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EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Andres Details Her Pregnancy Journey, And Opens Up About Motherhood

“I’m too overwhelmed with love,” she says—too much, in fact, she can’t wait to gush about what’s making her glow with happiness these days. Here, Sofia Andres talks about her partner, Daniel Miranda, and their adorable bundle of joy, Zoe Natalia

“It’s okay”—that’s the first thing Sofia Andres told herself the moment she laid eyes on her positive pregnancy test. She was overcome with mixed emotions at the time, but none of them was ever close to the feeling of regret. That was a turning point in life that could make any young woman cry out of fear of the unexpected, but even Sofia was surprised by and in awe of her reaction. The result was positive, but so was her attitude in dealing with the situation. 


“I didn’t cry, to be honest. I wasn’t scared because I felt like I was ready in a way, but I was not ready at the same time,” she begins. “It’s so weird, but I wasn’t so scared. I wasn’t really panicking. I didn’t even cry. I was like, ‘It’s okay. It’s a blessing. I’m excited!’” 


It’s true, no matter what the circumstances may be, every baby is a blessing.


Ganu’n pala ’yung big change ’pag may anak ka na,” Sofia ponders out loud with Metro.Style.

  

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The day that changed her life forever 

The day she found out she was pregnant was a typical busy day in her showbiz life. She was at a photo shoot for an endorsement project when she felt the urge to confirm something she couldn’t quite take her mind off. She had an inkling of what was about to come. She could feel it. Nay, she was sure about it. She just needed tangible proof to put her at ease. So, for her peace of mind, she asked her road manager for a favor, to buy her four pregnancy kits. With cold sweats, she tried them all, and each one had a positive result. It was confirmed: she was going to be a mom! 


Over the moon, Sofia wasted no time in telling her parents, Monette and Eric, about her pregnancy. But as any loving parent would when thrown in the same situation, their initial reaction was to make her reflect on what she thinks her future would look like, both the personal and professional aspects. After all, she’s a rising celebrity, a social media influencer, and an in-demand product endorser with millions of followers taking cues from every OOTD and beauty look she puts out there.  


“That’s when it hit me,” Sofia shares. “I realized, ‘Oo nga no?’ But at the same time, at the back of my mind, I knew I could do all that with my baby. She’ll be my inspiration. So what’s wrong with it?”


Young as she may be, she suddenly mustered up the courage to woman up, and put herself aside for the welfare of her baby. And in that instance, she showed her parents that she knows how to take responsibility, only she doesn’t think of her unplanned pregnancy as a mistake—it’s a miracle, and again, a blessing beyond measure! And her decision to keep her baby is even more admirable, because not even a soaring career could’ve stopped her from fully embracing motherhood. “I never regret anything,” she declares.


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The man she sees forever with

Despite being at the cusp of adulthood, with added layers of a huge responsibility and a lifelong commitment, there’s an unmistakable tone of confidence in Sofia’s voice. It’s hinting at the strength that allows her to power through in the face of a challenge. And the main reason behind that is her partner of four years, Daniel Miranda


“He didn’t leave me,” she says. The carefree young man she met while partying at a hangout spot, who was instantly smitten by Sofia’s beauty, is the same man who was courageous enough to tell her this straight up: “I’m gonna take care of you and the baby.”


Daniel is the fifth person who found out about Sofia’s pregnancy. She couldn’t tell him right away because the Cebuano professional racecar driver was in Thailand then for a competition, and she wanted him to focus on that. So, she told his mother, Angelique Lhuillier, first. Understandably, Daniel’s mom was emotional upon hearing the news, but the positive thoughts of having a bundle of joy brightening up their home soon far outweighed the negatives (if there was even any to begin with). She understood how the news came as a shock to Daniel’s parents, but she also knew that they’d warmly welcome her and the baby into their family, as she’s always known them to be “very nice, supportive, and loving.” 


“I waited for him to finish his race first, and he won,” Sofia shares. “Then I called him and said I was pregnant. I showed him the ultrasound picture, and then he cried. He cried like a baby, and I’ve never seen him like that. Then he said ‘kaya ko, tanggap ko.’ Hindi s’ya nagpakita ng anything that could get me upset or offended.”


The truth was, as happy as Sofia may have been about her pregnancy, there was also an ounce of fear within her—fear about possibly raising this baby on her own. It happened to her older sister, and it could happen to her, too. “Akala ko iiwan n’ya rin ako,” she says. But she couldn’t have been more wrong.


Just as she describes him as a “very clingy” boyfriend, there was no way he wouldn’t stick with her in this new chapter and adventure. “He’s very sweet. Uplifter ko s’ya. I’m not as jolly as him, so s’ya ’yung nagpapasaya sa’kin. He’s very caring,” Sofia goes on to say about Daniel.  


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Happiness is carrying a whole world inside you

Sofia decided it was best to step away from the limelight, and cherish her pregnancy journey in a peaceful environment that would best prepare her and Daniel for life as parents. Along with their moms, Monette and Angelique, the two went to Sydney, Australia, where Daniel was also studying. They stayed there for about six months—from the waiting game to the arrival of their baby, up to her first month in the world. 


Sofia couldn’t ask for a better pregnancy journey. Through all her emotional, stressful moments (night cravings, included), she was just constantly embraced by the love and warmth of her family and friends. That phase in her life wouldn’t have been as easy and happy as it was if not for them, especially her mom and Daniel’s mom. These two amazing mothers have been there for Sofia and Daniel every step of the way, taking care of them, guiding them, and showing them by examples what it truly means to be a good parent. Seeing them sacrifice their own time to join the couple in their journey to parenthood and better prepare them for what lies ahead was an experience like no other. And for Sofia, it was all the inspiration she needed to become a selfless mom herself. 


But the person Sofia is most grateful for is Daniel. The meaningful time they shared in Australia as a couple was like a prelude to what their dynamics could be as parents. And Sofia feels blessed for having a partner who not only showed her genuine love but also helped her become a better person even through matters like handling finances and being more practical and organized. “Makikita mo ’yung change sa kanya. Makikita mo ’yung he’s very into it. ‘I’m a dad. I have to do this and that.’ He’s amazing!”


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Sofia gave birth to daughter Zoe Natalia on November 24, 2019 in Australia via vaginal birth. “’Yung bago pa lang manganak, challenging na because sobrang sakit,” she recalls. She was in labor from 8a.m. to 7p.m. “Grabe, ’yun ’yung parang wala na talaga akong poise. They tried putting me in a bathtub just to see if water birth could work, because it was really painful, but then they said it was too late na,” Sofia shares, still in disbelief at how she was able to go through that. “Ang hirap pala manganak!”


But no matter how painful it may have been, it was all worth it—blood, sweat, tears, and all. It was the most beautiful experience she’ll cherish forever. “When she came out, I cried because I couldn’t believe this baby was inside me the whole time. Wow! Para akong nasa cloud nine. It was overwhelming. And then after that, I was just staring at her. I thought, ‘This is my kid.’ Wala ka nang masasabi eh. She is from me. She was inside me,” she shares. 


Daniel felt surreal just the same, but Sofia recalls that he almost left the delivery room because he was scared and nervous at the same time. She shares, laughing, “He was inside the room when I was giving birth. There was blood and all that. And then the doctor said, ‘Oh, the head is out!’ And then he tried peeking on what was happening, and then he said, ‘Oh my god! The head! The hair!’” 


But when he managed to finally pull himself together, the excited new dad in him made sure to remember that moment by immediately grabbing the camera and taking photos of their baby and the placenta.


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“Actually, after kong manganak, si Daniel ’yung parang mom,” Sofia shares. “He was the one who was very paranoid about our baby’s temperature, kung ano ’yung mga kailangan bilhin, kung ano ’yung mga kailangang gamitin niya. Ako ’yung parang na-culture shock. That’s what I love about him kasi parang, biruin mo, everyday, he would check our daughter’s temperature, to make sure na okay siya. And he would always update the doctors and ask kung kailan ba ’yung next visit namin. Siya ’yung naghuhugas nu’ng mga bote. Siya ’yung nagste-sterilize. Siya ’yung nagpapalit ng diapers. I’m very lucky.”   


The life-changing experience they went through together and are still continuously adapting with is such an emotional rollercoaster for the young couple. They had a lot of questions, and they still do. They were uncertain about some aspects throughout Sofia’s pregnancy, and they still feel the same way now about parenthood. But they wouldn’t change a single thing. Things do happen for a reason, and that the reason for both their existence is now determined by this tiny, delicate human being.


All of a sudden, their purpose became simpler, clearer, and more defined. Whatever extraneous noise that could muddle a peaceful, quiet life was instantaneously deafened by their baby’s first cry. The worries and fears are replaced by overflowing love and uncontainable excitement for their new life as a couple and this new level in their relationship. This is a journey Sofia and Daniel are both committed to take on, a process they’re more than ready and willing to go through together.    


This is their reality now. That Zoe now means the world to them became crystal clear when they first held her in their arms. They knew then and there that their lives are not theirs to live alone anymore—there’s now a precious life that depends on them, their decisions, and their choices. 


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Motherhood becomes her

And because they’re no longer all about hanging out, having fun, and going about their happy-go-lucky days, the couple felt it was a good decision to keep Sofia’s pregnancy and motherhood to themselves for a while; they wanted to wait for the right time to share this with everyone. That gave them time to strengthen the bond of their family, transition to parenthood better, and bask in the unparalleled bliss of nourishing and nurturing their child. 


But as their baby grew (and the galleries of their phones overtaken by thousands of photos of this little girl), the happy parents could no longer keep this happiness all to themselves. They’re proud to have brought this baby into this world, and there was really no more point in keeping that any longer. 


So, on Father’s Day, as Sofia’s way of honoring Daniel who has so far been a great dad to their daughter, she finally revealed that she’s now a mom. She revealed the news via Instagram, alongside her tributes to her own father and Daniel, as well as an IGTV clip that highlighted how thankful she is to everyone who had been part of her pregnancy journey. 






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Being at home during the ECQ really made me feel real love from home as I was able to cherish the little things I can do and enjoy here, of course, like the DIY shoots. But on another end, ang dami ring na-cancel na plans and celebrations that had to be simply at home to be safe. And since today is a special day for the fathers, I just want to take the chance to celebrate my first love, my dad who has been with me through ups and downs. Thank you Daddy for the generosity and the love. I also want to celebrate my greatest love, Daniel. I’m so grateful that I have you by my side because you have brought so much color and adventure into my world. Not only that, you also been part in giving me my greatest happiness—our little angel. Right now I really feel complete, because I have my dad who always has my back, my love who loves me for who I am and now my little bundle of joy, whom I will love unconditionally and who will be my source of strength during these trying times. Shout out to all the fathers in the world, Happy Father's Day! #lovefromhome

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When asked why she finally decided to talk about this now, she says, “Daniel and I are now ready… Besides, who wouldn’t want to share that blessing to everybody?! I’m prepared for whatever people may say kasi buo na kami. I’m very happy and lucky in life that I don’t have time to focus on negative things.”  


Now, get ready for when Zoe takes over Sofia’s well curated feed. She adds in jest, “I have a lot of photos of her already that are ready to be uploaded.”  


No amount of blush-on could give this beauty junkie’s face the same color and vibrance the same way the mere sight of her baby would. No type of contact lenses could ever replicate the twinkle she now has in her eyes. No amount of highlighter could make her glow as beautifully as motherhood does. No fun activity could ever make her smile the way Zoe would when she smiles or stares at her, or does those cute close-open hand movements. 


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“She changed my life, my mindset, my goals, my path. Mas minahal ko ang sarili ko. Mas na-appreciate ko ang life. I know my purpose already. My plans are all detailed now,” Sofia gushes. “Zoe’s such a happy baby. So it means my whole pregnancy journey was really happy, too. It was such a peaceful journey. I’m so happy when I see my child. She’s so jolly. She always smiles at me. All the little things she does make me happy.”


Yes, life for Sofia won’t be the same ever again, but she’s taking all the changes in stride. With her new responsibilities came new routines that made her more efficient with time management. She no longer holds her time; it’s the baby who dictates it, and the happy mommy is ready to move things around according to her baby’s clock. But through all of it, she makes sure to squeeze in her me-time, working out, to get her pre-baby shape back (if it even ever changed dramatically in the first place!).  


With this new chapter in their lives coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, the bond they’ve established has become even greater, and it’s great, too, that baby Zoe gets her parents’ undivided love and attention. Sofia shares the sentiments of many new parents during this time in that this phase under quarantine has a silver lining whose positive effects to their relationship as a family they could only hope to maintain and sustain even post-quarantine life. She and Daniel also can’t deny how much they’re excited to take their baby out so she could breathe in some fresh air, and enjoy time with her strolling around the mall, walking in the park, or frolicking in the beach.


As Sofia says in an Instagram post while she was away in Australia, “Not all storms come to disrupt your life… some come to clear your path.” 


With the threat of this global health crisis looming on the horizon, the new mom is hopeful that things will eventually become so much better than it was before, just like how her life is now with Zoe around. 


Sofia is confident she’s capable of loving Zoe more than she has ever loved herself. And as she carries her baby and cradles her to sleep, she can assure her little princess that she’ll do anything and everything to make this world a better place for her to live in, as she whispers to her ears: “It’s okay, it’ll be okay.”


Photographs by Bon Jheo Exconde

Special thanks to Gidget dela Cuesta, Thess Gubi, and Star Magic