When we got married in the last month of 2009, me and my wife agreed to have a child after two years. It was mostly one of the advices we received and what we thought was the best – to have more time for us to enjoy our new status, know each other deeper and adjust and do the things we wont be able to do when we’ll have a child.
After 2 years and 38 days, our first child and daughter, Summer Gael, was born.
Looking back. The few months before Summer will see the world were days of impatient expectancy. We were filled with excitement while she was swimming and kicking in her temporary world. Me and my wife would talk a lot about her. We laugh or smile at her first belly impulses – it was funny to see. Each night, I would sing to her 2 songs then we fervently pray for safety, normal condition and God’s blessing for her. We dedicated her to the Lord the moment she was conceived.
While we were truly enjoying those precious moments – other people rejoiced with us too, and with their excitement were also warnings about a really different kind of life after Summer’s birth. They warned us about sleepless nights and how we should schedule and take turns in looking out for her. Our leaders at church even unloaded us some certain tasks assigned to us. However, we’ve taken their warnings lightly. It was the thought of finally seeing what Summer would look like when she’ll be born that mattered to us, besides, we have a house helper. Our eagerness and excitement clouded us a bit from serious mental and physical preparation. On the 4th of February 2012, Gang heard Summer Gael’s voice at 5:02 PM for the first time.
It was one of the great miracles that happened to us and we believe we were wholly prepared, at least on that day and in the next few days.
Gang has prepared well for her day. She possesses the patience of writing plans about what’s to come. As a result, Summer’s newborn needs and belongings were waiting on a storage box few months before her time. Even all the paper-works, identification cards, forms and other stuff needed were all prepared and kept. I cant think of a particular need that we missed as I type.However, days became more difficult during the first days of Summer when we took her home from the hospital. We were so excited to take her home from the hospital, but the kind of feeling we had didn’t quite last. At first, we were very relieved whenever she stops crying after feeding or letting her burp. Seemingly, it would just be a cycle that is easy to predict or know when its coming. We created a chart and recorded the time and interval when she poops, needs feeding or starting to sleep. At first, the chart seems to show a fixed pattern as we thought. But after a couple of days more, the pattern was broken and the predicted behavior went random since then. For 3 straight nights, we were unable to sleep and wake up on time. We were awake most of the hours. I go to work at 10am and come home earlier before my official time. Summer would stay awake every time from midnight to almost dawn. Oftentimes, she would just cry even after doing everything we think a newborn needs when she cries. She wouldn’t want to be put down yet still cries when you carry her. She wouldn’t want to be fed yet cries when you put her down or let her burp. Google would show a lot of things to do but none of them would seem to be the right thing. At one time, my wife got a bit angry and exclaimed at Summer saying – “What do you want?”.
We prayed all the time and even more when she just wont stop crying. I even asked God once and asked forgiveness if we may have committed something that had caused Summer’s mysterious crying. Those times nearly drained our patience to emptiness and even caused us to be worriedly worried and mentally upset. We even have found out that our house helper wasn’t good with a newborn as we expected.
So finally, we said to ourselves, this is what what they’re talking about. But what can we do, I thought. What plans can we make to prevent this. Even so, every couple goes through this and we are quite relieved when we hear and read others’ stories. When we visited Summer’s pediatrician 2 weeks after, She said that she’s fine and its how babies are – they’re unique and what seems to work for others may not be right for her. She even said that that we should try hard to adopt ourselves to this new life and get used to it for there will be many days more ahead of us.
Almost a week after Summer’s birth, my wife’s mom came to us from Cebu. It was very relieving when we saw her in the airport. It was like the feeling of a wounded soldier behind enemy lines when in the final moment, a helicopter appears and reinforcements came to his rescue. We were so happy to have her even for just a week. We also didn’t expect her to tell us she will come but she did, despite her tight schedule being the dean and a nurse. A mother will always be a mother.In my hometown where I grew up, I have observed a very good tradition. When a daughter gives birth to her first child, the mother would spend the first weeks or months with her daughter to care for her and her grandchild. During her stay, she would help and train her daughter how to care for the newly born child in the family. It will be her time to pass on her experiences and everything she knows about child care and about love. It is not the kind of favor that a daughter will ask from her mom but it is a mother’s love for her daughter that makes her willing even without being requested.
I admit that I have a limited knowledge about the science of child care. I love my family but even so, I cannot meet all the needs. A mother’s love is unique and it cannot be replaced by a husband’s love. There are things a mom has that a husband doesn’t possess. I don’t know exactly what it is but it has heightened more my trust and respect to my mother-in-law as well as to my own mother.
We were silently sad when the time came for my mother in law to go back to Cebu. It will definitely come to this and we’ll be on our own anyway in the end, but she came at just the right time to aid us. Her stay with us gave us more confidence in the life we’ll have ahead.I have witnessed a mother’s love again in a different dimension. A mother to her daughter. It was so delightful to see them bond – laugh, smile, worry and care together for their new human replica. Their love was like the story of Ruth and Naomi, though Ruth was Naomi’s daughter in law.
Last March 5, My mother-in-law, wife and daughter traveled to Cebu. They will stay their for maybe a month. It was the best way, for Gang to take a rest and recover, and for Summer to be well-cared in her first weeks. They’ve been away for 20 days now as I type. I miss them so much. It was a month of misery. But they’ll be coming back soon. I even made a poem for my wife – When the wife is away.
Someday, it will be Summer’s turn too to be a mom, and when that time comes – we’ll be there.