Tomorrow, November 30, will be my 37th week of pregnancy. Finally my baby is ‘full term'. I will then be waiting for his arrival, to see his face, feel his soft sweet smelling skin, the smile, the yawn, and the many adventures we will be lurching thru. It's been nine months of having this seemingly unusual feeling of carrying a human being, moving on its own, not under my control but God's, like an alien hovering in my gut, waiting to exit. Yet it was quiet amazing to get excited again and be thrilled, to recollect and restructure my life according to what has now been laid...this second pregnancy.
If you thought this was easy, you're wrong. My mood swings were terrible, from grin to grouch then back to grinning again. Shaun has to put up with me and try to be patient. So allow me to jot down this circus-like episode of my womanhood, fresh from my memory before a blanket of flimsy clouds cast over my mind making this extraordinary experience hazy.
I had a horrible first trimester due to a debilitating hyperemesis gravidarum, or the so called "morning sickness". My tummy's tone often wobbled from nausea to vomiting with a considerable amount. I lost weight, and felt tired. I hated taking medicines because it made me sick. I'll just threw up my gastric contents. Yeah, yeah...I know I have to consume it. They said nausea and vomiting gets worst every pregnancy. I don't know. Medical books didn't tell me so. More, the feeling and suffering is an unfamiliar territory. Maybe I missed my OB class watching movies at Victoria during medschool (bisto ang bisyo). Or fell asleep during conferences (ikaduhang bisyo). Hmmm, still my review class for the boards had not prepared me for the so called tales of the oldies (try daw sa aklat ng albularyo).
This year was supposed to be a truckload of activities. There's the long list of conventions (especially Palawan), the Talikod scuba diving, the CDO wild river rafting, the 60th SPH celebration, Alumni homecoming, Friends' weddings and now the several list of Christmas parties. I have to bear the anguish of staying home while my colleagues were enjoying the fun and adventure. I have to put up with the disgruntled look from those who invited me as a team in dance numbers/competitions (yehey, got an excuse). And I have to accept the misery of ugliness despite concealing the intractable change of my looks by make-up of course! So, this is a year of refusing invitations, and I have to be content in lingering in Marco Polo or Insular as a get-away (maayo na lang, ingon nila).
So what was it with my looks? This progesterone, well, this hormone raging inside my body, is the one responsible for my emerging new beauty. Suddenly, from a plain Filipina I have become a mestisa. Yup! Mestiza Africana., in other words, NogNog! Hahaha! Black is the color, from my armpit, to my neck and up to my face. And as I am waxing a bit emotional every morning in the mirror, my husband would simply and starkly say I looked like an ‘Ata' and with my disdainful stare, he would again say ‘no,no,no, gwapa na Ata' or much more ‘princesa sa mga Ata'. Then we'd laugh our way out from my struggle to self-preservation.
The forces of nature just wouldn't stop yet! I watched my fresh young skin across my belly stretched into an enormous mound, the tissue underneath breaking, leaving a permanent scar, you call it stretch marks. As my ballooning abdomen grows, I have difficulty looking at my feet and touching it to apply a dab of lotion. So I have to ask my husband to give an extra hand in applying lotion from my thigh down to my feet. Of course, the ‘touch-me-not' rule may suddenly conform into ‘touch-me-sometimes' (bigaon ay). Then, it was such an ordeal to cut my toenails . I'd rather rush for a pedicure or leave it as is, just out of laziness to bring on a little effort. And talking about laziness, I hate picking up things from the floor or the ground, even to bow down is an effort too. So I have maneuvered the dance step of picking things with my bare foot. Use my toes to pick it, swayed my leg backwards, reach it up from my toes to my hand. Easy! Better yet, I would ask somebody to pick it up. Hehehe..
As I reached my term, I get bloated, from my face down to my hips and toes. I feel like a puffer fish in a puffed state, knocking everyone who gets in my way, good thing I'm not poisonous. My tiny fingers are stubby that even Shaun's wedding ring won't nearly fit now. My swollen feet are aching from my new shoes getting tighter. I kept on buying a bit larger shoes, knowing it won't fit later so occasionally borrowing from my mom would be fun. Fun because you wouldn't have to think of giving it back.
And now I got the funny nose. In between my eyes, I could almost see the ‘alae nasi' (nasal wing) flaring as I catch my breath, enlarging steadily like a fertilized Del Monte tomato (or Dole, depending on your brand of ketchup). My lips have become fuller and thicker, somewhat pouting, but never like that of Angelina Jolie. Mine is a lips of an indigenous Malay race. Good thing my hair doesn't go kinky! If I could only walk through corridors with a paper bag covering my head and two holes for my sight, I would. Then I wouldn't have to put up with people who gave remarks like that of the little red riding hood commenting to the grandma wolf ‘oh, what a big nose you have!'. So what, I would say, it's the wonders of life. From a goddess-like demeanor to turning into an unsightly figure, then hoping to become ‘fit' again, this is the art of humanity. Well then, I just have to convince myself to keep a positive outlook in living the day of today, period.
But after all this sulking moments, is what's worth the wait. I have always been fascinated with my baby's movements. He'd greet me everyday dancing inside my belly like clockworks. Aside from talking to him, I find myself indulge in the guessing game of every body parts I get to palpate when he produces a bumps and hoops. Sometimes I'd felt his tiny hand, or his stumping feet, a large bulge may mean his back or butt, and sometimes, I'm so sure he got hiccups.
But nothing excits me more than having a proud daddy preparing for his baby's first world exposure. The sight of Shaun counting mittens and shoes, securing feeding bottles, looking for an extra small diapers, and baby's get-up gear upon discharge and many more (which I have not done on this second pregnancy), made me realized I've never been most proud of him that day. Aside from working his brains in creative designs accepting more than one project at a time lately, in preparation for my C-section financial cost, I know my babies and me will be just fine. And I've never been much happier. I've never regretted the day I have chosen this man to marry.
Pregnancy is one of the wonders God has gifted humankind. And it's a privilege to have this exciting acquaintance on each woman and each expectant daddy's too. The roller coaster ride towards motherhood, and fatherhood, is bumpy, full of loops and unpredicted turns. Sometimes we tend to give up our own personal pursuit and plan anew.
I know I may have written too much on grouching, but what I have gone through is just temporary. Shaun and our kids are my stable variable. They mean the world. Time will fly, and suddenly, our sons will grow as a young adult, ready to soar into the world, each with a unique journey towards a great adventure.
Hence, I'm here, grinning now. As my husband would like to say it, "let's get this over and done with." So we wait..... and ready to say "Welcome to the world, our dear baby!"