Wednesday, June 17, 2009

you are a child of the universe!

...this is so true. I'm sure you've read this before, but it does not hurt to go over this. Enjoy!

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly,
and listen to others,even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own careerhowever humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind youto what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

by Max Ehrmann©1927 (renewed) Bell & Son Publishing, LLC Reprinted with permission.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

i believe in angels

I ignored the signs. I deluded myself into thinking that I'm fine and that missing my period for four consecutive months was normal. You see, there was no morning sickness or fainting spells, and I thought I was okey. I kept eating all the junk food and useless goo. I kept myself busy with work. I even stayed two days straight in the office to beat a deadline. I dieted, I went out, I hung out with people who smoke. But while I was doing all this to prove to myself that everything's normal, I knew deep inside that I was pregnant. How could I ignore my strong craving for food? Or my abnormal need for extra sleep? How about that itch in my tummy? Or the sudden hormonal surge?

I was at the peak of my life. I was scared, and I was selfish. But more than that, I was stupid for letting myself think that a baby could throw away all my dreams. I didn't want a baby before I turned thirty. I wanted to have a fun, fabulous life first. I wanted to travel the world! I wanted a lot of things in life, and a baby would stop me from getting all that.

I waited until my dad came home from a work assignment in Qatar before I told my boyfriend that we needed to see a doctor to confirm my pregnancy.I already had a small baby bump, and I still believed I wasn't pregnant.

The first time we (my boyfriend and I) visited the doctor, I told her (the doctor) that I wasn't sure if I was pregnant, but that I haven't had my period in four months. She confirmed it by looking for the baby's hearbeat. Both my boyfriend and I cried -- he cried at the wonder and astonishement, I cried because I was crushed. I remember thinking then that my life was over, and that my parents would kill me. The weeks after that were easier than I thought. My boyfriend's family was very supportive, and so were mine, specially my sister. I didn't get the verbal thrashing I thought I was going to get, and because of that, I made a resolve to take care of my baby and my body properly. I ate fruits and vegetables. I drank milk. I took the vitamins that my doctor prescribed. I had myself checked -- my blood, sugar level, and we had our first ultrasound.

The baby was fine at five months, and for the first time, I accepted and loved the baby growing inside me. I started taking walks everyday, I started to read pregnancy and baby books, I started listening to classical music, I started talking to my baby, and most importantly, I started praying for a safe delivery. I was beautiful, I did not become fat, and my skin was glowing. I wore trendy items, and never wore maternity clothes. I thought to myself, I'm willing to give up my dream of traveling around the world for my baby. Everything was perfect, or so I thought.
I was seven months pregnant. My boyfriend and I went to the doctor's office for our regular pre-natal check-up. My doctor took one look at me and got concerned. She requested a congenital anomaly scan. She said my tummy had grown so big, I looked like I was about to give birth. I was scared again, but this time, I was scared I had done something during the first three months of my pregnancy that possibly harmed my baby. I tried recalling the food I had eaten, my activities, my then nutrition intake, and I cringed. I wasn't taking care of my body, and the possibilities were scary. When my name was finally called, I had calmed down just enough to brave my way inside.

She had fetal hydrops (pleural effusion, ascitis, and nuchal fold), an echogenic left lung, possibly a CCAM versus a reactive process to the pleural fluid. There's a mediastinal shift due to the pleural effusion, and she had seemingly shortened proximal long bone measurements. Words cannot describe what happened after that. My boyfriend and I broke down. We went to church directly to cry and to pray -- not to question. We had another ultrasound at a different clinic with the same results. I consulted another gynecologist. I regularly talked to my mother who kept telling me that I should be strong, and that I should stop crying all the time (it's stressing the baby, she told me). She wanted me to keep praying for a miracle and to have faith in God.
At eight months pregnant, I had a hard time sitting down for long. And if I stood, the weight of my tummy would take its toll on my body. It was hard for me to sleep as well. Breathing evenly was difficult, and my back was hurting so much. My tummy got so big, people around me thought I was expecting twins!

December 9 2007. I will never forget that day.
I remember that my lower abdomen was hurting so much, and I called the office that I won't be in for the first half of my shift. I came in after lunch, and little over an hour at the office, I couldn't bear the pain sitting down. I went to the toilent to pee, and I saw bloodstains. I wasn't sure what it meant, but I knew I needed to see my gynecologist immediately. I called my boyfriend. He was at the city's convention center, organizing that night's office Christmas party. I called up my mom who told me that I needed to go to the hospital, or see my gynecologist right away, and that chances are, I was going to give birth that day.

She was right. I labored for 2 hours, and gave birth to a baby girl. It was the most agonizing 2 1/2 hours of my life. I knew my baby won't make it, but I kept holding on, kept hoping for a miracle. We named her Nina Carmellie -- Nina for Santo Nino or Baby Jesus, and Carmellie for Carmelites Monastery. She survived for seven minutes, long enough for a quick christening, and a revival attempt. But she had too many anomaly conditions to save her.

Up to this day, I blame myself and my immaturity. It cost a life: my child's. It was a lesson in grief and heartache...a lesson in love and maturity. A lesson I learned the hardest way.
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