Ending My 8-Week Struggle

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If there is one thing I am not prepared for at this moment, it is motherhood.

Please don’t mistake my unpreparedness for not wanting to have a child. I do want to have children. In fact, I’ve got their names listed already, just in case Jets forgets them or their spellings.

My struggle started in December when I started experiencing different kinds of pain in my body. I thought I was just going to have my period, but it didn’t come. I scratched off the thought of being pregnant, because hey, we were very careful, and I was wary enough to take note of my fertile period. No way, I said to myself, it was too early.

However, as much as I wanted not to be pregnant, all those cravings came rather frequently. I still thought it was just a sign of PMS. One time, I badly wanted a burger from The Black Apartment. I went there with the husband hungry and excited. We even ordered buffalo wings because we were that famished. Our orders came, and after finishing half of my burger, the patty lost its appeal and I just didn’t want to eat anymore. It was rather unusual because I could usually finish a TBA burger no matter how big it was.

Chopsuey, on the other hand, is the one thing I didn’t want to get near to — chopsuey from Foods ‘R’ Us, to be specific. Just the thought of it made be nauseous. Aaaargh, these hormones!

January came and I still didn’t have my period. I felt that something was growing inside me, not to mention all the discomforts that came with it. I googled everything I was feeling, and indeed, they were signs of pregnancy. Would you believe I even incurred patchy alopecia areata, and it was also a sign of pregnancy?

Oh, it was the hardest time of my life. For four weeks, nobody knew, all because I had a hard time accepting this reality.

Gradually, Jets noticed that I wasn’t having my monthly dysmenorrhea episodes and he began questioning me if I’ve had my period already. He was quite sure that I might be pregnant, so he was pushing me to take a pregnancy test. I tried to buy time and was fairly successful. I wanted to take the test when I was ready, even though I already had two PTs in my hands, courtesy of the school nurse.

Before taking the test, I wrestled with God — yes, the same wrestling Jacob experienced. My devotions in Hebrews were a constant reminder to put my full trust in the Lord, but I was still in denial. I tried to reason with God that with the monthly income that we have, we are not capable of giving our baby the best of everything. It was all I was worried about — how we didn’t have enough. I mean, we could barely get through a month’s expenses. How much more if there was an addition to the family?

The hardest part these past weeks was knowing exactly the key to ending my struggle but not being able to apply it because my fears were larger than my faith.

But God never gave up on me. He continued to encourage me through my devotions.

Jesus is the same always. – Heb 1:12

God helps His children. – Heb. 2:16

Fix your thoughts on Jesus. Do not harden your heart. – Heb 3:1,7

When the Lord makes a promise, He never changes His mind. – Heb. 7:21

Leave without knowing where to go. – Heb. 11:8

Those who have faith will enter God’s rest. – Heb. 4:3

And that was it. I was struggling because I didn’t have faith. I couldn’t sleep and be at peace because I didn’t trust God enough to let Him do His work in my life.

My struggle was not about how I was scared and unprepared for the coming of a baby. My struggle was about faith — faith that I failed to put into action. I let the control freak in me overcome my gift to move mountains. Because I was so engrossed with setting everything in place, I soon forgot that God’s will should first be in place, and everything would just follow.

I ended my faith struggle with a larger faith – a faith that allows my plans to be shaken and my life to be messy and disorganized.

On January 27, I took the test and accepted that I was indeed pregnant.

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On January 30, Jets’ birthday, we went to the doctor for a check-up. It was my birthday gift to him, because he was very excited to have a baby. The doctor suggested to have an ultrasound because, she said, she couldn’t hear the baby’s heartbeat.

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I didn’t know what to feel, but I went in anyway and had my very first ultrasound. I even asked Jets to come with me since I wanted him to get everything the doctor says.

As I looked at the monitor, the doctor pointed at the sac and the embryo. I thought I was smiling that time, seeing that tiny dot inside my tummy.

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The sonologist called Jets in so she could explain it further. I saw the look on his face as the doctor pointed at the embryo — it was priceless. That’s when I realized that I could actually go through all this, even the pain of child-bearing, if it meant seeing my husband’s incomparable joy every single day.

However, his facial expression slowly turned from hopeful to hopeless, as the doctor explained that the embryo had no heartbeat, no cardiac activity.

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My ultrasound results.

I was emotionless, but I felt the devastation that came upon Jets that exact time.

It’s been 2 days since that check-up, and it’s almost like my conscience is telling me that it’s my fault — that the baby didn’t have a heartbeat because I didn’t want it first.

I don’t know what will happen next, but right now, I am just fixing my eyes on Jesus, overlooking all my struggles, worries, and fears. Whatever the Lord allows to happen, I think He has already prepared me with a larger, more encompassing faith than before.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith… – Heb. 12:2a

PS. As of posting today, February 5, the embryo came out this morning after a 3-hour contraction. It was the most grueling 3 hours of my life, and Jets wasn’t even home. But God is good — He helped me through it.

Tomorrow, we will be going to my OB for her next advice regarding my condition. Thank you for all your prayers. God has other plans, and we know they’re for the better. 😄

Something New

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The husband and I have been invited to speak about Christian Dating, Marriage and Purity several times already. The fact that we got married without a baby in my tummy probably made us the perfect tandem to discuss the topic.

I got so used to speaking in front of teenagers and yuppies about dating that I have forgotten the existence of other topics. ✌

Just two weeks ago, we were invited to teach young children at church for their anniversary. The theme, Dakilang Manunubos, Ipakilala nang Lubos, was a challenge. I’ve never discussed topics related to missions — and now, I even had to teach children about it. I guess that’s what levelling up means — exploring brand new stuff with a new audience.

I simply grabbed the opportunity to speak to the children. I knew I had a lot of things going for the past two weeks, but it’s not for me to reject any chance to share God’s word, especially when this gift is not natural to me. Yep, it was only after I have developed a more intimate relationship with the Lord that I was endowed with a gift of speaking His word. 🙂

To be honest, it is even harder for me to teach with a partner. Of course, Jets and I have different teaching styles because we have very contrasting personalities. He’s the fun teacher; I’m the serious one. I guess that’s how we came up with our Junior Worship teaching setup that Sunday — he facilitated the games, and I taught the lesson.

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READY, SET, GO. Jets was instructing the kids which message to relay to their group mates in our Pass-the-Message game.

Looking back, I realized that as a married couple, immersing ourselves in the company of kids makes us more mature. It develops what is lacking in us — patience and tolerance for children.

It was also fun seeing the husband mingle enthusiastically with the children. There were times that Sunday when we were starting to panic and subconsciously snap at each other, but thank God, we managed to pull it off.

While it was tiring and challenging to teach the children, I would not miss the opportunity to minister to them if given another chance. 🙂

Natura Vista: Home Away from Home

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Jets and I just came from Bohol. It was not our dream destination, but we sure had fun on our first trip together as a married couple — you might call it THE honeymoon, but not really. 😛

Ever since April, I’ve been eyeing an inn in Panglao Island called Natura Vista. Though I’m not a fan of traditional nipa huts or Filipiniana-inspired stuff, this particular hotel had its charm.

When planning for trips, the husband knows I have good choices when it comes to accommodations, so we never argue about that. Good for the maarte wife, he lets me take charge.

We immediately told one of our Ninongs, who was, by the way, ever so generous to give us this trip as a wedding gift, that we would like to avail of Natura Vista’s Kasaag Package.

I think we booked a little too late because the treehouse-like cottage, Kabuntagon, was already taken, so we settled for the Kalipay (Visayan term for happiness) cottage instead. It was the first cottage from the entrance, which I didn’t like at first.

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However, as we soon got accustomed with the place, it wasn’t so bad after all. In front of our room were these hanging stalks, jeez, I don’t know what they’re called. Haha.

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I really liked how the place felt homey and comfortable. Even the staff were so kind to accommodate our every need.

Our room had two doors, by the way. The other door opened to a porch with the garden in view. This is where we had our first lunch in Bohol.

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We had Shrimps in Sweet Chili Sauce and Chicken Halang-halang for lunch. Our welcome refreshments were served as well.

And I especially requested a candlelight dinner on our first night — trying to be romantic on the eve of my birthday!

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The fact that they served good food was a bonus. Since the place was far from the city and there were no other restaurants nearby, it was our only choice, but I think we made the right one!

Below are some other pictures we took of Natura Vista.

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All in all, we had a very wonderful stay at Natura Vista, despite having a close encounter with a cockroach on our first night. I wouldn’t blame them for the cockroach, though. He’s part of nature. Ha.

So this is just the first part of my Bohol series. We just arrived tonight, so pictures and videos are still in the treasure chest. 😛

From Flowers to Sticky Notes

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It’s been exactly a year and 3 days since my ex-boyfriend proposed to me.

I hate to admit this, but I’m really a sucker at responding to acts of sweetness — especially those that many girls only dream about.

It happened on April 30, 2010, after 3 months of no communication because of our prayer covenant. Jets had just taken me home after an eventful date at our favorite April 30 hangout venue, and I had just gotten into my pambahay clothes, when I heard a familiar song playing. It was, I thought, an acoustic cover of Breathing by Lifehouse. I mindlessly sang along until I looked up at the radio, saw that it wasn’t even plugged in, and my brother was practically slamming a cell phone, with flash, onto my face. Everything was planned!

I looked outside and saw Jets singing and playing the guitar. He was doing the traditional harana! With him were some of our friends — one as backup guitarist, the other as videographer and all others, including my cousins and other family members, as spectators. Apparently, it was only my father and I who were clueless. Thanks ha. I hate being caught off guard.

Now here’s one of the two best parts: I asked, in fact I pleaded, Jets to stop singing. Not that he was out of tune — I loved every bit of it, and I appreciated all the effort. It’s just that… I didn’t know how to respond.

So naturally, because I pleaded, he stopped singing. I opened the gate, and he gave me a bouquet of roses. The neighbors were looking, and our friends were, I don’t know, teasing us? While carrying the bouquet, I wanted to go to my aunt’s house a few steps away from where I was standing to ask if they, too, were involved in the planning, but I was too shy to take the flowers with me.

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And now, the second best part: I put the bouquet on the ground. In Filipino, as Jets would put it, nilapag sa semento.

Yes, it happened, and every now and then, the same scenario of putting the flowers on the ground haunts me, and I cry out of guilt. If only I knew how to respond, I wouldn’t have hurt him with my actions.

That night, my simple reason was that the bouquet was too bongga and heavy for me to be bringing along to the kapitbahay; nobody wanted to hold it, and leaving it inside the house would take a long time and I had visitors waiting for me.

Again, I appreciated and adored everything, but I didn’t know how to respond to all these stuff while getting all the attention. It’s not everyday someone sings to you in public!

And that is the very reason why I can’t imagine how I managed to pull off and get away with his proposal, which, by the way, was carefully devised, much like that fateful night when I showed the whole world how unromantic and unappreciative I was.

I think, with time, we were able to grow and understand the things we would respond well to — which things made us comfortable, which actions made us feel loved.

What I like most about him is his sense of humor, and this video of our friends just proved how much we share the same love for fun and friendship. 🙂

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I’m a keeper of memorable stuff. I used this nameplate during my OJT at NCMH. I gave my nameplate to him in 2010, and it touched my heart knowing that he took good care of it until his proposal day. 🙂

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I love bears. And sticky notes are my thing! Can you believe he bought around 10-12 sticky note pads to write cheesy pickup lines and jokes on for this bear alone? I still have those pads, though. He wasn’t able to use them all.

Everything he prepared for his proposal was just a representation of all the things he knows about me. And boy, it was just perfect! 🙂


Check out Salt and Pepper’s blog about our love story. 🙂

1600 Days and the Days in Between

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Today marks the 1600th day of my relationship with Jets, better known as the exclusively-praying-for-each-other-not-accepting-other-offers-and-getting-there stage. It all depends on when you start counting. There’s an additional 365 days if you want to include our prayer covenant.

Anyhow, I’ll be celebrating this milestone with a blog post. Hurrah!

Months after being married, I have been often asked, “How is married life different from when you were just dating?”

To be honest, answering that question is quite a bother. Why? Because I’d have to think hard about the differences — and really, they are so few I keep forgetting them when I’m in a good mood. 🙂

When I first met Jets, he was this really cool drummer who cracked the funniest jokes and did the funniest antics. No, not because I liked him at first sight — I just enjoyed his company and it turned out this way. Haha!

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Two things.

One, our first year of getting to know each other was all good stuff. We hung out, went on group dates and texted each other until we ran out of battery. We liked what we were seeing, hearing and learning from each other.

As we moved from friendship to close friendship and eventually, to courtship – yes, this term – we began to see where we fell short. Too much time with each other allowed us to see our shortcomings and even those that we did way overboard. We hated certain things about each other, but when we think about it, we had more similarities than we had differences, and what we hated about each other, we just saw in ourselves.

So two, there’s good stuff and there’s bad reality — it can’t be fun all the time. Now what’s the difference?

I think it’s the way we deal with circumstances now that we live in the same house and don’t text each other as often.

We have more bills to pay.
We have to work harder.
We have to save up.

We have a family to look forward to.

But now we have the rest of our lives to figure out life, and each other, together, and that’s the best part!

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All photos taken at Museo Pambata.

Understanding by Design

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A recent fight with my husband taught me two things:

  1. Those who don’t understand tend to get angry first.
  2. Those who do understand could use a little more understanding.

I am not saying I’m right, and he’s wrong. I would like to think we both have weaknesses we need to work on.

As I locked myself in the bathroom, all sorts of thoughts entered my mind. I was angry. I was crying. I was crying because I couldn’t be angry. I couldn’t shout at him. I was no longer that kind of person. Over the years I have learned to keep all the words — especially the mean ones — from coming out of my mouth. Surely, this wasn’t one of the situations that called for my mean speech.

In my mind I thought, “Heck, how you reacted was just the worst. Now you sound a lot like —.” I calmed myself down. I had to. The sudden outburst of tears made it hard for me to breathe. Thank God for hyperventilation — it keeps me sane enough not to cry most of the time.

You see, the problem with marriage is that there is no trial version. It comes as a whole package. No, there isn’t a crack. There is no keygen. You discover and work things out on your own. Together. It’s up to you and your mate to solve your differences — all the more your misunderstandings.

Back in the bathroom I wondered, “What if, after he reacted semi-violently, I approached him more gently? What if I smiled at him, cracked a joke, and reassured him that we could work on his forms together?” Seems easy, but not really. It was especially straining because I hate going through stuff repeatedly. My favorite line, which he usually mimics, “Eh paulit-ulit naman tayo eh,” was the same line that made him snap — it showed no hint of understanding on my part. It was more of complaining that I had to repeat what was already previously said.

Clearly, marriage requires understanding, not just of one, but of both. There may be setbacks. One might have, or know, less; the other might have more, but where the other person lacks, the partner should provide. That is true partnership.

Four months into married life and I am slowly learning. I thought it wasn’t hard at first, but challenges come, and they make us better at what we do. 🙂