Journey from here to okay

Today I had my first “day off” since giving birth. Even though my day off still consisted of preparing Z’s visa requirements and then applying for a visa, I was able to take a long, leisurely lunch all by myself. And I was able to sit down to have coffee after. I also started my 30×30 fitness challenge, 30 minutes of exercise for 30 days. And I felt a little bit like myself again. And as I sit here and write this, I wonder how time has passed so quickly. She’ll turn 2 months old tomorrow. And I feel like I just kind of woke up from a newborn fog, like I was living in a dream and a nightmare all at once. With all the excitement, nerves and exhaustion of newborn parenthood, I realized that nothing could have prepared me mentally or emotionally for it. This whole motherhood thing is so much harder than I thought it was going to be. When I was pregnant, I heard it all. The good, the bad, the ugly. I received warnings from other mothers advising me to sleep as much as I could, to take care of loose ends as much as possible and to go out and spend time with my husband as much as I can. I believed every word but that did NOT prepare me for the actual experience of it all.

Birth: Nailed It

Warning: If you’re iffy, then stop right here and close the browser. If not and you want to read about my delivery experience, then read on. I’m documenting this because it’s the most unique experience I have ever had and I don’t want to forget it especially now with my new mom brain.

So, here we go…

Midwife: Are you ready?
Me: Yep.
Midwife: Ok. Push.
Me: <deepest, longest breath I could muster><push>, <another long breath><push>, <one last breath><push>
Midwife: Well done. You pushed really well. This shouldn’t take long.
Me: Thank you. So how long does it usually take?
Midwife: Depends. Some just take 10-15 mins. Some an hour. Some 2 hours.
Me: 2 hours? That’s a long time…. <blah blah blah>. So how many kids do you have?
Midwife: <blah blah blah>
Me: Ok I think I feel another contraction coming.
Midwife: Ok, ready? Push.

40 weeks

I waited for some time before wanting to try for a baby. I knew what kind of pregnancy I wanted and I wanted to be ready. Financially, emotionally, mentally. But then it suddenly just happened. I accepted it with joy and an open heart but then I miscarried. It was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever gone through in my life. Or so I thought. A year after, I got pregnant again. And again miscarried. I thought it would be easier to accept the second time around. It wasn’t. Nothing will rock a mother to the core more than losing a baby, working through the grief and becoming pregnant again. There was nothing technically wrong with us,  so we kept on trying. A year after and month after month of disappointments, I gave up. I couldn’t take it anymore. If it happens, it happens. If not, I’ve made my peace with it. And just when we stopped, it happened again.

Maternity insurance in the UAE and the nightmare I went through

How to plan for pregnancy in the UAE….

Expectation:

  • Get health insurance with maternity
  • Have the company pay for it if you have a job
  • Get pregnant
  • Give birth

Reality:

  • Get health insurance with maternity
  • Company pays for half of it
  • Get pregnant
  • Company shuts down and you lose job
  • Insurance expires before your due date
  • Get quotes for 40k AED and above
  • Cry
  • Have anxiety attacks for 3 months
  • Cry some more. Cry a lot.
  • Finally end up paying 5 times as much as your current policy
  • The end

Dubai Canal

Just another weekend afternoon visiting the newly opened Dubai Canal boardwalk. And of course, photo opp!

Outfit details:
Cropped jacket: Bebe
Maxi dress: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Jimmy Choo
Shoes: Unknown boutique by the sidewalk in Paris
Necklace: Garage sale!

Paradise found – El Nido, Philippines

I’ve been meaning to write this blog. But meaning is different from doing. And since I never got around to doing it, just posting an entry full of pictures and videos of my second favorite island in the world, El Nido in the motherland, Philippines.

This is what greets you in one of the many islands making up the province.

Canyoneering in Badian, Cebu

Canyoneering in Badian, Cebu

I’ve been wanting to go canyoneering in Badian, Cebu for years but I only go home once a year so that pretty much limits my chances. We wanted to go 2 years ago and we had everything arranged but it got cancelled last minute as our supposed guide died during one of their treks. Yes, it can be that dangerous. But you think that stopped me? Yes! For 2 years! 😀 But then I went through something extremely difficult so I said, “If I can go through that, I definitely can jump 50 feet off a cliff”. So off to Badian we went.

Three

I haven’t written in a while. So much has happened. And there are so many stories to tell. But let me start with my favourite one…