I’m just so thankful to God for never leaving me alone during my pregnancy with my firstborn. During that season, I really proved true that He is my Father, my Husband, my closest Friend–He is truly anything You need Him to be!
While Gary marrying me is already a miracle in itself, having a baby really stretched my faith. For one, I was already 34 years old then. Many would tell me that I’ll have a hard time and I would carefully cancel each negative confession. I would tell myself that my Father will take care of me, that He will enable me to carry the child and give birth without any complications. Add to that the unique challenge of venturing into the unknown realm of pregnancy and parenthood. To be honest, I found it the scariest season to be in. A lesson and advice here–be sensitive and kind to pregnant women and to moms. You’ll never know what kind of battle they are going through and they need all the understanding and help they can get, not unsolicited, insensitive advice or comments.
Facing Hyper Emesis Gravidarium
I never thought my ‘paglilihi’ would go haywire. It would have been manageable if it were the same with the movies. I really thought a pregnant woman would just barf once and then that’s it! She’ll just say, ‘Buntis ako at ikaw ang ama!’ then go on with life with a bigger belly which will go back to its original size when she gives birth like nothing happened. Nah. So not true! And I actually believed this lie all my life?
I suffered Hyper Emesis Gravidarium for the first four months of my pregnancy and my barfing stints would recur occasionally until a few hours into labor. I couldn’t keep anything down at all except for the occasional mango shake, banana, and ice chips! At first I thought it was just normal but when I told my OB Doctor Menefrida Reyes that I had lost 14 kilos in just few weeks, she said it was not something to rejoice over. I was asked to see her in the delivery room and when she saw me, she didn’t let me go home anymore. I had to get hospitalized to correct my sodium and potassium levels.
I could have endured it or even ignored it like I did before when I also had a similar eating disorder. But this time, I wasn’t alone. I had a baby growing inside me–someone who needs me to make the right decisions. Agreeing to confinement really humbled me down since I never went to hospitals to get treated when I was still single. Now, I had to seek the help of experts for the sake of my baby. It didn’t matter anymore if I messed up the budget. I also had to make the difficult decision of letting go of my responsibilities at work for at least three weeks.
It was a very stressful time for me: getting sick, adjusting in a new house, the hubby far away, and new things happening at work. Looking back, all I can do is just thank God because I just know that He poured lots of grace over me during that time. Whew!
Even if my husband’s job only allows us to be together several months a year, I could never take the inevitable distance against him. Thanks to technology, we could chat every night and email during the day. (Insert advertorial: this post is brought to you by Globe, Mac, and Ensure hehe!) He was always present and ever involved. Albeit far from me, I still felt well taken care of. And when he was home, he would patiently take me to work, help me with my diet, buy baby stuff, walk at my pace (I was very slow), and read all the pregnancy books for me! Thank you, Dad, for preparing for me such a man! I love him so much!
I know that being a first-time dad is also a different challenge but I must say, the hubby has been acing it! When we were already in labor at 3 in the morning of October 16, I could tell that he was just keeping his nervousness to himself. While waiting for me to dilate to 10 cm, he already learned the Lamaze counting and timing by ear and was coaching me. We didn’t go to any training, it was all by faith! Thank God, my hubby is a man who trusts God above all. I had someone to stand in faith with me for an easy, normal delivery without epidural and to have a healthy baby. I needed a man who knew how to battle kneeling down and lead me to God always.
Of course, these wouldn’t happen if not for our faithful Father! I would often declare before that I am a daughter with inheritance and I would claim specific promises in the Bible as mine. And with all the blessings, the things He gave and took away, all I can say is, my Heavenly Father is faithful: He never forsakes! We should always trust His ways and His goodness.
Falling in Love Again
It was a surreal feeling to finally hold in your arms the baby inside you for months. For me, a new life is God’s greatest miracle! However, we weren’t warned that we won’t be having complete sleep for the next months, that breastfeeding is not easy as well as getting back into shape, that we had to overcome fear of the unknown and do our best to learn how to give the best care to our baby, that the sleepless nights and all that fatigue will bring out our inner identities and test our relationship.
There are many challenges to being first-time parents. But it is in these moments that God can bind you better as bestfriends, as partners in life, that you are taught a higher level of sacrifice, responsibility, gentleness . . . aaaah! A lot of life lessons! In the end, you become a better person (by faith) and you fall in love with your husband all over again as his inner superhero is being revealed. And there’s that little cutie, your heart fluttering outside of your body–your future close friend, your future buddy, future Padawan! He is God’s blessing and faithfulness to you!
These have transformed my heart once again–I would do anything, give up everything for these two handsome men in my life! Hashtag: #inloveagain.
In the End, Trust God
We are indebted to every true friend, loved one, and spiritual family who stood with us in prayer, who encouraged us, showered us with gifts, and assisted us all the way. You are God’s ambassadors here on earth! We love and treasure you!
Just like how no two pregnancies are alike, God’s work in our lives is never the same. He writes our stories differently. One thing’s for sure though–He is unchanging. For every story, it will end with His faithfulness, goodness, and sovereignty as we let Him take control.
As I said in the beginning of this post how we will never know the battles each of us face, this journey has taught me all the more to never compare or easily conclude but just keep focused on who God is. Because in the end, no battle is ever easy but each one surrendered in God is a sure victory!