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. 😉

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. 

Faith Lessons and Others in between

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1 Peter 1:6-7 pretty much sums up what happened to me during the last three weeks. The whole pregnancy and miscarriage ordeal sure brought to light what I’ve been missing all this time. Here are 5 lessons I have learned through this experience:

1. God has woven in me the perfect temperament, and I couldn’t ask for anything more, or less. I mean, I’ve heard of stories from friends who had miscarriages. Most of them went through mild depression, self-pity, and different stages of anger and hate. I, on the other hand, spent almost a day dwelling on our loss; nevertheless, I was able to get back up after a quick devotion and talk with the Lord. Had I been a Melancholy, I would have sulked for weeks, overthinking why I had to experience such demise. I am just overwhelmed at how God has put everything in my life in order, and how He made me just as I am – a Sanguine Choleric who lives for the day and possesses all the hope in the world.

2. In times of crisis, I can actually be strong — very strong. Most people who know me from childhood would disagree. I know they see me as a huge coward who’s scared stupid of cockroaches, frogs and rats — yep, I know that. And I don’t deny that I am scared of a whole lot of things, the future included. I’m afraid of physical pain — needles, getting fractured, getting terribly sick and every single thing that needs medical attention. Only after the day of my miscarriage and when one of my aunts told me that I was indeed very brave to deal with the situation — and the contractions — alone did I realize that yeah, I could actually forget my fears and deal with the circumstances head on.

3. I am We are blessed with very supportive and loving friends and family.

4. My ordeals develop faith in others. In the past week, I have been receiving some very encouraging messages from friends and family — most of whom I didn’t even expect to be updated about my condition. A particular message touched my heart when this acquaintance-turned-good-friend shared that like me, she was not yet ready to have a baby. After reading my blog post, she said that “[my] experience really inspired [her] a lot, especially when [ I ] started talking about ‘faith.'” According to her, “if it is in God’s time already, who are we to refuse His gift?” Her message brought me to tears, and I couldn’t help but thank God for allowing me to experience this miscarriage so that other couples and soon-to-be mothers will be strengthened through me. Truly, this faith resulted in praise, glory and honor of Jesus.

Not only that. Even people who do not usually mention God’s name miraculously did so in their efforts to encourage me, probably because they knew I am a Christian. But hey, they must have mustered all their strength just to type G-O-D! And for that, all glory belongs to Him, the author and perfecter of our faith. 🙌

5. Lastly, when on social media, many people take things at face value. They do not really take time, or might not have time, to read everything posted. They see things as WYSIWYG — and that’s quite dangerous, especially when the appropriate word to say is sorry, but they blurt out a big congratulations. 😛 Oops, don’t worry. I’m fine with the congratulatory messages, contrary to what others might think. It’s not in my DNA to get offended over simple and petty things like forgotten greetings or wrong choice of words. There is so much more to life than holding grudges. 👌

Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory. — 1 Peter 1:7 MSG

1600 Days and the Days in Between

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Today marks the 1600th day of my relationship with Jets, better known as the exclusively-praying-for-each-other-not-accepting-other-offers-and-getting-there stage. It all depends on when you start counting. There’s an additional 365 days if you want to include our prayer covenant.

Anyhow, I’ll be celebrating this milestone with a blog post. Hurrah!

Months after being married, I have been often asked, “How is married life different from when you were just dating?”

To be honest, answering that question is quite a bother. Why? Because I’d have to think hard about the differences — and really, they are so few I keep forgetting them when I’m in a good mood. 🙂

When I first met Jets, he was this really cool drummer who cracked the funniest jokes and did the funniest antics. No, not because I liked him at first sight — I just enjoyed his company and it turned out this way. Haha!

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Two things.

One, our first year of getting to know each other was all good stuff. We hung out, went on group dates and texted each other until we ran out of battery. We liked what we were seeing, hearing and learning from each other.

As we moved from friendship to close friendship and eventually, to courtship – yes, this term – we began to see where we fell short. Too much time with each other allowed us to see our shortcomings and even those that we did way overboard. We hated certain things about each other, but when we think about it, we had more similarities than we had differences, and what we hated about each other, we just saw in ourselves.

So two, there’s good stuff and there’s bad reality — it can’t be fun all the time. Now what’s the difference?

I think it’s the way we deal with circumstances now that we live in the same house and don’t text each other as often.

We have more bills to pay.
We have to work harder.
We have to save up.

We have a family to look forward to.

But now we have the rest of our lives to figure out life, and each other, together, and that’s the best part!

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All photos taken at Museo Pambata.

Understanding by Design

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A recent fight with my husband taught me two things:

  1. Those who don’t understand tend to get angry first.
  2. Those who do understand could use a little more understanding.

I am not saying I’m right, and he’s wrong. I would like to think we both have weaknesses we need to work on.

As I locked myself in the bathroom, all sorts of thoughts entered my mind. I was angry. I was crying. I was crying because I couldn’t be angry. I couldn’t shout at him. I was no longer that kind of person. Over the years I have learned to keep all the words — especially the mean ones — from coming out of my mouth. Surely, this wasn’t one of the situations that called for my mean speech.

In my mind I thought, “Heck, how you reacted was just the worst. Now you sound a lot like —.” I calmed myself down. I had to. The sudden outburst of tears made it hard for me to breathe. Thank God for hyperventilation — it keeps me sane enough not to cry most of the time.

You see, the problem with marriage is that there is no trial version. It comes as a whole package. No, there isn’t a crack. There is no keygen. You discover and work things out on your own. Together. It’s up to you and your mate to solve your differences — all the more your misunderstandings.

Back in the bathroom I wondered, “What if, after he reacted semi-violently, I approached him more gently? What if I smiled at him, cracked a joke, and reassured him that we could work on his forms together?” Seems easy, but not really. It was especially straining because I hate going through stuff repeatedly. My favorite line, which he usually mimics, “Eh paulit-ulit naman tayo eh,” was the same line that made him snap — it showed no hint of understanding on my part. It was more of complaining that I had to repeat what was already previously said.

Clearly, marriage requires understanding, not just of one, but of both. There may be setbacks. One might have, or know, less; the other might have more, but where the other person lacks, the partner should provide. That is true partnership.

Four months into married life and I am slowly learning. I thought it wasn’t hard at first, but challenges come, and they make us better at what we do. 🙂