Catching Up With New Mom Rachelle Ann Go-Spies
The singer and theater actress, who recently returned as Fantine in musical "Les Misérables," updates us on her life in London as a wife and a new mom
“My priority right now is to make my baby happy. Kahit magulo ’yung bahay, [it] doesn’t matter as long as he is happy and fed,” singer, actress, wife and new mom Rachelle Ann Go-Spies shares, laughing.
This is the reality of being a first-time mom who’s living miles away from her home country and most of her loved ones. With all her mommy and wifey duties, plus household chores, even a Zoom interview schedule can be hard to pin down these days. There’s no need for sugarcoating, though; she admits it’s tiring but that she’s overflowing with happiness, too, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
It was in November last year when Rachelle and Martin announced they were going to be parents through a vlog on her YouTube channel.
The couple, who got married in Boracay in April 2018, has been sharing stories about and milestones in their relationship to her subscribers, so it was no different this time. Her pregnancy was smooth sailing overall, but he did reveal she had a lot of “funny stories” about her mood swings. “It was fun. I had an easy pregnancy, which I’m grateful for. Kasi natakot talaga ako. Before getting pregnant, I was like, I was hearing loads of horror stories about giving birth, about pregnancy,” Rachelle recalls. “So, I was like, ‘Kaya ko ba itong gawin?’ But, you know, thank God it was such an easy pregnancy, even the delivery. It was so easy, it was quick. It was pretty straightforward.”
March 26 of this year was the day that changed her and Martin’s life forever. Their first child, a son they named Lukas Judah, was born in London, where they’re based; Lukas means the “bringer of light,” while Judah means “praised, let Him be praised.”
Rachelle shares, “When they gave Lukas to me, that was when I felt… I couldn’t even talk. I was just crying. I was like, ‘This is my baby.’ I couldn’t believe na may baby na ako, you know? It was so surreal.”
The pregnancy journey is one thing, the post-pregnancy scenario is another. To guide her in her transition into motherhood, her mother flew to London and stayed with her for around four months. “Isang malaking bagay din ’yun na we were able to fly her here around March, before the Philippines got in the Red List of UK… I think my mom was just so supportive, you know, just having her quiet spirit and that support, pushing me, like, ‘Kaya mo yan!’ Ganu’n ang suporta ng mom ko sa akin. Other than that, the practical things, I can say, ’ yun nga, little things, like nappies and how to clean the house, how to wash the clothes, baby clothes as well, you know, little things like that.”
“The day after [my mom] left, I fed Lucas. I cooked. I did the laundry. I cleaned the house. All at the same time. And I’m like, woah, I’m not like a machine that can do all things at the same time. So, I think, du’n ko na-realize na napakahirap maging nanay, especially ’pag wala kang kasama, walang tutulong sa’yo sa bahay. So, it’s overwhelming, so you gotta prioritize things. You gotta focus on the right things.”
Thankfully, her husband, Martin, has proven to be the sweetest and most supportive as this breastfeeding momma eases into her new role. Rachelle says, “Now that nakikita ko na how he’s spending time with the baby, it’s just so special. He’s very patient with me. ’Yung patience niya, walang hangganan… yata (laughs). I think that’s what we need as moms, someone who will understand us, and yeah, he’s been very supportive. If I need time to take a bath for an hour or two… Nandu’n lang talaga ako sa bath, just spending ‘me time’... He’ll do whatever it takes for me to be happy, and yeah, just [be] very supportive.”
Martin was supportive of Rachelle’s decision to get back onstage, too, as she couldn’t finish her “Les Misérables” run last year. In time for her 35th birthday last August 31, she returned to the spotlight as Fantine in the world’s longest-running musical by West End production. She’s been playing this role since 2015 when she was chosen for it, following the footsteps of Tony award-winning Filipino actress Lea Salonga who also previously portrayed Fantine.
Time does fly. Seven years ago, Rachelle flew to London for the West End revival of musical “Miss Saigon,” where she was cast as Gigi, one of the main supporting characters. This performance received positive reviews and an overwhelming support from both the fans of the musical as well as the singer herself. It also won her the Best Featured Actress in a New Production of a Musical for the Broadway UK/West End Awards 2014, as well as Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards. Rachelle also made her Broadway debut through the role of Gigi in the Broadway revival of “Miss Saigon” in 2017. Since then, she has played major roles in hit musicals like Fantine in “Les Misérables” and Eliza in “Hamilton.”
Having recently returned as Fantine in London’s West End for six shows from August 31 to September 5 this year, Rachelle shares how motherhood changed her love and appreciation for the role and helped her portray the character of a mom better.
“It’s different. Iba ’yung pinaghuhugutan natin. I guess, now that I am a mom, when I did the show, it was heavier. It was like, I don’t know… it’s deeper, I suppose, now that I know how it feels like to have a baby, to have a kid, like the love for your kid. You cannot explain it. So, when I did the show, every single night, it’s just.. I cried. It’s deeper,” Rachelle tells Metro.Style. “I opened the show on my birthday. That was a treat.”
To make this “Les Misérables” run even more special, Rachelle was able to bring Lukas to the theater, of course, with all the safety protocols observed. And it was such a magical experience for her. She says, “A few years from now, we will look back and explain to him that, you know, you’ve been here in this theater… It’s something that we will cherish.”
Doing the show was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up on, but for now, Rachelle is in full mommy mode. “The priority now is, you know, to look after him because, as we know, time flies. I don’t want to miss all the milestones, and I just want to be present and focus as a mom,” she says. But she did hint on plans to do special concerts abroad next year. Her last concert, “Rachelle Ann Go: The Homecoming,” was held in Manila in February last year.
2021 is the year that marked many firsts for both Rachelle and Martin: first Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, first Easter Sunday, Rachelle’s first birthday spent as a mom, first Halloween, and soon, first Christmas as a family.
“We love Christmas… We wanna impart to Lucas what we did as a family, how we spend Christmas, especially Christmas eve. Christmas eve is really a big thing in our family and Martin’s family as well…. Hopefully, we will be in the Philippines during Christmastime. That’s on our wish list.”
Photos from @gorachelleann and @lesmizofficial
Special thanks to Cornerstone and Caress Caballero