Dawn is here

After we had Troy, Dens and I agreed that we'll start trying for baby#3 when Troy turns 2. On his 2nd birthday, I received a text message from our pastor's wife, Achi Rubi, that when she prayed for Troy that morning, she had a vision of me carrying a baby girl with curly hair in the church. I was so happy and thought what a nice confirmation it was from the Lord that we'll soon get our request.

3 months later, I got pregnant and we were almost certain that am carrying our first baby girl. 5 months into the pregnancy and the OB sonologist confirmed from an ultrasound that we are indeed having a girl.

It was so hard to control myself from over-purchasing cute baby girls' clothes! Little girls are waaaay more fun to dress up than little boys. I very excited whenever we would go to stores and see nice little pink and white dresses for Dawn.

What's in a name? We had such a hard time deciding what to name our baby girl all throughout the pregnancy. We did a lot of baby name polls (and I mean A LOT!) through various sites and social media channels. The amount of suggestions were crazy but we remained unsettled.
The Sunday before I was scheduled to deliver, I was in church and I prayed for God to help us decide on our baby girl's name. We already had a few names in mind, and Dawn was one of them, but we wanted a confirmation from the Lord. So that morning while Pastor Garvic was giving the message, I prayed and asked the Lord to speak to me through His word. Then Pastor Garvic asked us to read Song of Songs chapter 6. So I did...and God's answer came in quick.  I was amazed.

Song of Songs 6: 9-10
"...my perfect one is unique, the only daughter of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her.  The maidens saw her and called her blessed; the queens and concubines praised her.  Who is this that appears like the Dawn, fair as the mood, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in pocession?"

So Dawn it is. We loved it!

While I was still in the operating room, I heard the nurses say the baby only weighed 4.13lbs. I was a bit concerned because Tyler weighed exactly 4.13lbs! The only difference then was that Dawn gave out a really loud cry, even louder than Troy if my memory serves me right, while Tyler did not. Other than the fact that she was really tiny, she was perfect.
But due to her small size, our pediatrician requested that we get a cranial ultrasound to check her brain development when she turned 4 months. So four months later, we did the ultrasound and it confirmed that Dawn is a perfectly healthy little baby. She was happy all throughout the procedure. There were no tears.  God continues to amaze me.

Dawn just turned 6 months and has started to take in solid food last week. She is loving it like how Troy enjoys his meals.

On days when things doesn't seem to go so well, I think of how much God has been with us thus far...and I know we will be all right. God is good.


The Past 16 Months

It’s been over a year since I last blogged. So this post is to update you on what’s you’ve missed the past 16 months.

ü  We now have a baby girl!!! Dawn was born on February 22 of this year weighing a tiny 4.13lbs.
ü  Had a horrific experience of having my stitches open again after having my 3rd c-section. It finally closed after several torturous wound-cleaning visits to my OB. I always say I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and had always been proud that am easily up and about after my c-sections...so the pain of having my wound re-open was probably my true ‘birthing pain’ experience.
ü  Troy started going to school last year and he has been enjoying it! We had about 5 days of crying due to separation anxiety but after that, it was pretty nice and easy. He easily made new friends in school and has been loving after-school playground time A LOT! Removing playground time became the most effective punishment last year.
ü  In line with starting school, I am now a full-time tutor to Troy. My husband, Dens, and I have been spending at least 30 mins daily to help Troy with his homework. It’s been crazy fun – a lot of trial & error on tutoring styles along the way.
ü  Travel! Travel! Travel! Boracay, Davao, Japan, Australia, China…you can see my contribution in manilamommy’s post on my tips for travelling with a baby/toddler .  This year has been an even greater challenge travelling with 2 kids in tow. Dawn has been to Boracay and Davao and will soon have her first trip abroad in 2 months.
ü  I’m once again breastfeeding and aiming for 2 years this time. I breastfed Troy for exactly a year and 8 months before and I am hoping I can do the additional 4-month stretch with Dawn.

So that’s where we left off and this is where our story begins…


The Next Best Thing

As a working mom, there are days when i miss Troy terribly and just feel like rushing home to be with him. I've always felt that spending less than half a day with him every weekday is just not enough. It does not help that i also have to fly ever so often on some unavoidable business trips and spend more days away from him. 

On my first business trip away from him on July of 2008 (Troy was 4 months old then), i decided to start a tradition of writing letters to Troy (and my future children) whenever i feel like being with them but can't do so physically. My first letter was written in the plane on my way to the US. I have since then started writing letters quite regularly and would like to share these letters to my children when they grow up. There are long letters and there are shorter ones, depending on how much time i had.

I'd like to share the quick letter i wrote to Troy early this morning. May this inspire you to do the same with your children. They are small now and may not remember all the things you do for them.  But writing them now would allow them to realize when they grow up just how loved they always were.

Here's to all little children -- you are so loved!

My dearest anak,
I just want to stop and say I love you very much. I am now working and cannot help thinking about you. I love you so very much and I miss you already. I am so excited to see you later when I get home.
You always make me laugh with your little antiques, anak. I love your smile and I love the way you carry around your little yellow SPONGEBOB pail with all your animals inside…and I especially love your little ritual of lining them up every night before we go to sleep. You make mommy very happy.
I love you more than you know!

[Blogged on April 30, 2010]


After 12 Months

Troy just turned one last Saturday. I realized that through the past 12 months, there have been a lot of changes in our lives. Some subtle, some major - but changes nonetheless. 
  • Our regular Friday night movie/dinner dates are not so regular anymore. We still make it a point to spend time by ourselves at least once a week. But instead of our usual Rockwell or Greenbelt dates, we opt to just order pizza and watch a nice DVD at home while Troy is sleeping in the other room. 
  • I cannot be out longer than normal after work since i have to rush home and bring the expressed breastmilk for troy. This means 99% less impromptu dates and gimmicks with friends. Most things have to be scheduled and planned well in advance - how long will we be out? will there be a ref in the venue? if not, who can bring the milk home first? 
  • Decaf please! Since i am still breastfeeding Troy exclusively, i need to continue watching what i eat. In a way it's like staying pregnant a year after giving birth. You still have to follow some of the do's and don'ts of a pregnant woman. 
  • No more 8 hours of sleep. For some reason (it may be due to how breastmilk is easily digested or just the way i have trained Troy), he still wakes up in the middle of the night. Not so much to feed anymore but just to transfer to our bed (from his crib). Once he falls back asleep, then we have to transfer him back to his crib. On more exciting nights, he refuses to go to sleep and would want to keep on playing with anything he gets his hands on. Even with the lights out, he practically knows where my cellphone is placed (he looooves playing with my cellphone) and knows how to get his parents up from our 'pretend-sleep' just by rolling over to our feet. Dens and i would practically jump up at the same time fearing that Troy would fall over the bed. 
  • I love fashion! ...but dressing up takes a back seat to what outfit is more convenient for breastfeeding. 
  • Fashion flaw #2 - no more potentially dangerous accessories. My mom already had 2 pearl-necklace-casualties c/o her grandson...not so mention the frigtening idea of having Troy swallow one of the pearls when the string breaks! You wouldn't believe how fast kids are when putting non edible items into their mouths. I have torn magazines and receipts with holes in them to prove that. 
  • Vacation leaves can actually be more physically exhausting then actually going to the office. When i'm at home, it's very hard to resist the tempation of foregoing things that you actually need to do and just spend time with your son. Leaves where you plan to accomplish things on your to-do list become less and less productive. I always end up taking the opportunity to feed Troy his breakfast/lunch, giving him a bath and simply enjoying the day with him. Things that i rarely get to do when i am at work. This is specifically why i am 8 months behind in making Troy's month-by-month scrapbook. 
  • Say goodbye to 'travel light'. Pre-motherhood, i would always proudly check on the bags of my other companions and compare them to my very small pack. I have mastered the art of packing lightly...until Troy came along. With a baby, you always need to think of the 'extras'. Extra clothes, extra diapers, extra everything! Before your know it, your bag for the 3-day trip to Tagaytay is now looking more like you're migrating to Canada! We always want to be sure even though there are groceries in the place we will be visiting. The mindset of a parent packing for a child is that we will be vacationing inside a cave where there is nothing else in it but us. Survivor, here we come!
A lot of women would stop and say 'i miss doing this and that' - things that you easily get to do when you were not yet a mom. And i will not be honest if i say i don't miss sleeping for 8 hours straight or having a really productive day at home.  But all of these things can wait while i enjoy seeing Troy grow up and become the person that God intends for him to be. I think that's the joy of motherhood. You may be missing out on a lot of things...but it's okay.

[Blogged on March 11, 2009]


God's Promise After the Storm

It's amazing how time flies.

Yesterday, Tyler would have been 2 years old. Dens and I wanted to make it special so we decided to bring Troy to visit Tyler's resting place for the first time. I took the afternoon off from work…bought a balloon for Troy to give his Ahia Tyler…and reminded papa to bring scotch tape. But all those preparation were very minor to what God has been preparing for us.

Just like the story of Noah’s Ark, I have always thought of Troy as our rainbow. He is God’s promise to us after the storm. When we lost Tyler, God sent us a promise through Achi Rubi that the next baby will be ‘full of joy’…and indeed he is.

Yesterday, when we got to Christ the King, I was amazed at what I saw…a beautiful rainbow across the sky.  I took a picture using my cellphone but it does not justify the magnificent image that God has surprised us with.

God never fails to amaze us with his love, power and sense of humor. He takes time to do the little things that will put a smile on our faces and remind us that His plan is perfect.

Thank you, Lord, for your wonderful surprise!

[Blogged on Oct 7, 2008]


Babalik Ka Rin

All mommies out there will surely agree with me when I say being away from your baby (and i am not just talking about going out for the day) is one of the most difficult things to do. 

Last week, i had to fly to New York for a business trip for a week. It was 6 whole days without Troy. It was my first time to be apart from him longer than only a few hours. The days prior to my trip, i was already getting anxious about leaving him. I knew i was going to miss him terribly and was worried about a thousand things plus one. My concerns ran from whether Troy will have enough milk while i am away (since i am still breastfeeding him exclusively) to 'will he still remember me when i return?' 

The morning of my trip came. I was scheduled to leave for the airport at 3:00am since my flight was at 6:15am. Troy woke up at 2:30am asking for his midnight feeding. I started crying while feeding him.  Troy just stared at me...and then he smiled.  And i cried even more! As expected, I cried all the way to the airport.

I got back last August 5 at 10:35pm. Dens brought Troy to pick me up from the airport. I was overcome with joy when i saw Troy for the first time. This time it was happy tears. I felt like a balikbayan who has been away from his family for several years. Those who saw me at the airport may not believe that i was only away for 6 days. I felt ridiculous but happy.

I thought back about my trip and realized the amount of sacrifice some people have to make in order to make a living for their family. After my trip, i can say that I have a whole new respect for all our overseas workers who spend years out of the country just to make sure their children have good food on the table and can finish their education. I admire your courage. So here's to all the daddy and mommy overseas contract workers out there - may your trips be fruitful and may your children fully appreciate all that you are doing for them! 

I have 2 more business trips coming up next month. It does not even closely compare to the trips the overseas contract workers have to make but they are still difficult ones for me. They say the first trip away from your baby is always the most difficult...i hope that is true. Although, as anyone who knows me well would agree - i expect to still have 'dramatic' crying episodes whenever i have to leave my son at home...whether it be the first trip away or the 100th one.

[Blogged on August 11, 2008]


Only Girl

Ever since i was born, there has only been one man in my life - and that's my father.  A lot of people would always say that my dad is the only rose among the thorns...he is always accompanied by four ladies (my mom, my two sisters, and me) wherever we go.  Our family is very much dominated by females...from my aunts to my cousins, the ratio is definitely in favor of the women.

Having been blessed with three daughters, my mom is also just learning the art of caring for a baby of the opposite sex.  One of the most challenging things that my mom and i have learned with boys is the unexpected pee-ing (or more like 'spray-ing') during diaper changes.  I guess this does not happen with baby girls.  Am sure other moms with baby boys would be able to relate to this.  I have since received good tips from my cousins on how to avoid similar 'accidents'.

This morning, as i was about to leave for the office, i stopped and looked at my husband and son who were still very much asleep.  I then realized that contrary to our set up before, i have now become the only girl in this family.  My mind immediately started thinking of instances wherein i will need to be alone when the three of us would go out - like going to the ladies' dressing room after a swim or simply whenever there is a separate area for men and women.  This is new to me as i have always had my mom or at least one of my sisters go with me whenever we'd go out as a family.  But then i guess it's nice to be independent once in a while.  So until we are blessed with a baby girl, i will enjoy my new role as the only rose among the thorns.

[Blogged June 6, 2008]


God's Precious Gift to Us

Troy is finally out! Today, March 21, is actually my due date but we had to schedule the c-section earlier so that i don't go into labor prior to the operation.  We decided on March 7 since it was a Friday and we wanted to spend the weekend in the hospital so that our family and friends would also be there to stay with us.

I had the usual anxieties of a pregnant woman plus some more...will the baby be healthy and normal? will i hear him cry once he comes out of my womb? will i be able to recover easily after the operation? will i be able to recover at all?!?...Dens and i checked in the hospital the day before the operation.  We asked my doctor for a day pass so that i can go home and have dinner with my family before the big day.  We went back to the hospital around 8pm and counted each hour until my scheduled c-section the next day at 7am.  As expected, i was not able to sleep the entire night.

The nurses came in at 5am to prep me for the operation.  My parents arrived shortly after since my mom was going in the operation room with me (that was one of my non-negotiable requests).  I was wheeled into the operating room at 6:15am.  They started the operation at exactly 7am.  I was wide awake the whole time and mommy was busy taking pictures.  Troy came out at exactly 7:21am weighing a healthy 6.7lbs.  I could hear him crying while they were cleaning him - it was the most beautiful sound i have ever heard.

I was able to carry Troy for the first time the day after the operation.  The nurses at the nursery were just as excited when they saw a baby with our last name.  One of the nurses told me that the moment they saw Troy, they knew he was the brother of Tyler as they looked so much alike.  They were just as happy for us.

Troy turns 2 weeks today.  It has been 2 weeks of sleepless nights of feeding and diaper changes...and we're loving every second of it! Troy is God's promise to us that came true on March 7, 2008.

[Blogged on March 21, 2008]


35 weeks and ready to pop!

3 more weeks to go till i deliver baby Troy! I can't wait!!! It's always the last few weeks before the due date that gets me so restless. i have feelings of restlessness mixed with lots of excitement and a bit of anxiety.  I know i have to stop worrying and start trusting God full time...i am still learning but am getting there.

Unlike my first pregnancy, i feel so unprepared this time. I guess i have been so complacent that i already have all the baby things i need so i did not do a baby things' checklist and inventory anymore.

With my first pregnancy, i had a yaya at 5 months...the baby things were completed during my 7th month...and all the clothes were washed on my 8th month.  I am now entering my 9th month and have zero accomplishment! I have somehow prepared my timetable already though...yaya is arriving this Sunday...we will start washing all the baby's clothes next week...set up crib the weekend after and pack my hospital bag afterwards.

It has been an exciting 9 months but i'm sure what lies ahead will be more rewarding.  My next post would probably be after i give birth.  Please help us pray for a very healthy and normal baby boy.

"Have faith that whatever you ask for in prayer is already granted you, and you will find that it will be." - March 11:24

[Blogged on February 15, 2008]


God's Quick Turnaround

I love Christmases! This may somehow be attributed to the fact that I am a December baby plus all the wonderful Christmas memories i've had growing up.  I've always looked forward to the holiday season year after year.

Last 2006 was a bit different for me.  2 weeks before Christmas (4 days before my birthday), i lost my first baby.  I remember thinking that Christmas will never be the same for me anymore. It will always be filled with painful memories of losing our baby Tyler and how much i had looked forward to spending his first Christmas with him that year.

God surely knows my heart and how much i want to enjoy Christmases again with my family.  This Christmas (2007) has been one of the happiest of all time.  Being 7 months pregnant with our 2nd baby has been wonderful.  The excitement of seeing him in a few months simply overwhelms me and fills me with so much joy.  I can now happily go inside baby stores and not feel so sad anymore.  Such a turnaround from how i thought my next Christmas would be.

God is truly good and He has once again proven how much he loves us.  He indeed makes everything beautiful in His perfect time. :)

Have a blessed 2008!

[Blogged on January 2, 2008]


Our Wonderful Answered Prayer!

A few months after God took Tyler home, we went to see a doctor to check if i was ready to try and conceive again. After some tests, the doctor told me that it may be difficult for me to conceive again naturally and would need medications and injections to be able to have another baby.  But i knew God is greater than any medical limitation.  Our church prayed with us every week that God would bless us with another baby in His perfect time.  And today, after only 2 months of trying to conceive, I am happy to share with you another answered prayer.  I am now 6 months pregnant with our 2nd baby...and for some icing on the cake - we are having another baby boy :)

I am claiming God's promise through Achi Rubi that this baby will be full of joy.  And we are truly excited to  meet God's wonderful blessing for us next year.

[Blogged on November 28, 2007]


Tyler's Testimony

Dens and i got married in December of 2004. Exactly 1 year after, i became pregnant with our first baby.  I remember the night i took my pregnancy test. It was around 11pm and the whole family was there.  I still remember the scene when i came out of the bathroom with the positive pregnancy test. Everybody was so happy.  My dad's eyes welled up in tears and Dens was literally jumping up and down for joy.

After a smooth 9 months, i went into labor the afternoon of October 5, 2006.  It was such a wonderful day as i excitedly called up my parents to tell them that our baby, Tyler, was ready to come out.  My mom, Dens, and I rushed to the hospital.  I didn't experience any pain no fear at all. It was just pure excitement.

After 12 hours of labor, the baby's fetal heart rate started to drop at every contraction.  So after some tests, they decided it was best to deliver him via caesarean section.

Tyler came out on October 6.  He came out with facial palsy on the right side of his face and he did not cry the whole time.  After several tests, they found that he had problems with the brain and heart which are 2 very vital organs.

On the 4th week, we had a very heartbreaking meeting with the doctors. They told us that most of Tyler's problems were incurable and that my son was already deteriorating.  The pain of hearing that news was more than i can ever explain.

Eventually, Tyler had to be intubated and placed on a respirator as he had difficulty breathing on his own.  We were truly hoping then that he would improve so that we can successfully remove the tube after only a few days.

November 24 was my  husband's birthday.  That morning, i prayed that God would grant us a beautiful day with Tyler.  When i went to visit him, Tyler was wide awake.  I placed my hand inside the incubator and Tyler just grabbed my finger.  He held on so tightly as if he didn't want me to go.  The  nurses were amazed and told me that it was not normally how Tyler would respond to them. They said that it was as if he knew it was me holding him.  I played with Tyler for the first time that day. I cried so much tears of joy.  God granted my prayer. It was indeed a beautiful beautiful day.

A month after Tyler was intubated, we had another meeting with the doctors and they advised us if we'd like to just cut a hole through Tyler's throat so that the tube can be removed.  However, the hole may be permanent as Tyler may never learn to breathe without difficulty on his own.  Furthermore, there was no guarantee how long he can live even with the hole.  We decided against surgery as it would just make it more difficult for Tyler.  We didn't want to see him grow up not being able to enjoy simple things that other children are enjoying like eating and breathing without assistance.  But since we cannot leave the tube for too long, the doctros said we had to make a decision soon.

After much prayers and discussion, we decided that should Tyler accidentally remove the tube on his own, then we would not re-intubate anymore.  And with that decision, we continued to pray so hard that God would heal Tyler.

On December 7, the nursery called us up early in the morning to tell us that the tube was out.  They asked us to rush to the hospital as Tyler may only hold out for a few minutes to an hour.  When we got to the hospital, Tyler had very labored breathing.  I can see that my son was really fighting to survive.

That day, after waiting for 2 months, i got to carry Tyler for the first time.  I cried so much as i knew it may be the first and the last time i'd get to cuddle my baby in my arms.  Before we knew it, the minutes turned into hours and it was already the morning of December 8.  Tyler made it through the night.  That day, Tyler's condition became more stable.  I didn't want to leave him that night but since we had very little sleep the past days, we decided to go home and rest for a while.  We left the hospital at 1am of December 9.

Around 8:45am, the nursery called us up to say we needed to rush back to the hospital as Tyler's oxygen level was going down.  Dens and i rushed to the hospital and arrived in less than 30 mins. We were already at the parking lot when the doctor called us up to say we were already too late.  We ran to the nursery and the first time i saw Tyler, he looked like he was just sleeping.  I kept on praying and asking God to give him back to us.  I even tried to wake Tyler up.  But God had other plans.  After 2 months and 3 days, God took Tyler back home.

So here's more of what really happened during those 2 months.  What i didn't tell you earlier was that God was very present during that very trying time in our lives. 

All throughout the 2 months of Tyler's life, i got a lot closer to God.  I found myself excitedly reading the Bible and fervently praying to God.  Our church learned a lot about prayer and the members started praying like they've never prayed before.  So when Tyler joined the Lord, i had so many questions.  There were just so many people praying for Tyler's complete healing. Why didn't the Lord answer?

The day before God took Tyler home, i got to talk to one of our church members (Mila).  She shared with me that God had impressed upon her that Tyler will be healed on December 9.  True enough, God took Tyler home on that exact date.

Now i understood better.  Now i know that God did answer our prayers.  Tyler is indeed completely healed. Maybe not in the way we wanted, but God knows best.  It is true that His ways are higher than ours.

I know that God does not make mistakes.  Although I may not fully understand His purpose for all of these, I know one thing for sure. God had used Tyler to bring our family and a lot of our friends closer to Him.  And i will not waste Tyler's life by pulling away from the Lord.

Sometimes we would ask if all those prayers for Tyler were in vain.  One thing i know for sure. Those prayers were what kept us going all throughout those 2 months.  Through the prayers of our love ones, God answered by using several people to minister to us and give us hope during those seemingly hopeless days.

The night we had our memorial service for Tyler was the first time our church has ever been filled to its full capacity.  I had been invited to some churches in Makati and Davao to share God's love through my son's life.  God has truly been using Tyler to open doors for us to minister to other people.

It has been a year since then.  And i will not be honest if i say i am now 100% okay.  It still hurts so much to see all of Tyler's little clothes washed and ready to be used.  And to see his fully furnished room and all the things we have prepared for him.  But God has given me so much comfort and promises. One of which is found in Jeremiah 29:11.  It says "For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

And i praise God because there is indeed hope after the storm.  My mom would always tell me that cyring may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

[Blogged November 28, 2007]

Letter to Heaven - written on Tyler's 5th Birthday


Reposting old blogs

The next few blogs will be selected posts from my multiply site. I just realized that i have limited the access of my multiply site to close friends for security purposes.



This is where i am writing from now on. I used to blog through my old multiply site (http://densfan.multiply.com) but have been so busy the past years and haven't been able to write anymore.

Here's an excerpt taken from my previous site that will give you an idea of what my blog is all about:

More than 10 years ago, God gave me someone to start my own little family with. He blessed me with Dens. I believe that marrying Dens has been and will always be the best decision I have ever made in my lifetime. This site is dedicated to the new sub-family dens and i are building.

May you be blessed as you journey with us through this exciting chapter of our lives.


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