The Second Trimester: Gender Reveal and A Setback

After an eventful first trimester, I couldn’t wait to just settle in what they say as the “easiest” trimester RELATIVELY. They say that in this period, pregnant women usually feel more like themselves…(usually). But then again, every pregnancy is truly different. I still hear stories about moms vomiting all throughout their pregnancy and I really feel so bad about them. I experienced a bit of morning sickness but it is usually due to hunger or because I ate something bad.

I am not exempt from the fears. There are times I get so paranoid about the food that I eat – that it’s not cooked enough, it has mercury, the utensils in restaurants are unsanitary. All these crazy things I put in my head that strike fear to the already fearful first timer moms. But whenever these attacks come to me I am reminded to just keep praying. This just teaches me to be more dependent on God and I praise God for stretching me. I am not in control and worrying does not add a day into both our lives (Matthew 6:27). Worrying just gives me an illusion of control but really… I will never reach that state.

16th Week Symptoms

We were glad to finally be with the rest of the family to celebrate Christmas! Some of my symptoms were

  • Feeling breathless sometimes when I sleep on my right… but when I turn to my left..
  • …I have some pains in my ribs. It’s as if someone is pressing down on my ribs
  • I get sharp pains in my uterus that lasts for about 5 minutes

During the second trimester I was advised to drink Iron and for the info of first timer preggies, the first time I drank iron and did #2, it was so scary! So be prepared and apparently it’s normal because the body is getting rid of the excess blood I think. (I’m not a doctor)

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18th Week Symptoms

I was sitting down on a chair waiting for Jason to check in (we were having a staycation for New Year’s Eve) and I suddenly felt this wave in my stomach! They said that the first time you would feel the baby is this fish feeling. 

Could this be our baby?? I was so happy with the movement I felt inside, I think the baby was stimulated because of the noise of people around.

Most would say that it is usually during the 20th week that they’d feel a distinct movement, so part of me was shrugging it off but part of me was excited that baby made itself known a little early. We were looking forward to seeing the baby in the Congenital Anomaly Scan (CAS) which happens during weeks 20-24. 

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20th Week Symptoms and Finding out the gender

Weeks leading to the CAS we were praying that baby was healthy and normal. Before this scan, baby was a bit heavy and advanced for his gestational age. If the baby’s supposed GA is 1 week, it always turns out 1 week and 5 days old. Doctors would say it is normal. But anyway the moment of truth has arrived. 

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We found out we were having a baby….. BOY <3 In the first trimester I was given a dream that we will be having a boy weird as it may sound. But anyway… it was so easy to spot his gender. :)

CAS lasted for about an hour because the baby was active and it was hard to measure his limbs and everything. Everything was thoroughly checked, his fingers, toes, limbs, his heart, his face. This was the first time we saw his face and my heart melted.

We just prayed for a healthy child then and though I initially preferred a girl (because I was so clueless about boys!), I was reminded of our earnest prayer to conceive a healthy child and here we are – in God’s faithfulness – halfway there. I remembered my worry of how I was going to raise a boy – how am I going to teach him how to pee! But then it dawned on me that Jason was there and I was not going to raise him alone. Jason also reminded me that God knew and God gave this boy and He will provide the wisdom on how to raise our child. 

  • First time to feel your soft kick (it was so tiny!) But I felt it and took a video of it.

Since we found out the gender, we want to celebrate it with our family. We conducted a simple gender reveal party for my side – the Tan family because we have more kids who would enjoy the concept of a reveal party. They voted a boy and they won! 

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For Gia’s side, the Mendoza family, it was more simple. We ate at Silantro and they voted for a girl except for Pau, Gia’s sister who came from SG and gave us so much baby products. Since it’s a boy, we named him Greyson Maddox Tan = GMT, same as Gia’s initials and the commercial building. We decided that if it will be a girl, she will have my initials CJT.

Greyson means son of a steward. He can still be part of the many meanings of our vlog Project G – project Greyson. 

Super proud of the hubby for setting up this gender reveal party! He is the one behind all the DIY and designs. I saw him poring over Pinterest :)) to see how to set up the house. He is such a blessing! Where I lack (in arts and stuff), he completes! Truly, he completes me.

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gender 3

Week 20 and that gush of blood

We were almost back to normal, working and doing ministry every Saturday night in kids church. But that particular Saturday I had a gush of fresh blood as I went to the toilet. I felt so faint and I got so dizzy. I panicked and told Jason. I rushed to the bed, put myself on bedrest, lay down on my left with a pillow in between my legs and prayed that our baby was okay. I thought that time I was miscarrying because there was a significant amount of blood. God spoke to me through this verse again which also gave me comfort during my 1st surgery,

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, I am with you, be not dismayed I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you and will uphold you with my right hand.

I was praying and crying and I immediately texted my OB Dra. Jing. She immediately called me and asked a few questions.

God enabled me to surrender this to Him too and I just observed what would happen during the day.

Praise God because it turned out I was just having some hemorrhoids. (things that happen sometimes during pregnancy)

  • New symptoms I experienced were backaches
  • Dizziness
  • Bleeding gums

21st Week 

We attended a free birthing class from Rome Kanapi at an event, Pregnant Pause. We missed a lot because we arrived late due to a change in their venue. But I feel that we were able to heart the most important part which is the exercise – Pelvic Rock! I needed that during those times and it gave my lower back so much relief! It was good that Jason was able to attend too because he would know where my most painful part would be – lower right back. Since the third trimester he would regularly massage this part using a peanut ball. 

22nd Week Symptoms 

Found out I gained a lot! Let’s not talk about this. Haha let’s just say I’m a happy chubby preggy. 😀 The most important part was that baby is healthy and has a healthy heartbeat of 145.

  • feeling occasionally nauseous
  • can’t breathe when lying straight
  • when laying on my right, I feel baby g’s legs doing some bicycles as if a hamster on a wheel. I think he does not like me laying on my right. It feels as if I’m squishing him.

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24th Week Oral Glucose Challenge Test

During the 24th – 28th week, preggies are required to do the glucose test – either the OGCT or OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test). The difference was the former was a shorter and quicker version while OGTT was more intensive and it takes half of your day. I took the test at Marikina Valley Hospital which costs around 600. This test is to determine if we have Gestational Diabetes or a diabetes acquired during pregnancy. Something like that… (I’m not a doctor)

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For the procedure of OGCT this is what happened

  • No fasting needed
  • After breakfast I had to wait an hour
  • Had to drink an orange liquid within 5 minutes
  • After an hour, they took my blood sugar.
  • Got my results at 12nn!

It was really quick and praise God I passed the test 84/146. I was expecting that it would be elevated due to some sugars I’ve been craving and eating. 

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In just 4 more weeks we’re about to enter the third trimester! I’m so excited. So for me I would say it is true, that during the 2nd trimester, I felt more like myself. I was able to go back to the gym during my 22nd week, meet my clients and go to work. I’m hoping this energy would last until the third trimester. In the meantime, we are excited to plan for an out of town trip – probably our last for the year. :)) 

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We thank God for everyday – for this life inside of me. I thank God every time baby G moves in my womb, I never thought we would come this far after the bleed in the first trimester. I thank God for sustaining us everyday despite of our lack in judgment on what’s good for us. I may not be confident about the pregnancy and about the things we are learning or even applying but during these times, I am taught to be confident in a good God who is loving and all-knowing and gives us what is best for us. 

Now on to the third trimester!

Waiting on God: Our Journey to Pregnancy part 1

Jason and I got married on May 19, 2013 after 6 years of being in a relationship and 1 year of getting to know each other. We were just kids when we fell in love! 😛 I was 19 and in college and he was 24 and finding his way in the world when we met. See how we met each other in the link below.

How I Met My Husband

Finally in 2013 sinagot na nya ako. 😛 Haha just kidding! Our proposal video is below if you dare see. I struggled to say YES to be honest I am a shy and private person and I was embarrassed because there was an audience.

Our Proposal Video by Julaenie

That time it wasn’t trendy yet to do flash mobs and such. But I was glad to be there with friends. :)

Anyway that’s not the point of this entry. When we got married, we were advised to just enjoy our married life for 1-2 years before we have a baby. 6 months into the marriage, I felt that I was ready to have a child. But God knew otherwise.

I remember I was compelled to start praying for our future child back in 2012 after the proposal. I was given the desire to be a mother someday. I really thought that when we get married and have our honeymoon we would instantly conceive. After our wedding, we took precautions because of the advice of enjoying our marriage first. And then a few months after, we went on our way.

I raised my concern with Jason that I wanted to start a family. That time I guess he wasn’t ready yet maybe because of all the new adjustments – getting married, running a house with me, finding our partnership, finding our sweet spot of working together.
Despite the apprehensions, he agreed that I needed to check with my OB.

2013 – FIRST OB CHECK UP 

So I had a visit with the first of many OB’s. She did a pap smear on me since it was mandatory for married women to undergo a regular pap smear. I thought that was it and then I would conceive. Then I was required to do an ultrasound.

2014 – A SERIES OF TESTS

I did the ultrasound months after and I changed OB then. I first did the ultrasound in a nearby hospital, Marikina Valley. I was expecting normal results because I wasn’t feeling anything unusual anyway.

Result 1

When we got the results, my eyes zeroed in on polycystic ovaries. Surprise! I wondered what the NEW GROWTH in left ovary meant. My OB requested that I do another a gyne doppler which was more painful than a regular ultrasound.

Result 2

And still there it was.. A solid ovarian new growth. I had a suspected tumor on my left ovary and its nature needed an operation to find out if it was cancer. Surprise #2.

Our prayer life deepened and I would have bouts of crying. Hearing that you have a suspected tumor brought some fears. Is it cancer? What if it is? Will I be needing chemotherapy? Will we still have a child?

I was just desiring for a child and I was given a “tumor” instead.. I really felt ashamed and felt like a burden to my husband. I knew he wanted to be a dad, but instead I had this.. I wanted to respond better but I felt bitter.. But God had a plan and I am so thankful for this experience looking back now in 2018.

It was also my first time to see my husband deep in prayer, crying with me and contemplating on what next steps we should take. Even with this setback, God has provided us with people to help us on this journey. I am not sure if I should name them but there were 2 women in our life who shared with us their journey on their ovarian cyst. We are very grateful for them.

We met with other doctors for 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinion and they recommended open surgery because they had to be careful with the mass and do a biopsy. They were going to do an open surgery so they can check within 45 minutes if it was cancer or not. If it was, they may have to remove all neighboring organs since it may be affected, worst case scenario.

 We really didn’t want an invasive surgery and looked at laparoscopic treatment. But was rejected by the doctor because of its nature. We prayed for God to come through and take it away miraculously on our next ultrasound. But it was still there! We sought prayers from our family, D12 leaders, and close friends. We prayed, prayed and cried and we asked God for wisdom what to do.

Then we had to do a tumor marker test.

Result 3

It came out negative. Praise God! Then we had to do another ultrasound..

Result 4

The words “suspicious of non-benign in nature” what does this mean? It’s so confusing. I was cleared from the tumor marker but the ultrasound indicates a non-benign growth. Also I was higher than normal in other cut-off’s.

Really, it was a roller coaster of emotions! But I felt that God was teaching us to trust Him on this (and just everyday of our lives!)

We prayed and prayed for wisdom.

When we consulted a gyne-onco (Gynecologist and cancer specialist) for the second time, he quoted us a ridiculously huge amount to do the procedure. It was shocking but then he also said that it was urgent but he can wait until our best feng shui date.

What does that mean? We don’t believe in feng shui. And what if we did and the best feng shui date is 2 years from now? (i don’t know how this works!) Then it means it’s not urgent.. and it may not be cancer. We thank God for this sign that helped us decide what our next steps would be.

It was such a relief. God came through but it’s not how we expected it to be. He just wanted us to trust Him. We started to ease up and relax.

We immediately decided to change doctors and went for my mother-in-law’s trusted OB, Dra. Decena in UST.

We thank God for her. :) After a consultation, we decided to schedule an operation.

We wanted to enjoy the remaining days of my normal self because we didn’t know what awaited us after. We let it off our minds and celebrated our 1st anniversary in Phuket, Thailand which we enjoyed so much.

A week after, off to UST we went.

2014 – A MAJOR OPERATION

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How could I share the experience? It was a mix of worry and excitement. I had my devotion at the hospital and this was what God impressed in my heart.

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Then preps for the operation began a night before. The blood tests, x-rays were fine but after!!

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Que horror really. Enema was performed all over and over again on me! I wished I hadn’t eaten that piece of cake and my last meal of Greenwich lasagna. Took me around 13 trips to the toilet. I was so exhausted and my nurse was laughing and saying I ate too much so I’m suffering this much 😛 We started at 8pm we ended at 11pm. IMAGINE. I felt so many pounds lighter after.

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I then took my last bath and off to bed I went praying that everything will be ok. And the peace of Christ was there. I slept like a baby.

The next day, I was woken up at around 5AM. I was transferred to the operating bed. Goodbye mommy, Goodbye hubby, see you on the other side.

They wheeled me into an enclosed room which was the operating room. The interns were with me and chatting with me, I really felt comfortable. And then they told me they had to prep the uterus area. OKAY do what you have to. Wala nang privacy, it’s fine, ganun talaga..

Then my anesthesiologist came, I remembered chatting with her and when she gave me the dose, I just heard her last words counting down 3, 2, 1…. and I was off to La la land.

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The dream team!! Thank you God for giving wisdom and skill to the doctors who attended to me. At nakapagpicture pa sila :p

The next thing I knew my mom was talking to me! in the RECOVERY ROOM! Visitors not allowed mommy. 😛 She was mistaken as a doctor so they let her in. <Grabe sya o.> And my mom was asking me to just grunt I’m okay to my Tita/Ninang nurse in the states over her cellphone.

As I remember I was not allowed to open my mouth yet because of air getting in. But well…

4 hours had passed from the operation. I remembered being too weak and I was shivering in the recovery room I had to talk and ask for a blanket. An image flashed on my mind, was I still opened up that’s why I felt cold?? They gave me this heated blanket and I fell asleep again. Next thing I knew I was back in my room with a bunch of flowers waiting for me. :) Thank you hubby and to my family..

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The tumor / cyst was benign, praise God! We thank God, our family and friends who prayed with us..

Side story, while I was still opened up, my mom told me that Dra. Decena came out of the operating room shouting “Arnie! it’s not cancer!” after finding out the results.

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UST Surgery (22)

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UST Surgery (32)

UST Surgery (25)

I looked down on my uterus area and I just saw this big bandage and I couldn’t feel anything. It was difficult to cough, to move. I stayed in the hospital for around 2 more days and I remember when I had to get up it was so hard! I felt like my guts were going to spill out. It felt so tender but I had to go pee and do #2 to know if my organs went back to its proper place.

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That whole year I looked pregnant and I was mistaken a lot of times by people who didn’t know what happened, because my tummy jutted out. I couldn’t exercise it felt so numb and come to think of it, it still feels numb. :) I have a scar on my tummy, my husband doesn’t mind and it just reminds us how God continues to be faithful in our lives. We are grateful to be out of that episode and yet we sympathize with those who still are. We know how it feels to go through all those.

Months after…  we asked, is it baby making time yet? Am I cleared this time?

Part 2 on the next entry…