To Jeff Pedro: You are never second best

I didn’t think you will be extra special.

You were planned; your siblings were not.
You came alone; your siblings arrived together.
I’ve been through an exhausting pregnancy carrying twins; I thought carrying one will be easy.


But you surprised me.

While pregnant with you, Daddy and I travelled to many countries in Asia. We explored several places, ate a lot of food, met many people. All of these I did while you were a little creature inside me.

While pregnant with you, I continued to pursue my graduate studies. God knows how difficult it is to work on academic papers while fighting the need to take afternoon naps and spending time feeling nauseous.

While pregnant with you, I was robbed, the night before our entire family was supposed to fly to Hong Kong so we can go home to China where we lived then. My passport was in that bag stolen by three bad people but the most priceless possession I had in that bag was my first ultrasound; you were in it. I don’t have a copy of that. It broke my heart. I cried a lot when that happened.

While pregnant with you, Daddy and I decided that it was the right time to move to the US so you and I will receive the best healthcare. We were right. The hospital where I gave birth to you took very good care of us and we got out of the maternity ward with smiles on our faces.

While pregnant with you, I had the best skin in all 29 years of my life here on earth. You made me glow. Your presence in my body made me diabetic (again) but that made me go back to exercising and eating healthy so you too will remain healthy.

We named you Jeffrey Peter Junior because you are a special part of our lives. You were named after a man, your father, who has a beautiful story to tell about the love and faith. You are part of that story, a very special part of that story.

Taking care of you the past eight weeks made me see the best and worst in me. It’s difficult to juggle every single responsibility thrown my way when I only have two hands to work with. Sometimes I don’t feel good about myself that I get upset. I know you feel that. I know because I can see it; I can feel it.

I apologize if I can be difficult to deal with. I was never good with taking care of newborns. I survived with your older siblings because I had your Lala, uncles, and two ayis who helped me out. This time, it’s just me with your Daddy taking the morning shift.

But most of the time, it’s just you and me.

I can’t even believe that I managed to just feed you with breastmilk. Your Daddy knows about my love-hate relationship with breastfeeding so it is a surprise that I am still up to this challenge of providing you with the best liquid gold on earth.

You are special my Jeff Pedro because you made me experience the miracle of life again.

You made me experience the sheer joy of carrying one baby in my womb. You made me believe that I can be patient to hold you in until the 40th week. You made me brave to declare that I’ll attempt a natural birth after having a C-section from delivering your Manoy and Manang.

I love you.

You are my second born (your Manoy Kulas is the first firstborn and your Manang Tonya is the second firstborn) but you are never second (or third) best.

You, in your very own unique way, will always be my number one second born child. I am your Mother and I will always be with you every step of the way. These days are long and it has been all about breastfeeding and changing your dirty diapers. But the years are short and you will be a grown man sooner than I expected. If you read this by then, remind me that at 5:38 a.m. on the ninth of November 2015, I’m staring at you as I tell myself how blessed I am to be chosen, handpicked by Heavenly Father to be the woman whom you will call your mother.

You are special Jeff Pedro. You make me special.

Thank you, Anak.

Thank you for joining this family.