Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Holidays

Finally!

So i have been going through writing with drawls, and i have been wanting to post but it's been hard with my laptop. The battery is dead and the laptop must be connected in order to charge, it can stay on for a little while but then dies out ugh!

So where to begin ? how about with me venting and then ending with happy thoughts about natty's new shinanigins ? yup sounds good to me.

The holidays are here and this year i am not being a grinch. Two days after thanksgiving we went out and bought our tree. For the past three years i could of cared less if it was December, if we had a tree, or anything associated with Christmas, especially the freaking commercials. This year i am in full Christmas cheer.

Or so i thought.

The last couple of days little things have began to annoy me really bad. At first i thought i was having a off day but i traced it all back to the feelings that i try to push back day after day. It's the 'happiest' time of year and i don't have my son. I wonder if the few people who read this are tired of me writing about this? but seriously this is what a mother who has lost a child goes through day after day. I feel so blessed to have my natty but yet day after day i keep myself from fully feeling my grief. I have become pretty good at it actually. Thought & memories will creep up on me hourly and in my head like a movie joshua's last day's last moments will flash through my head. I quickly will focus on something else to push these thoughts back.

Have you guys ever seen this movie "the rabbit hole" . If you haven't it's a really good movie and Nicole kiddman did an awesome job in portraying the raw grief that a mother feels. The couples struggle to get along when neither of them is able to express the way they feel about their grief. We watched this movie, me and Jonathan in bed when it first came out last year. We both cried during different parts of the movie while holding each other. And then the last scene in the movie came up, they're having a party in the backyard and are actually enjoying themselves, then everyone leaves and its just them two, alone, sitting down in the lawn chairs outside and they hold hands. Just them two, alone in their grief. That part hit home the most. My family is really great about remembering josh but when it comes down to it , i don't think anyone (unless your a angel mom yourself) can relate about the emotions that happen day after day. In the end your alone. Just you and your grief.

I think the number one question i get asked is "does it get easier" this quote from the movie says it best.

Becca: Does it ever go away?
Nat: No, I don't think it does. Not for me, it hasn't - has gone on for eleven years. But it changes though.
Becca: How?
Nat: I don't know... the weight of it, I guess. At some point, it becomes bearable. It turns into something that you can crawl out from under and... carry around like a brick in your pocket. And you... you even forget it, for a while. But then you reach in for whatever reason and - there it is. Oh right, that. Which could be aweful - not all the time. It's kinda...
[
deep breath]
Nat: not that you'd like it exactly, but it's what you've got instead of your son. So, you carry it around. And uh... it doesn't go away. Which is...
Becca: Which is what?
Nat: Fine, actually. 


Here's the trailer




some days i look back into the last three years and think 'did i seriously go through all that' While in the car while Jonathan is driving i'll close my eyes and feel the sun shining on my face and think about holding josh. It's at those moments that i feel the most at peace, closing my eyes and feeling the sun, the wind, hearing the birds chirping and dreaming. That's all i have. Some times i wish i could forget everything like in men in black. Not josh but the painful memories like his last days and erase that . I've actually have had this conversation with Jonathan before and we always come up with the same answer, it would be nice, but no, even the painful memories are memories with josh and we want to keep those.

For thanksgiving my brother came over and made a comment to my mom and sister. The exact comment i'm not sure as it was told to me in two different ways. but it went a little something along the lines of

"i can tell Yesenia doesn't love natty as much as josh, and she is just so sad, she should of waited to have natty, i can tell she is sad"

Now where to start with this comment. First lets start of with this, i always look sad or mad. My facial features are just that way. For as long as i can remember people always have commented about why i'm sad. Geez people i'm not it's just my face! LOL i'm being serious though. Yes my eyes probably have more sadness then they did before, wouldn't yours? but one thing is for sure. Nothing brings happiness into my eyes more then my little girl. She has brought happiness back into my eyes. She reminds me life isn't as fucked up as i think, and i enjoy every single minute with her. With the help of my family i am able to be a stay at home mom and i'm thankful everyday i' am able to enjoy every second with her. More then anything this comment hurt me. It hurt because if you read back into my posts the one thing i have always been afraid of is not showing my love for natty the way i did for josh. I have been honest it took some time to fully allow myself to fully fall in love with natty because i was so freaked out about something happening to her. But that's not the case now, i love that little girl, she is my world and i shouldn't have to explain my love for her because i know she FEELS it and that's what's important. The second thing is who can say when is a right time to have a baby after you have lost one ? Is it ever going to be a right time ? When are you done grieving ? NEVER you are never done grieving and if i was to have waited for the right time well, i would be a very old lady because the truth is i am never going to stop grieving but that doesn't mean i wasn't ready for natty. 

Now moving on to Natty shinanigins. My little girl is my rainbow. I mean she IS my rainbow but she really is my pot of gold. Everyday is a new adventure with her. This week she has figured out how to fully crawl on all fours and how to pull her self up. Her favorite activity this week is getting into her bottom drawer and pulling all her Jammie's out. She knows she's not supposed to so she starts doing it and turns back and smiles , you want to get mad but can't help and just smile back and want to squeeze her for being so freaking adorable! Along with these new things has also come something I wish she could take back. Not sleeping. She has always been a wonderful sleeper I mean long naps and nice 10-12 hour nights , for the past three weeks she has been waking up twice a night, she had spoiled us so much with our sleep but i'll gladly take these sleepless nights to have her. Don't quote me on this when I'm up at 3am trying to nurse her back to sleep though :p .

Well here are some pictures and videos to catch you guys up. Enjoy !

Smiling at her black Friday wipe stash
Her wipe stash baby
Her Fist Christmas tree! (she was not amused)

Miss santa clause =)
  
Her first time meeting santa. I really wanted to get a good screaming picture. Evil mom i know lol but she was so calm
Our First christmas family picture. At this point she was over santa
                  

Here's Natty favorite thing to do at the moment. Clean out her bottom drawers



Here's her other favorite thing. Bothering her dog alfie. If you play close attention in the start of the video she farts lol. I know she's going to hate me for posting this when she's older but it freaking funny


And One of her favorite things is listening to music and bopping to the beat.


and just cause i really like how happy i look in this picture and i never post pictures of myself i'm posting this one =)  

                                  Happy Holidays ! From Me, Jonathan, Joshy & Natty

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Natalia's first halloween

Natty's first Halloween was perfect.

We took her around the block and to be honest i think me and jonathan were most excited to get candy since she had no idea what was going on.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Then we sat her on her ladybug/caterpillar rocker and she had a blast seeing all the kids come over to her and tell her how adorable she was lol
                                                            
                                                             
With Daddy
                                
                               
She was having so much fun that she wanted to try to eat a lollipop

Her first trick or treat

At this point she was a pro =)

Friday, November 4, 2011

My calling

These last couple of weeks i've been feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Not sure why i'm feeling so down or why i feel certain feeling of grief that had been 'resolved' in my eyes are coming back.

I've been open about my issues with depression here, i feel it coming back but in a different way. Now i wonder if it's depression or Post traumatic Stress Disorder mixed in with my anxiety issues & deppresion, plus panic attacks and you have yourself a very unbalanced feeling women over here.

I really feel that i have come a long way with dealing with what's happened in the last two years with out seeking help. Well i take that back because i was actually seeing a psychologist for the first two months after joshy's death but decided i could deal with my issues on my own. I still feel that way in a sense, but i think it would help me to talk to someone about everything new that seems to be going on now.

I am a rainbow mom, and a mom to angel.

I am trying to parent natty while still holding on and keeping joshy's memory alive plus i think i'm finally starting to see the long term trauma that comes along with having gone through the NICU roller coaster. I feel my mind going to everything that happened and thinking 'did that actually happen' ? Did we really go through six month's in the NICU and come out with out our son ? Was my first pregnancy everything other then a what a first time mom expects ?

I'm really good about seeing what it is that sets off my 'triggers' and with these last two week i think looking at everything i can see why i feel so very overwhelmed.

I find it very amazing that i am joshua's mother. Although my mission after his death has always been to keep his memory alive with his family i also wanted to spread his story and keep his memory alive with everyone he touched through his six short months of life. My mission has been very successful and i feel like i am making a difference in helping at least one family that feels alone in their NICU ride.

Although i am 26 until recently (although i have mentioned it here before) i really feel that my calling in life is to be a NICU nurse. Although through high school and even when i was little when anyone ever asked what do you want to be, i would say a veterinarian. Although i love animals especially dogs that is not what i wanted to spend my whole life doing, then i thought i am really good at sales and while working at nordstrams i could really see myself as moving up in the company, i don't want to toot my own horn but i had a lot of management already looking at me as a good candidate for higher positions after only one month but that didn't feel like what i wanted to do to, it was REALLY good money but i really felt i wanted to make a difference in people lives and no way was i going to acomplish that by working there.

Although i would be a hypocrite by saying i have found a meaning on why i have gone through this whole journey, or why my son had to spend six months in the NICU only to pass, i have found a purpose. But i am terrified by following this purpose that i know in my heart, in my soul, is my life's calling, is my way of honoring josh and keeping his memory alive, my way of making a difference in someone's life.

I wonder if this is what people talk about when they say they 'hear' the voice of god telling them what it is there supposed to do......


Have you ever felt chills, felt goosebumps, felt like things in your life have led you to this exact same place your at, and a light bulb in your head finally went off. That's how i feel. But like i said i am TERRIFIED.


I want to follow through, but know there's a couples of steps i must take in order to be 'ready' to start this journey and so my first step is to seek help to 'deal' with everything that happened in the last two years, on Tuesday i set up a appt with my psychologist and this Monday i will go.


I know this whole being a NICU nurse calling might seem weird & crazy, after all why would i want to be in a career that will put me back in a place where i spend THE most significant time in my life, a place that was so traumatizing, a place that will put me back face to face with the sadness that comes with what i went through......

I have spent a lot of sleepless nights chatting away with Jonathan and telling him about my 'calling' and he is my biggest supporter. He really believes i would be great at it.


I saw this video recently and while seeing it i thought about this

I want to be that nurse that is able to hug a mom and say  I KNOW what you are going through! My story did not end well but i WILL do everything i can to make sure you son, your daughter is at home where he or she belongs.













Day 4

Prematurity Awareness 

30 Days,30 post,30 facts 

What's the first thing you think of when I say viagra? Probably not the first thing I think of which is joshy. Because of his under developed lungs he spend much of his six months on & off a ventilator and nitric oxide for his pulmonary hypertension,a condition where the pressure in the blood vessel that allows blood to flow to the lungs remains abnormally high. In order to wean him they started giving him doses of viagra, why ? Viagra causes these vessels to relax and allow for improved blood flow and improved oxygen delivered to all organs. This is why viagra was invented for in the first place to help with pulmonary hypertension but men found it helped them in other ways as well.

Day 3

Prematurity Awareness Day3

30Facts, 30 Days, 30 Pictures 


If your like most of us you probably have had your daily dose of caffeine. A cup of coffee, a pepsi, a coke maybe, but did you know a preemie in the NICU has also had their daily dose of caffeine as well ? Many people rely on a caffeine kick from their morning coffee to boost their critical thinking. But for premature infants, a dose of caffeine helps with more vital functions, such as breathing! doctors prescribe caffeine to premature babies because it helps against apnea, a condition in which breathing stops for more than 15 seconds.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 2

Day 2 

of 30 days, 30 facts,30 pictures

 Kangaroo Mother Care was initiated in Bogota, Colombia after a dying newborn premature baby was handed to her mother as a last resort. The mother placed the baby skin to skin on her chest to say her last goodbyes and the little one thrived and survived. Doctors observed the ‘accidental’ recovery and decided to embark on groundbreaking studies of premature  infants in a critical condition when they were placed skin to skin on their mothers’ chests. The results were astounding and what began as a tentative experiment has become a worldwide success in terms of premature and neonatal infant care.

30 days,30 facts,30 pictures

For prematurity awareness month this year i will be posting a picture a day along with a fact about prematurity.

30 days,

30 facts

30 pictures


Day 1 : Prematurity is the number one cause of infant death.

 
   This is joshy's death certificate

Maybe

maybe its the fact that it's november & prematurity awareness month

maybe its the fact that the holidays are upon us and with that comes a sense of nostalgia

maybe its the fact that little things have been triggering me lately

but my grief, that was somewhat under control has been taking over me little by little the last week.

Maybe, Maybe, just maybe one day my grief will heal maybe.

Prematurity Awareness Month





What month is it ?

It's November !

What's November ?

Thanksgiving month yes, but what else ?

IT'S PREMATURITY AWARENESS MONTH

THINK PURPLE FOLKS!

I along with other preemie mom's will be posting daily facts about prematurity and on November 17 it's bloggers unite,Click Here to Learn about Bloggers Unite join me in spreading awareness.



Fact #1
If you know joshy, then you know at least one preemie, and you have been affected by prematurity

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mobile

Natty this week has been all about you rolling around & finding your freedom. If you see something that you want there is no need for mommy or daddy to take you to it, you'll go after it yourself

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

7 months

I've been trying my hardest to write a good update but natty has other plans for me. So here are a few of her recent shenanigans. NEVER a dull moment with this little girl that's for sure.

New this week.

Army Crawling - Me and her dad knew this was coming but were in now way ready for it

Hungry Monster- You must have some of our food because of this me & your dad will hide while we eat now lol

Rolling- Even thought you have been rolling over from side to side for about two months now, this week it's just crazy you can get from one side of the room to another by rolling, your like a ninja because sometimes we'll look away for a second and your ALL the way across the room

Dancing- You love shaking your little body to a beat.

Trying to push yourself up- =O yup we are for sure no ready for this. You will try to push yourself up on anything and go from a sitting position to trying to stand, you haven't succeeded yet, but your very determined so we know it's time to move your mattress down one, any of these days were going to go in your room and find you standing.

Babbling like crazy- No DADA or MAMA yet we seriously can not wait for this but your making a whole bunch of other sounds.

You are now 7 months old and my have the months gone by fast.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My peanut is a walnut

My little peanut turned six months on September 18th. Oh how fast you are growing natty.

Gift bag delivery

We did it. Today we delivered all 32 gifts bags to the NICU. I woke up very excited to see the nurses and to "spread some monkey love" (i will write more about this "spreading monkey love" later) . When we got to the NICU Jonathan was telling Vicki ( One of joshy's primary nurse) how he drove to the NICU on auto mode, his body just automatically remembering how to get there When we got to the entrance i was nervous to break down in front of natty, to have this rush of emotions fill over me. We walked over to the security guard and he asked who we were there to visit, we informed him we were there to deliver some gift bags to the NICU. He smiled at us and gave us our visitor badge. Jonathan walked the all familiar hallway to get to the elevators pushing natty in her stroller
We walked into the elevators and Jonathan automatically pressed button number 3
we stepped out and there it was. The third floor which had been our house. The third floor with the hallways in which i ran trying to get to my son when he passed away. I held it together
Then it came, i had to pick up the phone to asked to be let into the NICU wing, the nurse answered and said who are you here to visit, my hand shaking & my voice breaking i answered were here to drop off some gifts bags. The doors opened as if i was being granted entrance into this secret world that no one is aware of unless you've been here. i walked on over and she greeted us and we let her know we were also there to see joshy's primary nurse vicki. Vicki walked out of room B, with the biggest smile and it's as no time had passed. She walked on over and gave me a big strong hug. I must of hugged her for a couple of minutes not wanting to let go. Somehow i felt like i was hugging josh. I kid you not, i felt his presence, i felt him hugging me back. It took every ounce of me to not start sobbing in her shoulder. She walked on over and met natty. First thing she said was "oh my you are beautiful, but you don't have your brothers eyebrows" lol, Vicki always remembers joshy's eyebrows, That was his way of communicating, with his eyebrow raising =)
The charge nurse came over and took pictures and talked to us for a while, they both told us how strong we were for coming back, and what a beautiful thing we were doing for the families and showing them some love. Doing good things in honor of joshy. we spend about 45 minutes, because they had to get back to their babies. But oh how great it was to see them. I have to say, it felt good to be back. weird right ? it felt like i was returning home. It felt like i was going back to see josh. Like i needed to be there......I know i have wrote this before but i know somehow my life is sopposed to be involved with the NICU, weather it be by being a NICU nurse, maybe becoming a volunteer and talking to the parents and giving them a shoulder to cry on, something, My life, what i am sopposed to do with it somehow involves the NICU. I guess this is what people feel when the fall in love with a job and know that's what there meant to do. Well Here are some pictures and a video of the delivery of gift bags. I would like to thank all my preemie mom's, My family, my friends for helping me create this dream i had of celebrating joshy's life, his birthday, by doing this for the NICU parents & babies. It was a great success. I LOVE YOU all, and i KNOW my little monkey is smiling down.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Two...

Thank You

So im going to post this tonight as i am already starting to get extremely emotional and can not see my self writing this on Friday. There are no words to express my gratitude to all my family & friends for helping me celebrate joshy's birthday. The amount of support & love we are feeling with all the blankets that have & are being sent in are indescribable. This year i decided i wanted to celebrate joshy's life rather than mourn it & my oh my are you all helping celebrate it. You may not realize it but the blanket you have donated is going to give hope & make the parents of a precious baby feel some sort of comfort in the very difficult time they are facing. THANK YOU for helping keep joshy's memory alive, THANK YOU for your love, THANK YOU in behalf of the parents in behalf of the baby that will be receiving your blanket. YOU have made a difference in someone's life & have helped us celebrate joshy's life. Although i may cry knowing that he is not here physically in the days to come i KNOW he is smiling his beautiful smile on all of us. I LOVE YOU ALL and i truly mean that.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Preview

Me and Jonathan haven't been out with friends in just about two years, probably a little more then two. If you would like to see a preview of what our first night going out is probably going to look like. check this video out. Yup i will be dancing thinking i am usher.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My truth on a rainbow

The title of this post is MY truth, because this is MY truth on what it's like having a rainbow (a baby born after a loss) this may not be how another rainbow mom feel's or thinks, but this is how i feel.

I'll start of with this,

this past week we were at costco buying my mom's birthday gift, we went to the food court because seriously who can resist buying a soda & hot dog for $1.50 ? or a slice of pizza for 2.00 not me, well me and Jonathan each got a slice, I was carrying Natty in our pikkolo (for those of you who don't know it's the most awesome baby carrier, at least i think so =P) we sat down to eat and a young guy about our age, very chatty started commenting on how natty wanted some of our food, she kept reaching for it and looking at me with sad puppy eyes like i hadn't fed her in ages, he started small talk and then asked Jonathan THE question

"is she your first ?"

i was starting to get up when the guy asked this question & i waited for the response

"yeah, she's my first"

Ouch. He proceeded to tell the guy to have a nice day & we walked outside neither of us mentioning what had just happened, yet both of us knowing "what had just happened"

Now two things came to mind,

one, how dare you say she is your first!

two, although it was hard to hear, i must admit i have done this once or twice before.

This one question that's very simple causes a lot of mixed emotions for the following reason, one you know if you answer correctly meaning "no, she is not my first she is my second" you will get the following question "oh how old is your other" how do you answer this question? usually i have no problem answering with the following "my son passed away at six months" at which point the other person gets extremely uncomfortable and it just makes whatever situation weird. It's really a lose, lose situation. In one hand your knowingly about to make the other person uncomfortable, but seriously who cares, your telling the truth and keeping your son's memory alive, but in the other hand, why should you put someone in a situation where the feel uncomfortable or make them feel sorry for you?

Me, personally i have to say i always say "no she is my second", yes i know the akward moment is about to come but i can not bring myself to denying joshua. That does not mean i am not okay with jonathan saying she is because It's not like he's denying joshua, I, more than anyone know how much he loves, how much he misses his little guy, Just today he called me from work saying how he was watching a show on his phone & there was a scene were the guy loses his son & he cried a bit, there is no denying that man loves his son, so even though my answer feels right for me, just because it comes out that easy to say "yes, she is my first" to not have to experience that weird moment after doesn't mean it doesn't torment him inside.

Most people think having a rainbow heals all your wounds. No rainbow's do not heal your wounds, they bring joy back into your life, remind you there is still great things in the world, and that good things can still come your way even after experiencing the worst possible thing that can ever happen to you,

BUT here is MY truth,

Natty has brought joy back into my life, i think I have written that a lot in my blog, it's the truth she has, i could not have asked for a better daughter, seriously she is freaking awesome! sometimes i hold her and just cry because i just love her so much, becoming attached to her has been a struggle and until about two months ago i can honestly say i have really let myself just go with my feelings, let my self completely fall in love with her & just fall head over heels. When she was born i kept waiting for something bad to happen, even now i still do, but it's different, although i am terrified of something happening to her, i am much more in tune with my feelings towards her. I am not sure this is making any sense.....Her pregnancy was very difficult for me, emotionally. I was all over the place because my number one fear was that i was not going to love her as much as josh. Me & josh had a special journey, we have a special story together, i wanted natty so bad and went full force to getting pregnant with her, that when after just two months of trying i became pregnant with her, i was kinda like "wait, i don't think i'm ready" i wasn't ready for the mix of emotions that were about to come along, i felt torn in two. One feel super excited for bringing a new blessing into this world, but in the other feeling super excited knowing that someone new was about to fill our hearts and with that josh was about to be left behind in a way. Of course now with time i have found a middle, how to love natty but still keep joshua's memory alive i think i have found the best of both worlds. It has not been easy by any means and it's a daily struggle, joshy is on my mind everyday, there isn't a day that goes by that i don't think about him, we try to include him into our lives and into natty's life. I did keep out some of his toy's that he used while in the NICU for natty to use & i must say out of all the toys she has these one's seem to be her favorite

see the glow worm mirror she loves this


Do you see it in the upper left hand corner ?



His freedie the dragonfly


See anything familiar ? =)



In a way i like to think he's playing with her too.

I guess my point is being a rainbow parent is hard,
very hard.

In one hand you have your love for the son who has made you into the person you are today, in the other you have this new person who isn't taking over, isn't replacing her brother, but IS bringing joy into her parent's life that had been taken away. You have your should of been life, & this new life. Sometimes you wonder of your should of been life, what would of it had been like right now, it would be completely different you wouldn't be more happier....but it would just be different. This new life isn't easier, it's not better, it's not happier, i just have my little girl to remind me that this new life wouldn't of been possible with out our old one. Everything happens for a reason, Oh how i hate that quote, but then......how true it rings sometimes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12,2011

As I was wrote in one of the post that was put up last night, i somehow managed to delete my posts from November last year till now. I stayed up till 5:30 AM researching how to get them all back. I somehow managed to get most of them back, i am now at 89 post when prior i was at 108. I have been kicking myself all day (and night) for managing to skrew up my blog, however in this wonderful world of technology we live in there is always a trace of what we put up in the internet so i was able to recover most.

Well my birthday was on sunday, I am now 26 although inside really i feel much older then that. I spend the day at home with family, i couldn't have asked for a better birthday gift then the one i got from jonathan though. As we women all know most if not all men lack that gene of being thoughtful in gifts they get, jonathan is a very amazing man don't get me wrong, but like most men i can hint at things i want & in the end he will end up getting me flowers & a card. Most women love flowers, will add this to my list of weird traits i have, i do not like receiving flowers. Really it's because although they are such a beautiful gift really your giving someone a task, they must water them, then see them die, and i don't know i just really don't like getting flowers. So moving on My birthday gift from jonathan, he woke me up singing happy birthday, holding natty with this balloon


and gave me this card





along with this turtle, according to him it reminded him of me because of the sad eyes, hehe i thought it was adorable

It was the best birthday i have had in a LONG time. The card was perfect lol, he loves me more then beer =P . My guess is he remembered my blog post from last year Click here to read that post because it's exactly how i wanted to spend my last birthday. So if your reading this babe, i must say you got extra cookie points for sure, you & natty made my birthday!

Now to a very special message i received from my joshy on my birthday. Me and jonathan were watching the season finale of true blood, well one of the characters significant others passed away and his spirit came back to visit him (yes they're both men) to tell him not to mourn him, he was in a better place, to not feel bad & the was in a truly better place, well as the scene passed jonathan says,

"wouldn't it be great if that really happens, the spirit would be able to come back and tell us they're OK, if joshy was able to come to me and tell me, don't worry dad i'm OK"

that was the end of the sentence when our monitor went off because natty let out a little cry, we have a angel care video monitor so were able to see through the monitor if she is waking up, we thought she was waking up, but nope she let out one single cry right at that exact moment jonathan finished his sentence and we didn't hear another peep from her all night. Me and jonathan looked at each other like "seriously did that just happen" I don't know about you but seriously that was my little guy sending us a message through his sister telling us what we already know in our hearts, he's okay. He's with us always not physically but his spirit is ALWAYS around. That was the perfect way to end my birthday and so with that i must say 25 treated me well 26 whatja got ?

And here is the photo bomb i promised (even though that post is gone i think) for those of you that read that post here are the pictures.











With her great grandma (jonathan's dad's mom) visiting from Nicaragua




Having some bananas she's so funny eating she will eat a spoon then suck her thumb, then fuss for some more then repeat, oh natty your such a character.



and of course i just realized the pictures are not being lined up with the appropriate caption *sigh* i give up!!

Dexter

So two weeks ago was the season premier of Dexter, for those of you that are not familiar with this show it's on showtime and it's about a serial killer. This whole show premiering was just a reminder that joshy's birthday is near. Now you may be asking how can Dexter remind me of joshy.

Like anybody who has had a preemie even more with a micro preemie the dr's let you know how important your breast milk is to your baby. "liquid gold" it's called. So after being a couple of hours out of my c-section with joshy in the NICU they brought over the pump told me how to use it and so i started pumping, nothing came out the first couple of times but soon the colostrum (the first milk that comes out during the first couple of days) started coming out. The next day i was obsessed with trying to get as much milk out as possible and thought i wasn't producing as much as i should, so the lactation consultants kept telling me to relax and pump and keep my mind on something else, hold a blanket that had joshy's smell to stimulate the milk to come. Well they were not really giving anything in TV so jonathan had his laptop and on it he had the entire season of Dexter. He had been telling me of the show but i thought it was a crazy show and how could a show about a serial killer be so popular. Well i gave in and said well i'll pump while we see a episode to keep my mind of how much milk i was pumping. So we started watching the first episode and sure enough i had filled up my first little tiny bottle i was so happy and Jonathan was so proud of me. So for the next four days while i was in the hospital, we would go to the NICU to hold joshy go back to the room to eat and then watch dexter while i pumped.
Those days we spend in the hospital felt the most normal as a family, yes joshy was not in the room with us but he was in the same building we were sleeping in. I remember those nights i would be ready to go to sleep and jonathan would tell me i'll be right back im just going to go make sure Joshua is doing okay. He would come back smiling ear to ear. I would wake up in the middle of night to go to the bathroom and Jonathan would be gone, i knew where he was in the NICU checking on Joshua. We had no idea the journey we would be embarking. I can't believe that in a couple of days that was exactly a year ago. I remember the second day sitting down with dr.berrios and julia the resident who might i just add strangely enough both were the Neonatologist who were there when joshua was born and were also the ones who had to tell me joshua would not make it six months later, joshua was born at alta bates and passed away at childrens hospital, it was a big coincidence BOTH were at childrens during joshua's last weeks because all the residents and NEO's rotate between other hospital, four other's if im not mistaken so it was a big coincidence. So getting back i remember the second day sitting down with dr.berrios and julia and both of them telling me we were in for the long haul, of course they meant his due date which was three months away but i dont think anybody could predict that the long haul was really six months and that there would be no happy homecoming instead there would be a service and a funeral.

Disney

Anyone thats knows me knows i am the biggest disney fanatics ever, as a child i collected the disney movies, as an adult still loved everything Disney. I started collecting the Disney classic as they are starting to come out on Blueray and when joshy was born i was so excited that when he finally came home i would see these movies with him. Me and jonathan talked about the first time we would take him to disneyland, we knew this wouldnt be for a couple of years since he was a preemie and didnt want to have him around so many germs but most of our drives from home to the NICU would be spend talking about how wonderful the first time he would go to disneyland would be. I thought about buying his first pair of mickey ears with his name and taking pictures right in front of the magic kingdom. It was like a right of passage for me as a mom to take him to Disneyland. I never thought he would get to have his first pair of ears but they would be placed on his grave site. As the holidays start coming starting with halloween the Disney commercials are starting to come on t.v the ones with disneyland getting ready for halloween. I change the channel, just another reminder of a dream that will never get full filled. Halloween is next month and oct 7 approaching fast, i keep thinking about the birthday party i should be planning for joshy. It was going to be the most over the top birthday party for a one year old, me and jonathan and our family had talked about, joshy deserved it and although he wasn't going to remember his first birthday when he saw the pictures when he was older we would show him how extravagant his birthday was cause he was a little miracle.

My Birthday

Well my birthday came and went, im officially 25 years old, as of sept 11, and my life is completely different then i would have imagined a year ago. My day was spend going to visit joshy and then going to chevy's with jonathan, i got the best card from my sister and brother in law, it was a yoda card and inside it said, "full fill your destiny you must" like many of you have read from my last post i have been in bed for the last 3 months in deep depression so this card was a reminder i have some more stuff to do in life not sure what it is but maybe i'll find out. So i woke up On my birthday and lay down in the bed while jonathan slept a while longer and thought about how i pictured spending this birthday and how it was far from what i thought. Last year for my birthday i was on bed rest trying to keep joshy cooking in the oven as long as possible, we had reach our goal of 24 weeks and where going strong. I imagined spending this birthday with jonathan and joshy waking me up to sing happy birthday, joshy would babble and would smile and laugh and i would think "this is the greatest birthday ever". That's not the birthday i had. I will never have another birthday with joshy. I am thankful i at least got to spend one birthday with him. I spend one halloween, one christmas, and one new year, they where not how i imagined but i got these special dates with him. The trees are now changing colors and fall is coming. The nights and days are getting a little bit colder that show just how much time has gone by since i laid joshy down forever, almost five months, some days it seems like it's been longer and some days it feels like it was yesterday. Im trying to hang on to to all the thoughts i have of him, every single smell, every single moment i spend with him, but some are slipping away and i hate myself for that. I want to remember every wonderful part of the six months i spend with him, yes the good and the bad. Every scare i had and everytime he pulled through and proved the dr's wrong. Im trying to think were i will be a year from now, will i have found some type of peace with joshy's passing ? i know the pain will never go away but will the days be a little better to deal with. I think as a parent you have a couple of goals, one to make sure you baby is happy and another to hope they make an impact in the world, i never thought joshy would accomplish this in six month. For this and for so many of other reason's i am the PROUDEST mom ever!

Depression

I haven't blogged in such a long time. The reason for this, i haven't had the energy. How can someone not have the energy to type a couple of sentences on her laptop you may ask ? very simple and complicated, one word DEPRESSION. Most people go through a couple of days of feeling low energy very sad crying spills things like this for oh a couple of days but be able to shake it off and get up and get out. Well not me. I suffer from depression, clinically diagnosed and take medication for it. Many people suffer from a "mental instability" but are to embarassed to admit it or say it for everyone to know, im not. It's part of me.
When Joshy was born although my doctors though because of already diagnosed depression, my post pardum depression risk were very high, somehow i managed to keep it under control. Although having to spend six months in the NICU took some type of toll on me, seeing joshy everyday made my depression disappear, i had a reason to fight everyday to get up and get moving. This was the happiest time in my life, not the easiest, but the happiest, yes there was ups and downs during those six months but as long as joshua was fighting so would I. Along with depression i have anxiety, and panic attacks. I very much dislike bieng in large groups of people, this to became non existent while in the NICU, joshy's NICU social worker knew about my condition and said you could never tell i had these problems because while in the NICU i was able to sit down, some of the country's leading dr, and go toe to toe asking them questions and staying on top of what they should be doing with josh. It wasn't surprising to see me as the LION protecting her young cub, this is what a mommy should do. Moving on to where i'm at now, My depression has consumed my life. I have no life. I read story's of mom's who have lost babies and they continue to live, but not me. My bed, My room the four walls that are inside my room have become my refuge. I eat because I must, jonathan makes me eat if it was up to me, there's no need. I get out of the room, to use the restroom, i have gone days without showering, and going outside,only seeing if its cloudy or sunny from my window. This has not been going on for a week or two, but for about 2-3 months. I have seeked helped and it doesnt seem to be working. I have contemplated entering a mental health facility and am starting to think this may be the only way to get out of this depression. I have been in a deep depression twice before, and yes i have tried committing suicide because have seen no way out. This time i have thought about it, haven't gone through with it, but the thoughts are there. This isn't the life i thought i would be living and to someone reading this it might seem like something very easy to change but when you have lost all hope and feel like there's nothing good left in life, it's not easy. When your brain isn't normal, it's not working the way it should it's not easy. I hate seeing my family see me like this and most of all i hate jonaathan seeing me like this, he has gone through the loss of joshy, and is now has lost me. My body is here, my mind is lost in it's own. In thoughts of sadness, of what should of's and of missing my son so much that life has no meaning.

For Jonathan

I read this poem and just had to post it for jonathan, joshua was his pride and joy and sometimes i forget just how much he misses him because i'm dealing with my own pain, but this post is just for jonathan, joshy was his son too and i know it hurts him just the same, he's cried with me, and tries to be strong for me, which in turn doesn't allow him to show his pain in worry it might make me more sad. As soon as i started reading this poem it made me start crying.

My dad is a survivor too
which is no surprise to me.
He's always been like a lighthouse
that helps you cross a stormy sea.
But, I walk with my dad each day
to lift him when he's down.
I wipe the tears he hides from others;
He cries when no one's around.
I watch him sit up late at night
with my picture in his hand.
He cries as he tries to grieve alone,
and wishes he could understand.
My dad is like a tower of strength.
He's the greatest of them all!
But, there are times when he needs to cry...
Please be there when he falls.
Hold his hand or pat his shoulder...
And tell him it's okay.
Be his strength when he's sad,
Help him mourn in his own way.
Now, as I watch over my precious dad
from the Heavens up above...
I'm so proud that he's a survivor...
And, I can still feel his love.

My goal.

So this year would of been the first year that natty would of walked in the march of dimes for her big brother, but jonathan got assaulted at work the night before and didn't get home till about 4:30am because he had to go to the E.R to get his hand checked out. The walks is one of the things that i want to make part of our family tradition to celebrate joshy's life. This along with bringing special items to the NICU every year, i know what it's like to be in the NICU for months and to try to make your son's crib his little space seem as "his" as possible to make it feel like home. So i've been trying to mentally prepare myself because in the next couple of weeks natty will be going to meet joshy's nurses and i plan on bringing some gifts along for them to hand out to the family in celebration of the safe arrival of joshy little sister and we plan to finally take natty to the special garden where we held joshy after he passed away, this will be a full circle moment. I know no matter how prepared i am to make this visit i WILL break down, how can i not, but i can't wait for the people that mean and meant so much to joshy to meet natalia. They're my nicu family and i plan for natty to make visits every couple of months so we can bring blankets, toys,etc to the families in the nicu.

well i will try to start blogging everyday again, http://joshuacastilloesco.blogspot.com/even if it's just to update with pictures, on reading back i realized and remember how much writing actually helped me, plus it's a great way to document things, an online diary. Besides no matter how much i think i've actually become more vocal in the last couple of months i know there will never be a better way to express myself then with writing i have always been this way. I will try to post everyday or at least every other day even if it's just a couple of sentences or a picture, this is my goal. With natty in a schedule at least a predictable schedule now, i know i can find time to do this everyday.

PSA

If your wondering, hmm the blog looks nice but what the heck is going on ?

this is what happened. I accidentally deleted all the post had to do some very major investigation and reading on how to get my post back, it is now 5:16AM and i have been up all night going at this to make sure all my post are back. Im tired but it was really important to me to have all my post. This is my online diary and one day natty will read this......well i'll update tomorrow, im sorry for all the confusion but hey! HOW DO YOU LIKE MY NEW LOOK ?? we now have tabs up there so she can go to different pages , learn about joshua, natalia, see videos of them, and new stuff that will be coming up. WHAT DO YOU THINK ? im excited. well i'm going to try to get some sleep. again sorry for the confusion but all the post are back just not in the quite correct order.....

A king turns One

I havent posted in a while,every time i get to writing i have so much going on in my head i can't get my thoughts together to type them down. Where to start.

As everyone knows joshy's birthday was Oct 7. Seems like it crept up on me, i kept counting down the days until Oct 7 but before i knew it here it was. We woke up that day and on the ride to bring joshy's presents and balloons to him, me and jonathan kept looking at the time, and remembering what were doing at that moment a year ago. Me and jonathan were picking up joshy's balloon's at party city and my sister called me that she,my brother in law and pappa bear had just left the cemetery, and joshy's tombstone had been placed and it looked perfect. I had been bugging the cemetery calling them every day to remind them that joshy's birthday was coming up and that i wanted to make sure his tombstone was there by then. While at party city getting some stuff to decorate joshy's site with "my first birthday" themed items i started crying and thought this is horrible. We walked over to the register gave them the balloons we wanted inflated and picked out the rest of balloons that were behind the counter,they were pretty busy and the lady asked me

her: when is the party ? is it today can you come back for them ?
Me: We can wait, but we need them by today,
Her: okay, so big party huh ? your celebrating someone first birthday ?
Me: yes our sons he turns one today
Her: Oh how great, where's the party at ? do you want some extra helium to make them last longer?
Me : uhmm no actually the balloons are for a balloon release and were headed to the cemetery
Her: Oh im so sorry we'll get these filled right away don't worry.

so we headed down to joshy, my mom was on her way to meet us there, when we got there joshy already had some new toys and balloons and flowers there, his tombstone looked perfect. We waited for my mom, she brought him some more balloons, with a Little sculpture of a swan with a baby on her back, the swans wings were wrapped around the baby, it was beautiful. We got ready to let the balloons go, jonathan recorded my mom let hers go and started crying, i held on to mine, i really didnt want to let them go, but as they slipped from my fingers it was like having to let joshy go all over, i held it together pretty good, right up till it was time to say goodbye and we started walking away, me and jonathan held hands and walked away i looked back at joshy and stopped and just held on to jonathan we both cried.







The weeks since then have been more depressing, i sit and watch t.v and listen to the house be so quite, it shouldn't be so quite, it should be filled with laughter, with me telling joshy "NO don't throw that, No Joshy, dont hit the doggy," my day's should filled with calling jonathan and telling him " you have no idea what your son just did" with posting pictures online of joshy wearing a adorable outfit, not with how his tombstone looks, but this is life. I have my good day's and my very bad day's today is a in between one.

Joshy's life was so short, but i can't believe how much he touched people. I have met so many amazing people and have received amazing e-mails from people saying that they had read about joshy's story and how they were touched by him. Through our journey i have met an amazing set of women, my preemie mom's. for joshy's birthday they all put together a video of there little one's and them releasing balloons for joshy. Me and jonathan watched the video together and were speech less. here it comes again, my brain block, i have so many thoughts running through my head that i can't put them in order. i guess what im trying to say is, joshua's journey has led us through a path of meeting amazing people that otherwise we would of not have met, i guess this is the silver lining ? actually there are a lot of great AMAZING things that came from joshy's journey, this not including the little miracle himself JOSHY!! I can not thank everyone who remembered joshy on his birthday enough. I think when a parent loses her child one of her fears is that her child will be forgotten. to have so many people remember joshy on his special day made this very emotional day, a bit more bearable.

heres the video





have a lot more to write about including the sad news that my dad recently passed away. He is now with joshy in heaven. My dream when joshy was born was for my dad to meet him, my dad lives in el salvador, when he retired he decided to move back over there, and has lived there ever since. He had been sick for the last couple of months but non-the less it was still a shock. He had gotten sick during the same time joshy was in the NICU, but had recovered. Every time i talked to him he would ask about joshy, and told me how he couldn't wait to meet him. When joshy passed away my dad was still recovering from a stroke so his memory was a little off, and speech not to great, the last time i talked to him he still thought i was pregnant with a girl, for those of you that have followed my story, the dr's thought joshy was a girl untill we got the amnio done to make sure he didnt have a serious chromosomal issue, turned out joshy was a boy of course, so like i said i talked to my dad and didnt have the heart to tell him his grandchild had passed, so i went along with it. I know they're together in heaven now, and my dad is overjoyed to the fact that he has a grandson.



Me and Jonathan

well today i have decided to write about how me and jonathan came to be. our story

I went to high school with my really good friend arnaldo. We stayed really good friends and a year or less after high school he started dating my best friend who i have known since i was five. Her name is channella. Arnaldo introduced me to some of his other friends and i started dating one of them named will. During one of our nights out we met up with some of his cousins, and one of them was jonathan. We were at a house party and he was there, he was smoking and offered me some, i told him i did not smoke, and we started small conversation. We ended the night and i saw him other times because we were always at the same house party's and ran in the same circle of friends. Every time always talking,and just leaving it at that, i was dating someone after all, and at the time i was "in love =P oh how i laugh now at the fact that i thought what i had with will was love. well a year and a half went by and me and will stopped dating. Me and jonathan kept seeing each other at party's and i would hear from his cousins (he has ALOT of cuousins) that he liked me, i kinda knew already but wasn't ready to start dating and to be honest i just saw him as a friend. Well a couple of months went by and i hadn't seen him so i decided to message him on myspace (yes i made the first move hah) we started writing back and forth and he invited me to go to a giant's game, he says now that wasn't a date but i think it was lol. So after that we started talking on the phone and seeing each other more and went on our first official date to go see mr.and ms.smith. At this point jonathan had asked me to be his girfriend, i said no, the first time because i wasn't ready to be in a serious relationship and so we kept dating, might i add this whole time he was really shy and had no kissed me yet, so once again i made the first move and we had our first kiss, while i was dropping him off at home after one of our dates lol. Well after two attempts of asking me to be his girl friend i said yes. I am so happy he was persistent because he is really my soul mate. I am also really happy it took us two years to get together after we had known each other because we both had our fun and once we got into a relationship we were both committed. Now we both have talked about the first time we saw each other and what our first impressions were. He thought i was conceited the first time he saw me and i thought he was shy. well, we were both wrong, i am so far from being conceited and he is FAR from shy, he is the life of the party and is a social butterfly, which i love because i really am shy, so i think we balance each other out. He tells me now, that after meeting me the first time, he knew he would marry me. He knew i was with someone but that he was patient because he knew i wouldn't stay with him and we would end up together, that he really thought about getting into a relationship with me because he knew once we got together that would be it for him. The connection me and him have is really amazing , i truly believe in soul mates and i know jonathan is mine. He is my bestfriend and my partner in everything, i know no matter what he will always look after me. He has gone through a lot with me, and has stuck with me, through my very bad depression, i tried to commit suicide during our second year together because i was so badly depressed about life, he would stay awake at night to take care of me and make sure i slept and didn't try anything. He would bring me food and made sure i ate. I am not proud of this time in my life, but he has truly seen me at my complete worse. After five years together, and knowing each other for 7, he is the one of the greatest person i know. We have been tested as a couple in ways that no couple should be tested. I fall more in love with him with seeing the way he loves his kids so much. He is a great father, a great friend, a great partner, and a great man. We both have been tested in our relationship and can say we have really survived being tested. Many people say that having a baby in the NICU will break a relationship up, but the complete opposite happened to me and jonathan, we both talk about how even though it was the most stressful yet joyous time in our life, including my pregnancy we never fought, not once during that time. Our bond was the strongest. After joshy passed away is when i think, we as individuals and as a couple got tested, as parents, we couldn't comprehend (well even now we can't) how our child could have died. We fought the most during the couple of months after joshy's death and broke up for a couple of days. I really thought we were done at that point, not because i wasn't in love with him, but because i was angry at the world, i wanted to crawl in a hole and die too, and i thought that even though he wouldn't admit it he blamed me for what happened to josh, after all i still go through that now, blaming myself for my body not doing what it was supposed to do. we managed to work things out and work through our own grief and allow each other to understand how we were both grieving differently. Were the only ones that understand each other. We have both helped each other grow, at least i know he has helped me. He is such a great father to natty and was and continues to be such a great father to joshua. This is going to sound so corny but i can honestly say with all my heart, that after five years together i still get butterflies when he looks at me a certain way or when i get hugs. =) well that is my post about us.

Best video ever

Okay this has made me and jonathan's week. You just have to watch but there are really no words to describe the biggest smile i have from being able to catch this on video. She has only done this three times and i caught it on video!



Im sorry Mommy

Today natty decided it would be great to bite me four time, at different occasions, while nursing. I screamed and she would then smile, i REALLY hope this is not something new, and something she just thought would be fun for today. The last time i decided to have a talk, and she apologized. It was our first out of many heart to heart apology talks i'm sure .

I now KNOW



well, i haven't kept my promise. I promised to update as much as i could and i haven't. =( . Let's see, What's new. Natty turned Three months on the 18th! Where the heck has the time gone ? I swear it feels like i was just pregnant and now she's three months, in a blink of a eye. This week she has really discovered her voice, she will babble and talk back, and is a real ham and just likes smiling, but overall likes observing and really pays attention. Everyday i fall more and more in love with her.

This week has really been a joshy week for me. I'm not sure where to start. Me and jonathan have always believed that his spirit is with us, and as much as it hurts to know he is not physically with us, and he had to go through everything he did, in our hearts we know our son had a bigger purpose, he spirit came into this world to touch a lot of people, and he managed to do that. His time on this earth was brief but boy did he accomplish more then i will ever in this lifetime. Well like i was saying me and jonathan have always felt his presence, i know some people might see it as a grieving parent trying to make themselves feel comfort, but it's way more than that. The sign's he sends us are just amazing. we have always associated peacocks with joshy. I believe i had written some time ago about how a peacock a week after burying walked across the street right in front of us while we were driving in the berkeley hills to go see his nurses, we stopped the car and where able to get pictures. The following week a white peacock showed up in the back yard to the house she was looking to buy. Then three months after a peacock shows up in our front yard! seriously these animals don't just walk around people yards. Me and jonathan were just amazed we lured him into the backyard and he followed our yard is really big so he hung around for a couple of days and then left. A couple of months after, around the same time we started hearing, what we believe to be the same peacock cry out. We have since then named the peacock "buddy" and everynight he cries out, then he'll cry out a couple of more times, as im typing this i just heard him. We truly think it's his way of letting us know he's around. Well earlier this week my moms friend's daughter was in our room while i was feeding natty her night time bottle. She was sitting next to me and we had the following conversation her name is ISA she is four

ISA : You have two babies
Me: Yes i do
ISA: was the other a boy or a girl ?
Me: he was a boy
ISA: Oh did he die ?
Me: Yes he passed away
ISA: aw is she (natty) sad because her brother passed away ?
Me: No, because he's her guardian angel
ISA: Yeah, she not sad, she's happy, she's happy because she see him sometimes, she's happy because she has her monkey with her.

I have never spoken about josh to her. I just got chills. What i knew was being explained to me plain and simple, natty knows her big brother is her monkey angel, and he takes care of her. Well This past wed, was really nice weather here in the bay, actually it was a bit way to hot for me, but was perfect weather to go to the beach. So jonathan asked for the day off, and we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take natty to the beach. We met up with his cousin and sister. His cousin ana had let me know she had a gift for me on sunday, but natty was ready to head out before she got off work so we the plan was to receive my gift this saturday. Well while leaving the beach she hands me my gift. It's a book called "growing up in heaven" i had heard about this book the past week on chelsea lately, and thought to myself i need to get this book, but didn't. She saw it on the exact show and thought about me and joshy instantly. The beach has always been my place. When i was a teenager, i would drive to the beach and just sit in the car, with the windows down, wishing that i was somehow find happiness. I have always felt connected to the ocean. I LOVE IT! When josh was born i had promised once he was well to take him to the ocean to say thank you, for her (in my religion the ocean's name is yemeya) bringing him home, but of course that didn't happen, but on wednesday i was able to take natty to the beach, say thank you, and receive this beautiful gift from ana, a book about the eternal connection between parents and children that have passed and how the communicate with us from the spirit world, and it was just an unbelievable moment for me. He had delivered his message, "mom, it is me, i do send you messages, you do feel me, your not crazy, i'm with you, and I'M OKAY, i like it here"

Here are some pictures from our trip to the beach

Our first family picture. All the pictures have been of either me and natty but mostly of Natty and jonathan =P




My little diva


Touching the sand




Thank you




and, i have been trying to find the perfect angel wings for the monkey that represents joshy. We keep him in natty's room, well i finally found them and they look perfect. Really this week was great. Goodnight joshy, i know your with us. I KNOW!


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