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  • When Cai Cortez's Son Remembered He Couldn't Have Breast Milk He'd Say, 'Broken Dede?'

    Cai Cortez talks to us about being pregnant while working and taking care of a family.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
When Cai Cortez's Son Remembered He Couldn't Have Breast Milk He'd Say, 'Broken Dede?'
PHOTO BY courtesy of Cai Cortez
  • Cai Cortez is six months pregnant with her and her husband Wissem Rkhami’s second child, a baby girl. Her expected due date is December 19, 2019, which is a “funny coincidence,” according to Cai. The birthday of Wissem falls on December 20, and their firstborn child, Bibo, will turn 3 on December 21. Cai is excited for the baby-on-the-way to join the family’s “isahang birthday” celebration.

    The 31-year-old actress, who’s in the cast of the comedy movie, Jowable, told SmartParenting.com.ph she is naming the baby Carmen after her mother and grandmother.

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    Pregnant again after two years

    Being pregnant again after two years is “not very different” from her first time “in terms of pregnancy symptoms,” but there had been a few differences. She noted that “at the start, I had drastic hair loss,” adding that “until now at 6 months, I still feel nauseous. Haha! Whoever invented the term morning sickness is a liar.”

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    As for the learnings from her first pregnancy that she’s now applying to her second, Cai, whose first pregnancy was a CS delivery, told us, “I learned not to be too paranoid when it comes to the baby’s growth or if I am doing everything right for the baby. I just have to trust that I am doing my best to eat healthy and stay active and stay away from much stress as possible. Because the more I stress and doubt myself, the more the baby will be affected so I just try to stay positive and happy.”

    Cai shared she decided to wean Bibo from breastfeeding upon learning she was pregnant for the second time as she “heard na nakaka-induce ng contraction kapag nagbe-breastfeed.” But she found it hard to explain to her son that she could no longer feed him her milk. She had to tell him, “No more na. It’s broken na.”

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    When her son remembered he couldn’t have breast milk anymore, he would say, “Broken dede?” Cai admitted, “Naaawa naman ako kasi hanggang 2 years old, nagbe-breastfeed siya, e.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Cai Cortez
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    Sharing a pregnancy with a toddler 

    At Jowable’s story conference back in June, Cai shared how her son behaved in the early part of her pregnancy. “Na-feel ko na mas clingy siya sa akin,” she said. “Nate-threaten ang position niya sa buhay ko. Hindi talaga ako puwedeng mawala sa harapan niya. Nagwawala siya.”

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    The mom reckoned the boy would eventually understand the situation. “Pag nakikita na niyang gumagalaw,” she said, referring to the baby in her tummy, “at saka na lang niya makukuha ang concept na, ‘You have to take care of your baby sister. You’re gonna be such a good kuya. Parang mas bibigyan mo siya ng important role. Parang instead of saying, ‘Hindi na ikaw ’yung baby,’ [you say] ‘You take care of the baby.’”

    Cai, who’s known for her funny and strong roles such as in her indie starrer, Ang Taba Ko Kasi, said Bibo is excited now about Baby Carmen’s arrival. “Every evening before sleeping, he talks to the baby to say goodnight,” she said. “Hugs my belly and rubs it. And whenever we ask, he always says that he wants to meet his little sister, saying that he loves her already and promises to take care of her when she comes out. He also loves looking at my pregnancy apps to see the progress of the baby’s growth.”

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    Cai says her son and her father, veteran actor Rez Cortez, have an enduring bond already. “Tenga pa lang, Rez Cortez na [ang anak ko]. Ang first na tinawag niya, hindi Mama, hindi Papa. Tatay — ’yung tatay ko. Super spoiled. Lahat ng bawal sa amin [ng husband ko], puwede sa lolo at lola, of course.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Cai Cortez
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    Give-and-take in a marriage 

    “Three years ago, I was just a party girl,” she said, laughing. “Nakakaloka, woman empowerment. Wala akong pakialam sa mga sasabihin ng ibang tao, basta ako, I’m proud of my sexuality and my, you know, being a woman…Super bilis! One minute, may mga rebelasyon na ganito. Next minute, kinasal na. Ilang kembot lang, may anak na. I’m enjoying very much. And sinasakyan ko lang ang agos ng buhay.”

    Since then, she’s learned new things. “Natuto akong magluto,” she exclaimed. “Buong buhay ko, hindi ako nagluluto, as in. Pag gising ko sa umaga, ’yun na, may nakahain na. Natuto ako sa asawa ko. Matagal na siya dito. Four years siya dito na mag-isa, so marunong siyang magluto. Siya ang nagturo sa akin. ’Tapos sabi ko, ‘Wow, ibang klase ’tong lalaking ’to. Paglulutuan niya ’ko.’”

    “Pero no’ng kinasal kami, wala na,” she added, laughing. “Totoo pala ’yun. Bago ikasal, grabe sila um-effort. After ng marriage, wala na, babae na lahat.”

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    Cai married Wissem whom she met through a dating app, in a civil ceremony on July 16, 2016. A month later, she announced being in the family way and gave birth to Bibo later that year.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Cai Cortez
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    Cai's husband, Wissem, is a Tunisian businessman who has been been based in the Philippines for the last four years.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Cai Cortez
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    Kidding aside, Cai is thankful for having a supportive husband who currently works as an associate for a Canadian company headquartered at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

    “He never fails to always make sure that baby and mommy are doing okay,” she said. “He attends all my checkups as much as he can and he really involves himself in giving me everything I need, like my food cravings, and if I have all the meds I need.

    “Also, I have gestational diabetes, so he always makes sure that I am okay and that my blood sugar doesn’t drastically drop. And since Bibo is very malambing to me, he was quite excited to learn that we would be having a girl, since usually, girls are more malambing to their daddies.”

    What to read next: 'My Dilemma: I Have to Take Care of My Firstborn, But I Also Have to Take of Myself'

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