As Expo Mom celebrates its tenth year, the longest running event of its kind pays tribute to #TeamMoms that have served as a lifeline for mothers all over the Philippines. These first-time moms met through one of Rome Kanapi’s childbirth classes, and eventually made the journey from pregnancy to motherhood together.
Every pregnancy is different, but nothing is as mystifying perhaps as the first. When a woman gets pregnant for the very first time, she experiences so many milestones during those heady nine months that it could leave her slightly confused, if not downright overwhelmed. It is a blessing then that childbirth preparatory classes like those of Rome Kanapi’s help decode the whole process, giving the infanticipating mom a boost of confidence. Rome, of course, is not only one of the country’s pioneering childbirth educators, she’s also part of Mommy Mundo’s Board of Experts.
It is in one such class that first-time moms Kaia Mesina, Ann Santos, and Elain Subido met. Kaia and Elain are actually relatives but they hardly saw each other until they enrolled in Rome’s class.
On the first day of their class, Kaia recalls that their class, consisting of 12 mommas, formed a Viber group immediately. “But no one was talking during the class. We started talking after we gave birth. The circumstance, being first-time moms, brought us together,” she says.
Elain, the third one among them to give birth, gave the group a blow-by-blow account of her childbirth journey. Elain started experiencing contractions on her 37th week but did not give birth until her 40th week.
She says, “I was giving them real-time updates with pictures and a detailed explanation of what was happening. I only got an epidural in the last three hours because I wouldn’t be able to push anymore. I was so tired.”
Despite her arduous journey, Elain was still able to have a normal delivery. Her strength and perseverance proved to be a big inspiration for Ann.
In 2012, Ann had brain surgery. So when she got pregnant, her family was, not surprisingly, nervous about her condition. Her loved ones were afraid that she might not be able to withstand the rigors of a normal delivery.
She says, “I was the last mom to give birth. I was so nervous because I wanted to have a normal delivery. Since attending the childbirth classes, I gained more confidence. But my spirit grew even stronger after what Elain accomplished. I am so thankful because she became my inspiration. I don’t usually talk much in our Viber group but she inspired me.”