maternity diary: labor day

When you reach the 38th week, you’re okay to give birth as the baby has fully developed. Although for first pregnancies, you’re advised that child birth would be 2 weeks before or after the 40th week mark, I wanted to give birth as soon as I hit 38th because 1) It was already exhausting and I had to catch my breath every time I move, 2) We were too excited to meet Maddy, 3) Harry is 5’11” and I’m only 5’2″ so that means the longer Maddy stays inside, the bigger she will get and my body (and tummy) is too small for her. Even when every parent prays to have a safe delivery, ideally, it is best to give birth normally and not have to go through a C-section. That was the goal that we set with our OB. We also prayed to have a quick labor. After all, who wants to spend too much time panting and being in pain, right?

Welp, Maddy had different plans. I started having contractions a few days after my 38th week mark, in the middle of preparing decors for my April 22 wedding. We went to the E.R. that same afternoon but was told to go back because I was only dilating at 1cm. We thought it would be quick, to be honest. Like in the movies where they begin having contractions, get rushed to the hospital and tada! a baby! But I reached my 40th week mark and was already overdue for a few days and Maddy still didn’t have plans to come out. Due to my utmost frustration after the doctor told me to come back a week after, Harry and I walked a longer distance right after our doctor’s visit. I took a nap and woke up in pain. My contractions were starting to get painful. This was it! At 5:30PM, we arrived at the hospital and I was placed in the labor room. Maddy could come out at any time!

14 hours later (meaning, it was already 7AM the next day), I was still in the labor room writhing in pain. It was literally the most physically painful experience I ever had in my life! More painful than when I tore my right knee ligament, more painful than when my cervical slip disc worsened, more painful than when my heart got broken in college (LOL!). It was 10x more excruciating than my usually painful menstrual cramps. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that I felt like I was dying. Really! I was being a baby when they finally brought me to the delivery room at almost 10AM and I kept begging my anesthesiologist to give me more epidural. So I pushed for 3 more hours until the doctor said the words we dreaded, “I would have to do a c-section.” Maddy was just not coming out and I was no longer dilating at more than 8cm.

At 3:59PM, after 22 hours of labor, Madison Rue was born. ♥ I kissed her forehead before falling asleep and what they say is really true, no matter how painful your labor was, everything just fades and is easily forgotten the very moment you hear your baby cry or you set sight on the baby’s beautiful eyes or feel their soft skin. It was very true for me. 22 hours just faded when I saw my sweet Madison Rue. She is worth the pain. ♥

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blue lace maxi dress, Best Finds Thrift Shop | necklaces and rings, Forever21 and vintage finds

“maternity session at 36 weeks” photography, Marlon Capuyan | hair & make-up, Vanessa Gamus

maternity diary: the last stretch

at this point of my pregnancy, i can finally say that I know how penguins walk. i no longer walked actually, i waddled. tummy first, then right foot and left foot, repeat. my tummy suddenly grew and i was out of breath most of the time. i remember telling my friends Rachael and Amy, “I’m not sure I’ll remember how to walk normally.” LOL

for most pregnant women, the 3rd trimester is the time where most weight is gained and it sure was true for me. all throughout my pregnancy, i gained a total of 18 lbs, most of which i gained during the last 3 months. so for pregnant ladies out there, this is the time to especially watch what you eat. with all the discomfort, it’s very easy to get tempted by comfort food and sweets just to compensate for the difficulty of the last months. i myself am guilty of doing so — Coca-Cola was just so, so, so good especially with lots of ice.

everywhere I went, it was warm and uncomfortable, especially when riding in our car — not just because it’s old but my body was being a walking oven 24/7. even my assistant, Amalia, wouldn’t touch me because i was just too warm. so another tip: stock up on baby powder, especially at night. it helps with the discomfort and wear cotton, thin cotton when going out. sometimes, I fall asleep from the warmth in the afternoon, too tired to care.

the last month is also the time when sleeping gets harder. as it turns out, babies tend to sleep during the day while the mommy is on the move because they feel like being cradled inside and once we’re in bed trying to sleep, that’s the time they wake up and start moving. so yeah, Maddy was a night owl (a cute night owl!) and would keep me up all night, kicking and moving inside my tummy until 4AM. but you know what? even when Maddy kept me awake, the last month was the best because i could really feel her. I could feel where her foot was, feel her move her knees (even when it sometimes hurt and my tummy literally looked like a scene from Aliens). I could feel her hiccup inside which can last for an hour. I could feel her raising her arm because I suddenly felt like peeing. I could really feel her physically and the pain and discomfort always go away.

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lace off-shouldered tiered dress, Best Finds Thrift Shop | necklaces and rings, Forever21 and vintage finds

“maternity session at 36 weeks” photography, Marlon Capuyan | hair & make-up, Vanessa Gamus

love and loss

it’s quite hard for me to write this but i feel that i need to. to vent. to share the experience. to let those who have experienced or are experiencing the same thing that you are not alone. and yes, maybe to assure myself that i am not alone. 
this beach trip was 2 weekends ago and i should be almost 3 months pregnant by that time or i should have been. yes, i am saying with a constantly aching heart, that we lost the baby. 
we spent such a short time with the knowledge that i was carrying a little one but it really doesn’t make the pain any lesser. the moment we saw those two lines, immense love washed over us like you wouldn’t believe. it was a short pregnancy but the devastation still shattered me. shattered us. is still shattering us. 
it is quite common for first pregnancies to end up in a miscarriage but we never really thought it would happen to us. one can’t really go into it and expect to experience it. the news of joy was hard to keep especially when we were bursting at the seams. but it did and we fell into the statistic. if not for the assurance and comfort offered by our doctor, i would have continued to blame myself for losing the baby. luckily, we had a really good obstetrician. so no, i didn’t stress myself out during the pregnancy. i did not run, jump or did anything physically strenuous. i ate right and did not drink alchohol nor take drugs. the baby’s development just ceased to continue. our little blueberry’s heart just stopped. whereas others get to keep their baby despite attempting to terminate their pregnancy by doing physically strenuous things, we did things right and still lost our little one. 
it has been a month since we suffered the loss and we have no choice but to move forward. to look ahead and hope for better days. i have to say, it is quite scary being back at one, knowing that it took us almost a year to successfully conceive. but right now, i am hanging on to the faith that we are meant to have a little Harry or Gizelle and it will happen soon enough. 

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contemplating on staying forever ~ boracay day three

day three of our beach bumming and beer drinking honeymoon vacation in Boracay. we woke up early enough to have breakfast at the resort then immediately proceeded to spend the whole day by the beach. i wish all days can be spent near the water, with the water splashing and i’m just lounging with a book and good music. if only. seriously, on our way home, Harry and i were contemplating staying here for a while and were imagining ourselves getting just about any job we can find in the island and live a simpler life together. *sigh*

pink monokini – props | crochet boho top – props | black denim cut-offs – onyx jeans | peacock sandals – people are people | orange scarf as turban – thrifted | multi-colored knit bag – gifted by sister | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters | bangles and bead bracelets – downtown and bangkok finds

 

the major peril when traveling with just the two of us is that we don’t get to take photos together. we didn’t bring a tripod and only brought an SLR with a 50mm lens, not a digital camera so it was even more difficult to take photos of ourselves. it took us 3 days to attempt to take photos on a timer and we ended up with a series of blurry photos and my iTouch getting dumped in the sand. thank you to the korean guy who took pity on us and volunteered to take our photo. LOL. 

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the beach x rum-spiked shakes ~ boracay day two

day two was spent entirely at the beach, as it should be. we woke up late and missed our free breakfast from Microtel so we had brunch by the sea instead. of course, we started the day with beer matched with a fatty double cheese ham sandwich — the perils and at the same time joy of a vacation = pigging out. 
while harry took a swim, i spent the rest of the morning until past noon, sitting on the lounge chairs, reading a book and still tuned in to my iPod. that was the perfect morning for me. by 2 in the afternoon, we had massages, compliments of the resort, beside the pool which we wished would last longer. by 4, we walked past the boundary of Diniwid and the beach stations to visit a Estacio Uno to have a quick ocular and meeting with management for a client whose wedding Cuckoo Cloud Concepts will be styling this December. yes! i had to insert a bit of work but it was still fun because the manager was really accommodating and told good stories of his life in the hospitality industry. 
the sunset was still something we looked forward to and we finished the afternoon with a touristy bottle of shake spiked with rum, paired with a chori burger and a longer walk from station 1 to 2 for some heavy dinner. 

floral cutout cropped top – gifted by sister | white denim cut-offs – thrifted | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters | bangles – bangkok finds | bead bracelets – downtown finds | elephant tusk necklace – bangkok find
mismatched bikini – props | blue floppy hat – boracay find | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters
polka dotted bikini top – props | white denim cut-offs – thrifted | striped multi-color knit bag – gifted from sister | blue oversized floppy hat – boracay find | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters | bangles – bangkok finds | bead bracelets – downtown finds


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sunset city ~ boracay day one

two of the things i look forward to when visiting Boracay: the awesome i-never-get-sick-of sunset and the beach bohemian culture. Harry initially wanted to go to Palawan for our honeymoon but i asked him to compromise and booked a resort on the farther side of the island, away from the crowd yet still near the amazing beaches of Boracay. 
day one was spent just lounging around, reading a book while waiting for Harry to sleep off his night shift (which he came from before we flew here) and listening to good indie music while experience the amazing sunset. the rest of the night was spent walking on fine white sand — holding hands of course, looking for good food at the beach stations and discovering Ti Braz which became our day-ender until we left the island. one thing we also realized and became a habit during the stay is that beer is only P20.00 more expensive than water. so naturally, since we were on vacation, we bypassed water and drank beer all day. 


white one-shouldered maillot – nudo swimwear | floral pencil skirt – props | embroidered and beaded sandals – people are people | rainbow knit bag – gifted by sister | elephant tusk necklace (which i lost during the trip) – bangkok find | bangles and bracelets – bangkok and downtown finds

forgive the haggard, make-upless face. this was during the later part of the night. anyway, i realized while preparing this post that i haven’t posted any details about our wedding. You can find our bohemian wedding here. hope you guys love it! 

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unplanned trips make the best adventures

one of the challenges of ensuring a good photo shoot session is finding a good location. i have been finding myself craning my neck during road trips or even short trips to visit a place to look for a good spot to do a photo shoot. i usually sleep during trips as i find being in a vehicle lulling. however, Cebu City is really small and with soon-to-be married couples now investing more on a great engagement sessions, it has become difficult not to have the same location as the other. depending on the skill of the photographer, some common locations can still become different. nevertheless, finding new ones is still part of the highs of a stylist’s job. 
last February, in an effort to find new scenery and to cheer up our beach-loving pregnant friend, Mildred — who is incidentally the wife of Marlon Capuyan, one of the highly talented photographers that Cuckoo Cloud Concepts have frequently collaborated with, we went on an unplanned southern road trip. just a simple text, “let’s go to the beach” (cue Nikki Minaj) and an “okay, I’ll tell Harry. see you 8:00 AM tomorrow,” we were off! certainly, unplanned trips make the best adventures. no expectations, just enjoying things as they come. 
do keep your eyes open for the editorial that we have been working on for the top wedding blog in the country. *palpitations* our hearts and souls have certainly been poured into this endeavor. 

polka dot maillot – cotton on | high-waisted cut-offs – thrifted | knit cover-up – thrifted | black turban – bangkok find | tan fringed bag – urban originals | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters, gifted by sister | bangles – downtown finds | elephant tusk necklace – bangkok find | multi-colored braided belt – borrowed from sister

p.s. my flip-flops is one of those, “omigad, i can’t believe i bought this. it looked good with one outfit  but i can’t wear it again.” and i wore these because the trip was very much unplanned and we literally had ourselves running out the door early in the morning. 

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hale manna part 3: mornings by the beach

we did take a dip when the tide rolled in the night before so our time at the beach wasn’t wasted at all. tired from the late swim, we slept early and woke up early enough to enjoy the cold morning breeze. the tide was mid-level and we were able to kayak safely over to the hut on a raft in the middle of the sea and swim with the fishes. the water was so clear, you don’t need a snorkel to see the corals and colorful creatures below it. okay, okay, so i am a good swimmer but i cannot snorkel for the life of me. i don’t know, i’ve tried it several times but end up getting water up my nose. sue me! LOL. 
after the swim and before our sumptuous lunch, we spent the great part of our morning lounging, the best way we know how. 

printed monokini – bangkok find | denim cut-offs – tommy hilfiger | pink flip-flops – havaianas | oversized sunniess – urban outfitters, gifted by sis | black wide-brimmed hat – cotton on

we went home around 3PM, hearts a little heavy and promising to come back soon. my sister will be leaving for Sydney in a few days and we had other duties to attend to but our stay in Hale Manna will always be something we will remember. 
we couldn’t pass up the chance to grab yummy dessert on the way back to the city and dropped by the milk station in Barili. a cup of homemade ice cream (okay, i got 3 cups, shared with Harry since i couldn’t decide on flavor) and locally made barquillos completed our weekend vacation. 

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hale manna part 2: afternoon bliss

since we arrived at the beach past 2PM, the water has receded by the time we got settled in our room. actually, our detached bungalow which housed 8 beds was a dream so we found ourselves rolling in our beds, eating and just having fun — we almost forgot we were at the beach, so it took us more than an hour to get settled. what a waste of a beach right? well, it’s our vacation and we call the shots. 
so we stepped out and just spent the rest of the afternoon lounging by the beach, waiting for the sunset. my sisters, my mom, dad, cousin and I stuffed ourselves in the cabana and played that app game with the icons. i think Harry even dozed off in one of the hammocks and my brother-in-law Warren still couldn’t disconnect himself from his Mac. an afternoon by the beach, in our own version of afternoon bliss. 

polka dot ruffled maillot – cotton on | white denim cut-offs – thrifted | black wide-brimmed hat – cotton on, rubi shoes | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters, gifted by sister | bangles and bracelets – downtown finds 

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hale manna part 1: tribal print x polka dots

it has really been awhile since i’ve enjoyed the beach. aside from having to maintain long hair to prepare for my wedding, i also promised myself last year to achieve my natural fair skin — which we got a hint of from my mom. i’ve been avoiding the sun and have been wearing sunblock everyday. whenever i need to be outside, i cover myself with long-sleeved cotton tops and oversized hats. last year, i only visited the beach once and we were under the shade of the boat, most of the time. don’t get me wrong, i have no regrets — i wanted to be fair so i will stand out in my wedding dress but i’m sure you can all imagine my relief when we got to hit the beach this year. 
words can’t describe how beautiful hale manna in moalboal is. pictures can’t even do it justice because you need to be there for the experience. yes, the sand is not as fine as that of boracay’s or bantayan’s and 25% of the resort is by the cliff but the serenity you feel when you’re in the place is beyond measure. the beach is lined with small huts that house mattresses, overlooking the ocean so we got to spend a whole afternoon relaxing. the service and amenities were amazing too. it didn’t feel like we were in a resort, we felt like we were in tita’s rest house. we were pampered beyond belief. 
hold on to your seats, this will be the first of 3 posts of our hale manna vacation. 

tribal printed swimsuit top – props | polka maxi wrap-around skirt – thrifted | elephant tusk necklace – bangkok find | oversized sunnies – urban outfitters, gifted by sister | bangles – braids and bonds & downtown finds

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daddy’s girl | rainbow summer!

happy birthday daddy! ♥ 

am i not my dad’s photocopy? nobody can argue that i’m his daughter. haha! we celebrated his birthday last May 1st and spent by the ocean as always. this year, however, we couldn’t visit our favorite beach house because of road conditions so we went island hopping in the nearby islands of Cebu — the easiest way to chill by the ocean.  

violet monokini – primal rave wholesale | multi-colored striped skirt – shop dred reveries | fringe boho vest – bangkok find | sunnies – downtown finds | bangles: green and gold wooden bangles  – bangkok finds, red coral bangle – boracay find | red mini-wooden bangles – gifted by wagw

this will be my only rendezvous with summer this year in preparation for the wedding. so long, sweet summer! til’ next year ~ i promise i’ll see more of you. 

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my little clone and i at the beach

…and no she is not my daughter. LOL. she’s my niece, my little curly-haired fashion doll — Audrey. i taught her the cross pose but no, i didn’t teach her the ‘don’t-look-at-the-camera’ pose. isn’t she just a cutie? welp, she’s a  cutie as much as she’s a bratty. *peace*
so my family, a handful of relatives and i visited our favorite beach house last weekend as a post-celebration of my dad’s birthday and as a mom’s day celebration too. i will never stop saying this — i will never grow tired of going back to this place. our annual trip to this beach house is one that i look forward to every year. not only is it a chance to bum at the beach at our own privacy but it’s always filled with craziness and laughter. this year, our relatives from Dipolog came to visit and the trip was filled with oldies boogieing to oldies music. such a treat!

neon printed monokini – shopyapi.com
chambray top – shopyapi.com
beige wide-rimmed floppy hat – shopyapi.com
yellow flip-flops – roxy
yellow scarf used as turban – thrifted

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