Life is a massively-multiplayer game developed by uber awesome GOD on hardcore mode server where He strictly enforces game policies 24/7. Do not use bot in Life for you will miss all the good stuff life has to offer. Life is about EXP and not about levels. Gain EXP as you battle monsters in Life. EXP increases your stats and skills for even higher level monsters you will definitely encounter. Success rate depends on PT and socialization frequency. Balanced gaming is recommended.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Last Post

It's been a year since my last blog post.
Been super busy since the baby came. He's 1 year old now, by the way.
My point of view has changed. Motherhood changed me even more.
My priorities have changed.
Guess what I'm trying to say is... I couldn't find time to blog anymore. :(

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'm a Mommy!

Just a few months ago, I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. I was so scared. Scared for myself and my baby. Should my blood pressure become unmanageable, my baby could be induced and there’s no guarantee he will survive if born prematurely.

My husband and I changed my diet. I started eating salt-less and fatless food, mostly vegetables, in order to take the toll off my kidneys. We also started doing devotional prayers every night and I’ve asked elders from church for help as well. This worked well for us. Not only were we able to reach the 37th week to make sure my baby is fully developed, my doctor told me that I may be able to deliver him normally.

At 38 weeks and 5 days, we went to our doctor for the usual check up. My husband and I decided that we’re gonna go for a c-section on July 27th if the baby is still not out. But when the doctor performed an IE on me, I was told to go directly to the hospital. Apprently, I was already 4 cm dilated and I wasn’t even feeling a thing. I thought the hardening of my tummy was  just one of those usual ones I’ve been getting the past week. Didn’t realize they were contractions.

We arrived at the hospital and I was wheelchaired to the delivery room. In 2 hours, my water broke and then that legendary pain started kicking in.  The pain was new to me and it was terrible but I wanted to experience delivering my baby normally because I know it’s safer for my baby and my recovery will be faster.

Unfortunately, after 5 hours of pushing, I was exhausted. The baby’s umbilical cord was apparently wrapped around his neck. I was given a c-section and my baby was born at 11:55 PM of July 20, 2012.

He was brought near my face so I could see him before I blacked out. I woke up moments later while being rolled away to my recovery room. I remember seeing my husband before I blacked out again.

When I woke up Saturday morning, my husband showed me pictures he took from the nursery. He looked so happy and pleased, and that made me truly happy.

You have gained One (1) Human Baby.
Achievement unlocked!
You are now a Level 1 Human Parent! Goodluck!

I could imagine these letters coming up on my screen while watching myself try to squeeze the little milk monster out of me. The entire thing didn’t go as planned but if there’s one thing I’ve learned after all these years, I’m not the one doing the planning here anyway. And even though life seems like a game I do not have control of, it’s always nice to know that there’s Someone guiding us through it, holding our hands while we go through difficulties and making sure everything will turn out alright. God is good.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diagnosed with Pre-eclampsia

And so it's been confirmed. I have pre-eclampsia. One of the 2 most fatal diseases any pregnant woman would fear to have.

This post is for my friends who do not understand what pre-eclampsia is about. I keep getting suggestions on how I can lower my cholesterol etc. People think I have this because of my lifestyle. 

People like to call it the "Act of Divine/Nature/Random Fate/Unpredictable Genetics". And I can't resolve it by drinking pineapple juice. There is absolutely no known cure for this but to deliver the baby whether he is ready or not. This is not the same as chronic hypertension you see on your grandpa.

Pre-eclampsia means that the placenta is not planted strongly enough because my immune system is a little too "testy". It rejects the foreign protein that came from my husband which makes up the placenta and our baby. 

So what does this really mean?
  1. This means that the blood circulation going to my baby may no longer be enough for his size. It was OK during the first few months but now that he's gaining a lot of weight and he's growing fast, he needs more blood.
  2. In order to do this, my body reacts by going on hyper drive. My blood pressure increases to make sure the baby gets more blood.
  3. And because of this, my kidney takes a toll. This is causing my kidneys not to filter all the protein and spill protein into my urine. This is the second symptom that made my doctor confirm I have the disease.
That's what's happening so far. Other symptoms I have to watch out for are edema (manas), blurry vision which I pray wouldn't happen. 

The increased blood pressure can cause organ damage (most commonly to the kidneys) but also to the placenta itself. 

In an attempt to keep the organs from getting blasted by this pressure- the body then starts the vasospasm part- the blood vessels start shutting intermittently on their own-- which can cause a whole host of other problems, including further damage to the vessels and destruction of red blood cells and platelets. 

Meanwhile, the vessels begin to show the strain by leaking from the pressure and vasospasm. The watery part of the blood seeps out of the veins and acumulates in the extremities, like hands and feet. The swelling can get extreme, and the extra fluid the body has to process further stresses the kidneys, that are already groaning under the increased blood pressure. If it gets extreme, the fluid doesn't get pushed out, the kidneys don't work as well, and the swelling becomes pathologic-- it can end up as pulmonary edema in the lungs, or around the heart, or the swelling can enter the cranium and compress the brain and cause strokes or hemmorages.

I am now very worried  for myself and my baby. While I constantly think how to go about life and fulfill responsibilities, I am also thinking on how to ensure our safety.

It's really hard not to think about it given the possibility that I might lose my baby or my life because of this. For now, all I have to do is follow what my doctors say and keep praying that we get over this.


07/5/2012: I just realized that it is possible NOT to understand preeclampsia unless you get it. I still get tons of advice to drink pineapple juice or go on a diet. I don't find it amusing at all.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Storm on my Parade

The past few months must have been the happiest moments of my life. Got married, happy with my loving husband, got pregnant, got even more love from hubby... I have been in cloud 9 and I appreciate every moment of it.

Yesterday, my blood pressure has risen to a level I have never seen before. That is not a good thing and it made me very very sad. You see, I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't use illegal drugs. I sleep 8 hours a day. I eat right. In fact, that time I started feeling that pain at the back of my neck, I was eating steamed vegetables, dory fish and skinless chicken breast. There is no trace of fat on any of it that's why it somehow gave me this feeling that I do not deserve this illness. My doctor gave me restrictions on my weight gain and I obeyed every instruction, every rule. While other pregnant women I know have already gained 10 to 25 kilograms, I gained 4. I want to eat so many things and yet I didn't because I have been avoiding this problem. But I still got it anyway.

What to blame now? It couldn't be my age. Probably my weight? Am I walking to and from work too much? Was it the travelling I did that day? Is it even worth it to find something to blame? Of course not.

I believe that God has a reason for everything. Maybe this illness is supposed to turn me to a different path. Maybe this thing was given to me to prevent me from doing something that I would regret? But what is it? Or am I being tested? Or is God testing my husband through me? I'm not sure and I doubt I'll find the answer anytime soon.

For now, all I know is I have to keep praying. For God's guidance, for His protection, and for His love. I have to keep praying that me and my baby will get through this. That my husband will be strong enough for this. That I'd still be able to deliver my son into this world. That this problem will not cause my son to have a hard life.

It's that moment of my life again. That familiar moment where I hold tighter to God. I'm just thankful that now, I have my husband holding on with me. It's much easier this way.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Goodbye, Neverland.

All these past years, I've lived my life in a cyberlands. Places with mythological names, boss monsters and people hiding behind their own avatars. I enjoyed every moment of it. It was a complete escape from the world where we are.

In these lands, there are no diseases, you have lots of friends, and no instant discrimination. Age definitely does not matter. You can lead armies even if you're 12 years old. Provided that your mind can and people will respect you for it. You will not be judged even if you're born from a poor family because your riches in these places only depend on how much you've worked hard for it. Everyone gets a clean slate at every account creation. I think that is why being in one is such an addicting experience for a lot of people.

Leaving these worlds was not an overnight task. I started stepping out the moment I got called back. And then I took a few more steps farther as I go more active in my newly rediscovered spiritual life. And then a few steps more after meeting my husband. And a few more when I got married. And a few more when I got pregnant. It took years and it is still, without a doubt, on-going. In fact, every time I start slipping back, I get pulled back into reality by my baby's kicks. And I think that the grand finale of reality's great spawn point will hit me in 14 more weeks. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pregnancy Discoveries

Since my parents passed away before they could give me any pointers on what to expect during pregnancy, everything has been quite surprising for me. What you see in TV soap operas and movies about pregnancy is not even half of the things I am experiencing. My OB and Google are my only guides now. If you're a veteran at this, you might laugh at me. But if you were in my shoes once, you may agree.

1. Nausea and vomiting. Doesn't always happen only in the first trimester. If you're one of the 20% of pregnant women out there, you may experience this even on the second and third trimester. And guess what? It will strike you anywhere. I've admittedly had it while walking to work, in the middle of the street, while working at the office, in the elevator, in the market... make sure to always carry wet tissues to wipe yourself. A barf bag (like the ones they have in commercial planes) will also be a great help.

2. The Linea Nigra. It's that dark line that starts below from your navel, your belly button and moves its way up to your sikmura. It will happen. And no generous application of cocoa butter will stop it so it's better that you accept it. Google said it will disappear eventually anyway once the baby is out.

3. Stretch marks. Luckily, that movie Juno taught me that applying cocoa butter will help lessen if not prevent stretch marks. But guess what? It doesn't just happen to your belly. Make sure to apply cocoa butter to your sides, breasts, lower back and thighs as well. I made that mistake and now I'm trying to catch up on the other parts of my body. Other tips that must be done to help prevent this would be hydration (drink LOTS of water everyday to keep your skin elastic), healthy diet (prenatal vitamins + healthy foods which provide plenty of calcium, protein, whole grains, and vitamin rich fruits and vegetables), and following the gradual weight gain recommended by your OB.

4. Erections. Not mine of course. But if you're having a baby boy, they can and will have erections even while inside your tummy. And sometimes you'll get to see it during your ultrasounds.

5. Edema. In Tagalog, manas. Is not caused by the fact that you don't move around too much although you should, of course. Edema is caused by fluid retention which you need, by the way, because you're body is preparing to expand for your baby's growth and delivery. You can prevent edema by drinking lots of water, taking in less sodium and don't stay out too long under the sun.

6. Overheating. I found out about this in movies but didn't know how funny it would be in real life. Whenever I'm at home, the airconditioner is turned on and it continues while I sleep. I don't use a blanket while my husband is snuggled from a distance with our comforter. You'll miss his hugs during these times.

7. Sleeping on your side facing left. Do it for your blood circulation. It's the best position for baby's circulation too. But most importantly, it's the only position where my acid reflux doesn't hit me. For some weird and still unknown reason, every time I face right, my acid begins to wake me up.

8. Acid Reflux. It will happen. So stay away from anything that may cause it. Sour food, carbonated drinks, caffeine etc. I've mastered the art of sleeping while sitting. The pain goes away eventually and then you can go back to sleeping on your side facing left. Acid reflux can also sometimes cause you to have asthma-like coughing. This is caused by the acid or the gas reaching your lungs.

9. That Filipino belief that if you're having a girl you will glow and if you're having a boy you'll be ugly is not true. Skin pigmentation, acne and other things will happen even if you're having a girl. So if somebody tells you that you're having a boy, be insulted. Be very insulted.

10. The importance of calcium. Calcium is something I never put importance on. Perhaps because before I got pregnant, I have always had enough calcium from the stuff I eat/drink. I love yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products. But now that I am pregnant, I have to take Caltrate Plus. I'm getting heavier than I already am and my knees and back need all the calcium I never though I'd need. Plus, since my son is forming his own set of bones, he's absorbing the calcium I used to use for my own body. I missed taking Caltrate twice and I experienced gum pain. Google said that my teeth may fall off if I don't get enough nutrition. So here I am. Taking pre-natal vitamins, 100 mg of vitamin C, calcium and more vitamins.

More discoveries will be shared as they come along. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Baby's a Boy!

We had another ultrasound this past weekend. I was on my 20th week (+3 days). Though OB advised us to wait until the end of March, we were just so excited and eager to know. It feels awesome to see your baby move and kick inside you. Somehow it gives you a feeling of joy just knowing that your baby's still in there.

We've only thought of girl names and none for a baby boy. Although deep in our hearts, we really wanted a baby boy. Somehow, God answered our prayers once again and He blessed us with exactly the baby we want. We couldn't be happier and more thankful. It's the best Santacena gift we received.

The OB who did this for us saw his gender in less than a minute. She exclaimed that my little boy's a cobra so it's quite hard to miss. Hubby and I just chuckled because of my OB's bubbly personality. I asked her again, just to be sure "Are you 100% sure it's a boy?" and she said "I'm sure! 300%! Ang laki eh o! (He's got a big one.)" There's the ultrasound, so you be the judge.

Hubby and I were so happy that we celebrated with a dinner at our fave restaurant Dusit Thani and ordered our fave Tom Kha Gai and Pad Thai. Once we got home, we were back online searching for names that would suit our beloved son. After 3 days of continuous search, we finally found the perfect name for our strong little boy.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet our son - Mihr Azryel Merano Santos.

Mihr means:
1. The angel of friendship and love
2. The fighter who always wins (Persian)
3. All-seeing protector of Justice and Truth (Armenian)

Azryel means:
1. A devoted man of God, strong in all ways possible
2. God is my help (Hebrew)