Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Preemie Girl





Who is Preemie Girl?


Last year, in mid-July, a woman was brought DOA to the emergency room of the provincial hospital. Her severely premature baby miraculously survived but was brought to the hospital 6 or 7 hours after birth. Her mother was previously admitted to the hospital's ICU due to hypertension and was closely monitored for several weeks.  She was relatively in a stable condition and the doctors were waiting for the baby to become more viable before doing a caesarian section, but the family decided to go home.  She eventually delivered at home and died due to severe postpartum bleeding.  The baby developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and was not expected to make it.  Because this was a public hospital with limited resources, she was not getting the kind of care severely premature babies like her should have. Some mothers nursing their own premature babies would give her their milk and help take care of her. Initially I really did not take much interest in her...the first time I saw her, she was only a bit longer than my hand and I thought, this baby is not going to make it. But lo and behold, she survived!...so that eventually she became well enough to be transferred to the pediatric ward. The nurses in the pediatric station would take turns in taking care of her and soon she was everybody's baby. Of course, being critically ill, she was given emergency baptism earlier and as usual, the staff took liberty with my name (as they are wont to do so every time they needed a name for someone in the hospital, LOL) and that of the hospital's Patron Saint, Therese of the Child Jesus. So Preemie Girl was named...Maria Estrella Therese, nicknamed Ella.  As she continued to thrive, donations from doctors and nurses came pouring in and babysitting for her was divided among the different hospital areas, including myself. I would take the 10 AM-3 PM shift before passing her to the Laboratory Department in the afernoon!  The Provincial Social Services tried to locate her father but was unable to do so and she was declared abandoned.  Then one day, he suddenly appeared in the hospital with a well-dressed lady in tow.  Preemie Girl was a little over 3 months old by this time and about a week before, she was featured in the daily afternoon TV newscast with the USLS medical students who had a televised activity in the hospital.  The hospital social worker and myself talked to the father, asking him why he never came back...and he said he had no money. We all felt that this was just one reason but the truth was, he never really expected the baby to survive. I asked him, what if the baby died? Who would bury her? Where will she be buried? He had no answer. I asked about the woman with him.  He said, this lady was a former employer who called him and offered to help him with the hospital cost.  From our conversation, I knew he was lying and that he had already made a deal with the woman to get the baby in exchange for paying the hospital and himself too.  I told him that the baby is now under the care of social services and we could not just hand her over to him since he and his family literally left her for dead and never once visited to check on her condition.  I then told him to get the woman who offered to help because I wanted to talk to her. But, the woman never did; in fact they both left without taking leave!  The hospital staff upon learning of their presence went into a panic and crying mode but I assured them that we will not hand over Preemie Girl to anyone since she was still too small and weak to be brought home. That was in early October.  According to the ward nurses, he came back about a week after but was only allowed to view the baby.  That was the last we have seen of  him.  The last we heard, he left his minor children to the care of his in laws and has remarried and moved to another town.

Last December 2008, I decided to bring Preemie Girl home for a "share-a home" visit during the holiday season for. Well, the share-a-home became more of a stay-at-home thing.  My family and I have decided to foster her with adoption in mind.  Bringing her back to the hospital was no longer an option for me and my family. It is a fact that the hospital environment is not a good one for a relatively healthy premature baby to be in.  She will be high-risk for infection being exposed to all kinds of illnesses.  Also, I learned that after office hours when she is returned to the ward, the staff on duty is so busy that they cannot feed or change her on time.  This is probably the reason why after 5 months she is still only a little more than 3 kilograms.  Now, after only 2 weeks with us, she had a 1.5 kilogram weight gain!  Taking care of Preemie Girl has created a huge dent on our budget and routine, but the miracle that she is makes it all worthwhile....what is important is that this beautiful baby has been blessed by God and all of us who have taken care of her have been blessed as well.  She has turned our home routine topsy-turvy, but my mother and Big Brother  are only too happy to have her with us adding joy to our daily life.  We welcome her to the family where she is not only wanted but also very much loved.

I have to end now...Preemie Girl is asking to be fed :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

MY SON IS 18

I became a mom in February 1991, the month my father died. I did not plan on motherhood, not for lack of a maternal instinct but mainly because I was already in my 30's with no relationship that was serious enough for marriage...yes, I believe that children should be born out of love and marriage. At a time when my family was experiencing a strong sense of loss, this 3 month old baby boy came into our lives. He brought laughter when we found very little reason to do so. His presence at home made us forget our sadness and we all began focusing our attention on him. Before long, I was spending more time with him than any other aspect in my life...even my work and friends. In fact, this was the year I started being late for work almost everyday because I was putting him first before anything else. In other words, I fell in love. He was God's gift to me and he made me a mother before it was too late. Two days from now, on November 3, 2008, this baby turns 18. Looking back, he is the best thing that happened in my life. He is my joy, my friend, my son.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

FAMILY BONDING

My parents had 3 children, 2 sons and a daughter, but only one got married...the oldest son, my younger brother. He has 2 children from this marriage, a boy and a girl. This marriage was doomed from the start and eventually ended. The kids are now 14 and 11 respectively and are really bright and gifted...their parents are so lucky to have them. Unfortunately both my brother and his ex-wife are the kind of people who should never have children. Why? Well, because in their hierarchy of needs, their number one priority is themselves. Their needs, wants and activities come first before their children or everything else for that matter and so, my nephew and niece do not experience the kind of nurturing that growing children should have. Today was the beginning salvo of my nephew's high school intramurals. He was participating in the cheerdance contest and I found out yesterday that none of his parents will be watching him perform. The reason? His dad couldn't get off from work and his mom thinks it's a waste of gasoline to go to his school...I decided to call him to ask if he wanted me to watch him instead? He was so happy and I brought along his sister, their nanny (who acts as their surrogate parent albeit not a very competent one) and dragged my 17 year old son as well. I'm glad I did. We had fun driving on the way to Victorias and arrived with plenty of time to spare, so that I was able to get a good parking space. My son and niece bought a small bucket of french fries and sodas which we shared while sitting around the football field where the students were going to perform. My nephew's team was the 3rd group to perform...all 140++ of them. They were quite good, in fact I think they have a good chance of getting a place in the top 3. We left after a while because their mom was going to get them for the weekend but on our way out, I decided to take them to Victorias Golf and Country Club, a place where I and my brothers spent many family outings with my parents while growing up. The kids were all excited but my son (who was dragged to come, remember?) wasn't really too keen on seeing the inside since it looked nondescript from the outside...but I said, wait till you see the course. I haven't been in this place for a long long time and driving through the entrance gate brought back good memories. We all got down from the vehicle and there was this Korean guy talking on his cellphone...and I whispered to my nephew...yoboseyo...I didn't think he heard it but as I walked by, he said maayong hapon and so I laughed and said, he speaks ilonggo! I excitedly entered the clubhouse with the kids following behind and there it was! The beautiful VICMICO golf course of my youth. The kids were in awe too and wanted to get down but we really did not have time (their mom might come anytime) so I just promised that we can come back one day soon. I mean to keep the promise since it wasn't hard to drive there, in fact it took only about 30 minutes from Silay to VICMICO...and I'm such a lazy driver ;) When we went to the parking lot, the Korean guy was still there...smiling. And so I said hello and asked if he knew how to speak Ilonggo and he said yes, he was trying to learn and we started a short conversation. It was a bit difficult to understand his english and I just nodded and said...ohhhh, okay...several times. He said something about being a professional "lady" golfer and being licensed which started the kids giggling...and so, we said our goodbyes. As I drove off, I waved at him while the kids were doubling up laughing! My nephew said that I was nodding and saying my standard "ah ok" which is a signal that I am not really listening or I did not understand what is being said....then they started laughing hysterically again. The journey home was a time for bonding...there was so much laughter, the kind that bubbles up in your throat that you just can't help but laugh. I'm glad I went to see my nephew perform...it's one of those times that create good memories...the ones that their parents should be sharing instead of missing out.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO- DR. SEUSS


Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.

You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

(For many of us still searching for our place in life, click on the title link above and see more on YouTube...voiced by Harrison Ford, et al...)

Thank you to David B...for posting this on Facebook!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

PROUD MOMENT

Last Saturday, May 31, 2008 was a momentous day in my son Ramie's life. After 7 years of training in Taekwondo, he has finally earned his Black Belt, 1st Dan. He had trained hard the whole summer and with some help from me completed his thesis requirement on time(earning for me about 5% of his black belt). The anticipation was high during the past week but he never showed that he was nervous even during the promotion date (although, afterwards he said he was actually very nervous). We left the house at about 1:30 PM and I dropped him off at the La Salle covered court where the promotion tests will be held. The whole process for the black belt involves demonstrations of all forms learned from yellow to high brown belt, a sparring session with 2 black belts and the braking of boards and blocks. There was also a welcoming ceremony which I had no idea about. I was the nervous one and was not really keen to watch the sparring because Ramie warned me that it could be scary. But even if I got back about an hour later, they were just finishing the red belts and haven't even started on the browns yet because the master who would be conducting the black belt promotion was a little late. After about 30 minutes, the master arrived and the promotion tests for the brown belts began. Soon, it was the group of Ramie. There were 7 of them, 3 for junior black and 4 for senior black. Ramie did the first part with flying colors! I was so impressed that he could do all the forms flawlessly...I know that it was tiring because this first part alone took almost an hour. Then came the sparring session...first it was one on one with 2 different opponents then, 2 black belts against the one (meaning Ramie) being tested. During the one on one sparring, Ramie took them on quite well, their kicks not really hitting him, in fact because he was big they would be the one falling when they try to kick him :) but when it was 2 against him, he took a hit in his face and while he was trying to shield himself with one of them, the other gave him a kick behind his head which stunned him! I could see him trying to get his balance back but he was really hurt and he fell flat on the floor! I stood up to see if he was okay but he didn't stand up, so that I walked towards where he was surrounded by all the players to check on him but just as I reached him, he stood up to get back to the mat and everyone cheered...but the master made a sign to discontinue the sparring. I think even he got worried that Ramie could be seriously hurt because hitting backside is dangerous...even if it was not intentional. I was so proud of Ramie...how brave he was and how he was able to have enough endurance to finish everything! Well, I thought this was his end-point but he told me, he's going to try for 2nd Dan which will be after 4 years...oh well, by that time hopefully, he will be graduated from college and I don't have to be his audience anymore. Oh, and all these taekwondo training have some other benefits...this semester of his sophomore year, he was awarded a 50% athletic college scholarship as part of his being a varsity player :) That gave me even more to smile about (^^)

Friday, September 19, 2003

The Kids In My Life

I have been so busy...with work, work, work...then some more work. I guess you are now picturing one very harassed woman. Truth is...you're probably right. But I don't let it get to me...it's just one of those months where everything is happening all together. It's no big deal. Really. Okay, so now where was I the last time?...Oh yes, I was talking about the kids in my life. When I reached 30, I used to wonder if I would ever settle down and marry or if not, then what would my life be when I grow old. Now I know. I have 3 wonderful kids in my life, my adopted son, my nephew and niece, whom I adore and who adores me back. Where are the parents, one might ask? Well, my son knows his birth mother and my nephew and niece live with their father but it is me, their "Nanang" whom they consider "mom". I used to say I did not want children because I had no patience for them. Oh sure, they were fun to be around with, but not all the time. Then my son came into life a few months before I turned 35 and I found that I loved being a mommie. For a while I played reliable auntie to my brother's kids but after his marriage broke up, I'm now part-time surrogate mom. So I guess God knew what my destiny was...



Friday, July 25, 2003

my brother's children

Is maternal instinct inherently found in every woman? I ask this because my brother's wife from whom he has been separated from more than a year ago, doesn't seem to have any. I have never known a woman with so little maternal instinct that the very rare moments that it shows goes unrecognized and undetected. The care of her children has been delegated to a caregiver since infancy. So it is no wonder that the children rarely miss her. I act as a surrogate mom because I love them and I feel so sorry for them. I thank God that in spite of their parents' weaknesses and faults, they seem to be happy children. Maybe because they are only 8 and 6.

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