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A Good Year

This photo was taken almost exactly a year ago :)

Has it really been a year?

Last night I finally booked my ticket back to the Philippines and I honestly can’t believe it. After all this time, after everything I have been through while ping-ponging between San Francisco and Vancouver these last few months, I’ve finally set a date for a return flight to the (other) motherland.

To be honest, I probably didn’t have to be away this long. After a couple weeks of necessary bed rest (my doctor in San Francisco, Dr. Zouves, recommended two weeks, but to be safe I made it four) resulting from a small bleed that I had on my 12th week of pregnancy, I was given the go-signal by my IVF doctor in San Francisco and my O.B. in Vancouver to go ahead and book a flight home.

My OOTD. Just kidding. This was taken right before my IVF procedure. I was feeling pretty calm here, all things considered. I was thinking about what I wanted to eat after, haha! You know, I always knew I was strong, but I realized I was STRONGER after I was faced with this challenge. Life really has a way of showing us what we are capable of.

Alas, I’m on my 28th week now and I’m still here, so obviously I didn’t do that 😀 But I know it was the right decision because it’s been a golden time for me. I really, REALLY needed the time and distance to take a couple steps back, reflect, RECOUP and give myself that breathing space – because at some point or another, we ALL need that, and it gets to a point where a weekend away, or even a vacation somewhere far and exotic, is no longer enough to eliminate the noise and all the unnecessary distractions that barrage our daily lives.

This time has been so precious, not that I was doing anything so exciting or so grand, but just because it has allowed me to really (and literally) stop and smell the roses. Something I must’ve stopped doing when I started getting caught up in things that, when I think about it now, all seem so…unimportant.

Back when I could still have coffee 🙂 These are the moments with my husband from the year that was that I cherish the most. Definitely not the shopping and not even our dates at fancy restaurants or anything like that. Just these quiet moments of simple joys where time stood still for us

Instead, it’s been a time for lazy mornings and spectacular sunsets; soulful conversations and quiet reflections. For deepening and strengthening relationships with those that matter the most – and that includes MYSELF.

A friend of mine that I was chatting with a few days ago about my IVF experience told me: “God probably said: ‘this girl is so busy, what will make her pause?'”

And man, all I can say is: when God wants you to pause, YOU’LL PAUSE.

One of my lowest points in San Francisco was when I developed a severe allergy to one of the meds which resulted in an IVF failure. It was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. I wasn’t sleeping because all I wanted to do was scratch my skin off – plus the welts were weeping. At this point I seriously considered giving up and booking a flight home…and let me tell you, I’m not a quitter. It was THAT bad.
I had to walk around with bandages under my shirt and jeans for two weeks while my wounds healed. Of course no one saw this in December right? Which just goes to show that you never really know what a person is going through, especially not on Instagram or Facebook where life is always projected to be “perfect”.

But what an exercise in joy it has been. Even with all the heartache. Even when I was filled with self-doubt. Even when my first IVF procedure FAILED in early December because of an unexpected SEVERE allergic reaction to the adhesive of one of my meds – Even at those lowest of points I knew that everything was, and still is, for my soul’s evolution, and I can only be grateful for the valuable life lessons it has given me.

I realize that not everybody has the opportunity to do what I’ve been able to do – be on a year sabbatical to focus on both a baby journey AND a self-journey – so I really thank God for this gift because that’s exactly what it is and what it continues to be.

Beautiful B.C.

Soon I’ll be going home and I’d be lying to you if I said that didn’t make me a little sad. A big chunk of my heart is not ready to leave because I know that this special time in my life will never be repeated. Plus it’s summer – Vancouver’s most glorious time of the year – and her incredible beauty makes it that much more painful to leave.

But as one of my main IVF cheerleaders, Alex Eduque, reminded me:

“Never leave a foot behind, and don’t just jump ahead and put a foot in the future. Instead…

Living in the moment

…learn how to dance in the present”




  1. Katherine Marie Carandang-Chua says:

    What a tremendous journey Cel, and how brave of you to share it. I can’t wait to see the little one, I’m sure she’ll be as gorgeous and nice as her Mommy 🙂 Hugs

  2. Eliza Santos says:

    Hi, may you continue to inspire people through your stories. I hope that when you give birth, you will continue to share your stories with your readers. You give me hope (we are also trying to get pregnant but so far God has not given us that gift yet) but your story is reminder of God’s faithfulness to all of us. Good luck, Ms. Celine. 🙂

    • Celine says:

      Awww, thank you so much for reading my blog and definitely I plan to continue to share my stories with my readers. I shall include you in my nightly prayers…I’m currently praying for 9 people who are going through the same thing! Always remember you are not alone…there are so many of us on the same journey. Whatever is at the end of the road for you, I pray that it will bring you joy and peace. Thanks again and God bless you!

    • Celine says:

      Thank you so much for reading my blog 🙂 I’m so happy that you enjoy my stories. And thanks too, for the well wishes 🙂

  3. Michelle says:

    Hi Celine! I just love the way you write. There’s just Sincerity written in all those words. Thanks for inspiring! Take care on your trip back home.

    • Celine says:

      Hi Mia! Thanks so much for reading my little blog 🙂 I hope you can keep us in your prayers. Hope all is well on your end 🙂 So nice to hear from you!

  4. Eva says:

    Celine, your words are inspiring! It’s true, sometimes we need to take a breather from our everyday and filter out the noise. Such a blessing that has resulted. Have a magical rest of your pregnancy and I hope one day our families will meet. Big hugs!

    • Celine says:

      I have no doubt that one day soon it will happen 🙂 Miss you, Eva! Hope all is well too on your end. Thanks for reading my little blog 🙂

  5. Romina Gonzalez says:

    When God wants you to pause, you’ll pause. So true. Your story is so humbling Celine. Enjoy your time back in Manila and would love to meet your little one when you all come back to Vancouver.

  6. Tata says:

    Cel, such a wonderful story that for sure affects so many people including me and how to have a better outlook on life . Praying for you and Matt.

    • Celine says:

      Thanks for reading, Ta! And most especially for the prayers 🙂 Please do continue to pray for us 🙂 SO nice to hear from you and hope I can catch up with you soon xx

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