To have a baby

I got married at age 34 so the question of having a baby was something that had been answered by the time I walked down the aisle.  Alan and I agreed that we would get our own place first before we tried.  We managed to save enough to put a downpayment on a 2-bedroom co-op unit by our second year anniversary in 2002 and we tried to get pregnant immediately.  I found out just the day before we left for my first homecoming to Manila in December of that year, but I bled during the visit home and an ultrasound at the UST Hospital confirmed I was no longer pregnant.  It didn’t quite hit me then because I had not even homed in on the idea that I was actually pregnant.

We were pregnant again after my next cycle and this time, I was able to start planning and enjoying being pregnant for 9 weeks until it was discovered that the baby had stopped growing on its 7th week.  This time I had to have a D&C to clean out the “products of conception” and I was instructed to wait another 3 months to give my body a chance to heal.  This second miscarraige was a very traumatic loss for me and plunged me into a mild depression.  I quickly overcame it once I started counting the three months, and as soon as we were clear, I got pregnant again after my first cycle.

Now I have a two year old tyke who makes my world turn.  I didn’t realize having a baby was not as natural to some couples nowadays as it was for Alan and me.  Not just the physical act of having a baby per se, but in the last two weeks, I’ve encountered three young couples who look at the prospect of having a child as something truly exciting, but at the same time, they have so much anxiety about the whole thing.

To some it’s just the thought of getting pregnant and having to deal with the prospect of losing a child.  Others are terrified of the thought of raising another human being.  It was a surprise to me that many feared the very prospect of having a child because it was a big responsibility.

It’s sad that so many young people find themselves getting pregnant irresponsibly when others have such a challenge trying.  Two of Alan’s closest friends continue to try to have a child — without success.  I have long stopped mourning my two previous losses, because I know that that is a normal occurrence.  As my doctors assured me, it’s the body’s way of letting go of a fetus that was not viable.  I simply told myself it just wasn’t time, it wasn’t for me — until Angel came and I was blessed by his birth.

Having gotten pregnant at such a late age, there was a lot of anxiety about the tests to be taken.  Here in the US, they give you a chance to terminate a pregnancy for medical reasons, and while there are limitations by state as to up to when you can intervene, there are a myriad of tests to help you decide if there is a medical challenge.

We chose to forego the amniocentisis which meant a needle puncture of the amniotic sac, primarily meant to determine if the baby has any abnormality.  It was not only that there was a slight chance that the puncture would not heal and would lead to a miscarraige, but primarily because Alan and I knew that even if we heard that our child was anything less than perfect, we would not have the heart to terminate the pregnancy.  It was not just about wanting to have a child so badly, but more importantly, we did not want to terminate a life that was given to us.

Choosing to have a baby is not the most difficult part of it.  It’s actually nurturing that child to full term and successfully delivering it into this world.  One it takes in its first breath of air, then you can only try to do your best, you can’t control how the future will be.

Just a word of advice to those worrying about the whole journey — it is worth every ounce of worry in the joy it brings when that little bundle comes out and looks you in the eye.  It’s never going to get easy, but the joys will multiply.

Exhausted Mom

Crossposted on Motherhood, Etc. 

It was a Saturday focused on Motherhood.. (as if other Saturdays have not been…)  We left just before lunch for Splish Splash (our second time there this season) but we decided to do errands first.  Since we needed to go to Target and Home Depot to pick up a few things, we decided to go to their  branches near the water park and pick up what we needed there.

So first off, we had lunch at Boulder Creek Steak House where Angel had chicken fingers for the first time.  (I know it may seem shallow to some that I am all ga-ga over this trivial accomplishment .. but Angel doesn’t really eat much when we eat out.  He has usually stuck to french fries and the bread that they give as appetizer.)  He has also taken to picking on the steamed vegetables I’ve taken to ordering as a side dish.  I had my usual French Dunk (they do theirs with prime rib slices and provolone on ciabatta bread.)  Then we hied off to Home Depot to pick up a new light fixture for the kitchen and a ceiling fan for the dining room.  After that we went to Target to our usual sundries shopping, then a short stop at Tanger, our favorite outlet strip mall which was practically a stone’s throw away from the waterpark.

We went in for the twilight admission (hours before closing) which was really out intention because we didn’t want Angel getting overexposed to the sun again.  (Last time we were in Splish Splash, he had fever off and on for three days!)  Watching him having fun was such a joy and definitely worth the trip.  The place was crowded with excursionists and families like us who sought solace there from the heat of summer but we had so much fun just following him around and having fun with him.

When it was time to go home just before the park closed at 7PM, we had to pull Angel out of the pool and it was a tearful walk to the gate.  Those who saw him crying his heart out couldn’t help but smile in amusement as they knew he didn’t want to go home.  We promised him we would go back soon.  (It is, after all, an hour away by car only.)  Outings like that are precious indeed.  Of course we took pictures again, and several film clips to help keep the memories alive for until when Angel can watch them himself and “remember” those special days with Mom and Dad.

I had to help cook dinner (Mom had already started it with marinating the porkchops and preparing the ginisa for the string beans, and we had to do the laundry tonight.  Just finished folding, at just before 11PM.  I’m wiped out but happy, watching Angel snoring lightly beside me.