I used to believe that the life cycle of a woman is finishing school, getting a job, getting married, giving birth, and taking care of children. Very simple, and straight to the point. However, adulthood taught me that life doesn’t follow any rules. And I learned it with all the bumps, u-turns and mostly downs, rather than ups, especially in fulfilling my dream of being a mother.
I got married at the age of 27, in 2011. As the ideal newly married, we wanted to conceive our first child right away. My husband who was working in Saudi Arabia was lucky enough to be granted a six-month vacation in the Philippines, enough for him to find a new job and for us to get pregnant. However, he was not able to find a new job that would likely match his salary in Saudi, and he decided to go back to his work. And I was left in the Philippines.
Seven months later, I was endorsed by my company to work in Singapore. I grabbed the opportunity as it was my dream to live and work in Singapore and so that my husband can join me and raise a family together. In December 2012, my husband resigned from his job in Saudi and joined with me. We were very hopeful that finally, we will be working in the same country. However, the Singapore government got stricter with the number of foreigners working in their country. My husband had a hard time securing a job, and he needed to exit and come back again. This has put a financial burden to us. We talked and decided that maybe, Singapore is not for us. Few resumes later, he was hired in a company in the United Arab Emirates.
January 2014, I came to the UAE to be with him and to finally continue what we had been hoping for, be together and raise a family. End of January, I was in so much joy because we found out that we were pregnant! But our excitement turned to tears when my obstetrician told us that I am having ectopic pregnancy. There was no way but to abort as my baby will not survive and my life is also in danger if my pregnancy will continue. Since I didn’t have health insurance in UAE yet, I decided to travel back to the Philippines.
Losing my baby was painful for me. My left fallopian tube was also removed giving me a lesser chance of conceiving. I went back working with my previous company in the Philippines for me not to dwell on my loss. May 2015, I moved again to UAE with my husband, hoping that this time, the universe will be on our side. But luck was still elusive as 3 months after getting a job, I was diagnosed with graves disease, causing me to have hyperthyroidism. I felt devastated. I get depressed. My husband was so supportive he never said anything that would discourage me. We learned that conceiving is not a good idea until my blood test results are at the normal state. We seek second, third, and fourth opinions, and they say the same thing, no to conceiving yet, but having optimum blood state will take longer. The only option was, to have a total thyroidectomy. My thyroid will be removed, and I have to live everyday taking a synthetic hormone for the rest of my life.
In April 2016, my surgery only took 1.5 hours. Yes, we took the fastest route, total thyroidectomy. Taking a small pill to replace my thyroid hormone every morning for the rest of my life seems an easy way. But what I was not prepared for was getting the correct dosage of the pill isn’t as easy as taking 1000 mg of pain reliever. It took us a whole year to finally figure out the right amount of pill that will make my blood test on its normal state.
The whole ordeal made me realize that I really have to take care of my health. If I’m not healthy, how would I be able to take care of my family? For the next six months, I dedicated myself to self care that my body has been longing for – less stress, right amount of exercise and a total control on my food intake.
And in June 2018, I gave birth to our precious daughter. It took us seven crazy years before we were blessed with what we had prayed for. It put me and my husband’s relationship and faith into a test, but everything taught us there’s no more obstacle that we cannot overcome. Maybe the universe tricked us to take the roller coaster ride with so many loops but hanging on lead us to our destination — our hearts’ desire.
by Hazel Recio