It was the night before Kobe’s death when I found out about you. I promised your dad that we would both check the result of my pregnancy test together the next day as planned but I was too excited to follow the deal so I checked it online and just pretended that I didn’t know the result yet.
January 26, 2020 came and I woke up to that dreadful news that Kobe passed away on a plane crash with her daughter. Your dad was still sleeping. I had to wait for him to wake up before telling him the news because I knew it would break his heart. And it did. He was in denial at first although he knew I was not going to lie or joke about the death of someone who has influenced his passion for basketball all throughout his life. He was unaccepting of it. But I saw tears falling down from his eyes. He couldn’t get up from the bed. He was devastated. I would never understand the gravity of it. All I knew in my heart was that there was a greater news waiting to be revealed to him later that day which would definitely make up for what made his heart broken that morning –
and that news was you.
Your dad pulled the car over to the side of the road opposite Saint Vincent’s Prayer Park. He could see the word ‘positive’ from the back of that folded paper which I had printed from a nearby computer shop. Your dad’s eyes were too sharp I was not able to fully pull off the surprise. But I was ‘the happiest’ seeing him at his happiest on that moment. The waiting which seemed like forever had ended and another kind of waiting which came with flowers on a field and bubbles in the sky had begun because this time, there was a precious gift to wait for –
and that gift was you.
The past months since we had known about your existence were the best months of our lives together. We had a more solid direction. We had someone we couldn’t wait to finally meet in person. We had someone to occupy most of our prayer list. We had someone to sacrifice for. We had a greater reason to quit our old habits for and take serious care of ourselves for. We had a greater reason to work hard for, save money for, spend less for and prepare for the future for. We had someone to say “Goodnight. We love you.” at bedtime and say “Good morning. We love you.” the next morning aside from each other. We had someone to selflessly give our love and ourselves to –
and that someone was you.
Then there came the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak. Our community was on ECQ. The risk to acquire the virus was higher for pregnant women. We all had to stay at home. I had to stay in our bedroom almost all throughout this outbreak. Our bedroom was on the 3rd floor. I had to avoid the stairs as it would not be safe for you. It was never difficult, anak. I would always tell your dad I could bear things. I am generally not the type who would complain on things I have control about – at least on most days. The days revolved around staying in the bedroom for months except for visits to the doctor, working from home which has been one of my major sources of joy and sanity aside from praying with your dad and talking to my ‘constants’ online or over the phone, watching movies/tv series, procrastinating on them, drinking warm water, giving in to occasional cravings, microblogging, working on side hustles, trying to stay positive, listening to praise and worship songs, taking a bath twice on most days, taking my supplements etc. These routinary ‘activities’ were easily bearable because of you. During mealtime, your dad would bring our food in our bedroom and the ‘three of us would happily eat together‘ as he put it. At the onset of a week, your dad would organize my supplements for the week separating each day’s from the rest so that I wouldn’t miss taking them. He would bring me a hot glass of milk every night so that we were supplied with everything we would ever need. He would peel and slice fruits for me because I could only finish eating them when prepared by him. Everyday, he would kiss and rub his hands against my tummy and call on you. Your dad was very hands-on with his work but even if he was, at the end of the day, no matter how tired he was, he would bring everything we needed upstairs straight from work. There were times when I would see him stressed while making calls to his farmworkers. But even if he was, he was always there for us. I knew there were details about work which were not laid out but isn’t that what space is all about? He does his things and I do mine but we are here for each other when we need someone to rant about stuff. There were a lot of pressures, anak but he gave his best. We both did.
and it’s all because of you.
Then one night when your dad was on bed doing his night routine, I went to the toilet to poop but had to come out after a few minutes and said, “Hon?” Your father told me that he knew something was wrong after hearing that word. We were just talking earlier how you had been cooperative all throughout this outbreak. You had made my pregnancy experience generally light and easy. I could eat anything I want. I could work from home. The morning sickness was very minimal. But life has the tendency to be ironic. One minute, we were talking about how we would DIY your toys but not to the point of depriving you from those which you must experience and how our typical time spent in a shoe store would last longer if you were a boy which we both felt to ourselves that you were as confessed. The next minute, your dad was tearfully telling you while I was being admitted at the ER, “Anak, kapit lang ha. Sa September pa ‘yung delivery mo. Andito lang si daddy saka si mommy.” The following hours were the hardest we had ever said our prayers. We prayed at the ER. We prayed at the induction room. The OB-GYNE had to check on you from time to time. Your heartbeat was strong and within the normal range. The moment I heard it, I knew it was the heart of a fighter. The 3 of us were a strong team. Your dad prayed his heart out to the 4 walls of our private room as if God was right in front of him. I prayed while I was at the OR about to undergo cerclage to save you regardless of the risk . I had to stay awake during the entire procedure according to the anaesthesiologist. I remember telling your dad that my pain tolerance was high and yes, it didn’t fail me that morning. Then I heard my doctor called your dad explaining to him that they could no longer move forward with the procedure since your long leg was right at my cervix pushing the bag of water that they were trying to move back to the uterus. The umbilical cord was coiled around the same lower and upper leg. And that stitching the cervix may result to the amputation of your leg. I remember these few exact words of my doctor to your dad after telling him that they tried their best but they could no longer save you, “Nahihilo ka ba? Gusto mo muna umupo?” Later on, your dad confessed to me that at that moment he was already on the verge of a physical collapse. I was brought back to the induction room for further observation. I was on extreme chills for a long period of time as an effect of the anaesthesia until I fell asleep. After an hour, I woke up to a ruptured bag of water. In the next procedure, I was sedated. I woke up when the D & C was done. That was the first time I cried since I got to the hospital while my doctor was consoling me. We took the risk –
because we were going to fight for you, anak.
The on-and-off crying continued when I was brought to a room where the OR nurses and my doctors were. I could hear them preparing where to put you. One nurse asked me your name as they continued to prepare the things you would need before they handed you over to your dad. I could hear them saying a prayer and requesting you to be their angel as well. I cried again when my doctor came up to me in tears telling me that she already handed you over to your dad, letting him know that you were a boy and that your dad was crying and that she already prayed for you. I cried because I could imagine how painful that scenario was for your dad and we both were on separate rooms to hold each other’s hand. I finally saw you when I was brought to our private room after an hour. You were a clone of your dad from your nails, your nose to your long arms and legs except that your skin was fair. You were incredibly beautiful and everything we ever prayed for in our prayer list. A glimpse of you would make one say that you have the built of a future basketball star. You were exactly what we prayed for. But you were only lent to us fleetingly for a reason we do not know. Everything went by so fast and unexpected from your conception to how this journey ended. There were no words to describe the pain of your loss –
because we love you so much, anak.
It’s been 2 days and we are still grieving. I guess there is no such thing as getting over a loss, one just gets used to it like what most people who have lost loved ones would say.
It’s been 2 days, our dear baby but we are trying to be at the strongest state of ourselves. Because we 3 are a strong team, remember?
Bye for now, our baby Sebastian.
Bye for now, our little Kobe.
Mom – and Dad