It took me a while to compose this post — not only because so many things happened the moment my water bag broke but also because I was humbled and amazed again by the power of loving, supportive, and respectful #ParenthoodShared all throughout my whole journey up until this day that Baby Jayce and I have finally settled down at home that I didn’t know where to start.

To say that my pregnancy was a breeze would be inaccurate! But what made it delightful the whole way were the kind comments, generous advice, and helpful stuff sent my way — from prenatal treats to bird’s nest to food supplements, clothes, and more! Oh how far kindness shown can go in uplifting spirits and touching lives. Then, there were all the wonderful mommas who were pregnant alongside me, sharing our hopes and dreams, learning from each other, encouraging and just being there for one another.

When delivery day finally arrived, a very close knit team made sure everything would go well. From explosive contractions one on top of the other at only 3 cm dilation with no rest in between to a tricky VBAC delivery and news that we just might have to resuscitate my baby (thankfully, Jayce came out breathing but he did swallow his poop during the entire process which landed him in the NICU), I was literally in and out of consciousness.

But each time my eyes would open, I would catch an empowering, loving, respectful, and extremely supportive set of eyes coupled with affirming, enabling messages from my husband (so proud he did everything he said he couldn’t during our pre-delivery meet-ups with our doula, Irina Otmakhova. His strength was my rock of refuge when doubt would set in and when I couldn’t help but be deadweight during those unnatural contractions!), my superwoman OB GYN Dr. Menefrida Reyes (thank you for always always putting my requests and values first — always finding workarounds and trying every trick in the book to make a safe VBAC possible given all conditions! Your patience for the laboring mom and the chill baby who doesn’t want to descend make you the VBAC queen in our books.)

I am also grateful to my good friend and our amazing doula Irina — you walked into the room and brought with you calmness, serenity, and your extensive skills that helped turn Jayce to the more optimal position for a vaginal birth. You never left my side and had my back and voice when I was at my weakest… your gifts of presence, service, and postpartum keepsakes of art, jewelry, and my Jayce’s umbilical cord all dried and ready for preservation will be in my heart for a lifetime!

I also want to give a shout-out to the surprise member of my birthing team — Dr. Cathy Chua (the reliever of my chosen pedia who was not in the country at the time). She combined compassion and expert knowledge to make sure that I had my Unang Yakap moments with my baby before he was whisked off for tests and all, and she continued to be resourceful, creative, and just super open-minded as she took on the delicate care of Jayce.

As we nursed Jayce back to good health, I am reminded of all those who prayed for him and myself as well, as we hurdled one health concern after the other. My best friend and TPE co-founder, Beng, took care of spreading updates and knowing that prayers were being offered by several groups, and that my wonderful OB asked God to be the lead doctor in the delivery room — these all reminded me once again why there is no room at all for bashing, judgment, and negativity when parenthood is shared…. no one thrives nor benefits from those. Choose your team wisely, my fellow parents, and you will be uplifted by the natural course that loving support provides!

#GrowingWithYouAsParents is indeed an honor and privilege, and sharing the arrival of our little prince, Jayce Gabriel, is incomparable pleasure. Thank you for all your warm wishes and prayers!

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