Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day J

Dear Jonathan, 

Besides the many qualities about you that I love, there's one that stands out. The awesome father that you are to both our kids.

 I know with Joshua you got way more than you bargained for. Although I was the one pregnant & having to go to countless appointments you never missed one. When josh was born and we saw the long road that laid ahead of us, you stepped up to the plate and didnt run away or get overwhelmed.I remember you wanting to do anything you could to help out & although there wasn't muchyou could do at that point since you couldn't lactate lol the best thing the dr's & nurses said you could do was just support us and talk to Joshua to let him know you were there and thats what you did.  For the months josh was in the hospital everyday before work you were there and right after work even though it was midnight & you had a long drive back home you would go and spend your one on one time with him. 

There's isnt a day that goes by that you don't talk about him. I feel bad about the fact that I have a group of friends (my preemie moms ) that hear me out on the days that I need to vent about how I much I miss him,while you, you don't have that group or support. I think people forget about you. They forget you're still hurting. 

What can I say about the awesome dad you are to natty. 
I would go on my mommy boards and read about how the dads weren't getting up to calm the crying baby in the middle of the night or helping change diapers while you were doing every single one of those things and then some. I swear for the 14 months I nursed natty if there would of been a way for you to nurse her I think you would of done it lol. You would come home from work at 1am and see me trying to rock her to sleep, you wouldn't go to bed even though I knew you were exhausted, you would grab her and rock her to sleep so I could go and get some rest. You're always there for her wether its reading her a book,dancing for her to make her laugh, or getting up in the middle of the night because she just had a nightmare. 

Seriously I could go on & on about all the reasons you rock as a dad but I won't. I'll just say that our kids are lucky they have one smart mom that choose the perfect dad for them lol I'm j/p ! 

Happy father day J, I love you for many reasons but most importantly because of the awesome, devoted, loving, dedicated dad that you are. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Natty is two

Late post.

Natty is TWO ! This birthday was extra special because it was spent with just us.
We celebrated her birthday on Sunday march 17th at the Monterrey bay aquarium. She loves fish and she absolutely loved the aquarium. It was us, both sets of grandparents and her god parents/uncle and aunt and her other aunt. After the aquarium we went to dinner at a beautiful restaurant with a amazing view of the ocean. The day couldn't of been more perfect. Her actual birthday on Monday was spent with just me and Jonathan. I actually had to work that day but since my work as at my moms shop we got to hang out just us three and bought her a little piece of cake to eat. The night before I decorated the outside of her room with streamers & balloons so she could enjoy those things in the morning.

Since she turned two I'm not sure what is happening but she seems to be growing up at super fast speed. Everyday she wakes up and she seems older and of course cuter :) her vocabulary is just growing crazily and it's amazing to be able to have little conversations with her. She is such a well behaved little girl. We has always been an amazing sleeper but the fact that we have just followed her cues as to her nighttime routine and she just goes to bed with out having to have night trained is amazing to us. She is the most sociable little girl I have ever seen. She is friendly and says Hi to everyone! She gets that from her dad and I couldn't be happier. I really don't want to brag but....I will! I think we have the easiest,most smartest,friendliest, most pretty little toddler . I've said this once and I will repeat AGAIN, joshy picked natty for us. He picked the most perfect daughter . 
This picture is from us dropping off some goodies do the nurses at Oakland childrens hospital I will write about that in another post 
With Vickie one ours and joshy's favorite nurse. She will always hold a special place in my heart.
Dropping off flowers of joshy 
Don't worry she was fine holding the snake and starting crying when it had to go 

Playing tea 

Natty just born................natty 1 yr old.................natty 2 years old 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cut in halves

Being a parent is hard.
Constantly you're thinking "am I doing this right?",  add being a parent to an Angel & a living child and a whole other set of constant fears arises.

Since Josh passed my year is usually divided in halves. Six months and six months. I count down till October comes and then from October countdown till April. Repeat.

When natty was born I looked forward to her first birthday but because I was going to be able to celebrate it not because she was turning one, if that makes any sense. It's a horrible thing to admit because she's my living daughter and I seriously treasure every single moment I get to spend with her but It's also a reminder of all the moments that I will never get to treasure with Josh.

As her second birthday draws near me & J decided that last year we didn't really get to enjoy her. We made a huge party, seriously went all out but we were busy running around making sure the party was going good we didn't get to enjoy her. So this is year we decided no party, we will do something small just us three and take her some where special and enjoy it with her. As her birthday approaches all I can think about is April is just around the corner and I haven't really thought about the fact that Natty is turning two.

Last night as I was rocking her to sleep and she refused to go down J decided let's try putting her in her crib, saying goodnight & seeing what happens. I realize most parents don't rock their child to sleep still and most start "sleep training" their kid early on however we enjoy rocking her because for the most part she goes down rather easily and it allows us that one on one time. There's also something beautiful of having her fall asleep in your arms. Well J took her to her crib, said good night , tucked her in and walked out. We both watched her monitor and waited for her to start crying but that never happened. She laid there sucking her thumb, rolling around for about fifteen minutes and then we didn't hear anything. I waited 15 more minutes and then went to check on her. I tip toed over to her crib and was ready to see her there awake but no, there she was sound asleep. I covered her up and stood there looking over her and then it happened. I realized how big she is actually getting. I stood there and re lived the first time I laid her down in her crib , she was so tiny compared to what seemed this giant crib I was laying her down in but not anymore. There she laid a big girl in a almost to small crib. I walked out her room and went to lay next to Jonathan and told him, with a sad face " She fell asleep, She's turning into a big girl, When did this happen ? OMG She's going to be two, she was just born" I started crying and Jonathan started laughing while hugging me and telling me how crazy I was being as I responded "You just don't get it"

I don't think I got it till last night. She's growing up so fast and most of the time I just don't get it because I'm busy grieving.
It's hard.
It's tough.
How do I fully commit to giving her my full attention while in reality my attention is split in two because Josh is always on mind. I cherish every single milestone while at the same time mourn that I will never celebrate and I should be celebrating that milestone with Josh. I guess I have to find a balance.
I don't know.
 I feel a constant need to keep Josh's memory alive while being fully present with natty and maybe that's a burden I will have to live with forever ? or maybe it get's easier ?
I don't know

At least last night I realized something.
My year doesn't need to be cut in halves. It shouldn't be cut in halves. I have Natty's birthday to account for as part of my year. Why it took me almost two years to realize this ? I don;t know

The life of an angel mom.....The life of a rainbow mom. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Four years later

Almost 4 years after taking what I thought was going to be only a couple months off of work to be on bed rest and care for josh, I am back to work with my mom.

This whole blog started the first day of me being on complete bed rest and now he we are, 100+ post later and what I thought was going to be only a couple of boring post on here turned into something completely different. I never thought it would turn into my safe haven, my diary, my online way to keep part of Josh's memory alive.

It feels a little weird being back to work. First off I am completely grateful that I was able to take these past four year off. First for what I thought was bed rest, then for what I thought was going to be a couple months to care for josh in the NICU , at that point in the NICU I thought I was never going to go back to work. After josh had his surgery and we realized just how much care he was going to require when he finally was released, I knew my new job was going to be his caregiver, when he passed away my mom allowed me to take some more time off to grieve and then i was blessed with natty. She wanted me to rest the entire pregnancy because she thought something would go wrong and then I was able to be a stay at home mom for 2 years.
Blessed. I am completely blessed to have had that privilege .

Now here I am. Four years later

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The funeral

I have never written about what went through my head or my feelings regarding the days of Joshy's funeral or his viewing. Every once in a while I will look back through all my posts and then come across his funeral post this one. The pictures were taken by one of Jonathan's uncle. We didn't ask him to take the pictures but I will forever be grateful that he did. They are the last "pictures" I have with Josh.

The day we were supposed to go take the clothes we wanted to have him buried in I slipped and fell down the stairs. I landed on my back and it hurt really bad. I was actually glad I fell at the moment because I was feeling pain, I wanted to feel pain. Those last days that were spent picking his clothes, his casket were a haze. I seriously have no idea how I was even able to function. Those nights were spent with me making his slideshow. I needed to keep my mind off of what was happening. I couldn't wrap my head around what was actually happening, I couldn't, I would of gone crazy. To say I was popping my xanax pills like skittles those days was an understatement. I didn't want to come to terms with what my new reality was. I had to go to the mall to pick out a dress to wear to his funeral because we had asked everyone to wear white and I didn't have any white clothes. I must of looked like a crazy lady with puffy eyes walking around the mall looking for a white dress. I also went to get a haircut that day, I asked my hair dresser to cut my hair really short, I don't know why but I felt like I needed to have it cut short. Like somehow by letting go of my long hair it was going to take away some of the pain that I was feeling, worst the pain that was to come. Those days leading up to his funeral were the worst. Everyone kept asking me if I was OK how was I supposed to know what OK even was. My life had just changed and everything that I had planned for my life was now obsolete. Non existent. There was going to be no life with Josh in it.

The day of the viewing and the day of the funeral I had moments of  "feeling" and not. I'll try to explain the best I can. On the day of the viewing we stopped by a grocery store to buy something, I don't even remember what it was but I remember this, I asked J to get a bottle of hennesey and he did. All these emotions I was feeling were beyond what I could handle and I needed to calm  my self the best way I knew how. Self medicating and so I grabbed a couple of my xanax, a vicodin and chased them down with a swig of henessey. There was no way I was going to be able to handle what was going on with out self medicating. My mind had moments of shock and "what's going on" but they were on & off. Josh was laying in a casket and my mind could not even come to terms with what was happening. This was not how it was supposed to be. This was not what was planned and I was angry, upset, shocked, I was feeling every single emotion that one person could possibly handle all at once and in bursts at any particular moment. I was angry at God, angry at my faith, I was angry at myself for putting my child through everything that he had endured during the last year, six months inside me and six months out. I admire all the child loss parents that were brought closer to their faith because of their child passing away, the complete opposite happened to me. I was angry, I needed to blame someone, something and God, If there was one was to blame. There was no way God would take my child away and even though I was angry I also needed to believe in him. I had to believe Josh was with him in heaven and he was OK. I had to think this way to make my self feel better and from going insane.

The day of the funeral seemed like a dream. When they asked me if I wanted to say goodbye to Josh and kiss him before they closed the casket I thought, Why ? I'm going to see him again. What does even mean ? They're going to close the casket & this is the absolute last time I will ever get to see him ? touch him ? The last time ? How can you fit that into one last moment, or one last kiss or touch ? There he was laying in his casket, cold to the touch and I was supposed to kiss him one LAST time, how does a mother even do that ? You mean to tell me that after we have said good bye for the LAST time he will be driven to the cemetery and he will  be buried and left there by himself, in the cold, in the dirt and you want to know if I want to have a couple minutes before you close the casket ? WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN!? I didn't know what it meant and so I kissed his forhead  told him how much I loved him, how sorry I was for not having been able to carry him longer, for everything I had put him through and then I let Jonathan have his last moments with him. It seemed like we didn't get that long to say good bye because before I knew it, they had closed the casket and just like that Me and Jonathan were carrying our little boy that we longed to take home out the door unto the hearse that would take him to the cemetery.

They laid his casket on the straps that would later lower him down and Me & Jonathan were able to say a couple of words. Don't ask me what I said because I can't remember and if I could go back I would of probably would of said something different. The whole scene seemed so unnatural, unreal, unrealistic. Everyone was able to lay a single white rose on top of his casket and as I sat there watching everyone do that I wanted nothing more then to be sitting back in the NICU, back to where everything was "normal" were everything was OK and where Josh was alive. They lowered his casket and started to throw the dirt on top.  He was gone. We walked away to drive over to Jonathan's parents house for everyone to have a bite to eat. His primary vickie and I sat on the floor talking about Josh and his last hours. No one besides me & Jonathan knew him better then his primary's and his doctors. They were all able to either go to his funeral or his viewing the day before. They somehow managed to take time off their busy schedule to go and I will forever remain thankful.

In two months it will be three years since we had to say "good bye" and yet it still feels like it just happened but then I realize it really has been three years. I'm able to look at those pictures and remember what I was feeling and remember that day and some times when I look at them I wish I could go back to those days where the pain was so raw and so here that knew how to handle it. Where I was "allowed" to feel depressed and cry and any given moment about Josh,Unlike now, everyone including yourself expects you to have come to some type of closure some type of healing but I haven't. You don't heal from this, Just just learn to live with it. Not sure if any of you have ever seen the movie 'Rabbit hole' but this quote is the best one I have found on the best explanation of what happens with your grief

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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I know.

We commute almost every day.
We live about 45mins to an hour drive on a lucky day from the city. 
Our freeway drive to the city takes us right in front of Oakland children's hospital. Every time we pass I stare. Stare at the Hospital that was IS my second home. I stare where the NICU is and it's like x-ray vision. I can look at where level 3 is and a scenario plays in my head.

I stare and see myself rocking in my rocking chair, the chair doesn't have my name but day after day I have sat in this chair and it's mine. I'm next to joshy's bedside. He's sleeping. I rock back and forth starring at the monitor, beep beep beep. All is well. Maybe I can take a nap before I have to go pump, I close my eyes. An alarm goes off but already accustomed to our beeps I keep my eyes closed. It's not joshy's alarms, it's his neighbors, one of his leads must of come off. Our nurses phone rings, I open my eyes and look at the time, it's six. It must be Jonathan calling to check on Josh. Trish comes over and let's me know it was jonathan, she reminds me I need to eat, I should order my dinner before they stop serving. She's right I haven't eaten. I call and order my usual, Grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup & soy milk. I let trish know I'm going to go pump and eat dinner in the waiting room. I shouldn't be long. She assures me Josh is fine and to take my time eating.

This scenerio plays in my head, it varies sometimes but the feeling is always the same. We pass and I feel like we just passed home. We need to go back. The hospital starts to fade. I see the rest of the cars and no one even acknowledges the hospital. They don't know part of my heart, my soul was left there the day josh passed. Most don't know there's a NICU. They don't know that right now, there's parent's praying, hoping,wishing for a miracle to save their child. They don't know that they have just passed the Hospital that holds babies that are the most strong spirited, bravest little beings they will ever know. They have no idea & I envy them because some don't even know what a NICU is ! I do, I know what the NICU is. I know.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Natty photo bomb

I realize it has been a while since I've posted pictures of natty but here is a photo bomb of the "best of natty" lol although I love taking pictures with my camera some of the best candid pictures I've taken are with my iPad or as Jonathan call it my other love :) I can't believe how big she's getting, I just looked at her smiling earlier this morning and she all her bottom teeth! Oh how I miss those gummy smiles. That hat that's she's wearing in some of her pictures is her favorite hat. Such a diva this one. She loves watching sports, she will cheer & give high fives to everyone when she sees everyone get excited. Her vocabulary is growing everyday and she just talk and talks, most I understand but some things she says are just blabber . I know she's trying to get her point across but I don't know what she's saying lol. A couple of weeks ago for fun I grabbed one of her big blankets and swaddled her, it was hilarious but sad because it brought into perspective just how big she is compared to when she was born. This age she's at is so much fun but I really miss her newborn stage. She was such a wonderful baby and I miss those days of just snuggling and rocking her. Cliche but kids really grow in a blink of an eye and although there's days I want to rip my hair out I am blessed to have been able to enjoy her and be a stay at home mom. I want to rewind time and have her be a newborn again I love this stage but miss her being a newborn.

I miss it

I miss it.

I can't believe I would ever say it because it was A LOT of hard work but I really do.

I miss nursing natty. I miss those months when it was just me & her and no one could do I was doing for her. Providing her the best possible nutrition possible. I miss her falling asleep as nursed her. I miss feeling so close to her and that special bond we formed. Yes it was hard and there were days when the pain, yes the first weeks were PAINFUL that I thought just one bottle, just one won't hurt but no, I owed this to myself, I finally had MY chance to nurse my child and I would be damned if I missed it. I longed to be able to nurse josh, I wanted to so bad but prematurity took that away from me and I had beat prematurity with natty and was going to up the stakes one more, I was going to nurse her not just because I wanted to, but because I could! It was my way of saying excuse my French "fuck you prematurity" nursing natty to me was more then being able to provide for her but it was a personal goal. I didn't have any control over what happened with josh but I had control over this and I was going to do it, and I did and man looking back at how fast those 13 months past, I miss it. I am in no way saying breast is best because I more then anyone know that's not true, I pumped and pumped for josh for 6 months but at the end my breast milk was not best for him, he needed formula, special formula that I was not able to provide. All I'm saying is that with natty it was the best for US, and for me it was a personal goal, a special victory I was going to accomplish come what may come I was going to nurse her and man when those 13 months were over I felt like their should of been a special parade with confetti and banners saying "take that prematurity!" ......

Take that! I came, I nursed, I freaking accomplished and I succeeded !

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sandy hook

Good morning bloggers,

I'm here in the city at my my moms shop & boy is it cold. I'm usually much more of a cold weather type of person but (and I probably will regret saying this) I can't wait till summer.

Well the last time I wrote about how I wanted to share about the sandy hook shooting.

As the news broke and the stories started rolling in it was heartbreaking. Me and Jonathan were just sitting there watching the news and just in utter shock. How could so many kids be killed. The poor parents. As the hours rolled and all that you could see on t.v was about the shooting it started being too much for me. Yes it was about the shooting itself but as a child loss parent is was much more then that. It was about thinking about the parents that were never going to be the same. I knew that pain. It felt real, it felt close and I felt my self mourning might along side them. The next morning when still all you could see in the news was about the shooting and as pictures. & names of the kids started being released I actually saw tears stream down Jonathan's face. This hit home for us. It doesn't matter how you lose a child, the pain and everything that comes with it is the same. For us it brought us back to the start and brought us back to that feeling that our world was never going to be the same. We literally could not take it and I spent the next couple of days just watching re runs of shows that we're saved on my DVR because for my own mental health I could no longer hear about the kids. But, there really was no escaping, my news feed on Facebook was filled with pictures & names of the kids and details. As our local news station posted all the names of the children outpouring and comments rolled in that "how dare you media put the names of these children up" "you should respect their privacy" "take the names down" this struck a nerve on me. These people had obviously never lost a child or experienced anything remote to that. I don't know any of the parents who lost their child in the shooting but as angel mom I knew all those parents have left is keeping their kids memory alive. I never get into debates online but for all these people commenting I felt the need to put my two cents in & so I posted this

As a mother who lost her son at a young age I just wanted to say this. A lot of people are upset the children's names are being made public because the parents are grieving. These people don't understand all a grieving parent wants if for their child's life, name to be remembered and their life To be acknowledged. To quote Elizabeth Edwards -

"One of the things I always say to every group where I get a chance to talk about my book at all is to say, 'If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who's important to them, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that's a great, great gift.'"

Joshua was born, he was alive, we held him, he had a personality, he was a beautiful being & had a spirit unlike any I had ever encountered. To people it's been two years since he left but for us it's like he left yesterday. We miss him the same & love talking about him the same as we did when he was born.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

We're still here!

Hello Bloggers!

Geez, it's been a while! So sorry for the oh, five people who read this :P I haven't been able to update. Sometimes it's hard  when you have so many other ways to get your thoughts out, facebook, twitter, instagram, I forget I have my safe place, my safe haven to vent all I want here.

Life has been good. I can't complain. Natalia is going to be TWO in march ? WOW! She is a beautiful, wonderful, full of spunk little girl. I Have no idea where my life would be with out her. She absolutely loves dancing, she is always smiling and full of energy, she LOVES food this girl can sure eat and although not most importantly because even if she wasn't it wouldn't make a difference, she is healthy. Me & Jonathan are convinced and truly believe Joshy sent us the most perfect baby. Speaking of me & Jonathan we have some pretty exciting news to announce! No, we are not expecting , I have written about that subject before & the question IF we will is still up in the air, but what I have to share is we are engaged! Most people thought we were already married but we are not. We have been through a lot and although it's not legal we consider each other 'married' but he finally got the courage and proposed. I mean who was he kidding, he's stuck with me lol . I will post pictures of the proposal . No set date yet but we're throwing a few of them out and will hopefully come up with a full plan soon. He proposed at his family's Christmas party. What a way to end 2012!

Everyone keeps saying "you guys deserve to be happy" and I think so too but this has actually led me to another light bulb moment. After everything we have been through I have felt a sense of entitlement from the universe. Like it owes me happiness but does it really ? Every time something good has happened I feel I deserve this because we are good people, I believe in Karma and so everything I put out into the universe let it be acts of kindness,actions, thoughts, anything I'll get it back but does the universe owe me happiness because we went through the NICU & childloss ? I thought so up until this week. A situation rose where I thought I deserved to have happiness more then someone else, this was MY time because we have been through hell so I was entitled to have this happiness. Then something happened, I came to the realization that the universe doesn't owe me crap. Yes we have been through pain that NO ONE should ever go through but we have also have experienced LOVE like no one has or ever will. We believe josh sends us blessings in disguises, go ahead think we're crazy but we really believe he has our back. I'm not sure if my point is coming across but I guess it's just this. My life, our life is not going to be easy, I'm a good person and so I truly believe good things will come my way but I will have to work for them. Event's, things will not magically appear because the world "owes" me, they will come because I'm a good person & because I've worked for them and because maybe a little angel in heaven is looking out for me and thinks i deserve it but not because I'm entitled to it. Just a little self realization moment I had this week. I'm not saying I wont ever complain to the universe "hey, what's going on!? you've given me my fair share of crap, I want my happy" but I'm just more aware that other people deserve good things to happen to them and that doesn't make my happiness any less great. You guys probably have no idea what I'm talking about but if you kind of understand then yay!

I am very excited as to what 2013 has in store. 2012 was truly a year full of very happy memories. Natalia turned one, and we actually got to experience our child turning one! It was magical. Me and Jonathan made our relationship even stronger when he became sick at the beginning of January and had to have emergency surgery. Our relationship reached a new level of commitment and I think that (if it was even questionable before) really proved to us "hey, we're in this for life, me & you!" He recovered and we got to experience our favorite baseball team going and winning the world series baby! We actually got to go to the First world series game here at At&T park in San Francisco, Home of the World series GIANTS! We got to go see Linkin Park, Jonathan's and now my favorite band. We got to listen to one of joshy's song be sung by them LIVE! It was amazing. We got FINALLY got to walk in the "March of Dimes Walk" in honor of joshy, it was such a amazing experience which we're planning on doing again this year! And of course we got to see our precious baby daughter turn into a toddler and start walking, running, talking, climbing, and become just a beautiful toddler! Just when I thought 2012 was a awesome year Jonathan proposes and makes 2012 a memorable year for sure. I'll leave you with a video and some pictures of that. I plan on blogging once if not twice a week to just get my random thoughts out there and keep documented Natalia's growth.

I realize I didn't write where I feel I'm at with my grief this post and it's weird because before Jonathan proposed I was in a "Ok" place but after I'm just overwhelmed with the fact that Joshua AND my Dad will not be there when me and jonathan get married. We have plans of having a tailor make a suit for monkey josh to wear so he can be the ring bearer but He physically wont be there and neither will my dad to walk me down the aisle and give me away. Also something that i wanted to write about but i think I'll make that my next post is about the sandy hook shooting and how it affected me & Jonathan.

Here are some pictures and a video of the proposal ! :)  enjoy!

Click the link to see the video  

The Proposal