Mom-To-Be Isabelle Daza Bares It All In This Special Metro Digital Cover Feature
In this exclusive feature, the glowing mom-to-be and birthday girl talks about motherhood, how husband Adrien Semblat has helped her throughout her pregnancy journey, and her thoughts on selfless love as she and Adrien await the arrival of their bundle of joy.
At the altar, Isabelle Daza's husband told her, "The first time I saw you, my heart whispered, 'She's the one.'" At the urging of his fluttering heart, he declared a love that was steadfast and true—all before he had even learned her name. Now, after 18 months of wedded bliss, Isabelle holds not one, but two hearts in her hands: that of her husband Adrien Semblat's, and that of their first child, a bundle of joy expected to make its way into the world this April.
First time jitters
Eight months into her first pregnancy, Isabelle is a glowing mother-to-be.
"I'm excited, but then at the same time, your fears come in," opens Isabelle.
She's discovering newfound pleasures—and struggles—in bringing the newest member of her family into the spotlight. She's ridden the rollercoaster of maternal emotions of excitement, joy, fear, nervousness, doubt, and self-assuredness too many times to count in the last 32 weeks. For Isabelle, never has a single experience birthed so many different emotions.
"How am I going to provide for the baby? Am I going to be a good mom? What does my baby need? Definitely, I'm pressuring myself and I should be more excited," Isabelle shares.
While this timeless beauty, who can enchant a room with her smile, has always known that life inevitably changes when motherhood dawns, finding herself living that reality now is something she couldn't quite describe—especially since discovering she was expecting was a complete surprise.
"My husband tricked me into having a baby, but we're very happy now," she teases.
Hoping to enjoy married life with just Adrien for a little longer, this model and actress was in absolute shock upon learning that a baby was on the way. When the early signs of pregnancy started cropping up, a visit to her doctor revealed an undeniable truth. The pregnancy test registered two lines that confirmed she was nurturing life.
"I was screaming and I showed my husband the pregnancy test. I was shouting, I was hysterical. He was like, 'What is that? I don't know what that is! Is that a thermometer? What is that, why are you freaking out?'" Isabelle recalls with a chuckle.
"I told him it was a pregnancy test, and then he was the first one to know," she continues.
While they were both thrilled at the prospect of becoming parents, she describes this daddy-in-the-making as the more overjoyed and enthusiastic one. The same can be said about Isabelle's mom, Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz, when she heard the news and who immediately joked that Isabelle's baby was half hers. (She also took the liberty of announcing the pregnancy before this expecting mommy could do so herself, and an amused Isabelle had no choice but to go along with her mom's uncontainable excitement).
Overall, Isabelle emphasizes that both Adrien and her mom have been one hundred percent supportive of her and attentive to all her needs. Her cousin and fellow "It Girl" Georgina Wilson, who is mom to one and a half-year-old Archie, has also been a pillar of strength throughout this journey.
Yet at the end of the day, and in spite of all her loved ones extending a helping hand, Isabelle acknowledges that this experience is still between herself and her baby. From getting through the queasiness in her first trimester, to feeling reinvigorated energy in months four to six, and to patiently waiting out the final stretch of her pregnancy, Isabelle continues to learn life-long lessons about becoming a mom each day.
"I need to think of me and the baby now, and not just me. It's hard," she admits without hesitation.
Now that there's a bundle of joy on the way, there are endless things to consider, both small things—like what color the nursery should be—and big things—like if she and Adrien will settle as a family in Manila or abroad. And just like many first-time moms who have come before her, she's taking things in stride, always one step at a time.
"It's a great learning experience and it's something that I have to remind myself of everyday. I'm pregnant and this is really happening," she reflects.
And happening it really is—for a woman of status like Isabelle, the experience is proving to be the realest she's ever gone through, and in time, one that's bound to be her most cherished of all.
Mom in the spotlight
As she nears her delivery date, Isabelle recalls some of the memories of the past eight months and divulges what she's looking forward to the most when their baby finally arrives.
At five months, she felt her baby kick for the first time. She also recalls the amazement at seeing a "photo" of her baby, a four-dimensional image that her friends described as an incredibly accurate picture of what a baby will truly look like. She laughs at the strangeness of trading her favorite pastas, breads, and cheeses for classic Filipino feasts of daing na bangus and longganisa for breakfast, and loathes the fact that none of her favorite wardrobe pieces fit at the moment, including her engagement ring and wedding band. By far, hopping on a plane to visit new and exciting places and sampling delectable bites of sushi are what she misses the most. She mentioned, too, how her father, who passed away two months before her wedding, would have also been happy for her and Adrien.
"People who haven't been pregnant don't realize how much of a change it is, what a sacrifice it is," Isabelle says as a-matter-of-factly.
Chic Maternity Style
Photos from @isabelledaza
On the other hand, what she can't wait to find out is if her baby is a handsome little boy or a charming little girl. Neither she nor Adrien knows, and she has requested her medical team to keep it hidden from them as well. Baby name and nursery ideas will only come when she holds her baby for the first time, as only then will she feel what's right.
"People know so much [about my pregnancy] already, and we wanted to keep it a secret between us," she says, further noting the difficulties of being a personality whose career thrusts her in the spotlight—and exposes her to criticism—even during the more private times of her life.
"When a woman goes through pregnancy, you always tend to feel more insecure [because of all your body's changes]," she shares, much to the agreement of her fellow moms. Pinpointing what has kept her feet firmly planted on the ground during the more trying times of her pregnancy, she says it's the advice that Georgina gave her.
"She said, 'Do whatever makes you happy.' There's so much pressure as a mom... to be perfect. I think you should just keep yourself happy and that's what's going to make the baby happy, which I love!" expounds Isabelle.
They're words of wisdom that are easier said than done, but ones that have kept Isabelle's gaze focused on what truly matters. With people eager to tell her what she should and shouldn't do, impose their own advice, or even point out all the things she's doing wrong, Isabelle has learned to tune into her inner compass and develop a more refined filter for words worth listening to and those that are best ignored. Motherhood, as it seems, has made her stronger and more confident in ways no other experiences could have done.
"I think you know your body best, and you know yourself. Listen to yourself. Intuition is the best teacher," she states.
The dad behind mom
Of course, one cannot talk about Isabelle's pregnancy without mentioning the doting man behind the beaming mom. As Isabelle's boyfriend of seven and a half years and life partner for one and a half, Adrien has proven time and time again that he's the best man to do the job—both as her husband and the father of her child.
There is a noticeable tenderness in Isabelle's tone and expression when she says, "When I'm feeling scared and [wondering] what I'm doing to my life that's on a hold to have this baby, he [says] that everything we've worked for is towards this. This to him is happiness. And so it puts confidence in me."
Every mother, both new and experienced, will agree that a husband's support is what props her up during this life-changing time. Everything about and around her will change, including priorities, career goals, budgets, body image, and even the confidence she has in herself—except the love of a husband. A husband's love remains constant no matter what, and for Isabelle, Adrien has been a shining example of this. Rather than be another item in the growing list of changes she must address, he is, in fact, the anchor that keeps her safely docked, even on the stormiest of nights.
"I'm so excited that he's going to be the one with me in this journey. There are a lot of things that I learned from him," Isabelle reveals. His kindness, humility, sincerity, positivity, sweetness, insistence on spending quality time with her, and selflessness in doing her acts of service have not only eased the physical and emotional strains of pregnancy, but have also made her genuinely excited to be by his side as a new parent and even taught her a thing or two about how to be a better partner to him as well.
In other words, Adrien helps make it all worth it, just as a husband should. Without a doubt, he's definitely lived out his wedding vows.
When their baby finally comes home, Isabelle is sure that he'll be right there waiting with the warmth of a new dad ready to conquer fatherhood.
"When I see how he is with other kids, it makes me excited and happy. I am happy. When you're bringing life into this world, you can't help but be scared [and ask] if you're going to be good enough. And when I see him and he's playing with other kids, kissing my belly, and preparing the nursery, I'm okay," Isabelle smiles.
Already radiant with her sun-kissed complexion and sunny disposition, Isabelle is all the more alluring with the glow of motherhood, a powerful experience she says is about "definitely putting yourself second."
"I've learned that now," concludes Isabelle with the steadiness of a woman ready to take on her new life—and ultimately, care for a new life.
Congratulations to expecting parents, Isabelle and Adrien!
Photography by BJ Pascual
Makeup: Lala Flores
Hairstylist: Suyen Salazar
Stylist: Stylized Studio
Special thanks to Gerard Gotladera of W