Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Faith, Hope and Love

The change in my profile picture signifies that yes, I am ready to share with EVERYONE that we are pregnant again. And this time, amazingly, miraculously, and nervously, with twins. :-) I was going to hold off until the end of the 1st trimester to share the good news. Wait until we had crossed the critical milestone before telling everyone. Just in case I "jinxed" it. But if there's anything our experience last year, with the loss of Ines, taught me is that time is relative. Especially pregnancy time. We were almost 6 months pregnant at the time. A few more months to the finish line. And yet.... So whether I share this happy news now, 1 or 2 months down the line, or wait until "Luke" and "Leia" are in my doesn't matter. What will be, will be. It will be as God wills it. Having had 2 extremely difficult pregnancies have shown me that there are only a finite things in life that we can control. The rest we leave to God, luck and life. Of the few things we can control, we can manage our capacity for joy and we can control our fears. When I found out I was pregnant (on New Year's Eve would you believe it?), I felt two emotions at once: joy and fear. And as the weeks passed, fear started to override joy. My fear became more pronounced when I found out we were having twins. Having multiples is double the joy, but also double the risk. And with my history of hemorrhaging, my ridiculous "incompetent cervix" (and yes, that is the actual medical term and not just me being pissed with my reproductive system), and all the other wonderful complications that arise when I get pregnant --- having twins was not the best case scenario for me. For us. My sonologist went as far as to voice out: "Who knows, may be we'll get lucky and only one will have a heart beat?" What the hell? Despite the fear the gripped me, I still prayed for them. My 2 little stragglers. And on my 7th week sonogram, we saw 2 heart beats. We were really having twins. Outside of immediate family, we didn't really share the news with anyone. Part of me held off, may be because I still didn't know what was going to happen and just in case the worst did happen --- I didn't want to go through the experience of telling people that I had lost a baby/babies again. And every night, before I sleep, I'd be wracked by the most horrible thoughts. That one day we'd do a sonogram and there would be no more heart beats. Or worse --- that one day I'd wake up and feel those horrible contractions again and still be helpless to save them. And I would pray. Not just for strong, healthy, beautiful, intelligent and normal babies --- but that God would take the fear in my heart and replace it instead with: Faith - faith strong enough to open up my heart and lay all my fears at His feet. Faith in His wisdom. Faith that all things that happen to us are part of His plan. Faith, to not question or try to understand, but to accept. Hope - that He will hear my prayers and bless us with strong, healthy, beautiful, intelligent and normal babies. Love - that I won't be afraid to love these little ones now. Now when they are no more than little grape like objects sitting in my tummy. That I might love them unconditionally even if there's a chance that I won't keep them. That even now, while their neural tubes are just about to close -- they can feel that I love them and want them so badly. I loved Ines the moment they put her in my tummy along with the 3 other embryos. I loved her every moment that she grew in my tummy. I loved her when I first met her. And I sent her off with love when she passed away holding my hand. I am afraid to love these little ones the same way, worried that my heart won't be able to stand being broken that way again. But I realized I can control my fears, and not let it control me. I can choose to live out the next 7 months gripped in fear, torturing myself with random scenarios and what-ifs. Or I can take a deep breath.....and just let it go. And let joy take its place. Joy at the miracles of medical science that have helped us get pregnant (yet again!). Joy at the thought of having not just one but two new babies! Joy that I can, once again, go through the wonderful experience of watching life unfold: The miracle of the 1st heartbeat. The amazing transformation from zygote to embryo to fetus to baby. The first time you feel the baby kick. The day you find out the gender to the day you finally get to meet. There is so much joy to be felt and experienced. Why would I chose fear over it? I still have my moments of fear and doubt. But the more I open myself up to the miracle(s) that's happening inside me, the less fearful I become. So this is why I'm finally openly broadcasting that we're pregnant again: Joy is meant to be shared and miracles should be openly celebrated.

Friday, January 23, 2009

To My Father on His 67th Birthday

Dear Daddy:

You'd think by now I would have run out of tears. But last night, thinking about you and yet another birthday without you, I cried myself to sleep.

You would have been 67 today.

What a great birthday it would have been. 

You have 4 grandkids by now (with 2 more on the way!) --- your dream come true. A large family with tons of kids.

And we're all doing ok.

Yes, I am a full time mom now. I'm not sure if that would make you happy or disappointed. I'm sure my old job at SCB would have made you proud. But then, I know that you would understand the reason why I left. And you would have enjoyed the fact that we're having twins in return for the sacrifice. I'm sure you'd claim all the credit since twins run on your side of the family --- never mind the fact that these kiddos are products of IVF.

You know what would make you proud? Eppie and Jaime. Eppie is doing really well at his job right now. And he keeps getting theses amazing offers for other jobs. We try to caution him not to get too blinded by the big bucks, but we know that you are up there helping to guide him in his decisions.

And Jaime. What a great kid. He got into Ateneo, just like you always wanted for him, and he's at the top of his class. He's turning out to be such a smart little boy. We have all tried to do our share in helping raise him, just like we promised, but in the end all credit goes to Mellina. She has become a great mom. You and mom would be proud.

Lastly, there's Wiway. She has become the Father and the Mother that we no longer have. She is the one who keeps our family together. You would be so proud of how well she has managed the funds, how she always reminds us to spend our money wisely, and how good she has become in bossing us around. She reminds me a lot of you --- and we're lucky that your kind, loving and caring spirit lives on in her.

I guess you'll always be here. In all of us. Your go-getting, hard working personality in Eppie. Your great parenting skills in Mellina. Your kind, beautiful soul in Wiway. And... all you old bad habits with me? :-) 

I still like to think that among all of us, there is so much of you in me. May be that's why I still feel you so close. Why some times I still can't believe that you're gone. And why I still love, and miss, you so much.

I always thought that when you lose someone, the love you feel for them eventually fades away. But after 5 years I still love you as much as I did when you were still here. May be that's how you live forever. Or that's how you live on. In our hearts, in our minds, in the beautiful memories we'll always have. In the children we now care for, hopefully in the same way you cared for us. 

You will always be there.

But it still doesn't make me miss you any less.

Love, Tanya