Dear Nido Francesco,
You are already on your 3rd month as I write this letter. By now, your smiles are becoming more frequent, your neck strength is improving, your kicks are stronger, and we hear you cooing more often.
So much has changed during the past months and I do not even know where to begin.
Maybe, let me start by saying that you were loved even before we met you. You are the biggest blessing your Papa and I have received. And your arrival changed us in so many positive ways.
I had no qualms when I first learned that you were in my tummy. I thought, I lived 31 years of my life preparing to fit the bill of motherhood. I dreamed of you. I prayed for you.
I'd like to thank you for making it easy for me to have you in my tummy for nine months. Yes, I was always sleepy and had to visit the restroom often, but overall you were very gentle to me. I had no battles with morning sickness, sleep deprivation and other pregnancy issues.
I will forever remember the first time you made your presence felt. One night, during bedtime, I felt your gentle kick. It made me tear up. It was surreal.
Eight months into pregnancy, we were both doing okay. I was still able to take the MRT and go to work. I was able to attend yoga classes, birthing sessions, and breastfeeding classes. Your titas, titos and some closest friends threw a simple baby shower for me. We even had a few travels together -- we made it to Catanduanes, Rizal, Laguna, Tarlac, Pampanga, and Palawan.
During the last few weeks before delivery, I was diagnosed with gestational hypertension. I'd like you to know that it wasn't your fault at all. I'm so so sorry if my condition then caused enormous stress on you. You were my strength throughout the ordeal, and I only had one thing in mind -- that you will be always safe inside.
I was worried, but at the same time very excited to meet you.
It was on my 40th week when i felt the contractions. The pain started early in the morning and elevated and went on throughout the entire day. I knew the time has come. I took a good long bath because I know it may be my last before I have you. Early in the evening, I asked your Papa to take me to the hospital.
When we arrived at the hospital around 10 p.m., I was already 4 centimeters. I went on active labor for the next 9 hours. At around 6 in the morning of November 10, my OB checked on me and found that I wasn't making any progress. She decided to break my bag and when she saw that you have already pooped inside, she asked permission from me and your Papa about the possibility of an emergency cesarean section delivery. Sensing the urgency and gravity of the situation, we both agreed.
At around 7 a.m., I was wheeled to the operating room. Since it was my first time to be under the knife, I felt butterflies in my stomach. It was mixed feelings of nervousness and excitement. I was put on epidural while on the operating table, and half conscious during the whole time of delivery. At 8:35 a.m., I heard your first cry. It was a faint, labored cry. Despite feeling groggy, tears welled up my eyes. You were finally outside. With us.
Our first interaction was quite emotional. I have loved you while you were inside me, but I loved you even more when we finally met. You were laid on my chest. Despite the fluid still hugging your small frame, you were the cutest human being I have ever seen. It thrilled me to see that you came out looking exactly like your Papa. So gwapo.
After delivery, we both had to spend a week at the hospital because you had to be treated for pnuemonia. I know it wasn't exactly the easiest way to start your life, but you were very brave, little one.
Everyone was excited when we finally brought you home. Your lolos and lolas have already been waiting for your arrival. And when they finally saw you, they gushed about your strong semblance with your Papa. You took the center stage wherever you go, the center of attention during reunions.
I have always had the idea that motherhood is going to be easy for me. After all, I have the support of your papa, friends, and everyone in the family. But it was later on that I learned that I wasn't entirely ready for the little surprises that come along with parenthood.
I realized that things weren't exactly as easy as what are portrayed in most parenting magazines, or how celebrity moms show it. We had bumps and kinks along the way.
We didn't start along well with breastfeeding, something that made me really sad. Eventually, we improved and my milk supply increased. I'm now totally enjoying this endearing experience -- you latching on my breast while my arms are wrapped around you.
The pain from my c-section cut was at times unbearable especially during the first few days. But holding you, cuddling you hastened the recovery process.
I'm sorry if I feel inept on my role as a mother. Many times, I failed on my attempts to sooth you when you're fussy at night. I had troubles changing your diaper. I wasn't good at burping and bathing you. But everyday is a learning process. Everyday, I get the chance to be better at my new role.
I wouldn't have survived the first few challenging days without the help of your Papa. He saved me from a possible meltdown during the most difficult days. He was our biggest support.
Your Papa equally shared the struggles with me. Many times, he is good at what I am worst at. He sooths you at night, changes your dirty nappy, helps in burping and bathing you. He makes sure he's with us during pedia visits and when you're getting vaccines at the center. He also took on the chores that I should be doing. He washes your clothes, cleans the dishes, goes to the groceries, and cooks our food. He gets your monthly birthday cakes! If only he could breastfeed, I swear he probably would. He loves you like crazy.
Things are not always easy, for sure, but we draw strength from you. As parents, our freedom, our time have also been restricted. Right now, long baths, prolonged stay in the dining table during meals and getting a good haircut are reduced to just mere luxuries. Parenthood is an unglamorous task. It's also a job, that's pretty much like my job inside the newsroom -- without a holiday. But hey, we would never trade it to the happiness of having you.
Everyday, we are living the experiences of parenthood. The feedings, burping, nappy changes, whining, and cuddles. We live the naps or the lack of it. We savor these precious times because we know we won't be doing these things forever. You are growing too fast, and it's such a privilege to be able to witness it every single day.
1,001 kisses, my baby.
P.S. You might be wondering why we named you Nido Francesco. To set things straight, Nido is not about the popular brand of milk. It's actually the place called El Nido in Palawan, one of the most beautiful places your papa and I have been to. We'll make sure that you'll see it too, soon. We also got the name Francesco to honor our beloved Pope Francis who visited our country at the same year you were born. He's such an inspiration, a man known for his kindness and humility.
|Our small family|