Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter, Lilies And My Little Lilly

Easter -- Most people associate the Easter bunny and some colored eggs during this day. Easter isn't today though. It will be tomorrow. Two years ago, I painted some Easter eggs which were donated to the church. This year, I won't be doing that. Although we did boil some eggs today, we were not in charge of painting them which was a good thing as I was in no mood to paint today. The death of my child has made me enjoy things less. That is the reality of it. Usually, anything art related is something that I enjoy doing. Art is one of my passions in life. Now, I am staying out of it for a while. Just like reading books and watching shows or movies. I used to enjoy doing that a lot but now, I only get to enjoy it temporarily and then afterwards, I find myself sinking in sadness. I might paint some Easter eggs again next year but that isn't sure yet. A couple of years from now, I hope to be able to paint them again but this time with a new little one. I don't mind painting with children. I guess I just want to paint something with my own child in the future. It is one of the things that I would like to do when I become a mother. Although I have never done the same thing with Lilly, I know that there will come a time when this will be certain. Hopefully, God will grant me this wish. After all, I rarely ask for something from him. Apart from the keeping us strong, safe and without sickness part of my prayers, the rest includes apologizing and of course, being thankful for many things in my life. 

Easter also marks the end of the month of March which only means my birthday will be here soon. I am not really a birthday person. I don't really like celebrating my birthday. This year will not be any different. In fact, this year will probably be the saddest birthday that I will ever have. I thought I would finally become a mother at the age of 27 or 28 but look at me now. I was 27 when Lilly was born but she was taken away from me just like that. I never even enjoyed being with her for so long. I never even kissed her, hugged her or cradled her in my arms. There are so many things that I would have wanted to do with her. Many people wanted me to have a baby boy but deep inside my heart, I wanted a baby girl. I wanted a little princess. After two years of being married and of praying to have a little one, God gave her to us. We were the happiest parents alive then but we were also the saddest when she passed away. We wished to become parents before we reached the ages of 30 but it just was not meant to be. Easter marks a new beginning for many people but I don't know if it will start a new beginning for me. Although they say I should just move on, forget about the past and start anew, I can't right now. I wish they would understand that. I need time to grieve. For how long? I do not know. I just need time for things to settle. I need time for me to cry and hope that one day, I won't be crying this much anymore. 

Lilly's passing was hard for all of us but most of all for me. Even to this day, I cry for her. I cry because I miss her. I cry because I keep on wishing she was here with me. Too bad my tears won't bring her back to life no matter how hard I cry. I always apologize for crying because tears signify sadness. I hope that Lilly will understand why I am this way. I know she is happy in Heaven and no longer hurting. I am happy because of that but I will continue longing for her as I am now a parent and that is what parents do. They miss their children when they are not around. My Easter will be different next year, I know but this year, I won't be happy to be given this new beginning. I just hope God and Lilly will understand me. Easter signifies that God is alive and has been born again. I only wish that one day, I will be able to gladly accept this new beginning given to me. After all, lilies often called religious flowers as they are often associated with spirituality, innocence, beauty and the pureness of heart. I chose that name for my child not because of those meanings but rather because I know that lilies are beautiful flowers and they smell nice. I know that her name has nothing to do with her being one of the angels of the Lord but I guess that name is just fitting for an angel. I hope that our little Lilly is watching over us now. We need a guardian angel after all...

Easter and lilies -- Now, I know their relevance and why they are connected with each other.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Is There Truly A Time For Everything?

Holy week -- A time for reflection, fasting, no eating of meat, good deeds, sacrifices and prayers. Many people don't need to go to work or to go to school during this time. While some people devote their time for doing religious deeds, others, immerse themselves in enjoying themselves and having fun. Going to different beaches, resorts and many other relaxing places, make their Holy week happier. In my case, I can only do some of these things. I am currently reflecting, not eating meat and praying. I am hoping I will be able to do better next year. For this year, I am still grieving. I know the Lord understands what I am going through. 

Yesterday, my aunt and her two children went swimming. My sister, my husband and I went along too. Obviously, I could not go to the water as my stitch was still unwell. I had to stay out of the water in one of the chairs along with their things. I looked around. I didn't want to be surrounded by people. There were so many of them there. Families with so many members, so many adults and children. I could hear laughter, I could see smiles, I could feel their happiness. Sadly, I had none at that time. The more I looked at them, the more I frowned. I didn't want to feel envious of the parents who were having fun with their children in the water but I couldn't help myself. I had to say sorry in my prayer last night. When I saw the babies who were months old in the water with their parents, that is when my tears started to fall. They fell without me wanting them. They fell without me noticing them. I only noticed them when my cheeks started to feel warm and wet while I sniffed as I looked on. To many people there, I was crying because of something they don't know. The reason why I was crying was unknown to them. To them, I was still pregnant because I still had a small bump in my belly but in reality, they do not know that I am no longer pregnant and that I have lost a child. I kept on wishing what it would be like to have Lilly by my side. One of the children jumped into the water that day. There were many adults with her but only her mother noticed her and saved her. Thank God it was not too late. The little one could have died. She looked like she was just a year old. Were they more qualified to be parents than we were? I felt sad with that thought. On the other hand, I would have done everything and anything just to save Lilly if I was given the chance.

I often still rub my tummy pretending that Lilly is still there. After all, she wasn't due till the start of April to begin with. Before, rubbing my tummy made me feel happy as I felt more connected with my baby. But now, rubbing it makes me sad but I can't avoid it. Before when my husband and I sighed, it was due to happiness. Now, we release heavy and deep sighs because of sadness. We miss her so much that all we can do when we remember her is sigh as we wish that things were different. Unlike my husband who has become strong and has fought back his tears, I, on the other hand, can't fight back my tears. The hardest parts of my days would have to be when I wake up every morning and at night whenever I need to go to sleep. After their swimming trip yesterday, we slept. It was nearly night time when we woke up. We decided to eat some snacks while singing some songs on videoke. I haven't sung in a long time. I couldn't sing well when I was pregnant but I wanted to do it for Lilly when she was born. Too bad I was not able to sing to her and to teach her songs. I would have wanted to be able to sing the same songs with her. I would have been proud to hear her sing. While singing, I forgot even just for awhile the pain that I felt. But when songs that I dedicate for her were being played in the background, I had a hard time fighting the tears. Phil Collins' You'll Be In My Heart, God Gave Me You and Dance With My Father Again were the songs that nearly made me cry. I would do anything and everything just to have her back with me, with us. Life is unfair. That is what they say. Those people who want children and are ready for them sometimes have the hardest time having them. While on the other hand, people who don't really want children and don't know what to do with them, have them effortlessly. I don't want to question God's judgment anymore. His plans are his. We can never meddle with them after all.

Today, we spoke of Lilly. Last night, I slept crying again. I woke up with swollen eyes. I tell my husband at times why it has to be so hard each day. He strengthens me and tells me that everything will be okay. Everyone who saw Lilly while she was alive and when she was inside her coffin felt sad for us. They would have wanted something different for us as did we. But we will never know his true purpose for taking her. I was told to never question that many times now. I wish he would just take away the fears, anxieties and the worries now. I don't know if I can live my life freely this way. My life is clouded by these things. I wish I could be happier. I know I can control that but it is hard to do it. Not, now. My mother says if Lilly will see me happy, she will be happier too. I often apologize to Lilly for crying each day. I don't know if she understands me but I don't think I will ever forget her. All her pictures, we intend to keep so that one day when God finally gives us another child and doesn't take her/him away, we will be able to introduce her/him to our first born child. Lilly will always be the "ATE" or older sister. Nobody can take that away from her or from us. We know that from heaven, she will look upon her little sibling and will take care of her/him. Hopefully, all this will happen in due time. There is a time for everything. That is what they always say. I believe this. I am just heartbroken that Lilly wasn't meant to be. She was conceived at the wrong time. I don't like that thought. I disdain it but I have to accept it at some point. If there truly is a time for everything, I hope the right time will come for us one day. I will cast away my doubts, my fears and my negativity and just believe. Lilly, will you be reincarnated in the body of your sister or your brother? I know I should not believe in that but one day, Lilly, we will see you again. We love you and we miss you always...

They say I should trust in God's perfect timing. I hope next time time will be on my side. I don't want to lose another child again. Lord, please don't take another one away from me. I don't think I will be able to survive another loss. That will be too heartbreaking...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Life Is A Gift And Everyone Is Equal Regardless Of What You May See, Feel Or Think

Life - the great mystery. We all live interesting lives. Although we often deny it, we all have different things that make our lives different from everyone else. Some have complicated lives, others have theirs easy. While others continue to struggle to survive, others don't need to work hard to get food on their tables each day. Some say life is unfair because not all of us are the same. Some blame God because he said we were created equal but they see that this is not true only because all they see is the social status of people, the problems and everything else negative that goes along with their lives. To me, despite all the differences that we see in everyone, we are all created equal because in his eyes it does not matter if you are rich or poor, if you are disabled, special or normal, if you are a sinner or a saint. To him, we are all his children, God's children. 

When I gave birth to Lilly, I had to stay in the hospital for almost six days. During my stay there, I encountered different people each day. Although I do not know their names, I know their faces. When I was admitted to the hospital, I stayed in a ward. Inside one room, there were three patients including me. All patients had at least one companion to keep them company. I had my husband with me. The companions often have a hard time being in the ward as they have no beds to sleep on. Because I had a Cesarean  I could not move on my own yet which only made it more difficult for my husband as he had to take care of me a lot while in the hospital. I felt bad for him as he had to endure sleeping in a chair for many days which is why in the end, his back hurt a lot. During my stay in the hospital, I wasn't much of a talker. I wasn't exactly Ms. Congeniality. Most of the time, I was busy sleeping, praying or just recovering. I was coaxed to eat and was obliged to drink my medicine regularly. But despite all that, I did meet some people and had short conversations with them. If not, I have heard conversations with them by other people or by my husband or my mother. 

The patient on my right was a middle aged woman. She often had different companions with her. Sometimes her husband, her daughter or either of her two sons. She continued to use her cellular phone even while she was in her hospital bed with a dextrose hanging on top of her head. Obviously, she was a very busy woman. My mother asked why she was admitted there. Obviously, being a woman, she already knew why I was there which is why she did not ask anymore. She said that she worked for a big catering company called Josiah's. I have heard of it before and I know that it is a well known catering service especially for weddings. She said that one day, she just felt sick and felt a lump on her throat. She was worried so she decided to get it checked. Upon her check up to another hospital, the results were bad. She and her husband decided to get a second opinion which is why they were there in the same hospital as I was. After several days, she was discharged but was asked to come back to have more tests done as the result of her biopsy has said that the lump could be cancerous. The look on her face says that she couldn't believe it and wouldn't believe it. On the day she was discharged, we all told her that we hope that the lump is not cancerous. We know she still has a family who needs her after all. 

Meanwhile, the other patient to my left was more of a short time patient. She said she suddenly felt pain on her stomach which was unbearable. She had to be observed for 24 hours while tests were conducted on her. Luckily for her, it wasn't that serious. When both patients were gone, a new one arrived. We were told that he was waiting for his wife to deliver their child normally but like me, she ended up having an emergency C section. Prior to her delivery, her mother in law stayed in the room with me. I was alone at that time as my husband and my mother needed to go to my office to talk to my boss about some legal papers that I need for paying the hospital bills. This old lady was a talkative one and she was religious. Sadly, I didn't like her. She said that she had the gift of healing. She said it out proudly. In my opinion, I don't mind that she has it. All I am saying is that shouldn't she be more humble about it? For Jesus never boasted of his many powers to everyone. He was instead humble about it. He showed to everyone that he could do miracles but not because he wanted others to feel that he was better but because he wanted to perform them to help those in need. 

This old lady kept on blabbering about her church and that she was able to go to South Korea for free because of her gift of healing. She said that her son's wife was a Roman Catholic while she was a Christian. She did not question their union but she questioned their fate. She kept on saying that if his son and his wife would have been more religious then they never would have experienced the emergency C section that they were having now. When she asked about my religion, I simply told her I was a Roman Catholic but regardless of my religion, I have faith. I told her that a person cannot be saved by his/her religion which is of course, true. I know that I have a good relationship with the Lord and we have constantly prayed to him more when Lilly arrived. The next day, her daughter in law arrived in the room. That was my last day there. I visited Lilly in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in order to give her some milk and to see her. Since I was still new to pumping milk, I needed help. One of the nurses who was also a mommy taught me how to do it. I thought it would be an awkward experience but in the end it wasn't. She was very kind to me. She even told me a bit about herself which was unexpected. 

Meanwhile, the other nurse who also took care of Lilly told me how I should take care of her when she's out of the hospital. Although now, I think those things are pointless because Lilly is gone, I still want to thank her for being so thoughtful. Different people, different faces, different lives. Although I can no longer remember the other people that I met while I was in the hospital, I know now that lives unfold each day. We all go through something in our lives. Whether they are good or bad, we all have them. For such things make our lives interesting. Such things make us grow and such things happen whether we like them or not. Although I never touched their lives, I know some of them did. It is sad that the hospital that I am thankful for for giving life to my Lilly and for saving me is also the same one that took her life away. I am not blaming the hospital or the people there. I know that they all did what they could for her. It is just that now, there are more depressing memories there than good ones. Life will always throw curve balls at us time and time again and sometimes we can't catch them to stop them, instead we have to learn to take hits. I have taken hits - a lot of them actually and even if I want to avoid them, I can't. I couldn't. God will always have reasons for everything. 

So although my life isn't exactly where I want it to be right now and things are not exactly perfect, I am glad that I am alive. Although I was not able to touch anyone's lives lately, I am hoping that one of these days I will. The recent deaths of my grandmother and daughter has taught me that death makes us value our lives more. Unfortunately, a friend said that this feeling fleets once we have decided to let go and heal. Although the pain of losing someone never goes away, the feeling that life is precious escapes us when in all honesty, death should be a reminder that life is important and should never be taken for granted. Which is why I am going to try to think of things differently and live life better than I used to. I know I will continue meeting different people and learning more about their lives. I will try not to envy them or try not to think that my life is better than theirs. For we are all equal, regardless if we see, feel or think that we are not. We are all alive after all which is why we should all be thankful for it. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

We All Deserve To Be Happy One Way Or Another

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. At the same time, it was Lilly's first month since she was born. Although she is no longer physically alive and with us, she continues to live on in our minds and most of all, in our hearts. My husband and I visited her tomb yesterday. Although we did not buy her fresh flowers, we decided to try to celebrate her supposed to be special day. We bought some cupcakes and some milk and chocolate drinks to share with each other as we spoke to her and prayed for her. We put the cupcake in front of her grave and poured some of the milk on her grave as well. We felt sad that it had to be this way. In all honesty, we didn't expect this and we didn't want things to be this way but it is what it is and there is nothing else we can do but accept it, no matter how hard it is to do so. March is ending soon and next weekend when we visit her, we will be telling her that my birthday is coming soon. April 1 will be my 28th birthday and I think it will be the saddest one so far. Losing a child isn't exactly one of the best things to happen to you and it is not something that you can just forget about like that. I feel torn about that feeling. I am hurting, obviously. I know most people would like to get rid of feeling pain and would just like to move on but somehow, I want to hang on to it. Call it emotional baggage if you want to but I can't just forget about that pain. For with that pain comes something important. With that pain comes all the joy that we had while Lilly was still alive. Would I be willing to give away all that just because I am hurting? No. So, here I am taking it as an adult and not complaining about it. I know I often talk about how painful things are but then again, I am not saying I want it to be taken away from me. It is something that will always be a part of me and it will never be taken away from me no matter what. 

Holy Week starts today. Most of the time, that signifies that my birthday is coming soon. This year, it seems I will be in mourning but so is everyone in my family. Most families tend to go on outings during this time but I don't think I am in the mood for that right now. My daughter just passed away. Such an event isn't exactly something to celebrate about. This Holy Week, we will continue to pray to God and speak with her. My husband and I don't need to speak her name to know that we are always reminded of her. Most of the time, just a deep or heavy sigh is enough for both of us to know that we are longing for Lilly. There are so many things that remind us of her. While outside yesterday, we saw an unusually large number of couples with babies and toddlers. There were strollers everywhere. We could hear children laughing, making noises and crying. Something that we miss from our little one as well. Her cry continues to echo in my ear. I have never heard her laughter. She was too young to laugh. She tried to smile but that was it. I could have wished she has done more with us but then I realized it will only be more painful that way. Painful not just for me, my husband and my family but as well as for her. Maybe if she lived longer with us, it would be harder for us to let go and it would be harder for us to accept her passing. Not saying that we are doing better with what happened now. Just saying that the more time we spend with her alive, the more memories we will have with her, which means the harder it will be for us to recover from the pain of losing her. 

While in church yesterday, I couldn't help but cry again as I prayed to God. The children around me were reminders of what I lost, what we lost and no matter how hard I try not to be emotional about it, I can't. Seeing children used to make me happy as I had hope that I would be able to do things with Lilly in the future too but after her passing, seeing children just made me sad. Maybe I will get over that feeling one day. Not now though. Going around in the department store yesterday, we saw a lot of beautiful clothes for little boys and girls. My husband and I couldn't help but sigh every now and then as the last time we were there, we were imagining how Lilly would look like if we bought her this and that. Now, there is no point in thinking that way. There is no point in buying her anything anymore. She is gone. The more that thought sunk in us, the more it hurt but we continue to try to smile because we know we have to move on somehow. Today, my younger sister saw my sad eyes. She knows of my loss and like me, she misses Lilly too. Although she would never understand the pain that we are going through as parents, she knows that losing someone that you love so much hurts and it is not something that you can just forget.

She asked me why I was sighing heavily. I told her that I am missing my daughter. She told me not to worry as one day, we will be given another. I told her that nothing is certain yet but I hope so. I am not exactly getting any younger. Soon, I will be pushing 30 and that is not exactly an ideal age to be pregnant and have babies. I am hoping that if I do get pregnant when I am 30, this time it will be a successful one. I want a baby that I can take care of. I want it to grow. I want it to be normal this time. I hope that is not too much to ask. She asked me again as she saw a tear fall down my cheeks. How would things be like if Lilly was alive? I told her, we would be complete and happy. She asked, what about if Lilly was not normal, would we still be happy and accept her? What about if she grew up that way? I told her, we would accept her regardless of her disability as we have accepted you. We will love her and be happy with her. We would take care of her even if she grew up that way. We were already prepared for the worst. My husband and I knew there was a chance Lilly won't be 100 percent normal but we wanted her to live. However, God had other plans. It was either he thought we were not ready and that we won't be able to take care of her well which hurt or he thought that Lilly would be hurting so he decided to just heal her by taking away her pain but in the process, taking her away from us as well. Either way, both were painful.

My sister's questions made me wonder. If you were a parent and you know that your child will have a disability once he/she was born, would you still be willing to let him/her live? If you let him/her live, should you be considered selfish because you thought about your happiness more than his/hers? If you let him/her go, should you be considered better parents because you did not let your child go through a painful growth? Conflicting questions which makes me question if we did the right thing or not. But somehow, I believe we did the right thing. We let her live and we let God decide her fate. Sadly, the ending was still tragic. We still lost her eventually. We only gave her a fighting chance. We will never know the real answers that we seek. After all, we are all different. Our decisions vary as well as our thoughts and emotions. Our opinions will clash and so will our circumstances. We always wish things were different. Morally, we know we did the right thing and yet, we still did not get what we wanted. I thought we would have a higher chance of getting what we pray for if we follow his word and his teachings but I guess, what we pray for isn't always what we get. This is probably one reason why other people decide to just live immorally and not to follow the word and teaching of God. I can't blame them and most of all, we can never force them. 

Is my life better now that I am closer to God? I cannot deny that at some point it is not. I cannot say that losing Lilly has made my life better but maybe he is trying to send a message. Maybe he is trying to teach us something. I am just hoping that next time things will be different. I hope that he won't use this method again to teach us something. I believe that he is not a God who smites those who believe in him. So, if this is his way of testing my faith in him then I don't think it is a good way of doing so. But at the end of the day, they say I should never give up and that I should continue to hang on to this blind faith. I may not know what he intends to do to me and to us but I should continue believing that there will always be something good waiting for me and for us at the end of it all. Patience is a virtue which I should have right now. I had it before but now, I am trying to practice it once again. Hopefully, I will have my happy ending soon. Do I deserve it? I hope so for everybody deserves to be happy, one way or another...

I won't give up. I deserve to be happy too. We all do. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fears, Anxiety, Miracles And The Lessons To Be Learned Through It All

I woke up with a heavy heart today. Last night as I slept next to my husband, I slept well but when I woke up with a pillow in between us, I realized that this was the same position we had when I was still pregnant with Lilly. I hoped that hugging him would make me feel okay but somehow it didn't remove the emptiness that I felt. I love him so much but I love our little angel too. Which is why I am longing for her each day. Each day, it is as if she continues to give us signs that she is just nearby. Her name is being mentioned everywhere. From one TV show to another, a magazine article, a brand name, something from the internet even to the point that we go outside, she shows us signs. I am glad she does that but at the same time, I feel lonelier. Lonelier because these signs might remind us of her to make us not forget about her but at the same time, they also remind us that she is no longer with us. The pain of losing her will forever be a part of me. I am scarred for life, I know that.

My mom bought a back issue of a certain magazine. It was dated May 2012. I read an article there about women who have encountered miscarriages. Some of them have even encountered multiple miscarriages. Although their children died unborn, the knowledge that they lost something that has been a part of them, no matter how long, is still painful. Reading about their stories made me realize that losing a child is one of the most painful experiences any person can have. In all my years, I have never imagined to experience something like this. Sure, I did not have a miscarriage and I got to see my child before she passed away but then again, just the same, Lilly is not here. At first, I thought that the pain of losing a child that has already been born is harder than losing an unborn child but now, I think both of them are the same. The thought of losing a child is unimaginable, the pain permanent. It changes you in more ways than one.

Miscarriages happen to everyone. I have heard so many sad stories about miscarriages while I was pregnant with Lilly. My husband was fearful for me at that time. I told him not to worry as I will not miscarry our child. I didn't but in the end, we still lost her. In the middle of my pregnancy, stories about parents losing their children got my attention. At that time, my husband and I were both fearful for our child. We made a promise that we would do everything for her to be alive. I honestly think we failed. I think we were not able to do that duty as parents. We did not fulfill that promise which is why we regret losing her so much. The pain is just unbearable even now. Because of Lilly's condition, I realized that my next child has a higher risk of having the same condition as her which is the sad truth of it all. Now, I am scared for my next child. That is if God will grant our wish to at least have one child. He/she might suffer the same fate. That is something that would not just break our hearts but would probably end many things as well. Hopefully, not our relationship.

I fear the worst. Maybe I am over thinking this. Maybe it is a bit too soon. Don't get me wrong. I want to have a baby. I don't mind going through all the pain even if I am scared of it. I don't mind the needles, the c section all over again, the stitches, the recovery time, the awful tasting medicine - all that doesn't matter to me. Right now, the only thing that matters is that if we would have another child, it would not suffer the same fate. We do not want to lose another child but then again, that is not something for us to decide. It isn't our choice. It never was and it never will. After Lilly died, I heard many people say that having her was not meant to be. That simple phrase made me sadder. Did we not deserve to have a child? Did Lilly not deserve to live? We then compared our situation with other people. We saw other people who had children, children who they didn't love and care for, children who they disregarded and even discarded, children who grew up not knowing what it was like to have real parents, children who became bad examples because they lacked proper guidance, children who were malnourished, children who suffered because of their parents and yet, they all survived. They were all alive. What for? 

We grew angry at some point. We couldn't help but question why those parents and their children were more important than us and our child. We began to question the purpose of things and the reason behind our child's sudden death. Although we knew of her condition, we knew that her chances were not really that slim. We were told that she was compatible with life and we were ready for the new chapter in our lives regardless of her not being normal but maybe God had other plans for us and for our daughter. Now, we still can't believe that she is gone. We want her here but we have finally come to terms to stop feeling angry. Although there are times when we still question why she had to be taken right away from us, we have finally decided to stop ourselves from thinking that way. We want to stay away from negativity after all. I know our child would want us to be happy and productive -- with or without her. We are still trying but we know it will be a long journey ahead before we can get back to our daily lives. 

Some say you never really get over a loss of someone dear. I agree with that. Although I know I will be able to move on and get back on track, after losing someone, things just will never be the same. I am scared of what the future would bring but at the same time I am excited about the changes that my life would bring. Although I know that right now, I am lost, my husband is too, we pray for guidance each day. We hope to see the plans that he has for us soon. During Lilly's wake, I saw many of our friends and relatives. They were there to support us in our time of grief but somehow after that, I felt like I wanted to get away from them all. No offense meant, I just didn't feel ready to be around other people yet. As April approaches, I know I will have to conquer this fear soon. Come our birthdays and Lilly's 40 days, I know we will be seeing them soon. Honestly, I don't know how to interact and to be around other people now. It was like I have forgotten to be social again. I feel like I just want to shut the world out. Hopefully, one of these days, I can get back to things soon somehow.

Fears and anxieties might continue to grip at me these days but hopefully, I will no longer feel like this. I don't want to live a life that is filled with these negative thoughts and feelings. I want to be rid of them, be free of them. Someday I know this will happen. I just need to continue to believe. Hopefully, a good support group will continue to show me that life is beautiful and that I should not think that it is over just because Lilly is gone. Somehow as I continue to pray for strength each day, I also continue to do the same for those around me. I am thankful that my husband continues to help me through this time of grieving. I know he needs me too. He said I am the only thing that is keeping him sane at the moment. We both long for Lilly but then again, our sadness and our tears will never bring her back. Nothing will. Pregnancy is a happy time for many women but then again, not for all of them. Happy endings happen but not to everyone. I wish my pregnancy had a fairy tale ending but I am hoping that one day if God will let me go through that stage again in my life, things will be different somehow.

They say that people who do not appreciate miracles are those who forget that they are miracles. I have never forgotten that. I believe in miracles. I was just heartbroken that the miracle that we asked for did not last. I know the miracle of life. I appreciate it everyday. I am a miracle because I was able to survive this long. Now, I know how hard it is to survive this long. How parents take care of their children in order to keep on growing and surviving to get old are miracles too. One day, we hope that we will experience these kinds of miracles too. We crave for it. We long for it. We wish for it. How long do we have to continue praying for it? I know God is not testing us with these challenges. Otherwise, until when? Until we can no longer bounce back? Until we finally give up? Maybe these things just happen because he wills them. He wills them because he knows we can surpass it. Sadly, sometimes what he wills isn't exactly what we want. We might disagree with them but we will definitely learn from them. I am changing. We are changing. We will continue to change because of this life lesson that God has given us. Someday, we continue to hope for a brighter day. A blessing and finally, the answer to our prayers will come and hopefully, when he does answer our prayers, this time, he won't just lend us the answer that we seek but finally, give it to us wholeheartedly...

Maybe our prayers for healing Lilly demanded a different kind of miracle. Although we wanted a different miracle which was her to be with us long, maybe God knew she was suffering while she lived and has decided to spare her of all that. The healing that he intended for her was this. We might not accept what happened to her but we now know that she is in a good place and is without pain. Our little angel was our temporary miracle. We just hope that one day when I am over these fears and anxieties and when I have changed and learned what I needed to learn, we will be given a more permanent miracle. Lord, please grant us another miracle of life and this time, please don't take that little miracle away from us. After all, we deserve happiness too...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ask And You Shall Receive Isn't Happening For Me Right Now

Doubts -- we all have them. Questions -- we are always plagued by them. Sometimes I ask myself if I am a bad person in order to deserve what happened to me. But then again, I can't be the one to answer that. I know myself well. I know of the bad things I did in life. I know of the mistakes and the problems I have brought upon myself and other people. I am not exactly perfect. But who is? Have I done something that awful in order to deserve the death of my child? I hope not. I can't help go down memory lane. There are many things that I wish I didn't do and I wish I did. Now I wonder if things changed in the past, could things have changed in my present and my future? I can only wonder.

There are so many questions plaguing me these days. So many doubts still linger in my head. I wish I can remove them from my mind. Whenever I close my eyes, I see Lilly's face. Everything flashes before me. Everything about her makes me question and doubt things. I know reality but I still cannot accept the fact that she is really gone. Questioning God and asking him why she is gone is just pointless. I need to know exactly why but I can't know for sure. Acceptance -- I am far from that but somehow I am coping. Coping with the fact that she is in Heaven and is no longer hurting. Our little angel, that is what many people call her. Honestly, she has been our little angel even before she was born. 

Many people find completion in many things. For me, the completion of my existence was her. When she was conceived and when she was born, I felt like I have finally found a reason for living. When I met my husband, I felt that too. When she was taken away from us, I felt like there was a huge void inside of me that can never be filled and will always be empty. I know that if God will give us a chance to have another child in the future, that child would make us feel complete too but then again, that child will never replace what we lost. Our new child will surely be a new addition to our family but then again, our first child will forever be our first. We love her so much. 

They say I should stay away from negativity especially right now. This is why I am trying my best to feel positive and happy again. Right now, I am really thinking about how to reinvent my life. I want to be productive again but how do I find interest in things once more? The things that I used to love, I haven't forgotten but somehow I have lost interest in. I used to have so many plans, so many dreams, filled with hope, filled with happiness. Now, I don't know anymore. I find myself crying sometimes. I feel sad. Although I am already speaking now and trying to smile and laugh with my family, somehow, when I am alone again, I can't help but remember Lilly, miss her and cry. 

March is ending soon. As my birthday nears, so does her 40 days. I still can't believe that she is really gone. This year's April was supposed to be filled with happiness. April 1 - my birthday, April 13 was supposed to be Lilly's birthday which will now coincidentally be her 40th day and April 17 - being my husband's birthday. Now, it will be a mournful month. They say that because we already have an angel in heaven, it is easier to ask for many things. Honestly, I don't want many things. I just want her but because she is gone, we can't do anything about that. We will be thankful to whatever God will give to us. At this point, all we can ask for is guidance. 

I guess when life gives us lemons and we ask for oranges, we should be prepared for it. For life doesn't really give you exactly what you want. Sometimes it gives you something else. Which is why it is better to learn to accept more. Ask and you shall receive isn't exactly happening for me right now...Not to worry though as I still believe in God. He is the only thing that I can hang on to right now especially in these rough times. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Life Goes On Somehow

"You are not the center of the world. It does not revolve around you. There are other things more important. There are other people who share the world with you. Just because you talk about you all the time doesn't mean you are the only thing that matters in this world. There are other things that do too." 
-- A thought bubble. Whose is it? Mine. 

I am dealing with the recent loss of my child which is why I post a lot of sad things about me lately. Writing here has made it somehow easier to deal with the pain. Although I know it will never be taken away by anything or anyone in this world, I still do it. Because just like many people who deal with hardship and negativity, I feel better afterwards. Most people would call it venting or ranting. In my case, I would call it as pouring my heart out and letting people in on how I truly feel so that they would understand me better. 

The social media has always been with me. From the start of my pregnancy with Lilly until the very end, it was there. I have shared almost everything I can and want to everyone without thinking about how others would feel if they saw them. I am genuinely happy and thankful for those who have been there all through out -- through the good times and the bad. My life is like an open book especially because I let people in on what my life is like. Now, I am thinking if I should have kept it to myself.

Somehow, I am torn. If I did keep everything to myself then it would be like I wasn't proud of the things that have happened to me regardless if they good or bad. If I kept everything to myself and the people around me, I would have privacy for sure but now that I have lost a part of my life, a part of myself, I don't want to be alone. I need, I crave the company of others, their kind words, just someone to talk to. Silence makes me feel sad all over again which only makes the tears continue to fall. Should I have kept everything myself? I guess not.

But now after what has happened to me, I have already gotten that company. I have already gotten those kind words. Yet, sadness still creeps in and tears still continue from falling. Maybe this is part of the coping process. Maybe this really happens. Now, I feel like my life is at a stand still. Unmoving, unchanging. Filled with bittersweet memories of Lilly still alive and then dying. My life has always been dramatic. At least, that is how I see it. Many people say it is better than mundane but honestly, in these trying times, I beg to disagree. 

Going online everyday and seeing how people's live change from one good thing to another or even a bad thing, I realized that we all go through these things. Some people are just luckier than others, I guess. I have lost a child and I was pregnant once but I know that there were other people from my friends who were pregnant too. When my child was born, I took pictures of her and posted them for all to see. I was proud of her and when she was taken away from me, I felt like the world was shattering before me. When my friends' babies were born, they did the same thing. Only they were luckier. I know they will be taking more pictures of their growing children soon while I and my husband try to recover and move on from our loss. Will we ever be given another child? I hope so. Hopefully, it will be healthier and it will not be taken away from us right away. 

Seeing the success of others, their good fortune, has somehow gotten to me. I know I shouldn't feel envious but sometimes I do. Why? Because they are luckier than me. But I am going to try to let this feeling go. Negativity will just continue eating at me and I know that life goes on. The world is round. I will have my break soon. I don't know when. I don't know how. But I know something like that will happen to me. After all, everyone gets their break. Everyone deserves it. God has a plan, that is what they always say. So for now, I pray for patience and clarity. I pray that the way be shown to us somehow as I do not know how we will be able to get through this storm.

The world does not revolve around me. At least, that I know. Even if time stops and my life doesn't keep on going right now, I know that time won't stop and will keep on going for other people out there. Although things are going well for others now, I know things will get better for me too. I just need to keep on believing and hoping that there will always be light at the end of darkness. For now, I am hanging on. Desperate that one day things will get better. I will brave this storm no matter how long it takes for I know I will find comfort in the thought that one day, there will be a better day. Moving on...I will get to that someday but for now, I will creep and slowly move at my pace. Hopefully, my speed won't matter when I reach my goal one day. Life is full of surprises after all. One day, I know I will be sharing better and happier stories to others. But for now, I need to stick to my sad stories in order to get to where I am supposed to go. 

Life goes on no matter what happens. I might not have the best in my life right now but that won't stop me from wanting to get it. Life will go on with or without good times. We just need to keep on holding on. I will try, this I know for I will continue wishing that my life will begin again. When will my life begin? Maybe it has begun already. I just thought time stopped and I am stuck in between different things. Wherever life will lead me, I know that it will go on, with or without me...

Falling Tears, Losing Someone Dear And Wishful Thinking

How do you stop the tears from falling when you have lost someone so dear to you? I have never promised that I would stop the tears from falling as I know it would be an impossible task. Even before Lilly, our daughter died, I cried. I cried because of happiness, sadness, worry and so many other things. I cried not just for myself but for other people as well. Most of my tears though have been devoted to our little one. Before she was born, we worried for her. The heartbreaking news about her condition rattled us to the core. It made me uncomfortable. It made me concerned. I was her mother after all. I was becoming a parent and like most parents, I care the most about my child. I was glad that behind all the tears, there were smiles and laughter otherwise, it would have been a sad pregnancy. 

Last night, I cried before going to sleep. I spoke to Lilly about mundane things. Things that have happened, things that I want her to know, things that should have happened and so much more. I spoke to her as if she was alive. I spoke to her as if she still had a future with us. I know such a thing does not make sense to people who have not lost anyone dear to them but to me, it does. Although my heart ached while I spoke her name, I poured my heart out to her. I prayed with my husband before that. I just couldn't help but speak to our daughter that way. I know we barely had memories together when she was born but I know we shared a lot while she was inside of me. She has shared my sadness, my happiness, my frustrations, everything. No one and nothing has ever shared that with me before. She and I shared a body. I might have been her vessel and she might have had her own little heart but we shared the same heartbeat. No one and nothing can ever take that away.

Lilly has been a dream, a dream that my husband and I wanted for so long. Today as I looked for other medicines to drink, I stumbled upon the ones that I used to drink when I was pregnant with her. I couldn't help but shake my head and cry. I immediately asked myself "Why?". I know there was nothing to ever answer that question no matter how many times different people do. I cried because of many reasons. The medicines reminded me of the time when I still had her with me which I know I can never go back to now. I took them when my baby was alive and was not yet in Heaven. The medicines were important to me to be healthy so that she would be too. My husband and I invested a lot of many things for Lilly and now that she is gone, we feel like everything has gone to waste. Seeing the things that I used to take when I was pregnant only made me ask what would happen to them. Then, I realized, there were other things that were going to be wasted as well. 

My swollen breasts were begging to be pumped out of me in order to be drank by a baby but the baby was no more. Lilly died in March 4 and even to this day, I still have milk that drips out of me. I cried when I realized that my milk would be useless. I felt like I was useless too. I was a mother without a child. A parent without a child to take care of. Although I had my husband and he had me, when our daughter died, we felt like a part of us died as well. We felt incomplete once more. Like a huge hole was punched inside of me, inside of us. It was a gap that can never be filled, a gap that could never heal. They say time is a great healer and that prayers can help make things better. We pray everyday. We hope that time would be a great healer too but we also know that the pain of losing Lilly will never go away. It will never leave us. It will be with us forever, no matter how our lives change in the future. The material things that she left behind don't really matter much for they can be used by another. The people that she left behind...what would happen to them? What would happen to us? That is a question that even to this day, I ask myself everyday. I ask God as well.

We were told to move on, move forward and start over. We know what we have to do. It is just easier said than done. I know we are both healing now and that our little Lilly is watching over us for she is one of God's little angels now. We don't want her to see us sad but how can we stop feeling so when we miss someone so dear to us? I say sorry whenever I shed tears for her. I tell her it is because I miss her and I love her. I tell her she will be with us forever. She might not understand that. For I still have not come to terms to understanding why she had to go but then again, I think of her happiness and her pain which only make me feel like I should let go. Parents are never selfish and even when they are, they change. At least, that is how I see parenthood. I don't know how others do. 

Losing Lilly was hard and painful but we know that God has a message for us. We might not know it now but someday, we hope we do. We might not know his plans as we do not see the bigger picture but he always has a greater purpose, a greater scheme in store for everyone. He might have taken her so soon but perhaps it was really her time to go. No matter how painful it might be to lose a child, I know that God did not want this for us. I don't believe that it was meant to be. It just happened because it had to. I don't believe that when Lilly was conceived, God already wanted her to join him in Heaven. But somehow now I wonder. During the last months of my pregnancy, perhaps God already knew what would happen to her and to us. Which is why he decided that I should bring her to this world. Lilly might have been a fighter when she was born but it was only because she wanted to see the people who made her. She probably just wanted to see me, her dad and the other people who love her before she can finally become an angel. She wanted to thank everyone before she passed away. She wanted to know the people who she will be taking care of for the rest of her life in Heaven. This is why she lasted for nine days on Earth. That is how I see it now. 

She was never meant to undergo surgery. She was never meant to go home with us. Lilly was never meant to be with us for long. She just wanted us to feel happy, happy to see her alive. She was already in pain from the beginning but she endured it for us. How brave of her. How selfless of her. She truly is our little miracle, our little inspiration. Lilly knew she wouldn't be able to survive long which is why she made every single day count. She might have brought us tears but she also bought us happiness. I wouldn't trade the pain that I have now for anything material in this world. Although I admit that I would trade it to have her back with us. Unfortunately, I know there is no such thing. If only I could turn back time, I would go back to the last day I saw her alive. I would stay with her the whole day and do my best to make her feel loved some more. I would bring my husband with me and beg the nurses to let him hold her even just for a while. That way we wouldn't feel regret.

If I found a magic lamp with a genie inside and I would be given three wishes, the first one would involve Lilly. I know that I am not supposed to wish to bring back someone from the dead but I would wish it differently. I would wish to go back in time. I would wish to go back to the start of 2012 and from there start a healthier lifestyle. I would do my best to not work outside my home and tell my husband to work harder. That way both of us would be more prepared for our child. I know I would have to go through pregnancy again which was both a pain and a joy, a blessing and a curse. I would go through all that again. I would change things to give Lilly a change to get better with high hopes that I would be able to give birth to her normally. That would be the first wish. The second wish would not be for me but for my younger sister to get better. The third wish I have not thought of yet. But then again, this is all wishful thinking. 

Tears - they can never be avoided especially when you are a person grieving for someone you love. I used to think that it was impossible to cry over someone for a long time but now, I know that pain. The pain of losing a child is not just heartbreaking, it also changes many things. I know that losing Lilly has changed me in many ways. My points of view of many things has become more serious and now, I have become more calculated, more cautious even. My fears have doubled and somehow I have become more paranoid. Maybe this is what growing up feels like. I didn't want to grow up this way but now that there is so much pain around me, I feel like I have to do this. I used to love silence and even crave it. Now, it is just deafening to me. I don't mind hearing Lilly's cries around me or even her laughter but definitely not silence. Maybe I just miss her so much or I am just becoming mad but at the end of the day, she is gone and there is nothing that can ever bring her back to me, to us. I know my tears, our tears can never bring her back but somehow they help wash away the sadness even if it is just for a short while. 

The truth behind losing someone that you love. Lilly might not longer be with us but she will always be in our minds and she will forever be in our hearts. We continue to miss her each day. How we wish we knew how to stop feeling this pain but we know that this pain should only be changed into acceptance. She is happier now. Despite the fact that it means that she won't be with us, we should learn to find happiness in the thought that she is no longer in pain and is no longer suffering with the Lord. Heaven has found itself another angel and that is no other than our little girl. We love you, Lilly, forever and ever...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sorry For My Tears And My Mixed Emotions

Yesterday, we visited the grave of our daughter, Lilly for the second time. Although this was the second time that we were there apart from her burial, I couldn't help but shed tears once again. Memories flashed before me once again. The times that we visited her in the hospital, looking at her inside the incubator gave me mixed feelings. I felt happy to see her alive and right there in front of me. I was filled with hope that one day, we will bring her home but then again, I also felt sad knowing that she had a condition and that she might be feeling pain and is suffering. I realized now that I was selfish then because I only thought about myself and not my daughter's well being. Maybe I wasn't meant to be a parent. Seeing her grave and knowing that her lifeless body was buried there makes me have mixed emotions too. I feel sad that she is gone and she cannot be with us but I feel happy as well that she is already in Heaven, with the Lord and is not feeling pain. I know that she is happy but at the same time, she feels sad that she cannot be with us as well. Speaking to her while there on her grave, I felt my tears streaming down my face again. 

We went to Antipolo Cathedral after that. I remember the last time I was there. I was still pregnant with Lilly. We used to go there to pray for her. We even visited and spoke to the Black Nazarene there hoping that he would help intercede for us to the Lord. While praying there, I became emotional once again. Seeing many pregnant women passing by and many couples with baby girls only made it worse. As I continued to cry and pray at the same time. I know Lilly wouldn't want to see me like that but I couldn't help myself. I was missing her and I continue to miss her everyday. I thought I am strong enough because I didn't cry the last time we visited her grave but I was wrong. Acceptance is not easy. Moving on is easier said than done. For now, I continue to pray to the Lord that he would grant us the time to grieve but at the same time, he would help us get over all this pain. I do not ask him to take away the pain as it is a way of making us remember what we learned. It is also a way of making us remember Lilly. 

Many people say I should not look at other people and think that life is unfair. I should not think that the Lord is unfair. I used to think that way. I used to think that what happened to us was unfair. Asking why when honestly, we should not. The Lord always has a higher purpose for all of us and he has reasons for everything. I may not understand everything right now but I hope and pray that in time, I will, we will. Maybe I am not ready to go out to the world yet. Seeing pictures of babies everywhere and seeing actual happy couples with babies makes me cry because I wish that happened to me. There are many things that I wish I could have done and I wish I could have. Envy - I should not feel that and yet I do now. I didn't feel that before but now, I do. I feel it because I want what others have and knowing that I had it but cannot have it right now, hurts me. But then I remembered a lesson from one of the masses I attended while I was pregnant with Lilly. Patience - I should have that and I should learn that everything will happen in God's time. Hopefully and prayerfully, one day, my husband and I will be given the chance to have another child.

Speaking of another child, my younger sister and my mom always tell me at home that we shouldn't be sad and that the Lord has other plans for us. They said that he would give us another child. They even keep on joking that maybe God would give us twins one day. Actually, everybody wanted twins to begin with but when they found out that I was only having one child from the start, they decided they wanted me to have a baby boy but that doesn't mean that the birth of our little daughter wasn't welcomed. It was. They all loved her and could have doted on her if she were here. Since we already hid all her things, we are hopeful to be able to use them on our next child one day. For now, reading and posting quotes about Lilly is the only way for me to show how I feel to others. Writing is one of the most effective ways to relieve the pain. Hopefully, this will help with all the sleepless nights and the silent moments when we cry and remember her. 

How do I stop shedding tears for you especially when I know that you are not here physically and can only be with me in other ways? The pain of losing you has hurt me, hurt us but I know that it can also make me, make us stronger somehow, someday, someway...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Lesson That I Learned Today: Be Thankful!

Predicaments - we all have them. We all go through different degrees of problems in our lives. The only difference that we all have is how we deal with them. Not everybody knows how to deal with problems. I myself know that it is hard to solve problems and be in tough situations. Sometimes I feel like giving in but I realized that I shouldn't. In the years that have passed, I have been bombarded with different situations. Some have been bad, some worse. I have suffered from pain and yet in the end, things got better. I got through them all. Many people say that God doesn't give your problems that you can't handle. There is also that meme that says the same thing. Only in the end it also says that apparently, God thinks you are a bad ass which implies that you get to be given a lot of problems because God thinks you can handle all of them at the same time. I hope God doesn't think of me that way.

Humor aside, I know that life isn't really perfect. Sometimes it can even be unfair. Sometimes there are some things that happen which we cannot fully comprehend. But everything happens for a reason. It does not matter if we cannot understand them. Sometimes we fail to see the bigger picture when we are in the middle of things. We only do once we are out of it. Last January, my grandmother died. We were all sad that we lost her. Then, as if some streak of unluckiness, last March 4, my baby, Lilly died. My husband and I were crushed. Before and after that happened, I have heard so many stories about different people who have different predicaments - mostly involving children. Everyone knows that the death of a loved one is one of the hardest experiences to get over with but loss is not the only thing that is hard to accept in life. There are many challenges that are difficult to deal with as well. While I mourn for my child, other couples mourn for the reality that they cannot have children or are sick which is why it takes them longer to have kids. Like me, they too have things that hurt them - just in a different way.

But not all stories are bad. Some even have good endings. Some couples who are found to be sterile have miraculously gotten children. A miracle I know. Some children with complications survive and are now living healthy lives. These things can happen to anyone. Sadly, it did not happen to me and to the other people that I mentioned earlier. But I am staying hopeful. Hopefully, all the other people who are in dark times will too. Faith is a strong thing to hold on to. It can move mountains as they always say. Although faith cannot be seen or touched, it is strong enough to believe in. 

Somehow, I am thankful for many things despite all the situations that I have been through. I am thankful that my daughter is no longer in pain and is now our little angel with the Lord. I am thankful that despite our loss, there are still many blessings that come to us. I am not happy that I am luckier than others and that others have bigger problems to deal with. I am not pleased that others are in more pain than I am. All I am saying is that we should all be thankful for what we have and we should not complain no matter what. Remember that others might not be as lucky as you. I know this now. Do you?

We should all learn to appreciate everything. Be grateful for everything. What have you been thankful for today and everyday?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Compatible With Life - I Guess Not...

When our baby, Lilly, was conceived, we were the happiest people alive. We thought that our lives were finally complete. At six months, we found out that our baby had complications. I cried immediately while at the hospital while the husband was silent but he felt weak. We didn't know what to say to each other but my OB gave me hope and said that we might need a second opinion. We dreaded that second opinion but prayed for better results. Unfortunately, they never came. The results only confirmed our fears. We worried for our little one, just like many parents would for their children. Although my OB was deeply saddened with the news, she was able to give us hope by telling us that our little one was compatible with life and that she had a high chance of living. We felt relieved to hear that but she said that our baby might not be 100 percent normal in the end. At first, we were sad to hear that but in the end, it all came to the point where we would accept her regardless of her condition. It took us four ultrasounds to actually accept the fact that our baby had Spina Bifida and Hydrocaephalus. It was called an Arnold Chiari Malformation II in medical terms. Our baby would live after the fluids from her brain would be drained using a shant while her back would be needing surgery to remove the growth and somehow to repair the nerves which could affect her lower body's movements. We knew of the risks involved. We were just hopeful as we held on to our blind faith. We knew that the operation would be a major one especially for someone so young. Yet, we remained positive as we knew that our baby was a fighter and that God will not let anything bad happen to her. Sadly after 9 days of being alive, she passed away. Now, I question myself in more ways than one. Could she have lived through the surgery? Was she really compatible with life? Was she really meant to be with us? I know now that God had other plans for her. I just feel sad that she was taken away so early from us. I still cry when I remember her. I still speak to her. 

But it isn't just me who has been greatly affected by this sudden loss. My husband has been greatly affected by her passing too. I remember the night when we were praying so hard as we found out that our baby was in distress. He was not able to visit her that day while I was. I remembered how beautiful and how well she was then. Her condition actually gave me hope that she would be staying with us longer. Too bad that I mistook that message differently. She opened her eyes for me which was not normal for babies her age. I spoke to her and begged her to continue fighting. I prayed for her twice then. I was crying as she looked at me. Her eyes pierced through my soul. I felt happy then. Too bad she was saying goodbye and probably was telling me that everything will be alright. She was telling me to let her go. Too bad it is hard to do so. I told her how much we miss her and we love her. I even told her we would visit her more often and that we couldn't wait to bring her home. That night when the bad news broke out, my husband howled in pain. He cried loudly and punched the wooden cabinet in front of him. He was not just distraught. He was broken. Although I have seen him sad before, I have never seen him like that. He was clearly devastated. We both were. But we both did not regret bringing her into this world. It was an honor to be her parents even just for more than a week. Both of us need to be strong now. We are hopeful that one day, God would bless us with another child who won't be taken from us just like that. Nobody expected her to die. Even our doctors were shocked but her time has come and what else could we do but accept it.

When I was 7 months pregnant, I read about Lilly's condition. Then, I stumbled upon a website which made me cry. It had stories about couples who had children with different conditions. Most of these couples either had children who died or those who they terminated before they were born. My husband and I did not have the heart to do that to Lilly. To some people, we might be selfish because we only thought about our joy without thinking about her pain and suffering. I cannot defend that. All I know is that she is our flesh and blood and that it is a sin to kill someone so innocent. She had the right to live even if it was just for a couple of days. I don't want to judge the people who did what they had to do. That is what they believed was right. Who am I to question that? It is their lives after all and not mine. However, at the end of their stories, they often feel guilty and wonder what would have happened if they let their children live. Even if I let Lilly live, I still feel guilty deep inside. I feel guilty because I know I could have done something for her but I wasn't able to. I feel responsible for her condition especially since I was her vessel for 8 months. Now, I am somehow scared for our next baby but hopeful that things will turn out better next time. 

I guess not all pregnancies have fairy tale endings. Same goes with relationships. I am just glad that even if my pregnancy took a turn for the worse, my husband is still by my side taking care of me especially in these hard times. Like me, he is grieving. The sad part about starting over is the fact that we have lost something and have left something behind. This thing has left a hole inside us that no one and nothing can ever fill. We will continue to carry this pain, learn to hide it and live with it because we don't want it to go away. We don't want to forget our little angel. Lilly will forever be a part of us now no matter what. Many people have said many comforting words to us but words cannot describe how we feel. We know how much we miss her and love her but we also know that we can never be together for now. Many people have said we must be strong and we should try to be happy. We are doing just that but we cannot promise not to cry for despite everything, we know that our tears are not because we are sad for her not feeling pain anymore, we are sad because we can never hold her and be with her but we know that someday we will be able to do just that. 

Before Lilly passed away, I spoke to many people who knew about her case and many of them gave me hope that she would be fine. They said that many people who had them lived and although they could not confirm their life expectancy, they were sure of their survival. Even my OB and Lilly's pediatrician and surgeon were expecting a successful surgery which is why all of them were shocked when she died. I don't think they gave us false hope. Perhaps Lilly's existence was merely temporary and was not meant to be a long term one. Just the other day, I read a short story about the oldest man alive with Spina Bifida. Although he does not have Hydrocaephalus which helped him survive then, he is still a survivor. He is said to be 90 years old now. I could have wished Lilly was able to live even just for a couple of years but then again when I think about her pain and suffering, I realize perhaps God's way of healing her was to take her away. After all, we have been praying for her healing ever since she was inside me. Maybe God has a plan but only he knows that. Although, my husband and I are walking blindly now, we still have hope and faith that one day, we will be able to find the way. We know that God will lead us to the right path and that our little Lilly will always be by our side - although not physically, she will be with us in spirit. 

This story just proves that nobody can know if someone will live to see tomorrow or not. Regardless of the medical diagnosis, only God knows when we will be taken away to Heaven. This is why we should always tell the people that we love how much they matter to us for we might not be able to do so if we keep on putting it off for next time. I am only thankful that I was able to tell Lilly how much she meant to us. She will forever be our little angel, our first little princess and most of all, our treasure that we do not intend to neglect. She may be gone but she will never be forgotten. Our hearts will forever beat for her. Our minds will always think of her. I just hope that she knows all this and that she will always be watching over us. We are thankful that we had her. We love you, Lilly - now and forever. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Remember Not Only When You Need Something, Remember Because You Truly Care

To be needed is a wonderful feeling. So is to be wanted but then again, to be remembered only when needed is not overwhelming. It is just downright annoying. We often neglect the people that are close to us, important to us. We go about doing things that can make us happy without thinking that always thinking about ourselves is just selfish. Then, when we realize that we are unhappy or are in trouble, we realize that there are some people out there that we need or we can ask for help. 

I don't mind being one of those people but to always be thought of only when the need arises upsets me. I wonder if such a thing will end. Maybe only time can tell. Will these people change? I don't know either. All I know is that I don't want to be one of them. But they say that these people are necessary in our lives. Whether it is to teach us something or to make us value the people that we love more, these people are important. No matter how annoying they can be or will be. 

I wonder though if nobody will help them in their time of need, what would happen to them? I guess that remains to be seen. If a person can endure not helping others then he/she is no better than the person who asks for his/her help. But then again, there will always be limitations to these things. If a person's patience has finally ran out then I guess that's it. There will never be any room for anything else. Change needs to take place in order to mend broken relationships. I don't want to be remembered only in times of need. I want to be remembered in different times too. I hope people that I know will remember that.

People get fed up too. No matter how kind they may be. This is why you should never abuse a person's kindness. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What Happened To Me The Day God Took You Home

Just when I thought I was strong enough, I found myself crying after looking at Lilly's photos again. Maybe the pain is still too fresh for me to revisit. Looking at her has two effects on me. One, it can make me feel calm as I sink into reality that she is gone and two, my tears start falling without me knowing it and my heart aches which makes it hard for me to breathe. How do you deal with the loss of your child? How do you cope with the loss of someone so dear to you? 

Last January, my grandmother passed away. She was more than 80 years old and she has lived a happy life. Although, she has accomplished so many things, many people felt sad when she died. I was one of those people although I know that what I felt then wasn't really as strong as what my mother, aunts and uncle felt like, I know the feeling of losing someone. At that time, I was pregnant with my daughter, Lilly. I was my grandmother's eldest grand daughter and she was very fond of me. Too bad she never got to see her. Too bad that I think now, she was able to do so.

Honestly, I am not coping well with my loss. The bond between a mother and her child is truly extraordinary. Although, I only felt her moving inside of me, it was like both of us had an unspeakable bond that can never be broken. My mother said that babies know their mothers' voices and sometimes even their fathers'. This is why whenever babies hear their parents' voices, they feel loved. I talked to Lilly on the day she died. She responded to me positively. Which is why I thought that would not be the end of her life. Her response gave me hope that one day, she would be home in my arms, with me, with us. But, God had other plans for our little one. She is now an angel up above. Our little angel who they say continue to watch over us.

No words can ever bring me comfort. No hugs or condolences can ever make me feel happy again. For one, I was incomplete. The day Lilly was born, I found a new purpose in my life. I found happiness in something that cannot be replaced. I found contentment in something that is not material. For once, the things that made me happy have become secondary. Nothing else mattered. Only Lilly mattered. Even my husband felt the same thing. Now, both of us are grieving, coping with our loss in different ways but in whatever ways we can. So far, I think I am the one who is struggling a lot. 

The thought of her still alive but cannot be with us is somehow better than telling myself that she is gone forever. I know I will never forget her and that she will always be missed. We all loved her too much. We all waited for her for so long which is what made it hurt even more. Many people say that she is so beautiful and pure. Even until now, I cannot believe I made something so adorable. We cherished her and doted on her even on such a short time. Life always has other things in store for us and I guess Lilly wasn't a part of it. I feel bad that she wasn't.

I don't know until when I will be this way but for now, I guess I can say that most of my posts here will be sad as I continue to deal with my loss, our loss. Trying to be happy again will be a big challenge for me. Continuing to have faith is another but I know that I can do this somehow. For now, I will struggle, I will fall, I will break down and cry. The sadness is unbearable and the emptiness is terrible. I just hope and pray that someday I will feel nothing but acceptance and happiness. Although I feel happy that Lilly can no longer feel pain in Heaven, I grieve because I know she will never come home with me. So, how can I cope up with this loss? For now, I am not sure. As they say, one day at a time...
One day, we will be together again. But until then, in my heart you will stay. In my mind, you will always be. I will speak to you every day. I will pray for you each passing day. I will never let you go. Please stay. We love you so much, Lilly and we miss you so...

Reflection - March 13, 2013

Regrets...we all have them. At some point in our lives, we have found ourselves wondering why we do have them and in my present state, I know I have a lot of them. It seems that they have now surfaced from the deepest part of me in order to torment me. I am currently on my road to recovery. Not just physically and mentally but as well as emotionally and somehow spiritually. There is no use denying it now. Probably the whole world knows it already and yet only a few people truly care. I don't mind. I have been alone before. I guess I just need people now to cope with my current loss. Everybody knows that I have just lost my daughter, my first born, Lilly. She was my pride and joy. I know it is selfish of me to say she is mine only as my husband lost her too. Actually, both of us are grieving right now but somehow, he is coping better than me. There is no use denying that now. I always say I am okay and that I am doing my best to cope but I still cry often. Somehow I feel guilty. I feel responsible for what happened to Lilly. By what happened to her, I mean her condition. I carried her for eight months inside of me. She was premature but that was not the cause of her death. The cause of it was a complication brought upon by her inborn conditions which my husband and I already knew from the 6th month of my pregnancy yet, we did not have the heart to end it, to end her. We continued to pray for her and others around us as well. She was a miracle when she was born. Sadly, that miracle was short lived. 

These days, I keep on feeling what it would have been like if things were different. What went wrong during my pregnancy? They say I shouldn't be playing the blame game. Not now, not ever. But how can I turn my head on something else when I know that I was her vessel for 8 months? Maybe I could have done things to worsen her situation or perhaps improve it. I am lost. My heart is heavy. I am burdened by the fact that she is gone and that she cannot come back to us. Most of all, I am weary because I want to be happy but how can I when she is gone? Perhaps the only thing that can make me happy now is the fact that I still have my husband who loves me so much despite everything and a lot of family and friends who truly care. How can I stop blaming myself? How can I just let it go? That I do not know. What is moving on and pushing forward? For now, I am stuck in place, unmoving yet caring. I continue to feel but I can't move past this yet. It is way too early. Seeing Lilly for the first time and after letting the thought sink in that I am finally a mother has made me happy beyond my wildest expectations. When I was younger, I used to tell God that I don't want a child -- not yet. Not till I am able and ready to have one. I keep on asking him to give me one in the future but not now. Not when I was still irresponsible. Then, I realized, maybe I am too responsible. 

My husband and I wished for a baby before he reached 30. Too bad, he is turning 30 next month while I will be 28 by then. Although God did give us what we wanted, he took it away just like that. Many people say that Lilly wasn't meant to be for us. We often wonder why. Doesn't she have the right to live longer? We then thought about other parents who are not ready to have children yet they keep on having them. We thought about those who are irresponsible and uncaring for their children yet they keep on being blessed by them. We thought about how unfair it was that we were not given the chance to become parents longer. But we were told to cast negativity aside and to just have faith in Him just like we used to. Now, we are doing our best to hold on to that faith as we thread into the darkness, into the unknown, into the abyss. 

I promised myself that I would blog about her ever since I got pregnant but somehow I never got the chance to. I now know why. She probably didn't want me to do it while we were together. Lilly probably wanted me to do it when she was gone because it would be more therapeutic for me and in a way, it would help me recover from her passing. It has been more than a week since she passed and I still cannot bring myself to write about her. Perhaps after her 40 days, I will be able to write everything about her. From the day I found out I was expecting until the day, I said goodbye to her. My heart continues to ache for her. I miss her terribly each day. But how can I ever see her again? There was no other way. I keep on talking to her each day, hoping that she would hear me and that she would visit me. It seems my life will forever be like a soap opera. I once thought, that was fine but now, I don't. The things I should have done or could have done continue to haunt me as I try to find myself in a better place after everything. Hopefully, one day, someday, I will be able to free myself from these feelings. If time can heal all wounds then definitely, God can too...

They say that the death of a child changes everything. So powerful is such an event that it can no longer bring you back to the way things were. Thus, I must learn to move forward and welcome a new life for if I don't, I just might have a life that won't be much of anything afterwards...