Or so I thought

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After giving birth, I thought my only role in the world was that of a mom. I thought I was exempted from performing other responsibilities because I was taking care of my child. I thought I didn’t have to be sensitive of the feelings of others because being a mommy requires an infinite deal of sensitivity. I thought it was absolutely fine not to spend precious time with people, family in particular, because, after all, every bit and part of me was oh-so-devoted to first-time motherhood. This baby is family!

I thought I was doing a great job. But I was not.

I forgot that I was also a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a wife. Realization rushed in late, and with it came circumstances that were unimaginably tough for wee little me — tough enough for me to not talk about it for now.

Nevertheless, the assurance of God’s sovereignty was present, and His message in Romans 8:28 was clearer than day: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NLT)

Despite the uncertainty of things, I have this verse to hold on to. There might have been a few setbacks, but somehow they seemed to work together for the better and paved the way for an enlightened and encouraged me.

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Ang Anak Kong Hindi Mahilig Matulog

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Yung anak ko, marunong nang matulog nang tanghali. Marunong na rin siyang manatiling nakapikit at hindi dumilat agad kapag naalimpungatan. Marunong na siyang kalabanin ang liwanag ng araw para maituloy yung tulog niya. Yung morning at afternoon nap niya, tumatagal na ng higit isang oras. At higit sa lahat, marunong na siyang magpababa.

Siguro nagtataka yung iba — anong klaseng bata ba yung anak ko?

Sabi ng mga magulang ko, nung baby daw ako, hindi ako iyakin, at kung umiyak man, madali lang patahanin, kaya nung nag-maternity leave ako, nag-uwi ako ng raket kasi naisip ko ang haba ng 2 months, imposibleng di ko matrabaho yun. Madali lang naman siguro mag-alaga ng baby; matutulog lang naman siya palagi. 

Pero hindi pala pare-pareho ang mga baby. 😱

Nagkataon na yung binigay sa amin ay yung clingy, iyakin, at hindi mahilig matulog. 😂 Siya yung baby na gustong laging nakadikit sa akin o sa nag-aalaga sa kanya. Siya yung baby na gusto lagi ng atensyon. Siya yung baby na nakakapagod alagaan, kasi nga mahilig siyang maglaro at ayaw niyang matulog. Sa sobrang hirap niyang alagaan, yung pag-ihi at paliligo, pati pagkain, pahirapan pa.

Yung prinsipyo ko sa pag-aalaga ng baby na hayaan sila at wag buhatin pag umiiyak, hindi ko pala magagawa sa anak ko. Kasi ang totoo, hindi siya ganung klaseng bata. Hindi uubra sa kanya yung ganun. Hindi siya katulad ko nung baby ako o ng ibang batang ilapag mo lang sa isang tabi ay ayos na at hindi iiyak.

May mga panahon na pagod na ko at naiinis na at hindi ko na kayang makipaglaro o makipagbolahan sa kanya dahil mainit na ang ulo ko. May mga panahon ding tinatanong ko ang Diyos bakit hindi na lang yung mabait na baby ang binigay sa amin — yung baby na tahimik lang, hindi iyakin, hindi malikot, natutulog sa umaga at hapon, at natutulog ng soooobrang haba sa gabi.

Pero baka nga kasi dahil sa init ng ulo ko kaya siya ang binigay sa akin. Baka ang dami ko kasing oras para sa sarili ko kaya ilaan ko naman daw sa pag-aalaga sa iba. Baka kulang ang pasensya ko kaya habaan ko naman daw ang pisi ko. Baka masyado akong nakatuon sa sarili kong kaalaman kaya puso ko naman daw ang gamitin ko.

Iyakin siya nung maliit, laging nagpapakarga, at malikot hanggang ngayon. Gusto niyang laging nakadikit sa mga tao, laging gumagala o lumalabas, at laging nakakakita ng tao. Kung may girlfriend na high maintenance, si Samsam yung high maintenance baby.

Ang daming pwedeng ikapagod sa batang to. Kung susumahin ko lahat ng hindi ko makita sa anak ko, lahat ng kahinaan at kapintasan niya, mapapagod talaga ako, mabuburyo, at susuko na lang.

Pero pag tiningnan ko kung anong mabuti sa kanya, kung saan siya magaling at anong kalakasan niya, siguradong kaiinggitan ako ng ibang mga nanay na may “mababait” at “hindi iyaking anak.”

Pero syempre, sa susunod na yun. Nagising na siya eh. 😉

Blue and Dainty

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Samsam always gets mistaken for a boy — I think it’s not only because of her nickname, or her spunky badass (AKA semi-kalbo) hair, but also because of her OOTDs.

When I go to the department store to look for bibs, socks or shoes, which are supposed to be gender-neutral, sales clerks tend to point me to all things pink and cutesy, and immediately come to my rescue when I deliberately opt for a more rugged style saying those stuff are “for boys.”

Sure, she looks soooo dainty in pink, and it is certainly eye-candy to have all her baby stuff in the same shade, but what’s wrong with other colors?

I refuse to let my little girl grow in a world where the norm is “Pink (or purple) is to girls, as blue is to boys.

Why set stereotypes when her mom loves blue and her dad loves pink? Why limit her vision with pink and purple when she can see the world in way more than just the colors of the rainbow? Why give her ribbons and dolls only when she has the capacity to choose the toys she wants or if she actually wants any?

Since she is my child, my goal is to raise her in an environment void of stereotypes, be it color, style, or gender-specific responsibilities (Hello, career counseling! I think this calls for a separate post. 😉). 

For all the parents who are pressured (by who knows who or what) to make their baby look more female (or vice versa), you are not alone. Just remember this one thing: nobody knows your child like you do. Your child, your rules. 😉

PS. This was supposed to be a short post on Facebook, but I got carried away. Hurray for my first blog post ever since I gave birth! 😂

Faith Restored

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Anyone who knows me like family is fully aware of my fear of hospitals, doctors, injections, and almost any health-related stuff for that matter. It was because of a traumatic experience at the hospital when I was barely two years old. Ever since I can remember, I would get chills and palpitations whenever I’m inside a hospital.

To cope with it, I have already decided since the start of my pregnancy to visit my OB at her home clinic and not at the hospital, despite the wonderful airconditioning system hospitals provided. 😉

I’ve been on and off a bad cough for a few months now, and while the first few weeks weren’t quite alarming as I was just advised to drink plenty of water and eat citrus fruits, these days proved to be more dreadful because of the merciless summer heat and my growing tummy that gets way too painful whenever I cough.

This is the first time I’ve had a cough that lasted more than a month. You don’t call it a viral infection anymore — so my nurse friends say, but I was so afraid to be prescribed of antibiotics because we know how expectant mothers shouldn’t take them, right?

Anyway, since I’m already 22 weeks on the way, I decided to just visit a pulmonologist and get this cough over with. I was supposed to go to the doctor last Wednesday, but was disappointed that the doctor had such an early cutoff. Imagine, his clinic hours were 4pm to 6pm, but all slots were already filled by 4:15!

You know how two people are not meant to meet each other? Well, that’s me and that doctor.

Which proved to be the best for scaredy-cat me after all.

For someone who’s afraid of hospitals, checkups are the biggest challenges.

Today I went to the hospital 15 minutes earlier than the doctor’s clinic hours. I’ve had an awful experience with the HMO, so I took care of that first. So far, so good. Got my form in a matter of minutes.

I went to the doctor’s clinic and was relieved that there were only 7 patients before me and clinic hours were far from over. The best part? The waiting area was airconditioned and was just the right temperature for me. You see, that floor is divided into two — the airconditioned area and the natural air-ventilated area. And for some reason, the doctor I was supposed to visit early in the week was in the less comfortable side.

Upon consultation with the doctor, who has aged beautifully from my first consultation with her 5 years ago, I was kinda sure she was keeping herself from giving me a good scolding. “3 months ka nang inuubo, tapos tubig at fruits ka lang?!” Err, uhm… 😅😂 It was like getting reprimanded by my grandma who’s a former teacher. It feels good getting scolded by grandmothers sometimes. I think it was mainly because I was pregnant that pissed her off. 😂

After a series of inhale-exhales, the doctor told me to get an X-ray; she said I didn’t have to worry because the baby’s already five months in my tummy. I asked for approval at the HMO, and for the second time, it was unbelievably quick of them to release the form.

I went to the radiology department and was warmly accommodated by the staff who told me to wait outside X-ray Room 1. The attending technician approached me and asked if I was the pregnant patient. She was so kind as to provide me with 3 levels of shield, as I would like to call it, to cover my tummy from radiation. She was also talking to me throughout the procedure which made me feel more at ease.

Right after the x-ray, the technician told me to get the results on Monday, 5 pm. I responded with a hesitant, “Ay, sa Monday pa…” I guess she had a hunch that my pulmo wanted the results today, so she told me that she would just have the results printed out in a few minutes.

At that moment, I just thought, Wow, where’s all this favor coming from? 

For some reason, I suddenly had the urge to take a look at the shirt I was wearing, then it struck me. On it was written: I AM A CHILD OF GOD in Chasing Embers font. Of course! How could I forget? Being a child of God means being highly favored — that I am sure of.

Out came my x-ray results. The whole procedure, including the waiting, took only 20 minutes. There’s God’s favor right there. I went back to the doctor with less worries.

The doctor looked at the print out and muttered, “Okay naman pala…” Man, those words were the only ones I needed to hear. 😏 Plus, her mood has already lightened up. Haha. I was expecting my asthma had come back to haunt me — thank God it didn’t. I was prescribed with an antibiotic, Cefuroxime, which was generally safe for pregnant women, and Fluimucil, one of the best medications I’ve had in my life. 😁 

I went out of the clinic with a smile plastered on my face — a smile of relief, one might think, but it was actually a smile of gratefulness. God has indeed placed His hand on every part of my hospital experience today. Not only has He reminded me of His sovereignty in my life, He has also been gradually restoring my faith in doctors, hospitals, and hospital staff. ❤

Before the x-ray procedure, I was scared for my baby as much as I was for my traumatized self. But after the whole ordeal-turned-faith-restoration-process, if you ask me, now I am fully certain that my baby will be a bouncy and healthy one. How do I know? Because I am a child of God. 

What happens on May 9?

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Our choice of president is determined by the things we value most. Sadly, we cannot find all the best qualities in any one candidate.

So it all boils down to this: do we choose diplomacy over discipline? Words over actions? Intellect over experience?

What do we want our country to be known for? Do we want a president that we can be proud of internationally? Someone who has good ties with other countries? Someone who is intellectually competent? Someone knowledgeable about military techniques and crime fighting? Someone who understands the needs of his countrymen? Or do we want a leader who sets a good example by placing himself on the job and experiencing it for himself?

I don’t know about you, but everything I mentioned above is important to me. However, it is hard for me to follow a leader who leads from a pedestal, who does only the talking but not the walking, who is all wits but without heart.

So my vote goes to that one candidate who dwells with the masses, speaks without pretenses, leads his constituents while living a simple life, and keeps his town safe at the expense of his own safety.

I want a president who is not afraid to die — because maybe, just maybe, because of him, many would become a little braver to fight, and die, for our beloved country.

I have a dream…

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A few months back, a friend asked us in our care group to complete a dream mobile where we had to write down our short-term and long-term goals.

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My dream mobile.

Here’s what I wrote.

Short-term goal: Take educ units and eventually take the Licensure Exam for Teachers. That’s because I figured that it’s easier to finish educ units than a master’s degree. 👌

5-year goal: Have a baby. Or babies. Whichever. Haha! After my miscarriage earlier this year, I realized I didn’t have any plans with regards to our future children, so I decided to officially include “babies” in my to-do list. 😛

Long-term goal: Have our own house and visit Korea. Ever since I started teaching ESL to Koreans, I’ve been dreaming of going to Korea to experience their life and culture — and to practice my speaking as well. It’s been quite a while, and new slang words are being introduced every day. I think it would be great if tables were turned and I was the student in a foreign country. I can only imagine!

So how am I faring with my goals?

No, I don’t wanna talk about it. I’m not even halfway through my short-term goal!

FIVE YEARS

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Certficate of Recognition awarded today.

It has been a very good and fruitful 5 years. I’m still unsure of the path the Lord wants me to take, but I guess I have one more school year to figure it out. 👌

And with that, I am dedicating this blog post to the past five years of lessons and challenges, of trials and triumphs, of heartaches and happiness, of learning, growing, and dreaming. 😄