Rica Peralejo is expecting a baby once again.
Through her YouTube channel, Rica and her husband, Pastor Joseph Bonifacio, revealed that she is four and a half months pregnant.
The soon-to-be mother of two said, "We're so happy to share the news with everybody, especially everyone who has cheered for us when I shared about reproductive health issues online.
"So many people have messaged me and have started praying for me, and I really appreciate that.
"I want to thank each and every one of you.
"I may not know you personally, I read all of your messages...
"I really am thanking all of you from the bottom of my heart."
Back in August 2018, Rica detailed her personal journey after experiencing two miscarriages.
She also revealed her failed attempts, including the procedures she underwent, so she would conceive again.
At the end of that vlog, Rica was happy to report that she was given the go-signal to have a baby again.
Rica and Pastor Joseph have a five-year-old son named Philip.
FIRST RUSH OF EMOTIONS
Back to her pregnancy announcement vlog, Rica recalled the moment she felt that she was pregnant.
"It was, I think, around August. I remember the day, it was a Saturday night. I was just so tired, so sleepy from the entire day.
"When I went to bed, I closed my eyes, and then I thought, 'Parang may activity sa womb ko? What if pregnant ako?'
"The next day—Sunday is usually a super booked day for us because that's our church day.
"That day, before going to 3 p.m. services, Philip and I went to a coffee shop to grab a bite because we were feeling a little bit hungry, and somebody approached me, somebody from our church also, somebody I’ve never met before.
"She looked kind of very hesitant and shy to tell me that God told her that whatever it was that I was believing for, when it comes to having a baby, she feels that it's coming soon.
"Parang, sobrang bizarre lang yun sa akin na that night before, I was thinking exactly that, and somebody would confirm or affirm it.
"So, I really had a feeling that I was already pregnant as early as that."
There was no immediate way to confirm it yet, but she was already filled with mixed emotions—among them, she said, was "fear."
The former actress continued, "Because, siyempre, parang sanay ka na na there's always a bad news coming after a good news like that.
"But also, there was really excitement because I really, really, really want to have another baby."
She waited for her monthly period first before making any further assumptions. When it was delayed, she took a pregnancy test.
The result was positive.
To ensure the baby's safety, her doctor prescribed a lot of medicine, which had her feeling weak during her first trimester.
In fact, she could barely stand up and had to use a wheelchair.
But Rica didn't mind.
"For now, this is what I feel is going to give us peace in being able to keep the baby safe inside of me.
"So far, we've passed the mark.
"The first miscarriage was at, I think, 12 weeks. I found out there was no heartbeat, but the baby was only sized at eight weeks.
"The second one didn’t go past six or seven, pero no heartbeat na talaga yun.
"Now, we are on our 17th week. Actually, almost 18th. Probably by the the time you’re watching this, I’m on my 18th or 19th week already."
Rica also revealed that upon her work up and test results, they discovered that her markers are borderline for the condition known as APAS, or the Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder common in pregnant women.
As described in an article by Smart Parenting, the autoimmune disorder “occurs when the body makes antibodies that mistakenly attack phospholipids, a type of fat that’s found in the blood.
“This then causes blood clots to form in veins and arteries, which can lead to numerous problems and complications.”
Miriam Quiambao, who is now seven months pregnant, has this condition.
In Rica's case, she recalled in her vlog how she needs to take as much as 15 pills a day, plus inject herself with blood thinners at a certain time each day.
Pastor Joseph, for his part, related their anxiety each time they would visit the doctor's clinic.
"Every doctor's appointment we had in November and December, whether I was with you or mag-isa ka, was a mix of positive and negative.
"Yung hindi ko makakalimutan yung nagpa-scan pa, 'tapos nakikita natin yung heartbeat sa monitor, so ang saya natin!
"Parang, grabe, wala na tayong cause for concern, walang worry, okay lahat, buhay, nakikita yung heartbeat.
"Pagkatapos mag-celebrate, nung hapon, nagpa-check up ulit, yung doppler naman [a device for detecting fetal heartbeat], 'tapos wala naman tayo makuhang heartbeat.
"So, parang pagkatapos mo makita yung heartbeat sa monitor... hindi naman siya marinig.
"Sabi ng doctor, 'O, parang, hindi namin mahanap. Pero siguro naman, okay pa iyan kasi kaninang umaga lang [nakita yung heartbeat].
"So, every trip was like that."
Rica added, "Hindi rin nga naman kasi ganun ka-smooth, like our first ultrasound.
"I was rushed to the emergency almost midnight because of bleeding.
"I bled fresh blood. I really, really thought that I was losing na naman...
"I was personally feeling, like, get your heart prepared because it's going to happen again.
"Suspense pa, kasi walang sonologist dahil gabi na. So, kailangan pang tawagin yung sonologist for an emergency situation.
"And when she finally came and she started poking around... For some reason, I was really prepared to take in the bad news, but then, the heartbeat of the baby came on the monitor.
"I don't know how, but there was audio and I heard it.
"I just couldn't help it... I just crying because I felt like, 'Oh my gosh, the baby is alive!'
"Talagang spontaneous tears. I usually don't cry in front of people, but this time, I couldn't help it because I was just overjoyed and I was so relieved that the baby was still alive..."
FAITH OVER FEAR
With these ongoing series of highs and lows, Rica has taught herself to focus on the present instead of anticipating the future.
She said, "At this point, I have to stop guessing the end and just sticking with the present that God is with me.
"If I didn't have that in my heart, I probably would have gone crazier kasi medyo I've gone crazy na rin, hormones and all.
"It would probably be so tormenting for me if I didn't have such a God to have a faith on.
"And this is when I realized talaga that faith pala is like that.
"It's not having faith in our own faith. Gaano ka ba naniniwala? Gaano ka ba nagde-declare na mangyayari ito?
"But faith is simple.
"I have faith that even when I can't anymore—I can't in my own physical state, I can't in my own spiritual capability to trust in the Lord, the Lord can still do what He has willed to do.
"That's my faith for now."
Pastor Joseph threw in, "It's really an example of how we only live by faith. The only assurance we have for health, for prosperity, for a good future, for hope is that God is a good God and he will take care of us. And we know this because he sent Jesus to die for us.
"Lahat pa ng ibang pangangailangan natin, Siya na rin ang bahala dun."
Watch the full vlog post below: