12 January 2016
Our dearest daughter Lucia,
Right now as I type this, you are tummy to tummy with your daddy, and both of you are asleep on the lazy boy. My heart is filled with inexplicable joy looking at you both. You are 11 weeks old now.
I have so much I want to tell you and I don't even know where to begin!
I thank the Lord you were a very easy baby in my tummy and you didn't give me a hard time at all. I only had a few weeks of nausea, but the rest of the pregnancy was a breeze! I continued to work, I worked out, I didn't really have any crazy cravings, plus I never got sick! I gained just 20 pounds with you in my tummy so it was easy to carry you around. I loved having you in my tummy because your presence calmed me and made me feel I was never alone—literally.
You were seven and a half months in my tummy when your Abuelito, my dad, passed away. It was a very, very difficult time especially since your Lola Ofel, Ninong JC and Ninang Aissa live abroad, so it was only me with your Abuelito's sisters who dealt with everything. I cried so much. We drifted apart after he and your Lola were separated, but of course he was still my dad and I loved him. Do you know that he was very excited to meet you? He was so happy to find out I was pregnant, and extra happy when he found out you were a girl. His friends and workmates told me how excited he was about you. Since his two other apos, your cousins Roco and Sabine both live abroad, he was very excited to finally have an apo he can spend time with. I remember the first time I visited him in the ICU.. I held his hand.. I told him that even if he was asleep, I knew that he felt me there by his side, and that he felt you too.. I told him, this is your apo, as I rubbed my tummy.. Even if he couldn't respond, I know in my heart he was so happy to "meet" you. It was such a painful time and you were the one who kept me strong. You were such a brave girl. Even if I cried so much, I felt that you were so strong and that made me strong, too. Knowing that you were the happy thought of your Abuelito during his final days made me so happy. That is when we really decided that your name should be Lucia. Because your name means "light", and you were definitely the light during that very difficult time.
For some reason, I was certain you would be born at 38 weeks. I didn't pack my hospital bag until you were 37 weeks in my tummy, and your dad packed his bag a week after! It was a Thursday afternoon when I started to feel a different kind of stomach cramp. That night, the contractions got more frequent, they got more intense past midnight, and when I was sure that I was in labor, I took a nice, long, hot bath, put lotion all over, dressed up, and when I was set, I woke up your dad and said, "Its time, let's go to the hospital." We got to the hospital at around 8AM, and sure enough, I was 7 centimeters dilated already. By 2PM on October 23, 2015, you were born, as I guessed, at 38 weeks.
I can't even begin to describe how surreal it was that after pushing just eight times, you were out in the world, you gave out that first cry, and you were placed on my chest. Your skin was so red and your cheeks so full! Your daddy was there beside me the whole time, helping me through the delivery. Do you know he even cut your umbilical cord? Yes, he did! That was the day you changed our lives. I finally understood what parents mean when they say its love like you've never felt before.
These first few weeks home have been a rollercoaster! You bring so, so, so much love and joy to your daddy and me, but at the same time, we're so scared and nervous, so tired and sleepless, and sometimes we feel helpless when you're fussy and we don't know why. It breaks our heart to hear you cry, especially when we can't make you stop. It fills our heart when you stare straight at us with your big, round eyes. It melts our heart when you give us those big smiles, when you continuously coo as if speaking to us, and when you flash those adorable dimples (which honestly, we don't know where you got because neither your daddy or I have dimples!) Your daddy and I often joke—when you're awake and can't sleep, all we want is for you to fall asleep. When you're asleep, all we want to do is wake you up so we can play with you again! Confession: oftentimes when you are asleep, we're both on our phones looking at photos and videos of you!
I've had many, many challenging, difficult and tiring jobs, but being a mother is THE toughest job I've ever had to do. Most all mother and baby photos I see or articles I read are about the happiness and laughter.. hardly anyone ever talks about the frustration and the tears. Apparently, motherhood comes with both. During the tougher days (aka your fussy days), I just think to myself, every single mother on the planet was able to do this, so I can too. I only have one shot at taking care of you every single day, and I hope I'm doing a good enough job, because you deserve nothing but the best. This is the most "trying hard" I've ever been my whole life, because I want to be the best mom I can be to you.
I'm so lucky because you have an awesome daddy. He does everything, helps me with everything, is super hands on, and if only dads could breastfeed, he most probably would, too. As early as now I can see it, the way you two look at each other, you two will be magkakampi when you grow up. Daddy's girl, no doubt.
Everyone says the first year goes by so fast, and that we should enjoy every moment of it. Some of your socks and onesies are already too small for you, and we really see how fast you're growing, chubby cheeks and double chin and all!
We are so excited for your many firsts—your first laugh, first word (will it be Mama or Dada??), your first steps, the first time you can hug and kiss us back, and so much more. We wanna show you so many things and travel to so many places with you. We love you so much its crazy. You truly are the light of our lives.
I hope this mushy letter doesn't embarrass you by the time you're old enough to understand it!