For most moms, pregnancy is something you meticulously plan and prepare for, but for Angel Gallego, 27, it came unexpectedly. A BPO employee and a freediving enthusiast, Angel found out she was seven weeks pregnant in October 2017, right after a trip to Siargao where she spent her vacation surfing and diving.
While Angel welcomed her “baby shark,” as she fondly calls her baby, she couldn't help wonder if it meant she couldn't dive anymore. “Siyempre, nakapanghihinayang kung basta-basta na lang namin bibitawan ‘yun,” the environmental advocate tells SmartParenting.com.ph in an email interview. “It might sound selfish, but traveling is my outlet. It’s also my time to unwind from all the stress that life brings.”
That said, Angel didn't want to do anything to jeopardize her baby’s health. She consulted with her ob-gyn who gave her clearance to continue with her passions. “She gave me permission as long as I do not show or feel any alarming symptoms,” she shares.
On her fifth month of pregnancy, Angel decided to fulfill one of her dreams — to become a mermaid. She and her partner, MJ Fidelino, along with their friends, went to their favorite diving spot in Bauan, Batangas, to do the shoot, which served as her baby shower. “My partner took good care of me — he looked out for me especially if I dove too deep,” she says.
Watch as Angel and her unborn baby go on an underwater adventure.
Angel stopped freediving on her seventh month to prepare for her baby’s safe delivery (her due date is in June). But she’s already proven to herself that pregnancy did not mean that you couldn't pursue the things you love. Pregnant women are not always fragile — they are strong, and they know their bodies best.
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“Being a first-time mom is overwhelming that we think we need a total change in lifestyle, but you don’t have to give up everything you love just because you are pregnant. You can still be the old you and also embrace your new role of a loving mom!”