Mothersmother Diaries ep11: Mind-middling middle-child syndrome

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By Regina May Cajucom

Serendipity Couch

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


IS THERE really such a thing? It sounds like a disease, an abnormality one has to correct about his second child, provided he has more than two kids. But I will not get into the merits of that, not wanting to really spend so much time arguing with experts in psychology who have given the “middle child syndrome” that name. (Still haven’t understood the concept of “bipolar”, except that it is now an oft abused term to refer to someone with extreme mood changes, which to me sounds just normal…is that a symptom of being one?)

Anyway, yes, I do have a middle child and she is really something.

Early morning of June 25, 2002, after several hours of labor, Gelai (Angeli Mikaelle) came into this world a “blue baby”, due to meconium aspiration syndrome, and was confined at the hospital for eight days even after I was already discharged. Good thing the hospital had a mom-and-child room, where I was allowed to stay to take care of her as she was still hooked to the oxygen and IVs and stuff. I remember it as one of the most emotional moments of my life: my first-born wouldn’t want to leave but she couldn’t stay at the hospital, and she would hug me tightly while crying, and I could practically hear my heart breaking whenever she had to go. We were gettig depressed as days went by because Gelai’s oxygen level was not enough for her to be waned from the tank. I would find myself crying all throughout the day because I was worried about our little baby and her frustrated big sister, not to mention the ballooning hospital bills at the time.

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That’s probably the only time I experienced post-partum depression.

Gelai is now twelve years old, all grown up and so wise beyond her years. She is oftentimes worrisome which is both endearing and annoying: she tends to care too much about people and things to a fault, and I am somewhat worried for times when emotions might get too much of her. But as a mother, I could only whisper a prayer that she will remain steadfast and tough through all of life’s adversities. As with her sisters I would if I could shield her from all the pain there is, but that will not make her a better person. Best we can do is to let them know and feel that as parents we will always be here for them, to love, guide and accept them for who they are and what they want to be. No ifs, no buts.

I don’t think she has heard of the middle-child syndrome, and I hope to high heavens she does not feel ignored or neglected (said to be characteristic of middle-child syndrome). As she enters adolescence I hope she strengthens her sisterhood and friendship with her sisters, and that despite their differences they will know how they are blood-bound to love, protect and care for one another, the way we always do for them.

Happy Birthday, Gel. We love you so much. (serendipity.couch@gmail.com/ www.serendipitycouch.com )

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 26, 2014.

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