Who would have thought I would become a mom?

I remember the ‘horror’ stories my own mother told me when I was younger. That married life is hard, becoming a parent even harder. All the what ifs, how abouts, if onlys, I have heard from her. Yes, she is the most overprotective mother I have met. And I absolutely admire her.

As fate would have it, I became a mother, too. I felt so accomplished, having followed my plan–an epidural-free normal delivery, full breastfeeding for the first six months, extended breastfeeding beyond two years (we still do!), being on top of child care and not a yaya. But it was tough. I cried buckets. I got stuck at home with the baby on my boob (almost all the frikkin time!), I forgot the person that I was, and I have become someone else for this little stranger–my own daughter. I was Mommy. And I knew it was only the beginning.

It still is surreal that we are already three living in this small condo. It has been almost three years anyway. But I have loved every single minute of it. I took gazillions of photos and videos, all scattered in my gadgets–cellphone, laptop, iPad, camera, you name it. My daughter is in it. That is the only ‘treasure’ I get to keep when she grows up. Plus all the wonderful memories of her childhood imprinted in my mind and heart.

I have asked myself repeatedly, What have I done to deserve this happiness? Since it is Mothers’ Day and I feel so blessed being a mother to my child, I would like to share with the world my happiness through this letter I am writing for my daughter, Ariadne, as I look back at the past three wonderful years of her life.

Dearest Ariadne,

You know that Mommy and Daddy love you very much. We are really blessed to have you in our lives. You made this home shine even more with your laughter and good cheer.

I will always remember the first time I found out I was pregnant. We immediately called your Nonna Luz. She was very happy and she told me to take care of myself because you are growing inside Mommy’s body. Daddy and I also shared the news to all our relatives and friends, and they were also happy to know you are coming out.

Daddy took very good care of us. He fed us well, accompanied us to hospital visits and ultrasounds, gave in to Mommy’s requests for foot massages (as you became quite heavier inside me), read you books, sang to you even when you were still inside Mommy.

I know you had a great nine months in my womb. You were so excited to come out that you did not wait for September and came out the last day of August. At least you waited to be on full term. You did not give Mommy a hard time during delivery. I just waited for nine hours but it’s okay. Daddy gave us company during the wait.

You learned breastfeeding quite fast. You seem to like the taste of Mommy’s milk. It’s also good that we got to share some breast milk to those who needed it. I wish I could have expressed more milk though, but it’s fine. A little is better than none.

You were a kulit and likot baby from the start. We tried our best to embrace it, but some days Mommy gets tired and I cry because I see other babies not as likot and kulit as you were (and still are!). People are amazed by your brightness, though. You are talkative but very expressive and cheerful. You are very bright, too! Not all kids can sing as many songs and say as many words like you. You enjoy learning, but at your own pace.

I get kilig when you call me Mommy. In different pitches and increasing volumes at that. Sometimes though I feel you are clingy. But it’s okay, you will not be like that forever, so I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Anak, you have taught me how to be patient with you, how to communicate with you. You still enjoy breastfeeding and even if people tell me to stop, the more I don’t because it is our unique conversation. The more now that I want to promote breastfeeding and make us testimonies to the many wonderful benefits of breastfeeding.

You may not converse as well as other kids your age yet but I get you. And when no one else will, I will be the only one to support, understand, appreciate, embrace, and love you.

I will be your human shield against every bump and bruise, both physically and emotionally. I will be your best friend, playmate, classmate, eating and sleeping buddy. I will always pray for you and for myself that God may use me to make your life better and happier than mine. I will also pray for other mothers and would-be mothers, that God will bless them with a loving heart to take care of their husbands and children.

I will never get tired hearing you call out loud, “Mommy!” That, for me, is the best title I have ever gotten in life.

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