I am watching my little angel as I type this and currently on my breastfeeding break eating lactation chocolate chip treats (there really is such a thing). Christmas and New Year have come and gone and I hardly felt it. The last half of the year 2015 has been filled with trials that tested our family and I was quietly grieving and never shared it.
It started when we went to our Baguio vacation. Immediately after that trip we found out that Julia has dengue and pneumonia at the same time. We were lucky that she was discharged after a week and the dengue did not progress to something scary.
After a few months, Julia’s yaya left and found myself without help during my second trimester. And because I consider myself crazy, I took it as a challenge. Besides what can I do? I do not want to leave work. So I became a mother that can be further broken down into a cook, a school bus driver, a tutor, an assistant, a cleaning lady. All these while working the eight to five job. I can say it was successful because I was on top of Julia’s school work, we slept early, we still had time to practice the piano, we were on time, and we were eating home cooked meals that I like (they have no choice since I am the cook). Julia kept saying I should open my own restaurant haha!
By November we finally found a yaya for Julia. I thought I can now focus on my pregnancy, nest, and relax. But one day mommy (Henry’s mom) vomited persistently that my brother in law rushed her to the hospital. It was really bad. Her cancer recurred as a brain tumor. Henry was devastated and I could not help him because my emotions were all over the place. One day I’m fine, sometimes I feel neglected, and most of the time I was crying. When I saw her in the hospital, I couldn’t help but bawl (as in!) and went outside because I can’t let my father in law see me like that. I was crying when I had a checkup with my obgyne and they said I should relax because of my blood pressure. We took her home after a week because the doctors said they could not do anything anymore. She died three days later. It was that fast. So there we were, doing all the preparations for the wake and the funeral. I was clueless as to what I can do. Luckily Julia was there as a relief to all these grieving by being the helpful kid that she is, was the one handing out the food for the guests. It was a hard time for Henry’s family. They are really worried about daddy because they do not know how he will express his loss. My brother in law’s family was the one who was on top of things because I was really useless during this time. I kept on telling my sister-in-law that I will try to make up next year.
After the dust settled and we were sort of doing our routine at home, Julia’s cough was still not easing up. We went to the doctor for checkup. She was given antibiotics and antihistamine for her cough and colds. I was diligent with letting her take her medication that I was puzzled why after a week she suddenly had a fever. I immediately rushed her to the doctor again for a checkup and she asked to do an x-ray and cbc with dengue test. It turned out she has dengue and pneumonia again! We went back to the hospital for confinement. I really hate to see her crying because of inserting the IV and her daily blood extractions. I was with her the whole time while I was already in my third trimester and was due anytime. After a week, she was discharged and was asked to rest. This happened during the middle of December which was also the period of presentations and parties. We never got to attend both our parties since I was absent for the rest of the month.
After all the stress… I was still surprisingly pregnant! My estimated date, around December 20, has passed and I was still very pregnant and very bloated. My mother was pestering me about it because she wanted to go to the province but she felt she needed to be here to be with me. I was stressed because she kept on asking me when will I give birth to the point of suggesting I should get it over and undergo a c-section. I adamantly refused to do that because I felt that the healing time is longer than a normal birth which makes breastfeeding all the more difficult. To get her off my back, I pushed them to go and celebrate Christmas in the province.
But why was I still pregnant? According to the ultrasound, the baby is big. He was estimated to be 7 lbs and something oz. My doctor told me that there is an additional 5 oz to that estimate so the baby would probably weigh 8 lbs. The normal/ average Filipino baby is about 6 lbs. and 5 oz. thereby increasing my chance of a c-section. I was not prepared by this news — physically and financially. The doctor was waiting for my cervix to ripen before inducing labor because she wanted to try and make a normal delivery first. I was given a week more and said she will induce by December 28. All I needed to do was wait.
Being pregnant the second time was very different from my first. I can definitely say I was worried how these chain of events will affect my baby. I was irritable, depressed, alone, ugly, crazy, but at the same time unable to express all these. I had to act tough, forgiving, giving, but of course there are times that I can’t contain my thoughts and say things out loud. That’s all they see. They don’t know how hard it was to appear ok when obviously I am not. I was not able to prepare for this baby as much as I did when I was with Julia. That’s why I kept my mouth and posts shut about what’s happening in my life. I was just honestly trying to get through one day at a time and was constantly praying for both of us to be safe.