Friday, February 19, 2010


How can one even begin to describe the joys and pains of being a first-time mother? I can’t. And I won't even try.

Named after the previous Philippine national bird (and Hindu goddess), Maya was a beautiful newborn baby. Her skin was soft & almost translucent, not wrinkled and no red blotches which are common amongst newborn. With her clear, wide, and alert black eyes (not puffy or bruised), she looked at us as if saying “I’ve been waiting for this moment to come.”

She’s got curly eyelashes and long nose. Her head looked normal, not elongated, even if she was suctioned out by ventouse vacuum.

And a lovely smile. I swear I saw her smile on her first day of this big wide world, but was flatly informed that it was just her passing gas. Oh dear, false alarm.

She has Mongolian spots in her lower back and massive amounts of hair (head, shoulders, and arms!). She passed the APGAR test in flying colors, hated the Hepatitis B shot, and lost 10% of her weight in 3 days (which freaked out all the nurses and midwives).

For the first couple of weeks after birth, all Maya did was feed, burp, sleep, cry, poo, and pass water. And like any exhausted and amateur parents, all we do and think about was sleep, breastfeeding basics, the color of her poo, a million different ways of carrying and soothing her or putting her to sleep, changing nappies endlessly, etc.

But she was brave. We knew she had tummy pains at night but she fought against it like a fierce warrior. Oh, and she burps and poos like a man.

In spite of the out-of-body-experience of birth and sleepless nights, we managed to take her out for a car ride (which she loves) almost every day. She had her first walk in the park on her 8th day. And started accompanying her mama to postnatal yoga sessions from her 3nd week.

The 6th week after her birth saw her improved dramatically. She started sleeping in her own bed in a separate bedroom. Preferred sleeping on her own as opposed to sleeping on her papa or mama’s chest. Doesn’t want to be cuddled, swaddled, or carried anymore before sleeping. Before we know it, she’ll pack her bags and live on her own:-).

She started crying less, smiling more, chatting, and sleeping longer.

In her 3rd-4th month, she traveled to Thailand and Philippines. Rolled from her tummy to back and did the other way around a month later. If she cooed and made small noises before, now she started giggling and doing her dinosaur-like noise -- high enough it could break a glass.

We started weaning Maya when she turned 5 months. Within 3 weeks, she could eat anything and everything we fed her. Mostly ecological baby food. And she started sleeping 10-11 hours at nights.

And just before her 6th month, she started creeping and then crawling a bit.

I may feel unproductive and frustrated sometimes. I may miss the freedom and joy of traveling on a whim. I may be bored out of my mind. And I may long to do the things I used do. But each day is an amazing journey with Maya. She continues to surprise and make me happy in her own ways. At the end of the day, all I need to do is watch her smile or sleeping soundly in bed and I know, it’s all damn worth it.


velma rio said...

Yes,Maj,you are absolutely right.It is really hard and difficult and oftentimes tiresome to be a mother,but the joys of seeing and observing a child'daily growth,progress and development is beyond compare.I wish you always the best in your journey as a mother.

Phoenix said...

Thank you! Motherhood is indeed a humbling experience. I am amazed each day as to how she has grown to be a "person" with a unique and separate personality and identity. I am soo looking forward when she can walk and talk...and to all the wonderful things we can do together.

ruben rallos said...

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love. Goodluck Maj.