It’s also Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, did you know? I didn’t, until I stumbled upon Ashley Anderson‘s article last Friday. Now you know what that means to me, so I won’t delve much into it. I do want to express my deep sorrow through her words.
Our experiences were different, but we were on the same boat. And now, we’re learning to swim, maybe in a different way, too, but we’re both surviving in our own ways. The way a lot of mothers who were on the same boat as well are coping with life.
To our fellow moms, I only have to say that we must strive to enjoy life every day, enjoy even the tiniest bit of things. And never, ever lose hope…
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. For those of you who know me, it’s something that is near and dear to my heart. Not everyone is comfortable with talking about their journey and loss, but I’ve found that with speaking out about pregnancy loss can help with healing, open up conversation and help connect people who have been affected by loss. 1 in 4 women experience pregnancy and infant loss. It’s time we talk about it.
Here is my story:
My husband and I decided quite early on that we wanted children. It was something that was never really discussed seriously, just something that was important to both of us. We decided in early 2012 that we would start trying (a few months before our wedding) because things like that never happen right away. Well, it did. I conceived the first time in early February of that year…
If you need someone to talk to privately, even just to listen, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
I do advise that you first turn to your loved ones because in such trying times, they must be your first line of support. Grief and sorrow can be lessened when you have a strong support system. If it is a depression that is way beyond the powers of your loved ones, consider getting professional help. It is never wrong to ask for help.
So I’ve been on the warpath lately, shouting back at rude drivers, somehow daring line-cutters for a confrontation, and giving a condescending, self-righteous fellow-customer who did not mind his own business a kind of talking to. I also kind of almost threw a fit when I ordered food for lunch and was delivered the wrong dish (good thing I only found out during lunch so I had time to compose myself and tell them of the mistake two days after). Basically, I am a walking time-bomb these days, in a sense, worsened by all the things I’ve been feeling physically for quite a while now. I’m not the sickly type, I have never been hospitalized save from when I was born, and the worst sick I ever got was when I got the measles…at 20.
So needless to say, this has been bothering me. Somewhere at the back of my mind, I suspected a more logical explanation, which I wasn’t sure I was ready for, a suspicion that everybody around me was quick to voice out with some excitement thrown in. What really bothered me more was the thought that what if we were all wrong?
I need not explain why I had to wait till this Saturday to find out, but I have to say that the result of my test actually made me smile, even if I still feel I may not be ready for it. It’s part of the plan, part of the territory as a married person, so I must be ready, whether I like it or not. I’m too old not to be ready. My now-husband had been waiting for it. So he was there with me when we waited for those two lines and, voila! It didn’t even take a minute to give us enough suspense 🙂
I was not able to talk to my intended OB last Saturday, but will schedule an appointment soon. Meanwhile, I’m getting an appointment with another near my work so that I can absolutely be certain how “positive” things really are. Hopefully, it’s not afalse-positive ’cause not only would that be a disappointment, but that should worry me of my physical condition again.
Just got this from the net, but this is exactly the brand I bought
So, just want to say that I would like to apologize to anyone I’ve been mad at these past weeks and….Okay, I’m not really sorry about those drivers, line-cutters and that self-righteous customer. What I’m saying, though, is I’ll try not to lose my cool again. Not only is it not a good thing, it also won’t be good for the little one. Kindly be patient with me as well because these mood swings also come with the territory and I may not be able to control them at times. Sorry in advance. Just please pray for us because we may not be going through it smoothly.
HAPPY HEARTS’ MONTH AGAIN!!! This has been an extra special month for us, indeed.
UPDATE (02/25/15): Went to a doc this afternoon and was told that if the PT said it’s positive, it’s positive — we’re pregnant. I mentioned about false-positives but she was rather sure it isn’t so, perhaps after hearing the physical hardships I’ve been going through. As for how many weeks it’s been, we can’t tell yet. Sadly, she said my card doesn’t cover the tests, and I do say it in plural because it’s not just going to be an ultrasound that I will need. She ticked down various tests I will need since this is the first time I’ve ever been pregnant. Therefore, I might have to postpone the tests a bit until maybe next week when we’ll have the moolah for those tests. That’s okay, though, because what I really just wanted was a confirmation.
People at work have said that the card does cover tests, so I’ll have to inquire from the card providers themselves to be sure. Will do that lunch-break tomorrow. Hopefully, they can at least cover some of those tests. Why, I even need to take the blood-type test. I said that back in high school, I was found to be Blood Type O, but back then, they still didn’t include the “+” or “-” for that (from what I know, there were only A/B +/-). She said they probably just didn’t test well, but I wanted to say, well, doc, maybe you were still just a baby so you didn’t know they didn’t include that back then (she seems kind of young). Oh, and she also prescribed three tablets I should take once a day — yuck. I’m not really a fan of taking meds, but since it’s needed, will have to follow…
Wow…this really changes everything in my life now. EVERYTHING.
NOTE:I can’t believe it’s been ten years! I had several ideas for my “L” post for the A-to-Z Challenge until I decided that I wanted to feature my favorite artist, Lea Salonga. I wanted to post either what I wrote before about her anniversary concert that I attended or my story on how I met her face to face and my little anecdote about it. Truth is I couldn’t find them. But I found THIS and I don’t mind sharing it at all 🙂 I’m just surprised that I read that the production was back in 2004. Time sure does fly!
By the way, I know “L” comes before “M,” but I’m just making up for what I missed. Cut me some slack 🙂
Reality is, what drew most of Atlantis Productions’ BABY The Musical‘s audience to march to Meralco Theater – literally from the gate to the building for this writer – consists of two words and five syllables: Lea Salonga. She was, of course, a big crowd-drawer. The posters said it all. “Lea Salonga in BABY The Musical.”
But what made people smile afterwards, long before the show was over, was a combination of four things: Lea, the story, the music, and the whole production itself. More than any one of the audience asked for or expected. I, for one, while excited about watching a musical, only psyched myself to enjoy watching the actress should the show proved the opposite of engaging. Oh, but it was engaging! And I had nothing to worry about.
Richard Maltby Jr.‘s BABY The Musical tells the story of three couples – Lizzie Fields (Salonga) and Danny Hooper (David Shannon), Pam (Agot Isidro) and Nick Sakarian (Jett Pangan) , and Arlene (Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo) and Alan McNalley (Miguel Faustmann).
Couple Number One. Lizzie and Danny, both in college, are living in together. They get the shock of their lives when the stork suddenly decides to drop them a visit and leave a gift. The practical and organized world of Lizzie is suddenly invaded by a third party, by the discovery that she is pregnant. It would make for a typical story. Guy finds out, guy runs away. But no. Instead, Lizzie is the one afraid of making the commitment and doing what Danny deems necessary, which is to get married. For Lizzie, “I don’t wanna get married because I don’t wanna get a divorce!” While she is prepared to be with Danny and raise the baby, marriage is not something she wants to say yes to.
(See and hear Lea perform with Liz Callaway Lizzie’s song “The Story Goes On” below)
Couple Number Two. Pam and Nick is a couple in their 30’s, married for two years, and still childless. Suddenly, it seems their prayers are answered. Pam, after a visit from the hospital, informs her husband that she is finally pregnant! The already-happy couple is now much happier. Finally, a baby!…The celebration is short-lived, however. They soon find out that, yes, Mrs. Sakarian is with child, only it is Nick’s sister-in-law. Having failed, they decide to consult a doctor and soon find out the cause. Then follows the hilarious attempts to conceive and the conflict that goes with the problem.
Couple Number Three. Arlene and Alan McNalley, in their 40’s, are prepared for a lifetime of being “TWO”, that is a family minus all their three kids. Arlene looks forward to finally having time alone with her husband at last, having sent their youngest child off to college. She is in, however, for a rude awakening. As said, “…a night of unexpected passion lands them back where they started” …Pregnant! Alan is overwhelmed with joy. Arlene, unfortunately, obviously isn’t. A new baby in the family just isn’t what she needs now, not anymore.
To be honest, a part of me was really interested in seeing the show because of the premise. Why wouldn’t BABY be interesting? It is, after all, about relationships between men and women, and particularly about the responsibility that often follows – raising children. As Maltby said, BABY is about that something that is not really rare and, yet, is often taken for granted…Or something like that.
Based on the book by Sybille Pearson, the musical does not only tell of interwoven stories, oftentimes “told” with humor. Behind the laughs, however, lie the serious problems that come with having a baby and that need to be addressed. It tackles concerns such as pre-marital sex, living in, women’s lib, sterility, age, and yes, even abortion. Etcetera. Not all of these are directly mentioned throughout the course of the play, nor does it tend to be preachy. You’d have to be dumb, though, not to notice the subtle hints at times. Either that or you were sleeping.
THE CAST (from left to right): Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Miguel Faustmann, David Shannon, Lea Salonga, Agot Isidro, and Jett Pangan
Lea as Lizzie was perfect. Playing a 20-year-old didn’t seem to be a “STREEETCH,” unlike what she herself said. Not at all. The voice was as crystal clear as ever, both in singing and speaking. That is a trait that sets her apart from most actors today and makes her Number One in many people’s books. And man, did I laugh when she danced and bounced, big belly and all! No wonder Julie Andrews loves her voice…Lea. You just gotta love her.
David was convincing, as well, as Danny. Listening to him sing reminded me of the character Chris in Miss Saigon. Oh, but wait. He did play Chris in the U.K Tour of M.S.! Four things I like about the guy: he sings well, he sang “I Chose Right,” he played Rum Tum Tugger and Marius in a CATS and a Les Miserables production respectively, and he is married to an equally talented Filipina artist, Ima Castro! And – oh! – he signed the cover of my Collector’s Edition CD, so that makes it five! Well, his presence in the theater scene is surely welcome and appreciated.
From the role of Schrintze in Fiddler on the Roof in 1978 to this year’s Arlene, Miss Menchu has indeed proved her mettle in the business. It seems I liked that mettle and it has made a fan out of this writer. Listening her do the solo piece “Patterns” gave me the goosebumps, the very good kind of goosebumps. Despite that she is a great actress, though, she still did not come across as forty-ish, which Arlene should have been, and which she actually is. Miss Menchu, with all that faux curly locks that were intended to make her appear 43, is really a very beautiful woman who looks much younger than she actually is. So I guess this comment is more of a good kind of negative response, if you know what I mean.
Mister Faustmann was actually my problem. Of course, he was a good actor. His recent awards say it all. The show, however, did not showcase much of his singing talent. He did have his own solo, ”Easier To Love,” which I liked, but it was not much to give me the same kind of goosebumps as aforementioned. Not his fault, I know. It just was not meant to be goosebump-y, but rather a humorous take on and comparison between love for a spouse and love for a child. Guess which is easier.
The show bared two revelations, namely Jett and Agot.
Pre-theater, the only songs that I could rememberThe Dawn frontman singing were not really that impressive, for me, at least. But ever since I found out his stints in shows such as The Rocky Horror Show and Tick, Tick, Boom!, I had been interested in seeing him perform. Whoah, baby! The show gave me the opportunity to hear the man, and boy, was I surprised! All I can say is he has got one of the best voices that I ever heard, ever! Jett could act as well, bringing the house down with his portrayal of funnyman Nick. On both occasions that I watched (yes, I watched it twice), he got the audience clapping wildly at curtain call.
Agot, like I said, was quite a revelation as well. Onstage, the prim and proper lady we had come to know suddenly transformed into a funny, kikay, and yes, daring woman. Well, at least, more daring than the usual Agot. The novice among them (she recently starred in her first musical, Trumpets’ Honk!), she held her own against the more seasoned actors. She has become a better actress and a better singer as well. The sporty persona of her character Pam, though, just was not Agot. For a basketball coach, she sure played ball like – should I say it? – a girl. But it was not a major concern, anyway, so who actually cared?
The whole story would not be complete without the Ensemble. Very special mention to the great people who provided all sorts of characters that helped mold the whole story and piece it together. The show was not found wanting, what with such great talents such as Chari Arespacochaga, Cathy Azanza, Topper Fabregas, Christine Sambeli-Marquez, Jun Ofrasio and Robie Zialcita (whose doctor was quite a riot with Nick and Pam). Most of them are theater veterans. Kumbaga, ‘di matatawaran ang galing. (In other words, their great talents are all worth it.)
My only complaint was during ”The Ladies Singing Their Song,” most of the ladies didn’t look their part. The tennis women and the woman with ten kids did sound older but looked much younger. I mean, I would kill to have those figures and legs! Sure, older women do have the right to look gorgeous (Miss Menchu comes to mind again), but let’s face it. In reality, how many older women you know actually look like that?
Now comes the part where we criticize the music…Frankly, I find it a daunting task as I have come to love the songs, a collaboration of two wonderful musicians. Maltby’s lyrics, set into music by David Shire. Deadly combination. Add in an orchestra led by Gerard Salonga and his baton. Maltby, himself, said it. BABY’s music is not like the usual stuff we musical-lovers have come to expect. Heck, the story is not the usual stuff. That all the more makes it dear. The story, the music, the setting, the production, the whole of it, however contemporary, is a classic. Classic in the sense that whatever period it is, it will always sound fresh. The musical was written and first done in the early ‘80s. If I haven’t told you that, would you have realized it? No. That’s how un-antiquated it is.
All in all, BABY The Musical, under the direction of Bobby Garcia, was quite a success indeed. True, Lea’s name dragged people’s butts away from other activities and into the Meralco Theater seats. The smiles on people’s faces after the show, however, were the result of the whole new musical experience. Ladies and gentlemen, it was a bouncing BABY!!!
Meanwhile, here’s one of my favorite BABY songs:
I hope you enjoyed what you read almost as much as I enjoyed the show ten years ago.