Metro.Style #HipAndHappeningMoms 2019: Cristalle Belo-Pitt
Giving birth is the single most mind-blowing experience a woman can go through. And to testify to how life-changing it is exactly is Cristalle Belo-Pitt, the managing director of the Belo Medical Group and daughter to celebrated dermatologist and doctor to the stars Vicki Belo. Cristalle gave birth to her and Justin Pitt's son, Hunter James, about a year ago (he will turn one on May 28). Yes, it has already been a year, but to the first-time mom, it feels just like yesterday when her life had a pivotal moment that truly changed her life for the better forever.
Cristalle delivered Hunter James via emergency Caesarean section, a bundle of joy the couple was blessed with a little over a year after she and Justin tied the knot in a beautiful wedding in Lake Como, Italy.
A passionate career woman, Cristalle now prioritizes being a full-time mom, pouring her whole heart and self into taking care of her son. She is enjoying every single day as a mother, and every milestone of Hunter James puts a smile on her face. Seeing photos of her baby on her Instagram feed also brightens up the day of her followers—this mom has been going all-out documenting her baby's growth through various creative photo shoots with themes like Popeye, Gingerbread man, cupid, aviation, and Easter bunny. With how much she has been posting about him on her Instagram account, Cristalle jokes, "Am I that mom that has no personal content anymore coz my world is my baby?" Even if she indeed becomes that kind of mom, clearly, she has no qualms about it; she has found a new purpose in life and she is determined to give her best in this new role.
What was it like giving birth?
"I'm Miss Last-Minute. I'm Miss ''pag andy'an na, that's the only time I'll deal with this.' That's why even when I'm nearing my birth, I was like, 'Yeah, I know what's coming, I can handle this.' But I gave birth earlier than expected at 33 weeks, a month and a half before I'm due, that's why it came as an even bigger shock. We had to stay in the hospital for 20 days, and that's only when everything dawned on me. What was good about it was I got used to the rhythm, the breastfeeding every three hours, I saw how the nurses would handle my baby. That's how I was able to learn how to be a caretaker. That's when everything kind of fell into place."
What were some of the major changes you had to go through?
"One of the major changes was in my body, and you have no idea how many times I got so frustrated, I got so sad because I couldn't fit into this outfit, how come my breasts are not what they used to be like. But the good thing is, I have Belo on my side. Maybe after Baby #2, I can get back to getting my body back.
"Also, before, I used to sleep 8-10 hours a day. Now, sleep is very superficial. As a matter of fact, I catch myself waking up before the baby wakes up because I know something's coming and I feel like the sleep is very shallow, but it's definitely worth it."
How helpful is it having a supportive husband around?
"I couldn't have asked for a better husband. I didn't know how to cook and since Justin was a Cordon Bleu-trained cook, we can do meal preps for Hunter together. It's so nice because everything's thought of and it's all scientific. He says he uses olive oil because it has long omega chains for Hunter's brain and then we use non-salted butter for medium-sized chains, and he roasts vegetables because roasting it brings out the natural sugar.
"But more than that, he's literally like a mom, he's just like me. Before I even knew how to change a diaper, Justin already knew how. And he's like a Master Swaddle guy. He's just amazing. I feel like he's the baby whisperer and I'm just following his lead. He's so involved and every doctor's visit prior to giving birth, he was with me. I really feel that I'm not alone in this especially going through so many major life changes. It's just so nice to know that I have the right partner for me for life, to be by my side raising this kid."
What are some of the things you learned from your own mother?
"I have to credit both my mom and Justin. For my mom, I love how she's always there for me. Like when I gave birth, since it was an emergency C-section, Hunter had to be rushed to the NICU. Good thing, both my mom and Justin were there so she was like, 'Justin, you handle your baby and I'll handle my baby.' So mom was in the OR with me when they were stitching me. And even now, when Justin and I have to do something or go out, we can always bring Hunter to her.
"Justin's mom was also amazing. When we first brought Hunter home, she flew to Manila—she's far, she's based in Australia—because we still had no yaya. Leanne raised Justine and his sister alone with no nanny whatsoever so she knew how to do everything. She taught me a lot of things like how you put your knuckle in front of the baby's mouth to see if he's hungry, how to change his diaper the right way because he might pee. She was just really, really crucial in the way that I am now as a mom."
What are some of the values that you want Hunter to develop and carry as he grows?
"I really want Hunter to go to a boarding school in Australia or England because we really want to raise him as an independent boy. As young as he is now, we've already trained him to sleep in his own room on his own. We don't want to be hovering, helicopter parents. We want him to be able to stand on his own two feet.
"I also want Hunter to have that determination to succeed and reach for his goals and not be fearful of failing or falling down because it's so easy to get back up. And of course, kindness. Justin stands for kindness. And I hope I can train him as his mom."
“It's really, really difficult when you want to give your baby everything but sometimes you just have to stand back and let them grow on their own, realize things on their own. Sometimes it hurts because you kind of want the baby to depend on you and you want to feel important, but you have to think what is the best for your child”
Photos from @cristallebelo
Photography by Stan Ong
Production and set design by Indy’s Playground
Clothes from Gingersnaps, Talulah’s Closet, Monochromatic Baby, Billie Mallare, and Pottly & Tubby
Cristalle and Hunter would like to acknowledge Belo Baby all-natural bath products!
Visit Metro.Style again for more #HipAndHappeningMoms Mother's Day special features.