Tell me a little bit about where you are from, where you currently live, and why…
Briefly tell me about your child .What’s his/her name name? Where was he/she born? What is he/she like?
My daughter, Ariana, is all sugar and spice. She’s adorably sweet, confident and unafraid to speak her truth, highly curious and loves all things pink.
What was the monitoring process of pregnancy and labor like in the place where your child was born?
Being pregnant in the U.S. where healthcare is top quality, I had the best possible pregnancy care.
For a first baby, it was a very easy pregnancy. Other than the expected constant
hunger pangs, I was a few of the lucky ones who didn’t go through morning sickness at all. Because I am a petite Filipina and my husband is American, the only worry my doctor had was that the baby would be too big for me to deliver naturally. Although I was scared of the idea of going through labor since I have very low tolerance for pain, thankfully the pain was mostly manageable as I opted to have an epidural. For a first delivery, the labor went fast and easy. I honestly think my husband was more traumatized than I was by the entire experience as he was with me every step of the labor process! LOL!
What was the most challenging thing about being pregnant abroad? And what was the best thing about it?
The most challenging part of being pregnant abroad was being away from family. When you are going through the different phases of the pregnancy, changes in your hormones and emotions of not knowing what to expect, it’s always better to have a support system nearby.
Thinking of labor and delivery, what was the worst and best thing about having to do this far from your own country?
Although healthcare in the Philippines has since improved, I have heard horror stories back then of the lack of qualified maternal care doctors, facilities and access to medicines and pain management options.
How about motherhood and parenting. What challenges have you faced due to the fact that you are away from your home, family and friends?
The most difficult part of being a new parent and being away from family is not having access to a babysitter you can trust.
It was difficult to drop off Ariana in the arms of a total stranger in a day care center when you know you can have a grandparent or family member back home to do this, had they been nearby.
In terms of parenting, I would have to say my mom has prepared me well of this role through her example as a mother. While I would prefer Ariana to bond well with family back home in the same way as I did when I was little, technology has thankfully helped us bridge this gap as we are able to call via Skype and video chat with my brother and family back home.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give others who are going to have a baby or will be raising young children, away from their country?
My best piece of advice is to celebrate your culture and traditions back home so your child may understand and embrace his or her unique identity as a child of multi-cultural and mixed-race parents.
Raising a child in another country is a wonderful way to expand his or her perspective on different cultures as well as teach diversity, but it’s very important to remind them to celebrate their unique identity so they don’t lose sight of their roots.
Check out Mae’s blog, The Gospel of Beauty, a place where she shares about beauty, wellness, style, home decor, but most importantly, where she writes as a way to teach her daughter, Ariana, about the important things in life.