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Adios, 2018!

We now close this year and all I can say is… WOOOOOW! Days flew by like crazy and the 365th day is soon to be over.

2018 is a rollercoaster ride but it has definitely been a big improvement from 2017 when we were plagued with challenges that almost broke my spirit.

Another great blessing greeted us this year and that is the birth of my little light, Lucia Gabrielle. Her arrival completes our little family and I could not ask for anything more.

 

 

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To have one rainbow baby was already a dream come true for me and Edzel. After battling my repro-immune disorder, I never thought that I could still conceive again but as they say, at the act of our surrender and when we least expect it, God gives us unexpected blessings along the way.

That first half of the year was a blur of breastfeeding, nappy changes, and just Santiago and Lucia all the way. Motherhood never felt so raw and real and the ups and downs that came with it were all worth it.

In May, I was given the opportunity to share my story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer for their Mother’s Day Special. This was very important to me because it has been my personal advocacy to spread awareness about APAS and repro-immune disorders to hopefully save more mothers from suffering a potential heartwrenching loss.

 

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In August, with zero budget to work with and only the will and heart of several APAS ladies, we were able to hold the 1st Lay Forum on Repro-Immune Disorders. This was attended by around 180 men and women who wanted to know more about the condition and graced by five known immunologists from the Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and of course, my ever-dearest perinatologist, Dr. Valerie Guinto. Early intervention and continuous efforts to spread awareness for this disorder are the things that I believe can help couples overcome this very challenging situation.

 

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My heart overflows. The 1st RID lay forum was a success. Bawi lahat ng pagod. ❣ #GetRidofRID

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At the last quarter of the year, things just really “happened” for me when it comes to the things that are really close to my heart.

Sometime around October, just before my anniversary with Young Living, I was exposed to so many things in the groups that I was part of that I did not agree with. As a naturally empathetic person, I could not sit and watch. This pushed me to educate myself further and I went down the rabbit hole so swiftly, my mind could not keep up with my heart.

I took the plunge and invested in myself to take a certification course in aromatherapy to deep-dive into the world of essential oils in an educated, scientific, and accurate approach. This happened when I was looking for a certified aromatherapist in one popular mommy group on Facebook. I was looking for someone to help me understand how to apply essential oils safely on my kids because I saw with my own two eyes, how a supposedly safely diluted blend sensitized my little sister’s skin to the point that she was crying. I could not risk that same thing to happen with my kids so I ventured out – unfortunately, I did not find any. I thought to myself, for sure I could not be the only one.

And I was not.

And so I launched my Facebook support group, Lana Lane, where I try (so desperately in my free time) to educate about the safe use of essential oils regardless of the brand that they are using. Don’t get me wrong. I loved my Young Living oils, I still do – however, I could not justify the price that I was paying for it knowing now how to choose essential oils based not on the brand but on their therapeutic benefits. But more than that, it really was the haphazard information being thrown in the group (neat application, ingestion, among others) that really turned me off. Essential oils are powerful and without the social responsibility to promote its safe use, I just could not be part of that anymore. There is a time for neat application and ingestion, yes I agree with that but it really is not for everyday use.

At around the same time, I opened my online shop again, Lana Lane PH and I was taking orders from moms who just want to test out the essential oils first or those who really do not have the time to create their own blends for their families. I am not actively promoting yet but there are big things that I am planning for this in 2019 so pleeeaasse, pray for me. 🙂

At almost this same time, I also attended a writing workshop by Kerygma and this rekindled my calling to write a book about overcoming APAS.

I promised this book to God.

I told him that I will be a testament of His immense grace when I will successfully deliver my rainbow baby.

 

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“If you take away the writing in me, then I am not me.” What a productive day. 💙

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Two babies after, I am still here.

The call has been incessant, keeping me awake at night so I finally took another plunge.  Hopefully, the book will be finished in 2019, God willing!

There are so many people God is sending my way for my dreams to finally come true.

I have met Russell Lorenzo, the owner of Casa De Lorenzo, one of the main producers of Castile soaps in the Philippines and also local essential oil distiller and he gave me that clarity that I was on the right track.

Andrea Butje, founder of Aromahead, who had been very supportive of her students. Without her school, it would not be possible for me to have a proper venue of arming myself with the right knowledge.

Karren Renz Seña, my writing coach who has been nothing but a source of courage – from the moment that she walked into the room during the Kerygma writing workshop, I knew that God sent her my way (despite not knowing what it was at that time).

Just yesterday, I also met Charm, the owner of The Cool Moms PH, a very successful online seller and Shopee pioneer who shared with me many wonderful things to make my little dreams come true.

I also had a chance to talk to Brother Arun Gogna, builder of The Feast Bellevue and a successful author and he has given me tips on how I can have a grip on the book that I am writing.

And finally, Edzel, whose silent yet unbelievably rocksteady support grounds the ever-fickle and volatile me.

I have no doubt that 2019 is my year. It has not yet started yet the optimism that the New Year brings to my heart is overflowing.

APAS Mommy for 2019

May yours be filled with everything your heart desires, too!

 

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