You are now one year and almost two months old. Mommy is so happy to see that your confidence in walking all by yourself is growing. But, when you let go of mommy’s hand, she felt a pang of sadness at how time flies and how both of you are leaving behind your babyhood. Maybe because you are their last child, their last baby, that she was feeling so sentimental. Mommy is torn between holding on to your hand or carrying you and letting you walk on your own, between keeping at nursing and weaning you from her breasts, between letting you play more and starting to teach you new things. You were born on the scheduled date, but your birth story was the most interesting one.
On September 11, 2011, mommy thought you were ready to come out into the world. But it was just a false alarm.
On the eve of your scheduled delivery via C-section, mommy wasn’t ready to give birth yet. There were challenges that surrounded your birth day. Your sister and brother were very sick. Your sister was left with the helper most of the time, while your brother was left in the care of his nanny in an aunt’s house. Mommy was so worried even though she should be resting after she delivered you. She missed your daddy before she was wheeled into the operating room, he had to bring your sister to the doctor that day. She’s thankful your grandpa and grandma were by her side after she came back from the recovery room.
You were crying and crying when you came out. When you were put on mommy’s chest, you immediately tried to find the nipple to latch on. But then, you cried pitifully all of a sudden and the nurse took you away from mommy to the nursery. It wasn’t until about 24 hours later that they handed you to back to mommy. They said you thrived on EBM (expressed breastmilk) from a donor while you were away. Mommy specifically wrote in the birth plan that you should be roomed-in as soon as possible. It seems the hospital people waited until she could sit up.
Mommy decided, while you were in her tummy, to exclusively breastfeed you, and she found that it was difficult and painful. But for your health’s sake, she didn’t want to give up. She didn’t want you to be as sickly as she is. Maybe it’s because of the constant waking up to feed you that mommy became sick. What broke mommy’s heart was when you also had the sniffles and coughs after you came home. She cannot help but cry and be full of guilt. Still, she felt that you needed the breastmilk more than ever to help fight illnesses.
When it was time for you two to be discharged from the hospital, the pediatrician diagnosed you with breastmilk jaundice. Your skin became very yellow. She said that you needed to stay behind to be observed and be given formula. Mommy didn’t know what to do so tears flowed from her eyes. On that day, daddy and mommy decided to consult another doctor for children.
Your coming home day was an eventful one. Daddy had to go somewhere so grandpa and grandma drove you, mommy and your brother home. Then, you went to the new doctor in her clinic in Manila. Your brother had an x-ray because he was ill. Grandpa and grandma cannot bring all of you home so you waited for daddy to pick you up. Mommy was tired and sad so she did not have an appetite. But, daddy said that she needed to eat so she could nourish you. He was right.
It was very late when you reached the house. But, you and mommy had to stay at your uncle’s place beside your home because you could catch your sister and brother’s sickness, which was contagious. And you were still so tiny. Mommy felt quite lonely, especially at night, and she missed your siblings very much. She was sure they were eager to spend time with you, our new bundle of joy.
After about a seemingly long week, mommy was awash in relief when both of you could go home and you were all recovering. Lots of early morning sunshine, not baby formula, cured your jaundice. Though your uncle’s and auntie’s hospitality was very much appreciated, nothing could compare to being in your own home and being with family. God was indeed good and He still is as you all weathered seasons of illnesses. He encouraged mommy as she struggled with the decision to continue to nurse you each day.
This experience, plus mommy’s being able to exclusively breastfeed you for a year and counting, were causes to celebrate as your birthday party arrived.
Mommy could still remember the feelings when she found out she was pregnant with you. You were unexpected, but a wonderful blessing nonetheless. Motherhood felt surreal when she had your sister and your brother, it was when you arrived that she grasped it as a reality. Thank you, Cayla, for through you, mommy was shown that she was capable of breastfeeding, not just for a month. She’s happy to have you, her smart and sweet baby.
Mommy and daddy love you very much!