Guest Post: Happiness by Nikki

Hello everyone! I am deeply honored to have  Nikki here today We grew up together and she is more like a sister than a cousin. Despite living thousands of miles away from each other, I'm so happy that this sisterly love surpasses time and distance. 

Nikki is the author of the blog, The Kasama Kusina, a collection of her own recipe creations that are near and dear to her heart.  Let's all welcome Nikki as she shares with us what happiness means to her. 

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My cousin asked me to define what gives me utmost joy, while she goes on break to attend to family, and as much as I was excited to do the assignment, I became anxious as to what I should share.  I suffer from depression, and for people like me, happiness can be quite fleeting.

The first time I found myself pregnant ended with the pain of miscarriage, and I never thought I could ever produce a child after that. It was to my dread and surprise two years ago around this time that I found myself a newlywed of about a month and pregnant. Fear and elation washed over me after reading the word "PREGNANT" on a home pregnancy test stick, yet the memory of my lost pregnancy lingered on my mind. The optimist in me shrugged off the trauma, yet during the first trimester of my pregnancy, my husband, Paul, rushed me to the hospital where I was diagnosed with “threatened abortion” or a “threatened miscarriage”.   Immediately, I was devastated. The only solace the emergency room doctor could give me was to "wait it out" and that situations like mine "happened to a lot of women". Once again, I felt helpless, but I heeded his advice of rest and plenty of fluids with ample food, and did my best to stay off my feet. During my follow up appointment with an Ob-Gyn, I was given this sonogram, which shows an embryo that was still implanted onto my uterus. I was told that as long as the bleeding does not reoccur, I should have a viable pregnancy. The next time I went to the doctor was a month after my diagnosis, and I was told that as long as I stayed healthy, the baby growing inside of me would be healthy, too.  I was over-the-moon!  

I was one of those happy, pregnant ladies… I would pretend to complain to my friends and loved ones just to appear “normal”, but I secretly loved every minute of every ache and pain that pregnancy gave knowing there was a teeny, tiny person living inside of me. I often complained that an alien took over me: I couldn’t control my emotions well that I cried at sentimental television ads; I felt as if I was constantly hungry; I would often wake in the middle of the night to the baby kicking in my belly; and on top of everything, I would get heartburn just by drinking water! Every thing and all of it was lovely! 
After I recovered from the “threatened abortion” diagnosis, my pregnancy went as smooth as could be imagined.  I readied myself by reading as much as I could about pregnancy, labor and delivery, and breastfeeding.  I monitored my diet and made sure I had ample exercise that I only gained 30lbs. The day I went into labor, I went for a 2-hour walk with a friend to speed up the process.  

Paul and I checked into the hospital at 4:30 in the afternoon on Thursday, July 21st only to be sent home to continue laboring in comfort since we lived a mere 5 minutes away from the hospital.  We were told to return when the contractions were 2 to 3 minutes apart.  We went back to check into labor and delivery at 1:00am, and as soon as I sat down on the gurney in the delivery room, my water broke.  From that moment on, my labor progressed, and after a couple of rounds of pain relievers and an epidural it was time to push at 11am.  It got to the point that I started begging my Ob-Gyn to physically pull the baby out of me.  I never experienced so much strain to my body all at once, yet at 1:30pm on July 22nd, which was my exact due date, Kaya Adelle was born.  And, she was 7 lbs., 4 oz. of pure joy.   

At first, I was worried of getting post-partum depression, and there are days when parenthood gets harder than the norm, but just looking at Kaya washes all my self-doubt away. She makes me feel like I could conquer any thing.  She is my heart, she carries my joy.


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{This is a scheduled post} I'm currently traveling to Vigan, north of the Philippines.  As we all prepare for the Christmas holidays and festivities in the next few days, may we all celebrate and give thanks to what gives us utmost joy and what truly matters.  Have a great weekend to everyone!  -  Arni

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  1. Beautiful post ! I love your courage and positivity !

    Breakfast at Cindi’s

  2. This is a great post, and you have such a beautiful daughter!

  3. What a beautiful story! Now I'm all teary-eyed. Congratulations on your beautiful daughter. I'm so happy for you!


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