Seven years have passed since I gave birth to Matteo, our first born baby. Over those years, a lot of people thought that we were having issues and difficulties in getting pregnant again, but the truth is, I was not ready emotionally and I was so afraid that the same thing might happen to our next baby. Last year, I must admit that I was pressured because I felt that my time is ticking, I am on my 30s and most of my married friends already have babies, some of them even have two. Whenever I see them playing with their kids, I knew then that I wanted to have one. I remembered praying to God, telling Him to be in control of everything. If having a baby is part of His plans for us, then let it be, but if not, we will accept whatever it is that He has in store for us.
Then, just before 2017 came to its end, we received one of the greatest blessings, I am pregnant and the monthly journey towards motherhood began.
Exactly a year ago, around 9 in the morning, Tep and I were excitedly waiting as to whether the stick would give us a one or two line result. I was already delayed by a few days then and the day prior to taking the test, we were at the mall, watching a movie while munching on some nachos. Surprisingly, I did not have an appetite for the nacho chips and cheese, instead I gobbled down the salsa which satisfied my craving that time. I had a clue that I might be pregnant then, but since the symptoms of my monthly period were also showing, I didn’t take it seriously.
After a minute of waiting, ALAS, there were 2 lines, it’s POSITIVE, I am PREGNANT!
Upon knowing this, we went to a Filipino OB Gyne doctor later that afternoon. Ultrasound was done and it was confirmed that we were pregnant, but no heartbeat was detected yet because our little one was only 5 weeks old that time.
First Ultrasound at 5 weeks.
I was ready for another ultrasound because I can’t contain the surge of anxiety that my whole body was feeling then. I know I needed to be strong , but because of what happened to my first pregnancy and to my first born, the fear that something wrong might happen got the best of me.
The doctor began the ultrasound procedure, I was happy to see my little one who was about a few inches then. We also heard the heartbeat and it somewhat lessen all my worries.
Everything felt so perfect that time, but just a few days before Christmas, I experienced light spotting and this made us panicked. I had another ultrasound then and thank God, our little one was very fine. My doctor put me on bed rest for a week and I was glad that the light bleeding eventually stopped.
Christmas maternity shoot.
The start of the year was somewhat refreshing because I have a baby growing inside my belly. But it did not last long, since this was also the time that I have experienced morning sickness. I felt nauseous all the time and I was also very sensitive to smell. There were even times that just the thought of a certain food makes me vomit. I can’t remember if I have a specific food craving, but all I wanted that time was anything that is cold and sour.
Ultrasound at 12 weeks
The morning sickness still continues by this month. I was always feeling tired, hungry and I had insomnia, there were nights when I wanted to cry because I can’t sleep. At some point, my immune system probably dropped, the reason why I had sore throat and colds. My doctor gave me medicines that time, but I never took any of them because of fear that something may happen to our little one. I felt better after a few days of drinking lemon water with honey and gargling warm water with salt.
I was scheduled for a congenital anomaly scan for this month. Even though I was feeling a bit worried, I stayed positive and let God be in control of everything. My first born Matteo (now an angel in heaven), suffered from congenital heart disease, which we didn’t know until he was born.
The scan went well, I was able to see those tiny hands and feet. All of his body parts and organs were well developed, and the heart, where my doctor focused more, was pumping perfectly. As for the gender, we decided to hold it off since one of my friends planned to throw a gender reveal party, which happened a week after the scan.
We initially wanted a simple lunch for the gender reveal, but I was surprised that my friends prepared something better. There were balloons, decorations, games and they even prepared a very creative way to reveal the gender. They even put bets at QR 10 per person.
“It’s a Baby Boy. Tep and I didn’t expected it. All along we thought that it would be a baby girl because of my severe symptoms.
Another scan called echodiagram was done 3 weeks after the congenital anomaly scan. My doctor wanted to make sure that everything on my little one’s heart is perfectly developed. The result was good and that was the only time that I had a peace of mind.
After a week, my doctor required me to have the glucose screening test, which is a routine test for pregnant women to check the sugar level. I was asked to do a food and water fasting for 8 hours so they can get an accurate result. During the test, I was instructed to drink a glucose solution which tasted like a very sweet Tang orange juice. Blood was drawn 3 times and my urine was also tested. The whole procedure lasted for around 3 hours and the usual side effects of this test are fainting, feeling lightheaded, dizziness or excessive bleeding. Glad that I didn’t have any of it, in fact I was able to report to the office after the procedure.
The result came after 3 days and everything was normal.
May 1st was the day that I have been looking forward to because that was the time that I flew back to the Philippines. We decided to give birth there due to a lot of reasons and one of that was, I want my family to be by my side once I delivered our little one.
At Hamad International Airport before our flight to the Philippines.
I underwent a c-section to my first born, thus the possibility of having the same procedure was high, but my doctor in Qatar told me that I still have a 75% chance of normal delivery (they call it VBAC or Vaginal Birth after a Cesarean). We had our hopes high, that by this time, I will get to experience a normal delivery which was actually my dream (essence of being a woman? hahaha).
I discussed VBAC with my doctor in the Philippines (who was also my doctor before), and she discussed to me the pros and cons of having it. During that time, all we wanted was for our little one to be safely delivered to this world, thus the reason why we ended up choosing a scheduled CS.
The weather in the Philippines that time was so toxic for me. I just feel that I needed to be in an air conditioned room all the time. I can’t stand the heat and the humidity.
When I was on my 33rd week, I experienced light bleeding and pain on my lower abdomen. This prompted us to go to the hospital and have an ultrasound. I didn’t know that there were contractions that time and I might give birth any time. I was confined for 3 days and was put on bed rest until the end of June. I was given 2 shots of steroids as well in order to develop the lungs of our little one, just in case I gave birth that time.
Ultrasound at 33 weeks
It was the most boring time of my pregnancy. I can’t go out, I stayed on my bedroom, I was not able to attend my friend’s wedding and I can’t have my pregnancy pictorial. But I told myself that I was doing these for the safety of our little one.
Tep and I decided to schedule the c-section by the 9th of July (my Grandma’s birthday). However, during the first few days of the month, the light spotting appeared once again along with the lower abdominal pain. Again, I had the ultrasound and our little one was fine, though it was unsure whether we can reach the initial c-section date that we have chosen.
We stayed in the hospital that night, and then, around 9 in the morning the following day, our little one was born and we named him Pio Jose.
Our Pio Jose
It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions on those nine months. I remained strong and kept my sanity despite all the worries and anxieties because I have my supportive husband, family, friends and above all, God who backed me up.
I never lost hope, that is why I wanted to share my pregnancy journey to all the married couples out there who are having a hard time or afraid to get pregnant. Don’t feel pressured, don’t lose hope, have faith and put everything in God’s hands, anyway His timing is always perfect.
Are you a Mom? How was your pregnancy journey? I want to know your story.
I just want to give a shoutout to my amazing doctors, who took care of me and always assured me that everything is alright.
Qatar: Dra. Lizardo from Al Safa Clinic and Dr. Badreldeen from Feto Maternal Clinic
Philippines: Dra. Malilay from Chinese General Hospital (who has been my doctor since I was a teenager)