For Alice Dixson, life has been changed forever after becoming a first-time mom at the age of 51.
“My journey to be a parent took a long time. It took about 10 years. I started when I was 40 when I first froze my eggs, and then it was only last year, when I was 51, that we conceived and wow! Life has never been the same since,” Alice told The STAR in an exclusive online interview.
It was on Good Friday, April 2, 2021, when the Kapuso star surprised fans with the announcement of the arrival of her “newest little family member” after what she described as a decade of waiting and praying.
“Despite the unexpected trials this year, God gave us a little miracle,” Alice then captioned her Instagram post bearing a beaming photo of herself holding a piece of paper that showed footprints of her newborn baby via surrogacy.
Alice and her non-showbiz partner would name their daughter Aura.
The actress, who currently stars in the GMA primetime series First Lady with Gabby Concepcion and Sanya Lopez, recalled how the name came about.
“We had several names in mind. But Aura was something unique. I had thought about the name when I was in my 20s pa. And then, we decided that OK, we’ll name her when she comes out. We’re gonna see kung ano itsura niya and yung personality niya and kung bagay yung name and that’s what we’ll name her. When I met her for the first time, you know, I kind of asked her (laughs), would you like your name to be Aura? And parang na-feel ko naman na gusto niya so that became her name — Aura.”
According to Babynames.com, Aura in Latin means “glowing light.” It’s clear how much light and delight her daughter has brought to her life even amidst this pandemic.
Alice opened up more to The STAR about life one year after embracing parenthood. She also shared why despite the clamor of her followers, she has yet to officially introduce her baby girl’s face to the public. Of course, we also had to ask how she continues to be “beauty and body goals” for many a Filipina to this day.
Below are more excerpts from the recent interview:
On her first year of motherhood:
“It’s been a wonderful first-year journey. When she was born, it was right after my last day of taping for GMA’s Legal Wives, and may mga quarantine, lock-in and all that stuff, and I had to go fly right away to North America to get her because she was born premature… We were expecting her to come two months later, but she came two months early.
“That was nerve-wracking as a first-time mom and also wala akong support system nun (at that time). I didn’t have any family that was able to come visit me because my sister couldn’t travel because of COVID. My other sister couldn’t travel because of COVID. My niece could travel but she has her family. Ang hirap ng situation ko. I wound up taking care of Aura myself for the first couple of months until we were able to fly back to the Philippines.”
On the very first time she met Aura:
“So, the very first time I saw Aura… Hindi pa kami pwede pumasok sa hospital nung dumating ako, when I flew in, and there was a seven-day quarantine before I could go into the hospital. Because she was a preemie, hindi pa siya pwede lumabas kaagad. There were certain criteria before the doctor could release her. So, she was in the hospital for a week. Nakakausap ko lang yung nurses through FaceTime and WhatsApp, and then they would show me her through video call and they would update me on how she was doing that day.
“Until my tests came back negative, then I was able to visit her but she was already eight days old when I saw her and she was so tiny… tiny and skinny. She was like a little bird, a sick little bird. I was like, oh my gosh, this is my baby! Kumbaga, she was very frail. Of course, I was really concerned. I was really worried. I mean, it was my first time to be a mom but the doctor said, ‘You know, she’s doing well, she just came out a little early. But we’re going to be monitoring her and everything is normal.’
“I think the first thing I looked at was her hands, her little face. I was thinking, oh, who does she look like? Who does she resemble? And then just talking to her, letting her hear my voice and then holding her for the first time. I have a lot of videos and pictures but just talking about it now, recalling it a year later, parang kinikilabutan ako.”
On her favorite antics (so far!) of Aura:
“She is really super, super friendly. She’s always smiling and saying hello to strangers. Nakakatuwa. And she also knows how to smile for the camera already. She’s a little character, marami na rin siyang antics. She’s very smart. She knows what she wants already and what she doesn’t want, and she’s trying to communicate it. She’s only a year old.”
On how aura changed her perspective on career and life:
“I don’t think she’s made an impact on my career because I don’t use her to propel my celebrity but she has changed my perspective (in terms) of the way I look at and appreciate my mother. And I realize how much sacrifice motherhood is. Mas na-appreciate ko lalo ngayon ang mga moms and their role because ang daming puyat na ginagawa, ang daming pagsilbi, ang daming pagmamahal at aruga ang ginagawa ng isang nanay. I’ve enjoyed all the roles that I’ve played in my career, but then the most important role I’ve ever played is Aura’s mom.”
On why she has yet to show aura’s face on social media despite clamor:
“I think the word clamor is a good adjective to describe what her dad and I wanted to avoid. We didn’t want public clamor. We wanted to enjoy the experience of having a child… yung hindi kami pinagkakaguluhan? I know it’s very far-fetched and I’m, you know, a celebrity and everybody wants to know about it. But I have always been a private person when it comes to my personal life and hindi lang po ako ang nagde-decision about parenting Aura. Her father plays an important role. We make decisions together at kung siya ay napaka-conservative na tao, more than me, and even more private than me, I have to respect also his wishes that we would wait for the right time.
“Marami din nagtatanong and I want to set the record straight also, why don’t I show his photograph as well? Am I not proud of him? Ang daming speculations just because I don’t show his photographs, which is if I show his photograph, too, there’s so much talk rin so whatever we do, there’s no way around it (laughs). But the truth is, it’s his request na hindi ko papakita yung mukha niya sa social media. I mean, he attends events with me… we’re seen in public together but not on social media pages. I don’t use him to propel my career the same way I don’t use my baby to propel my standing or my news viability…
“So, we’ve decided together that we would introduce Aura when the right opportunity comes, for example, a family campaign or something like that. Tingin ko, this will probably happen this year. Open kami, it’s just that we’re waiting for the right opportunity. I look forward to that day and I’m kind of envisioning it myself. And we’ll be happy to introduce my family soon to everyone.”
On maturing and how to handle it better:
“To be honest, now that I’m 52, medyo tinatamad-tamad din ako mag-exercise, especially since nagpupuyat ako sa gabi, taking care of Aura, I don’t have as much time for myself as I want. The time that I do spend on myself, sometimes, it’s not for exercise. So my goal for this year is that I focus more on my fitness again because when you focus on your fitness, it’s not just for looking beautiful, but also staying healthy. Like in my case, I want to be as healthy as possible. Because I want to live the longest life I can for my daughter. Ang dami ko pang gustong gawin sa buhay ko, para sa kanya (Aura) and para sa family ko.
“I think for me, I’m older, but I’m wiser. So, what I lacked in youth, I make up for in maturity. Not physical maturity, but in the character, of who I am, of all the combined experiences that made me me. Kaya confident ako, and you should be, too, because you wouldn’t be who you are if not for those experiences that you had. So, be proud of them and be proud of yourself.”