Why I Kept My (Fourth) Pregnancy Under Wraps For A While

Most moms I know would say having a baby is a blessing. In fact, some of my mommy friends when they found out they were expecting (whether it’s their first, second, third, fourth or even fifth) were so excited to share their great news and their photos of their seemingly baby bump on Facebook or Instagram. As a friend who’s sincerely happy for them, I couldn’t help but hit like and leave a comment of well-wishes on their photos or status messages to show support.

Until I found out I have a bun in the oven myself.

I was hoping I was just delusional when I looked down at the pregnancy test while the second pink line slowly but surely appeared. When I showed the test to a friend while walking home from a workshop I just attended that day, she did vouch for it.

I won’t deny how letdown I was at that time. I have had so many plans laid out not just for myself but for my family’s future, our future. My youngest is three years old and thought I could finally spend more “serious” QT with them, like take them out on a one-on-one date, get to know them better and try my best to fill their love tanks by being knowledgeable of their love language. I also thought of taking a few more clients to work with from the comforts of my home and eventually be able to help increase our cashflow and slowly pay off our debts and bills without struggle. I even volunteered as a wedding planner for my best friend who recently tied the knot. I thought maybe that was the best time for me to be more actively involved with groups I care so much about, learn more new things and so on and so forth.

But those plans just went down the drain. A few days later, I was forced to take a bed rest because of my supposed “morning sickness” which seemed more like an entire day to me. I’ve had my fair share of dysgeusia (a metallic taste in the mouth) for months, which was the culprit why most of the food I eat don’t sit well with me. I was restless, could not sleep through the night, and most often irritable. I’ve let go of my clients I was working with (all of them) and withdrew from pursuing calligraphy and watercolor painting for sometime. I was completely indifferent and confused most of the time. I finally decided to take a sidestep from my social media sites, particularly Facebook. I did it specially when I disclosed to a friend about my pregnancy and got a reply (which sounded more like an unsolicited advice), telling me that I should have been more careful, and that I should have thought of our financial situation first before getting myself knocked up. I got offended with what she said because I felt I knew that already; that she didn’t have to shove that fact in my face once more.

I’ve deliberately detached myself from my friends and a few of my loved ones for a while after that because truth is, if I can’t even accept the reality of me expecting another baby, how can I expect the people around me to do the same? I know I can’t be indifferent for the rest of my life, not only because it’s exhausting but also because this isn’t what I wanted my family to put up with. So, I spent a few more days asking the same question over and over again, “what is it that You wanted me to learn from this, Lord?”

Until one typical morning, I opened my devotional app on my phone and came across this verse from the book of Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT). It says:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.

“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so my ways are higher than your ways

and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Wow! This verse made an impression on me. I mean, I’ve stumbled upon this verse every once in a while, but when I came across it again, it struck a chord in me on a different level. It brought all the uncertainties, my confusion and indifference to a close. My voluntary disconnection turned out to be a blessing in disguise to a certain extent that I’ve become more receptive to my morning devotionals and a bit more discerning whenever I make decisions. I became dependent on His word more than seeking counsel or confide with my friends. It’s not that I don’t trust my friends’ judgment anymore, I still do; it’s more of putting your faith to work, trusting Him fully and believing He never breaks His promises, especially the one that says, He “…causes EVERYTHING to work together for the good of those who love Him…” (Romans 8:28)

I am on my 32nd week as of this writing, and got back into Facebook since January this year. I began to touch base with my friends again and while I know some of them couldn’t help but make remarks that are a bit off for me, I try to be very patient and be more rational to them. I choose to trust God in spite of the odds and my feelings.

 

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Breaking The Fleeting Break

Break
If there’s anything I feel like I have failed at something at this point, it definitely has to be my writing.

My last blog dates back to May of this year, and that itself is an indicator, and isn’t a good way to start getting myself into a habit of writing consistently.

Jeff Goins wrote that in order to get good at writing or succeed in what you do, you got to have two things: Passion and Practice. You can’t have one without the other. It’s one thing to claim and tell the world I am passionate about writing; it’s another to ACTUALLY be one and put it into practice until your thoughts and your hand bleeds.

For weeks I’ve let myself leer at the blogs I follow, read books (as usual) and wait for that “moment” when I feel the nudge to write again. Comparison and envy sure worked like an anesthesia in my writing discipline. But I also realized that the more I procrastinate and wait for the right moment, the more I feel like I am slowly dying. I am dying because I know deep inside I needed my long overdue brain farts and whatnot and all those ideas are stocked in my head.

Looking back at how excited I was to give 500 words challenge a go months ago, I realized I have never felt so alive then. I tried to wake up early for almost a week, trying to write my thoughts down in 500 words. And while it was never easy to wake up earlier than anyone else in our household, but dang! those were the most freeing and awesome moments I have ever had in my entire writing life.

So, here I am giving this writing discipline another shot with high hopes that this time I am intentionally committing myself to do this; no matter how hard and intimidating it gets. I do also hope that you, my readers of my blog would be kind and be patient enough to bear this fickle-minded aspiring author of yours in her blogging/writing journey.

And this is how I break my fleeting break.

P.S.

Pardon the grammatical lapses. This wayward blogger has to keep the writing flow going in order to get to where she aspires to: be the best in her art.

If you have been blogging for a while, would you care to share what are the ingredients in becoming successful in what you do? Please share your thoughts below.

Things I Learned From Being A Mom of Boys

my-heart-is-full-passioncardThe passion card that you see on the photo best describes which state my heart is right now.

Truth be told, to be around with three, sprightly, boisterous boys all day is painstakingly overwhelming, if not insanely challenging. I find myself at wit’s end and extremely exhausted most of the time. I always feel like this mothering thing wasn’t made for me — that it’s only meant for the very few who are innately patient, understanding, considerate and loving.

But no matter how messy and chaotic my life is, I don’t think I would ever trade motherhood for anything else. Believe it or not, my boys are the best teachers I have. They’ve been teaching me a lot of things since day one, and they are even unaware of it.

A few of the things I learned (and still learning) from being a mom of boys are:

1. I learned how to go easy on myself. I used to be a mom who gets all paranoid and worry a lot. I used to have this “fear of the unknown” especially for my boys. Watching the news don’t even help at all. Though I recognize that we can’t do something about the inevitable, the least thing that we could do as parents is to simply pray and believe that all things work together for good.

2. I learned how to genuinely “seek” the Lord with all my heart. I’m a Christian since fifth grade, but I haven’t truly felt to seek Him with all my heart until after I have my boys. I used to think that when I pray, it’s necessary that I do all the talking. I realized that what God wanted me to do during quiet time is to literally be still and let Him do all the talking through reading God’s word.

3. I learned how to love unconditionally. I never thought I’m capable of loving my husband (I’ll talk about this more in my future post) and my three kids aside from their different personalities. When I was single, I have a picture of what it’s like to really love from experiences I have heard and seen from my friends. It was only after I got married that I learned that love is more than just a feeling; it is also a choice.

4. I learned that boys are just as emotional as girls… and their emotions are at its peak when you don’t give them the attention they need from you. I used to have this thought that girls are more touchy feely than boys; and this is because I am a girl. However, it was only when I had my boys when I realized they are sensitive, too.

5. I learned how to be a “psychologist” of some sort. I never realize how practical this study was particularly in relating to people and to my kids. Every time I try to put myself in my kids’ shoes, it gives me a better understanding of where they are coming from. The more I try to understand their minds and behavior, the more I am able to give sound judgment to them.

6. I learned that boys have “limitless” energy and it’s required that you provide them space for its release. In one of the books I have read (Wild Things, The Art of Nurturing Boys), it was mentioned that during toddler and preschool years, boys have insurmountable energy. They love to explore and with that in mind, it’s important to be reminded that they “don’t need to be tamed – they need to be understood, loved, challenged, and encouraged.”

7. I learned how to explore further. Being surrounded with boys who are natural explorers, I can’t help but be motivated to be the same. My thirst for learning seem insatiable, and the opportunity is just plain limitless. In fact, I have a list of things that I still want to try and learn. I would consider this a plus since I’m the type who loves expanding horizons.

So, you may see me doing tons of housekeeping, running errands to and fro, getting caught up in an activity with the boys or working in my humble work space; but trust me, my heart is as full as my hands are.

If you are a mom of boys (or girls), what has mothering been teaching you so far? Please don’t hesitate to share your learnings in the comments below.

36 And Counting (Part 1)

Gods-birthday-promiseI am setting aside my 500 word challenge and my other post prior to this to share how did my birthday go weeks ago.

It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to be.

I wanted it to be something that will caught me by surprise. I was waiting for something different from the mundane. Ah, there goes my unrealistic expectations again. It’s the kind of expectations that will leave us frustrated, if not heartbroken at the end of the day.

It’s a good thing though I started my day with Quiet Time. It’s the time of day when I just simply enjoy the time spent reading devotionals and The Bible. When I read devotionals or spend time meditating on His word first thing in the morning, it gives me this sense of unexplainable peace. But of course, because it’s my birthday, this morning is entirely different from my yesterday, and the day before yesterday, and so on and so forth.

Tempting as it may, I tried hard not to think about today as my “special day.” I could not help but imagine Mike would at least surprise me with a bouquet of flowers in the middle of the day or a special breakfast in bed with my boys upon waking up. You see, on the eve of my birthday, Mike proposed that we go out on my birthday instead. My best friend and I were supposed to go out on a date the day before my birthday, but I cancelled it the last-minute because Mike and the kids got home a bit late. So, to make peace of his tardiness, he mentioned we’ll just go out on a date.

But I know Mike isn’t that type, and those bouquet of flowers thing is a little over-the-top so I tried to dismiss my wishful thinking and carried on with the usual “housekeeping” stuff; did the laundry, prepared lunch, spent play time with the boys, checked my Facebook, Instagram and e-mail and whatnot. I tried to keep myself busy and distracted for as long as I can to keep myself from daydreaming.

It wasn’t easy to dismiss his offer either. Mike and I haven’t actually gotten a chance to go out on a date on my birthday. In fact, if my memory serves me right, we’ve never gone on a date on my birthday, which pretty much explains why I was anticipating for something really special to happen on that day.

Lunchtime passed and as hours went by, I was slowly sensing that our date may not actually take place. During lunch Mike was complaining of pain somewhere in right tummy. My mom in law also mentioned that they’re heading off to QC that day to attend a wake. I felt completely hopeless that our “birthday date” will ever take place.

As my thoughts began to wander and slowly let my feelings of frustration crept in, I have decided to take the matters to the Lord. I began asking “Lord, I am hurt right now. I am hurt because I was hoping things would turn out the way I wanted it to be. But, I don’t want to feel like this for the rest of the day. So, what is it that you want me to learn from this? Is there a lesson that I needed to learn here? If there is, please help me become sensitive to your voice and make my heart open to understand.”

I took my journal (it’s where I write all the lessons I have learned) and began to read, indulge and meditate on the lessons and on God’s word. Slowly, I felt there was a shift in my thoughts and my feelings. I felt better and when Mike woke up from a nap, we got ready and went for a family birthday date instead.

So, my birthday didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to be, but this 36th birthday celebrant surely have learned all the lessons she needed to learn on that day.

What were the lessons I learned on that day? More on the second part.

Day 7 #my500words: I Wish I Had Known

overlookingI wish I had known soon how to be brave and speak for myself, so that I could defend myself from people who seem to be experts of what they do best: maltreat.

I wish I had known soon that maturity doesn’t come with age. There are people out there who, still don’t know what they are doing even if they are already in their 40’s. or 50’s. or even 60’s.

Some of them will use their seniority for the benefit of their selfish intents.

Some of them will use their seniority to validate their bent perspectives in life.

Some of them allow you to be their witness of their bad practices or habits, which eventually you assume to be the norm.

I wish I had known soon that you will never get a yes and a no when you don’t ask. More often than not, the only way you will get your yes and your no is to simply ask.

I wish I had known soon that there is no such thing as soulmate; that every person you meet is a candidate for one. And when you finally meet the person you choose to marry, you have to commit to love his flaws and dark side.

I wish I had known soon that marriage is not imperative, a pre-requisite that must be laid out for every single women out there.

I wish I had known soon that not all you meet along the way were meant to be your friends. Some of them were just meant to teach you lessons either the easy way or the hard way. Some of them were meant to stick with you no matter how good or bad you are to them.

I wish I had known soon that respect isn’t something you can just claim and walk away. You earn it. Hard.

I wish I had known soon that trust is easy to lose but hard and slow to earn.

I wish I had known soon that travel is a therapy to one’s soul and a window for new learnings.

I wish I had known soon that while money isn’t everything, it is undeniably essential to many things.

I wish I had known soon that motherhood is a commitment. When you commit, you strive or persevere to be the best that you can be. And when you give your best, you will get nothing but the best out of it.

I wish I had known soon that not all Christians are actually Christians. Some of them claim themselves to be but do not understand deeply what it means to be one.

I wish I had known soon that the order of things go something like this: Give comes first, get comes second.

I wish I had known soon that our bodies were built for activity, not for idleness. It’s when we run, walk, swim, dance and climb that we become more alive.

I wish I had known soon that kids may say the darndest things, but are great teachers too.

I wish I had known soon that in order to be the master of something, you don’t just claim yourself to be one. You HAVE TO BE ONE.

I wish I had known soon that doing tons of things doesn’t equate to being productive. You can be busy but not productive.

I wish I had known soon that it’s the intangible, our experiences that makes us wise and rich, not the tangible, material things we buy and possess.

I wish I had known soon that our journey in life defines us more than our destination; and it’s how we took the journey that will get us to and determine our destination.