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  • Preggy Chronicles: 20 Questions with Isabel Oli

    The first-time mom-to-be had the unique kind of morning sickness, but it didn’t stop her from enjoying every bit of her pregnancy.
Preggy Chronicles: 20 Questions with Isabel Oli
  • At 31 weeks (at the time of the interview), actress Isabel Oli Prats is a blooming mom-to-be. You wouldn’t guess that she’s pregnant if not for her growing baby bump. No one could tell that she’s not exactly had it easy.

    Nonetheless, the arrival of her and actor John Prats’s daughter, whom they chose to name Lily Feather, is most awaited. When the two got married in May of last year, they immediately wanted to get pregnant. “Gusto nga namin honeymoon baby, 'yung agad-agad na sana mabuntis,” she said. She even went to her OB to ask why it hasn’t happened yet after a month. Her OB said, it could take a year, what with the stress that being in showbiz could bring. That was when Isabel and John decided to just relax and enjoy their time together. If it will happen, then it will happen.

    And it did! Isabel recounts the day she had an inkling that she might already be expecting: “I got delayed for three days. And never in my life was my period delayed."Before that, 'todo yung gym ko, hiking, swimming, and then taping. I even go home to Nayomi Resort in Batangas after taping,” she shares, adding that she had no idea she was already pregnant.

    We visited Isabel at her home to see how she’s coping with her first pregnancy:

    How does it feel to be pregnant for the first time?
    “Actually, mixed. Before, yung thinking ko about being pregnant, lalaki lang yung tiyan mo, that's it. Akala ko madali lang.

    “On my second and third month, I had to be on bed rest. Kasi, yun nga, I didn't really know any better. Lagi akong puyat, so may nabuong blood, kailangan akong i-bed-rest. It was really a struggle, and then, sumabay pa yung paglilihi. I didn’t have morning sickness, but they say that the weird sense of smell and yung walang ganang kumain, paglilihi na pala yun. Before, I really didn't believe in that, I thought arte lang.

    “Overall, though, it feels great. Sometimes, it's kind of difficult because every move you make, you always think of the baby. But at the end of the day, worth it na bed rest ako, worth it na I can't do this or that para lang kay baby.”

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    What are you most looking forward to right now?
    “To see my baby, Lily Feather. Her sonogram is my phone wall paper and I look at her every day. I think about what kind of mom I'd be. Every night kinakausap namin siya ni John.”

    Now that you're pregnant, when do you feel the prettiest?
    “You know those days na you feel “Ang ganda ko today!”? Never ko pa siyang naramdaman since I got pregnant. Kaya we thought we were having a boy. Haha.”

    On days you're feeling unpretty, what do you do?
    Dedma na lang talaga ako para kay baby. Sabi nila pag girl daw, kinukuha daw ng baby yung beauty ng mommy, so go lang, sana na kay baby na lahat. Also, John is really a positive person. Sometimes he makes bola. Haha.” 

    How do you stay fit while you’re pregnant?
    I used to do Pilates, but then I had to be on bed rest. Recently, I asked if I could go back to Pilates or yoga, or just some light exercises, bawal talaga kasi mabigat si baby.”

    What would you consider the biggest challenge of your pregnancy?
    I'm sure the most challenging part will be giving birth. Haha. But right now, it's really the paglilihi because until now, I still have an aversion to food. I want ice cream, but when I taste it, I can't really finish it. I can only eat bread and egg and banana and oatmeal hanggang ngayon. Apple, pomelo, those are all the food I can eat.”

    What are the snacks you always take with you?
    “Fruits, crackers, and White Rabbit candy. Best friend ko yun. Haha. And water! I always have my water bottle with me.”

    Foods and smells that make you queasy?
    “Anything fried or oily. Before, I loved lechon. I grew up in Cebu so lechon is really parang normal sa amin. Now, pag nakita ko, sobrang hindi ko kaya. I loved dinuguan before, ngayon diring-diri ako sa dinuguan.

    “I also collect perfumes and I bought a lot of one kind when I didn't know yet that I was pregnant. So when the paglilihi started and up until now, I don't like the smell. There was a time when I didn't like how John smelled. So the soap and shampoo that I use, he also uses so we smell the same. Haha.”

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    A pregnancy tip you swear by:
    “A lot of people tell you to just enjoy the pregnancy. And I'm like "How?" Haha. They’d tell me to divert my attention, to bond with the baby more. So instead of focusing on the bad parts, I just focus on the baby. I read books, or we play music for the baby.”

    Best pregnancy advice you’ve gotten: 
    Hindi naman lahat nabubuntis, and for some, it's very difficult to get pregnant. And it happened to us kind of fast lang, after just two to three months. During the times when I cry and as in hindi ko na talaga kaya, John would tell me that I should just pray. To thank God that you have a blessing not everyone could have. Thank you God, that I feel like this, because I have a baby inside me.”

    What you like best about being pregnant:
    “The special treatment from my husband. He is so patient and so sweet to begin with. But now, he's super extra patient and super extra sweet talaga. As in alalay and kung anong gusto ko, let’s say, food or attention--kunwari, "Ayoko na naglalaro ka ng X-box, patayin mo yan." He turns it off right away. Sarap!

    What you like least about being pregnant:
    “The paglilihi talaga. Sabi ko kay John habang medyo young pa kami, go lang nang go, kasi baka pag 38 na ako, baka hindi ko na kaya. I was ready for stretch marks, the dark line and underarms, given na yun e. It was the paglilihi that I wasn't expecting at all.”

    How do you feel about your pregnant body?
    “Actually, I love it. For years lagi akong naka-mini or shorts, so it's a nice to be in leggings and flowy dresses for a change. I think almost all pregnant women take a picture of their tummy, and I love it kahit medyo mabigat.”

    Is there something you’ll miss about being pregnant when you give birth?
    “The whole experience, the preggy body, especially my baby bump.”

    What I will miss most about my non-pregnant body:
    “Being able to move more easily. Ngayon kasi super mabagal talaga. Mabilis talaga kasi ako gumalaw, I'm very active. That's what I miss.”

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    What's your birth plan?
    “I want to have a natural birth, but John doesn't like it. Gusto niya normal lang. My mom and my sister gave birth the natural way, as in no pain medication. My sister said, I have to experience labor; that I have to feel it. But my mom tells me, it's okay to have a normal delivery. I really want to try natural. John doesn't like it kasi ayaw niya ako mahirapan. Baka ma-trauma daw ako. Haha. My OB wants it normal. Last resort na talaga ang CS.”|

    Is there something about labor that scares you right now?
    Ngayon, I'm not really scared or nervous kasi maybe I haven’t tried it so my thinking is "Kaya ko yan." Hopefully, kaya ko nga.”

    What kind of mom would you like to be?
    “I want to be the coolest mom ever. I want to be her best friend, but my husband says it's impossible kasi sa dogs pa lang namin, I'm strict. So I'll try not to be super strict. I’m looking forward to breastfeeding. I'm ready for the sleepless nights. I’m already practicing, I guess because the baby is awake at nighttime.”

    How has this whole experience changed you?
    “I learned a lot from this experience, especially because it’s my first time. The adjustment part was kind of difficult but I thank God that John was there for me. Every time I don't know what to do or I'm just tired already, Every time I feel that way, John was really there for me. He really helped me.

    “Our lives, even though she hasn't arrived yet, really changed. Our prayers changed also. Dati kami lang, ngayon pati future ni Lily Feather. John is even more responsible now. Me, ingat na ingat ako sa katawan ko, and mas protective ako ngayon. We both always think of the baby.”

    Your message to Lily Feather:
    "I can't wait to see you! And to hold you, be with you, spend time with you, and take care of you."

    Interview by Rachel Perez. Photos by Pia Puno. Styling by Jacque de Borja. Makeup by Rick Calderon. Hair by Angelu Dominguez.
    Check out more photos--and her pregnancy essentials--in our gallery!

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