Baby and the Bumps
I STILL HAVE REGRETS
Riel* was not in a steady relationship when she got pregnant. Though she was already 20, it did not make things any easier. "I was in deep trouble and I really didn't know what to do at the time. I wanted to have the baby aborted."
Her parents only found out when Riel was already in her third trimester. The father of the baby was likewise shocked. "At first, he didn't accept the fact that he would soon be a father. But he expressed support after some time."
Riel felt mixed emotions during her pregnancy. "I was confused and I just prayed that whatever happens, I would be strong and take care of the kid." She drew support primarily from her friends, who stuck with her even if they were also surprised by the pregnancy.
Today, 22-year-old Riel and her one-year-old son sometimes live with her mom or with her grandparents. Though the child's father didn't stay with Riel, he supports them. Riel says, "I'm still hoping to be with him, but if we're not meant to be together, I'll accept it."
Though she's now contented with her work, her studies, and her one-year-old son, Riel entertains the possibility of changing things given the chance. "I still have regrets. There are so many things I want to do, but I can't. I have a kid to take care of and I can't just leave him." But like many young mothers, her son makes it all worth it. "Seeing him so happy and jolly, I'd rather not hope for a chance to change my life."
Riel and Kimi have a similar message for Candy Girls: Having kids is a big responsibility. Enjoy being young and don't hurry because there's a right time for everything. "Think a hundred times before having sex," Clarissa adds. "Don't be pressured by your boyfriend if he says things like, 'If you love me, then show me.'"
The things you do and the choices you make are really up to you. Just keep in mind that what you do today will affect what happens to you in the future. As our young mothers say, don't be in a hurry to live life—you might miss out on some good things along the way.
*Name has been changed.