When you find yourself pregnant again less than a year after giving birth, you can expect a lot of quips to come your way. Yes, Pinoys have their way of getting their opinions across—if they don’t actually say it, you’ll see it in the way they look at you.
Having babies very close in age (also known as "Irish twins") is sometimes frowned upon. It’s either you didn’t do a good job at family planning, or you’re taking your health for granted. "Think about the kids, too! How on earth can you focus on one child when you have another one on the way?" (By the way, it’s not easy, but it’s also not impossible!)
There is really no other way to react to it but to take it all in stride. These comments are, after all, born out of your family and friends’ deep concern for you and your children. Sometimes, the question can be a little repetitive though, so feel free to choose from these snappy answers:
1. “It’s a surprise blessing.” Sure, you had to tell yourself that several times before it finally sank in, but this is still the very best way to cut the conversation short. After all, having a baby is really a blessing, if you think about the women who have difficulty getting pregnant. So keep your chin up, and be positive that with a new baby, abundant blessings will also come your way. Unless you want to get into the details of how it “accidentally” happened, it’s best to keep it short and sweet.
2. “The more, the merrier!” You wanted more kids anyway, so why wait? Actually, there are a lot of reasons why you should wait a while before getting pregnant again, but there are also a few advantages to having children who are close in age. Some of the upsides are you going through breastfeeding and baby care stages in one long albeit single go, and having your kids grow up as playmates. This will stop them from entertaining the thought that you didn't really want another bundle of joy. But trust us, after having two babies under two years old, you’ll definitely learn your lesson for next time (if there will be a next time).
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3. “Um, breastfeeding as a contraceptive didn’t work.” Well, it's said that breastfeeding can prevent pregnancy, right? Well it turns out that you and your partner forgot to read the fine print. Breastfeeding is only effective as a form of contraception if—and only if—you’re exclusively breastfeeding (no mix feeding!), if you haven’t had your period yet, and if your baby is less than six months old. But you acted in good faith, so you can play the “blame” card. And while you’re at it, you can also try pinning it on hubby, but let’s be honest—you wanted sexy time, too. This response is a cop out, really—at least you tried to plan—but it's effective nonetheless.
4. “We couldn’t get our hands off each other.” It’s another way of saying, “We are having great sex, and so this happened.” It’s no secret that sex while pregnant can be great, but at some point, it gets a little uncomfortable. So when you take a break from having sex, you just can’t wait to get started again. After all, doing the deed is a nice way of getting a dose of happy hormones when you’re up to your neck in childcare. Not all can say that they’ve got their sexy groove back right after giving birth, so that’s an achievement unlocked for you! Any hirit after this response could be asking way too much about your sex life, so expect the chit-chat to stop.
5. “Ninang ka ulit ha!” Undoubtedly, you’ll need more hands on deck now that you’re pregnant again and your older baby is just starting on solids and hasn't even learned how to walk yet—and that’s where family and friends come in handy. Filipino families thrive on helping each other out, and this could be your way of giving them a heads-up. Of course, you could just be joking around, and you need not enlist them as godparents of your coming baby. It will make them think, though, that they'll have another young one to include in their list of presents to buy for Christmas, so that should shut them up. Hopefully, at the end of the day, your family and friends will just be as excited as you are with a new addition to your family on the way.