Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Breast Surprise Ever!

In case my boss is reading this I would like to assure the internet public that in all seriousness I am no porn star nor do I have a video scandal uploaded or have any existing nude photos. Heck, I am not even scandal-worthy to begin with but lately my breasts had made their debut on our company's production floor, five times a week, two to three times a day. I still believe in modesty.

The what, where, and why is fairly easy. Since my transition back to work from maternity leave, my office peeps had reveled and cringed at my new and strange habits. My breast pump kit looked like an additional appendage that grew after my pregnancy. I didn't realize how it has become a part of me that work mates would unconsciously look for the familiar breast sucker the moment I come in for work.

I've basically compiled my Top 10 Favorite Breastfeeding Questions a Single Non-parent Friend asks:

Q1: Is that your lunchbox/toolbox/bag?

A: It's my breast pump.

Q2: Why do you have that?

A: To dry my hair.

Q3: Where the hell do you pump?

A: Tried it a couple of times in the bathroom stall. Freak out a girl in the next stall with the squeaking sound. Didn't work. I now do it on the floor.

Q4: Does it hurt when you pump?

A: Before, yeah my nipples cracked. Now, they're callused. Feels so much better now.

Q5: Aren't you worried that somebody might catch a glimpse of your boobs?

A: I don't mind. They can watch my girls 'in action' up close and personal but they have to hold the pump when I have to take a call.

Q6: What is THAT sound?

A: Oh. It's not the computer. It's what I'm doing under the jacket.

Q7: Are you TOUCHING your breast?!

A: I have to.

Q8: You're going to do this until…?

A: Until I lose the last thirty pounds.

Q9: Have you tasted your breast milk?

A: It goes well with Oreo cookies.

Q10: Can I borrow your jacket? (Officemate proceeded to grab my jacket)

Me: You don't wanna do that!!!

Seatmates in rows 1 to 4: Eeeeeeew!!!

The answer to question number 4 had a friendly security guard shudder and walk away with his eyes closed. The mental picture proved to be too much for him but do these people realize how hard it is for me? I mean at all?

My work activity starts like this:

4am - unplug my right breast from Butterball's mouth and decide whether I would like to wake up or go back to sleep.

4:30am - pee, make oatmeal, pump my left breast while trying to relax and gulp down the hot mug of oatmeal and pray I could pump at least 4 ounces.

5:15am - take a shower, get dressed, brush teeth, prepare stuff while moving like a ninja around the room, praying that Butterball won't wake up yet.

5:50am - out of the door;come back and kiss Phlegmy and Butterball; shred guilty feelings and finally out the door.

6am to 7:30am - take calls; break time; have breakfast in 5 minutes; sterilize my pump and go back to the floor.

8am to 8:45am - stealthily pump milk WHILE taking calls (can I write this skill in my resume?)

9am to 9:50am - buy lunch for nanny Cor; take the 10-minute walk home; refrigerate expressed milk and breastfeed Butterball in case he needs 'extra'; play with him for a few minutes then go back to work.

10 am to 12:15pm - take calls; take the 15-minute break to wolf-down lunch in 5 minutes; sterilize pump again; go back to the floor and pray for three second zen and take calls.

1:30 to 2:30pm - pump again; praying and willing myself to relax to get 6 ounces.

3pm - crawl out of the office door; make a split-second decision on what to buy for dinner; speed walk home.

3:20pm - Butterball and I hug because we miss each other terribly or he was just looking for my breast.

WOW! Didn't realize I pray so much in a day.

That is just a slice of what I do. So the next time you see me sterilize my breast pump with hot water, hogging the water dispenser, don't give me a weirded look. Give me props up by simply saying "Hey Cherry, you got milk!"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Your Day Again!

Happy 4 months, Butterball!

Technically, it was last Sunday (Feb 7) but better late than never right? Your nanny, your sister, and I were so damn happy and proud like you found the cure for common cold. We gathered around you and cooed our greetings. . I’m sure it looked like a vagina convention to you what with 2 and half women crowding the bed and you staring up at us with one eyebrow raised. We were just celebrating your milestone, sweetheart.

And with that here are things you’d like to know on your 4 months:

· You tipped the scales at 20 lbs. I stopped marking the charts on our second well-baby check when I noticed you are way above the red line on weight, length, and head circumference. The doctors would take one look at you and then at me, we’d both laugh and she’d throw away the pen. What can I say, you are a big baby.

· You love to grab ANYTHING! It is kinda strange when you we’d just dressed you up, I’d reach for your favorite toy and I’d come back with you holding your shirt up and your tummy exposed for everyone to see. Look, mommy I can take my shirt almost off now! But you really love practicing your iron grip hold on anybody’s hair unfortunate enough to be within your grasp. You seem to think you’d hit bonus points when we yelp in pain so we’d just giggle with you through tears of pain. You still think this is hilarious.

· You bite, kick, and hit. Well instinctively at least otherwise we have ourselves a big problem. The first time you hit me with your arm; my glasses came off and clattered to the floor. I was reeling like drunk! My LITTLE baby hit me?!!! What The Flower was that all about? The first time you kicked me was when I was too slow and asleep to pop out a breast for you. The next thing I know BAM! I was doubled over on the bed, jolted awake, groaning. You smiled because you still think its 50 points if mommy grunts or cries in pain. What The Fish was that?! Yes you also bit me, hon. you balled your fist and pushed my hand to your mouth. I thought you need some comfort sucking so I gave you my pinkie. You started to strain your little body with all the strength you could muster and bit into it. I thought it was hilarious and your gums could really do no damage until you started clamping on my nipple. What The Faction?!!! Mother Fornicator!!!

· Phlegmy kept giving me mocha chiffon cake to eat. When I was choking down on the 4th slice she keeps shoving down my throat, I asked why we’re doing this when I KNOW I am not on an emotional eating marathon. “It’s not for you, ma” she said with her eyes glued to the netbook and her hand armed with another cake chunk “It’s for the little guy on his fourth month” Oh I see. He can have his cake and drink it too and mommy can keep the calories.

· We (actually nanny and your dad) got worried when you didn’t poop for 3 straight days and when you did it was minimal. The parenting book I read said this was normal but the majority (who didn’t read the book) wanted to go to the professionals. Naturally, we obliged. The doc recommended a drink of water to help get things moving along and if THAT still won’t work, its prune juice for you little man. I found out what an obliging little creature you are as well because the moment we got home you gave us not one, not two but four reeking diapers. When nanny started complaining about how you shit so much now, we just rolled our eyes and secretly high fived. You really can’t please everybody. It’s shitty if you don’t, shitty if you do.

· Your sister, Phlegmy had finally stopped asking what-if-he-grows-up-gay questions. Finally. We’ve pretty much covered that NO, having a boyfriend in the future will not influence you to also get a boyfriend. And NO, she doesn’t have to get a girlfriend just to influence you to stay and bat for the same team. And YES, if you grow up gay you might use the name Lucy. And YES, even if you grow up gay we’d still love you the same. I’m still looking through a microscope hoping to find your sister’s paranoid DNA and fry those little suckers.

· You’ll shriek in delight at very strange situations and can reduce intelligent adults into baby-talking blabbering idiots. I’ve tried tickling you until I’m blue in the face and you’d just raise an eyebrow plainly questioning my sanity but when the doc was explaining some steps in her normal speaking voice, you giggled! Of course, she would turn to you because you are cuteness. So there I was taking notes and trying to keep up. My notes read: First you have to offer goo gaa gaa…and THEEEE-EN if that still won’t work..right baby? You offer ano-ther…awooo… Wa! Wa! Wa! And I lost the rest as she planted a raspberry on your tummy. You giggled again. At a stranger! I love my little traitor.

· And on your fourth month I feel nothing but gratitude that we have you here, little guy. As young as you are I think you know that you have all of us wrapped around your finger. It will always be that way.

I love you, Butterball.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Waterproof Ducks and Holy Caps

Welcome to the Christian world, Butterball!
Today started with me, your dad, Phlegmy, and nanny Cor waking bleary eyed in preparation for a very traditional rite of passage: Christening. We have to be prepared to go the church at 8am for a very traditional act of registering you first. Your nanny Cor, whom I secretly think was a drill sergeant in her past life, pushed and shoved for us to be ready before the time even if the church is just 3 minutes away by taxi. Your sister, Phlegmy decided to have her period because maybe she thinks it’s auspicious to have something red for this special day in your life. Your papa decided to wear the brand new red shirt he bought just for today. Heck, if I had my way I’d make my breast milk red too just to get in on the action. And there you were like your sweet little self at the center of all this crazy.
A few things I learned today Butterball is that we are powerless of all things that eventually may happen. It is important to paste a grin on your face and let things roll off your back like a waterproof duck. I’ve compiled a list of all the realizations that if it wasn’t for you, it would have brought me to my knees.
*We are powerless in a roomful of mothers breastfeeding their babies in plain view that I can take mental notes on whose nipples is a shade lighter or darker than mine.
*Powerless in an hour-long pre-Jordan seminar with a very bad speaker system and speakers who called your godparents “spoon-surs” NUMEROUS fucking times that I wanted to bang my head against the wall.
*Powerless that your sister’s menstrual cramps almost made her faint that I had to let nanny Cor hold you and made sure that she is ok.
*Powerless that I didn’t have enough time to buy you a white cap for the actual pouring of water that we had to use your blue baseball ‘holy’ cap instead.
*Powerless over your godparents and how I forgot that they have creative ways of using an SLR and a church altar backdrop. You will see the pictures little guy, and by then we would have contributed your college fund for the church’s renovation just so they won’t excommunicate us and yes, you can’t bring those pictures to school for future school bring-this assignments.
*I also felt powerless that that we went way over the budget when we treated everybody who came for lunch. Don’t blame me; the church roof had to be replaced.
*I felt way powerless that your papa’s cousins are too socially inept that they can’t be bothered to smile or say hi even if it is also the first day we met. I’m sorry that our first meeting just reinforced my opinion of them (But this doesn’t cover your grandma B. She has honorary place to be as difficult as she wants because she is your papa’s mother. Remember son that all MOTHERS are afforded that. )
*Powerless of how great you are! I was beaming because you smiled at everybody, frowned at the camera but didn’t cry for once. And did I tell you that you tried to suck at your Tita A’s breast? That was hilarious.

And while we are dispensing list, I have compiled a yet another list of who to go to when you run into issues. Keep in mind that I will always be there for you and you should come to me first but if you find me the bane of your existence when you reach puberty your godparents are also there as an option (Great mom, it’s just what I need. Another adult to share something embarrassing with) This may be a little premature when you haven’t even reached your first year mark yet but then again I’m your mother. I’d like to get things covered.


If you need a little calm in a storm and get some level headed advice, go to tita Michelle. She may get confused about her own issues sometimes but she can be clearheaded when it comes to other people’s craziness.

Tito Eds can give you money advice and know-how but not ways to carry a baby.

Tito AD (Mel to me and Winnie-the-pooh to some) can give you witty repartees and snide side comments. And he is most eager for me to die so he can have you as his instant child.

Tita Mer is the best person to just hang out with and laugh yourselves silly. How she takes care of her family is also admirable. Go to her when you think I’m overbearing (when I’m just being a mom) don’t blame me about your cheeks. You got it from her.

Let’s face it, you’ll be a hormonal teenager some day so for sex advice, go to your tita A. I can guarantee you the best advice you’d get.

So there it is, Butterball. Welcome to the Christian world!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


2010 marks a very special milestone for me for several reasons. The most glaring of all reasons would stare at me as I would stare back at him every morning, both of us playing this waiting game. Him, waiting for a breast to spring on him. I, waiting for him to cry because "they" said it’s a great lung exercise. He never does go for that crap, by the way.
The special milestone? Being a mother again after 10 long years. Just when all convenient knowledge of holding down a squirming, soapy baby and reaching out for a placed too-far towel had already been wiped out from your memory. An accidental mother at 31 wasn't on my priority list. Don't get me wrong. I love being a mom. God knows, I've raised a baby daughter into a precocious child and into tweenhood with my limbs still intact and had thought of doing it again. You know, after buying a house when I’m able to AFFORD one. And yet again, there I was on the operating table, with an orderly pummeling me to a perfect C with my butt exposed. Yes, I left what dignity I've grown back at the hospital door again. With butt exposed. Again.
I find this reason special enough to start my own blog. Aside from the fact that I still seem to have remnants of anesthesia and is demolishing what memory capability is left so writing about it means that I am not imagining things.
So here’s to hoping that you’ll find some humor in me reconciling what I did then to what is happening now. We are all on the same boat, after all, when we become parents. How is it going for you so far?