Cristaline Andanar, now a mama of two, is sharing her story in hopes that fellow mamas will learn from their family’s experience, and be armed with more knowledge on what to do when confronted with the same situation. What to do when you have covid, as well as the rest of the family?
The year 2021 had just started, and the Danoso family—five-month pregnant mom Cristaline, her husband Steve, and their eight-year-old daughter Keila—already found themselves in the midst of a crisis: they all tested positive for COVID-19. It’s every family’s worst nightmare.
It was Steve who first experienced symptoms of fever, fatigue, and body aches, and they suspected he caught the virus at work. Cristaline shared, “I was scared because my husband had to be brought to a quarantine facility and be separated from us. I was scared for my daughter to suffer from the symptoms of the disease. And most especially, I was scared for the baby in my tummy.”
Being Strong for the Family
Although she needed to navigate her slew of fears, this mom knew she had to be tough for her family. She was well aware that she should not show any kind of weakness in front of her daughter so as not to worry her. She also had nobody to rely on during this time but herself, as even their extended family—their village of support—who was living with them all tested positive for the virus.
There was no time to sulk. She needed to act fast and smart. Cristaline knew she had to don her supermom cape and be in best fighting form, so to speak.
They disinfected the whole house, where she and her daughter will be quarantined. She immediately informed her OB-Gyn, who advised her on the things she needed to do. “I told her I already lost my senses of taste and smell, but I had no fever. She told me to continue taking my vitamins plus sodium ascorbate, eat healthy food, and drink plenty of water. She also warned me to go to the hospital as soon as I experience shortness of breath. I updated her on my condition every now and then.”
Preparing the Kids
During the time they were in quarantine, Cristaline made sure it was as normal as possible for her little girl. “We both wore masks the whole time we were isolated at home, even when we were sleeping. I was really grateful her symptoms did not worsen, so she was still able to attend her online classes. I wanted her everyday routine to not be affected by this family crisis and I tried my best to not look sad or down because she could see me, and that could affect her. Our family doctor also advised that she take sodium ascorbate twice a day and to continuously monitor her temperature and symptoms.”
She continued: “I explained everything to her, as soon as we found out her Daddy had to be separated from us. I had to prepare her for the experience of a swab test, as I knew it would be uncomfortable for young kids. She even wanted us to try doing it with cotton buds, but I laughed it off and told her she just needed to be brave. I explained COVID to her in a way she would understand: that we all got the virus and that she needed to inform me about everything she would feel so we could do something about it.”
Coordinating with the Network of Support
Aside from continuously updating their physicians, the family also coordinated with a barangay official for daily temperature monitoring. Their data was then forwarded to the assigned health worker in the area.
“As a mother, I will do everything in my might to protect my daughters. The pandemic has been a really challenging time, much more so when we caught the virus,” she mused.
But the strength of a mother is unlike any other—and Cristaline is a living proof of this. Heavy with a child in her belly, she gave her best to take care of another child in front of her.
Where did she get that incredible amount of strength to survive this ordeal? “My family is everything to me. Throughout the one month we were isolated, I prayed hard every day for healing and protection for everyone. I also took care of myself, so that I could take care of the people I love.”
Seven weeks ago, Cristaline gave birth to a healthy baby girl and the Danosos welcomed another member to their family—a beautiful reminder that the sun will always shine after a storm. It wasn’t a bad year for their family, after all.
This mama’s tips for fellow moms:
1. Inform your OB-Gyn right away as soon as you suspect you have COVID-19. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. She’s the best person to help you stay healthy during this time.
Strictly follow your OB-Gyn’s instructions.
Also inform your child’s doctor to get tips on how to manage his or her symptoms and better take care of him or her.
Keep a positive outlook. Stress and negative thoughts will only worsen the situation.
Pray. Don’t give up on your miracle.
It helps to be informed with the right and necessary information about COVID-19.