Okay, so it’s mother’s day again, and my Facebook account is flooded with messages, and photos of celebrations. greetings and sweet nothings from children of all ages. Now before we go back to the norm, allow me to be tell you the story of how I met my son.
I will not give the gory details of how I ended up as a single parent. This is actually a happy story. It had humble beginnings. I guess the only sad part about this story is that I started in the journey alone. I told my friends that I was pregnant and they were supportive. I told my parents I think a few days before my birthday…and I was rushed to the hospital immediately. The months of trying to handle everything alone ended the day they found out I was pregnant. It was scary, but everything happens at the perfect timing.
So after they found out about my pregnancy, I stopped from lugging around furniture (which I used to handle) and having sleepless nights.
Call it pregnancy hormones, call it illusions of grandeur, but when I was pregnant, my friend Marah and I attended the simbang gabi every 430AM. We have been completing it for the 4th year straight back then. In our village, breakfast was free. And every single time I requested that I liked a certain dish from lugaw to lomi, I always got my wish. Now I did not go to any casino but they say that being pregnant means being lucky. I guess I found my luck in little things.
Sophia the Rabbit
I had 2 nieces that were with us when I was pregnant. So I had some practice with them. I bought them a rabbit which I named Sophia. I always brought them to Sophia and they would immediately stop crying. Eventually, when TJ was 2 years old, Sophia bit TJ in the finger. But this is way ahead of my story, as I haven’t met him yet here. haha!
Painting My Room
One of my greatest fears when I was pregnant was not having a home in case they really did mad. I guess in my mind I was afraid of them getting so mad that they’d kick me out of the house. I painted my room to sort of mark it as still mine and if I can make it nicer I can stay. Of course these were just nonsense ramblings as they welcomed and helped me all the way.
On Avoiding Horror Movies
Okay, so I can’t stress this enough. Pregnant people are not supposed to get stressed. So while pregnant, I watched only handsome and beautiful faces. Romantic comedies as opposed to horror movies. I stared at Aga Muhlach, Mikee Cojuangco’s baby, I looked at hollywood magazines. Even in reading the newspaper, I liked Marco Lobregat. If you look at my son now, you’d see the wisdom in this somewhat insane conclusion.
The Importance of Prayer
I was never as prayerful as I was when I was pregnant. I prayed the rosary all the time. I prayed it while driving and before sleeping and basically every where. It calmed me down. Most importantly, it gave me a hopeful outlook.
Dreaming of Sto. Nino
One of the events that I went to while pregnant was the Sto. Nino Festival in Bulacan. It was very nice to see all the angelic representations of baby Jesus. I had no doubt in my mind that my boy was going to be well-loved no matter what. I thought though he would have curly hair. He now has straight hair but other than that, he looks way better than what I imagined.
I guess it is not true that only moms who are pregnant with girls are glowing. I got a lot of compliments on my skin while I was pregnant. Maybe I was radiant because I was happy. I became braver as well. Prior to being pregnant, I was afraid of getting water in the dark. While pregnant, I knew I always had someone with me.
The day before I gave birth, I climbed up 9 flights of stairs. I constantly walked while I was pregnant. My stomach was small and I didn’t look pregnant at all. I had what you call bloody show after climbing the flight of stairs. Of all the days, I gave birth on the day that Metro Manila had a nationwide black out. I had to go walking in the mall. Holy week and Lenten sacrifice really had a different meaning. Before I gave birth, we went to my aunt’s house. While I was in pain, my aunts were playing their favorite game of pekwa. I guess hearing them laugh out loud made me realize I was going to be okay, no one was panicking or concerned although I had a thousand questions and was dying on the inside.
Oh and remember I mentioned that I constantly looked at handsome actors? That day while the doctor said I should walk some more, April Boy Regino had a concert in the mall. I even got some candies from him. I also had my favorite ice cream.
Before I was finally given the much needed epidural, I kept on waiting for the extreme pain to come. I thought my pregnancy was going to be like in the movies. I would be screaming while pushing. I was wrong because after they gave me the epidural, all I did was sigh and the doctors did the pushing for me. Because I was high, I thought one of the doctors was my mom and I was oddly comforted. I was happy when I saw my son finally before I completely passed out.
After waking up, I was extremely disappointed. I immediately touched my stomach to check if I was still pregnant, and it seemed I still was. Later on, they showed the baby to me again. But I was sorry to say, disoriented. The perfect baby I saw now was dark and had rashes. Haha. He had a lot of dermatological problems then. And I said, okay as a mom I will love my son no matter what.
The first 4 months
Meeting my son was the best thing that could have happened to me. My dad told me to be ready as the world might be cruel to single moms. They would have my back, but I have to be brave. His real mom during the first 4 months was mama. She woke up when he cried in the middle of the night. She would tell me to go back to sleep. She loved newborn babies and I bet my son loved sleeping on her chest as she sang that classic “tut-tut”song. I was afraid to touch him but little by little I began to build my confidence as he had more reactions to the things around him. I remember giving him a bath one time in the comfort room already and I was happy because it was not in the sink anymore or on the dining table.
There were many what ifs in my mind. But all of those what ifs did not matter as I cannot imagine having a better job than being your mom. We have our share of arguments but I know that deep inside, you are a good kid and that you appreciate everything. I know I can’t stay as a kid forever. But as someone who grew up with you, you have changed me forever. I will always be that scared 22 year old, but I know that this time, I will have your hand to hold. Maybe not forever, but as long as I could is good enough for me.
Meeting my son is not the best thing ever. Raising him is.