By: Anna Katrina J. Bolivar
Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio wittingly announced her pregnancy through an Instagram post showing her “busog” belly. This was followed by an emotional YouTube video where both husband and wife talked about their roller coaster journey in Rica’s current pregnancy.
The couple found out about the pregnancy in mid-October last year. One night, Rica noticed and unusual activity in her tummy and the thought of being pregnant came into her mind. On the next day, the pregnancy was affirmed through a very unexpected and surreal incident – a stranger approached her and told her that God told her (the stranger) that whatever it is that Rica is praying for when it comes to having a baby is coming soon.
When Rica missed her period, she did a pregnancy test and it gave a positive result. Given her two miscarriages, Rica had to look for a doctor who can handle her case and give her a chance to have a natural birth. Through Sitti, the country’s bossa nova queen, she found a good doctor that she can trust.
Rica was later diagnosed with APAS, which is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the cells and tissues of the body. Making hers a risky pregnancy that can result in miscarriage and stillbirth. Other celebrities who also suffered from APAS include Nadine Samonte, Sitti, and Miriam Quiambao, who recently just gave birth.
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This was in Taiwan. I think I was only twelve weeks then. Awkward stage, di maintindihan ng tao if mataba lang ako or what 😆 Just wanted to say thank you to all who messaged me here, and also on youtube and Facebook. I am reading all your thoughts, and I am so blessed that so many of you are praying for us and are wishing us well. Some also have shared their stories of heartbreak and longing. Syempre umiiyak ako all over again habang nagbabasa ng mga kwento nyo. Mga three months na din pala akong umiiyak sa halo-halong kaba at laban ng pananampalataya. 😂😭🙌🏻 Thank you ulit for sharing, praying, being concerned. I can only praise God for His tremendous presence and peace that transcends all understanding. Nothing else can help me through a journey like this but a God as mighty as Him. He conquered death. Death is no more because of Him and I choose to believe that every single day of my life and this baby’s life. 🙌🏻 Pray lang tayo, not only for me, but for all of us who are going through challenges — diseases, death, losses, heartaches, betrayals…. and so much more. Daming problema ng mundo. Pero kaya yan lahat ni Lord. Di ako magmamarunong kung pano pero alam ko, kaya Niya lahat ng ito. 🙌🏻
Aside from APAS, Rica also has a health condition that concerns her hormones interfering with conception, fertility, and ability to keep a baby in the womb. During her early weeks of pregnancy, Rica shared how she was just always tired and always in so much pain. She had to always be in a wheelchair because she feels so tired that she can barely stand or walk for a long time.
Her pregnancy is now being handled by two doctors – an OB and an immunologist, both of whom prescribe a lot of medicines to protect the baby. Rica shared that at the beginning of her pregnancy, she had to drink 7pills in the morning, 3 pills at lunchtime, and 3 pills in the evening. And specifically, to manage APAS, she had to inject herself every day with blood thinners.
Her husband showed admiration for how Rica handles the injections herself every day. Rica confessed that she is really afraid of needles. But now, she’s able to do it to herself. Talk about the sacrifices of a mother to even an unborn child!
Towards the end of the video, Rica shared how her faith in God helped her get through this journey. According to the couple, they are living with it on a day-to-day basis. Every check-up is a suspense ride and every heartbeat is a victory. Rica admitted that she has now learned how to stop guessing about the future and just live in the present and know that God is with her.
Anna Katrina Bolivar is a first-time mom to a baby girl. She’s a stay-at-home, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and cosleeping mom. She has her own blog at The Everyday Nanay. Despite all the challenges of a stay-at-home mom, she always goes to sleep with a heart that is overflowing with love for the Lord, her husband, and their precious little girl.