Katulad ko ba kayo na atat na atat mag-asawa noon dahil sabi ng society ay dapat mag-buntis na ang babae at a certain age? Or else, baka huli na ang lahat?
Share ko lang. I remember when I was still in my early 20s, I was very keen on getting married and have kids to the point na nagiging reason na siya ng awayan namin ng jowa ko. Pressure cooker ka ghorl because?
But it was partly because when I was only 17 years old, I had an abdominal ultrasound because I was complaining about stomach pain. The test didn’t find anything wrong with my organs though. But it showed an unexpected result: I had two masses on both ovaries. At 17 years old. The doctor told me and my father then that the only way to get rid of those is to get pregnant, and take them out when I deliver the baby.
I was like, WHAT?! I can’t explain how shookt my father was either.
Fortunately, both masses disappeared after a few years. I became a mom at 29 years old. Then my father asked me: “Are you sure kaya mo na alagaan si Lia?” I was like, “May choice ba ako Papa, syempre kakayanin. At matanda na ako no!”
Kahit ata 21 or 32 ako naging nanay, di ko masasabi kung kaya ko.
Our #KuwentongBagongNanay for today is the incredible journey of Mommy Cybil Malipot, a Bagong Nanay at age 39. Yes. 39.
I hope that her heartwarming story will inspire you that while age could only be just a number, being a parent goes beyond being physically and mentally prepared for your baby.
But is it worth all the pain, all the trouble, and all the wait?
1. How would you describe your nanayhood journey?
It’s not perfect, but it has been the most amazing journey by far.
Four months past the birth of our son, and we still can’t believe that we have been blessed with this tiny, sweet, and beautiful baby.
I guess that’s what waiting and longing can do. No matter how tough the road ahead is or will be, because we have long imagined ourselves to be where we are now, we will embrace it.Cybil Malipot, Bagong Nanay at age 39
Often, I’d find myself tearing up while staring at my son’s face, and I don’t know why. Not once have I complained to my husband about having sleepless nights, or the toe-curling pain of breastfeeding, or having my battle scars slowly healing and not allowing me to wear a bikini (as if!) anytime soon.
Now that we are here, there is no way but to welcome this adventure called parenthood. There is nothing that this whole journey can throw at us that will make us complain about every tough curve ball parenthood will bring.
I felt being chosen to bring this beautiful boy to this world; we cannot mess up. I still have my fears. Being a parent is scary especially that parenthood doesn’t come with a manual. To be given this chance to nurture another human being makes this experience so surreal. This baby completes us. Completes me.
2. What were the challenges that you encountered when you were pregnant?
I cannot say mine was the toughest, but what I can say was, I have been very blessed. I didn’t have morning sickness, no aversion to food. We thought I wasn’t pregnant which led to me taking the pregnancy test almost every day from my 8th to 10th week of pregnancy!
When we lost our second baby, first baby to my husband, my aunt told me to look for a Maternal and Fetal Medicine Doctor. The stars have aligned, I found one in VRP Medical Center, a tricycle ride away from where we live. She recommended I do an Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APAS) screening, which confirmed I was APAS positive. I developed gestational hypertension, my heart was enlarged, and the APAS might lead to deep vein thrombosis.
Everything had to be controlled from then onwards. The restrictions were overwhelming, which made me think that I wasn’t giving enough nutrients to the baby. From one cup of rice reduced to only ¼. Only one fruit per day. Low to no salt diet.
The first shot was terrifying. I remember having to go on a Viber video chat with my mom, a licensed nurse. She taught me virtually how to inject myself in the belly. The most painful part was when you run out of areas to inject, so there are spots where I need to inject into them twice or thrice. Ouch.
3. How do you find being a Bagong Nanay at a time like this?
My biggest worry was going back to work. Leaving my son at home while I work in the office was something that I wasn’t too open about, to be honest.
We have been very blessed that my work allowed me to stay home and be with my son. I feel lucky because not all moms have the same opportunity – to still witness the small and big milestones of our son at the comfort of our home.
Of course, I am still very paranoid. Our groceries are done online. We disinfect everything. Groceries, fruits, vegetables, everything in our house. It has made me appreciate technology even more because we really don’t go out except when we have a doctor’s appointment, but other than that we just really stay home.
The pandemic may have made me paranoid but it has also made me more cautious about physical and mental health. My self-discovery was that I can be a home body, which I thought I couldn’t. I had to be creative to find ways to purchase our needs despite the restrictions, or how to entertain myself and the baby at the confines of the four corners of our home.
But more than anything, the time that I spend with my son is the best reward this pandemic brought to us. We enjoy every bit of it while we still can.
4. Do you think that the age you become a parent actually matter?
I am neutral on this. I was told that a woman’s prime years are between 25 to 29. I was 26 when I had my first baby. I lost my baby two days after I gave birth. I was in my supposed to be prime years.
The downside of being a parent, at this “stage” of my life, is centered towards the fact that physically, there are noticeable limitations. I kept telling my husband a woman’s system is not like men’s that even at 70 they can still procreate. Our body is not designed to give birth at 70 – we have a “deadline.”
I regret not to have tried having a baby sooner. In the first few years of our marriage, we agreed to put aside baby plans until we were ready. We got pregnant, I wasn’t ready still. I was just forced to be ready because I was already in the situation.
On the upside, while waiting for my turn to be a mother, I felt like I’ve had all the time in the world to learn from all the mothers around me. This motivated me even more to be one.Cybil Malipot, Bagong Nanay at 39
Now, I can say that we have a clear vision of how we want to be as parents. I have the advantage of technology where tips on how to be a parent is readily available. And now that I have experienced motherhood, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world, becoming a mom. It has made the wait even more worthwhile.
5. What can you tell women who say that they are already too old to be a mother?
I have seen from friends and family where they became parents at a young age and aced it even as a first-timer. I have also seen a “veteran” mom who wasn’t very good at being one in so many levels.
Also, being a mom isn’t always gender sensitive for me. I have witnessed my father become both my mom and my dad at the same time and it didn’t bother me, because my mom was too far away to be one for me. He wasn’t perfect, but he was fantastic at it.
It made me see parenthood at a different level – that one must have the strong desire to be a great parent to be called a mother or a father to their children.Cybil Malipot, Bagong Nanay at 39
6. In only six words, describe what kind of Bagong Nanay you are.
I’m the “guilty type” of Nanay.
I am Cy, a true bisaya. Born in Cebu, grew up in Bohol, and lives in Mandaluyong.
I am the Bagong Nanay of Ramon Gabriel (+), 2 days old; Unborn Child (+), 8 weeks old; and Gian Elroi, 4 months old.
When I am not breastfeeding or changing nappies, I am always nesting (rearranging my son’s cabinet!), and a huge Instagram, Netflix and youtube person.
I love kdrama and I am still waiting for my Hogwarts letter to arrive because I believe I am no muggle. I love Harry Potter and his friends. The whole movie series is my favorite, my antidepressant.