First of a two-part series
“What’s the essence of being a woman?”
This could possibly be the most remarkable question in the whole stretch of the Miss Universe pageant. Miss Universe 1994 winner Sushmita Sen answered it brilliantly by saying “Just being a woman is God's gift that all of us must appreciate. The origin of a child is a mother, and is a woman. She shows a man what sharing, caring and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman.”
Since being a mother is one of the most significant roles a woman could ever take, we should celebrate the formidable greatness and unconditional love of the most significant women in our lives – our dearest mothers – not only during Mother’s Day, but every moment of our lives.
In the recent years, many of our beloved female celebrities bore their first offspring. These first-time moms shared their most pleasurable experiences and difficult challenges they have to endure, from pregnancy to bringing up their little ones in their inspirational testimonies on Magandang Buhay.
In their interviews with fellow momshies Karla Estrada, Melai Cantiveros and Jolina Magdangal, celebrity first-time moms Toni Gonzaga-Soriano, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, Isabel Oli-Prats, and Beauty Gonzalez-Crisologo have a common reaction as they commenced the newest chapter of their life – they highly commend and their respect intensified to all the mothers for the laborious stuff and sacrifices they went through since day one.
Toni has earned the moniker “Multimedia Star” for being a multi-faceted celebrity who has proven her excellence in acting, singing, dancing, and especially in hosting. But she needed to set aside her projects for a while to give birth to her and Director Paul Soriano’s first born, Severiano Elliot.
She spiritedly imparted everything about she went through the first chapter of motherhood and spilling that it was indeed an unplanned. As a novice, Toni (and even her younger sister Alex) describes herself as an ‘O.A.’ mom for being so frantic on everything concerning Baby Seve.
At first, Toni found it hard to make Seve fall asleep and defecate on his own, and finally knew the rules of the thumb through the help of her family and other people. She also underwent post-partum depression, with Alex being the main cause of it as the latter kept on jokingly mocking her due to the changes in her outer body resulted by pregnancy.
“As a mom, whatever comfort your child feels, even if it’s the most uncomfortable for you, gagawin mo. That’s the love of a mother,” she stated on Magandang Buhay.
When asked about her realizations on being a mother, Toni reminisced all her parents, especially her mother, have to go through and implied that it helped her understand her Mommy Pinty more.
“Ang pagmamahal goes deeper, in another life. Parang tumatagos hanggang kaluluwa yung pagmamahal at respeto ko sa mommy ko kasi hindi biro yung pinagdaanan niya,” she said.
Upon knowing that she’s expecting, Bianca got emotional and immediately sent her mom a very long message saying, “Ma, salamat na dinala mo kaming tatlong magkakapatid. Hindi pala biro,” she declared on Magandang Buhay.
After giving birth to daughter Lucia, she realized that more challenges would come, such as lack of sleep, breastfeeding, and the kid’s crankiness. In other interviews, she shared some of the exercises she did and the foods she took in in order to deliver Baby Lucia healthily and less painful.
“Alam mo nung nabuntis ako at nanganak, ang bilib ko sa lahat ng nanay sa buong mundo. Sobra,” she said.
Bianca also admitted that she is stricter than her husband PBA star JC, who’s also a hands-on dad, when it comes to disciplining their little princess as the latter is more on play time. Thus, she assumed that it’s the reason why Lucia is such a daddy’s girl.
“Nagpapalit (si JC) ng diaper at nagpapaligo (sa kanya),” she said. Bianca, admits she gets jealous sometimes. “Alam mong ikaw ang gumigising ng 4am para magpa-dede tapos ikaw yung nagaalaga pag may sumpong. Pero pag nakita niya yung daddy niya, talagang ah-huh, ah-huh, kilig na kilig. Kilig na kilig sa daddy. Sabi ko nga, siguro sawa na sa akin dahil lagi ako ang kasama.”
Isabel’s first take to pregnancy was less detrimental as her husband John Prats was by her side all the time. Aside from him, both of their families have always been willing to help.
When their ‘LiFe’, the nickname they’ve given their Baby Lilly Feather, came into the picture, the couple discovered a lot of things about each other including John’s superb patience specifically when it comes to staying up late for their daughter.
In an episode of Magandang Buhay, she said: "Sobra siyang (John) hands-on, sobra talaga. Minsan nga parang nai-spoiled ako kasi tulog na siya, pagod na siya, galing pa siyang 'Ang Probinsyano' taping, mga 2 a.m., ginigising ko 'Non, pa-burp naman itong baby.' Tatayo talaga siya, kahit anong oras pa yan, tatayo siya para ipa-burp ang baby. Ganoon siya. Tapos habang nagbe-breastfeed ako, may massage talagang kasama 'yan,"
In addition to this, Isabel enumerated in her blog the things that have changed ever since she became a full-time mom and home maker.
“I admit, my transition from being in the limelight to full-time motherhood was not easy. Prior to being married, I hardly go home, and was always on the go. Most of my time were spent outside doing showbiz related activities such as tapings, photoshoots, TV guestings and the likes,” she said.
Then she added, “My life now is waaay different from what it used to be. I’m a full-time, hands on kinda mom/homemaker! I’m at home 24/7 attending to the needs of my husband and my baby, doing my workout, and making sure our house is a home. This is pretty much my routine since LiFe (my baby’s nickname) was born.”
Although her priorities have changed and her daily routine has become mundane, but the joy and affection that she gets from taking care of her spouse and daughter are indeed beyond compare.
“Yes, I miss my life on screen, but being with them right now is by far, the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had,” she related.
For Beauty, being a mother is an ‘everyday learning experience.
“Parang na-discover ko na ang saya pala maging magulang at ang swerte ko na I can grow old with her and we can learn from each other”, she shared in one of her interviews on Magandang Buhay.
The Pusong Ligaw star admitted that she sometimes gets anxious if her Baby Olivia Ines is still breathing while sleeping because the idea of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) totally scares her.
“I’m just so lucky na he’s there and he’s very sensitive about it dahil totoo pala ‘yong post-partum and ‘yong mga puyat-puyat na ‘yan. Syempre, first baby mo ang dami mong takot. So, I’m so thankful,” Beauty gratefully told her husband, art curator Norman Crisologo.
In an article published in Push last year, she describe how much joy her baby daughter has brought so much joy to her life. "You’ll never know when you’re ready eh until it’s there. When it’s there, iba ‘yong feeling. Pagdating rewarding pala, nakaka-fulfill ng life. She’s the cutest thing ever.”
Due to her pregnancy, Beauty had to leave showbiz abruptly in 2015. However, she considered it as a ‘blessing’ rather than a ‘lesson’.
“She gives me happiness, kakaibang happiness and parang since I became a mother mas nag-iba yung pananaw ko sa sarili ko, sa work ko and yung acting ko maraming nahuhugot (laughs). I’m very happy ABS-CBN still gives me good projects, good movies from Achy Breaky Heart to now Third Party and working with good actors. For me it’s still the same kasi for me walang maliit na characters sa anumang pelikula kasi depende yun kung paano mo siya i-po-portray. Kahit maliit ung character mo pero maganda naman yung pagka-portray mo, I’m sure tatatak yun sa lahat ng tao,” she related.
More first-time moms have shared their fulfilling experiences on Magandang Buhay—certainly inspiring stories you should watch out for in the second installment of this two-part special feature.