Anna Santos
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It’s different this time, I said to myself. I have to bear my weight upon rising from my bed, wary of that cramps that goes along with these stretching muscles, slowly walking, gasping a breath every time, blood sugar rising.  What had just happened? Perhaps age has come to terms with reality, complications suddenly appear when you least expect it. And no matter how I tried to conceal, it’s already here. My standing mirror announced I'm a hippo, lazy and big. I was feeling grouchy that morning after the sonogram confirmation. I am pregnant. And yes, it’s a baby boy, still a boy, XY.  No matter how much I insisted with my OB-sonologist that this might be a girl, he would always say he's 97% sure and never been wrong so far.

I thought another baby will do, but seriously, three boys?? Sooner than a flash of lighting, anxiety hits me. I went from a happy pregnant into an anxious preggy. A sudden shift of hormones momentarily after gender identification. My two handsome sons are uniquely mischievous that I’ve tried many ways to neutralize their playful naughtiness.Why wouldn't I be anxious? Boxing and wrestling are their favorite game, bruises and head bumps as the usual endpoint for crying, ice packs as our main first-aid rescue, and the most overused cry for help is "Mamaaaaaaa!". With my little boys, they stormed our house from their rough play,  toys destroyed soon after playthings landed into their hands, furniture acquiring multiple stab wounds, TV screens with lacerations and walls doodled with crayons guiltless and proud of their undefined graffiti. Our home decors and interior designs  became fully revised and redecorated.

And yet, our house will never be a home without my sons. I will not exchange the glory of their laughter, nor the awesomeness of their unique talents, over classy unscathed furniture.  Material things can never replace the happiness I see over their twinkling eyes as they grow and venture in their own way. It’s a place of bliss at the epicenter of a cluttered messy home. It’s a heavenly feeling that belonged to me in a paradise that I can never explain to those who cannot bear a child.

I know I’m just creating my own dilemma by worrying how to raise boys. But who wouldn't be? Drugs, guns and sex looms from highly acceptable immorality  in this changing norms of the present society . So I told myself quite positively, to stop worrying and whining, self-convincing that I'll be fine raising these three boys into responsible adults. The strength of prayers combined with a mother’s will drives a power to guide kids into the proper direction. Patting my back, I repeatedly muttered, "I can do this".

Of course, this wouldn't be possible without my husband's encouraging and optimistic aura, the one responsible for these boys to appear in our lives. He bragged that moms who raised boys looked younger than their spouse, because sons tend to love their mom so much. And so whenever I get cranky looking over my inflated body after months of sticking it out literally, I asked him "Nakakita ka na ba ng seksing buntis?" (Had you ever seen a sexy pregnant lady?), he simply replied "I see her everyday".

Smiling to myself, I know some women are envious out there. Wouldn't it be nice to be surrounded and loved by boys?

Hence, starting at that moment, I prefer to be grateful. If this is 97% boy, I’ll let go of that 3% chance.  Our contentment and happiness depends on how we see and bear the challenges that God gave us. That's how I should be living my life.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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