Motherhood has always been my dream. Imagine how my world fell apart when I lost my firstborn in such a devastating manner.
I have always admired my mom because she raised eight of us, six boys and two girls, all by herself while my father was away most of the time working abroad. Growing up in our family, I learned about the gospel, most especially about how families can be together forever. We had scripture study, prayed together, held family council, and weekly home evenings. These gospel traditions we had in the family sparked a desire in me to have my own eternal family someday. My goal was to have these activities with my future husband and kids.
Growing up in Church and going through the Primary, Youth and Single Adult programs strengthened my resolve to become a righteous mother someday. When I decided to serve a mission, I was assigned to labor in the Philippines Angeles Mission for 18 months, teaching people about how the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ can make families eternal. I served in the Young Women and Primary organizations before and after my mission and I cheerfully magnified my calling, thinking that maybe these callings will help me prepare for motherhood. I enjoyed sharing the gospel to children through songs and lessons, imagining doing the same for my own children someday.
Fast forward to October 2018: my husband and I were married for time and all eternity at the Philippines Cebu Temple. We lived in Iloilo to be close to my family, then moved to his hometown in Tarlac on August 2019 when I was four months pregnant. I gave birth to our son, Dastan, last January 10, 2020.
My dream finally came true! I was so excited to be a mommy, to spoil this little darling boy until he grows up, and to teach him and see him serve the Lord someday. I thought everything was fine, but my euphoria was short-lived. My little baby boy was diagnosed with Tracheomalacia, a rare condition that affects the windpipe.
He had weak and floppy muscles in the trachea which collapsed when he was crying, feeding, and coughing. We fought the battle with this brave little boy for 3 months. His daddy gave him countless priesthood blessings, family and friends fasted and prayed for him, many trips to the hospital were made, but his condition worsened. Dastan passed away last April 14, and my heart was broken as my dream of motherhood came to a screeching halt.
My baby was taken away too soon. With the travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, my family in Iloilo were unable to come for the wake and the burial. It crushed them that they never saw my baby in person, but only through pictures and video calls. This Mother’s Day would have been his fourth month, and I will be spending the day which celebrates motherhood grieving for my baby.
This was heart-wrenching for me as a mom, but with the help of my husband, family, and friends, I am gradually recovering from the devastating loss of my little boy Dastan. I sought refuge in the scriptures and it was through a favorite scripture that I found comfort in the voice of the Lord: '...all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good' (D&C 122:7).
A knowledge of the Father’s plan of happiness helped lessen the pain, and my husband and I just think that we sent a son to the mission field. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, heartfelt prayers and most especially pondering the scriptures, I received comfort and peace during these challenging times. The knowledge I gained through the scriptures gives me the hope that I will once again see Dastan, hold him, and raise him up to serve the Lord.
My mother shared with me somethings that Elder James E. Talmage wrote: “No pang that is suffered by man or woman upon the earth will be without its compensating effect … if it be met with patience.”
I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ lives and loves us so much. I hold on to the Lord's promise that if I keep my covenants, and because my little boy is sealed to me and my husband, I will see him again happy and free of pain. ◼︎