Beginnings and Endings

I’ve always believed that every ending is also a beginning. When a relationship end, another one begin in its place. When a career ends, another one commence. When someone dies, another person is being born somewhere. Nothing is left void.

So when I was given the pink slip at the company I worked for almost 9 years, I was at lost. I felt bad, relieved and confused–all at the same time. I remember the time when there was a massive layoff. Some of my colleagues were being called to the conference room and they all came out with a white envelope. They never report for work the following day and that’s how I dawned unto me that they must have been layed off.

I kept my composure the whole time my boss was talking to me. I tried to listen closely hoping to hear a note of regret but heard none. I was half listening and half figuring out a plan towards the end of discussion. I need a plan. I have mortgages to pay and kids to feed, clothe and sheltered.

I remembered an ex-colleague who is now part of a management and got in touch with her. I also realized that I finally have time to do the things I’ve been putting off for a long time. The ex-colleague gave my details to her boss and her boss called me up to arrange a meeting. Wow, that was quick!

That very same week, I received another opportunity. It really pays to be nice and accommodating to clients and prospects–they always remember you. Now the problem is not “not having anything to do” but “not having enough time to do the things you want to do.”

I was bored with my life, feeling the strain of daily routine taking its toll on me. Suddenly, God banged some doors to wake me up from my mental slumber. I was going through my daily work in a sub-catatonic state then suddenly, wham! I needed this chapter to end. I would never have done it myself for fear of the unknown. I would never have thought of handing out a resignation letter. If it weren’t for the pink slip, I wouldn’t get excited for work once again.

Sometimes we needed some things to end abruptly to wake us up to making a fresh start. Remember, nothing is left void.

Why This is My Last One (Part 2)

Jason and I were given little time to decide. Doctors come and go my room, convincing me that it’s the only option we have and prolonging the decision is endangering both me and my unborn son.

I finally decided and agreed to go through an emergency caesarean operation. After filling up forms and waivers, which I barely read, they began to prep me up for the operation. I was wearing a gel nail polish on my hand so it took awhile before they managed to take most of it off my totally ruined nails. I don’t care about my ruined nails–it’s not even the least of my worries.

They informed me that I will be given a spinal anesthesia. From what I’ve seen in Grey’s Anatomy and other medical TV dramas, it seemed to be the most painfully administered one. I was wheeled out of my room and into the operating room. Before going in, I was fully awake and fully aware of what was happening. Somebody injected me with something. I was shaking the entire trip from my room to the OR–they were asking me if I was cold but I couldn’t speak anymore. I was shaking so bad because I was scared. I’ve gone through the first and second trimester of my pregnancy thinking I will be having a peaceful and normal natural delivery. I felt someone shaved off my pubic hair. That was it. I was finally wheeled in and transferred to an operating bed.

It all went by in a blur. At some point I felt I was being turned on my side. I can’t remember being cut open but I remember feeling my guts beings moved around. At 10 minutes past 12 midnight of May 25, I heard him cry. Boy, he was a crier! It was a good sign. A baby crying is always a good sign inside a delivery room. I wasn’t sure if what I remembered was real but I felt for a second he was placed next to me. He was gone and they began to close me up. A few hours later (I would later find out that it took quite awhile for my bleeding to stop), I was transferred to the recovery room and spent the remaining hours going in and out of consciousness–out of it due to the fact that my womb was contracting like hell and after all the pain medications, it really felt like hell.

9 am, they wheeled me back into my room. The next 2 days will be a combination of slight and unbearable pain. Slight movement would cause my wound to throb. I would have bruises on my back because I would be lying on my back for so long. Both my arms are connected to multiple IVs. Because I lost so much blood I needed a transfusion. Jason would check on our son at NICU from time to time. From time to time, I would ask him for some photos but since our son’s incubator was far from the viewing window, all I would get is dark blurry image of a baby connected to some tubes. My family would console me by saying how active his movements were inside the incubator–always stretching his arms and feet.

Note: This is the second part in a 3 part series called Why This is My Last One. You can read the first part here. I first had an idea writing about my “final” pregnancy in April 2014. I was constantly being admitted to the hospital and confined to total bed rest due to bleeding that for the last two trimesters of my pregnancy, I feared for mine and my unborn child’s life. I was a relatively healthy adult female with two previous normal childbirths. I never had any complications except for the threatened PLC (Premature Labor Contractions) with my second son which I was able to carry to term. April 2014 was also a milestone for the proponents of the RH Bill or Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health of 2012 (R.A. No. 10354) where the Supreme Court declared the law “constitutional” while striking down 8 provisions as “unconstitutional”. I am not Pro-RH Bill nor am I Anti-RH Bill but I am a firm believer of being a responsible parent. Being a responsible parent, I have to make sure I am healthy enough to care for my young sons even if it means giving up on hopes of having a daughter.

Why This is My Last One (Part 1)

It was the most stressful one month of my life and it started with the scariest evening. Ever.
A few hours after arriving home from the airport and our 16 hours KUL-SIN-MNL flight, I started to bleed like crazy. Again. A few months earlier, I’ve been admitted twice in a hospital in Malaysia and have been subjected for almost two weeks of total bed rest. The pregnancy started out great and even when I was admitted to the hospital due to bleeding, I never had any reason to panic as my OB-Gyne reassured me it’s nothing to worry about–my placenta is just sitting a wee bit low. She gave me meds and a travel clearance so I went home as planned.
After the “bleeding like crazy” got crazier, my OB-Gyne primary-secondary school buddy told me to go to the nearest hospital. She does consults in the same hospital so she was able to refer me to an attending. After a few exchange of information, I was admitted and wheeled up to my own room. The attending arrived, checked on me, gave me a few meds…normal hospital procedures.
And then she comes back telling me I need to undergo an emergency C-section. I went cold and felt slight tremors run through my body. I was scared of the pain, of the operation and most of all, I’m scared whether my 31 weeks baby will ever survive the world outside my womb.

Note: This is the first part in a 3 part series called Why This is My Last One. You can read the second part here. I first had an idea writing about my “final” pregnancy in April 2014. I was constantly being admitted to the hospital and confined to total bed rest due to bleeding that for the last two trimesters of my pregnancy, I feared for mine and my unborn child’s life. I was a relatively healthy adult female with two previous normal childbirths. I never had any complications except for the threatened PLC (Premature Labor Contractions) with my second son which I was able to carry to term. April 2014 was also a milestone for the proponents of the RH Bill or Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health of 2012 (R.A. No. 10354) where the Supreme Court declared the law “constitutional” while striking down 8 provisions as “unconstitutional”. I am not Pro-RH Bill nor am I Anti-RH Bill but I am a firm believer of being a responsible parent. Being a responsible parent, I have to make sure I am healthy enough to care for my young sons even if it means giving up on hopes of having a daughter.

#5years

A lot of things can happen in five years. It may be just half a decade but for some, it can feel like another lifetime. In five years, one can get pregnant, get married and settle into a domesticated lifestyle. In five years, one can have a girlfriend, marry that girl and have child with her. All pretty much normal occurances in any person’s life. In five years, you and your ex can work for the same company. You had a bad break up so you never make any effort more than a polite smile when the need arises. It rarely does as you both make conscious effort of avoiding each other at all cost. You don’t want your colleagues to get caught up in awkward situations nor would you want to give your current partners any reason to get alarmed.
Now why would you think that? You’re married and you have kids. Marriage may not be a walk in the park but you already have someone.
Five years of routine then someone or something breaks it for you. You suddenly feel like you got married too soon and never took your time to know more about your partner. You get annoyed with little things. Then the little things are not so little anymore that you start to feel that five years is enough for you. It started to feel like a lifetime. The worse part, someone actually made you ask yourself your What If’s.
What if five years ago, you made a wrong decision? What if you made an effort to find out what went wrong? What if you tried harder?
After five years of circling around each other, you and your ex decided to finally catch up with each other. It’s not that you don’t keep tabs on each other’s life. It’s just that all information you have on each other are all secondhand accounts from common friends.
Then your “What If’s” finally have answers and you realize your ex has been asking the same questions all along.
You see, a lot of things can happen in half a decade. But our lives are not measured in chunks of time. You can go on living a life you don’t want or you can finally let go and start a life you actually want. People’s lives are measured in their quality of living–not the monetary and tangible kind of quality but the intangible quality of life: your value as a person, as a family member and as a member of your society.
It took me and Jason five years to come full circle. I don’t regret the five years I’ve spent married to another man because those were my “learning years”. A lot of things can happen in five years. It can change a person.

Walking Dead and Surviving Zombie Apocalypse

Jason and I are big fans of the AMC’s The Walking Dead series. Well, honestly, the whole zombie-vampire-apocalypse genre of TV viewing. Just recently, we started following yet another zombie-infested TV series by Syfy called Z Nation. An original series by FX, The Strain, shows another take on the vampire genre by combining science with the occult. Writers are getting more creative in putting realism into their story lines that you wonder exactly how much truth there is in fiction.

With the advent of The Walking Dead’s 5th season on October 12, it’s only fitting we look back and remember how Rick Grimes and his raggedy band of unique individuals survived all 4 seasons. Jason and I will sometimes discuss how we can prepare for a zombie apocalypse—in a serious manner. You never know when these survival tips might come in handy.

  1. Stay in pack.

There’s strength in numbers. Even nature and the rest of the lesser species know that. Even the walkers know that. Rick started out alone in the series but eventually found his family safe and sound—together with a whole bunch of people trying to stay alive in a zombie infested America (Season 1). Even if Rick’s group split up after being overrun by zombies (Season 4), they are still in groups of 5s, 3s or 2s or formed alliances with new groups. If a horde of walkers attack you, at least you got someone covering your back or the rest of the limbs.

  1. Stay alert.

90% of the time, people dying in the series died because they weren’t alert. They even manage to lounge outside in an open environment, leave their kids out to play in the mud unknowingly digging out a walker stuck in the mud. I mean, seriously, how could they? I spent the entire scene in terror for the child and outrage for her mother (Season 4).

  1. Never trust easily.

It’s an “every man for himself” kind of world. Don’t expect kindness from anyone—even if they’re doing their best efforts to make you feel safe, comforted. Look what happened to Andrea? She’s my least favorite character so forgive the bias. She fell so easily to the wiles of the Governor (Season 3). Of course, it doesn’t help that the man is handsome. But how can you trust anyone with a one-eye patch? I won’t. Unless he’s a bald black man whose last name is Fury, don’t trust a guy with a one-eye patch.

  1. Be resourceful.

Don’t be ashamed to become a scavenger or a farmer—if you find a safe and highly secured haven to settle in. Communication will be reduced to primitive ways: hand-held analogue radio and messages written in blood. Stock up on DIYs now while they’re still all the rage.

  1. See the positive in the negative.

It’s not ALL bad. On a normal day, a prison cell will be the least place you would want to be. In a zombie apocalyptic world, behind bars is the safest place to be (Season 3).

  1. Aim for the head.

We all know how to kill the walkers. Even in Z Nation, it’s the only way of killing it. Don’t waste energy or ammo hitting the rest of the zombie body parts. Take one shot, just one. Aim for the head.

Thanks to Walking Dead, we all know what to do when the time comes. Let’s not make stupid mistakes all the dead characters did.

The Closet Writer

I started writing when I was in high school. I would keep journals and notebooks filled with poetry. I would secretly enjoy writing exercises in school such as essays, book reports and even writing my own autobiography. I actually enjoyed writing my 4th year thesis though I will never admit it at the time I was writing it.

I’m not “constantly” writing. Life caught up with me and I was forced to leave my old room—my writing haven—and out into the real world. I would spent more time on work and friends and less time on the things I normally enjoy doing: writing, drawing and reading. I would, however, resort to writing for a time. I wrote quite a lot on relationships and finding love again after a very bad breakup. It was a nice piece. Too bad it was posted on Friendster Blogs and I wasn’t able to back it up before they revamped the site. I found another boy to spend time with and again, writing was forgotten. Then I got pregnant and got married. During prenatal months, I would have all the time to myself with nothing to do. What better way to spend idle hours than by writing. I wrote on anything from the pregnancy and marriage to taking care of my first child. See Typical Pinay for my previous blog.

Now I’m more of a sporadic writer—sudden burst of words and phrases every now and then. Plus, I’m with someone else now.

From time to time, I will have these ideas for a short story. I will play the entire story in my head while showering, riding a bus or drinking coffee staring out into the window. I will have the opening scenes slowly climb to a climax and gradually descend to a beautiful ending. There are times when I will actually think of an epilogue or prologue just so I can have outtakes from the main storyline. But I will never get down to actually writing them down and immortalizing them into black and white.

I will have all these plans of returning to the things I love like writing, drawing and reading. But life would, yet again, suck me back into the nuances of daily living. So I stopped planning altogether. Planning for my side projects that is. Mothers never stop planning, be it career, home or the kids’ future.

But I’m writing now, am I?