A recent post I read (“After Seeing the Two Red Lines…; From Dawn Till Dusk) inspired me to write about my own pregnancy. It took nine years for me to get pregnant (See my post “Justin, Our Miracle Baby.”). I hope that childless couples out there won’t lose hope of having a child of their own someday. Miracles do happen, so always believe.
How I knew I was pregnant
A day or two days before All Saint’s Day of 2005, my husband and I went to Makati Medical Center’s Emergency Room because I was experiencing an unusually heavy feeling on the left lower (or was it the right?) abdominal area. My blood tests showed nothing unusual, so we went home after I was seen by a resident. I then realized I was supposed to have my monthly period days before. I then bought a pregnancy test kit, which confirmed my suspicion. After nine years of being married, I was finally able to conceive.
How I felt upon learning that I was pregnant
The truth is I was afraid. I had a medical condition known as “pituitary adenoma,” a tumor in the pituitary gland for which I had an operation in January of 2004. Not everything was removed, though, so I had to take medication for it that my neurosurgeon said could be a lifetime thing for me. Getting pregnant means I would have to stop the medication and risk the chance of the tumor getting bigger. I couldn’t stand the thought of having another surgery, not if I could help it.
What I did to allay my fears about my pregnancy
I prayed hard and asked others to pray for me. After my surgery, a former officemate and friend gave me an Our Lady of Guadalupe prayer pamphlet. There was a 9-day novena and apostleship to Our Lady of Guadalupe that I recited repeatedly during the entire nine months that I was pregnant. I also prayed the novena to St. Raymund Nonato, the patron saint for expectant mothers. That one was given by a friend and officemate of my husband.
Prior to getting pregnant, I happened to have been seen by a female doctor at Clinica Manila in Megamall because I needed therapy for my fingers. My medical condition came up in the course of our conversation. She said she’s going to pray for me and that she’d give me prayer cards to help me deal with the situation. She said I could come back for those prayer cards the next day, as she didn’t have copies of them anymore in her bag. She did left a note for me when I came back that I still keep to this day. One of the prayer cards called for the intercession of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. I said that prayer everyday and requested for a safe delivery and for good health for both me and my baby. The doctor’s name was Dra. Calderon. I tried to go back to her clinic, but Clinica Manila moved to a different office, so I wasn’t able to personally thank her.
What my experiences were like being pregnant
I was one of the lucky ones who never experienced nausea and dizziness. Every day was like a normal day, except that I slept a lot and ate a lot. I was also able to work until two weeks before I was due to give birth.
The downsides: There was a time when I actually had to use the stairs all the way to the 9th floor of the building where I worked because the elevators were being fixed, and to think the stairways reeked of paint at that time. I also had bleeding on my 6th month, which scared the wits out of me. The saddest part was I was ugly, my nose was big, I had zits, and my neck and everything else darkened. I actually didn’t keep a picture of me when I was pregnant. Plus, there’s the pain of birth-giving. I delivered via a caesarean section under general anesthesia. Although Justin was quite small, 5.6 lbs only, I could not give birth to him the normal way because I had a previous head surgery. The act of pushing out the baby could put some pressure on my head and could lead to complications. (See my post “To Give Birth or Not to Give Birth.”)
The greatest reward of becoming a mother
Having a baby that gives our (my and my husband’s) lives meaning and purpose. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.