After 12 years, we’re finally pregnant

Editor’s note: Three days after The Post published Joyce’s essay on Aug. 29, her husband Kap posted on Facebook that they’ve lost their little angel. “Today we learned that our little blessing has been called home by God to be our angel. Our hearts are broken but the joy our baby, though with us so briefly, brought us will remain immeasurable and undimmed. We remain humbled by everyone who shared our joy and conveyed to us your good wishes. Please pray for our angel and for us to get over the pain of this loss.”

When the couple announced two weeks ago that they were finally pregnant, their joy reverberated throughout their wide circle of family and friends.

After her story came out, Joyce told me that so many women who had also been trying to conceive for years had reached out to her. It was read and shared by couples who found hope in it; by family and friends who found joy in their happiness. Today, we share in the pain of their loss.  

Tanya Lara, editor in chief

Twelve years is a long time to be waiting.

We were actually in the process of accepting that parenthood may not be in store for us in this lifetime. My husband Kap and I realized that we have been too blessed to ask for more and I had stopped praying for a baby because, well, there were more important things to ask intercession for these days.

In late July, someone sent us sushi. What was at first a welcome surprise (we’re both sushi addicts) turned out horribly as my body reacted adversely. I kept throwing up, and I couldn’t tell what was wrong.

Out of desperation, I asked Kap to hand me a pregnancy test. To be honest, I just wanted to get it out of my mind. Besides, all tests were negative for more than a decade—always just one line. So imagine the shock that ran through me when two lines quickly appeared!

Then came this beautiful plot twist: a baby on the way. The first few days were full of disbelief. Why now? Why us? Why at this age? And how—without any procedure or medications—did we finally conceive?

I screamed “Oh my God!” several times. “I’m pregnant,” I told Kap. We were both in tears and in total shock. Then we immediately calmed ourselves down. When you have been let down so many times, you become a champion at disappointment. I had that pregnancy kit stored for a year. Best to get a new one, I told him. And when the second test still indicated two lines, we still half-doubted it.

Finally, an ultrasound and a consult with an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) confirmed our pregnancy. After that, we still agreed to wait until after the first trimester before telling the world. We were cautious, and I was still preparing myself to be disappointed. But a two-week bed rest mandated by the doctor prompted an earlier announcement, as I had to take a break from work.

“Plan all you like, but God’s design and timing are immutable,” Kap wrote on Facebook when we announced that we were “looking forward to our own little one” almost 12 years after our wedding. The post got more than 1,100 likes, and at least 760 comments.

Our circle of friends and family had been quietly waiting with us.

The waiting game

baby shoes
We were slowly letting go.

Kap and I dated for 10 years before walking down the aisle. Yes, that was quite a long wait as well, come to think about it. We have a nine-year age gap and he did not want to rush me. I wanted to finish my masters and live independently, among other things. The baby question started even before we got married and became increasingly frequent (and annoying) after we did.

I spiraled down into a dark phase at the height of our trying-to-conceive phase. Months of weekly doctor’s appointments, medications, and my favorite part: monthly ultrasounds where they stick a transducer inside you and tell you that you can try to conceive that same night. It felt unfair to be bombarded with rules. Meanwhile, the bumps of my “ultrasound batchmates” were growing with heartbeats to match! I was left staring at follicles, waiting for a sign so we could try to conceive.

There was a period when I cried at the sight of babies. I would go up a floor to avoid moms pushing their babies’ strollers in the mall. I even unfollowed friends who were pregnant or had just given birth. I cried when I got my monthly period.

The world had too many unkind people to match our struggles. Kap and I were called selfish for enjoying our lives and putting our careers first. We were told we would be lonely when we get old since nobody would be taking care of us. A highlight was when we were asked—in front of an entire bowling arena and on the microphone—if we even knew how to make babies. Even the cashier at the bowling center kept asking me if “meron na” (a baby inside me). I stopped bowling and quit watching Kap bowl—one of his most favorite things to do.

We shared our journey in a podcast in 2021, discussing how rude, unsolicited comments negatively impacted us. It ended with my husband’s ever-comforting wisdom when he declared that he wanted kids, but that he feels “complete” with just the two of us.

“And that’s why I don’t feel sad that we don’t have kids. I’m happy with Joyce and if we’re going to have kids in the future, thank you. But that happiness is already complete as it is,” he had said.

In the same year, I wrote about how it’s okay for women not to be moms, whether by choice or not. There are many things we cannot control. And after repeated disappointments, you learn to change your point of view. I don’t have this, but I have so much more. We came out of the pandemic grateful and ready to accept that we’d be okay if we never conceived.

We were slowly letting go.

Then a plot twist

pregnant at last
Our circle of friends and family had been quietly waiting with us.

Then came this beautiful plot twist: a baby on the way. The first few days were full of disbelief. Why now? Why us? Why at this age? And how—without any procedure or medications—did we finally conceive?

We just need to wait for less than nine months now to become dad and mom. We have been told it goes by quickly.

Last year, I got Kap to agree to travel to Thailand with me for our first-ever K-Pop concert. “You are never too old and it is never too late,” I wrote on a Facebook post about seeing my favorite K-Pop act in the flesh for the first time. There are no rules. There are no limits. A year later, our coming baby proves the same to us.

We will probably be one of the oldest couples in parent-teacher conferences in our kid’s school. But Kap said we will be the coolest. We waited 12 years. We have no other choice but to rock our new mom and dad roles.

The new lifestyle.