My due date is almost near. As my belly continues to grow heavier each day, I am more excited than fearful. I know there will be unbearable pains during and perhaps after delivery but the thought of finally seeing and holding my little (I imagine curly) princess erases all the worries. I’m not even thinking of the future mood swings, sleepless nights, fatigue, and other adjustments that come with it. I am just thrilled to look into my little girl’s eyes and cuddle her.
This pregnancy, as all other pregnancies they say, is absolutely different from my first one in a number of ways.
Foremost, this is made and will be born in Aussie - a continent so far from home where family and friends are also eagerly waiting to see the new bundle of joy.
Secondly, during the first one I was a career mom. I had to get up early and make myself look pretty for work, had speaking engagements, lots of paperwork and deadlines to meet. Now I’m a full time mom, wife, and domestic goddess! I only get up early to prepare stuff for my husband before he goes to work. The only paperwork I do is the shopping list and liquidation of our expenses. Deadlines are dead. I only make myself extra pretty when I go out to shop or travel which I had more this time than before.
Thirdly, like the first one, I also craved for Kalamansi (cum quat here), green mangoes and kangkong during the first trimester. Good thing an Asian store here had kalamansi, imagine my happiness! My desire for green mangoes was only satisfied a couple of times when I saw one at a market here, $7 a kilo (PhP315) and one piece is almost a kilo. Oh boy I didn’t mind the price at all and bought three! Kangkong was replaced with spinach though. Dominoes Pizza was also in my cravings list this time but only for a couple of weeks. Navel oranges, grapes, Royal Gala apples, strawberries are the food I constantly munch until now, unlike before where I used to bring cucumber, lettuce, and carrots to work.
Health wise, both my pregnancies are healthy. Thank you Lord for that! Although this one kicks and squirms harder and more often than the first, I still feel great. Well, except for the backaches I’ve been feeling lately. I also had one dizzy moment during the first trimester, a thing I didn’t experience with my son. I’m glad I never went through morning sickness stuff with both.
Another noteworthy difference is the superstitious beliefs. While our country is known for its strong superstitious beliefs in almost anything especially with being pregnant and how to ward off witches, here they just laugh or raise their brows when you mention it. Hence, no garlic is wasted being placed on windows or carried around in the pocket, black is not the only color I’m allowed to wear, and thorny plants are nowhere near the house. Wala daw balbal diri kay tugnawon man paglupad!
In terms of prenatal care (antenatal as they call it here), I see a GP (general practitioner) and a specialist (OB-GYN) where everything is free of charge! I get out of my GP’s clinic without paying anything and not even bringing heaps of prescriptions for vitamins. I’m simply advised to live a healthy life by eating the right foods and having some exercises. Consuming vitamins is optional, which I did and am doing though. Pregnancy supplements are easily available over the counter and you are assured these vitamins passed their health standards because they are on the shelves. Furthermore, hospital coverage is free! Pregnant women have to book in during their 20th to 26th weeks of pregnancy wherein hospital staff will get the personal details (so that on your delivery date, you don’t have to answer all the questions while going through all the pain) and give you a tour of the maternity area. Every time I go to my GP, I couldn’t help but wish that pregnant women in our country will have the same benefits as I am getting here.
Finally, a major difference between my pregnancies is the presence of our families – their physical support during the first one which I will never have now. Emotional and spiritual support will always be there but their absence this time is and will be immensely missed! Although we are so blessed to have found an adoptive family here who has really been super good and supportive to us in countless ways that we can never repay them, we can’t call on them and expect them to be with us 24 hours a day since they have their own lives, work, and personal stuff to attend to as well. Unlike back home where, our parents, in-laws, siblings, and cousins are just within reach to stay with us overnights and help look after the baby. My husband and I, with the excited Kuya, are (and will be) on our own here to attend to the new baby’s needs coupled with my needs in the first few weeks.
Despite all the differences, I am grateful that God has been there for us in both pregnancies, providing us financially, using and sending people to help us in small and big ways, and strengthening us. I can’t wait to see the new addition to our family. Being pregnant the second time is more than a blessing already.