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  • In a few days, Andi Eigenmann will give birth to her second child, a girl just like her panganay, Ellie, who’s turning 8 in November 2019. The 29-year-old, who describes herself on Instagram as a “part-time actress, full-time holistic living-island mama,” has chosen a name for her baby-on-the-way, but she’d rather announce it upon the newborn’s arrival.

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    Speaking on behalf of her partner, surfing champion Philmar Alipayo, all Andi could say about their first child together is: “We think she will have curly hair!”

    The soon-to-be mom of two also told SmartParenting.com.ph through an email interview that she is hoping for a vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC). “But whatever will be best for the baby is fine with me,” she stressed.

    Breastfeeding, however, is non-negotiable. “I will be breastfeeding strictly this time as long as I could. Ran out of milk fast with Ellie because I went back to work asap,” she explained.

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    Pregnant and proud

    On being pregnant for the second time, Andi said “it feels better not to be a first timer,” adding she needs “to research or ask around less because it’s more about trial and error this time around.”

    The only child of award-winning actress Jaclyn Jose and the late great actor Mark Gil recalled the time she was pregnant with Ellie, admitting, “I was not that proud the first time around.” 

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    At the time, Andi had been successfully launched as ABS-CBN’s “Heiress of Drama” via the fantasy teleserye, Rod Santiago’s Agua Bendita, and she went on to play a starring role in the hit primetime series, Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin, alongside Coco Martin, Maja Salvador, and Martin del Rosario.

    Speculations about Andi’s pregnancy surfaced in early 2011, and by June, her mom Jaclyn confirmed the news in a TV interview. Five years after Andi gave birth, it was revealed that Ellie’s father is Jake Ejercito, a son of former actor and politician Joseph Estrada.

    “I was kind of made to feel that my pregnancy was something shameful,” she recalled. “So I definitely did not flaunt my belly, nor did I pose for pictures that much. I also had not adopted a healthy lifestyle, so I just ate whatever I wanted and did zero exercises, thinking it would be safe for my baby. All of these, I did not do this time around.”

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    On morning sickness and weight gain

    Indeed, Andi, who has been living in the surfing paradise of Siargao in Surigao del Norte province, began showing her baby bump online right after announcing her pregnancy through Instagram Stories last February 1. She also posted photos of her swimming and surfing with Philmar, who’s a native on the island, and Ellie.

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    Andi recalled she was in Ilocos Sur, supporting Philmar in a national surfing competition when they found out that she was pregnant, and the first person she shared the good news with was Ellie. “She was very excited!” Andi said.

    Looking back, the expectant mom noted that “the first few months were horrible for me because of bad morning sickness.” She added, “Most of it was spent in bed, but on good days, it’d be AWESOME because it’s so much more fun and feels better to be pregnant on an island and be surrounded with beautiful people with positive vibes and no judgment at all!”

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    Andi considers nausea as the biggest challenge in her current pregnancy. “Morning sickness hit me bad this time,” she said. “I was vomiting up until 18 weeks pregnant. That resulted in finding it hard to keep my healthy eating habits for a while, which has also been a challenge because I am trying for VBAC, and being overweight the first time contributed to me going through an emergency CS with Ellie.”

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    Pregnancy perks and pamahiin

    Andi learned from her first pregnancy that “health is wealth,” and she’s applying that lesson now. “It’s my responsibility to take care of myself as I take care of the baby inside my belly, so I have to be disciplined.”

    While in Siargao, she observed that her friends with kids putting a habac around their babies’ waists as a pamahiin. According to the actress who grew up in Quezon City, habac is a type of necklace that supposedly protects the little ones from getting sick “when they are out in public and around lots of people.”

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    “I’d easily do the same,” she wrote in her email with a smiley face. “But my partner doesn’t believe in any of them, and I also don’t believe in any of the old wives’ tales anymore, hehe!”

    Andi said dairy also made her queasy. “No milk for me even if I took away my vegan diet,” she explained. “I also couldn’t stand the smell of fish, and fish was the only meat I ate, so that was a struggle.”

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    On a lighter note, she said that the best thing about being pregnant is availing of “the priority lane at grocery stores and the cinema.” The worst thing, on the other hand, is “not being able to work out/surf as much I would normally.” 

    Here’s a pregnancy tip that the-now health-conscious celebrity swears by: “Stay hydrated! Bring water everywhere you go.”

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    Andi flew from Siargao to Manila in her 32nd week of pregnancy in preparation for the baby’s arrival. “[Thirty-two weeks] is the limit that the airline would allow pregnant people to fly,” she explained, adding that coming over to the National Capital Region “wasn’t more of a decision but a necessity.” 

    “Sadly, Siargao doesn’t have any proper hospitals yet, and most people have to go to Surigao to give birth,” she said, referring to the nearest big city from the island. “But since I am from Manila and have doctors whom I already trust here, so it’s no question we’d choose to give birth here.”]

     

    At the baby shower Aprica threw for her, Andi was with the most important people in her life: Philmar, Ellie, mom Jaclyn Jose, and brother Gwen.
    PHOTO BY Nice Print Photography
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    By August, Andi and Philmar hope to fly back home to Siargao with their newborn in tow. Andi’s first-born child, Ellie, spends half of her time with her mother Andi and her father, Jake. Andi said she’s been preparing Ellie by continually talking about her new role as an ate. 

    In closing, Andi shared her thoughts on how she sees her life will change by having two children. “I think I will be busier, and the motivation to live the kind of life I want will be more for my kids, so I think it will be easier for me to fulfill it.”

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