Sunday’s Drama

The last eleven days seem like forever. At this point, my body has started to heal. My C-section wound doesn’t hurt as much. My bleeding is significantly less, just like the last days of my period. My breasts, too, are becoming more accustomed to normal engorgement, which, to me, signifies that it is time to pump.

Mentally, though, the last two weeks has been taxing. Francis and I, but more so Francis, are sleep-deprived. I do the pumping and occasional breastfeeding – breastfeeding is a torture both for me and baby – but Francis has been doing pretty much everything: burping, changing nappies, bathing baby, rocking baby to sleep, cooking for me, feeding me, washing our bottles and pumps, putting baby out for morning sunshine, doing our groceries, holding me while feeding or pumping (because both hurt and to check that I don’t fall asleep), and working. On top of that, he has to deal with my anxiety. I sometimes take a painkiller when the pain is unbearable, but that also means I’m knocked out for hours, and Francis has to handle all of baby’s needs.

Our days are fully occupied with baby now that we barely have time for ourselves or each other. Not that we ever had, to be honest. We have been married for barely a month when we learned that we were pregnant, which changed everything. Though largely uneventful, our first trimester was a torture for me. I can’t function because we had to make sure na kumapit si baby, so Francis had to do everything. He had to do all my chores. He had to think of what to feed me because I can’t eat. He had to bear the burden of being my one and only sounding board for all my insecurities and self-loathing. He had to suffer my hormones.

On the last few days of our pregnancy, I stressed him a lot, and all my anxieties led him to lose sleep. In fact, when I was worried that our baby wasn’t moving in my womb, he did not sleep at all, monitoring baby’s movements with his hand on my belly. Then, he had to bring me to the OB, to the hospital, do all errands, make sure our hospital bags are ready.

When we got out of the hospital, aside from all the errands and chores, he has to help me manage my anxiety and budding depression. He has to make me feel beautiful with my scar and my size, and he has to cheer me on at each drop of my pathetic breastmilk.

All these and he still thinks that I’m the one who deserves to rest, that he’s not doing enough for me and our daughter.

I don’t even know the extent of his personal anxieties. The only time he lets me see how he feels is when he gets frustrated when baby won’t burp, when baby is fussy, when baby spits out her milk. Then he would pretend like he’s okay… because, he says, I suffered so much already.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. He’s probably going to ask me to delete this. But I want him to know how much I appreciate him. I want him to know just how much I feel undeserving of him. I want him to know that I will make sure our little girl knows about all of his sacrifices.

And I want everyone to know that he is already a good husband and a good father.

Mawmaw’s Goodbye, 17 Days Later

On April 29, seven years, eight months, and eight days since I carried him in my arms for the first time, the handsome white and black dog with the broken heart on his right died.  He died and I wasn’t there.  At 7:02 p.m., all I, his mother, stuck in traffic from the airport, could do was weep in silence “Father into your hands I commend his spirit” as the joy and meaning of my life cried his last cry a hundred and thirty kilometers away.  When I arrived at 10 to what I used to call home – for it’s all different now that the one-dog welcoming committee and the master and the heir is gone – all I could do was take his still warm body in my arms, say how handsome he was even then for he didn’t look like he suffered, feel awed at the fact he wasn’t heavy at all despite his being fat, and bury him.

I’m not a person who prays for much, and, although I forced him to make pinky promises with me, truth is I didn’t have the illusion that my Inoo will live forever.  All I prayed for was for me to be there when God decided to take him, so I can hold his paw, so I can lay with him on the floor, so I can shower him with kisses, so I can whisper to his good ear a million times that I love him and that he is loved and that Mawmaw loves him, so I can sing for him our kunikuni song, so I can hug him even if it meant I can because he would have no more strength to resist.  Because I had hoped being there will ease his pain and sadness.  Because I had hoped if I prayed hard and if I went to church as much as I can and if I served at least four times a week, God would listen.  Because I know that I am his life as much as he is mine.  Yet God decided that my Inoo should go exactly when I wasn’t and I can’t be there.

I don’t get His logic.

Or maybe I do.  Maybe it’s God’s way of reminding me that even if I go to church everyday, even if I pray hard for this one wish, even if I serve, in the end, it is His will… His timing.  Even the fact that I don’t eat animals and advocate not eating animals couldn’t change His mind.

Maybe this is God’s way of reminding me to cherish every second I am with those I love, because I never know when they or I will be gone.

Maybe this is God’s way of teaching me to pay attention to signs.

Or maybe this is punishment because I had been neglectful the last three months.  But no.  God is not that kind of god.

But I refuse to go there.  I refuse to reduce Inoo to a set of faith or life lessons.

All I want is to do is grieve: grieve the fact that the meaning and joy of my life is gone.

I love you, Devil Dog.  Now you can watch over Mawmaw 24/7.  Wait for me.  If Catholic heaven doesn’t allow dogs in it, wait for me by the gates of dog heaven instead.