Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Journey to Breastfeeding

I am back! I can definitely say I feel normal again. Alan and I have graduated from the demanding daily grind of a newborn and now we have somehow established our own little routine which is so amazing!     

Today, my beautiful daughter turns 3 months old. 3 months may seem to have flown by so quickly but to me that was the slowest and most difficult 3 months of my life. It was also the most amazing because I am blessed to nurture and give nourishment to my daughter in the most natural way, BREASTFEEDING. Mainly, our breasts are divinely designed by God to nourish our precious babies. So before I give birth, I prayed that the Lord will allow me to nurse my daughter and that I will be free of any sickness or complications that will hinder me from nursing my child. Alan and I prepared ourselves for this journey by attending lactation classes and getting hold of all the things we would need (nursing bra, nursing pads, nursing cover, nipple cream, etc) Other than direct feeding, we also thought of pumping and feeding through a bottle. Luckily, Alan's insurance covers for pumping equipment! (Tip: check your insurance provider and see if they can provide you an electric pump for free)

But boy oh boy! As natural as it is, breastfeeding was the most painful and humbling thing I had to go through. I had underestimated it! It's harder than being pregnant and giving birth. To breastfeed takes a tremendous commitment and effort. In the beginning, Amanda was feeding on demand. That means she has no set schedule for feedings so we would feed her whenever she's hungry. That also meant sleep deprivation for us. It was exhausting. Amanda had a good latch but since my nipples were new to breastfeeding, I got excruciating sore nipples. It was so uncomfortable and sometimes I would dread the next feed. But it does get better like breaking a new pair of shoes. And then here comes engorgement. My milk came on the third day and my boob suddenly engorged. My flat chested boobs all of a sudden looked like porn star boobs! haha. They were hard and not pleasant at all. I also got my share of clogged ducts, milk bleb, chills, fever, minor mastitis, lahat na! But I continue to nurse even though it would burn occasionally. I would literally cry out during feedings. 

Honestly, I was so close to giving up breastfeeding the first few weeks. I questioned myself that maybe it wasn't for me. I tried to convince myself that I was a formula baby and I grew up just fine. What was the big deal? I felt like I couldn't do it anymore at that time. All I thought about was myself. It's funny cos I prayed for this child for a long time and now why was I being so selfish? However, Alan was adamant that I breastfeed our daughter because it is the best and loving gift we could give her. He said that if only he could breastfeed, he would. Breastmilk has lots of amazing benefits to our baby. It provides the ideal nutrition and has everything our baby needs to grow. And it's free! I'm thankful that my husband didn't let me quit. I couldn't do this without his full support. To help ease my load, he would change our baby's diaper, give me water and snacks while I nurse, wash the pump equipment, he let me sleep in longer and would give our baby pumped milk at night, do the laundry, etc. I remember for the first 6 weeks, all I did was nurse, nurse, nurse. I am also lucky that other family members that live with us chipped in with the cooking, cleaning, and other house chores so I didn't have to do anything but take care of our baby. Alan and I were also able to go out on Sundays to go to church and we would leave our baby with my mom and my sisters. It helped a lot that we had our family's love and support. Thank you guys! You helped me so much to carry on my breastfeeding journey. It is so true that it takes a village to raise a child.

Whenever I see my baby's chubby cheeks while chugging away all my milk (cutest thing ever), all the pain goes away. And when I see her fat rolls on her legs and arms, it's a validation that all my sacrifice is worth it. Breastfeeding is such a miracle and I'm truly grateful to have been given such an honor to nourish my baby in the most natural way. I'm also happy to get my pre-pregnancy weight back! It's not that it matters a lot, but it feels great to wear my favorite pair of jeans again! 

In terms of milk supply, currently, I do not have a lot but I have the enough amount my baby needs. In the beginning, I wasn't producing enough milk and since Amanda had jaundice, it was suggested to us that we mix-feed her so she can get rid/lower the amount of bilirubin level through her poop. We're lucky she didn't have any nipple confusion. And after she was free of jaundice, and I had boosted up my milk supply, I got rid of the formula completely. I am glad to breastfeed again 100%. What helped me increase my milk supply were drinking tons of water, eating fiber rich food, Milo(malt), Fenugreek seed supplement or Moringa (malunggay) supplement. My goal is to breastfeed her at least 6 months, if I'm lucky a year would be great.  

Each woman and each baby is uniquely made by God. I understand that not all women are physically fit to breastfeed. And that's okay. Whether you decide to exclusively breastfeed, exclusively pump, formula feed, or mix feed, please know that it is perfectly fine. Let's not be too hard on ourselves. What is important is that our babies get the nourishment they need. And to those who see moms breastfeed or formula feed in public, let's be respectful and let's avoid judging them for how they feed their babies. They are doing the best they possibly can. 

I hope I didn't scare all those future mothers out there. As I said, it does get better, I promise! Today, I find pleasure in breastfeeding and I think I will miss it when I eventually wean her. Breastfeeding won't go on forever and so treasure each special moment you have with your baby. 


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Amanda Johanna

Presenting our first born, Amanda Johanna Fernandez who was born on October 18, 2016 at 9:17 pm. 

Discerning for our daughter's name had to be very intentional for Alan and I. We want her name to be purposeful and meaningful with hopes about who she will become. Alan suggested her first name and I was delighted to give the second name. The name Amanda means lovable/worthy of LOVE. Johanna means God's gracious gift. I want this to be a reminder to her that she's very much loved by everyone even before she was born. And after 5 years of her dad and I being married, the Lord remained faithful to us and has graciously gifted us our first child in His perfect time (on my birth month pa! What an awesome way to welcome my big 3-0!). To have her is the best birthday present I've ever had. She's everything we've ever dreamed of. She's our world. She gives indescribable joy to our life and more. 

Thank you everyone for praying for her safe delivery. We are now in the recovery stage and we pray it will be quick so you can get to meet Amanda soon! 
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.
Before you were born, I set you apart.
-Jeremiah 1:5


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

37 Weeks

We have reached the final stretch of what to me has been a wonderful and gentle pregnancy journey. In any day now, we will finally see our little bundle of joy. I have been waiting for the day that my eyes will meet hers. That my skin will touch hers. To hear her cry for the first time and know she's alright. All of these and more won't be a dream anymore but a reality. Soon. In just a few days.

Also, in just a few days, our lives will be changed forever. The "just the two of us" will be non-existent. For a while, our travels, date nights and other spontaneous activities will have to be put aside. Here comes the sleepless nights, the gazillion nappy changes, the taxing breast feedings and all other mundane tasks I hear from other parents. Believe it or not, they don't scare me at all. I am blessed I have the best partner in the world to share these responsibilities with. And there's confidence in me that God will give us strength to endure.

In just a few days, I will find myself lying in a hospital bed. With epidural or without, I just pray that baby and I will be safe. From all the birth stories I hear from other moms, I realize that whether you have a birth plan or not, your plans won't always pan out as you hoped for. So I will just hold on to God's goodness and allow Him to control my labor and delivery.

A new title awaits me. In just a few days, I will be a MOM... officially! I wonder what kind of mom I will be? A cool mom? A helicopter mom? Or a stage mom? Perhaps, like being a wife, I will eventually figure it out as I go along. Even if I don't turn out to be the best mommy in the world, I hope she will feel the love and the care I have for her is my absolute best. If I won't be able to give her material things, I hope she won't lack of every good character. Like what my mother-in-law always reminds us, to not spoil her too much even though we know it will be hard not to. The thought of bringing her to her first ballet class thrills me already. I'm sure she'll be so cute twirling in a tutu. In the academics department, I know there will be loads of pressure. But I hope she gets her daddy's scholarly attitude and humble intelligence. I know it must be silly to think this far out in advance. She's not even out in the world yet. lol. This mama basically woke up and felt like she just had to let her thoughts and aspirations out. The opportunities that await you are aplenty, my dear daughter! Just know that your dad and I will always be here to support you and guide you in all your life's choices!
To all of you who are reading this, thank you all so much for being part of this journey! We're so grateful for all your kind words and all your support. Thank you all for showering us with gifts and baby's needs! The 3 baby showers we had were absolutely amazing and we're so grateful to be surrounded by indulgent family and friends. Your generosity is unbelievable! We definitely feel so blessed than ever knowing that you are all as joyful and as excited as we are in having this baby. We overwhelmingly feel the Lord's goodness through all of you. 

Our journey to pregnancy will end soon, but our journey to parenthood will begin in just a few days! I cannot wait to write down our little family's stories and share them with all of you.


Monday, August 22, 2016

The Ferns Maternity Photoshoot

When my dear friend Jen Evangelista-Cruz offered me a very special gift, a maternity photo session with her husband, AP Cruz, my jaw just dropped. I have seen first hand AP's talent and passion in photography and I became one of his fans instantly. To be offered such a marvelous gift was such a huge honor. I thank the Lord for my friends' thoughtful and generous hearts-hearts that always bring happiness and joy to others. 

We shot at McDaniel Farm Park, 3 mins away from our apartment. A park I didn't even know existed until our friends Jeanette and Mike told us about it. It's a historic farm turned into a public park. The place had a rustic feel and every corner was so picturesque. It was a perfect place for photo shoots! We checked the weather forecast and it was going to rain that day. Thankfully, the rain didn't show up until we finished shooting. I was up at 6 am and did my own hair and make up and tried dolling myself up so we can catch the sunrise. I'm glad we got a glimpse of the sun but the rest of the day was breezy and cool.  

I've read somewhere that the best time to do maternity shoots is at 7 months of pregnancy. Mommy is not too bloated and can still actively glide around with only minimal discomforts. And that was true! I was glad that I was able to move around without any problems, I was able to climb up the hills, managed to situate myself in the middle of a gushing creek, and was able to just be on my feet for 3 hours.

AP has a very artistic eye. He let us look at the raw photos from his camera after the shoot and on every scroll, we were left with "awww", "wow", "uh-mazing", "beautiful", "nice". Those raw photos didn't even need editing. That's how good he was. As a photographer, AP was easygoing and fun to work with. Alan and I have one signature pose, and that's a big smile with a peace hand sign. hahaha. We are amateurs when it comes to photo shoots so I told AP we just wanted a very relaxed, bright and cheery session. Less of serious poses and more of we-just-want-to-be-our-goofy-selves kind of poses. He was able to achieve it! Special thanks as well to his gorgeous assistant, his wife, Jen. She had so many cute ideas and suggestions on how to make the pictures look good, from the props to the blocking, to how our hair looked. The two of them make a great team! Both of them are nurses and does photography on the side. They also do weddings, engagements, family portrait and even newborn/kids photo shoots! For bookings and inquiries, visit AP's facebook page: or email him at

I'm flattered and my heart is so full by all the kind compliments I get from my friends and family on how pregnancy looks good on me. After I've seen AP's pics, I now believe it! lol. I think I radiate a pure joy! A joy like no other. A joy that only God can satisfy. A joy of becoming a mom.  So now let me share with you some of our maternity pictures to inspire all you moms out there and those dreaming to be moms someday. 


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Week 27

I'm now on my third and last trimester! By God's grace, my second trimester went by smoothly and baby is growing quickly but as gently as possible inside my tummy. Here's a rundown of what my pregnancy was like through the previous weeks.  

Week 18. I was scheduled to see a maternal fetal specialist. They are experts for high risk pregnancy. Although my pregnancy wasn't really considered high risk, we found out something quite unexpected. Early on the pregnancy, on my first OB appointment (week 7) I was told by my doctor that I was supposed to have twins!!! Unfortunately, she only found one heart beat thus only one baby has fully developed. I'm not going to lie, it broke my heart a bit. But the doctor reassured me that I did nothing wrong to harm the other baby. I did more research about it and I found out that what I had was called the vanishing twin syndrome. Most moms back in the day probably didn't know they had multiple babies that vanished early in their pregnancy. But because of advanced ultrasounds that we have now, it could be frequently identified. By God's grace and mercy, the maternal fetal specialist told me that the fetal tissue of the vanished twin was reabsorbed and the one that was left was perfectly fine and healthy. What a relief! I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I trust God that He is in control. Twins could have been great but I'm sure it would be definitely challenging as well. What truly matters is that Alan and I are blessed to have a child.

Week 19. I had my anatomy scan. It was the level 2 ultrasound where they took measurements of the baby, check baby's major organs, feet, hands, fingers and also detected baby's gender. The scan went well and baby was growing at a steady rate.  As for the gender, we were so thrilled to find out that we were having a baby girl!!! We had a gender reveal party that weekend which was organized by our small group in CFC. If you want to see the video, click here--> The Ferns Gender Reveal Party
It's a girl!

Week 20.  I start to feel baby's kicks.  She's so active and could feel her movements especially when I am just sitting in the couch or laying in bed. It just feels surreal whenever I feel her move. What a glorious thing to grow a human being inside my belly. Amazing!

Week 20

Week 23. We had our hospital tour. We were informed where we would go during labor, where the visitors would wait, what we would need to bring in the hospital, what hospital amenities we could enjoy, and so on. It's helpful to know all these things so we could be better prepared and stress free when labor comes. We scheduled a birthing class and a breastfeeding class too in the following months.   

Week 24. Alan bought a new car! Not exactly pregnancy related but I guess this purchase is in preparation for our baby! Our 2006 Camry stopped working for the second time and so got towed and repaired again. This time it was the alternator. The other time we got stranded, the starter and motor mount had to be replaced. We just couldn't imagine getting stranded somewhere while baby is in the car. Definitely not good. We just see it fit that we get a second reliable car for baby. Welcome to the family Rose!

Food cravings. I have been into making smoothies out of fresh fruits and vegetables. I guess that's the reason why people recognize my glow. hehe. My skin has cleared up and noticed that my hair is extra shiny! Although to be honest, sometimes I do give in to unhealthy food too. I'm only human lol.

Strawberries, mangoes, banana, spinach and coconut water

Weight. I have gained 12 lbs (as of week 24) since the beginning of my pregnancy. For me, that's quite a lot! I'm only 5 feet tall so I'm only expected to gain another 16 lbs more. But I'm totally fine with it. All for the sake of the baby.

Week 24

Sleep. Sleeping was quite challenging. I was advised to sleep on my side and had to refrain from sleeping on my back Sleeping on my side caused me sore shoulders. I have also developed a carpal tunnel on my right wrist so when I sleep on my right side, it makes it worst. Thankful to my ever so loving husband because he helped me resolve my sleeping dilemma. He went online to look for great deals and got me a memory foam mattress topper and pillows. That made sleeping so much better. Thanks Daddy!

Week 26. Our dear friends from CFC pulled off a surprise baby shower for Alan and I. Please allow me to have some emo moment right now. Must be the prego hormones. We must have done something good to deserve this overwhelming love from them. We truly felt God's goodness in our life and God's validation of love to us through all of these amazing people. He put the right people at the right time in our life. Napakaswerte namin sa kaibigan! We loved everything from the party props, program, games, food, gifts and their heartwarming messages. We haven't bought a single thing for the baby and we are grateful that they generously gifted us with things that we will need for her. We can never thank them enough! Okay, enough of the rambling.. Here are some of the pictures from that memorable event! (Thanks to our dear friend Leah for these photos we will forever cherish!)

Can't believe we only have 3 months to go. I will surely miss this sweet time bonding with my baby in my tummy. But we can't also wait to see her, kiss her and hold her in our arms. 

Till next pregnancy update!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

13 weeks

I am so glad our little angel and I breezed through the first trimester! I thank the Lord that I was spared from morning sickness, nausea, food/smell aversion, spotting and cramping. This little one inside of me is truly an angel. Never had she/he made mommy feel awful. The only thing I had to struggle with was sleepiness and exhaustion. One of the early symptoms I had was falling asleep early at night and taking longer naps on the weekends. It was such a struggle keeping my eyes up during work especially in the afternoon. But now that I'm over the first trimester, I'm starting to feel like myself again!

On cravings, I didn't have any crazy cravings. I think between my husband and I, he's the one whose craving a lot. haha. I just like to eat healthy for our baby. I try to eat fruits and vegetables more. I try to keep my snacks healthy too (eg. yogurt, toast, nuts, granola bars). I have been trying my best to avoid food that offers no nutritional value like chips, processed food, soda, etc. Also I switched to drinking milk and stopped having coffee and tea because they make me run to the bathroom like crazy. Although this weekend, I treated myself for a bit of comfort food to celebrate the end of my first trimester!

Food trip at Ponce City Market
My tummy is already showing as my uterus has grown in size. From the size of a blueberry when I first found out, my baby has now grown to a size of a peach according to the baby app (what to expect). However, I don't have a decent bump yet. I just look like I'm bloated. I couldn't fit into my regular pants anymore so I'm living in my leggings and loose tops. So far, I haven't bought any maternity clothes yet. The only thing I've bought in my early weeks was a bellaband! It's a basic maternity band designed to hold up unbuttoned pants and no one has to know. It's pretty much like a spandex camisole although it fits right from your belly through your waist. No need to buy maternity pants. Lifesaver! Now that it's starting to warm up, I'll probably switch to maxi skirts and dresses soon. Also, since my belly is starting to stretch out a bit, I bought a pregnancy oil to avoid/reduce appearance of stretch marks. It also aids my belly from drying and itching. (thanks to YouTube for these pregnancy tips and must-haves!)

I had my first ultrasound on week 7 and that's when we had our first glimpse of our little angel. We also got to hear his/her heartbeat! On our next visit, I had my pap smear and blood work done around week 11 and everything was normal. We also heard the heartbeat again from a fetal doppler. It was music to our ears every time we heard the baby's heartbeat. Made me want to buy a at-home fetal doppler!

This pregnancy makes me more affectionate and cuddly to my husband. I don't know why but I just like smelling him, hugging him, kissing him more (sorry TMI!). I'm thankful I don't have mood swings either. Speaking of my husband, he's been so great in taking care of me and our little angel. He lovingly checks up on me at work everyday. He runs to the grocery store to buy my needs. He eagerly goes with me on every doctor's appointments. And most importantly, each day and each night, he blesses us and covers us with prayers (Numbers 6:24-26). Little angel, you are so blessed to be loved by an amazing daddy!

Saying hello to the 2nd trimester! Praying that baby will continue to grow healthy and that this pregnancy will stay calm and easy. 6 months to go. Till next time.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

8 weeks

Somehow, our dreams are unfolding exactly as they should. What we dream of happening is happening. Not exactly when we planned it to be, but in God's perfect timing!

Alan and I are excited and happy to share the wonderful news that, WE ARE EXPECTING A BABY! I've entered my 8th week and by October 25th, as I turn the big 3-0, I'll become a momma officially. I can hardly believe it. My heart just melts in awe and with overwhelming joy. 
This pregnancy is a testimony that the Lord's timing is always perfect! We have waited for 4 years to conceive. Waiting is never easy. But great things come to those who patiently wait. And here we are now, on to the next chapter as parents. Indeed, God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him!

The Lord definitely gave us enough time to prepare ourselves to become parents. Although, we can't be fully prepared, there are things I know for sure. First is that I have the best partner in the world. I know Alan will be one awesome, doting dad. And because it takes a village to raise a child, I'm grateful that God gave us very supportive family, friends and community. Lastly, I rest in the fact that the Lord shall and always will equip us and guide us in every way that matters. This is His beloved child whom we are greatly honored to nurture, love and care for. 

I hope you join us as we pray for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Thank you to all of you who prayed with us for this beautiful miracle. Thank you my dear prayer warriors.

excited to meet you all :)