Random Thoughts: Turning a year older

My birthday is fast coming up and I can’t help but think how time, well, flies. Despite the hardships Mom, Dad and I are going through right now, nothing can erase memories of happier and simpler times.

It’s no surprise that these thoughts rip through my mind as I browse my dad’s journal—clippings of his columns that came out in Cebu Daily News.

One clipping, however, keeps on jumping out at me from dad’s myriad collection of writings. It’s the one about my birth—the one dad wrote a few hours after mom’s OB-Gyne, Dr. Chona Tremedal, broke the news to my father that he’s, well, a father. Hehe.

I’m reprinting the entire column on my blog since the original online version is already lost in antiquity somewhere in the Inquirer Publications Inc. database.

Little miracle

By Joel S. Tan

Barangay Pinoy

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”

— Carl Sandburg, US biographer and poet, 1878-1967

I once had this fear of bringing a child into this world—a fear borne of a childhood memory about an episode of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone.”

In that particular episode, the baby went berserk (unbelievable, I know) and (even more mind-boggling) killed his parents and anyone else who crossed his path.

The reason for the baby’s rampage: anger at his parents for bringing him out of the mother’s warm, nourishing womb. The narrator of the show reasoned that a baby felt so much at peace inside its world that it cared little for what was outside. Crazy, you’d say. But to my young mind back then, it sounded logical.

This fear was proven baseless, however, when just the other night a little angel showed me the real meaning of joy and love, and what it’s like expressing the myriad emotions coursing through my very being (read: howling and jumping like a lunatic while weeping at the same time).

Last Monday evening, the possibility (read: threat) of a Caesarian section was strong, despite the fact that Joyce, my wife, did not feel the slightest pain in the first few moments of labor. But time was running out.

The doctor had informed me early the night that the baby refused to come down (a definite sign of stubbornness, she said, that the child got from me). Nearly four hours after Joyce entered the confines of the delivery room at the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital, the baby finally came out, a few minutes shy of midnight.

So much for my fear of the unknown—it flew out the window the moment Dr. Asuncion Del Prado-Tremedal called out my name and introduced me to the little angel.

And then again, I had close to eight months to shed my fears.

During these grueling months, I learned to cherish the life that had been growing inside my wife Joyce’s womb. At night, I maximized my time talking and singing to the baby while giving her mother a much needed back and foot rub. In the mornings, I took the time to explain to her why “Dada” had to run off to the office and leave her and her mother alone at home.

The last two months of the pregnancy proved the most crucial, when this emerging dad started feeling the strong punches, kicks and pirouettes generated by Francesca Jadzia, our firstborn.

It was also during this time when we decided on a name. Cryptic and creepy at the same time, Joyce had dreamt of a man dressed like a monk bearing wounds in both his hands.

It turned out that the man in her dream was Padre Pio, whose real name was Francesco (thus the baby’s first name), a saint my wife had not even heard of till that day. As for the second name, any true-blue fan of the Star Trek series would easily recognize it. ’Nuff said.

All things considered, my journey into fatherhood was nothing but amazing. Joyce’s own journey into motherhood and the fulfillment that comes with it was an equally trying yet joyously memorable period.

I would like to thank the staff of Cebu Doctors’ Hospital for their professionalism and compassion during this, my most trying and joyful time. Of course all these would not have been possible if not for the efforts of Dr. Tremedal, to whom I owe much (figuratively and literally).

Let me also take this opportunity to say farewell to Pope John Paul II, in whose memory I dedicate my newfound sense of direction in life, and welcome to Francesca Jadzia, who, with her mother, will forever be sources of inspiration and strength for me.

Truly, the cycle of life goes on.

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6 Responses

  1. dr. tremedal? i should say best doctor ive ever met! wouldnt trust my life and my babies with anyone else…

    • 10/10 score jud ni c doc tremedal oi! grabe jd iya tabang when i gave birth to our first born. ne-errupt na ako water for a week na before my delivery. as in wa na jd daw ko water. and the baby had his earliest stool inside me, for 3 weeks nah! (he was called mechonium baby). grabe it was really a miracle, ‘coz me and the baby could be poisoned na jud if that’s the case. during the labor and delivery, doc trem never discouraged me. She always told me to just pray, everything is alright… and I was inspired by that, giving me the strength to go on… inspite the pain of dry labor… OUCH!

      Truly, Doc. Asuncion Del Prado-Tremedal is heaven sent! I can’t think of ways how to thank her! Thank God, He gave me a doctor that’s 99.99% almost perfect! Cheers! 😀

      • and the best thing was, she really tried to make it a normal delivery… and it happened! no cs, no painless, no whatsoever, in spite of my risky situation! 😀

  2. Doc Chona! Gosh, we miss her. Someday, when we settle down in Cebu again, we’ll finally get our chance to thank her. Thanks for the comment, tschai. 🙂

  3. you gave birth to your angel when? =) ill tell you you sent your hello’s when i get to see her next month… =)

  4. hmmmm….chona, the wife of my younger brother is an amazing woman,super bait talaga!!! and yes i can say the best OB.hi sis….regards and thanks for everything uhave done to our family….

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