Thursday, June 30, 2005

Happy thoughts

ideasoup: was so terrified of the IV.
tristanskye: but they cleaned you out, right?
ideasoup: oh yes, they cleaned me out all right. would you like a detailed account?
tristanskye: yes. hahaha.
ideasoup: first i got admitted to the pre-labor room. where, lying down on the bed, they interviewed me, then this intern came in and he said he was gonna take some blood sample.
ideasoup: so i said to myself, just close your eyes, breathe deeply, and you'll be ok. right?
tristanskye: ok. go on.
ideasoup: and then he ties this rubber strip around the crook of my arm, and he starts rubbing the soft part with a cotton ball soaked with alcohol.
tristanskye: oooohhhh.
tristanskye: then?
ideasoup: incredible, i said. i didn't even feel the usual ant bite (how my mom likes to describe the prick of the needle)
ideasoup: was so happy with myself for being such a brave girl, when i suddenly realized he wasn't beside me anymore (i'd opened my eyes to see him peeking out of the cubicle we were in). he was asking the nurses, "now what was i supposed to do with her again?"
ideasoup: "bc" ( blood count),one of the nurses says.
ideasoup: "oh, ok," the guy says. turns out he hasn't stuck the needle in me yet. grr. and so, it really hurt when he finally did. and when he was taking a while, i said to him "are you sure you're just getting a sample, and i'm not making a donation?"
tristanskye: bwahahahahahhaa
ideasoup: are you still there, or is this boring you?
tristanskye: am glad u still have ur sense of humour.
ideasoup: i tried.
ideasoup: then i got wheeled in to the OR, where the nurse said she will put the IV.
ideasoup: now i'm so terrified of IV's. have never had one, and they look like they really hurt a lot.
tristanskye: did it?
ideasoup: was told they'd have to put an IV on me because i'd not had liquids (since 11 last night) or food (since 8). then i was asked to untie my gown at the back and lie down on the operating table. the rubber felt cold against my back. i figured it really would have to be rubber because of the gore, the whatsits that come out of the patient during the operation *shudder*
ideasoup: then this man came in and started tap-tapping on my wrist. he was even humming.
tristanskye: :P
ideasoup: *_*
ideasoup: i figured he was the IV guy.
tristanskye: i didnt think it was going to be that complicated.
tristanskye: i thought they were just going to put you to sleep and then wham, bam, kazam!
tristanskye: u wake up feeling all happy
ideasoup: i was right! a little while later, i had to close my eyes, bracing myself for the IV.
ideasoup: you want me to continue the story or what? *rolling eyes*
tristanskye : yes yes please do
ideasoup: don't worry, i'm near the end of my story.
ideasoup: so he rubs an alcohol-soaked cotton on my wrist, and sticks the IV in. then more doctors come in, and they introduce themselves to me, as assistant to the anesthesiologist, assistant to the ob, the anesthesiologist, and finally, my OB.. at which point i pass out.
ideasoup: just kidding.
tristanskye: hahahahaa
tristanskye: you must have a whopping medical bill!
ideasoup: the anaesthiologist replaces the iv with anaesthesia, and i notice a mild pain shooting through one arm. then they told me that they were gonna put up my legs on the metal thingies (not stirrups, more like leg supports). ok i said, and i felt the cold airconditioning whip mercilessly on my privates as i was splayed all out, like dressed chicken being readied for baking.
ideasoup: " think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts," i said to myself.
tristanskye: *gritting teeth*
ideasoup: meanwhile down there, the ob's assistant announced that she will be cleaning me. i wanted to argue, "but i took a bath this morning, and i washed myself already!" no, i'm just kidding.
ideasoup: and suddenly, a happy thought finally came--the only happy thought i could muster at that i was worried that the ob's assistant will notice i was wet!!!
ideasoup: was scared she will ask, "why is she wet?"
ideasoup: and i won't be able to answer "because to be brave, i wanted to think happy thoughts, and that was the only happy thought that came!"
ideasoup: so with that happy thought, of *bleep* with A, i passed out.
tristanskye: bwahahahahaha
tristanskye: whew!
ideasoup: that's a true story. i swear!
ideasoup: i reassured myself before passing out, pain can be pleasure ;-)
ideasoup: when i told A that story, he guffawed.
tristanskye: hahahahaaha. men usually do
ideasoup: he couldnt believe i can be thinking of that in OR.
tristanskye: but am glad you are alright.
ideasoup: yes, my horniness saved me.
tristanskye: did they take care of your myoma?
ideasoup: nope, i'm afraid that's another operation.
tristanskye: it is huge?
tristanskye: maybe you shld get that taken care of before u start trying again
tristanskye: what did the doc say
ideasoup: it's too deep in my uterus. might schedule it with childbearing, if we come to that point. or i hope it goes away.
ideasoup: less than an inch big, i think. she says they're quite common.
tristanskye: whew!
tristanskye: it's hard to be a woman, huh.
ideasoup: yes, but in all that time i was in OR, all i could think of was A. poor A. he waited for three hours. nobody was even telling him what was happening.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bloggable lives

over lunch, my husband asked me, "do you think people intentionally go out of their way to make their lives bloggable?"

without hesitation, i said yes (i believe i even rolled my eyes as i did so)--you can just look at all the material out there in cyberspace. people are making mountains out of molehills of their boring everyday lives. (saw one blog written by this woman who plays up to this image of a playgirl. she boasts about all the dates she gets and complains why it seems she can never get a man to seriously commit to her. she never mentions though--or conveniently leaves out--the crucial detail how she gets her dates, --thru a chatroom, blind date, sms? and whether at all she ever gets a call after her dates, or a second date with any of them. duh?)

in cyberspace, you can be anything! you can manipulate words in your blog so that you can reinvent yourself. you can make your life seem fantastic. it just reqires a certain 'tude. it has to be full
of 'tude. because ordinary is not bloggable.

but apparently, i didn't understand his question. "but that's pathetic!" he says. turns out, that what he meant by his question was, if people really did outrageous things just to be able to write about it in their blogs. i said of course not, bloggers unhesitatingly embellish, to make their lives interesting--or shocking, as they desire--to their readers. why do people keep journals, in the first place? isn't it because they're hoping on the off chance that somebody will pick it up accidentally and read (and in some cases, even publish) it? sadly, i've come across a lot of blogs that are what i would call literary masturbation or "pagdadyakol" (my hubby winces at this and offers s.s. instead, from "salsal" or what they call hack writing).

people write blogs because they want to be read. period.

the discussion about bloggable lives all started because i told A that i have so much material for my blogs (i have 3 active ones, plus a photoblog), out of the 5 hours i spent in the hospital this morning. i thought they must be good for something.

well, let's see.

Monday, June 27, 2005


and so with the topic of child-rearing shoved into the backburner for the moment, my husband and i resume our pseudo-intellectual discussions over breakfast and dinner. due to the nature of A's job, we watch anc a lot (and watching it instead of my favorite lifestyle network, i wince at the horrible wardrobe, make-up and hairstyle choices of its female newscasters, with the usual exception of the fashionable carmina constantino whose moss green corduroy jacket today was so drool-worthy), as well as cnn and bbc, and we pretty much comment and nitpick on everything--politics, literature, arts, grammar (mostly from advertising copy) like those two grumpy old men in the theatre box in jim henderson's 'the muppet show' of the 70s. i forget what we were watching but pandora's box was mentioned, and to show off my art history stuff i asked him if he knew that pandora's box was an erroneous interpretation of the greek myth.

of course he didn't know, because he's never read panofsky. according to erwin panofsky, an american art historian, the box (or more accurately a huge jar) was not owned by pandora, nor was it opened by her. it was, in fact, opened by epimetheus. but, somehow, the expression "opening an epimetheus' box" doesn't quite fly.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Quo Vadis?

where do we go from here?

in batman begins, bruce wayne's dad asks, "why do we fall?"
and answers his question himself, "so that we might better
learn to pick ourselves up."

finally found two poems that i wrote around five years ago.


And so I weep
for him,
whose tiny fingers
curl tightly
around mine
in sleep
he never sleeps;
whose soft, fragrant
head now
i kiss
with lips touching
only air,
and mostly
nothing else, but


of the frailty of time
I rushed out
to collect
sun-dappled leaf
I could catch
in my hands
and mourned


that fell

to the ground


the shadows

at my feet.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


it wasn't till we were back in doctor alfiler's office that i allowed myself to cry. i couldn't help myself. i was so disappointed because i was already looking forward to giving birth in january.

i had to apologize for the outburst and dr. alfiler was so comforting. she told me something that was so poignant, that made me want to cry even more. she said that she understood my feelings, even if she had no children herself, which was perhaps why she understood only so well, and why she feels compelled to take very good care of her patients who are like children to her.

i was not aware that somebody else had stepped into the room, and only when dr. alfiler said "hi al," did i realize it was A.

i wonder what must have crossed his mind as i turned to look up at him all teary-faced. instantly i saw his face change from puzzlement to worry.

it was then i finally understood why i was crying. just yesterday, as we walked to rufo's for lunch, he was telling me how good he felt, that soon we were going to have a baby. and he looked very happy indeed, too. i teased him that he was being cocky. he denied it, but he admitted it made him feel very macho. the pregnancy made him feel like he's on top of the world, and now i could just imagine how he must feel.

and i imagined my mom and my dad, A's mom and dad, our siblings and friends who wished us well, and have been so happy for us. how are we going to tell them?

with me i am realizing that i am rather overcome with relief--perhaps because i can draw strength from my faith--that it still wasn't time yet for A and i to have a child. and i would have dreaded to bring a weak baby into the world full-term, and somehow that thought made the discontinuance of the pregnancy acceptable.


is a comforting thing. you can lose everything, but thankfully, you can still hold on to your faith.

i remember watching tv one late night with A, i think it was 'emergency' on channel 7. the topic was faith healers. the sociologist they interviewed said that filipinos have this tendency to always concede their fortune and lives to a higher being--to saints and to God, that's why they readily believed whoever claimed to interceed in their behalf, because they wouldn't take responsibility to think and figure out things for themselves. A and i agreed it was a very keen observation, that it was copout fanaticism borne out of the filipinos' laziness.

but in these jaded times, i still would proudly say i have faith. there is a difference between fanaticism and faith. fanaticism is blind belief. faith, on the other hand, requires hard work. you do everything in your power to do your best, and when you've exhausted all efforts and you can safely say you gave it your all, faith then becomes the source of comfort and wellspring of strength. simply because i cannot imagine being thrown a rotten apple with worms after praying earnestly for food.

we lost the baby.

went to have an ultrasound this morning, and dr. alfiler did not find a hearbeat. the fetus was as big as expected, but there was a macro yolk sac, and no heartbeat. even without her saying anything, i could tell it from her face. she fumbled with the keys with one hand and held the transvaginal device with the other, and through it all she kept a blank expression, and avoided my gaze.

"we have a little problem," she said.

i suspected an understatement. i already expected the worst, and braced myself for it. "how's the baby, doctora?"

"the baby's as big as expected, but we have a macro yolk sac, and that is not a very good sign. the baby is supposed to get its nourishment from the yolk sac till the placenta is formed, but it seems it's not getting any, and that's why it's grown by two centimeters since the last ultrasound. and there is no fetal heart beat."

"so you mean to say the baby's dead?"

"i hesitate to give that conclusion. we need a second sight. it's our sop."

"how could it have happened?" numbly i asked. no tears, no emotions--at least not till later.

just before i went for the ultrasound, i was able to text A. asked him if he'd eaten lunch already and if we could meet for lunch. now, as i lay in the ultrasound booth with my feet still in the stirrups and with the knowledge that the baby i was carrying inside me was dead, i was rather undecided about how i felt. my phone's message alert went off, and i realized it must be A replying to my message. oh no, how am i going to tell him?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


woke up with a start at 3 in the morning because i had to pee. and then i couldn't go back to sleep after that. my nights have been like this lately--i'd get up twice in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom. sometimes i'm lucky and fall right back to sleep. but sometimes, like this morning, i had to stare at the ceiling till my eyes went all bleary. several times, i resisted the temptation to pick up a book. i thought the mental stimulation might make it worse.

my pregnancy book says it's normal--the baby's pressure on the bladder makes it necessary for me to urinate frequently . (but at nine weeks, isn't the baby just be slightly longer than an inch? how could something so small be such big trouble, i wonder. haha.) and in late pregnancy, it's the body's way of getting itself accustomed to the regular feeding cycles once the baby is born. (okay. but must it be this early in the pregnancy?)

oh no. goodbye, dreamland. goodbye, blissful beauty sleeps.

i looked at my husband soundly sleeping (and snoring loudly) beside me and envied him. so to kill the time i entertained myself by visualizing how the baby would look like. in my mind i put together features from A's and my baby pics. but the baby i visualized was too hairy for a newborn, i thought. it wasn't a very easy exercise.

then, i consoled myself with the thought that we will be hearing the baby's heart beat for the first time later that morning. i got excited at the thought. then i felt a pang of hunger, so i reached for my stash of crackers on the bedside table and munched on a cracker. then, i wanted to go down and have a drink of water, but couldnt muster the energy to do so. i couldn't remember what happened next. it must have been the time i nodded off back to sleep. it must already have been 5 am ( i couldn't see the clock), because outside it was already getting light.

i woke up at 7 am, and i caught A just going out the door. we wanted to be early today at the doctor's today, and so i had no choice but to pull myself out of bed.

we had breakfast, then we left at 8:15 am. incredibly, there was no traffic, despite the news that there was a fire at robinsons tower. we got to the doctor's clinic at exactly 9 am, only to be told by carol the secretary that dr. alfiler had an emergency that morning and all consultations were cancelled.

A and i were so disappointed. we'd waited two weeks for the ultrasound. so we went and consoled ourselves with brunch at rufo's.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It's a girl! family, friends and co-teachers are betting.

which is good, because it means that:
1. i don't look puffy
2. i don't look harassed
3. it's not so obvious i am nauseous most of the time
4. i'm glowing, la-la.

the suspense is killing me.

boy or girl, i pray our little angel will be a healthy, happy baby.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The empire strikes (and I'm) back.

it's been days since i last blogged. thought that being pregnant would be daily bloggable material. was wrong. i feel as boringly normal as i was before i was pregnant, only i feel heavier and bigger (cannot fit into most of my undies and clothes--especially pants). which isn't too bad, because every week i find an excuse to always shop, haha. especially for those empire waist blouses that look so ingenue on tall, slim girls but look so hopelessly fat or pregnant on me. well, i AM pregnant now. so i panic-shopped before they go out of style. they ARE so cute! so very sarah jessica parker. i already have four, as of the last count. three smocked and one with a sexy low-cut V neckline. am working out with weights so my arms will look toned even if my tummy's gigantic. which, by the way, my doctor said won't (usually) be till my fifth month. which means--the extra inches i've been gaining lately is nothing but fat, not yet the baby nor the baby stuff (yolk sac, amniotic fluid, etc). waaah!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"There's definitely a baby."

went to see the doctor this morning. A came with me. we were running late, and so before getting to the doctor's clinic, i told A we will be 6th on the wait list. we got there at 9:15 and we were 7th on the wait list. and again, it took forever. so we stepped out and had breakfast at rufo's. A had the famous rufo's tapa, and i had a very delicious, juicy, fragrantly garlicky and vinegary daing na bangus. A was disappointed with the tapa, while I savored every morsel of my daing and cleaned it out save for the skin, head and the tail. A looked longingly at the poster of the scrumptious-looking liempo on the wall and wished he had that instead. i cheered him up and said we will have our lunch there later.


"you have a myoma," dr. alfiler said, "but definitely, there is a baby."

surprisingly, i wasn't so shocked. almost everyone i know, anyway, had a myoma. was more concerned if it posed a danger to the baby.

"it's here," dr. alfiler said, pointing to the computer monitor. " so you see there's enough space for the baby to grow, even if it increases in size. it's 3.1 cm. right now. but it's not in the way so you can still have a normal delivery."

" can you tell how old the baby is?"

" since we still cannot detect the fetal heart rate--the baby's too tiny, just 3 millimeters, we can only compute using the day of your last menstruation, and based on that, it's roughly 5 weeks and 6 days old. there, can you see it?--it's like a wing and a ball. here is the yolk sac," and she pushed some keys to mark the targets with x's. she was smiling, looking still excited about yet another baby, even after all the babies she's delivered. it was very reassuring.

i strained my neck to look at the screen. although she'd blown up the frozen images (which, by the way, required the transvaginal ultrasound device to be inside me the whole time) it was very difficult to see because it was so tiny. but i did see it, and i suppose i smiled.

" shall i call in your husband now?"

"yes, please." there is definitely a baby. focus on that, i told myself. i felt thrilled.

"what's his name?"

"al," i said, although A never wants to be called that, except when people cannot get his rather unusual name.


A came in--this tall man who made the ultrasound booth seem even more cramped than it actually was. he looked funny because he was carrying my white bag awkwardly in his arms, along with a rolled-up newspaper, and a couple of brown envelopes containing my medical stuff.

dr. alfiler showed him the images on the screen--pointing out the baby, the yolk sac and the myoma.

just as i thought, he was worried. but the doctor quickly reassured him by saying she's seen myoma in many of her patients, and most of these were benign.

"the baby looks just like you," i teased.