To my Fellow Mothers

I hope this reaches you in one way or another. I hope that this will never be too late. For our struggle is a daily thing. Some just get by faster than others, but I know that slowly we’ll get there…

Yesterday was particularly hard. It’s difficult to celebrate when you are reminded by the loss. I know the dull aching pain that creeps up on you, consuming your whole being. The pain that gives you the sudden migraines and body ache, enough to have an excuse to sleep the day off. It takes a great deal of strength and self control to hold back tears, especially when you see new Moms holding their tiny babies, celebrating with their own families.

I know because I am like you. I lost my little one, too, last year and sometimes, it still feels like it just happened yesterday.

But you know what? We’ll get by. Trust me, we will. We just need to give ourselves time to grieve and heal. Recovery is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And every runner has a different running style, pace, and endurance.

Whenever I feel so low, I remind myself that I am a Mother to an Angel. And that one day, I’ll be able to hold his tiny little fists, hug him, and kiss him in heaven.. or wherever the afterlife is. And that gives me the strength that I need to make it through the day.

To my Fellow Mothers, I pray for our collective strength, resilience, and faith. Happy Mothers’ Day!

Colorburst 2018

My first official run for the year happened on an Easter Sunday.  Quite symbolic when you think about it because this has been my resurrection from my almost-a-decade-running-hiatus!

My friend Mils convinced me to join because (1) his brother is one of the organizers and (2) it would be good practice for my upcoming 10KM run for Nat Geo. This is a yearly event organized by St. Paul the Apostle Parish where Mils’ brother is an active member.

With only 2 hours of sleep and my period arriving days earlier, I headed over to QC to go and finish my 5KM run. When you commit to run for a church and on an Easter, you set aside all excuses you can think of and just soldier on.

It turned out to be a good thing because I had a lot of fun throughout the race. Aside from the obligatory colored powder showers, there were also mini obstacles along the way — giant rolling balls, human balloons out to trap you — and a large tub filled with colorful balls at the finish line! Not to mention the energetic warm up from the organizers, which felt more like a Zumba routine actually. Haha!

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It really relaxes me more when I run outdoors than when I do treadmills because you have fresher air to breathe and interesting sights to drown into. The only challenge that I encountered are the uphills. It’s such a pain on the knees and ankles and it also made my pace slower than usual. Sometimes, I would also get too drowned into my sightseeing that I would forget that I’m in an actual race.

Nevertheless, I was able to finish with flying colors (yes, please let me use the phrase) without walking. I always tag this as an achievement because even though my pace is slower than most, it makes my endurance better. This would help me in my marathon target in the future as long as I keep a regular running schedule.

It was heartwarming seeing families running together as a team during the event. I even saw a dog being carried towards the finish line. I just hope that the colored powders are non-toxic to animals.

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The morning ended with a McDonald’s breakfast and a promise between friends to join this yearly until we have kids of our own to run with.

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Birth of An Angel

A few days back, I was asking myself what date to keep to remember Ezra by. See, when a mother suffers a miscarriage, we tend to hold on to every little memory that we have of the baby that we haven’t physically held. That includes the dates – the day you found out you were pregnant, the expected delivery date,  the day of the first sonogram, the day you heard a certain song on the radio that connected you, and the day that you lost your baby.

I told Cris about this because it was really bothering me and he came up with an idea: What if we commemorate the miscarriage and treat it as Ezra’s birthday? If we look at it, we did not really lose him. That was the day he became our angel… 

It was a good idea at that time and I was pacified. I loved it! We will go to church first thing in the morning, light a candle for Ezra, and say a little prayer. We will then buy him a cake and sing him a Happy Birthday.

But it turned out that it was a much bitter pill to swallow. The night before the 10th, I was crying myself to sleep. I woke up with swollen eyes, a heavy head, and a way heavier heart. The more I thought about our plans, the sillier they seemed. I was beginning to think of backing out and just crawling back to my bed and just stay there for the rest of the day.

But something clicked. It’s already been a year and I still feel the pain today as if it was still fresh. Then for some reason I got reminded of  a quote from the book Tuesdays with Morrie:

You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, “All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.”

Ezra Prayer

Maybe, the pain and sadness is not really meant to go away. You never really get over a loved one’s death. The feeling just varies in magnitude; some days are just harder than the others. They do come in waves, with their crest and troughs.

But you need to be able to recognize it and acknowledge it so you can compartmentalize. There’s no way around it but through it.

Author John Green agrees with this, too: Pain demands to be felt. 

And so Dear Ezra, let Mama and Papa greet you a Happy Birthday. You still make me sad, but you’re my favorite pain that I will never want to let go.

Ezra Cake

Dear, Angel.

Today, you gave me a little sign from heaven. I was on my way home when that Jon Secada’s song played on the cab’s radio.

I haven’t told anyone this before but it was almost the same time this year, well maybe the exact moment, when the same thing happened.

And when I heard that song a year ago, it made me sad to the point of crying. At that time, I attributed it to pregnancy hormones. And nostalgia.

Two and a half weeks later, I lost you.

During my recovery, I was thinking.. A LOT. I guess it’s our normal instinct to make sense of everything by putting together pieces of memories leading up to an event.

And this is what I realized:

This song must have been your way of slowly saying goodbye.

I actually lost you before you hit your 11th week but the doctor’s diagnosis is you stopped growing at 8th.

Around this time last year…

It may just be a coincidence, but I feel it deep in my heart that it’s not.

Here I am a year after– hearing your song again. Our song. But this time, I take it as your way of saying,

Hello! How are you, Mama?

Mama’s doing fine, baby. I am writing this with a smile on my face because I know you’re in a better place now. I hope it’s ok if I chose the song for us. Because you really are my Angel… and your light will always shine.

S.O.S.

Today, I learned a hard lesson from marriage: Never be afraid to ask help from your spouse.

No matter how much you think it’ll upset him. The more you keep your problems to yourself, the more it’ll eat you up inside. And that, would ultimately translate how you interact with him daily.

The words that you uttered during the wedding ceremony aren’t just words. They are vows.

For better, for worse

For richer, for poorer

In sickness and in health

And those words should never be taken lightly.

Do not treat your spouse as your best friend only during the good times. More so, during the bad.

For who else should you keep as your uttermost confidante than the person you said these words with?

A Pollypocket Wedding Story

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Cris and I have been married for over a year now but we still haven’t sifted through all the pictures and videos of the event.  It’s not that we’re not excited about it. There were just unforeseen circumstances last year that hindered us from doing so…

I plan to share some pictures and videos here soon (before we hit our 2nd Anniversary, hopefully).

Meanwhile, I’d like to share the highlights of our wedding wonderfully documented by Atmosphere Creatives Films.

Before watching, I’d like to share some trivia and mishaps which made our wedding more memorable than usual:

  1. We wanted a subtle Star Wars theme so we decided on having white wedding. You know, Stormtroopers. 😉 We also wanted everyone to feel that they are one with us in celebration.
  2. I didn’t really care if my bridesmaids were wearing white dresses. In fact, I loved it! It’s a little nod to Princess Leia from Episode 4, in her all white dress. I also let them chose the design of their dresses because I wanted them to be comfortable and feel pretty on that day.
  3. Cris was adamant in letting his groomsmen wear Barong Tagalog, our national menswear. He has this nationalistic quirk.
  4. I wasn’t very meticulous when it came to my gown which backfired a little since I only got it a day before and it wasn’t a perfect fit. But it’s OK. My only non-negotiable was met: I was able to walk, move, and run freely on it.
  5. I was not the quintessential pretty bride! I had my braces removed for the ceremony which made me look like I was wearing dentures. Haha! But hey, I was one of the happiest, as evidenced by the circumference of my mouth every time I laugh.
  6. We chose a venue that would feel like we’re just celebrating the wedding in our own backyard. Some guests must have felt the logistics was messy or magulo, sorry about that. But I enjoyed just freely walking around and not be on stage throughout the whole event (with everyone watching).
  7. We were so stubborn on renting a tent during the preps because we really wanted to celebrate under the stars. It was raining hard the night before so we succumbed. We were very, very lucky there’s still one ordinary tent available so we booked it immediately. BUT the night sky was super clear during the reception. *facepalm* *flips table* My mommy would later approach me saying she was happy that her year-long prayer of a good wedding day weather was answered. Alright then. :))
  8. We rented a beer keg for the reception but the supplier never made it. The delivery truck went awry and decided to give up on itself. We were lucky that we had friends who were willing to drive to the city nearby to buy beer cases for the after party. There were still 2 untouched beer cases the morning after.
  9. Finalizing the wedding guest list was one of the most challenging task for us. We both came from big families so there were limited slots for friends. I had some guy friends from high school who asked me if they can still go. They don’t need a table in the reception, they said. They just want to go to the church and see me get married. And attend the after party. Awwww… 😦
  10. I really, really love our wedding kiss(es). It felt like the most natural thing. ❤
  11. We asked our friends to perform Dreams by the Cranberries and Prom by Sugarfree during the reception because The Cranberries was the first concert that we went to and Sa Wakas was the first play that we watched as a couple. We ended up having Ebe Dancel actually singing Prom via a pre-recorded video. It was a sweet surprise from Mama and the Villanos siblings.
  12. I’m so happy that there’s a church who allowed Mr. Frodo, our pug, to walk down the aisle as our ring bearer. If you’re still wondering why we named him Mr. Frodo, well, there you go!
  13. We were married on a Friday 13th because that’s also the day and date when we first met. We were also engaged on a Friday 13th. Contrary to popular belief, we consider it our lucky day.  And that’s also the reason why I’m posting these 13 trivia on a Friday. 😉

Now I need to stop blabbing so you can start watching. 😀

https://vimeo.com/250669286

I can’t stop laughing while watching our church ceremony, especially when we were exchanging our wedding vows. We looked like two giddy teenagers out on their first date. 

 

Pug-Ibig Nga Naman…

Good morning, Sunday!

Making a quick post because I’m having major sepanx. I just sent off my pug, Mr. Frodo, to a week-long rendezvous aka sexy time.

It’s sad because this’ll be the first time in a while that he’ll be away from us both for this long. But I’m comforted by the fact that he’ll finally have some happy time with a lady love.

Also, that we’ll have a full week to ourselves to cleanup the house — a long overdue task — and have some quality time together.

Man! I sound like a mom sending my kid to summer camp!

Anyway, I hope Mr. Frodo becomes a dad soon. Can’t wait to see a tiny Mr. Frodo once again.

Mr. F, this is our early birthday gift for you. You’ll no longer die a virgin! Haha! 😜

#Pollyplanning

I finally mustered the will (and courage) to visit my OB yesterday. I had some concerns that I’ve been delaying for weeks due to the holidays and recent family emergency. But in accordance to the New Year-New Me shiznits, I decided to be a responsible adult and go to the clinic.

Consultation was good and I felt at ease with my OB’s assessment. Google is mighty helpful in life but sometimes it can really make you paranoid when you type in symptoms on the search bar. In times like this, it’s always best to consult a professional.

I was asked to take some meds, exercise caution (haha!), and go back for another checkup after a month. Crossing my fingers that nothing serious is happening in my baby factory center. I don’t want to start this year with another sickness. I think I’ve reached my sickness quota last year so I should get a free pass for this year, right?

After the checkup, I went over to the pharmacy to get the meds that my OB prescribed and my prenatal vitamins.

Yes, I started taking them again as part of my New Year-New Me shiznits pregnancy preparation. I’m not heavily pressuring myself to get pregnant again but I decided to start early on with the vitamins to ensure my body’s fully prepared when it happens again. Cris and I also started a mini-project on physical fitness which I’m planning to share here soon.

My first pregnancy, which sadly didn’t push through, was a complete surprise to us both so I was a little late on the preps. I only started taking vitamins when it was confirmed via surprise ultrasound. That story was funny but it deserves another entry. 😉

I was also not advised to exercise since I’ve had a sedentary lifestyle prior to said pregnancy. This really haunted me during my dark days of recovery. I felt I wasn’t at my best health which contributed to Ezra’s chromosomal abnormalities.

I know, I know… I shouldn’t blame myself. It can happen to anyone and it just wasn’t meant to be. But to be honest, you get these thoughts sometimes…

This time around, I feel it’s my responsibility to ensure everything’s good for the upcoming baby.

I read somewhere that planning for a baby is parallel to inviting guests over. You treat your body as if it’s your house. Before the guests arrive, you clean what is needed to be cleaned, fix what should be fixed, and always, always take out the trash. You don’t want your guests arriving to a cluttered and dirty house, do you?

So here’s to planning, hoping, and getting results. Our current mantra is:

If The Pollies are healthy, then so will Tadpolly. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♀️

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Postcard to Self: Bicol

Being in a different place gives you a different perspective in life, sometimes to the point of a much needed realization. So I started this travel habit of sending postcards to myself.

It’s like having a time travelling journal. You get to write down your current thoughts and a few weeks later, your future self gets to read them. The romanticism of it all speaks volume to me.

So imagine my disappointment when I couldn’t find a single postcard in Legazpi when I vacationed there. Plenty of cards for Boracay, Davao, and Cebu but our conical beauty was missing. Drats!

However, I’m not one to break a budding habit just yet. I’m going to use one of my photos instead (which I hope is close enough to the commercially sold ones) as my postcard to self.

Quitinan, Camalig, Albay

Dear, Future Dada.

I hope that as you get old, you cling to good memories more. Let her presence be a reminder of your happy childhood, of a home that you can always retreat to when living in the city gets too stressful.

Life will sometimes be hard, like a bumpy and tiring tricycle ride. Life will sometimes scare you, like claps of lightning and thunder on a rainy night.

But through it all, you will always have a family who will enjoy that tiring and bumpy ride with you. You will always have him to hug when the lightning strikes too close.

You will always have your rainbow. Your Phoenix will surely come.

Love,

Presently Hopeful Dada

P.S. She’s truly majestic, isn’t she?

 

These were my exact thoughts while we’re on our way back from an afternoon hike at Quitinday Hills. We rented a tricycle to and fro, and the ride back to the main town got a little scary. It was raining hard, almost a storm, and lightning bolts were illuminating the dark, cloudy skies. But despite the difficult and scary journey, we got back safe and happy. And that’s what matters most.

Same as in life…