Moms and Dads

Exclusive: A Mom To Be’s Story with Katarina Rodriguez

With her baby on the way, Katarina Rodriguez shares her experiences on her story of her pregnancy with her first baby.

When we find out that we’re pregnant, it’s often a moment filled with overwhelming excitement and sometimes panic. Former beauty queen Katarina Rodriguez went through that too during the first trimester of her pregnancy. “At the first part, I was trying to eat really healthy to make sure things were okay,” laughs Katarina. “But now, I kind of just balanced everything out.”

A baby is always exciting news

Finding out that we’re pregnant is always exciting and surprising news. Our bodies may feel a little different than usual especially when it comes to our period. “I never miss,” says Katarina. “I found out on Christmas Day because I knew I was due on December 24. It was December 25 and then my boobs became sore, but not in the usual way. Like, they hurt in a way like never before.”

With all the hormones prepping us up for pregnancy, the first thing we notice is our boobs getting sore. But what some forgot to tell us is that another symptom of pregnancy is loss of taste! But during the pandemic, do we really want to find that symptom first? Unfortunately for Katarina, that was one of the first few symptoms she got hit with.

“When I lost my sense of taste, I was like, “Oh my God, do I have COVID?” she recalls. “Then, I felt really tired. It was a bit of a scare at first because people — some from Manila —were coming into Bayud Botique Resort. But after I googled it and found out that my not being able to taste anything was also an effect, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m pregnant.'”

Of course, when we find out we’re pregnant, who’s the first person we tell? The baby’s daddy, of course! And finding out you’re going to be a dad is pretty big news too! Unfortunately, Bayud’s accomodating all sorts of Christmas to New Year reservations made it hard for Niño to sit down and process the news. But the moment Katarina told him about the baby, it took a bit of time to sink in, even after using six to seven different pregnancy tests just to make sure.

“He was just like, ‘No. Really?'” Katarina laughs. “He was like, “For my whole 37 years of life, I have never gotten anyone pregnant! Then, I was like, ‘I hope not! I hope I’m the first.'”

When Katarina and Niño finally wrapped their head around it, they began telling their families. Niño’s family was ecstatic, saying it would have been a waste if someone like him who was good with kids didn’t have a kid of his own. But for Katarina, she said that her grandparents had the best reactions.

“The ones who had the best responses were my lola and lolo,” beams Katarina. “When I told my lola, she was pretty calm about it. When I asked her why she wasn’t reacting so much, she said, “What? It’s you and him [Niño] on an island alone! You think I don’t know what happens there? My lolo needed time to process things. He saw me also as his daughter and needed time to accept that I had grown up. It took a few days but then he reached out to me after.”

Preparing for a baby

Once the news fully settles in, we moms go into what we call the nesting phase. That’s usually the phase where we buy everything from cribs, onesies, baby-proofing equipment, bottles, nursing clothes, breast pumps, and among other things!

“It was pretty overwhelming,” chuckles Niño. “We had deliveries coming in from all these stores!”

With the nesting phase being so real, Katarina Rodriguez even admitted that she did get a bit crazy with the baby stuff. “I kind of went crazy because initially, I kept thinking that the baby was going to be in Siargao for its formative years. And I was thinking, ‘yea, I’d like my baby to be a minimalist.’ But the moment I started online shopping and saw the baby registry, I went crazy! Like, it started out with one website, and then another. Then, from two websites it became four others! When I started using Shoppee and Lazada, I was like they have really cute baby stuff.”

Although Katarina Rodriguez wants to keep things minimalist for her baby, the one thing we all know is that we should never go minimalist on the support from other moms. “One of my friends who’s a mom and stays here in Siargao helped me so much. Like, she gave me her baby registry list. Actually, a lot of moms have been helping me from Siargao and have been giving me so much advice,” says Katarina.

That kind of help is something we moms would always appreciate even if we can be hormonal.

Preference: Boy or Girl?

Before we have a baby, some of us have a particular preference of what sex we want our baby to be. Some of us wanted girls because we’d like a little princess in a dress or so. Others preferred boys since they could carry the family name. But the decisions don’t always have to be that pragmatic or based on wish fulfillment. It can be as simple as not wanting someone to touch your make-up and having an easier time deciding names.

“I was pretty okay with a boy. I know because if I had a girl, I know she’ll be touching my clothes, my things, my makeup. Actually, I really don’t like it when people my things,” laughs Katarina sheepishly. “But I always dreamed that my first child would be a boy.”

As for the reveal, Katarina teased that they would have a gender reveal for their baby soon.

A Message to all Soon-To-Be Moms out there

Especially because we’re probably 80% hormones and pregnant for the first time, we will panic. We’ll be nit-picky down to even the food we eat. No caffeine, no to certain foods then, there’s also looking at what brands are the best, what things we need to get. But Katarina Rodriguez wants all soon-to-be-moms to know one thing about being pregnant with their first baby: just relax and enjoy it.

“My best advice if it’s your first pregnancy is to enjoy it. So, since this is my first, I’m so lucky to have Niño because he just lets me enjoy it. Like, if I want to stay in bed and watch K-Drama the whole day — he’s going to let me. Or, if I want to walk on the beach for 30 minutes or go swimming, he’ll let me. And by enjoying it, I mean, listen to your body. Like, if you want to eat something, eat it,” says Katarina.

In our state of panic and uncertainty, we’re quick to rely on Dr. Google for the answers. And while Google does have a lot of answers, they don’t always apply. And as soon-to-be moms, we also develop the instinct on how to care for ourselves and our babies. But that doesn’t mean we just ditch the baby books. It helps to balance both knowledge and just being there in the moment because, in 9 months’ time, it’ll be chapter 2: raising the baby.

Every Pregnancy Story is different!

The beauty of pregnancy stories is that not all of them are the same. Even Katarina’s pregnancy is different from the typical. Some of us may have had it hard with all the morning sickness with us heaving. Others may have just had a reason to lie in bed for the next X number of months. But take the advice of Katarina Rodriguez especially if it’s your first baby: just relax and listen to your body. You know what’s best for you and your baby.

Photography BREN FUENTES
Hair and Makeup TISH MAHTANI for ULO SALON
Katarina’s wardrobe COTE FEMME

Maternity is one heck of a journey! Check out our other stories for all soon-to-be-moms:

Solenn Heussaff-Bolzico’s C’est La Vie Is Maternity Wear Revolutionized
Fashion Forward Maternity Looks You’ll Want To Wear Even If You Aren’t Pregnant
Why Being Pregnant Is (Mostly) Awesome

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