As I've written in another blog post a few months ago, this child is indeed a blessing to us. I started praying for a child as early as ten years ago, and even before we got married, my husband and I have had so much faith that God will bless our marriage with children. Little did we know, we will receive this precious gift right after our wedding! It was a most welcome surprise and the best wedding gift we've received!
The first trimester was not as tough as I've heard it to be. I never threw up, nor had the usual morning sickness most pregnant women experience. But I had my fair share of tough times. I lost appetite in nearly everything. I couldn't appreciate the taste of food, even those I used to love. I only ate for the sake of eating. I knew I needed to get nourishment, so I made sure I ate three times a day. But trust me, those times were the worst times I have in my memory of me eating. I've always loved food and eating, so not having the appetite was a punishment for me.
Aside from the appetite, there was the usual fatigue I would feel most of the day. I had to sneak in for a 30-minute nap in the afternoon because I just can't help it and my energy does not last long enough. During those times, I would be in bed for the night at around 8PM, and would wake up at 6AM. Of course, this includes a trip to the restroom to pee almost every one to two hours. In the morning, I would usually wake up feeling really hungry, but once I start thinking of what to eat, I lose my appetite and just end up with an apple and my usual porridge or cereal to get through the difficult phase of choosing what to eat.
Aside from appetite issues, there's the normal emotional ups and downs, with my husband being away for work most of the time. So spending most nights alone was not easy.
The first trimester was also a time when I did mostly my last travels. I traveled to Cambodia for a week to attend to the last module of the Peace Leadership Training I was part of. At 8 weeks, I went back to Angkor Wat just to take photos with my little bump. :) Though my bump wasn't very visible yet at the time, I made sure the photos showed my traveling bump.
At 12 weeks I traveled to Tagum City to speak with a group of farmers about peace and human rights, and the socio economic reforms. My husband and I have been praying for Tagum City, seeing it as our long-term place of residence in the future. It was good to see the city while I was pregnant and our dreams of moving there have been revived in my heart.
As I have read, the second trimester is really a friendly time. My appetite came back (right about Christmas season, which is great!) I also felt a little bit more energetic, and since my bump size was still manageable, I felt great and excited.
On the 16th week we found out the gender of our baby. Before we even got married, my husband shared to me how he twice dreamt of us as a family. The first dream was that we have two children, an older boy and a younger girl. The second dream was that we have a baby boy. So somehow, in our hearts and in our minds, we were preparing for our firstborn baby boy! During the ultrasound, when the doctor blurted out that it was a baby boy (without even asking if we wanted to find out), we were extremely happy and it got us all the more excited! There was the feeling that "we knew it all along," but it was also good to confirm it. We also have three names listed for our first three kids! But I'll talk about the name once this baby comes out.
The second trimester was both an exciting and challenging time for my work, and I got around with this bump in all my meetings. Some of the highlights included documenting a briefing with diplomats regarding the updates on the peace process between the government and the National Democratic Front. A few of the diplomats were curious how far along I was in the pregnancy.
Another highlight included meeting with the government and NDF panel members/consultants to present the compilation of Socio-Economic Reforms (SER) recommendations that we have been working on in the last years.
At around 20 weeks, Peace Church community had a retreat in Tanay, Rizal. We hiked at a waterfall where two people were baptized, and then everyone had a great time splashing in the water (except for me), for fear of slipping on the slippery rocks.
At 27 weeks, I was privileged to join Peace church community members in presenting about what it means for the church to engage in Social Transformation at the annual Asian Theological Seminary (ATS) Theo Forum. My bump has been more visible at this time, and this boy sure was a cooperative little one.
Now, we're talking pregnancy! You know, what you see in movies? Big bump, maternity clothes, and walking like a duck. So everything still feels great, but the heavier weight in my abdominal area is sure not good for my balance and walking. I mean, I need not worry about walking like a supermodel, but I know that my walking doesn't look great. And my clothes! Ugh! I already have a set of clothes that are more "comfortable" and "loose", so I have been using those as maternity clothes. But boy, it still surprises me how some of the bigger ones already fit me now, especially on my tummy! Some even got a little tighter!
At 31 weeks, my father-in-law passed away. Surely one of the most challenging times for my husband and his family. So I needed to travel to Tagum City to attend the funeral. But because I'm already at week 31, I first needed to get a medical certificate so I can be allowed to get on a plane. Traveling with a big bump, in my experience, had its own privileges. I get to use the priority lanes for getting inside the airport and checking in. But, it was also hard when I have to pick my bags, or having to get up and pee a few times during the flight.
It has since been my last long-distance travel for the third trimester. Now that my bump is huge and I am feeling heavier than ever, it has also been harder to commute on a bus from Quezon City (where I work) to Laguna (where my parents live). But because I planned to give birth at home, I had to take an early maternity leave (with the hopes that this little boy will also come out soon enough). Commuting just was not a good experience for me, especially if I have a heavy bag with my laptop on it.
So now, I'm on my 36th week and the waiting game begins. My due date is on May 27th, but the doctor said the baby can come out anytime. And I really hope he comes out, right around the 37th week when my husband comes back from his trip in the south.
Now, I'm praying for a fast and safe labor and delivery. Every day I pray that I will deliver a healthy baby boy without complications for me or for him, and that everything will work out perfectly.