Thursday, December 13, 2012

On Your Birthday

In celebration of my son's birthday, I'm sharing my first love letter to him published by Total Fitness Magazine 2011.

Everyday, I celebrate you.

Dear Finn,

First, let me get this out of the way – “Finnegan” is your dad’s idea. I prefer Griffin (from the Griffin and Sabine series that he gave to me as a present when we were dating). Finnegan won out in the end. I guess as long as “Finn” is in there somewhere, I’m happy. And so I dub thee Finnegan O’Hara: a strong Filipino-Irish brew. And just like your dad, who is also an “O’hara”, you will probably be a beer snob, pining for San Miguel or Guinness wherever you are in the world.

You can always have your cake and eat it too!
 19 December 2010
 11:02 p.m.

I can’t believe that in a few hours, we will finally get to hold you. I’m writing this in the hopes of soothing my nerves. This and a little Hawaiian lullaby. Every morning I play Israel Kamakawiwo'ole’s Somewhere over the Rainbow medley. It’s a myth they say: playing “smart music” to the womb won’t make the child a genius. Maybe, but a little bit of ukulele in the morning won’t hurt now, will it? 

hello, little wonder!

I’m going through my playlists for OPM. Sadly, I don’t have a lot. I need to play more tagalog songs for you. Yes, you will be bilingual, whether you like it or not. Studies say that bilingualism has been linked to a variety of positive cognitive benefits including exceptional mathematical skills. Thank God for that, because your parents are poor with numbers. So I’m starting early. “Isa...dalawa...”

20 December 2010
4:00 a.m.

Of all the advice that I’ve been receiving, there is one constant thing that stood out and will probably be the only thing that I will remember once all the craziness starts. One word: epidural. Forget about the wonders of natural birth. Once the pain starts, you’ll forget even your breathing exercises. What? Breathe? Oh yeah – ha hee, ha hoo. Ha hee, ha hoo.... Can I have my $#%&...epidural now??!!!

Freedom is a scent. Like the top of a newborn baby's head.

6:45 a.m.
The anaesthesiologist just came in to explain all about the wonder drug. He went on and on about the side effects.  By then everything was a blur and the only thing that was real was the intolerable iron-like gripping around the abdomen that came every few minutes. It seemed like there would be no end to his spiel, so I seriously thought of grabbing the needle from his hand and stabbing it on my thigh myself. What? It goes through the spine? Did I tell you that I’m afraid of needles?

my boy! that smile!

Just when I thought he would go on forever until I lose it completely, Dr. Barki walked in, suggesting a C-section. We could either continue on with this, waiting for me to dilate enough, or we get this over with now. She said the decision was all mine. I said, strap me on now. Did I tell you that I’m petrified of needles?

9:30 a.m.
I’m in the delivery room. My hands are tied, so I’m writing this in my head. I can’t feel my legs. It’s disconcerting yet comforting at the same time. You dad is holding my hand, looking silly in his blue scrubs and cap. It brings out the color of terror in his eyes. 

such a happy boy

I can hear the doctors through the curtain of analgesia. They are talking shop like they are in a cafe while working on a slice of cake, not slicing me. “There’s going to be a little pressure,” said Dr. Barki, my no-nonsense Taiwanese OB. Slight pressure? More like heavy tugging and pushing. I think I’m going to fade out. There is no pain really, but the idea that they’re messing with my organs – and the fact that I can actually feel it - is not what sweet dreams are made of.

the birth of a miracle

Before long, I hear a concerto of gushing. “Aww...” “Ooohhh he’s gorgeous!” “He’s perfect!’ A tear trickled down my cheek before they lay you on my shoulder. Then I think, oh my God. Is this my baby? He looks like an alien!

25 December 2011
You are starting to fill in in the right places. You no longer look like Jedi Master Yoda. It would have been nice if somebody warned me about this, but it doesn’t matter now. 

our first family photo

We had already opened our Christmas present. It’s bright-eyed and beautiful.

27 December 2011
I miss you terribly. I miss feeling the flutter in my tummy. The little hiccups in the morning. The heaving and kicking like there was a party in there that I wasn’t invited to. You are no longer mine completely. I have to share you to the world. After all, how can somebody so beautiful not be shared?  

I can hear you stirring. Soon the fussing will start. Ahh right on schedule. There, there. Take my hand. I love how your little fingers curl so tightly around mine and how you look at me like I am the only person in your universe. But soon, sooner than I am ready for, you will be letting go. But for now, hold on tight and let our adventure together begin.




"Is this my baby? He looks like an alien!"

Only you, Candy. Only you. :)))))) I missed your blog. I missed writing, too, but I figured time will be better spent if I browsed through your blog instead of writing a new entry. Haha.

My little alien is growing up too fast!!!

beautiful boy you are so lucky to have such a loving and talented mother!

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