Circle of Love: Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia await the coming of their first child.
There are very few events in one’s life that bring about as much joy and anticipation as the birth of a first child; and as expected, actress Coleen Garcia is positively radiant as she and husband Billy Crawford prepare to welcome theirs this September. Like all expectant parents, the two have been looking forward to the exciting times ahead of them and it is in the beautiful house they’ve called home for the past two years, that the couple shares just what it’s been like—adjusting to getting married, soon becoming first-time parents, and how their life has evolved during this time of the pandemic.
Building A Nest
Warm sunlight streams into the living room as Coleen and Billy fondly recall their house-hunting experience that entailed visiting several properties before happily discovering what they like to call their “secret spot,” located in the far reaches of a gated community, with lots of privacy, open space and fresh air.
Coleen shares, “It was a big consideration for us to find just the right place for us to raise our kids. Having an empty lot behind the house gives us so much clean air, which is something that’s not easy to find in the city. I remember how we had so many ideas on how we wanted our dreamhouse to look like; but in the end, what won out was the location.”
Billy adds, “This village is perfect because Coleen’s mom lives literally around the corner and having family close by is a definite plus, especially with the baby coming.
Changes, Big and Small
After having been together for six years, one would think that Coleen and Billy would know each other inside and out; but they confess to having had to adjust to each other’s little idiosyncrasies since they got married and began living together.
“Apart from the small things, I think it’s the change in mindset that was the biggest change,” declares Coleen. “Once we got married, we both knew there was no more option of leaving. It’s like, okay, we’re in this forever. We made a promise to God, to each other and to ourselves, to see this through.”
Billy shares, “For me, there were some things personally that were bringing me down. I stopped drinking and smoking because those things weren’t making me feel good. That eventually led up to the pregnancy, and I’m glad I got rid of those bad habits.”
Faced with having to stay home during the lockdown, Coleen says that she threw herself into keeping busy with all things related to their home. “I’ve always been the type of person who is forever busy doing something.” She notes that being under lockdown made her notice something as random as the fact that they had a number of picture frames that had yet to be filled. “Because we’d been so busy on the outside, I guess there was quite a lot that I had set aside for a later time. The lockdown made us realize that everything we need is right here; we don’t really need any more things and we can be perfectly content with what we have. We work so much, but ultimately, this is really what we work for. We’ve always been more of homebodies; but now is when we are actually enjoying being in our home.”
“In general, life for everyone has completely changed,” Billy adds. “It’s like a reset button has been pressed. People are becoming more creative and in some ways, even more productive than before.”
No To Stress
“It’s great that we have help for the housework, but we both want to be the actual ones to take care of our baby.” Coleen expresses how she is looking forward to bathing and changing the diapers of her little one, and envisions herself as the primary caregiver to their child. The couple is expecting a baby boy, and are already looking into the future, knowing that they definitely would want to try for a girl afterward.
Billy reveals, “I’m ten years older than her and feel I have so much more experience in life, but she is actually more chill than I am about this whole pregnancy thing.” He adds, “She has learned to really listen to her body: she eats healthy and exercises, too.”
Coleen happily shares that she’s seen firsthand how beneficial it is to adopt a more relaxed attitude. “Coming into this pregnancy, I told myself that I would really work on not stressing over things. Now I see that worrying really does nothing for me.”
Coleen describes having gone through her last trimester during the Covid-19 pandemic as being an eye-opener. Accepting that the circumstances surrounding being in hospitals now are far from ideal, the couple has carefully been preparing for a homebirth and have forged relationships with both a midwife and doula. “It’s a very personal decision that Billy and I have made based on what we’ve researched on and studied. We only decided on it during my third trimester.” They’ve also thought of a Plan B, just in case things don’t go as planned. “We do have emergency options, because of course we want to be safe about it. We even got someone to make a video on that day.”
She goes on to say that hearing the birth stories of other moms is helping her a lot. “Even if we aren’t exactly close, moms usually like to share, even if it’s something so personal. Billy and I have been watching a lot of documentaries so that we’re fully informed and ready for when my time comes. We want to be as prepared as we can be, anticipating different scenarios, so that we aren’t stressed on that day.”
Aside from reading up on pregnancy and childbirth, the couple also took birthing classes online. When asked if he’s been learning about how he can best take care of her, Billy laughingly shares, “I basically have been giving her everything she wants.”
Bringing Up Baby
Coleen declares, “When this pandemic is all over and it’s safe to venture out, I’m so excited to be able to expose our baby to the different elements: maybe take him to a forest or be by the beach. I just want to be outdoors and go somewhere where the air is fresh. The baby needs to build up his immunity, after all.”
When it comes to his christening, with Billy and Coleen being born again Christians, they believe that their son’s baptism will depend on what he wants for himself. “Having grown up Catholic, we were both baptized as babies and had a million godparents; but for our son, we want to choose ninongs and ninangs who are not just our close friends but those who we know will really be around as he grows up.”
As far as parenting goes, Coleen says they want to be fun parents, but not excessively so. “I want to be balanced, and of course we realize that no family is perfect, but we definitely will be avoiding those things we saw in different families that we didn’t like, especially those things that we believe can actually scar a child.”
Billy shares, “Actually our goal is to be good parents, just to do everything that’s best for our child. (Good) communication is definitely number one.” Coleen adds, “I want him to come to me for everything and not hide things from me. I’ve always been that way with my Mom, despite not having grown up with her since my parents were separated.”
Recognizing that they have as much to learn as to teach, they agree that they want to be a safe haven for their son, but they also don’t want to lose their position of authority over him. “I want to be more his parent than his best friend,” is how Billy put it best. Crawford was raised to be independent and responsible from an early age, and it’s something he wants to pass on to his own son.
Despite all that’s been happening in the world with the pandemic, Billy and Coleen’s strong faith in God and evident love for one another serve as nothing short of the perfect backdrop to their developing family story. With already grateful hearts, they look forward to devoting themselves to their new baby and new life together, as a family, completing their Circle of Love.
Photography by Miggy Abesamis
Story by Risa Regala-Garcia
Art Direction by Angel Famorcan
Makeup by Robbie Pinera
Hair by Renz Pangilinan
Styling by Adrianne Concepcion