Thursday, May 30, 2013

Essentials for a Newborn List

Josefina is not my first baby, so I have an experience in sorting out what is essential and what is just oh-so-cute.

(I remember, when I learned that I got pregnant the first time, I was in the mall every week, buying mostly greens and yellows ~ neutral colors when I didn't know its gender yet. And I was buying a lot of cute useless things. And you can't stop a new mom with this shopping spree. It's her right.)

But now I am sticking to just essentials. I have categorized them into (i) Need, will ensure I have these before I give birth (ii) Nice to have but not necessary and (iii) If I receive this I will just probably just give it away.

This list is for the first category. I am estimating I will not be able to go out for long periods of time during the first month, meaning whatever is needed will be bought by someone else. Also, these are the considerations on Josefina's first month once we arrive home:

(And I am constantly editing this post as I am nearing my due date.)

1. I have my trusted yaya of three years to look over Cecilia before she goes to school in the morning. This is Cecilia's second year of school, by June she'll be in Nursery in Miriam College Child Study Center.

2. Unlike before, I am not expecting my Mom to be by my side 24/7 since she is taking care of Dad due to his stroke this April. So no Pasig-Vacation for me.

3. I live in a 2 bedroom house ~ one is occupied by yaya's bed and Cecilia's bed, the other is occupied  by a King Sized-Bed. So a crib will probably stay in the living room.

4. I will continue my breastfeeding mantra. And this time I will avoid the use of disposables ~ diapers, baby wipes and tissue whenever possible.

5. I do not have any baby things anymore. I gave them all away. Now I am the one asking around for baby things.

6. I will try not to buy anything that can be borrowed and that can be asked for. 

What does a newborn do in their first month?

1. Sleep
2. Eat
3. Poop and pee
4. Bath (sponge bath for the first month for my baby)
5. A little stimulation
6. Pedia visit (twice, as I remember) and non-overnight visits to relatives.


A Place for Baby to Sleep

I intend to co-sleep with Josefina. So what I actually need are:

3 Aquazorb Towels as her sapin for her side of the bed.

Thanks Charm for the Pledge! Will be waiting for my 1 Yellow Aquazorb. =)
1 Super Baby Pillow 
4 Super Baby Pillow Covers
3 King Size Bed Fitted Sheets
1 King Size Bed Mattress Protector

Water-proof, meaning, Wee-wee proofing the bed mattress. Especially when a King Sized Bed is not easy to dry under the sun given a small garage.


8 Pigeon 8 ounces bottles with 0-3 months nipple size. and 1 Bottle and Nipple Organizer 

Yes I am breastfeeding but I need these just in case. And I am getting the 8-ounces bottles this time, since babies will not be able to hold their bottles until the 8th or 9th month. And I am sticking to Pigeon since I have tried and tested its durability (I used to buy different baby bottles in different shapes and sizes, but I have learned now.)

Cecilia is still bottle feeding, using 4 pieces of Red 8-ounce Pigeon bottles with the rubber largest nipple size. So as not to confuse both, I am getting White Colored Bottles for Josefina with Clear 0-3 months nipples.

I got these 4-oz bottles as a gift, I just bought preemie-sized nipples. If Bebeta brand does not work for me I am definitely buying Pigeon. (As I mentioned, my goal is to spend as little as possible since the whole time I am pregnant I am a SAHM.)

I also will use Cecilia's Bottle Organizer ~ one of those green stuff I impulsively bought when I did not know her gender yet.

1 New Microwave 

What we have now is still working, but I want a new one to be used only for sterilizing the bottles and the breast pump.

1 Microwaveable Sterilizer

I am using Cecilia's microwaveable sterilizer for Josefina. Still okay after almost 5 years, to be used with 200ml water, 600degrees at 6 minutes:

1 old school whistle kettle

I can't find the kettle I used for Cecilia. I can't remember giving it away... 

Yaya found it somewhere and it's still working perfectly fine. It still whistles.

2 Bottle and Nipple Brush 

To differentiate, I'll buy white ones for Josefina, and still pink for Cecilia.

Antibac Dishwashing Liquid

I used to buy Pigeon's Bottle and Nipple Cleaner since it's supposed to be all natural and edible. And sosyal and expensive. But I learned how to make my own dishwashing liquid, and I can make the antibacterial variant.

1 manual breast pump

I am not leaving the house for work until next year 2014, so I can manually express my milk for the meantime and make others feed the baby. 

I got myself this inexpensive Manual Pump. I'm looking forward to direct feeding since I am staying at home [until forever]


24 Cloth Diapers with Inserts

I intend to use cloth diapers for Josefina since I have yaya to wash them for me. And it's environmentally friendly since I am not adding up to the pile of diapers in the landfill. And they are cute. And there's a whole Cloth Diapering Movement I want to be a part of.

I have already stripped wash 9 out of 24:

48 pcs. Newborn Disposable Diapers

It's starting to rain and I have to be realistic. My yaya of three years might leave me if I exclusively cloth diaper Josefina. (But I actually intend to, if possible)

1 Baby Bath Tub Basin 

What I got for Cecilia was the expensive-social-safety-first-cute-froggie-baby-bath-tub that she used only until 4 months old. It's in green since I did not know her gender when I bought it at 4 months pregnant.

I'm thinking of getting just the net that holds the baby, and bathe Josefina in the sink.

I bought this for 199php in one of my Girl Time Outs in Trinoma. And yes, I have decided to not buy the baby bath tub anymore. 

(But I loved Cecilia's Safety First Green Froggie Baby Basin because it has its own drain.)

2 Rubber Changing Mat

I need two of these, in rotation. So one can be cleaned and put out to dry outside. Breastfed babies' poop are almost liquid, and they sometimes spill on the rubber mat. And babies need diaper changes every 3 to 4 hours. 

Got these as gifts as well. I prefer these basic rubber mat than the other oh-so-cute, oh-so-expensive-that-comes-in-pretty-overpriced-diaper-bags but are actually useless rubber changing mats. 

I am the practical mom now. =) I'll save those thousands for Josefina's gasoline to-and-from her school when she's studying.

1 Bottle Lactacyd Blue

I got these from Mom, Hypoallergenic Soaps. (And I will really use them). Anyway, I remember the hospital Kit that they give for newborns in St. Lukes include a bottle of Lactacyd Blue. 

I bought this as well. I don't know why. 

If I remember correctly, the Newborn Hospital Kit in St Lukes includes one bigbottle of Lactacyd Blue so I am not buying one anymore. 


4 Big Bottles Alcohol

They come in Lemon, Green Tea, and Guava variants.

1,000 pieces of Cotton Balls

500 tips of Cotton Buds
1 Tube Drapolene

I have tried Desitin, but I like Drapolene more because of its lotion-like feel on baby's butt. And it does not smell like Desitin. Need this just in case.

Available in my nearby walking distance grocery SM Savemore GSIS Village.

1 Lock and Lock 

This is for storing the cotton balls with water for cleaning baby

1 Diaper Pail with Cover

This goes inside the bathroom, where used cloth diapers are to be stored before the laundry time.


12 Tie-Sides

I have started to ask around for hand me downs and I wish I will be able to complete all 12 pieces without buying anything. (I think I used to have more than 4 dozens of different brands and sizes and style during Cecilia's time. Very impractical.)

I have 3 out of 12 now:

These are from Baby Dylan, got it when i visited him last weekend. 

Thanks, Tina and Lars.  

I got these as gifts as well. These are the exact same brand I loved for Cecilia. I have 9 out of 12 now.

3 Pairs Baby Socks

Yes, I will stick to just three during Josefina's first month. No matter how cute they are.

Hand Me Down:

I said I'll stick to three pairs. But Baby is not out yet and I already have more than 3 pairs.

  Thanks so much Ms. Tin for the hand me downs

3 Pairs Baby Mittens

I remember putting mittens on Cecilia only for the first month. But after her first nail trim, I wanted her to get used to her fingers.

4 Swaddling Cloths

3 Pieces Bigkis

Visits from Lolas who look for the bigkis is inevitable. I must have 3 of these so that when they visit, Josefina is wearing one. I don't want to argue with tradition.

1 Piece Bonnet

I don't think this is necessary since newborns are always swaddled. I just need to have one just in case the Lolas and the Older Titas look for one. This will probably stay inside the baby diaper bag. Again, I don't want to argue with tradition.

12 Pieces Old School Lampin 

These are to be used as burp cloth, and all around wipe everything. 

I found 7 in my closet! =)

24 Pieces Small Cotton Cloths

I am thinking of using these for all around wiping, instead of baby wipes and tissue. I don't exactly know what they are called, but I know one when I see one in the department store.

4 Peg Clothes Dryer

I am cloth diapering now, and I intend to lessen the use of tissue, baby wipes and disposable diapers. So I am expecting a heavier load of laundry everyday. (Thanks yaya!)

12 Pieces Adult Sized Hangers

Baby Hangers look cute in the baby cabinet, but it is easily outgrown. I don't have the luxury of space anymore so I am getting the adult sized hangers this time.

I found these lying around Mom's house. So I took them.

4 Bars Perla for Hand Washing

One Month Supply of Laundry Powder

Yaya prefers the Laundry Powder in Sachets since she said it's more easy to control per washload.



My mother in law will probably look for the stroller she gave Cecilia (which I gave away when she has outgrown it)

Diaper Bag

I am probably not buying myself a diaper bag this time since I realized any bag will do. A back pack is probably bettter. And besides, I'll have two kids with me when going out.

Extra Diaper Bag for the Car

One is for going out, another stays in the car so I don't have to carry a very big bag of everything.

This is a hand me down Diaper Bag that I intend to use from Ms. Tin. I'll make this the Car Diaper Bag. 

And now, looking back, I don't know why I had more than 8 Diaper Bags of different brands, colors and styles that I ended up giving away as well. 

Nursing Bib

I see a lot of new designs and style of nursing bibs. I am not sure if I am buying myself one since a shawl will probably do. (I used to love the Next9 nursing bib that I had with Cecilia.)



No, I am not buying one of those baby cabinets anymore. It is easily outgrown, takes up a lot of precious space. If somebody pledges to buy me a baby cabinet, I will ask him to buy me the adult-sized one.  

But for the meantime I need storage for Josefina's things. I am eyeing a cabinet here at home that used to stack old component systems - when speakers and equalizers had their own big boxes. It will stay in the living room with the Crib from Leo since Cecilia and Yaya's room are not to be disturbed during the night.


A digital thermometer will do.  But I hope someone has a spare ear thermometer for me.

Did I forget anything?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cost of Having a Baby

1. Everything starts with a home pregnancy test.

Splurge: 120php in Mercury Drug ~ (The brand is Medic, the commercialized one that comes in a box.)
Save: 40php-60php Pregnancy Test Kits that comes in sachets, sold in Watsons, usually in the cashier counter beside the condoms, lubricants and candies.

Mine worked well at the 60php-Save. I just can't remember which of the many sachet-brands I used.

That's a faint positive. But positive as well. I always have a stash of these sachet-pregnancy test kits at home since I am not using any contraceptives and knowing that I am pregnant at its early early days is beneficial for both of us.

Assuming I used the 50php pregnancy kit sachet, and I used 2 to be sure of the result:

TOTAL as of #1:  100php

2.  Pre-Natal Vitamins Before Conceiving

Even before conceiving, it is advisable to drink Folic Acid. This is to avoid neural tube defects in the baby.

I did not track my vitamin consumption, but ideally, three months before conceiving a woman should be preparing her body for pregnancy. This means stop the bad habits ~ smoking, drinking, sleeping late. She should start treating her body as if she were already pregnant.

Save: I buy myself Folart which costs 6php each + Generic Ferrous Sulfate Fersulfate from United Home, 100 tablets at 100php, I think.
(6php x 90days) + 100php = 640php
Splurge: Sometimes when I have extra money I buy Iberet with Folic Acid which costs 17php each.
17 x 90days = 1530php

I can't remember how many times I bought myself Folart and how many times I bought Iberet with Folic. I am assuming 45 days of Save and 45 Days of Splurge:

TOTAL as of  #2:  1185php

3. First Ob-Gyne Visit

Sadly in this pregnancy I don't have Van Breda, THE insurance ~ and don't ever remind me why, I'll just cry. Haha. Anyway I have insurance from my husband to cover the Ob-Gyne Consultations.

I visited an accredited OB-Gyne of Lacson and Lacson. Her clinic is in Health Dev in Ateneo which is supposed to be convenient for me. And I did not pay anything for the consultation fee.

I have had three Consultations with her in my first trimester. She gave me a prescription of pre-natal vitamins, gave me a doctor's request for Transvaginal Ultrasound, and a series of routinary tests which include getting my blood and getting my urine.

The Health Dev Clinic in Ateneo does not have a Laboratory so when I got home I searched for Clinics/Laboratories which offers these. And that's when I realized Ateneo's Lacson and Lacson Insurance Policy does not cover Maternity and maternity related expenses.

Laboratory Tests and Transvaginal Ultrasound:

Save: Neomedica Health Services Inc. in Congressional Avenue, Quezon City for the following rates:
125php CBC
90php Urine
190php HBSau
110php VDRL

750php Transvaginal Ultrasound

Splurge: I remember calling the Satellite The Medical City Clinic in Trinoma, their Transvaginal Ultrsound costs 1,800php. Same goes for The Medical City in Waltermart, Munoz.

I had mine in NeoMedica. I found out about them in, surprisingly. Make sure you call first, their number is 9296055 and they are located in Congressional Avenue cor Mindanao Avenue. What I like there is they have parking space without charging anything.

First Trimester Vitamins and Milk as recommended by the first Ob-Gyne:

Folic Acid 1 tab @ 7.75 x 1 day x  30 days = 232.50php

Preggy Milk, one cup per day

TOTAL as of  #3: 2682.50 php

4. Second Ob-Gyne Visit: Feeling Heavy

What's not good about clinics which does not have the complete package is that after results of your Lab Tests are done, you have to painstakingly schedule another consultation, drive and go back to the doctor so that they can see the results.


This time I was already feeling heavy. And we saw that I have Subchrionic Hemorrhage. Whatever that means, I just feel heavy. So she prescribed Duphaston for me:

3 times a day @58.75php each for 30 days : 5287.50php

Cecilia is studying in Child Study Center in Miriam College, and her Pediatrician is also in Health Dev.

TOTAL as of #4: 7970 php

5. Third Ob-Gyne Visit

I was still feeling heavy so I went back to her, and she prescribed Duphaston again:

3 times a day @58.75php each for 30 days : 5287.50php

I also asked how much an Elective Cesarian costs. She gave me an estimate of 100,000 for Cesarian, but still insisted that I go on a normal delivery. I learned that she is not with St. Lukes's, where I want to give birth.

Looks like she's not getting me. 

TOTAL as of #5: 13,257.50php

6. First My-Own Ob-Gyne Visit

In my second trimester I decided to go back to my old OB-Gyne because I feel more comfortable with her, she knows my history (and how much pain I can tolerate = ZERO). She's not accredited with Lacson and Lacson, so I have to pay her consultation fee of 600php.

Plus 50php parking in St. Luke's QC since she does not have any clinic hours in Healthway, SM North  where I used to consult with her.

She prescribed my Second Trimester Pre-Natal Vitamins:

Hemarate 1 tab @_____ 1 x Day  for 90 days = _____php
Caltrate 1 tab @_____ 3 x Day for 90 days = _____php
OB Smart 1 tab @ ____ 1 x Day for 90 days = _____php

Preggy Milk, one cup per day.

And she wanted another Ultrasound for baby. I told her I did not have insurance this time so I'll do the Pelvic Ultrasound in NeoMedica. I paid 800php for the Neo Medica Pelvic Ultrasound.

TOTAL as of # 5: ______php

7. Unsuccessful Ob-Gyne Visit

I wasted gas and 50php parking fee since I arrived late. She already left for St. Luke's Global City in Taguig. (Gas Expenses in a different household category)

TOTAL as of #6: ______php

8.  Ob-Gyne Visit

It took me more than a month to go back to her since I prefer staying at home and sleeping. (and all other reasons)

 I decided I wanted to give birth in St. Luke's Global City in Taguig, so I might as well have my check us there. And yes, I will religiously go back to her starting now.

600php Consultation Fee
800php Pelvic Ultrasound right inside her office.

50php parking fee

TOTAL as of #8:  _______php

9.  Pregnancy Milk

I don't like drinking preggy milk. But I have to. I will always update this number, as I have not decided what brand I like. I have tried a few:

824.50php Anmum Chocolate Big Can 800g

I had a very big rat (rodent) Rat Problem in January. That rat scared us - he manages to climb the window to go inside the house at night.

So I had to throw this big can of Anmum away. Plus clear the pantry of everything it can eat. Good thing it was a one night thing.

307php for 350g Nestle Mom and Me Milk Vanilla . Much cheaper but, this is the worst Pregnancy Milk that I have tasted. It has a weird (malansa) after taste. Still I finished the box, drinking it as if I were drinking Ginebra and water as chaser. (Gin Bulag).

TOTAL as of #9: _________php

10. Stretchmarks Creams

Yes I have stretchmarks and will continue to have stretchmarks but I still choose to spend on my tummy.

750php The Body Shop Cocoa ButterMoisture Stick


Sunday, May 26, 2013

On Hoarding

These were taken exactly a year ago, when Faith needed me to hoard detergent for her.

 Then we had a not so good Caramel Kemer in a CoffeeBreak in Waltermart Munoz.

I hope this year she needs me to hoard detergent for her again.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hand Me Downs for Josefina

Today I drove to Pasig.

Brought Mixed CDs from my High School and College Days:

I intend to dispose of these as well after I listen to them. (Narda's EP with 4 tracks ~ the ones you get in 100php gigs with one free beer; Break Out Compilation ~ as I remember, this is from Diane which has the Sway track; "Songs Kung Anu-Ano From Myles" ~ Yna's husband now; and South Border oldies from I really can't remember where.

I spent lunch this weekend in Tina's house. She gave birth to Dylan last February. That's Tina and Rhea.

And I have hand me downs from Dylan for Josefina ~ 3 long sleeved tie-sides. Thanks!!

And I have Belly Buds!! Why didn't I know about this in my last pregnancy?

10 June 2013:

An update on Dylan:

This weekend we visited him in The Medical City. Good thing he is getting well and it was nothing more serious than fever from virus.

Did not get the chance to talk to Lars and Tina, but I left her magazines to read, and super useful Alcohol for Dylan (this is going to be a standard gift from me to Cecilia's Baby Friends)

It was their wedding anniversary, too.

Night Shift

For almost three years, I worked in the night shift, too. (Well, there were almost-day-shift days as well.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Home Organizing: Decluttering By Giving Them Away 3

I have spent the first half of this year watching all the VCDs and DVDs that I have. (And control myself not to buy anything I will not be able to watch).

Then I give them away.

Dead Poets Society, Elizabeth: Golden Age, Mona Lisa Smile, Belly Dance, Working Out (from Mom), and Pilates Matwork.

Good thing Lara said her VCD player is still working. And I'm sure she'll enjoy the workout videos.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pre-natal and Pregnant Massage Services in Quezon City

I am seriously looking for massage services available in Quezon City. And I made a few calls today:

1. Mom Massage

Contact details: 391-8599

I was able to speak to the therapist Lizette. They only do home service (which  have not tried yet.) She said they are based in Antipolo so coming to Project 8, Quezon City, where I live costs an additional 200php.

Cost of Massage: 1000php
Transportation Cost: 200php

Total: 1,200php

Lizette gave me her number 0908-5243686, and told me to just contact her whenever I am ready for the massage. Looks like it's not hard to book their services.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Home Organizing: Decluttering by Giving Them Away 2

I am always happy hearing good news of new birth. This is Baby Sapphire, born not more than one month ago to the lovely couple Dannah and Omar.

Inasmuch as I want to visit like I used to do when I was single(and unpregnant), I just make use of the internet connection at home that we have and the friendly very convenient Xpress Courier Solutions to keep in touch with pretty moms and send them gifts.

Good thing Dannah said she'll be able to use these because Cecilia has outgrown these already:

I want to change Cecilia's baby cabinet as well. I'll get the adult sized cabinet this time.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Home Organizing: Decluttering by Selling Them

You painstakingly go to every costume store possible to find her the cutest costume.

Bring her to your office at 6 in the morning so she can join activities

I love you Cecilia.

October 2010
My little chicken.

In as much as I want to keep more things - things that make me smile, I will let other kids have fun with them too.

Masakit sa puso but I sold it online.

Thanks Kimi!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Barangay Sangandaan, Quezon City Health Center

Thanks to Marjorie I learned that the Health Center gives immunizations to babies for free. So I asked around - Chelle, a neigbor who had all her pre-natal check-up and vaccinations for her first child. I also read forums - Angeli, who is a government nurse in one of the Manila Health Centers.  I realized that I have to sign up and have my pre-natal check up with the Barangay Sangandaan Quezon City Health Center first so I'll have my own record as a buntis in the barangay.

I have all the time in the world to wait and line up. Good thing I decided to go the Barangay Sangandaan Quezon City Health Center first thing in the morning, I did not wait more than 15 minutes to have my name listed.

The first woman I spoke to asked for a donation of 20 pesos, then gave me a long brown envelop. She said this will be used up until my baby is born and ready to be vaccinated.

I was third in line, and just like a normal first time pre-natal check up, the nurse asked me about my history, background, got my weight as well. Then I waited for my turn.

While waiting, they gave us reading materials on family planning, newborn care, breastfeeding, hygiene and birth planning.

 I had a good chat with Ms. Anna the midwife. I was honest and told her I am sure to give birth in a hospital under the care of my Ob-Gyne, but I just wanted to have a record in our Barangay Sangandaan, Quezon City Health Center.

She informed me of how I can save up on my hospital bills since I plan to give birth again in St. Luke's Quezon City. She told me that they are offering Maternity Packages that I can ask my Ob-Gyne about, and informed my about the current rooming-in policy of hospitals now.

(I read about Maternity Packages today and this link is very helpful)

We also talked about Barangay Health Workers and how now they are not allowed by the Department of Health to let mothers give birth at home. I also used to work for the government and we sort of share the same sentiment with the system when you have the heart to serve. Oh government.

She wanted to give me my first shot to Tetanus Toxoid, but I decided not to because I cannot remember my Ob-Gyne giving me one on my first pregnancy. This I will have to consult first then I'll go back to Ms. Anna.

I also had a dental check up, but the dentist was in a hurry and told me to leave my records with them because she's going to have breakfast and that I can go back the following day to have the temporary filling of my unfinished (sigh) root canal procedure fixed. Oh government.

Anyway I have an appointment with my dentist this May so I'm not sure I'm going back to the Barangay Sangandaan Quezon City Health Center Dentist anymore.

I walked home happy knowing that (at least here in Barangay Sangandaan, Quezon City where I live), pregnant women have access to maternal health care.

I did not avail of all the free vitamins they are giving since my Ob-Gyne recommends a different brand. But I got the Anmum discount coupons, iron supplements and mommy-baby record book. 

My next pre-natal check up with them is on June 5th.

(Thanks for the From-Malaysia-With-Love-Dress, Ate Yvette. The photo below shows Cecilia's drawing of me in this Dress.)