This was written about two and a half years ago, the unedited version of what came out in Good Housekeeping Philippines in April 2012. Hope it blesses, inspires, entertains you…or even makes you laugh! Happy Mother’s Day!
(And oh, no photo at the moment…gotta go to the grocery for now!)
Mommy Journey Thus Far
I never dreamed I’d become a mom. I had seen medical TV shows of women giving birth, and they never gave me this fuzzy feeling of mothering. It scared the wits out of me!
But when I got married, I wanted to start building a family of my own. Prior to getting pregnant, though, I had a valid concern. Since getting married, my lifestyle had drastically changed. My husband and I were trying to find a balance between the city where my work was based, and the countryside where his work was based. We would often take a nine-hour bus ride back and forth — about four to six trips a month. Now how in the world was I supposed to carry a child in my womb with this hectic schedule? But I did. Up until about a couple of weeks before I gave birth!
My due date was in the middle of September. It was August 31. I was so sure I’d give birth mid-September that I was still at work that day, ignoring a mild pain in my tummy. Then in the middle of the night, as the pain became more intense, I started checking the signs of childbirth in a pregnancy book. Then it hit me: I am having contractions! My husband was out of town, and I didn’t want to wake anyone up (I was staying at my parents’ house), so I waited till the sun was up. Come morning, I announced, “I think it’s time,” and they all scrambled to get me to the nearby hospital.
It turned out that I was already dilated by 6 cm. Surprisingly, I wasn’t scared at all. At the delivery room, my doctor and her staff prayed for me. With every intensifying contraction, I would imagine myself on a rollercoaster saying, “Whee!” in my mind. I found it funny that the medical staff would ask me questions and even request for my signature while undergoing this excruciating ordeal. Can that wait till after this contraction?
Two hours into the final stage of labor, and no baby in sight, my doctor advised a C-section, to my relief!
As I was wheeled into the hospital room, my husband and two friends were there to greet me, in all my disheveled hair glory. I finally gave birth. Now what? My doctor’s parting words were, “Enjoy your baby!” I had no idea what that meant. I was honestly trying to fight the feeling of dread. Because I had no idea how to take care of this baby or how the landscape of my lifestyle would now look like.
The first few weeks of motherhood were crazy. I was in the middle of finishing my editing work for a book (way past my deadline!), and dealing with the agonizing wound from my C-section, post-partum blues, breastfeeding frustrations, the absence of my husband (he had to go back to the province for a few days for an important event) and, oh yeah, a baby in tow!
Then came the traveling part. The bus ride was not an option, so air travel it was. Of course, I had my concerns once again. What about ear pressure? Will his ears hurt? At only two months old, our baby had his first plane ride to the province, the first of many. He recently turned four years old, and he’s never had trouble flying.
My son and I now stay, collectively, about half of the year in the city, and half in the countryside. When we’re in the city, it’s my husband who comes every weekend. I have the privilege of being both a working mom (city) and a work-at-home mom (countryside). Sure, I’ve had those monster mom moments. But the Bible is right when it says that children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). God has been so good to give me this gift. I am happy and blessed. And yes, grateful.