I used to wonder what difference you’d bring into my life. I finally found the answer a few months ago, when I discovered that you were on your way into my boring normal life.
I will never forget the first time I saw you in that small screen. Everything was black and gray but I instantly recognized you: You were beating so fast, as if bragging about your existence. Or that first time we saw you with your big head and waving hands. Or that first kick while your Itay and I were celebrating a milestone in our relationship.
You are the source of my unexplainable joy, and even though you are still a few months from coming into this world, I am already in love with you, without even knowing how you’d look or how loudly you’d cry. Indeed, love exists even without the first sight.
Your Itay and I called you “Baby Barok.” We knew you were a boy because you exhausted all my whiteness. You turned my armpits and my neck into black patches. You took over all the whitening stuff I used to maintain. You kick so strongly that it wakes me even in the middle of the night. Your first three months were the hardest. I was told to stay in bed 24/7, and I had to spend P300 a day for medicines for you to strengthen your grip. I wasn’t able to follow my doctor’s advice because we had to go to work and earn money. I knew you’d understand. We talked to you every night and prayed hard that everything would be okay.
In that phase of our shared life, I learned many things. The most important: that I should not be bothered by the deadlines and businesses of my work because a life existed after 5 p.m., and that more than success in my career or academic life, you and your Itay are all that matter. I learned to take life easy, to laugh a lot and to laugh loud, not to cry so much, and be happy. It amazes me that no matter how small you are, you were able to teach me the biggest lessons in life.
Well, eventually we found out that you’re a girl. There were awkward smiles in the ultrasound room, but after a few minutes your Itay and I were laughing and crying at the same time. That moment was filled with pure joy. We learned another aspect of unconditional love: the love that a parent gives to her child. We immediately went home and prepared a feast for you, our “Baby Balasang.”
Today we pinned a photo of your ultrasound on our refrigerator door, as proof of the true and endless love that your Itay and I share. It reminds us every day that in a few more weeks, our wish will turn into a reality: That you will change our life into a better, happier one.
You are worth everything, my child. You are worth every stretch mark. You are worth the extra pounds. You are worth abandoning my miniskirts for, and making do with maternity clothes. You are worth the morning sickness. You are worth the leg cramps, the big nose, the unpermed hair. You are worth the home adjustments and the luxuries we have learned to forego. I don’t see your face yet, I don’t know if you will have my eyes or your Itay’s, I don’t know what you will be when you reach the age of majority, but I know you will be all worth it.
In all honesty, I don’t know yet how to be a mother. I read a lot of books and Internet articles. I listen to tips and bits of advice. I watch my mother, aunts and cousins mothering. Your Itay assures me that motherhood will come naturally. He sometimes laughs when I tell him my fears. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I wake up and worry. But each time it happens, you kick so hard as if assuring me that I can handle you when you finally come.
You are the commencement of our love story, my child. You are our dream. You are our love. You are our vera amare. We cannot wait to see you. We cannot wait to hold you, to hug you, to kiss you. We cannot wait to share our bed with you. In the meantime, stay calm in my womb and know that my every heart beat is meant for you and your Itay.
“Kutchang,” 29, a government employee, is graduating with a law degree.
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