Three years ago, I wrote a personal narrative about my greatest journey: “Motherhood”. I penned this story while my son was asleep, right after breastfeeding him. Kyle was only a month old then. It’s Kyle’s third birthday today and reading this story made me reminisce how beautiful my journey was. Allow me to share my favorite story once more.
This article was first published in Philippine Daily Inquirer’s, Youngblood.
I WOKE up early in the morning and saw a bright red spot on my bed sheet. I quivered in excitement. It was the moment I had long been anticipating for nine months. I called up my husband to tell him what I saw. He panicked. He was in Manila (a 10-hour travel away from me), while I was in the province with my mom and dad, waiting for the big day. My husband called up every person he knew who could bring me to the hospital. In a matter of minutes, I saw my mom and dad (who immediately went home from work) and uncles and aunties around me. I was immediately brought to the hospital.
My doctor conducted an internal exam. “One cm,” she said. She told me that it would still take about a week for my baby to come out. The spot of blood I saw was because my cervix was starting to dilate. She said I could go home, and rest.
We were all laughing at the false alarm on our way back home.
But the motherly instinct in me was saying otherwise. The doctor said I wasn’t giving birth yet, but I felt my heart thumping in excitement. The kind of excitement I have never felt in my entire life. On the phone, I told my husband about the odd feeling. I told him I was really about to give birth. He agreed and immediately decided to go home.
That night, I talked to the baby in my womb. I told him how happy I was just at the thought of finally being able to touch his little fingers and toes. I also told him not to make it hard for mommy. “Jump out immediately, son, when it’s time to go out,” I pleaded with him and smiled at the thought.
At the break of the dawn, I again saw something red on the sheets, but this time there was more. I told my mom and dad. My mom hugged me. She said it was really about time for my son to see the world. She told me that I needed to be strong. Then the three of us offered a prayer before we went to the hospital.
I was finally admitted. My obstetrician said that my cervix, surprisingly, dilated fast. She examined me. She said the baby would be coming out in a few hours. Just then, my husband arrived. I saw the excitement in Alex’s eyes. He held my hand and I felt everything was going to be okay.
At the onset of labor, my dad talked to me. He said, I would be experiencing more pain in the next hours and that I should love each pain as it would bear a beautiful fruit. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said. Then he told me the story about Jesus. He told me about the “birth pains” that the world experiences before His coming. He said that after the pains of labor, there would come a priceless gift that will bring great happiness to our family.
I could not find the words to describe how painful my labor was. It was excruciating for a few minutes and then the pain would subside for a while and then it would come back again with greater intensity. I threw up several times.
As I was being brought to the delivery room, I remembered the breathing exercise that a friend taught me. I practiced it: inhale, push, release. I tried it again: inhale, push, release. I knew I was ready to give birth.
When all was set, I said to myself, “Mind over body.” I decided not to scream in the delivery room. Instead, I imagined myself happily playing with my baby and used all my energy to do whatever the doctor asked me to do. Each time she told me to give a long push, I was very cooperative and gave it my very best.
When I felt the bag of water was starting to leak, I paused for a while to thank the Creator. “Thank You for giving me a child,” I prayed. “Help Alex and me raise him to be Your servant. Bless him, Father.”
I gave one long push, followed by another. Then I heard my son cry.Everything stopped momentarily. Everything turned magical. It was one historic moment in my life. One Utopian moment, one unexplainable happiness.
I had entered the world of motherhood. In just a matter of seconds, my life had changed dramatically. When I was staring at my newborn as the nurses were bathing him, I told myself that he would look up to me for all the answers to his questions for most of his life and so I must always strive to be at my best.
Finally, the nurses placed the baby on my chest. When our eyes locked for the first time, I realized that God had just blessed Alex and me with the most incredible gift we could ever imagine: the little boy we named Kyle.