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Iza Calzado Comes Off Her Insomnia Meds, Talks To Baby In Her Womb 'We'll Sleep Tonight'
PHOTO BY Instagram/missizacalzado
  • Iza Calzado reveals her unexpected pregnancy, which she announced on her recent 40th birthday, was also unplanned but "very highly appreciated."

    The actress says she was actually planning to focus more on her career, as she's celebrating her 20th year in the entertainment industry in 2022.

    "This year, I thought it would be, ‘Okay, pasabog!’" Iza tells Bianca Gonzalez in an interview on Cinema News. "’Tapos nag-Darna pa. Wow, action star at 40!"

    Iza is referring to the latest TV adaption of Mars Ravelo's classic komiks material that gave birth to the Pinay superhero, Darna. She plays the first Darna in ABS-CBN's action-packed version. Her mortal alter ego, Leonor, is a mother of two: Narda (Jane de Leon) and Ding. She then passes the baton to Narda.

    After Iza filmed her part in the TV series, she worked next on a project for the Hong Kong-based video streaming provider Viu. She was also planning on getting more work and maybe even going to New York.

    She recalls telling her husband Ben Wintle, an entrepreneur, "I’m not ready to have a baby yet. I’m gonna do the career full on." They then agreed putting off their baby plans in the meantime.

    So, just imagine Iza, who's "super regular," missed her period, then took a pregnancy test "on a Sunday night," and got a positive result.

    "I was just in shock!" she beams. "Kami ni Ben, we were in shock...We were not trying again. We were just in shock. 'What?!?’ Gano’n, processing. I think a week, we were still processing. ‘Is this really happening?' Gano'n."

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    "But you know," she says in reflection, "God had other plans, and God’s plans are always far greater than what my eyes can see, what my mind and heart can even conceive. Apparently my womb conceived it."

    Dealing with pregnancy

    Iza, who's in her second trimester, remembers experiencing nausea early on, "but no vomiting." She also didn't have crazy food cravings and aversions, though she can't forget the time she got a surprise fresh peach and thought it was the best tasting fruit she's ever had.

    She's "grateful" that she's still able to do her usual stuff, like working out, but scaled down. "It’s humbling. Parang you’re so used to this kind of energy level, and suddenly it’s here."

    Then there's the weight gain, which Iza has been trying to control for years as she used to be obese in her teens and struggled with body issues. While training for her fight scenes in Darna, she says she was at her leanest without "starving" herself or going on any crash diet.

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    "Suddenly this happened," Iza says of her pregnancy. "And you’re putting weight again. Eto na naman tayo sa body love...‘Ah, surrender, acceptance.' Ibang level ’to ng surrender."

    Iza is also doing her research, knowing that at 40, pregnancy complications could arise. "I was also mindful not to push my body too much. Because I’m very well aware that this could be a difficult pregnancy."

    She points out, "Again, babalik ako sa gratitude kasi sobrang grateful ako na in-allow ako ng body ko, ng Panginoon, ng aking baby abundance to the do the things that I’ve been doing.

    "So ako, ‘What can you do and can’t do?’ There’s always…It’s almost a compromise. Nakakipag-usap ako. ‘Okay, will you allow me to do this today? What can I do today?’ ’Yung gano’n. It’s all new to me."

    She adds, "Ina-allow ko rin ang sarili ko na, ‘Kumain ka, girl.’ For years and years of my life, I’m on this diet. There’s some guilt, but at the same time, ‘Teka lang…’ Pero alam mo rin na hindi dapat tumodo.

    "Mga myths, like eating for two. It’s not true. Hindi siya puwedeng maging pass to eat like you’re on vacation forever. Ang dami ding learnings, and it’s just mind blowing."

    Iza says she didn’t grow up with babies around, as she only had an older brother. Their mother Mary Ann Ussher, a Bicolana of Spanish-Irish lineage, passed away in 2001, and their father Lito Calzado, a popular actor and dancer who evolved into a TV director, followed suit in 2011.

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    Overcoming doubts

    Iza confesses to having doubts at first: "Because it was unplanned, there was a knee jerk reaction. ‘Is this what I really want?’ Magka-kwarenta na ’ko, pero dahil hindi ka prepared, mapapa-‘Ah?’ ‘Do I want this?’ May ganoong kuwento or question."

    This is how she dealt with her uncertainties: "I don’t want kahit maliit na maliit pa ‘yun to feel unwanted, so agad-agad sinasabi ko na, ‘I want you, you are loved.’"

    She goes on sharing what she's learned from Dr. Lia Bernardo, which is to look at the mirror and tell yourself: "I am enough, I am enough, I am enough." Not matter what you look like.

    Now that she's carrying a baby, she adds this line: "We are enough, we are enough, we are enough.’

    "Three times also, so baby already feels it," she explains, then grins." I don’t know, it’s an experiment. I haven’t talked to anyone about this."

    What's clear, though, is Iza's aspiration: "I want to be the best possible version of a mother than I can be without being too hard on myself. Siyempre, you can only do so much.

    For starters, she's come off her insomnia medication to ensure her baby's health.

    "I was never proud that I had insomnia, and I was on prescription pills," says Iza, "and I’ve been off it for quite some time. The pregnancy made me, ‘Okay, do the work.’

    "Sabi ng doctor ko, ‘You have to get off your meds. For your first month, you’re forgiven. You didn’t know.’ During that period, hindi pa raw kinukuha ng baby ang nutrients mo.’

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    "But now that the baby has latched on and the baby’s getting whatever’s putting in your body, on that day itself, ‘Hindi ko ite-take ang medicine.’" She has since shifted to melatonin, a natural product found in plants and animals that's then found to aid sleeplessnes.

    She's also started waking up early to get morning sun, and then talk to her baby, telling her, "We’ll sleep tonight."

    A wide grin appears in Iza's glowing face."You’re not thinking of yourself anymore. Wow, who am I?" She goes on laughing.

    "I’ve been pretty self-centered most of my life," she admits, seriously now. "It’s always been ‘Me, me, me, what I want.’ Of course I also take in consideration my loved ones, pero iba pag anak mo.

    "So now I’m really starting to understand, even on a deeper level, wala pa nga s’ya, how parents think, even my parents. They really want the best for you. How can they not? "

    Read also: Iza Calzado Brings Awareness To Postpartum Depression

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