By Jane Kingsu-Cheng | Photos by Amari Moments
Rica Peralejo has been through a lot, with two miscarriages that can crush any mother’s dreams of having more children. “I was diagnosed with APAS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, an auto-immune disorder that results to pregnancy complications) from the get-go, and I felt the weight of it in the first three months. Add then, there was trauma. I was very scared to lose the baby again, and it made me feel like a loser to not have faith that this baby will stay alive. Every single day of my first trimester was of me crying, telling God that I am so scared and to help me believe. I felt I was being so unfair to the baby, thinking he might be feeling my anxiety and doubts in the womb,” shared Rica about her apprehensions.
She also took medications, with daily injections to keep the blood inside her from thickening as this is one of the effects of APAS. She also had internal and external bleeding, making her even more nervous. It was only about her fifth months when she was able to get out of that anxious state. “By this point, I had no more symptoms and I generally became happier! I also started to be in faith. I finally believe this baby will be with us. Though I still had my bouts of fear, I learned how to pray and praise through it all. It helped me a lot in having an easier pregnancy as I entered the latter half.”
With a lot of prayers and perseverance, she is now pregnant and going on her 36th week. Exciting times ahead for this doting mom, which is why Moms & Babies and The Nest Attachment Parenting Hub hosted an intimate baby shower with her friends earlier this week. Delectable snacks were prepared by Poke Poke where you can create your own bowls, Kesong P’s kesong puti, Mang Max Lechon Belly and Lechon Manok, and yummy cake from Doughmestic.
Aside from the wonderful afternoon of catching up with friends, we had a quick game where the guests got to know the celebrant more. Here are five things we learned about Rica:
1. Pomelo is Rica’s favorite snack.
Apparently, pomelo (or suha) is her always been her favorite snack. “But maybe more so this pregnancy kasi summer and it is such a good fruit when chilled. Very refreshing!”
2. Rica hiked up a mountain during the early stages of her pregnancy.
“I think I was only six or eight weeks into the pregnancy and coming from a history of miscarriages before, I was really very scared.” Being an active mom herself, she didn’t let fear take over. “I always tell my doctors, if you make me do bedrest, lalo yata akong makukunan sa lungkot! Haha!” Despite the successful hike, Rica reminds expectant moms to consult with their doctor for any strenuous activities.
3. Rica took online birthing classes.
Since this is her second pregnancy, she signed up for online birthing classes with a Christian woman based in the U.S. via aheavenlywelcome.com. “I was very happy with her added information on the history of childbirth, as well as what Bible verses tell us about God’s heart for birthing. Birthing is such a spiritual experience, so it was really helpful to hear what the Creator responsible for my life and my children’s life has to say about it.”
4. Rica is leaning towards home birth.
Being considered as a high risk patient, Rica will give birth in a high risk pregnancy unit where there are no kids allowed. “Yet Philip (her first born) is so excited to see the baby come out of Mama, so I am so inspired to do it at home where my firstborn can stay with me the whole time. I could also use the oxytocin (vital hormone for giving birth!) I can release via the support of my son,” explained Rica.
5. Rica prays for a family of five.
She hopes to have one more child. “I know I will never regret having many children someday, but perhaps I will if I only have a few. In our faith, we believe that they are a blessing from God, a reward from Him. And wow, it is just awesome to watch a child grow in front of you. The privilege is so addicting! The privilege of being a part of someone’s life and seeing his destiny unfold before you is something else!”
When asked what she’s looking forward to the most: “I am most excited to see Manu’s face. That is his name. It’s always so fascinating to love someone so much for nine months and yet have no idea about how he really looks like. I am just so excited to know his face and hold his skin.”