It’s my son’s birthday today..
I remember 17 years ago the struggles of bringing him into this world. I remember the fear back then of being a young mom, an unwed mother full of potential and the hope of her family. It took me a while to know that I was pregnant then, I was about 4 months pregnant when I realized and it dawned on me that I was carrying a small person inside my tummy. I realized when my school uniform didn’t fit me anymore and that I had to wear an old hand me down that used to be so big for me that I had to fold it four times to fit which surprising already fits perfectly then. The first thing was to tell my boyfriend at that time and I couldn’t remember his reaction then. All I know was we were planning to save some money, elope for Manila and try to live as a family in a foreign place. I remembered the only person we told was his brother and then girlfriend who was willing to provide us an apartment to stay in when we start eloping instead of trying our luck in Manila. I remembered I had to make the decision to leave before high school graduation or after, then later making the decision to do it right after graduation so I could at least have a high school diploma once I start looking for a job. I remembered my high school graduation, I was 6 months pregnant then and all my school mates were already spreading rumors which none of my teachers would believe because I was such a good student and was thin enough to be that pregnant. I remembered hating everyone and not having any friends and turning away from the one best friend I had because I just felt like it. I remembered eating all my classmate’s lunch leftovers apart from my own lunch and not realizing why I had that much appetite. I remembered the things I would do to make it appear that I was still having my period, the memory a little bit gross but at that time I felt was necessary as my mom was very adamant in checking my monthly period. Maybe it was mother’s instinct, my mom eventually found me out when I was 8 months pregnant then and all ready to leave, just waiting for the right time. I remembered having to sit on the dining table opposite my parents, crying my heart out and telling the whole truth. I remembered my dad yelling some expletive and wanting to hurt me but couldn’t given my situation at that time with my mom crying on the side. I remembered the first time I saw my dad cry like a baby which was very heart wrenching. I remembered we used to go the city track & field each morning so I could do very long walks. I had to take those walks because they said it would make the pregnancy easier. I remembered having to hide all the time in the house, not allowed to go out and be seen by nosy neighbors because it was such a taboo back then to be a young mother. I remembered the day before I was to give birth I had some contractions and had to rush to the hospital only to be sent back home because it was a false alarm. It was one week before school started and we had to rush the pregnancy (so to speak) so we talked to the little baby inside and requested that he/she (we didn’t know the gender then, sonogram’s were not so much a thing then plus it was way expensive) come out that day so I could still have a week to rest before school started. I remembered at around 6pm while I was alone and walking inside the house, I felt like I peed a half glass of water then nothing. Later a little blood came but still no contractions, we had to call the doctor to consult and we were asked to go to the hospital straight away. I remembered I had a fight with my ex-boyfriend that night because I apparently saw him talking with another girl while we were picking him up on the way to the hospital (which he vehemently denied by the way, I dunno what to think of that). I remembered waiting in the labor room where there were 5 other beds with laboring mothers-to-be and how I laughed at some of them, one even fell from the bed and felt sorry for some, one had a heart problem and was prepped up for a C-section and she was so weak, I saw silent tears of pain escape her eyes. I saw all of them and I was chuckling to myself because my contractions never came despite being induced already. My attending nurse at that time was telling me not to laugh coz I will soon be like them shortly and I said no I will not be like that, she even told me she hoped not to be see me again for the next coming years to make this a lesson that unwanted pregnancy is no joke. I had to be induced a second time once my doctor came to check on me and once that happened the excruciating pain started. Where I was laughing before that, I was now crying in too much pain. I remembered being wheeled into the operating room where a bunch of people in medical gowns were abuzz along with my doctor and my attending nurse. I was in a daze, completely confused nobody prepared me for this situation and I didn’t know what to expect at all. I heard my doctor telling me to relax and I felt like running away, because I really wanted to poop because I was feeling like I really had to go. They propped up my feet to this contraption that seemed like a bed but not really and the doctor panicked when I decided to remove my feet and tried to go down. They all told me to stay put and relax and just listen to their instructions. I thought I was going to faint because the pain was unbearable and I literally didn’t know what to do. So when the doctor told me to push, I tried to push as if I was pushing shit the size of a bowling ball out of god knows where. I think I managed to push 3 times and then boom! out came this bouncing little baby boy. I had a few minutes to see him sucking milk from my breast before I completely succumbed to a dreamless stupor. That was just the beginning of everything…
My love and happiness came into this world on 26th May 1999. He was 7.11 lbs, big enough given my size and age. I gave him the name Joshua June Virgil Gadiane. Joshua because I just really like that name and I wanted a name, one taken from the bible. We were supposed to name him Joshua Giancarlo, I read somewhere in one book that it means “God’s gift” which to me he was. But I had to make some alterations along the way because I wanted his father to have a part in his name which is the reason it was changed to Joshua Junecarlo. Then my mom suggested to add my dad’s name in ode to him, so then I decided finally to add Virgil from my dad’s given name Virgilio.
My life has never been the same ever since this small baby boy came into my life and now he’s turned 17 and I can’t believe the years have gone by so fast. He grew up so fast and somehow it makes me feel old. Looking back, I know I have never been the perfect mother, I have never been always there and I hope my son forgives me for that. But I have always been proud of how he has grown up and I thank my parents for that because they treated him as one of their own. Their first grandchild who they love so much. I remember when we first came home from the hospital and Joshua started crying in the middle of the night where my dad was so angry. But eventually his heart softened and I have seen how they have come to love and care for my son so much. I have him always in my prayer, and my prayer is always that he grows up to be a good boy er man (now he is one) always in the guiding light of the Lord.
My motherhood experience was unique and beautiful all at the same. I will not trade it for anything in this world, I am lucky to have been given the opportunity to become a mother even at a young age and that’s all thanks to this dear baby boy. I never regretted a single moment where I decided to keep him and bring him into this world. He is my constant source of strength and inspiration.
No matter what happens in my life, I know I did something right, always when I look at my son. He is the constant reminder that he was the one good thing I did in this world. And even though I have never been perfect, I do hope in my heart that he knows how much I love him.
Happy happy birthday, my dear darling Joshua.. Mama loves u to the moon and back!