Friday, July 31, 2015

What Matters Most?



They say having a child is one of the greatest gifts a couple could ever receive. The joy and the excitement starts from the moment a husband and a wife find out that they are having a child.

Suddenly, a mother-to-be can feel how wonderful it is to know that a life is growing inside her womb.

A father-to-be cannot hide the excitement of welcoming his offspring into this world.

Certainly, a child is God’s most precious gift to a man and a woman united by Him.

When my husband and I learned that we were expecting a baby, emotions of different sorts engulfed us.

There was the unexplained feeling of joy that in a number of months, we would be greeting our precious baby out into this world.

There’s also the excitement on the wonderful things that having a child has to bring.

There’s the fear of not knowing how to handle having a baby for the first time. Will the baby be healthy, will I deliver safely?

There are many more emotions that came and passed as I was on my pregnancy stage. But the best emotion of them all was the bond that pregnancy has brought me and my baby.

I thought of my baby in everything I did. Whenever I would eat something, I would always check first if it is safe for my baby. Whatever I did, I did with care, thinking of the welfare of the life inside my womb.

My husband’s excitement was even greater than mine. On my first trimester, he already bought things that my baby would need when he would be born. Whenever he would see something that he thought would be useful for our baby, he would buy it right there and then.

When we finally learned what the sex of the baby was, he immediately bought a beautiful blue coloured crib for our baby boy. Then, he bought more clothes for our precious little one.

Our parents couldn’t hide their excitement either. They couldn’t wait for the time when our baby would finally be born.


Then, things started to become complicated. I have noticed that there was something wrong at the beginning of my second trimester. During my scheduled check-up with my doctor, she told me that I was already developing Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH).

It is a hypertensive condition which mostly comes out during pregnancy especially for first time moms. I was a strong candidate because it was my first pregnancy and my work has also been a stressful one.

My doctor did everything she could to take care of me and my baby. My consultations were scheduled more often to make sure that my baby and I were always in good condition.

On the fifth month of my pregnancy, I noticed my eyes beginning to blur until I could no longer see well. My vision was dark and cloudy. I couldn’t even read right that I couldn’t function well at work anymore.

My body started bloating until I felt heavy all over. I could also feel my baby having a hard time inside my womb.

I kept on talking to him, assuring him that he would be alright and asking him to hold on and just keep on growing healthily inside.

He would respond by kicking me from inside, as if assuring me back that he is indeed alright and that he is a strong boy willing to fight for his life no matter what.

My doctor then prescribed me medications that would help my baby’s lungs mature faster just in case I would have to give birth earlier than expected.


The first month of my third trimester came; I met my husband after work to have lunch before we would go to my scheduled consultation with my doctor.

I thought it was just a normal day; after having lunch, we headed down to my doctor’s clinic and waited for our turn to be called inside.

While waiting, my best friend called me on my cellular phone and told me she wanted to see me and check on how I was doing. I told her to come to my doctor’s clinic as I was still waiting for my turn.

When my doctor finally checked on me, she said I had to undergo an emergency caesarean section immediately. My baby was already having a hard time inside because there’s not enough fluid from inside my womb that could support and protect him.

The doctor said my baby’s life was already at stake. I was shaken and couldn’t talk well anymore because I was overwhelmed with fear and worry.

I had a lot of questions about my baby’s chance of survival. I didn’t care about my condition because all I really wanted at that time was for my baby to live.

I was already shaking and crying as I my doctor assured me that she would do everything she could to save me and my baby.


On the way to the hospital for admission, my husband and my best friend who were my sources of strength at that time comforted me.

It was as though God has also planned my best friend to be there with us at that very instant to assist us during our most crucial moment.

While my husband had to take care of my admission to the hospital, she was the one who stayed with me assuring me that we would make it through this stage of life well enough.

I underwent another ultrasound before I was brought to my room. Before I was brought inside the Operating Room, my father came and also gave me the assurance I needed to fight for my baby.

We were all filled with emotions at that time. Tears were rolling down my eyes as I was being brought to the Operating Room.

I kept praying for the Lord to spare my baby. I asked Him to give us the chance to become the parents of this wonderful being who was also fighting for his life from inside.


In the OR, I was being monitored closely as my blood pressure kept on shooting up. The doctors and nurses kept on assuring me that my baby would be fine but I still couldn’t stop worrying.

Then, finally, I heard the voice I’ve been longing so much to hear. I heard a loud, strong cry. It was my baby’s loud voice. He was strong and alive.

I couldn’t explain the joy I felt as the doctors put him on my chest. I was crying with so much joy and relief as I looked at him and kissed him.

He was so tiny, yet he looked so strong. He kept his promise of fighting for his life.

I thanked God for listening to my prayers and for letting my baby live. My husband and our parents were also praying hard while I was inside the operating room.


By the time I was brought in the Recovery Room, my baby’s Neonatologist visited me and told me about my baby’s condition.

She told me he’s already in recovery inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and that he’s still under close observation for 48-hours. If my baby survives the crucial stage of 48-hours, it means he’s on his way to continuous recovery.

I again prayed for the Lord to keep my baby healthy and help him get through this critical stage of his early life.

The Lord again listened to my prayers and the people around me. He was able to get past through the first 48-hours of his life.

Our baby spent more than a month in the hospital. The doctors did everything they could to make sure he had no complications.

He was inside the incubator for most of the time he was in the hospital, with tubes and IV lines all over his body. It was a painful sight but the fighter in him gave us the hope we needed.

Despite our baby’s condition, he was the one who has always been assuring and giving us hope by showing his unwavering fighting spirit.


Since he was born only a few days before Christmas, my husband and I spent Christmas day in the hospital with our baby.

New Year came and he was still in the hospital so we also spent our new year inside the NICU with our baby.

I still couldn’t see well during those times so I asked my husband to take photos of our growing baby every day so I would know how he looked like during the times I couldn’t see him well.

The doctors told me that instead of my whole body experiencing the effect of my severely high blood pressure, my eyes were the ones which took the toll of my condition called Severe Pre-eclampsia.

They referred to my present condition as Hypertensive Retinopathy.


Another problem we had to go through was my inability to produce enough milk. The Neonatologist advised us that it is best for my baby to purely breastfeed during the first months of his life but I couldn’t produce enough milk for my baby.

I was able to produce my first milk, which was very important for my baby since the first milk has the most amounts of nutrients my baby needed during his initial stage.

Since I couldn’t produce enough milk, finding enough sources for my baby’s consumption became a family task.

My father was the one who worked hard in finding people who could donate breast milk for my baby. Every day, he would bring clean milk containers with him and go to all the relatives and friends he knew of who had also just given birth at that time.

Sometimes he would even bring some of those kind-hearted people to the hospital so they could pump their milk as stock for my baby.

My husband would also go to other hospitals, which have enough stocks of breast milk and avail of their milk.


That’s when I realized that the most important things in life are not the ones that can be bought with money.

Even what seems to be just a simple thing such as milk could be the most important thing for someone. This simple thing is not something which can be bought but can only be availed through grace and compassion.

The love and empathy we have received during the most struggling moments of our lives were the ones that helped us make it through.


Our baby is now a smart and healthy 5-year-old boy with a lot of things to say. Sometimes we even run out of words to tell him because he has so many questions in life that we ourselves don’t know the answers to.

He is our only source of joy and laughter. I have quit my job from the time he was born and decided to become a full time mother to him.

I didn’t want to miss any milestone of our boy’s life. I realized there’s nothing more important than family and the love we have for each other.

I have also regained my vision after 3 months of therapy.

Now, our son is in Kindergarten, learning his way through life one-step-at-a-time. I am a dedicated mother with nothing more to ask for but good health for my whole family. My husband has a small business where we live by contentedly day-by-day.


I can now say that we have gone through and were able to survive one of the most trivial stages of our lives, with the help of the people we love and the love that God has always been giving us.

Whatever life brings us in the future, our family’s genuine love for each other and our strong faith in God will pull us through.

Sources: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia
                Images Courtesy of Pixabay

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

How Can Rest Affect Your Life?

Slow Down, Take Some Rest


What are you working so hard for? What do you want to achieve? Where do you want to go?

Have you ever asked these questions to yourself? What answers did you get?

Some people work hard, day and night because they want to succeed in life. Some do because they want to have more money. Some work hard for fame and prestige.

We all have different reasons for working so hard and sometimes we don’t stop until we get what we want; until we get to where we want to go to.

In doing so, we forget to do one thing – REST! Yes, we work so hard in life that we have already forgotten how to rest. We might have even forgotten that there is such a thing as REST.


In a recent mass I have just heard, the priest emphasized the importance of REST. He described the importance and meaning of resting so beautifully that I was inspired to write this post for you.

One particular point that I can never forget is when he said that we should all learn to slow down sometimes.

"Slow down and appreciate the beautiful scenery around you. When you run so fast, you miss out on all the beautiful things in life you should be experiencing. Sometimes when you go too fast, you could even lose your sense of direction and you eventually forget where you were supposed to be going to in the end." Fr.Mario Sobrejuanite


I was deeply struck by what the priest has said; because sometimes I’m one of those guilty of not learning how to slow down in life.

I often worried about what tomorrow would bring. I often thought that working hard would be the answer to everything I wanted in my life.

I used to be one of those people who didn’t know how to rest. I used to work more than 12-hours each day and I used to be okay with it because I was earning more as I worked more.

I worked as an instructor for Nursing students who were in their last year of study. I usually missed out on the important holidays of the year because I was working. I was again okay with it because I was paid more during the holidays.

Sometimes I miss out on my meals because I wanted my work done first before I could stop and take a quick break.

My life has been that way for some time but I didn’t mind it at all because I was okay. I was young and strong and I could work as hard as I could because I knew everything was okay.


Then, I got married and got pregnant. Still, that didn’t stop me from doing my usual work. Until I had complications with my pregnancy and I almost suffered a stroke at the time I delivered my baby.

As if God was sending me signs to think twice about my life, I received tragic news that my immediate supervisor just died of stroke while she was at work, busy running paper works for her students.

I just got out of the hospital when I heard that shocking news and that made me realize one thing – life could disappear with just a blink of an eye.

My supervisor didn’t have any sings that she had any problems with her health; but she died that day in an instant, without any signs, any goodbyes. She just passed away right there and then.

I almost died too, but I was given the precious chance to turn my life around and change. I prayed and thanked God for giving me another chance at life, for giving me the chance to stay longer with the people I cherish most.


God has given me a new beginning with my family and from that moment, I finally learned to slow down.

He has given me a second chance at life to appreciate the more important things that I have in my life right now – my family.

He has given me a chance to reflect on my life and think about what matters to me most. The success, money, prestige and the joy that goes along with them are all but shallow and temporary.


I have learned that no matter how much I earn or how high my achievements are, they will no longer matter once my life is over.

We don’t control and own our life. Our life is merely borrowed and temporary. When God says it’s over, it’s over.

We cannot control where we are going in life. He has already written our destiny. It is up to us to choose how we walk our path towards our rightful destination.

We can run as fast as we can and get lost along the way, or we can enjoy the journey and let Him lead us to where we should go.

I learned to choose the slower but more secure way of God. I have learned to give everything up to Him and let Him lead my life.

Now I no longer worry about tomorrow and the things that are yet to come. I just go along with the flow of life and walk smoothly through life.

I have learned to slow down and appreciate the beauty of life that God has given me. I sleep at night thankful of the day that passed and contented with how I lived it.

I now know what it feels like to have some quality REST. I realized that REST is a GIFT that God has given me to use and treasure.

With resting, I have learned to reflect more about life. I have learned to conquer my worries and fears. REST gave me the chance to connect with my inner self and find peace from within my heart.


Let me share this Bible verse for you to reflect on: Mark 6:30-34

Even Jesus knows our need for REST. He encourages us to rest in times when we are already tired and weary.

He knows just what we need and what we feel. He knows when we are tired and when we are in need.

In the Bible, Jesus showed his disciples how understanding He is as our God. When He saw that His disciples were already tired and hungry, he encouraged them to rest for awhile.

That’s how He cares for us as His children. He gave us the privilege to REST and recover from our weariness.

Even the Father rested on the 7th day, after doing his wondrous work for 6 grueling days.


If you are feeling tired and drained right now, stop and pray in the stillness of your heart. Reflect on your life and what really matters most to you. Then take the time to REST and appreciate the beauty of life that He has provided for you.

REST and take the time to spend precious moments with the people you love and cherish most.

REST for it is a gift which has been given to you. Grab it and make use of it while it’s still there for you to take.

Sleep tight at night without any worries. Put your trust in God, for He is working on your life even at REST.

Images courtesy of Pixabay


Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®

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