Category: My Life

#FreebieFriday: The Eye Of The World Quote And Bookmark

Hey guys, how are you doing?

Every once in a while I get inspired with the typography I see online and it drives me to create awesome quotes and other kinds of graphics. Seeking to inspire others and share my works, I offer these quotes as free printables. While these are my original creations, I would like to acknowledge that I use the works of other artists who offer their graphics and fonts either for free or not. Due credit is given below.

Eye Of The World Quote

For this Friday, I actually got two in store for you, both Eye Of the World-themed since I just posted my review for that yesterday. The art I used is by Darrell Sweet from the book’s cover itself. This is for personal use only and no copyright infringement intended.

Eye Of The World Bookmark

Thanks for downloading!

Eye-Of-The-World-Bookmark.pdf (12 downloads)
Eye-Of-The-World-Quote.pdf (12 downloads)

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#BookishThursday: The Eye Of The World by Robert Jordan

Hey guys! What have you been reading lately? Or rather…re-reading.

The Eye Of The World book coverFor me, it’s The Eye Of The World by Robert Jordan. Ugh. I cannot even start how much this book has influenced my life: from my book choices, to my writing, and even to those short minutes in everyday life deciding on what I should do next.

I wasn’t really into fantasy, much more epic fantasy, to begin with. I am more of a self-help kinda girl. You know, living soulfully and stuff like that. It’s funny, now that I think about it, since my book choices before were all basically on how to search for the magic in real life.

Until my husband (then boyfriend) loaned his copy to me. Constantly nagging at me: “You’re a book lover? Then you have to read this!”. Eventually, I gave in. I was even a little defensive at first, reading the first chapter, telling myself, you’ll never like this..it’ll be straight on complicated fantasy later on and you’ll stop reading – This coming from a Harry Potter fan. I know, I was just being wool-headed, ridiculous, and stubborn.

But I didn’t stop reading. In fact, I have since re-read this book thrice along with the next two books in the series. It’s not that easy to find The Wheel of Time books in the Philippines, you see. So for the first three years of reading, I only had the first three books to read and reread. Currently, I am able to secure books 4-7 through various ways: a person selling books randomly on the street, eBay, BookDepository. I am still on the hunt for the others.

Not long after, I have started writing my own dystopian novel, Sinag. I did not really understand what my creative writing professor back in college meant when he said that a good book was carefully planned…until I read The Eye Of The World. For sure, other books can give you that “Oh, so that’s what’s meant to happen, I see it now” moment. But Jordan has a way to blow your mind away and make you say, “whoa, I did NOT see that coming, but now that I’ve thought about it, everything they did and every single decision they made had indeed led them to this (insert one of the many mind-blowing milestones of the series here). So now, that’s what I’m trying to do with my own novel.

And in fact, with my life. No kidding. I constantly find myself backtracking my decisions and all the little things I did in the past whenever a milestone happens!

Let me just take this opportunity to say, Robert, wherever you are, thank you. You don’t know how much your books have changed my life. My story is only one of the many stories of people whose lives had changed because of The Wheel Of Time. I hope you are happy where you are now, with your pipe and your Two Rivers tabac.

I mentioned above that my book choices were basically all about finding the magic in real life. Well, that is exactly what this book is all about – of the magic finding the lives of completely ordinary people, and completely changing them forever.

By the way, I am also at Goodreads and a (semi)active member of the book group, The Perks Of Being A Book Addict. Check out my profile to see my complete book lists.

Finally, be sure to come back this Friday for another #FreebieFriday! This week, I have TWO freebies: a bookmark and a quote, both in line with the book. See you then!

Here’s a quick sneak peek:

Eye Of The World Quote

Eye Of The World Bookmark

By the way, the art I used is by Darrell K. Sweet. No copyright infringement intended.

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#FreebieFriday: Big Magic Printable Quote

Hey guys, how are you doing?

Every once in a while I get inspired with the typography I see online and it drives me to create awesome quotes and other kinds of graphics. Seeking to inspire others and share my works, I offer these quotes as free printables. While these are my original creations, I would like to acknowledge that I use the works of other artists who offer their graphics and fonts either for free or not. Due credit is given below.

For this freebie, it’s a quote straight from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.I’ve actually written a review about it yesterday. Feel free to read that as well.

Artsy Nanay - Big Magic Quote

Big-Magic-Quote.pdf (13 downloads)

Thanks for downloading!

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Credits:

Watercolor Graphic is designed by Freepik.
Papercut Cre Font from Dafont.com.

#BookishThursday: Big Magic By Elizabeth Gilbert

Hey guys! What have you been reading lately?

Big Magic book coverFor me, it’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Check out its Goodreads page for more information.

I was a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s earlier book, Eat, Pray, Love. Eating, spirituality, living soulfully while trotting across the globe. Ugh. If only I had the money to do all those! So when her book Big Magic was released, and I heard it was all about creativity? Of course I HAD To get my own copy.

Upon reading, I easily understood most of the negative stuff I’ve heard about the book. it certainly is not for everyone. It has this “New Age” vibe that a lot of people might get easily scared of or…you know, totally weirded out. I believe in the book though, and everything you might even refer to as kooky. With the genius. That ideas are sentient beings. In fact, I’ve already believed all these things even before reading the book so all I did was basically just say “yes, yes, yes!” the whole time I was reading it.

Needless to say, I enjoyed this book immensely. It teaches you that creativity can take on different forms, and that you don’t need to lead an exclusively artsy life to live creatively. Sometimes, all you really need is the courage to put a little more soulfulness into your life.

By the way, I am also at Goodreads and a (semi)active member of the book group, The Perks Of Being A Book Addict. Check out my profile to see my complete book lists.

Finally, be sure to come back this Friday for another #FreebieFriday! This week, it’s a free printable quote in line with this book. See you then!

Here’s a quick sneak peek:

Artsy Nanay - Big Magic Quote

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#SoulfulSunday: An Introduction To Visualization

Hey there, how are you guys doing? This Sunday marks the very first Soulful Sunday post ever. It’s part of my new regular series of posts. Every Sunday, I will be compiling all the posts about soulful living that I have posted on Instagram throughout the week.

As those who have followed me for quite a while on Insta would know, I used to be an admin of Wellthly in the past – a magazine on soulful and holistic living on Instagram. Alas, my schedule did not permit me to continue very long…but I wouldn’t let that keep me from posting soulful posts now, would it? So here we are…

For the first series of posts, I will be talking about Visualization, and later on, share easy yet powerful visualization exercises for you to try. Enjoy!

One of the most important things to first get comfortable with in the world of #soulfulliving is #visualization. It’s a wonderful power of the #mind, visualization, and you need to be able to trust it in some of the most crucial #meditationexercises I’ll be sharing with you.

IMAGINATION VS VISUALIZATION

This is probably one of the most challenging parts of visualization, and to be honest, I still struggle with it every once in a while. #Imagination, after all, is visualization’s twin brother. They both project images in your mind, but the main differences are 1. Imagination is ALMOST ENTIRELY your own mind’s projection, while effective visualization can project #mentalimages from external sources. Hence 2. You simply can’t “imagine” visualization away no matter how hard you try.

Quick tip: If you’re still not used to visualization, you can actually try to imagine it away. If it’s real, if it sticks, then it is simply not your imagination’s doing anymore. I have tried that trick a HUNDRED times before I got comfortable in trusting the #magic of #visualizing.

THE FRUIT
I can still remember the very first #visualization exercise my husband made me do like it was just yesterday. And now I’m going to share the experience with you today!
Close your eyes and picture your favorite #fruit floating in front of you. For me it was an #apple.
Try to be as detailed as you can. It is twirling in the air, spinning round and round. Then it stops. Pluck it from the air, hold it in your hand. Smell it. Its scent fills you. Now take a big juicy bite out of it. Relish the sound it makes. Make the taste swirl inside your mouth. You salivate. It’s delicious. You wipe its juice from the corners of your mouth. You take another look at it. It has a big bite on it now. Continue eating and looking at it as you go, until you finish yout fruit.

Congratulations! You’ve just finished your first #visualizationprompt. Now, excuse me as I help myself for a real slice of fruit…hehe. Judging on how effective your #exercise went, you might be craving for fruit right now too. I know I am!

THE FLAME AND THE VOID

#RobertJordan, pardon me for fan-girling, is one of the best #fantasy #authors of all time. In fact, his #TheWheelOfTime #bookseries is a good read if #magick and #soulfulliving interests you. He even has two potent #visualizationexercises in the series – both of which I will share with you today.

The first would be the #flame and the #void, used by #RandAlThor in the book whenever he wants to channel #saidin. The term for the male #magicalenergy in the #WOT world. Here’s how it’s done:

Close your eyes. #Visualize the #void, a vast empty and dark space. Then, in the middle of the void is a single flame. Allow me to quote Robert Jordan himself. “Concentrate on the single flame and feed all your passions into it – #fear, #hate, #anger – until your #mind becomes empty. Become one with the void.”

And that’s it. A bit more challenging than the first one I shared with you, right?

Finally, there’s…

THE FLOWER

As I’ve shared with you above, #Robert Jordan has two potent #visualizationprompts in #TheWheelOfTime series. I have already shared with you the first one, the #flameand the #void. For reference, that could be found in p.5 of the first book in the series,#TheEyeOfTheWorld. The second prompt, the one I’ll be sharing with you today may be found in the second book,#TheGreatHunt, p.207.

Here it goes. Again, I’ll be quoting#RobertJordan on this one.

“Close your eyes. Empty yourself. Empty your thoughts. There is only one thing in your #mind. The bud of a #flower. Only that. Only the bud. You can see it in every detail. You can smell it. You can feel it. Every vein of every leaf, every curve of every petal. You can feel the sap pulsing. Feel it. Know it. Be it. You and the bud are the same. You are one. You are the bud.”

Now it’s probably worth mentioning that the #flame and the #void is meant for men and the #flower is meant for women. Specifically for reaching out to#saidar, the female #magicalenergy in the #WOT world. But hey, there’s no discrimination of genders here. If you’re a dude and totally comfortable with this activity, then good for you. I for one, have done the flame and the void myself and have had no problems. And that’s it! By the way, I will be starting a new series of posts this week (on Instagram) – The Basics of #Meditation. Feel free to follow my Instagram account to never miss a post!

Photo Credits:

  1. @chelseakauai. Other credits: @missholldoll and@lightroom.
  2. @mari.linni.
  3. @philipppscheidt
  4. @rusticbones

 

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#FreebieFriday: Free Printable For Your Guest Room!

Hey guys, how are you doing?

Every once in a while I get inspired with the typography I see online and it drives me to create awesome quotes and other kinds of graphics. Seeking to inspire others and share my works, I offer these quotes as free printables. While these are my original creations, I would like to acknowledge that I use the works of other artists who offer their graphics and fonts either for free or not. Due credit is given below.

For this Friday, I will share with you a cute little quote that you can print out and frame to put on your guest room side table. Notice the Big Hero 6 pun? That’s intended – and actually my husband’s idea. Because, as you know, we’re nerds and our home is a freaking nerd lab. Lol!

Artsy Nanay - Moving Quote

By the way, this freebie comes with a partner post that you might haven’t read yet, so be sure to check that out as well! It’s A Checklist For Moving Into A TOTALLY Unfurnished Home.

Free-Home-Printable.pdf (15 downloads)

Thanks for downloading!

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Credits:

Frame Mock-up: Free Design Resources.

 

 

Checklist For Moving Into A TOTALLY Unfurnished Home

I’m sweeping the dust from my blog after a terribly long time of posting today. The main reason (or, you know, my main alibi) for taking this long to post something new is because we’ve moved not just once, but twice this year.

And if that wasn’t crazy enough, we didn’t just move to a new city, we’ve moved to a new province. From Rizal to Baguio, and then back again. To those who are not from the Philippines, Baguio is a ten-hour bus ride from Manila. That’s also the main challenge for us: moving all our things via bus because we really don’t have enough budget to rent a moving truck. On top of all of that, we also have a baby, and Justin has recently undergone an appendectomy which means I had to do all the carrying.

Yikes.

But I survived, and here we are. We are currently back in Rizal until…God knows when. Hopefully for a few years, until we get a home of our own.

Anyway, one of the challenges that we have faced when we went to live in Baguio (aside from the fact that we didn’t know anyone – yes, it was supposed to be our “great adventure to the unknown”, more on this later), is that we didn’t have anything. We didn’t have plates. We didn’t have a mattress. We didn’t have LPG. We just had our clothes, our books, and our computer. That’s it. And we moved to a totally unfurnished home – just rooms, a toilet, and a sink. We didn’t even know which things to buy first. Suddenly, it’s not such a great adventure anymore, huh?

I did what any sane person would. Search the internet for a list, while trying not to freak out. Surprise! There was no list for my exact needs: which is moving to an entirely empty place, with a really tight budget. Hence, I’m going to write one now in the hopes that it will help someone in the future.Artsy Nanay - Unfurnished Home

Here is the most basic list of the things you need when moving to an empty home:

  1. Somewhere to sleep on. The most important thing is to have somewhere to sleep on. Some rentals come with bed frames and mattresses to boot, some don’t. Plus, it’s more hygienic to have your own mattress anyway. Don’t forget – pillows and blankets too. We made makeshift pillows from towels during the first few months. But since it was Baguio, we really needed some cozy blankets.
  2. Somewhere to cook on. If there’s no nearby place to get some grub, then you would need a cooking stove and an LPG tank. If that is too expensive for you right now, then buy an electric stove first. As for cookware, a basic frying pan and a cooking pot can already do a lot of things. We cooked rice and sterilized Agie’s bottles in the same pot for a couple of weeks until we were able to get a thicker pot specifically for cooking rice.
  3. Somewhere to eat on. A couple of plates, cutleries. The basic stuff. I was a bit choosy with things. I wanted wooden plates and ceramic rice bowls. And artsy gold cutleries. So we had to live on disposable wares for a week or two. No, I wasn’t able to find cheap gold spoons and forks. If you know where to find one, point me to the right direction, please?
  4. Somewhere to sit on and a surface to do stuff on. Good thing the place we moved to had a table. But no chairs. So we moved the bed out of the room, made a “day bed” arrangement out of it, pushed the table near the bed. Voila. A surface to put our desktop on while sitting comfortably on the bed. P.S. We ate on the bed. We folded the mattress every meal time and ate on the wooden bed. Having said that, it wasn’t a bed frame with metal slats. If it were, we would probably eat on the floor. We lead quite a bohemian lifestyle so putting a tapestry and pillows on the floor and eating dinner on that, is a-okay for us. But for those who are not okay with that, then you’d probably need a table and chairs.
  5. Cleaning Implements. If you’re cooking and eating already, then you’d need dishwashing liquid and a sponge. The toilet would need a good scrubbing, so that means a bleaching agent, soap, brushes, steel wool, a mop, some rags, a broom, and don’t forget, some pails and ladles. Honestly, I washed our clothes on the sink. You’d probably need a shower after all that cleaning so don’t forget your own hygienic needs: soap, shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
  6. FOOD! Finally, you’re going to need some food. Preferably those that don’t need any cooking, like bread. And if you don’t have a can opener yet, best stick with easy-to-open canned food. We didn’t have a fridge, so we didn’t have any perishables on hand. It also took a couple of days before we were able to find a good knife and a chopping board (my husband bought a really nice cleaver with a wooden handle, and a thick wooden chopping board with our family name carved on it).

After these staples, you can then slowly build on the nice and soulful things that make a house a home, like a comfy couch, a bookshelf, maybe? Different appliances suited for your family’s needs…We are not fond of watching too much television, you see, so having no television really wasn’t that big a deal.

In the end, even without these nice extras, you would already be able to live in your own house which you could call your own home, and isn’t that really what’s important?

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P.S.

I am starting a new series every Friday called #FreebieFriday where I will share free printables like quotes, bookmarks, and probably more stuff in the future! So be sure to check that out. Here’s a preview for this week, in line with this home post:

Artsy Nanay - Moving Quote

Major Life Update: Our Move To Baguio And Living Soulfully

Hi guys! It has been a while since I last posted, but don’t worry. I will try to post regularly again. Life just happened. Justin got sick, his appendix was taken out. And…a whirlwind after, we found our small family migrating to Baguio. It was crazy.

Moving here was pretty rough. We didn’t really have any family here so we truly were alone. There were a lot of discouragement at first, but in the end, especially now that we have almost fully adjusted…what can I say? It feels really good.

There really is a sort of liberating feeling that’s just too hard to explain. I mean, I’ve been living with my parents all my life, so I really stepped out of my comfort zone. It was hard, I wouldn’t even lie…but getting to decide about everything, even with the little things like what brand of laundry detergent to use felt really fulfilling.

Leading The Life I Want

The most exciting part of it all was getting to do the things that I really wanted to do. When you live with someone else, even if they’re family, it meant that you would have to consider them befrom doing anything. But knowing me, that meant that I was always holding back, putting ideas on the sideboard, thinking that one day if I’ll ever get my way, I will do these things one by one. Well guess what? I’m doing them now and it’s one of the best feelings in the world!

Here are the exciting things happening in the Aricheta Camp:

  1. Art. I now have more time for art. Baguio is one of the most artsy places here in the Philippines, so it’s very inspiring to live here. I don’t even know how to express how much I enjoy living in this place!
  2. Living Soulfully. Now that I get to be the boss over my own life (plus with Justin’s 100% support), I can now fully explore the lifestyle that I’ve always wanted to do:
    • We now eat as organically as possible.
    • We have now 100% eliminated our biodegradable waste.
    • I now have my own (mini) herb garden.
    • I now produce my own organic feritilizer!
    • I can decorate our small home any way that I want (as long as it doesn’t involve a LOT of Hello Kitty in it. Yep, that’s Justin’s limit).
    • Most importantly we are now a proud sponsor family to a child named Christie in Batangas through World Vision.

 

Don’t worry, I’ll talk about each of these things in separate posts. Ciao for now!

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Drink Water! A 30-Day Challenge (With 50+ Free Printables)

Artsy Nanay - Water Challenge

I was never a water person. I rarely drink water (by itself), and when I did I was very picky. If I taste just a slight hint of flavor there, or lack thereof, I refuse to drink it anymore. I just want my water to be tasteless and clean. It’s very hard to explain what kind of water I want but I hope you somehow get it.

When I got pregnant though, I started to experience the importance of water. Note that I did not use the word “learn”, because I already knew then that drinking water and staying hydrated is important – what I didn’t know though, is the exact physical effect of not drinking enough. And so it happened – the lining of my uterus got too thick so I had to drink more or else my baby would run out of water.

You can just imagine my fear. It’s the life of my baby we’re talking about here. I didn’t even like water – and now I had to drink more?!

The complications of my pregnancy is an entirely different story to tell in another time, but what’s important is that somehow I got through. And drinking enough water everyday was a big help.

Unfortunately, I slowly drifted back to my same old non-water drinking life after my pregnancy. I’m just human, and I just can’t help it. But now, even without a matter of life-and-death situation, I’m taking control and committing to drinking enough water everyday. This is still in line with my goal to live healthier as I mentioned in my earlier posts – and also the reason why I specifically made it a point on my morning routine.

Benefits of Drinking Water

There are countless reasons why we should drink more water. Mind Body Green, shared a few:

  1. It makes us feel good. Our body is made up of mostly water, you see. And not drinking enough water might lead to different health issues. It also pumps up our energy (which is why it’s good to drink water the moment you wake up!). It flushes out toxins. And finally, it boosts our immune system.
  2. It makes us look good.Sure, drinking water can make you healthier – that’s a given. But did you know that just by simply drinking water, you can actually look better? Yes, that’s right, because water can help you shed those extra pounds, make your skin glow, and it’s even good for your hair!

Making It A Habit – The 30 Day Challenge

Now, if you’re like me, drinking water doesn’t come up naturally – so it has to be a conscious effort for me to be able to drink more water. It has to be a habit.

They say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Forming one could feel like a chore or a burden at first, but after 21 days it would feel more natural because it becomes a part of your routine. It finally becomes habitual. However, just to make sure that it does become a habit, I’ve decided to extend the 21 days to 30! Not to mention that there are surprisingly a LOT of different 30-day water challenges out there.

I have found a lot of other people online (especially on Pinterest) taking on this challenge like me, and I have found incredibly creative ways to go around doing this. Let me share some of my finds below:

Artsy Nanay - Water Insipiration 2

Artsy Nanay - Water Insipiration 1

  1. By marking water bottles.Sara at JewelpieMorgan at Modern Mommyhood, and countless others (like me) mark water bottles with hours when to drink water. (Pictures below are theirs respectively).
  2. Through the Water Jug Challenge.Some like Danielle at Today’s The Best Day mark water jugs. This idea is perfect if you stay home a lot.
  3. By enjoying coconut water.Dani Stevens talks about drinking coconut water to hydrate. Here in the Philippines, it’ more popularly known as “Buko Juice”.
  4. Through healthy fruit infused water. And finally, numerous recipes are available online on how to infuse water with fruits for additional vitamins and flavor – watch out for my next post as I share with you my collection of 55 fruit infusion recipes! In the meantime, take a look at my Pinterest board below as I pinned different ideas to help with my water drinking challenge: Follow Artsy Nanay’s board Staying Hydrated! on Pinterest.

My Personal Challenge: Drink Water!

And now let me show you my battle plan:

  1. The Water Intake Log.First, I prepared a water intake log for myself. I also made stickers that I can easily stick on my bullet journal. (By the way, these are available as free downloads at the end of this post!).
  2. Marking My Bottle.Then, as what I’ve mentioned above, I marked the water bottle that I take with me to work. Yes, this was my prize when I completed the 10th day of my morning routine. It’s just a small 500ml bottle. I almost bought a 1L one, but it would’ve been too heavy for me to lug around, so I settled for this one. Plus, it has a tea strainer!
  3. Rewarding Myself.After I marked it, I realized it was just too crowded and I didn’t like the way it looked, so I reduced the marks. And since I also drink water at home, I dedicated two mugs for morning and evening drinking instead. These are what I usually fill with other goodies, like coconut water – or fruit infused water! Little treats for myself for starting and ending the day healthier. I lessened the marks after by removing them using a bit of polish remover and washing it thoroughly right after.

I have tried this challenge before and have failed. Take a look at the original habit log below. The box with slashes mean the number of glasses missed. I was trying to make up for it on other days, but eventually I thought allowing myself a “way” for me to “make up for it” would ruin the challenge in the first place and even encourage my lack of discipline. So I’m starting all over again! I really hope it goes better this time around.

Artsy Nanay - Water Challenge Freebies

And now, as promised. below are free printables: a water challenge log, and water tracker stickers: mini ones and mason jar ones. Enjoy!

Downloadables:

Free Printable: Water Challenge Log (81 downloads) Free Printable: Water Tracker Stickers (Small) (70 downloads) Free Printable: Free Water Tracker Stickers (Mason) (96 downloads)

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All of the credit goes to the talented people over at Freepik.

New Year And Facing Life’s Challenges

Hi guys, Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve last posted but don’t worry, I’ll start writing more from now on. A new year calls for changes and here are mine right now:

Artsy Nanay - New Year Goals

New Year and New Changes

  1. I have recently quit my job.Yes, I’m back to being a stay-at-home mother and freelance content writer. This might mean possible financial challenges this new year, but I am pumped up and ready.
  2. I have joined Mommy Bloggers Philippines.This is probably one of the highlights this month. I’m really happy that they responded to my email, I’m just waiting for their go signal so I can proudly put the group’s badge on my site.
  3. I will officially be an artist.I’m currently working hard on my art and hope to be part of an artist group this year!

2016 is going to be a big year and I’m very very excited!

Aside from that, this month also marks the anniversary of my life’s biggest challenge. It’s weird to think that exactly a year before, I was hooked to a life support machine with tube inserted to different parts of my body. You can read the whole story below. This was from my original FB post:

Dearest friends, it really is such a good thing to be able to talk to you again. I have missed you all, and honestly it still feels like a dream to be alive and typing right now especially when I almost died.

Ever since I got pregnant last April 2014, I bled from the very first day. Hence, I was forced to leave my job. I took meds and while the spotting didn’t really stop, I felt fine. But then when August came, it got worse. Blood started flowing between my thighs one day so I was rushed to Medical City.

My cervix dilated to almost 3cm. there was too much blood that during the ultrasound, they had to flush out more blood because they can’t see the baby anymore, only hear his strong heart beat.They also discovered that I had a low-lying placenta. Thankfully, a miracle happened and both me and my then, unborn child, survived.

After two weeks of confinement, I was allowed to go home, though this time I needed to be in complete bed rest which meant that I wasn’t allowed to stand up, not even if I had to pee or poop. I did everything in bed.

Come October, another complication came. I was diagnosed with a genetic gestational diabetes and went on a strict diet. I had to check my blood sugar three times a day and inject insulin twice a day which meant that I had to prick my fingers to examine my blood thrice, and inject myself twice a day.

Come November, painful contractions started and again I was rushed to the hospital. My baby was becoming so long that he can’t fit inside me anymore. There were even times that his foot would get lodged into one of my ribs.

After a week, I was allowed to go home, but after a day the contractions started again, and again I was brought to the hospital. Twice this happened, and every time I would be placed in the Intensive Maternal Unit, or the ICU for pregnant women, with my belly and arms hooked into machines and IVs monitoring me and my baby’s every heart beat and movement.

Upon the third time, I wasn’t allowed to go home anymore. I stayed at a ward with 6 other patients, our bed spaces divided only by thick curtains. It should have been fine if only I was allowed to go to the bathroom to do my thing, right? I never felt comfortable pooping in bed with other people around, even after three months. Yes, I stayed in the hospital that long.

Everyday, I had to pass two Non-Stress Tests which monitored my contractions. This was very important since my cervix dilation did not really close up since August. The injections and finger pricking doubled as well. Plus, aside from being hooked up into an IV, I had to take several meds, with one required to be inserted into my vagina everyday. Thank God the nurses assisted me in everything.

Come December, we found out that my baby had three cord coils around his neck. I spent Justin’s birthday, my mother’s birthday, and Christmas at the hospital. On the morning of December 31, the contractions were already too strong to control. I was brought to the Delivery Room. I labored all day but after 24 hours, my cervix still wasn’t dilated big enough.

After normal labor, I suffered from induced labor. You could tell by now how much our hospital bill would be so I was trying to endure everything without anesthesia. But after a few hours, especially after they burst my water bag with something that resembled a mini crow bar, I finally gave up to the pain and enjoyed a nice dose of epidural, which to my horror was not enough for the pain anymore since my baby still did not want to come out.

After another two hours they gave me a stronger one and was brought to the operating room to undergo a C-section. Yes, I went through 3 types of labor. Then, on the night of January 1, I gave birth to a perfectly healthy, though a bit premature, bouncing baby boy named Aleister Gregory. My due date was supposed to be January 29.

It didn’t take me too long to recover. I spent only an hour in the recovery room, and then I was able to stand up already and poop inside a locked bathroom the next day.

After a week though, still in the hospital, while breastfeeding my baby, I suffered a seizure. That was the last thing I remembered. My eye sight just flickered, everything went black, then, after what seemed to me was just a second, I opened my eyes and found a lot of doctors examining me.

That night I slept, and then I woke up ten days later inside the ICU, at the Acute Stroke Unit, with a respirator inside my throat breathing for me, a feeding tube inside my nose, my tongue really swollen that it couldn’t even move nor feel and taste anything, bruises of different colors everywhere, wires hooked from my chest and my head to different machines. I was unable to feel my limbs, I was hooked into 6 IV bags, my vision was really blurred, I was twisting in unbearable, unspeakable pain, with a priest beside my bed, blessing me, and when I tried to move I discovered that my hands and feet were tied to my bed.

I vaguely remember though that I stood up and saw my mother looking at my body, but I wasn’t really there. I was at her back, and she walked right through me.It scared the shit out of me.

I wish I could tell you that it couldn’t get any more worse, but when they started removing the tubes…did you know that respirators are attached so deep that they are lodged inside your neck? And the food tube inside my nose? That thing went as deep as my chest. They pulled it out when I was already awake. Both tubes had blood after being pulled out. And yes, it still got worse.

I gagged at my own saliva, and I was told that I already woke up a couple of times but I didn’t talk, and when I did, I wasn’t able to remember my husband, Justin. When I tried remembering him, the nurses told me that I got so stressed out I convulsed again. I still can’t remember anything that has happened during those ten days, even now, and probably never will. Good thing when I finally woke up, my memories of Justin returned.

My doctors said that I developed a seizure disorder after giving birth with post eclampsia. My blood pressure went as high as 200 over 100.

A few more weeks after that I was already allowed to go home. Our bill amounted to almost 2 million. Until now, we still owe the hospital 400k. We are going through really hard times right now, and I’m still taking antiepileptic meds to control seizures. I am still not allowed to work nor study anytime soon. But with a proud smile on my face I can still say that I am the happiest and luckiest woman on Earth right now, with Justin, Baby Agie, and the second life granted to me.

Thank you for reading!

My body still sometimes fails me until now. My still shaky hands would drop things, or I would wake up and feel completely wasted even though I’ve had a good night’s rest. But little by little I can feel the recovery. There were things that I was able to do before I got pregnant that I wasn’t able to do anymore after giving birth that I am already capable of doing now – like work and draw and a bunch of other little things that remind me that I am getting better and I will even surpass the old pre-maternal me. And I am going to do a bunch of those things this 2016. Again, Happy New Year!

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