Three years ago I was pregnant
Mother’s Day 2010, I remember being ill and thinking I was just fighting another bought of kidney stones. I remember dropping off a plant to my mom and her telling me that I looked like shit. For about two weeks prior to Mother’s Day, I was hugging the toilet bowl and refusing to see a doctor because the stones were going to go away. I remember our dog JuanGa, not leaving my side as I battled these kidney stones. The week after Mother’s Day came and I finally said to Raul, ”Let’s call Freddy” our friend who lived close by and a doctor. I remember going to get blood work on a Friday and the next day Raul opening up the results. Before our friend could come over and read them, we read that we were going to be parents. It seems so long ago, but it wasn’t.
I was shocked, stunned, cried, and was in denial for a long time. I was not ready for the commitment and change but it was going to happen. It was our choice to be parents and we had been told by several people that in 2010 we were going to be the parents of a girl. I was skeptical about the news but Daniela was born later that year. I had to see her to believe that she was really coming. When I went on vacation with Raul, before Daniela was born, I remember a man telling me that I was going to know what love really was when Daniela arrived. I of course was like, yeah that is what they tell me. I was seven months pregnant and scared to admit that perhaps his words and the words of others were going to be true.
Daniela shows me in all sorts of ways that she loves me; she rubs my toe or arm when I bump into something and she asks, ”Estas Bien? Te Duele? ” Her instinct to help kicks in and I know that one day she will pay it forward to others. She helps me get in and out of the shower and hands me my towel. She will lick me instead of kiss me and laughs about it when I say, “Yuck.” All the things we do for her, she is doing with us. It is amazing how she interacts with JuanGa and gives him rubs when he hears a strange noise. I think my biggest fear was accepting this change and it took me a long time to realize that she was here to stay. I count my blessings everyday that she is walking, screaming, crying, learning, and loving us. With help from other women and Raul, I started to learn how to appreciate those special moments where she showed me compassion and love.
My cooking assistant
Since I became a mom, all these little ideas come out of my head of what we could do to teach Daniela all sorts of things from painting, to crafting, singing, dancing, and even real life situations. I remember having a conversation with my neighbors about potty training Daniela. I told them she was attempting it but that we were not pushing her to do so. I did mention how she was learning other things like cutting mushrooms, tomatoes, and even helping me bake. I am glad that she learned how to cut because for a few days I was not able to cook or bend my fingers due to an injury. Daniela stepped up to the challenge of helping me until her grandma arrived from Connecticut for a visit. One of the neighbor’s mentioned that I was probably glad I taught Daniela how to cut instead of using the bathroom. Although my girl was not potty trained, I am glad the neighbor realized that Daniela was helping me with everyday chores. (She used a plastic knife with supervision from me, I gave her a pot, she put all ingredients in the pot, and I stirred.)
Strong Women all around me
Since moving to an apartment complex, I have been blessed to have women who are moms to children of all ages and moms to four-legged, sentient beings. We have had conversations of all types and I was missing that type of bond with women since I moved to Puerto Rico. I have kept in touch with all the strong women from my childhood and adulthood; some who are moms, soon-to-be moms, some who aren’t, those who have chosen to adopt their husband’s children, and those who are moms to four-legged beings.
I have met new women and their families via social platforms and community groups. I read about the triumphs and when they have hit roadblocks and I feel as though we are all on the same journey of making the most of what is in front of us. I read about women making the best decisions they can for their children whether it be with their spouses, partners, co-parents, or by themselves.
If you want to read about strong women and what they do every day to ensure the happiness and health of their children and how they support other women and families, please consider joining these groups on Facebook and wishing them a Happy Mother’s Day:
An Angel for Ellie : Hilary and Jim update their surviving twin daughter’s progress on a daily basis. Her name is Ellie. Read about how they were diagnosed with TTTS and their journey thus far. A little angel guides Ellie from above and her name is Gracie.
Nick Collazo Stay Strong Fight Hard Team Nicholas : Lillian and Luis are from my hometown in Connecticut. Their son is battling childhood cancer. Their oldest daughter is a survivor. This is a very strong family with a wonderful community of friends and family holding benefits for them in order to help them financially and emotionally.
TTTS : This stands for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Our parent mentors, Vanessa and Gabriel, started this group on Facebook to support other families that have gone through or are currently going through the same experience. Jesus guides their surviving twin, Gustavo, from above. These families are amazing and if you follow the group, you will see what community and family really means.
Imani Corbin Erbs Palsy Fight : Maritza and Sebastian are family members currently navigating the world of Erb’s Palsy with their daughter Imani. I wrote about her and she finally had her surgery today. This is going to be a long road for my family members, but I have faith that Imani will come out winning.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!