Aside from messages of support and encouragement, netizens are grateful for how Rica shared her experience in a 'positive, uplifting, and gracious way.'
Dealing with pain, grief, and loss
Rica said, it has been a tough year for her because she also lost her eldest sister in April. She also talked about a different kind of grief when former Vice President Leni Robredo whom she supported didn't win the elections.
She found out that she was pregnant just before Father's Day. At first, she didn't believe it because she's already 41 and a missed period might just be a pre-menopausal symptom.
"About after a week yata, I did another pregnancy test. Ayun na, nag-positive na siya. I was in disbelief," she said.
She explained, that she and her husband Joseph Bonifacio were not trying to get pregnant this time. They were already contemplating about vasectomy and different birth control options. She said she wanted to have multiple children, but they are already satisfied with having two sons - Philip and Manu.
"We are very happy already na parang "Lord, thank you, na nakadalawa pa kami." So medyo surprise talaga yon."
She said she has been keeping the news to only a few people. She's not yet ready to announce because she had two miscarriages in the past which happened between the birth of their two sons.
"And what I felt was like shocked because...this could happen TWICE?! One suffering, and one loss not enough?
"I was so happy with our firstborn that all I could think about was to have another baby. And then when I felt like it was good to try again, we did and upon the second try, were able to concieve naman after a few months. And this was my first experience of miscarriage."
She explained that what happened to her was called a "missed abortion."
"I went to my OB and she was trying to find the heartbeat of the baby and the doctor didn't pick it up. Ang sabi niya lang sakin was, "Oh sometimes it happens. Either it's so faint and the baby was so small you can't get the heartbeat yet."
Rica revealed that she got depressed for a year because of her first miscarriage, and it took a while for them to try conceiving again.
"So when I got over to that first stage. I tried for another baby, and the same thing happened, although very different yung process."
It took them a couple of weeks to determine if the baby was going to live.
"And I do remember that 2 weeks felt like an eternity. Tsaka hindi mo alam kung itutuloy mo bang umasa o hindi kasi nga nakabitin ka. Ayaw mo naman sabihin na hindi wala na to kasi what if nabuhay, and then di mo rin naman pwedeng sabihin fully embrace na buhay na buhay ito kasi you kinda like guarding yourself na rin for the worst possible outcome."
After another ultrasound, they found that it was a non-viable pregnancy. The baby did not develop, no heartbeat."
Rica shared, "And what I felt was like shocked because... this could happen TWICE?! One suffering, and one loss not enough?
She added, "It's such an unfair process. We're delivering, you're still laboring for something or you drink something and you labor for it. Which is what I did. Yung una at yung pangalawa ko talagang umiire ako for it, and when it came out, you feel the same symptoms when you deliver a baby. Yung difference lang talaga nila is, wala ka naman hawak na bata."
'A rapid fire trauma'
Rica said, her two miscarriages affected her mentally, emotionally even spiritually.
"Sabi nga ng aking counselor, "Wow, you've been through a lot. That's rapid fire trauma." It would happen in such a short period of time, pero sunod-sunod na wala raw akong panahon to actually get up and heal and recover before something happens to me again."
She was advised to have herself checked for APAS, and with the help of different doctors, she was able to prepare her body to have another baby.
"It took me a while. Talagang nag-pray ako kasi sabi ko napaka traumatic ne'to. Ayoko na dumaan sa process na nalaman kong pregnant ako tapos pag punta ko sa hospital, wala naman pala."
When they were ready, they tried again and she was able to deliver her rainbow baby, Manu.
She also thought that Manu wouldn't make it because she had a bleeding. Sabi ko "I'm going to lose this baby." And I was like 90% sure that the baby was never gonna have a heartbeat."
They did everything to protect Manu in her womb, "Tuwing nakikita kong nanunuod si Manu. I would do all of that all over again for that baby."
"When I found I was pregnant. I told my OB, I did rest. I wasn't announcing it yet, not even to my husband because I was trying to delayed it for Father's day."
She said, Joseph was also guarded when he learned about it because they already know that there is a possibility of losing the baby again.
"I can instead be in an act of trust, "Lord, you know what's happening, and I'm going to wait on You."
She recounted feeling other pregnancy symptoms. But during their last ultrasound, they found that the baby didn't develop again. She started to bleed, and that's when she knew that the pregnancy has ended.
Unlike her two miscarriages, Rica said, "I'm calmer and more peaceful about it. God has prepared my heart better this time, more of like, "Lord, tulungan mo nalang ako ma-manage yung pain."
Finding strength in community
"I know that there is grief in our pain but when we hear others share their story, di ba parang kahit papano natutulungan ka na, "ay hindi naman pala ako mag isa," she said.
She shared what helped her cope, with the hope of inspiring those who are suffering too.
"So many of us focus only on what He has taken away, but not what he Has given. When your focus shifts from what He has taken away, you'll see na di ka naman pala puno ng losses sa buhay mo."
She added, "Ang daming nawala sa akin, pero ang dami ko ding nakuha. Pain and peace can co-exist. He does wants us to feel pain where we should feel pain."
"Life is not just all about pain, kaya kasi nila both mangyari sayo, that has given me a whole lot of my sanity back."
She also shared the two books that helped her understand her pain: The Reason for God by Timothy Keller, and A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis.
She concludes, "When pain happens, I pray that something very beautiful happens. Some of the greatest, most beautiful, and most wonderful revelations of God have come to me when I was in deep pain."
READ MORE ABOUT RICA PERALEJO:
- I Was On A ‘Love High’: Rica Shares The Pains And Joys Of Her Home Birth Journey
- Why Rica Peralejo Decided To Homeschool Her Kids Even If She Was Scared
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