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  • LJ Reyes's Second Childbirth Involved 'A Great Deal of Pain!'

    She says giving birth to Summer required a lot of strength and courage. (Plus, Paolo Contis tries to taste breast milk in one of his fun parenthood posts!)
    by Rachel Perez .
LJ Reyes's Second Childbirth Involved 'A Great Deal of Pain!'
PHOTO BY @paolo_contis and @lj_reyes on Instagram
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • It's been a month since actress LJ Reyes gave birth to her second child, daughter Summer Ayana. The little girl arrived a bit earlier than expected, but everything turned out well, and mom and child are both healthy. To celebrate Summer's first month, LJ shared a few details of her second birthing experience on social media.

    When she and partner, actor Paolo Contis, went to the hospital on January 3, 2019, she says they didn't know if she would give birth already or if she'd be sent home. "I was just at the beginning of my 37th week, but it’s not my first and should expect it early," LJ wrote on Instagram. In Summer's birth announcement, Paolo hinted that their daughter had been eager to come out of her mother's womb since late December 2018.

    After a day of monitoring, LJ says she finally reached the active labor stage. Active labor phase is described as the cervix being already about seven centimeters dilated, during which the contractions become more intense, probably at 40 to 60 seconds long, about three to four minutes apart.

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    "My OB warned me that my second pregnancy will be faster than my first. I only had seven to eight hours of labor with Aki before. It turns out my OB was right. This was definitely faster!" the actress wrote.

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    LJ asked for an epidural at around 11 a.m. on January 4, and "slowly endured quite [a] fast dilation."

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    "Imagine the baby pushing down faster than your dilation!" she described. At approximately 4 a.m., Summer was ready, so LJ was immediately transferred to the delivery room.

    "It wasn’t the easiest delivery, but I must say a very memorable one! One for the books!" the new mom of two shared. "Let’s just say it had a great deal of pain, required a lot of strength and courage from me, unwavering support from Pao, and a team of professional and trust-worthy doctors!" she added.

    The photo she posted was the exact moment her daughter was laid down on her chest. "I couldn’t believe I did it! I couldn’t believe I was holding her at last! Then I knew, everything will be [okay]. And that I am forever changed," LJ wrote.

    This was one of LJ's first few photos with Summer Ayana which she posted via Instagram Stories.
    PHOTO BY screenshot from @lj_reyes/Instagram Stories
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    The new parents have yet to show their daughter's face to the public. Paolo shared that they want to keep Summer Ayana all to themselves for now. Until then, they've been posting funny and heartwarming videos that chronicle the first few weeks of being new parents. For starters, LJ has been monitoring her daughter's feeding patterns manually.

    "Alam ko may app na for this but... still a notebook and pen kind of person," LJ said about monitoring Summer's feeds and diaper changes.
    PHOTO BY screenshot from @lj_reyes/Instagram Stories
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    Paolo, on the other hand, has a funny approach to being a dad again. His most recent post showed him having a sip of breast milk. "Isang Paalala" Breastmilk is still best for babies up to 34 years old," he quipped. Another video showed the fun dad playing peek-a-boo with his daughter, who was thankfully asleep. Paolo joked that he might have fallen asleep during the newborn care class when they were discussing how to be gentle to the baby.

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    In yet another video, Paolo called attention to Summer's raised pinky finger. "Ikaw bata ka ha... yang pinky mo laging naka taas! Masyado kang pa-girl!! Ayaw ni papa ng ganyan! Pagalitan kita habang tulog ha?? Hindi ko kasi kaya pag gising ka eh!" he wrote. Aww.

    Earlier, LJ was touched when her 8-year-old son Aki said in confidence that she'll be the best mom to his sister. The actress' worries about having two kids and dividing her love and time between the two had also disappeared. "Now I understand what 'you grow another heart' means! It doesn’t matter if you only have one heart! Your heart grows along with the number of children you have! You don’t love one more than the other," the new mom of two wrote.

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