Exactly five years ago today, Fred and I were having butterflies in our stomach, pretty much nervous as we’re saying I do’s and thinking of what lies ahead. We had a successful wedding. We saved and planned for it for many months, just so we can have a very good start of our marriage, or so we thought.
Nothing in life is easy. When we level-up in life, our trials are always one or two levels more difficult than before. And most of the time, only prayer can help us prepare for those trials. For Fred and I, there is so much I want to share but I would just stick to the joys and trials that deeply affected us as a couple.
We didn’t wait long before God blessed us a baby. Lucky us right? But God introduced us to the many difficulties of pregnancy. We experienced how scary threatened miscarriage was, we learned about hyperemesis and how I hated my body for disliking the baby inside me. The bed rest was depressing, the hospitalization expenses were no joke as they used up all our savings. But we stayed strong, for us and for our baby. I gave birth successfully and few days after our first anniversary, we celebrated our daughter’s christening.
After 8 months of bedrest/house arrest and 2 months of maternity leave, I finally went back to work. We were able to start saving again and like every couple, we dreamed of a beautiful home. We applied for a loan and instead of buying a new house, we decided to just renovate my mother-in-law’s house and stay there for good. The expenses were huge but we’re still able to travel twice during this year as we visited my family and relatives in Mindanao. All went well but before Louise’s first birthday, we encountered one of the things every parent fears for their child.
Our daughter was hospitalized due to UTI. She was already dehydrated after several episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. After a week in the hospital, thankfully our baby’s fine and our insurance covered everything, whew! Our days became normal again and before we knew it, we were already celebrating Louise’s first birthday.
And for our second wedding anniversary, we had our staycation at Radisson Blu Hotel.
By 2014, our house renovation was still not done (even at present). We stopped when we finished a portion of the house and there were loans and credit cards that we needed to pay. It was stressful alright but that didn’t stop me and Fred to try new things as a couple, to pursue what we really wanted to do. That year, we launched our online business – Louise’s cards and crafts. We were busy at work but we always ended up busier at home. Orders started coming in especially with the tutu dress orders, headbands and wedding invitations. We were able to manage our time and that’s because we had a yaya. As for our finances, still, we’re OK. We were also able to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary at Marco Polo Hotel.
We thought everything will be OK that year. Unfortunately, we caught up on our day jobs and sideline business that we didn’t spend much time with Louise. As a result, she was hospitalized again due to UTI.
I felt scared and guilty, I know where I went wrong and that was I should have given more time for her, to check how was her yaya to her, and do all things that a hands-on mom should do. Our insurance covered the expenses but we were so done with the hospitalizations. We got tired of paying our loans and credit cards as well. Our company was also experiencing some setbacks and so Fred decided to resign and looked for another company to work for. Thankfully before the year ended, he landed a new job.
During our fourth year of marriage, we already had a pre-schooler. Louise went to her first school and honestly, we missed having a baby at home. This was when we agreed to have a second baby. We gradually cleared our debts, cut-off expenses and still accepted orders from our online business (but lesser so we can have more time for Louise), just so we can increase our savings. Why? Because babies are very expensive these days. Apart from saving, we also tried investing in stocks. I can really say that during this year, we got smarter as a couple and we started to live frugally. We even had a simple birthday celebration for Louise and for our 4th wedding anniversary, we only had a simple dinner at Cafe Laguna.
Thank God no hospitalization happened during this year and we were able to travel to Mindanao once (Photo taken at Hoyohoy Highlands Stone Chapel and Adventure Park – Tangub City).
This year also, God blessed us with a second baby. I got pregnant by September 2015, finally, after 8 months of trying. Our company ceased its operation by November which was a blessing in disguise for me because I just couldn’t go to work when pregnant. The separation pay was helpful, pretty enough for the months of pregnancy and delivery.
I could say this year is the hardest for us but one of the happiest as well. At the start of 2016, we’re debt-free, YEY! But considering that only Fred is the one making money for the family, we needed to live smarter and we must stick to our monthly budget. We planned and budgeted everything for the year 2016 but there were things that we cannot control. One is the unplanned family event which led us to travel to Bohol and to Davao. Good thing the doctor approved for my travel.
Months passed very fast and yes, May came and we welcomed our new bundle of joy, Martina! She’s the best gift for us this year, our sweetest joy indeed. She’s so good in sucking, we’re a team, and this is why I’m still exclusively breastfeeding her even at present. Her baptism was planned months before I gave birth and it was successful together with Louise’s 4th birthday. All went well last month, we also had great bonding moments with my family.
However, just 2 weeks after Louise’s birthday and Martina’s christening, Fred got sick. He’s actually on diet since March, went to the gym almost every day and lost 18kls as of first week of August. He’s been feeling pain like stomach ulcer but he just thought it was because of his diet. But last August 19, he couldn’t endure the pain anymore. Doctor said he needed to undergo operation to remove the gallstones and his gall bladder. Thank God his operation was successful, no other serious findings except for having fatty liver (no more fatty foods for us!).
What’s the effect on us? During his hospitalization, I was left alone with the kids. For days, I was like a single parent carrying a baby wherever I went and not to mention I have Louise to look after in school. And at home, most of the time, I left Martina crying just so I can do the chores and take care of Louise. And by the way, did I mention that while experiencing all these, I was running a high fever due to UTI and mastitis? It was damn hard! So hard that one night I ended up crying, I was so tired and damn worried about Fred. After 7 days in the hospital, we all felt a relief when Fred was discharged. We missed him badly. The hospital bill was too much and financially, we’re not OK. But on a bright side, someone’s just so happy for regaining back his ideal weight. Just look at Fred now, he’s no longer a chubby hubby.
Now that Fred’s OK, we’re praying harder for the family. There’s nothing good in being sick and worst, being hospitalized. Yes, we have debts again but in our five years of marriage, we know that God’s always there. We know that time will come that we’ll be debt-free again, able to save more and of course, to travel again by the time Martina’s older!
Fred and I, like any other couples, we disagree almost every day. But for five years, we know that at the end of the day, we are a team. We have decades more awaiting us and we have great future to prepare for our kids.
We hope there are parents out there that we’re able to help or inspire with our stories. Like I said, nothing in life is easy, married life is harder but happiness is free and everywhere. We just need to always open our hearts and minds for it.