Sunday, August 31, 2008

The pedia said we should be thankful for a normal and healthy baby.

We were at the pedia's clinic yesterday for Gab's first IPD shot. The doctor's clinic sched starts at 10 in the morning. We normally leave the house around the same time when we're scheduled for a check up so that we don't have to wait for long. It was very unusual that yesterday, the pedia was late. We actually had to wait for a couple of hours before Gab received the injection.

When we entered the clinic, our pedia apologized and informed us that they have a very difficult case that's why he was late. He told us to be very thankful that our baby is normal and healthy. The patient that he was referring to when he said they have a difficult case was born without skin! He said they could literally see the baby’s veins. There's blood all over the body. He mentioned the name of the abnormality but I was too disturbed imagining a picture of the poor baby. The doctor said it’s a very very rare case that it was the first time he saw one. He said that he studied medicine and finished his specialization but he never has seen a case like that except in books and pictures. It was the 10th birth the mother has delivered and it’s the 5th case, all the first four babies with the said condition died. Our pedia told us that the mother was already hopeless and she already requested to be discharged because the experience is way too stressful for her and the entire family. The mother was advised to undergo ligation already since it was the fifth time they had that problem.

Until now, I still feel sad about the story. I tried to search its name but found many others listed as birth defects. It breaks my heart to think that there are babies born suffering from such conditions.

I read some more and found the following info from


Most babies with birth defects are born to two parents with no obvious health problems or risk factors. A woman can do everything her doctor recommends to deliver a healthy child and still have a baby with a birth defect.In fact, according to the March of Dimes, about 60% of birth defects have unknown causes. The rest are caused by environmental or genetic factors, or some combination of the two.Genetics play a role in some birth defects. Every cell in the body has chromosomes containing genes that determine a person's unique characteristics. One missing or faulty gene can cause a birth defect; this is significant when you consider that we each have about 25,000 genes per cell determining everything from the length of our toes to the color of our eyes.

Where do the faulty genes come from? A child inherits one of each pair of chromosomes (and one of each pair of the genes they contain) from each parent. Sometimes, a disease or defect can occur if only one parent passes along the gene for that disease (even though the child receives a normal gene from the other parent); this is called dominant inheritance and includes birth defects such as achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism) and Marfan syndrome (a disorder characterized by abnormally long fingers, arms, and legs).Some birth defects occur only when both parents (who are healthy) each pass along a faulty gene for the same disease to the child; this is called recessive inheritance and includes conditions such as Tay-Sachs disease or cystic fibrosis.Finally, some boys inherit disorders from genes passed on to them by their mothers. These defects, which include conditions such as hemophilia and color-blindness, are called X-linked because the genes are carried on the X chromosome. Because males have only the one X chromosome they receive from their mothers (females have two X chromosomes — one from each parent), a faulty gene on the X chromosome they receive will cause a problem because they don't have a normal copy of the gene on the other X chromosome that females have.The number or structure of chromosomes can also cause birth defects. An error during the formation of an egg or sperm can cause a baby to be born with too few or too many chromosomes, or with a damaged chromosome. Birth defects caused by chromosome problems include Down syndrome. The risk of this type of birth defect often increases with the age of the mother.

Environmental causes of birth defects have more to do with the mother's health and exposure to chemicals or diseases. When a mother has certain infections, such as rubella, during pregnancy, it can cause birth defects. Alcohol abuse by the mother causes fetal alcohol syndrome, and certain medications taken by the mother can cause birth defects.

Multifactorial birth defects are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and include neural tube defects and cleft lip and palate.

Although you can take steps to prevent birth defects, a birth defect can happen even if you or your partner have no history of birth defects in your families or if you've had healthy children in the past.

There are factors that can be controlled by the mother and the people around her. It’s sad to hear about those stories. It breaks my heart to imagine how their moms feel.

To those who plan to have babies, prepare yourselves and avoid the factors that lead to those sad problems.

It’s very rewarding and satisfying to play the role of a parent. I think the role starts with us moms taking care of ourselves before conception.

I wish all moms will hear their pedia telling them to be thankful for a healthy and normal baby. I’m thankful I did.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination...

Barney CD is one of the first CDs that we bought for our baby. It's nice. It's a great help (especially when only me and my baby are left in the house and I need to do something, I can leave the baby either in the crib or on the stroller and he can be left watching). Gabriel has favorite songs from the CD already. One of them is The Rainbow Song.

Oh, I like red it’s the color of an apple
Orange it’s the color of an orange
Yellow it's a lemon and the wonderful sun, sun, sun
Green it's the color of the trees and lots of things that grow
And then there's blue for the sky
And purple that’s a color of fun fun fun
And when we put those colors side by side
What do you think we’ve done
We’ve made a rainbow
And it’s a really beautiful one!

Educational, right? The colors, the rhythm and the movement of the kids on the video catch my baby's attention all the time. Yes, that's right. Every time we play that CD, it's as if it's the first time my baby has ever seen it.

This weekend, my husband and I are going out on a date. It's been a while since we last went out together, just the two of us. We agreed that despite the busy schedules that we have, we should go out once in a while. (My hidden agenda? Buy new interesting and educational CDs for the baby.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

gabriel and mommy (mommy's arms and orange shirt; not the PIG!)

100 strands a day of falling hair is normal

While in a shuttle van on my way home, I overheard a group of teenagers talking about hair fall and one of them said with confidence, "Girl, 100 strands a day is scientifically normal". I was interested because I myself also experiences hair fall; is it more or less a hundred strands?

I did not collect and count the hair strands the following morning after that incident (it might scare my husband). But, I tried to observe during which times of the day and what activities I’m doing when I normally shed a lot of hair. In the morning when I wake up, I see some few strands of hair on the floor and on the bed cover. I do not brush my hair often during the day, but when I do, hair strands are falling. Every time I wash my hair, a lot falls.

I did some reading and thought that maybe the girl went through all the articles that I was able to search online. Why? Because most of the sites I visited said that 100 is normal.

I read some sites stating that losing more than 150 strands for a long time is already categorized as excessive hair fall which may lead to ALOPECIA or baldness. I wonder if I’m losing that much. I don’t want to be bald but I don’t want to start counting the number of strands either.

Hair falling out is part of the hair growth process unless there are other reasons you are sure are causing it (like medications, diagnosed dermatological problem, etc.) In my case, I can just scrutinize the strands that are falling; if they are unhealthy hair strands, it should not cause any worry. If I start to feel and see spots on my head, then I know it’s time to see a doctor.

Or maybe... I will count, when no one is looking!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The expensive IPD Vaccine

My baby completed the vaccines required by the Department of Health few weeks ago. When we transferred to this pediatrician,(he is our third, the first was the pedia who monitored during birth - who's clinic is far from our house and the second was my relatives' pedia - we thought there's someone better than him), he explained to us his program in handling patients - he mentioned about regular check-ups, vaccines, first aid for common colds and fever, etc. He told us that after the required vaccines, he would suggest that we let him give our baby the IPD vaccine. I did not understand some of the explanations but these were some of the things that I remembered from that first meeting: 1>IPD costs 5000 per shot and there are 3 shots required; 2>it's the sickness that one of Donna Cruz' child had; 3>once infected, a baby may die overnight.

Our baby is scheduled to have his first shot of IPD vaccine before the end of August. Just now, I started searching for info regarding IPD. I read a lot of articles online (they call it a traitor disease on this link and it scares me to know about the details of this disease.

As a parent, I will do anything to protect my baby. Even if it costs a lot, we will find a way. That's what parents should do in the first place. Find ways for their children.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I also read text messages on my partner’s celfone

I was waiting for the Philhealth staff at the hospital when a couple of girls started to take away the silence of the hall way. They were talking about Girl1's guy bestfriend in college. Girl1 told Girl2 that she was surprised one day when she received a text message from her bestfriend on the new celfone (with a new celfone number which only a few of her friends know). The texting went this way.

Guy: Hi Girl1! How are you?
Girl1: I’m fine, where did you get my number?
Guy: Who are you?
Girl1 (Surprised): This is Girl1, you texted me earlier.
Guy: Ow, I forgot my message. Can you send it back to me?
Girl1(With a hunch that the wife might be using the guy’s celfone): Hi Girl1! How are you? – that was your message.
Guy: So, you are Girl1. This is Guy’s wife. He’s already sleeping.

Girl2 said, “Shocks, do they have issues? She should not be reading text messages on her husband’s celfone, that’s private.” Girl1 said “I thought it only happens to partners who are not married yet. You tend to feel insecure if you are not the wife yet.”

The noise went on and on as I walked away from the Cashier. I only realized I was supposed to leave when the Philhealth staff shouted on my face: "NEXT!!!".

I felt affected by the teller's shout, but I got more affected by what I heard from the girls. I also open messages on my husband’s celfone.I read new and old messages; even the sent items. But, I don’t do it because I want to spy or because I’m expecting to find out something that will turn me into a monster. My husband also opens the messages on my celfone.

Celfone is a very personal stuff, I agree. But when you are married (or even when you are not married yet but you are in a committed relationship), I don’t think it matters if your partner reads it or not. If you read it, it’s important that you do it for any other reason but not because you expect to find out something. If you don’t, you know that your partner will tell you about it anyway. These will tell you if you have both trust and respect in your relationship.

If it so happened that my husband is not comfortable with me reading messages on his celfone, I will respect that and trust that he will tell me whatever it is that I should know as his partner. But since he’s okay with it, I will still scour messages on his celfone and if I find out about something.... I will not reply with the “who are you” message; I will get something sharp and useful! I’m just kidding! If I ever find out about something that is supposed to be kept from me, I will talk to my husband and settle the issue with him. Doing it differently will only make things worse. We’ll, that’s me; and maybe that's true also for some other people who believe that trust and respect are important.