Achieving Happiness

June 25, 2008

37 weeks and waiting

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 3:06 am

It’s my 37th week this week,

and Kimiko is officially full term. It’s really difficult to walk now without Kim’s help — getting up from bed or even from a sitting down position is somewhat an ordeal what with gravity working against me and my basketball of a tummy.

All of the pregnancy sites and books I’ve made a habit of visiting and consulting state that from here on end it’s all a waiting game, at least for the next three weeks. Am very relieved that Kimiko’s now fully formed and her lungs are now functioning well enough to allow her to breathe normally if she were born today. After last month’s scare when I had those contractions, well, you can just imagine.

I haven’t written in a bit, but I have had so many things to write about in the last week or so. On a personal level, I’ve become addicted to and bought Kimiko’s equipment off the net (am proud to say that we’ve gotten very good bargains. I’ve had to be very patient monitoring the items I bid on because, well, somebody else might’ve won hadn’t I kept an eye on them. Had no choice really as Kim and I can’t afford to buy stuff from the malls because they’re about 30% more expensive ) Also, thanks to good friends like Nova and Jang who unloaded the clothes their babies have outgrown, I haven’t had to buy onesies, blankies, etc. Hard to believe because am much taller than her, but since February I’ve been wearing some of Nova’s maternity clothes. Ka Ricky and his wife also gave me a  new set of baby bottles and sterilizer.

It’s funny how through the last few months I’ve become fluent in this new language – the ones mothers and mothers-to-be use when discussing their respective pregnancies and gestational experiences. Discussing various brands of diapers; the pros and cons of using BPA-free plastic feeding bottles versus glass bottles; whether Fisher Price or Baby Einstein toys are safe because despite being American design in origin, they’re manufactured in China where lead is supposed to be one of the major ingredients of most products. Bassinets, cradles, Moses baskets, carriers and slings. Nursing pads and breast pumps. Foldable baby bath tubs, hypo-allergenic towels. Did you know that for at least the first month, newborns can mostly discern (80%) only the left side of the world (they’re Leftists so early on, haha!) and they are fascinated by their own image in the mirror?

They also like black and white images during the first month. I told Kim he has to dress up like Marcel Marceau’s Bip when he talks and plays with the baby. Or one of those characters in a Jean Cocteau film that emerge from crooked doors and slanted windows glued to pale walls with pealing paint and wallpaper.

It’s an altogether different world, one I really never seriously thought I’d become part of. It’s happy and worrisome and awe-inspiring and scary all at once. Kim and I debate and argue over so many little details about birthing techniques and whether swaddles work or what kind of music to put on and SIDS. While I’m desperately focused on giving birth and ensuring that Kimiko gets a good AGPAR score, Kim is already preparing a syllabus on calculus, biology, and atheism for her. The only thing that Kim and I seem to agree on is Kimiko’s wardrobe: she is not going to be kikay: ibili ko na daw ng maong, plain white shirts saka sneakers.

It’s been so painful reading the news the last week. The agonies, tragedies and deaths caused by typhoon Frank are the stuff of waking nightmares. The only thing that keeps me from getting all teary (pregnant women cry easily, I can tell you that) all the time is the anger and outrage I also feel over Macapagal-Arroyo’s trip to the US.

Isaksak mo sa baga mo ang pekeng simpatiya mo, you witch!

The least she could’ve done is come home and made the rounds to the devastated areas and promised that ALL of her salary and financial benefits and perks will be given to the victims/survivors and their families and for the rehabilitation of the provinces severely battered by the typhoon. Instead, gad, there she stayed and continues to stay in Washington DC feigning deep concern for the victims and pretending to be on top of the situation. The she goes ahead and crows about how the Philippines is the US’ staunchest, closest ally. Holy heck, it’s more than enough to make me throw up, nevermind that I’m past the throwing up phase of my pregnancy.

It’s so surreal how Macapagal-Arroyo has the gall to pretend that she is all worried about the plight of the survivors of the doomed Sulpicio Lines ship and the other victims of typhoon Frank. I think she actually couldn’t care less and might even be glad that the tragedy has brought international attention yet again to the Philippines (this time as a worthy recipient of global concern and sympathy — hey, even Pope Benedict and Dutch Queen Beatrix have said that they’re praying for the Filipino nation). Genuine compassion is simply not in Macapagal-Arroyo: I think she’s completely incapable of true humanity and empathy because she is always focused on herself and her thirst for more and more power and control.

Manuel Buencamino’s column in Business Mirror today made me laugh.

‘The news reports also state how many congressmen joined the junket. Ang kakapal talaga ng mukha, spending taxpayers’ money on a trip that will in no way contribute to the betterment of their constituencies. I don’t buy Speaker Prospero Nograles’ argument that the congressmen and women’s participation in the presidential visit is no big deal so long as they spend their own money. For starters, who the hell believes that these officials are spending their own money? And another thing, isn’t it the height of callousness that they should leave their posts just so they can ingratiate themselves further with the corrupt presidency, leaving behind their constituents drowning in the flood waters or buried under landslides or collapsed infrastructure?

Wala na ba silang ibang magawa? Why don’t they freaking rack their collective puny brains and figure out a way to bring down the price of rice, electricity and water rates?! Aaaaargh! Now they’re all gonna come home with carrier bags from Macy’s, Nordstrom or Barney’s na puno ng tsokolate, pabango at damit, and you can just bet that these won’t be part of donations for the victims.

Captain Dan Vizmanos died two nights before, and the tribute for him is scheduled tomorrow night. I don’t know the details of his passing, but what really matters is how he lived and how he contributed to the National Democratic struggle through his writings and his actions. The Inquirer has a story on his life.

Happy news that I didn’t get to write about last week: Jo and Jordan have gotten married! Reception was last Sunday at the Balay Kalinaw in UP Diliman. Jo was so beautiful, a blooming bride despite having stomach flu; and Jordan was his boyish self, but manly in his barong. Jo’s dad, UP Prof. Doti Abaya was so proud, and so were Jo’s mom Robin and Jordan’s parents. It was a happy, happy event (but Kim and I had to leave right after dinner because my back was killing me).

The invitations were so like Jo and Jordan (to whom I will always be grateful because at my own make-shift, self-catered reception three years ago, they slaved over the charcoal grill and cooked talong and tilapia) – creative, sincere.

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