Cel felt painful and frequenting contractions as early as around 2:30 am. I was awake at that time because I got paged for work. After completing my task, my wife woke up and informed me about how she was feeling. So we monitored the frequency of her contractions for almost 2 hours. Our bags were ready weeks earlier so I picked them up and put them in the car. Then I also woke up my mother in law who was staying with us at that time in preparation for that momentous event. I also texted my mom about our situation at around 6am.
Cel was an image of strength. I can’t imagine how painful it was for her but she kept her cool and composure that we were all very relaxed with the situation. She even walked for a bit in front of our house like how she was instructed by her OB. Then we heard mass on TV and it was Fr. Suarez, the healing priest, who was celebrating the mass. We prayed for her and our son’s safe and healthy delivery. Though not so sure if it was indeed the “DAY”, we decided to drive to the hospital. When we arrived there, the ER doctor contacted her OB Gyne. She then told the ER doctor to do a cervical dilation checking and was surprised to know that my wife’s already at 6cm yet she’s still very composed. Though pain can be read on her face every time she had contractions. Then finally, she was escorted to the delivery room.
|That's his right foot on the upper left part.|
Last May 1, 2011 while watching Blessed John Paul II's beatification rites on tv with my wife, I quietly asked for his intercession that our marriage be blessed by the Lord with a child. I promised him that if our child is a boy, I'll have his name taken from his real name which was "KAROL". And just after less than a month, my wife tested positive for pregnancy.
Came October, we had our baby’s gender tested thru 4D ultrasound and we knew finally that he’s a boy. Several days after that, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary last October 16, 2011 at the Gateway mall where there was an exhibit of Bl. John Paul II's relics and photos. And that was when we also learned that his papacy began at the same date of our wedding some years ago, October 16, 1978.
|Aerial View of WYD 95 audience (Photo from: http://catholicdefender2000.blogspot.com)|
So we looked for names where the letters K-A-R-O-L would be included and at the same time would bear mine and my wife’s initials which is M and R. I have one name in mind which sounds good and which also has a great meaning. MIKHAIL is the Russian version of Michael which is the name of one of God’s main archangel that also means “Who is like God?”, a rhetorical question that gets a negative answer meaning no one is like God. It was the war-cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against the enemy and his followers. Then we searched for a name which bears the letters “ROL” and which would compliment his first name Mikhail. Then we found ROLAN, which is a Russian variant of Roland that means a famous land or renowned in the land.
|St. Michael the Archangel (Photo from Wikipedia)|
Mik’s birthday coincided with Sr. Sto. Niño’s festival that year. The first time I saw Mik at the nursery, I noticed those two dark stripes on his right cheek. My wife’s OB Gyne said that it could be a “hemangioma” or “balat” in tagalog but we still had to observe it for a few days to determine what it really was. I also thought that he could have got it from his struggle as initially, he’s expected to be delivered normal by my wife. But after almost an hour inside the delivery room and without him going out, the doctors monitored and found out that his heartbeat was slowing down in every contractions my wife had. So they decided to rather conduct a CS operation after informing and consulting me about the situation. During the procedure, they found out that the cord was coiled twice on his neck which stifled him and gave him a hard time breathing every time my wife had contractions that caused variations to his heartbeat. Great job for my wife’s doctors to act quickly and carefully especially to Dr. Cynthia Tan who took great care of my wife and son since the beginning of their journey.
Finally, our son’s birthdate is January 15, 2012 which happened to be the 17th anniversary of Bl. John Paul II's last day of stay here in our country. It happened during the World Youth Day '95 in Manila (January 10 -15, 1995), the largest papal crowd ever in history which I had proudly took part with. Thanks to my aunt who brought me there with her friends. I was just in sixth grade then but I can still clearly remember the happenings and how it felt just being there.
|WYD 95 Manila Logo|
So what happened to those two stripes on his face? They faded after 2 weeks. Well, we just thought of it as a “naki-ati-atihan” symbol for Mik and a sign of Sto. Nino’s blessings during the delivery. Ati-atihan is a festival done in Aklan where people painted their faces black to celebrate the triumph of Christianity over the formerly pagan practice of the natives on their place. Paganism faded just like what happened to the dark stripes on his face.
|Check on his right cheek.|
Then after several hours from the procedure, Cel was finally brought to our hospital room. She seemed weak but also looked happy. She was advised not to talk at first. But I could see her smile a lot. After hours of labor and then being knifed on the abdominal part, the delivery was a success and they were both safe. Mik was still at the nursery then. She told me that she saw him already but was still very dizzy at that time. I told her that I also had checked on him and he’s a big and handsome fellow. And he looks just like her. And I told her that I was very happy and thankful that they're both fine. I also told here that she did a great job. A job she carried on carefully and proudly for the past 9 months.
Thank you Bl. John Paul II for your intercession. And thanks to all of you who prayed and are continuously praying for my family. To God be all the glory.
|Our first ever family pic|
Happy 1st Birthday, Mik. Mom and I love you very much!