May 12, 1974, the birth date of my grandfather. It was also the longest day for my mother. She was experiencing a severe stomach pain, which she and my father thought was an ordinary one. The pain was becoming unbearable. They were just a novice couple and don’t know what to do. So just before the break of dawn they walked to a house of a relative to ask for advice.
My grandaunt and granduncle confirmed that my mother was in labor. So, they rushed her to Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, a government-run hospital famous for baby deliveries (especially for poor communities, since it’s almost free). At the hospital, my father and granduncle were not allowed to come with my mother as she was ready to deliver the baby. She was all alone from then on.
My mother told me that the hospital delivery room seemed to be a market with the long lines of mothers almost lying side by side, waiting for the midwives to assist them in delivering their babies. It was amazing that there haven’t been any confusion as to whose baby is each baby delivered at a particular time. I was told that every time they deliver the baby, they are sometimes put together in one crib and delivered to the nursery room where they are placed in individual bed for viewing–each baby is identified with a tag that is tied either on their wrist or ankle.
At around 6.45am, three decades and three years ago, a son was born–I was born! My father was expecting a girl (too bad–eheheh!) that they don’t have a ready name for me, thus I became the third Domingo but my father was ecstatic nevertheless. He was also the one who gave me the nickname–Jimbo. My father claimed that he did not know what to do after I was born–since he was not allowed to see my mother (I’m not sure why)–that he decided to report for work.
My mother was discharged from the hospital after a day or two, according to my father, but not after suffering terrible hunger. The staff at the hospital have so much babies to deliver that they have easily overlooked feeding the mothers after delivery–come to think of it, delivering a baby and not having anything to eat for almost two days??!! The quality and efficiency of Philippine health service! 🙂
Today is one of the most special days of my life and I think I should have written about it in a more passionate or better way but one thing that I want to highlight today is not that I was born but the way I was born and the strongest and most loving person who tried to make sure that she brought me into this world without a glitch–my mother.
Being a father who personally witnessed the birth of my two daughters, I can now relate with my mother’s pain as she delivered me and the hardship that she and my father had to go through raising me. My father also recalled my mother’s alertness when she felt a cyst on my thigh just before I turned one. I had to undergo an operation for the cyst and I wasn’t given any anaesthetics. My cries made my mother faint.
My father also recalled my hyper-activeness and how I always slipped out of their watch and disappear in public–I remember when I was about 5 years old that I was reported missing for the nth time. I also remember having to stay with a stranger until the police picked me and my sister as we went missing at the San Pablo Cathedral. 🙂
My mother may not be the perfect mother but I know she is the most hardworking and loving mother any child could ever have. Her networking and selling skills made sure that we have food on our table when my father’s remittance fails to meet our monthly demand. She was the mother who found ways how to additionally finance our education from high school to college as the hard-earned money of my OFW father could not meet the financial requirements of four children studying at various level–elementary, high school and college. She was the mother who was also instrumental that the family (not my family) was able to secure a house that we called home.
She was the mother who endured various heartaches when I or some of my siblings have gone astray one time or another. She was always there and welcoming and was always ready to believe every explanation and stand for us in every occassion. She was the mother who tried her best in delivering our mental, financial and spiritual needs. She was the mother who always wanted the best for all of us. She was the mother who tried to remind herself that she needed to find time for herself and put on a make up.
Even if the cycle of life completed and I’m given a chance to start over, I’ll love to have Eva Caro as my supporter, provider and mother. This is my mother, who I dearly love.
Happy Mother’s Day!