Pieces of Donna: BLESSINGS
BLESSINGS From the column Pieces of Donna Republished with permission from TheFreeMan (Cebu)   My husband, Yong and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary last Tuesday, September 19th. We had dinner at Shangri-la Mactan Resort's Italian restaurant, "Acqua". We usually celebrate our anniversary or my birthday (Valentine's Day) there because Yong knows that it is my favorite place here in Cebu. Formerly called Paparazzi, the place just finished its renovation and I was surprised at the change. Although the food was excellent, as usual, I still prefer the old Paparazzi's ambience. Personally, it was very romantic and the lighting was more relaxing and pleasing to the eyes.  
What made our anniversary different and more special this time is this new blessing that God has given us. We are going to have a baby again! I found out that I was pregnant last Friday, September 16th, only three days before our anniversary.
I wanted to make sure that it's really positive so I tested about five times and the tests were all positive! It is such a wonderful anniversary gift from God. Perfect timing talaga! We are very excited to have another baby in the family. Even our kids, Belle, 6, and Cian, 4, are thrilled! Cian is going to be a kuya soon! Belle, I think, is the most excited of all!! She's the one who keeps asking me "when my tummy is gonna get big", "how the baby looks like now" and Belle is even thinking of baby names already and she is actually good at it! One of our helpers is also pregnant. She thinks that her baby is a girl, so Belle suggested a name for her baby... Crystal. Erlin, our helper liked it so much that if it's really a girl, she said she would give her that name.   Now that I'm pregnant again, I cannot help but recall my past pregnancies. I did not know what to expect then, being my first pregnancy. It was actually an easy one with Belle. No morning sickness, no backaches and headaches and I did not feel stressed at all. The only symptoms I had with Belle were the pre-menstrual-like cramping and mood swings but after the first trimester, they all went away and my appetite had increased so much and ultimately, I gained 75 pounds during my pregnancy with her! I also loved to dress and fix myself up! Even if I have put on a lot of weight, I felt good about the way I looked.  
A lot of people guessed that I was carrying a baby girl because of my appearance and demeanor. And so, when I got pregnant with Cian, I expected to have the same symptoms.
But to my surprise, the exact opposite happened! My skin started to break out, I felt nauseated and fatigued, and I was not in the mood to go out at all. I just wanted to stay at home being too lazy to even get dressed. And this time for my third pregnancy, I am feeling nauseous again (on and off though!) and my face is starting to break out (again!) but it's still too early to tell. I know now that one's pregnancies are never guaranteed to be alike. I just hope that it's going to be an easy one! I am not complaining at all; don't get me wrong, okay? I am just trying to recall how different my symptoms were with both my kids and what I am experiencing now.  
But let me tell you, all of these are so worth it, even the difficulty during labor and childbirth, as soon as you see your precious baby! God has truly blessed us with Belle and Cian, and now, this little one growing in my belly!
  What really helped us conceive this time, aside from our prayers (of course!), was discovering that there are websites that you could go to whether you are still trying to conceive or during one's pregnancy. I would regularly browse these sites, read the message boards and copy a lot of useful tips and advice that they have there about trying to conceive, parenting, first time moms, etc. It is like the book "What to Expect When You're Expecting" only in a website form and from the numerous message boards you could surely find that would fit your individual needs. I really learned a lot from these sites and I am happy to share them with you.   1. www.twoweekwait.com - Everything you wanted to know about early pregnancy symptoms to give you hope and inspiration on your two-week wait is here. I advice you to read the abbreviations first before you read the success stories and message boards so you won't get confused. Some examples of the abbreviated words used on this site are: TTC for Trying To Conceive; DH -- Dear Husband; BFP -- Big Fat Positive (pregnancy test result); BFN -- Big Fat Negative (funny but cute no?); AF -- Aunt Flo (monthly period); POAS -- Pee On A Stick (pregnancy testing). There are more of these being used in the site so start checking them out. They have very good TTC boards where you can share early pregnancy symptoms, TTC success tips and stories from those who had similar problems in the past, and oh so much more interesting information. 2. www.epregnancy.com - another great TTC and pregnancy website. They also have a due date calculator. 3. www.babycenter.com - a great website with Infant, toddler, and baby tools and news for parents and parents-to-be. You can also find out about infant development or parenting topics here.   These websites are not just the young, first time moms, it also provides helpful information for women over 35 who are TTC, and for women with multiple kids but would want to try for more!  
To those who are still trying to get pregnant, please visit these websites and I hope that these sites would help you as much as it helped us. I wish you lots of luck! This is a wonderful time for our family and may yours be blessed with a baby soon, too!
  Yong and I would like to congratulate our nephew, Tonyo Carcel for winning the Shell Super Karting Race held here in Cebu last September 10 and 11, 2006. Tonyo is the reigning champion while his sister, Kali Carcel, finished as the first runner up.   For questions and comments, you may email me at piecesofdonna@gmail.com. Take care and God bless!


Last Feb Donna’s birthday and vday

Last Feb 14 as we all know, is not just Valentines’ day but most especially it is our dear Donna’s birthday! She celebrated it of course with her family and also looking after her mom who thankfully is all recovered now. Cakes and greetings