Looking at the bright side of life and her faith in God are what helped Jaya cope after she lost her unborn baby in 2014.
Speaking with SmartParenting.com.ph during the press conference for her "No Boundaries" concert (which was held last May 12), Jaya, or Maria Luisa Ramsey-Gotidoc in real life, spoke how she lost her unborn baby after she had surgery to remove her gall bladder because of gallstones, which can be extremely painful. She was three months pregnant at the time.
“Three weeks before [losing the baby], tinanggal yung bladder ko. Ang sabi ng doctors baka mag-suffer yung baby, mamatay. Pero nung chineck siya, buhay pa,” she said.
In an interview with PEP in 2014, the Soul Diva explained that the gall bladder removal should not have been performed, but it was necessary. She was quoted as saying: “Hindi talaga dapat gagawin ng procedure. Pero hindi rin puwedeng hindi gawin ‘yung procedure. So, parang I made a deal with God na kung hindi magwu-work ‘yung baby, kunin na lang Niya at this early stage kesa naman mabuhay siya tapos maraming damage.”
Weeks after the surgery, as she was preparing for an upcoming concert, Jaya noticed that her belly was not getting bigger. Her suspicion was confirmed when she went to see her doctor at the hospital. Just a few days before one of her concerts, the doctor had to remove the fetus. The unborn baby would have been her third child.
In a previous interview, Jaya said there were moments when she blamed herself for losing her unborn child. She recalled, “I was very sad pero hindi ko nga nai-manifest sa labas. It was just inside so I wasn’t sure if I was just depressed. So ang nangyari yung katawan ko nararamdaman ko lumiliit. I could fit into my clothes back in 1997 when I was 27 at maluwag pa.
“Sabi ng doctor, ‘Your body is depressed. It might not be you, but your body kasi nag-prepare siya for a fetus, so nung nawala ang fetus, [your weight] all went down.’”
When she lost the baby, Jaya was taking care of her ailing mother, the late legendary singer Elizabeth Ramsey, who passed away a year later.
Jaya's advice to women who have had a similar experience is to let people in. She said having her husband, Gary Gotidoc (they have two kids, Sab, 10 and Dylan, 8), and friends like showbiz couple Regine Velasquez and husband Ogie Alcasid got her through that trying time. “It’s very important that we’re with people who give us support, [who are] very vocal about yung damay."
She cautions, however, that women also need to be realistic when it comes to expectations of support. “Hindi naman makakadamay kasi yung taong hindi nakakaranas nun, e, it’s just comforting enough na nandiyan and you do things together, you talk about other things.”
Jaya does emphasize that people need to accept that we have different coping mechanisms. “Parang sa akin what worked for me, we didn’t talk about the baby so much, just talked about other things. Mabilis kasi ako mag-accept. I don’t know about other people, hindi kasi ako yung taong ma-depress na nagkukulong. Dati nung kabataan ko, pero ngayon I’m just not like that anymore.”
Throughout the whole experience of losing a baby and then her mother, what gave Jaya comfort was her faith in the Lord and knowing that her loved ones were in a better place and believing she will see them one day.
“Everyone was up there, what am I worrying about? I should be fine, 'di ba, kasi they all went ahead of me. I’ll see them later anyway. They just went ahead. It’s not the end.”