There are so many sabi-sabi‘s when it comes to pregnancy. As someone who doesn’t really believe in such, my husband and I would often shrug off practically anything that oldies and non-science people say. I’ve been trying to debunk scary myths even when I was about to get married; for example, I was warned not to try on my wedding gown prior to my getting married but then I did, several times pa! And our wedding pushed through. I also did not offer eggs to Sta. Clara despite the pleas of my wedding coordinator. So my point is that I am very anti-pamahiin. But to my amazement, some pamahiins did make sense to me…they may be mere coincidences but I admit I think there is a grain of truth to these sabi-sabi’s. I’m going to list down the pamahiins I heard when I was pregnant, and which ones I may now believe in and which ones are purely bull.
1. If you’re carrying a boy, you’re ugly; if you’re carrying a girl, you’re blooming. Hmm, I was carrying a boy and here is a picture of me when I was preggers. You be the judge. Some people (including my mom!) hinted I looked
uglier than usual less lovely than usual, but more people were predicting I was carrying a girl becase I looked really lovely. I honestly don’t think my nose swell, but my pits and navel line did darken. And for a time, I had a few zits. The darkening of the pits and navel line and the zits are results of hormonal changes which really happen when a woman is pregnant regardless of the baby’s gender.
2. If your pregnancy is “illegal”, you won’t get hyperemesis gravidarium and your belly won’t show. Lemme clarify “illegal” first…by that, I mean that the pregnancy is unplanned or unwanted thus unpublicized. Actually, it was my mom who suggested this to me, based on her observation. And y’know what? I think there’s some grain of truth here. Practically everyone I know who was hiding her pregnancy (sorry, can’t name names) had a pretty smooth-sailing first trimester. OK, I’ll mention some: our two housemaids whose pregnancies were out of wedlock and thus were “hidden” at first may have had their queasy moments but never had hyperemesis gravidarium aka extreme morning sickness. The same for two people close to me, and even for a kin of Randy. I even know two people who were able to hide their pregnancies until after they’ve given birth! Perhaps it’s because the queasy feeling is overruled by the fear of exposure. But what I can’t explain is the relatively small tummies…as some say, “Lumalaki na lang ‘pag inamin na.”
3. Don’t go to a wake when you’re pregnant because the dead will claim the baby. So not true. Prior to my hearing this, I went to the wake of the dad of one of the teachers of our review center. And this was when I was only around 6 weeks pregnant, which is a critical period.
4. Stretchmarks are caused by scratching. I heard this so many times, and I always tell people that these battle scars are brought about by the skin’s inelasticity and NOT by scratching…why, do we call it SCRATCHMARKS? Boy, I couldn’t be more wrong! I really refused to believe that scratching will cause stretchmarks (“Bakit lagi akong nagpapakamot sa likod ko eh wala namang stretchmarks ah?”), but my husband insisted that there might be a link: he said that upon pregnancy, skin is stretched and that this skin becomes vulnerable that scratching it might do more harm. I was a tad convinced so tinitiis ko ang kati, and when I felt like giving in to scratching, my husband would berate me. Sometimes when I’m alone, I’d scratch scratch scratch like there’s no tomorrow. And then I met a derma (I didn’t especially see her; I was with someone consulting her) w hose opinion I asked. She affirmed what my husband was telling me: scratching will make it worse. She also advised me to really lather heavy lotion to moisturize my stretching tummy and thus avoid complications (which my husband has always bugged me to do). But she told me that my tummy looked nice, because others who are also in their 8-9th month have tummies that are full of red lines. Thanks Randy. If it weren’t for you and for the fact that I know you’re smart, my stomach would be filled with so many battle scars.
5. “I knew I was carrying a baby girl because I loved the color pink so much when I was pregnant” – Alona, our housekeeper. When she said this, I thought to myself, “Hay naku, ma-connect lang ang gender ng baby niya sa pagkahilig sa pink.” Because really, it doesn’t make any sense! She’s a female so naturally, she’d gravitate towards the color pink. But lo and behold!!! This ridiculous belief of hers haunted me…when I was around 4-5 months pregnant and I still didn’t know my baby’s gender, I went shopping for maternity clothes. Of course, being the kuripotme, I bought clothes that I could still wear even after giving birth. When I was buying, I noticed
something…I was picking out blue clothes ALL THE TIME! I didn’t know why I was gravitating to that color because I have NEVER EVER had an inclination towards that color. I can’t explain it myself. At that time I felt a tad panicky because we wanted a girl…I thought to myself, “Naku baka lalaki itong baby ko ah.” Then I berated myself for ever thinking that. I told myself I just felt like buying blue clothes, period. And it didn’t end there: when I went to my manicurist, she was surprised that the nail polish I chose was blue. Again, I thought I was just being weird. But a few weeks or days later, the ultrasound revealed that I’m with a baby boy. I know know, it may be just purely coincidental but then I myself can’t explain why I suddenly liked the color blue. Perhaps it may have something to do with the hormones of my baby boy? Nah, I don’t think so because after I learned that “it” was a “he”, my partiality for blue wore off.
6. Almost every actress on TV looked soooo beautiful, and I can’t stop looking t them…good thing if I’m having a girl, right? But as I have mentioned earlier, I was with a baby boy. Prior to my knowledge I was with a boy, I told myself that my baby will be beautiful because I can’t help staring at the heroines in the drama series I was watching which include the afternoon soaps (I was bedridden, remember? I was trying to amuse myself) of Carla Abellana (her character was Orang and she was raised by Aetas), and of Maja Salvador (I think it was Precious Hearts…it was the soap wherein she was Melai Cantiveros and got a surgery and so she became Maja). And at night, I’d watch Magkaribal and get amazed at how beauuuuutiful Gretchen is. I even started seeing the beauty of Bea Alonzo, Erich Gonzales and Angel Aquino (because I originally didn’t think they were beautiful, just good-looking). I remember telling my husband that practically everyone I see on TV is ravishing, except for Angelica Panganiban on Rubi, hehe. I thought I was doing a good job because I was staring at beautiful creatures, because the pamahiin is that a pregnant woman should look at someone whom she wants her baby to look like. But when I learned I was with a boy, I told myself that my boy is making me look at his earliest crushes…Baby Boy was showing me his crushes: Carla, Maja, Erich, Angel, and Bea. He was convincing me that he has good taste (What the fart, I created my own pamahiin!).
Other pamahiins I wasn’t able to “dare”/”challenge” include:
– not buying clothes until after the 6th month, otherwise the baby might die
– walking over my husband so that the pregnancy sickness symptoms will be transferred to him
and many others! Some advise to just follow the superstitions as it is better safe than sorry, wala namang mawawala. Well, I don’t know whether or not I agree with that. Hehe. Nevertheless, use logic everytime. Don’t be scared all the time because that might do more harm than good, and it will make pregnancy even more tedious and no fun. Remember to see your OB regularly (by the way, I saw 3 OB’s…remember they’re also human and are prone to errors. I have a friend whose OB failed to see that she had placenta previa so she was bleeding heavily when she gave birth) and pray, pray, pray.