lunes, 24 de enero de 2011

28 Weeks

This is my belly with Emilia at 28 weeks pregnant.

I just want to share that I feel so grateful that little Emilia is here tonight.

She is kicking and moving all around.

Every day, every week I feel so so joyful that she is here with us, in this Earth.

I am also grateful because she came so soon after, she is a my strength, my inspiration.

I love you Emilia, you are more than a rainbow in my life.

miércoles, 19 de enero de 2011

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans (John Lenon)

I haven't wrote about the contradiction that exsists between my pregnancy with Isabel and my pregnancy with Inés, and also between the stories of both.

I was pregnant with Isabel by accident. Yes, that is the whole true. We were not planning to have a baby. We were in fact planning to study our graduate studies in the U.S., so basically there was not a plan for a baby in such scenario. All our time and resources were supposed to be devoted to our studies and such plan implied moving out of our country for some years.

However in the meanwhile, I got pregnant. We were supposed to leave in Summer 2004 but B did get accpeted in his program so we stayed one more year with the hope he will be accepted the upcoming year. So in Fall 2004 he applied again for starting his program in 2005. I was just waiting for B to be accepted inhis programme since I was already accepted in mine. My school saved my place in the programme I appplied for one year. I had to start the program in August 2005 in order to keep my place an dthe scholarship thta was awarded to me.

So, as you already know, life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. While waiting I got pregnant in early December 2004, just nine months before I was supposed to start my graduate programme. In fact, Grad school was programmed to start on Monday August 29, 2005. I will never forget that day. And my due date was Wednesday August 24, 2005. When I realized that, I was shocked. I was pregnant and back then I saw how my dream about studying grad school clearly was shaking. How could I be giving birth the week before starting grad school. No way. Reality bited me. But I felt excited about being a mom.

There was a voice inside me telling me hey! It is not the end of the world, it is just a baby, a lovely baby. Don´t quit grad school plans, take your baby with you. So, that voice won and that is what I did. I call my school and talked to the satff openly about my situation. The programme director was such a cool person, she told me: don't worry honey we can offer you to start your first semester during summer school, then you can leave a semester again while the baby grow and then you can come back. However, she was clear about the fact that I had to start school before the end of August, 2005 since they were saving my place since 2004 and they can't svae places for more that one year.

When I was 24 weeks pregnant I moved to the U.S. and started grad school. The amazing thing was that I went by myself. B was finally accepted but his programme was supposed to start until August, 2005. He couldn't quit his job in order to leave with in May. We couldn't afford to have him without working, we needed to save more money to pay grad school, living expenses while studying and a brand new baby!

I was healthy, strong and yes, very crazy. I had no idea about all the things that could go wrong. It never crossed my mind that my baby could die. Let me tell you that I was very happy about her coming to this world, even though it took me by surprised. I wanted a girl and I was excited she was supposed to be girl. I was so busy with grad school that I had no time for thinking on negative scenarios.

So B finally arrived on August 1, 2005, then I finshed school on August 7, 2005. We moved to a different apartment and by mid August we thought oh! we are having a baby. So we went to the stores and start buying things for Isabel, her crib, stroller, clothing. We prepared the nursery and we waited few more days until August 27, 2005. She was born 3 days after my due date at 8 o'clock, by natural birth. With a doctor we met few times before. We picked the doctor based on no references since we knew nobody in Pittsburgh. But everything was perfect. Without wishing, without worrying, without any stress, Isabel was born beautiful and healthy that evening of August 27, 2005. So alert, so healthy. After two days at the hospital, I went home with my brand new baby. To start my new life as a mom. Piece of cake. That is what I thought. Babys are piece of cake. I never even tried to get pregnant. I never even thought something can go wrong. The most uneventful and easygoing pregnancya I will ever have. And there I was trying to nurse her and dealing with sleepless nights and all the changes a new baby implies. But that is it. I leaved school for a whole year, during that time I was full time mom. I went back to school when Isabel was a year old. We were just so in love with her. When she was two we came back to Mexico. What a great time back then, we were done with grad school, we had an amazing toddler and we were back home. But my feeling was that babies suddenly come, and they come against all odds. So I was freaked out about getting pregnant again by accident. That was my fear (come on!).

When Isabel was 3 years old we decided to have another baby, but first we wanted to buy a bigger apartment to fit better, so we saved money and waited some months to try for the baby. Then when Isabel was 3.5 years we again thought about trying and decided to buy the best health insurance plan, so again we waited a coupple of months more. Then we planned a trip to get pregnant there, we went to Puerto Vallarta and we got pregnant soon after. Everything was so well planned.

We registred ourselves in a birth club and we took birth lesson's from week 20 to week 37. Oh! the name. We already had the name before getting pregnant. We wanted to call her Inés since then. There was not even another option. Her nursery was set many months in advanced. I actually made a baby shopping trip, since I love shopping for babies in the US, something I learned while living there. We moved to our brand new appartment and we planned how our life was going to be in there with our new baby. We picked the most well refered Dr. somebody who I regreat ever hearing about.I stopped working month and a half in advance to rest and and wait for her arrival. So many many plans. But the most planned baby died one hour after she was born. And I was devastated and all my plans and dreams were suddenly lost.

When I was not exactly willing a baby I got a baby, when I was eagerly wishing a baby I got no baby. That has been my motherhood. However it is important to mention that it was easy to accomodate my life when Isabel was born and we felt in love inmediately after. The unexpected ( in Spanish unexpected is traduced to the word 'inesperada', see how Ines is in the beginnig of that word, strange) death of Ines is the experience we cannot easily accomodate in ourlives.

martes, 11 de enero de 2011

Muerte INESperada (Unexpected death)

For many months I just felt so lonley because I could not find another mother who had lost a newborn baby in an accident. Of course any kind of death is devastating, but at that time maybe couldn't see that. I suffered extra sorrow because I felt different to many moms that lost their babies due to natural causes.

The fact that your 39 week healthy baby dies because someone was irresponsable makes you feel so unlucky and so worthless. It actually tricks you because it makes you think it could have been different and that you coould have changed something. But it is not true, we actually can do a lot less than we often think and we want it or not that way the reality is that our lives and our loved ones' lives depend on millions of factors (and persons) that are our of our control.

How many times we have drived through streets with street lights, well many, plenty of times. Every time we have uneventfully crossed a street light it is because other's were careful to stop at the red light. But whenever this condition is not accomplished we mihgt get injured or even die. This is why some say that life is just an act of faith. If we think how many times our life is in the hands of others you can drive yourself crazy. So then you have faith that the other's will do their jobs well. In my case such equilibrium was broken. My daughter died because mainly two people were not careful enough. It has been tough to recover my faith, I won't lie, but I am holding on.

I picked the wrong practitioner damn it and such mistake will be in my head the rest of my life. My life is going to be so different of what I have always dreamed of. So in part, my grieving process has also been about learning to live and enjoy life fully without having the life I dreamed off. Now my life is about making new dreams. There are two options, one is to gently accept that my life is different now and the second one is to fight indefinately with that unchangeable reality. I definately choose the first one. And maybe while trying I find a different dream to fall in love again.

Many times in my grief I kept having thoughts like "Just if I had done this or that she would be here just toddling aroung". Then I get this very clear picture of her in our daily life scenes and I get this nice feeling that endures in my herat just for some seconds. However suddenly it ends and I realice that is just not possible in this life.

I remember I used to feel so worthless when thinking that everything I did was not enough to bring her home alife. It has been very tough.

But I am here, I have survived, with ups and downs but here, standing upfront, facing life after loss. Carying another baby in my belly, counting the days, wondering if this time the practitioners are going to do their jobs right. Hoping and holding on during the last ten weeks of pregnancy. The count is down and I feel the time is starting to go slow. Wondering what I might be missing.

domingo, 2 de enero de 2011

Good bye

Here are some pics of today´s memorial.

One year after

Dear Inés

Its been a year since you left precious, and I feel how nobody and nothing will ever fill the enormous space you left. No words can describe what we been through since we said goodbye. Your dad, me and your sister Isabel had to walked the most painful road. We have experienced empty hearts, never ending tears, nonsleep nights and we also have to bury the most precious dreams humans can have. But some how we have survived. Maybe because we now know that nothing can ever change or erase the love we feel for you, not even your absence in this Earth. One year after riding such horrible road we got to a place were our love and your physical absence can coexist with sanity. Indeed we still have one hope left in the bottom of our hearts, that one day we are finally going to meet you, in Eternity, where our souls will finally hold together in a timeless manner. In the meanwhile we will be here embracing every single memory we have from you.

I have to mention you that we just received an invitation to share your story with people who belong to the World Network For Patient Safety, since it might contribute to build a protocol to improve mothers to be and newborn safety in healthcare services in our country. I hope your story will eventually save some lifes and I will keep looking after that.

Today we have some plans to conmemorate your existance and to show that our love to you is timeless, we in fact love you even more than the first day we aknowledge you were joining our family. We are putting your ashes in a crypt in a nearby church that is new and beautiful, amazingly beautiful. I will take some pictures to share it. It took me a whole year to process this moment, from accepting your death to choosing the crypt and writing you a thought. I wanted to do it myself and when you died I was not able to stand up or move since I had a C section, so Dad and I decided we wanted to wait to do it ourselves once we could breath peacefully again. We found the place and the moment.

Please be sure that we are more than grateful that your were here with us even if it was brief. Thank you for bringing love, thank you for bringing beauty, thank you for bringing hope, thank you for bringing knowledge and thank thank thank you for being here.

We love you FOREVER

Your mom & family