Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Love Story

I got pregnant when I was 22 years old. I had graduated from the country's premier university just a mere year and a half ago and there I was: I was about to become a mother at such a young age. I had a job, yes, but was I capable enough of taking care of someone else? Getting knocked up in your twenties is not as traumatic as getting pregnant in your teens. I have friends who got pregnant in their late teens in college while going to school. And while most of them became amazing moms who love their kids more than anything else, they end their colorful stories with stern warnings of not taking that road.

I had so many other questions. Was I ready to become a mom? What will my friends and family say? Should I get married? Does he want to marry me? Should I ask him?

The Boyfriend (before he became The Husband) and I were dating for four months when I got pregnant. My first trimester of pregnancy went by without me really noticing it. It was not unusual for me to skip monthly periods, plus I had conveniently blamed stress for my bouts with nausea and irritability. Because of this, I only learned that I was pregnant in February of 2005. Turned out I had been pregnant since early November of 2004.

To be fair, the Boyfriend was with me all the way. He didn't leave my side, he stood by me, he asked my parents if he could marry me. I was terrified I was going to screw things up by agreeing to get married. He kept assuring me that he wanted to marry me because he loved me and not just because I was with child. He told me that we were going to make it work. He told me that he planned on marrying me anyway. My getting pregnant just speeded that up.

So on April 22, 2005, the Boyfriend officially became the Husband in a civil wedding ceremony at the Cebu Palace of Justice. With our immediate family and close friends, we took our vows in front of a somewhat impatient judge. We exchanged P2000-peso white gold bands - the only ones we could afford at that time.

signing papers

standing before the judge during my 6th month of pregnancy

We had lunch after at our favorite Chinese restaurant, Big Mao. That night, I moved into the Husband's old room at his parents' house where we would stay for the next five years.

I look back on our love story and I am well aware that it's not of the fairy tale variety. There were no heartfelt proposals, no romantic engagements. I am genuinely thrilled when my good friends go through the whole shebang of dating exclusively, getting engaged, planning a wedding, having a baby... When I know that that's what they want and they get it, I am absolutely happy for them. We didn't get that but that's perfectly okay. 

Our love story might be unconventional but I wouldn't have it any other way.

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