Motherhood is supposed to be a wonderful thing, but for Mariel Rodriguez, it was a quite the struggle.
Not only did Mariel suffer two miscarriages before a successful pregnancy, she also gained a lot of weight and became depressed after giving birth to her baby girl Isabella with husband Robin Padilla.
“[Motherhood] wasn’t what I thought it would be,” she said in a recent interview with PEP. “Because I imagined that when she (Isabella) comes out, we’ll have those nice mother-daughter photos where she’s smiling and I’m laughing and I’m pretty and she’s pretty, ganyan. But we didn’t have those.”
She revealed that the main struggle she had as a new mom was producing breast milk for her hungry baby.
“I didn’t have a lot of (breast) milk because I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), meron akong hormonal issues,” she shared. “So I didn’t have a lot of milk and naturally, she was hungry and I wanted to fully breastfeed her exclusively. For three months, she just kept crying.”
I did everything I could so that I could have enough milk to feed her - I ate my way through it,” she continued. “Name the pampagatas, I was on it - fenugreek, malungay, halaan - name it, I was on it. ‘Yung mga lactation cookies? I took all of those.”
And thankfully, it worked. She was able to produce enough milk to breastfeed her baby for 14 months, but it came with a price.
“I got so fat. The heaviest I was on record was 178 pounds,” she revealed. “So mas mabigat ako kay Robin. ‘Yung pants niya, hindi kasya sa ‘kin, ganun na siya kasama. I had no clothes. I was still wearing maternity clothes. I was heavier than when I actually had Isabella in my belly.”
Mariel shared that the change in her body brought about her depression.
“Nung buntis naman ako, hindi naman ako ‘yung parang kadiring buntis - feeling ko ang blooming ko. Feel na feel ko talaga. It was after [na] parang binawi ‘yung ganda,” she said. “I was really depressed. I mean, I was happy, of course I was happy. Siyempre, I was a new mom. I was happy I had a baby. I worked so hard to have a baby. And then, it wasn’t what I thought it would be.”
And what made Mariel move on from her depression? Why, her baby, of course!
“After a while, I just accepted it,” she said. “I just accepted that it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to happen, pero I have a healthy baby - she’s perfect. I was still so blessed. So I weighed the pros and the cons of the situation and at the end of the day, I was still very blessed. ‘Yun nalang, ‘di ba? I just put in my head that I wasn’t going to be fat forever, that I wasn’t going to breastfeed her forever anyway.”
“Ano ba naman ‘yung ibigay ko sa kanya ‘yun? I loved myself for 32 years - what’s a year for her?” she continued. “It was worth it. If I had to do it all over again, I would because she’s worth everything.”
Here are more stories on Mariel’s journey as a mom!
Breastfeeding difficulty makes Mariel cry
Mariel says goodbye to postpartum depression
Robin celebrates Mariel’s ‘rebirth’ on her birthday
Robin, Mariel celebrate daughter's first birthday!
Mariel, nilabas na ang kanyang mga 'super fat' photos