your spirit. Your mind, heart and soul will be in accord when you have found it. Believe me my darling, that’s how I experienced it.

I just hope that you would end up with a man like your father.

Someone who treats you well. Someone who respects you even in the midst of disagreement. Someone who knows how to forgive freely and when to humbly ask for forgiveness. Pride must be out of the table.

Find someone who appreciates your capabilities and who is proud of your achievements even the little things like what you can and cannot do in the kitchen.

Someone who leads you but willingly works around your many opposite strengths and weaknesses. You two will make a good team. He welcomes your ideas and opinions but shares the responsibility when things take a different course. Blaming will only sabotage your relationship.

Find someone who looks after your needs even before you ask for them. Someone who serves you with no reward, yet you will want to serve him too. When he fills you and you fill him, both of you will be filled. Nobody gets the short end of the stick.

Marry someone who sees the beauty in you in every way. Who never gets tired of pursuing you. Someone who makes it very easy to feel blessed for everything, every day. He knows you are worth it.

Someone who enjoys your time together but also sees the need of time alone. Who is not jealous and intimidated by your individuality. Someone who values your relationships with others. Your world doesn’t have to revolve around his, all the time.

Marry someone who can make you laugh. The silly, heartfelt, healing kind of laugh. Laughter is truly the best medicine. When you go through a rough patch, he will uplift you and laugh with you along the way. Optimism is important. He will be strong for you whenever you’d want to throw in the towel.

Find someone who is committed and hardworking. A man who provides for you. Laziness is unacceptable. Working too hard is the same. He knows that health and family time is a top priority. Someone who solely depends on the One who provides and gives strength.

Someone who is kind and generous. Not only to you but also to a random stranger. Find someone who gives more than he wants to receive. Someone who is glad to have less in order for you to have more.

“Your happiness is my happiness”, your papa’s exact words.

All these things, I hope you would do the same. A two-way street as what they often say. That’s what marriage is.

Most importantly, marry someone who fears God. Once he gets that right, everything else will follow. I beg you to never settle for anyone less than you deserve.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

This kind of love do exist. We will stand by you in praying for that person long before you meet him. Have the courage to wait faithfully and unceasingly bring your petition up above.

Despair will surely come, but you can always run back to your papa’s arms as they will always be open to comfort you and remind you that he loves you the most from the very first day of your existence.

I love your father. Deeply. Rest assured, that love is reciprocated. And you are it’s product.

I thank the Lord for giving him another year of life and good health. A year of abundance and joy. His 31st year where he gets to meet you, our darling Eloise.

See you in 8 weeks’ time.

Love,

Your Mama.

Faith, Love, Mamahood, Pregnancy

Perfect Imperfections

My pregnant self morning routine is to wake-up, pee, make breakfast, eat, do my devotion, house chores then eat again.

This morning was different.

After waking up, I went to the bathroom and discovered something never seen before. It’s there on my inner right thigh. Like a scene from a horror movie, I saw multiple black-scary-not sexy-STRETCH MARKS. I was appalled.

I’m doing okay on the weight gain side of things knowing that I can work on it after pregnancy. What I fear is having black stretch marks as they are rather permanent and expensive if not impossible to remove. I have a cocoa butter lotion and a body oil which I put religiously on the areas I suspect them to appear. Apparently, it did not work.

I cried for a good 10 minutes infront of the mirror feeling ugly. I texted Mark unconsciously seeking for comfort and indeed he responded by saying I’m still and always will be the most beautiful for him. Yet it wasn’t enough to make me feel better.

Then, I felt a kick. 

It dawned on me.

Why am I feeling so upset about this? Isn’t this what I wanted for so long? To experience pregnancy. A chance to become a mother. And just like that, it is happening now. This is our gift.

I immediately wiped the tears on my face and sat on the couch. With eyes closed, I put both my hands on my tummy and felt about 10 strong kicks and rolls in less than 15 minutes. What a happy baby!

I just want to hug her right at that moment.

Now that I’m nearing the end of this miraculous journey, I know that my body will never be the same again.

Dark pools under my eyes and arms. A valley of fat on my midsection. Lines and loose skin that will show beyond doubt that I was once too small to contain all of this love that filled me. Imperfections that will indicate that my daughter once lived inside of me; close to where my heart is. That once, we were one not two.

I realized again how blessed I am to have everything that I have prayed for.

These IMPERFECTIONS that are often frowned upon by the society will be a permanent reminder that I have a PERFECT God. 

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:27

I will never be physically flawless in the eyes of many or even close to what I was before, but my perfect girl will always see me for who I am. Her mother.

Feeling sorry for myself is pointless.

With the gift of a family, a baby girl as healthy as she can be and a husband who loves us both to the moon and 20 times back— I consider myself a very blessed woman.

I am willing to carry all the fear, anxiety and discomfort of this pregnancy for her, my little baby. I can’t wait to meet her.

Oh my dear baby girl, we are already so inlove with you.

year-end

2017 Year in Review

Ready to close my 2017 journal and open 2018's. The Leuchttrum dotted notebook literally improved my life.

2017 was great!

Now I can stop right on that line and end this post because that’s all there is to say about the year— GREAT. However, it would still be nice to look back and wrap things up with these lists.

Three favourite moments:

  1. Summer – My Daddy from Philippines and Mark’s relatives from London came to visit us.
  2. We got pregnant!
  3. Permanent Residence – Finally granted after years of immigration process.

Three lessons learned:

  1. Value experiences over possessions – Spending more time with the people who matters brings lasting happiness than spending on material things that are only temporary.
  2. Always have a grateful heart – Gratitude will cushion the impact of trials.
  3. Sometimes, it’s okay to burn bridges (unhealthy relationships) – If it makes you sleep better at night.

Three things I could have done better:

  1. Exercise – A resolution I made last year that apparently will carry over to the next. I ran and worked out less. Uh-huh, laziness it is.
  2. Worrying – I worried too much about my pregnancy especially during the first trimester.
  3. Time Management – I procrastinated most of the time and never did most things that I need to do.

Without a doubt, 2017 was a blast. If it had been otherwise, I’d still be joyful because we can all look ahead to the new year with hope and confidence in God as He is and will be the same forever.

Looking forward to 2018 with many goals and plans, but it’s always the Lord’s purpose that will prevail.


May we all have a blissful 2018!

Happy New Year everyone! 

Faith, Mamahood

Good News!

This week we found out that we are having a baby girl. YEY! For those people close to me, you might be well aware that we have been praying for a girl since the beginning. We waited 3 long years for this so you can just imagine how ecstatic we were when the nice lady tech said “it’s a girl”.

One fun part of my pregnancy is waiting to find out our baby’s gender. It was an experience I get to share with our family and friends. Most moms-to-be know the feeling when people come up to them (with a stroke on the belly) predicting the baby’s gender and it’s usually followed with some old wives tale. Let me share to you some that I heard and found very interesting:

  1. Sweet vs. Salty: “If you found yourself craving for all things sweet, that’s a sign that you are having a girl while cravings for salty means it might be a boy.” For me, I craved every thing salty in the first trimester then suddenly changed to sweets as soon as I hit 2nd trimester.
  2. No or Yes to Chicken: “If you like eating chicken it’s probably gonna be a girl. If you hate it, then a boy.” This is by far the most interesting to me. I don’t know what could be the connection between chickens and babies but for me, some days I like chicken and some days I dont so I guess it simply means I’m just pregnant!
  3. Belly Shape: “If you’re belly is pointing out and low, that could be a sign that you’re carrying a boy. If it’s round and higher, means you should get ready for a girl.” This one I bet is the most popular. Since I couldn’t really figure out how my belly shapes like (even I check it in front of a mirror) I just enjoyed people having different opinion of it. Some say it’s round, some say it points out, some say it’s actually very huge for my gestational age.
  4. Pregnancy glow, or no?: If that “pregnancy glow” is missing, you are having a boy but if you’re face looks bright and hair is shiny and silky plus always wanting to put makeup on, it’s a girl.” This one is my favourite. LoL! Most our friends said I told you so when we found out that baby’s a girl because they said I look pretty and bright all the time. (Well, thank you!)

Ofcourse, these are just for fun and no science backing up any of them. However, it definitely made our waiting time towards Dec. 1st fun and more exciting.

What gave me the most confidence is that I already claimed it from the Lord that we will soon welcome our daughter. I have this tiny barbie doll pinned to our prayer board for 3 years now and even had its name ever since. I also wrote down so many post-it notes now pressed in my Bible and different books. It’s as if my mind was already programmed that I’m gonna have it. Which is not at all impossible with GOD! All of us can actually believe that we will have the desires of our heart if we pray for it earnestly.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2

With this verse, I can definitely say that whatever it is that we are praying for right now–whether it be our finances, relationships, career or health– we can lift up our petitions to God and believe. Although the answer may not be a YES–for it can be a NO or a WAIT–we can always trust that the Lord has our best interest in mind. Meaning, we just let go and let God for He perfectly knows what is best for us.

I already mentioned that we sometimes have to wait long before the blessing is given to us. God prepares us while we wait. In our case, waiting to become parents means preparing us spiritually, financially and physically. For some, there could be times that God wants us to first let go of things in our lives that we hold on most because it just doesn’t fit in His purpose at all.

Finally, there are times that God completely says no to a thing we’ve been praying for because He actually has something better! We might not understand what’s presently happening, but before we know it, we will suddenly realize that we are actually in a better place– better than we have imagined and prayed for. Amazing, right?

So, here I am trying to encourage you on my first ever blog post to just keep the faith! The world may tell you otherwise but isn’t it always more fun to anticipate the next big thing for you?

I might already have the baby that I’ve been praying for for so long but there are so many things yet to learn and experience in pregnancy, motherhood, parenting and life in general. I will certainly stumble along the way but every challenge comes with rainbows to conquer it. ❤