FATHER, MOTHER & SON, for just seven days (2nd of 7 parts…)
DAY 2 (Wednesday)
My emotional rollercoaster was still at the highest point of the switchback. Life taught me though that it will not remain in that level. I wanted to cheat… I wanted to put a stopper… I wanted my rollercoaster to end its journey there… I didn’t like my ecstasy to end… The ecstasy brought forth by an angel named Marc Andrei… If ever I’ll be drowned I’d like it to happen in the sea of overwhelming joy, not in the quicksand of despair.
As I head out of the subdivision, I passed by both well-wishers and hecklers. The well-wishers expressed their happiness that we finally have a baby at home. I didn’t mind the gibes and taunts of the hecklers. They were unsuccessful in demolishing my resolve of embracing Marc Andrei as my own. They did not even succeed in uprooting the joy that the baby planted in my heart.
The whole day of Wednesday that my emotional rollercoaster traveled in a plane of happiness on top of the switchback. It was a joyful ride indeed making me forget momentarily to anticipate that anytime there may be an unexpected twist or bend or I may reach the end of the plane and plummet down.
I thought of a lot of things for Marc Andrei. He instantly became my other source of inspiration, apart from that young lady at the other end of my other experience. Like an excited first-time father, I informed my colleagues and friends at work about my baby.
Some of them warned me to proceed cautiously in assuming parenthood of Marc Andrei.
In the evening, accompanied by Sister Babe and Sister Claire (a first-degree cousin of my wife), I went to the lying-in clinic where Marc Andrei was said to be born. It was something that I wanted to do the other day before deciding whether or not we will take Marc Andrei. But my wife hastily made a decision that at the end, as a husband, I should respect and support.
I intently listened to the midwife. From her accounts I learned that the mother of Marc Andrei is a 19-year old student from Manila whose pregnancy was kept from her parents. She did not intend to keep the baby for it would complicate matters for her and her family. She wanted badly to finish her studies and having a baby will be a hindrance. Thus, she wanted the baby to be given to a childless couple.
Initially I thought of that young lady…the biological mother of my son March Andrei… as heartless…giving away her own son to avoid complications. I thought that if she wanted no complications why did she get herself impregnated. Ahh…at least she has a conscience…she did not try to have an abortion. But did she really not thought of it? I hoped not. I hoped that she did not do anything while she was pregnant that might have an effect on Marc Andrei in the long run.
I believed the midwife (or shall I say I didn’t care whether it was a truth or a lie she recanted for I was so blinded by my yearning for a baby). Besides, the midwife is a distant relative of my wife and a close friend of Sister Claire, who, herself is a midwife.
When I asked that a document be prepared and signed by the mother expressing her willingness to give the child to whoever, the midwife said it was unnecessary telling us that we can rest assured that there will be no legal impediments that we would be facing much as the mother decided was not keen on keeping her son. The midwife also added that I need the pay P6,500 for her services and requested that an amount be given to the mother.
I promised to pay her as soon as possible.
I was exhausted upon reaching home that evening but seeing Andrei gave me a different kind of high. I planted a kiss on his reddish cheek and my exhaustion was gone. I was still in “cloud nine.”
Then I thought of the financial obligations that parenting would require. I just closed my eyes at that instance and murmured to myself – “God will provide!”
A couple of hours before midnight, I prepared everything needed by Marc Andrei – the bottles, the milk, the diapers, the cotton. That was something new in my routine and I did it so well.
On the bed, I sat beside my wife, and recounted what transpired in the lying-in clinic. She just listened. I noticed that the enthusiasm she had the previous night was gone. Probably, it was due to exhaustion.
Then she said something that almost made my world cave in. She wanted us to return Marc Andrei to Sister Babe. She realized taking care of a baby was difficult. Then suddenly my emotional roller coaster hit a twirl and a bend then started to plummet down. Happiness turned into gloom.
I gave my wife a barrage of harsh words, perhaps the most painful words I have told her in 14 years. I told her to imagine how shameful it would be should we would turn our back on Marc Andrei, after all that transpired. That was exactly the reason why I was telling her that we needed to be careful in making the decision, but she did not listen. And when she experienced how difficult it was to take care of a newly-born infant, she gave up.
I asked her many times if she would not reconsider her decision. She responded negatively.
It was a mixture of emotions I felt. SADNESS! I was faced with the specter of losing an angel. How cruel could fate be, I was already emotionally attached to Marc Andrei at that point. INFURIATED! The fickle-mindedness of the lady of my house is unbelievable. Marc Andrei is not a toy that could be dumped just that. I could not imagine the heckling we will receive from the people in the neighborhood. How will Marc Andrei feel if in the future he’ll get to know about this unfortunate event in his life? What will a grown-up Marc Andrei and the well-meaning people around us think about her… about me?