Mine came in an 8.3lbs blue package via c-section exactly two days after my 30th birthday.
My life took a 360-degree turn when I found out I was 2 months pregnant with my child. Suddenly I had myself gob smacked right in the middle of all these pregnancy and child-rearing frenzy. I now have to cope with morning sickness, paglilihi as they termed it, a sudden dislike to certain scents (my lotion, as a matter of fact, and boyfriend’s cologne, which would send my stomach to action the moment I catch a whiff!) and tastes, which is utterly unexplainable, it is as if I just woke up one day and decided I dreaded the smell and taste of certain stuffs! During the first few months, I craved for dinuguan and halo-halo and which better place to find the best tasting ones but in Goldilocks, which has a branch conveniently located just a couple of blocks away from my place! We would normally eat lunch there, much to my boyfriend’s chagrin – he was mortified that our baby will come out all black because I really developed this appetite for dinuguan! The craving faded a while later and replaced by other cravings: apple, singkamas, fita, sago’t gulaman, lumpiang sariwa and finally when my tummy was much bigger, meat and burgers! From being a vegetarian of four years or so, I suddenly turned into one mean meat-eating machine that I used to joke that my baby would be a cannibal!
With being pregnant I suddenly came face to face with terms like premature labor, c-section, peristaltic nipples, cephalic position and all those maternity jargons I never would have had a clue what each meant if not for Aileen and associates (of What to expect when you’re expecting fame!) and my new found friend, my OB-gyne. I was ushered into the era of my life when I had to say goodbye, albeit, halfheartedly, to my usual staple of clothing, shirt, or tank tops and jeans and say hello to tights (which fit me quite well all throughout my pregnancy) and preggie or oversized tops. Anyway, that is just a minute, dismissible sacrifice compared to the wonderful surprises at hand! And, of course, I only want my ever dependable flip flops on my feet – as it is most comfy -and a cute nail polish shade to boot, no more, no less! I had my first pedicure and foot spa when I was 4 months pregnant!
I was enjoying the full 9-month ride, getting the hang of it finally when my life took another 360-degree turn yet again when he came out. It was the end of my life as I know it! Suddenly it was as if I was living somebody else’s life and my old one disappeared without a trace. Goodbye to my single, comfortable, tried and tested life and hello mommyhood! Hello as well to my four-inch-or-so caesarian scar just below my navel! I would’ve wanted to deliver my baby normal, what with my fear of medicine and everything inorganic but 12 hours after my water broke, I was only 3 or 4 inches dilated that it would be impossible for my baby to come out via normal delivery, hence, without a moment’s hesitation I signed the waiver permitting the maternity hospital to cut a whole on me and get my baby out! Much as I am paralyzed with fear of the impending first major operation in my whole 30 years of existence, I fear for my baby’s well being and safety the most that my concerns readily fall into second priority.
In the midst of my drugged and anesthesia-empowered birth giving, everything seemed to pass in a hissing blur before me, all I can remember is being pushed on a gurney to the operating/delivery room, the syringe on my tailbone (?), and then I would drift between sleeping and waking and after a while he’s finally arrived, I heard the doctor exclaimed it’s a boy and I heard my little boy cried for the first time then I was off to oblivion again.
The first few days were the hardest, while I was tending to my wounds – which can be very painful, especially when I carry my baby, that I can’t carry him longer even if I wanted to – I need to care for my son as well. He is so little, so helpless it seems, so fragile that I was wondering if I will ever really know how to care and nurture him. For the first time in a while I was having doubts whether I could muster my parenting ability soon enough so I would know how to keep him safe and satisfied. The first 2 days after we brought him home, I never slept for nearly 48 hours because all I wanted to do is look at him, and hold him as soon as he cooed! Also, I felt like I had to stay on guard lest I will wake up the next day and find him gone. I had to pinch myself every so often just to make sure, just to convince myself that I wasn’t altogether lucid dreaming and that this is a reality. My answered prayers, my dream come true, my heaven…my firstborn in my arms…it doesn’t get any better than that!
It was the era for firsts, the first time he slept the night through, the first time he raises his hand, the first time he smiled and laughed. The first time I changed his diapers, the first time I bathe him. The first pedia visit, the first vaccine when he cried like there is no tomorrow, the first insect bite, the first time a tooth erupted. All of which are stamped in my memory. All of which are entirely new to me. All of which are entirely new to him, too. We are both learning.
The first month came whizzing by, then followed by the next. Every monthly birthday is another momentous occasion, another milestone and we celebrate each of them with a cake, or puto or palabok. I only wish my son can eat these goodies soon enough so I can enjoy them with him.
My life now is drawn on a different canvass, my old life just a blur of a memory and traces of it are quickly disappearing by the second. My lifestyle has drastically changed, so is my wardrobe, so are my priorities and aspirations in life. Being a mother does all that, but I don’t mind. It is a change I welcome with arms wide open. Old life be gone, I prefer this new one better, the toothless and afterwards toothy grin, the gooey kisses, the bliss of holding my son in my arms when we sleep at night, priceless, incomparable, my only idea of heaven!
Motherhood is one heck of an exciting journey, it is a profound, life altering experience, and it is a learning process. As I learn more about my son each day, as he learn a little about a thing or two, I am also learning about myself, about being a parent, about patience and sacrifice, about giving more of yourself to someone, about putting somebody else’s needs, interests and desires ahead of yours, about pure, unconditional love that probably only a mother can feel towards someone, his son. It is our journey together and what fun it is to have Goldilocks tag along. We still have quite a long, long way to go, in fact we have only just begun.