I am a very spiritual person. I am always looking for answers .. the how’s and why’s of our life’s circumstances. I have read a few books that explore the theory of a pre-birth plan. They say before you are born on earth, you and your angels or spirit guides select the life experience you will have here. You select your parents, your relationships, the goals you wish to achieve and even the challenges you have to overcome. Where you are born and the financial status of your family.. your siblings and your close friends.. it’s all part of this plan. When you meet someone and feel so comfortable right away it’s because they were meant to be there. Everyone and everything is predetermined to some extent to teach you something. But there is also free will. You may choose to learn selflessness or compassion and be born in a situation that may be very hard but will teach you these virtues. Our life here is temporary and your goal is always growth.
To justify sadness or the suffering that comes with so many challenges, for any human, is difficult for me to accept. People always say “God gives you what you can handle” or “It’s meant to be”.. I cannot believe some tragedies are ever just meant to be. No innocent person ever deserves to hurt so badly. But I remembered reading this after becoming pregnant with the boys. I consciously planned so much of my life..or at least I thought I did. And then came my boys, the gift I never knew I needed.
I had two beautiful pregnancies and deliveries. I am very lucky .. very very luck I was ever able to experience that. After going through the past few months I appreciate it even more. For Mia.. I wanted so desperately to get pregnant. I dreamed of her.. Something just changed in me and I knew it was time for me to be a mother. I really didn’t care about anything else.. call it whatever you want.. my maternal instinct .. my biological clock.. it turned on like a switch and it became all I could think about. It took me a while to be ready .. I never really played with dolls or envisioned the white picked fence…. I was a “late bloomer” in terms of my motherly instincts but when it kicked in .. it was all consuming. We were living in a beautiful high rise with a view of manhattan in Jersey City. We would eat dinner at Sushi Samba a few times a week just because. I worked on Park Ave practicing Anti Aging medicine. We were making good money .. spending good money .. traveling and partying. It was fun.. very fun. But I started to feel a deep emptiness. I wanted a baby.
We quit our jobs… both of us. My husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a year after we started dating and his job at the time was too much stress on him. We moved in with his mother, I found a new Physician Assistant gig and he began the process of starting a new career as a financial advisor. We were planning for a baby. I got pregnant very quickly… Had an easy pregnancy and blissful delivery. I pushed once and there she was. Healthy .. beautiful .. and so incredibly prefect. I held her in my arms and immediately fell in love. She didn’t leave my side in the hospital. I had our matching outfits all ready. My bag packed with headbands and all her little outfits. I was able to get up and walk around .. I was uncomfortable .. I couldn’t even describe it as real pain. And within a days, I felt almost back to normal. It was the greatest experience of my life. I moved in with my mother right after. My grandmother lived downstairs at the time and was with us everyday. She would just sit and hold Mia for hours. My mother and father catered to me like a princess. We found our dream house across the street from my sister and after Mia was about 2 months old we moved in.
My plan was to have two babies before I turned 35. I wanted Mia to have a sister and always wanted them to be fairly close in age .. like my sister and I. She is my best friend, my heart and I knew it would be the greatest gift I could give Mia. We started trying again, in line with our “plan.” Luckily this time was also fairly easy and we quickly found out it was another baby girl. My heart was so full. Things went well until she turned breech halfway through the pregnancy. I was determined not to have a C-section. I did everything possible to have her move back into position.. I stood on my head .. literally ..to make it happen. I practiced my yoga and saw a chiropractor Dr. Jennifer Falcone who performed the Webster technique a few times a week. The doctors didn’t think it would work but it did. C-section canceled!! I felt like superwoman. I went into labor and anticipated a nice easy delivery. Right before we started pushing the doctor checked and she turned again.. she was coming out shoulder first. She was in danger. The doctor told me we would need to go into the operating room immediately to get her out safely. I cried and she held me and looked in my eyes .. she promised me she would be ok. I believed her. It was the first time I ever felt real fear. The thought of something happening was crippling. I was rushed into the operating room. They started cutting me .. I just prayed and held James’s hand as hard as I could… pressure tons of pressure.. and they couldn’t get her out. The doctor had to do a classical c section .. a vertical cut that allows a larger space for the baby to be delivered. It is reserved for cases of extreme emergencies. I just laid behind the curtain waiting and then finally I heard her cry. It was the most beautiful sound I ever heard. I was able to look at her and kiss her .. zoning in and out of it from all the drugs. They took her away from me before I could hold her. It took a few hours until I would have her in my arms and then she never left. She was where she needed to be … where I needed her to be. My perfect beautiful baby girl.
It was all what I dreamed of … what I had prayed for. It all happened just as I planned. My two precious baby girls, 2 years apart.. and right before I turned 35. I had Juliet in February and turned 35 two months later in April. We found a beautiful home right across the street from my sister. My daughters are healthy, my pregnancies were relatively easy and my deliveries, although very scary with Juliet, now seem like a breeze. It was our plan .. which we were blessed to have come to life. We choose them .. the timing .. all of it.
And then the boys … The boys are very different. They choose us. I know they did. I knew it from the moment I saw the two tiny little dots on the sonogram machine. My heart felt complete. I didn’t know how much I needed them. There was no plan.. no counting ovulation days… I couldn’t understand people having more than two kids. You seem so out numbered. I am always in awe of my family and friends with three, four, five or even six kids!! I can’t count the number of times I asked my sister what it was like when she had her third Leo. She makes it look so easy .. so seamless. But I was good. I was really ok. We were getting to the point where I no longer needed my diaper bag. I could throw a juice box and diaper in a bag and go. The classical c section took almost a year to recover from. I felt like myself again.. I even lost the baby weight.
We found out we were pregnant with twin boys right before my father in law past away. He was very sick with a rare form of Non-Hodgkins lymphoma that he fought very hard. I can still remember one of the last conversations my husband had with him. He, like everyone else, was in absolute shock that we were having twins. James and I with four kids, it was as crazy as hearing we hit the lottery. “Twins James .. really?! My father in law Peter said with a very perplexed look on his face. “It’s the best thing that could ever have happened to us” my husband said. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe how happy James was. We never talked about more kids.. he never really cared if he had a boy or girl.. he was just happy we had healthy babies. I was so scared but James never was. He was so excited. Our due date was September 6. My sister in law also found out she was pregnant with a boy and due September 11 on My father in laws birthday. He sadly died only a few weeks after we both found out we were having babies. I believe the three boys coming into our family around his birthday was a gift he left us. Maybe part of some “plan” to help take away a little of the pain of such a great loss. Maybe a little distraction to help distract from the grief.
And then to hear my boys might not make it .. that we might lose them again and again in utero… I refused to believe it. So early on we were told to terminate and I refused.. they were starting to make me believe the boys were sick .. I could not accept that these boys were given to us only to be taken away. Now, when I think of what we have been through and how far we have come.. how much they have changed me .. changed my soul.. the suffering the pain the love and beauty.. it has made me so much better. It has given me, not only the gifts of my boys, but the incredible gift of love and the ability to see so much beauty. Love that I can feel so deeply, an appreciation for the littlest of things.. a love and respect for my family that is indescribable. The growth my soul has had during this incredible ride is tremendous.
The broken will always be able to love harder than most…
Once you’ve been in the dark
You appreciate everything that shines.
Is it all part of some predetermined destiny…. I don’t know.. it’s a lot for even me to take in… but I know my heart has never shined so bright. I know my babies, all four of them, were meant to be mine… I know my family is so strong.. my mom and dad.. my sister ..they teach me more everyday.. about what the word family really means. My husband .. I have never loved him more.. I appreciate him in ways that I would have never appreciated him for before.. I believe he saved my life the night after the laser surgery .. when I was in pulmonary edema and couldn’t breathe. He supported every decision I made when it came to saving our boys .. he is my soul mate and support during this .. even after he had suffered such a great loss himself, the passing of his dad, made me love him even more. It’s an appreciation for everything. The dark we saw was so so dark.. there was really no hope .. and now when I think of that date.. our due date.. to know we have already had 80 days with our strong incredible baby boys.. to remember the angels we had along the way especially Dr Ruben Quintero (the man who proved to us our babies were healthy and saved them with the laser and surgery he created.. the man who treated me with love and compassion.. the doctor who is an angel for so many mothers), the stranger that sent me his cell number on a Sunday night when I pleaded for help, my strong beautiful friend, who despite her tragic loss of her son to TTTS still took the time everyday to educate and comfort me, Dr Alverez Perez and Dr Al Khan for helping me bring them into this world safely, and so many others.. even the random ICU doctor who sat next to us on our terrifying plane ride home from Florida after my stay in the intensive care unit.. so many “coincidences ” … we have had so many angels looking out for us along this journey. I want to thank everyone who has helped us.. in any way.. even just a message or text.. with all our heart thank you.. the words don’t seem great enough anymore. I pray that maybe knowing about my boys and of me may one day be needed in someone else’s plan and I will be there to help them. My boys are miracles and it is me who is so very blessed to be their mommy. My shape of my heart is molded now in ways words could never describe. I have been in the dark and I will forever appreciate everything that shines.
Mia Juliet Peter and Maurice 💙 God knew my heart needed you 💖 I love you