EXCLUSIVE: Assunta de Rossi-Ledesma Shares More Details About Her Pregnancy Journey
She can no longer contain her excitement, as she’s just a couple of months away from finally welcoming her own child into the world
Timing can be a very peculiar thing, but if something’s meant to be, it will happen.
In May this year, Filipino–Italian actress Assunta de Rossi-Ledesma took to Instagram to announce that she was expecting. She has called her little girl on the way a “miracle baby”—at 37, it’s harder for women to get pregnant the natural way, especially with myoma and endometriosis, which, Assunta shares, she both has.
She and her husband, former politician and businessman Jules Ledesma, considers it a miracle because it’s a precious gift they didn’t quite expect to still be blessed with after being married for 16 years. When they got married back in 2004, Jules was a widower with two kids.
She has spoken candidly about her struggles with pregnancy in the past, even trying out in vitro fertilization (IVF) back in 2016. She’s also blunt about the fact that her and her husband’s age gap is 22 years, and that that could be a factor too.
So when her period didn’t arrive after her 37th birthday, she chalked it up to other factors: Stress, perhaps, or the heat. “I waited one more week,” she says. “One more week passed and ’yung asawa ko, nagtatanong na rin, ‘Baka buntis ka na?’”
“Sabi ko, ‘Talaga? Hindi naman siguro,’” Assunta told Jules. “I had a hard time conceiving naturally, so tanggap ko naman ’yun.” When she still didn’t get her period the next day, she went straight to her OB-gyn who she hasn’t seen in over three years. At the hospital, she underwent an ultrasound scan and got a blood test done, and when the result came back—it was positive—Assunta couldn’t believe it.
“Hindi siya nag-sink in,” she tells Metro.Style. “Siguro sa dami na rin ng heartache na pinagdaanan ko, maybe I was like, ‘I don’t wanna hope anymore.’” At that time, she had been pregnant for about five weeks, confirmed by the presence of the gestational sac. “Wala pang heartbeat,” she says. “Very early talaga.”
Assunta admits that in the beginning, she had mixed emotions. But after a few more tests, like the Doppler ultrasound, she came home to her husband to tell him the good news. “I just can’t believe it,” she says. “It’s a miracle! Miracle talaga siya.”
Later, she would pull up her family’s group chat to relay the announcement and ask for prayers. Most of her relatives are based in Italy. “I took a photo of the ultrasound and I was asking for prayers because the baby was still like a grain of rice. Gan’un lang siya kaliit noon at wala pang heartbeat,” Assunta says. “Sobrang masayang-masaya sila noon kasi sila rin, hindi rin nila akalain and they also knew about my struggles. It was such good news, you know? In the midst of what was happening in the world.”
Her little coccolina (Italian for “the cuddly one”) and fiore (meaning “flower”) is set to be her immediate family’s first grandchild, so the excitement is even more pronounced.
Assunta, who is due in November, shared that her first trimester, especially during the time of COVID-19, was a struggle. “Buti na lang walang complications,” she says. “It was bad talaga, parang lahat yata ng symptoms sinalo ko na eh.” She also can’t spend a lot of time at hospitals or clinics to do ultrasounds and follow-up check-ups because of the health crisis. “So all I could do was rely on my symptoms.”
But her family and her husband have been with her through every step of the way, making things lighter for her. The moment she did go for another ultrasound, she finally saw her child growing inside of her, and it has been a magical experience for Assunta, especially since she wasn’t able to do that and track the progress of the child in her womb as regularly. “The last time I saw the baby, it was just a tiny blob. Parang jelly bean lang siya. And then to see the baby as a fully formed human being, I couldn’t be happier at that time.”
“I just can’t believe na sa tagal ko na hindi nakapagpa-ultrasound, and then all of a sudden, this image appears sa monitor na tao na talaga siya, and then everything is fine,” Assunta says. “Everything’s fine. The heartbeat is fine, ’yung size niya, the weight. And also to know that I had survived my first and second trimester nang naka-lockdown without any complications.”
But of course, Assunta still experienced the usual symptoms of pregnancy: nausea, dizziness, fatigue, constipation, irritability, heartburn. “‘’Yung morning sickness ko, all day. All I could do was eat and sleep. Ganu’n ’yung buhay ko for, like, two months,” she says. “But ’yun na nga, that was my gauge. My mom says that my pregnancy is healthy and my baby is healthy because I’m feeling all these things.”
Assunta has been spending much of her pregnancy listening to and honoring her body, which is incredibly important not just for those who are pregnant, but also to anyone who wants to be healthy. She’s surprised at how different everything can feel when you’re actually experiencing pregnancy versus just reading about it. “Right now, everything hurts,” she admits. “Masakit na ’yung likod, masakit na ’yung hips, masakit na ’yung legs.”
Pregnancy isn’t exactly the most glamorous thing in the world, but it is definitely one of the most magical. Assunta has shared a lot of what she’s gone through, from the struggles to the triumphs, because she believes that stories like these help people feel less alone. She admits that in the past, she would check internet forums to read the stories and experiences of other women going through the same thing as her. “Nakakatuwa lang din because so many women were supportive of each other,” Assunta says.
“Unfortunately, this is the reality: that some women talaga are having a hard time, no matter what age,” Assunta ends. “Let’s not be too hard on each other. Things happen when they want to happen, and when it happens, no amount of problems can stop it.”
Photos from @assuntaledesma