Migs Bustos and his wife Mischi learned that they were having their first child just before the pandemic hit. Photo courtesy of Migs Bustos
Culture Spotlight

What it means to be a new father in the time of a pandemic

Earlier this year, sportscaster Migs Bustos and his wife Mischi found out they were going to parents, what he describes as their biggest win. BY MIGS BUSTOS
ANCX | Jul 02 2020

It was January 31, 2020, 8:00 AM, and I just got out of my show Early Edition on ANC. I usually wake up a little before 5 A.M. on weekdays to prepare for my program, but that day was special. I was up and about, not feeling groggy nor sleepy. I went straight to a drugstore to buy pregnancy tests.

My wife Mischi is a flight attendant, and she landed in Manila early that morning from San Francisco. Days before, we were talking via Facetime and she told me that she was a few days delayed. I thought, “this must be it!” and I was extra excited for her to get home. 

I bought two pregnancy tests just to be sure, and got home soon after buying them. I found Mischi sleeping, and had second thoughts on whether to wake her up or not. I knew she was tired from a 14-hour flight—but I did anyway. When she said she was going to the toilet, I showed her the tests and told her “let’s do it!”

The feeling of anticipation and excitement was there as we were seeing the lines “ascend.” Showing two lines means pregnant, and, voila, two lines it was!

The couple rushed to hospital when the pregnancy test turned positive so that Mischi can undergo an ultrasound.

It felt unreal. Coming from a sports environment, I was used to the culture of winning and losing. In my experience, I believe I’ve lost more games and competitions compared to ones that I’ve won. So on the rare occasions that I would actually win something—a game, a medal or an award—it would mean a whole lot more. But this was different. Seeing those two lines meant so much more.

Mischi and I have been together for 10 years before we got married. We started dating when we were in third year college, when we were around 20 years old. I was from La Salle and she was from UP. I was from Alabang and she was from Pasig. The distance never hindered us. We were together during our milestones: our graduation, our first job, first pay check, first domestic and international travels, to our engagement then to our marriage. All the major wins in life, we were together.

This is the win of wins. This is the reason why we got married and vowed to spend the rest of our lives together, this little being that will forever give joy to us.

 

New normal protocol

Going back that afternoon we immediately went to the hospital to have our first ultrasound. The baby’s healthy and well at six weeks. I was jumping for joy, and didn’t care if I looked dumb in the hospital. I could finally relate to all the actors in movies and teleseryes, my friends, and especially my parents. I’m going to be a dad!

We would have to say goodbye to our carefree days, when we would always go out on Friday and Saturday nights, the impulse hang outs here and there. This is my life now. My baby and my family are my life now. I’m not totally saying that what we used to enjoy are totally gone, but I immediately realized that my priorities have shifted.

We are currently facing this pandemic and Mischi is currently at 24 weeks. All regular hospital visits have been scrapped since the start of the ECQ. Our OB-GYN, Dr Marie Cruz Javier has been very supportive at the same time cautious of my wife’s pregnancy. She advised that Mischi stay home at all times and avoid going to crowded places. On my part, I’ve been blessed by management to do work from home to avoid regular outside contact. 

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The new normal now is tele-consultations. We don’t mind. We understand the situation and it’s best to abide by protocols. As a husband and soon to be dad, my main role now is to be the best supporter to my wife—the Robin to the Batman, the Pippen to the Jordan, the Luigi to the Mario. Since Mischi can’t go out, I buy all the medicines for her, do groceries alone, do the laundry and all errands needed. And that’s perfectly fine, anything for her and our baby’s comfort.

We don’t know our baby’s gender yet because of these limitations. We haven’t been going to the hospital for consultations, tests or ultrasounds to be safe from COVID-19. We are scheduled to do so in a few weeks. We figured, it’ll be okay, it’ll be just like how our parents did it before. 

As long as our baby is safe and healthy, boy or girl, he or she will be the biggest win of our lives.

 

Migs Bustos is news and sports caster from ABS CBN News Channel and ABS-CBN Sports.