Things worth having are worth waiting for.
We had our meeting at the hospital a few weeks ago with the head staff from NICU, Neonatologist, Perinatologist, L&D, Social Worker, Geneticist, my OBGYN, and baby nursing staff. They went over possible and realistic care for Leo for after he’s born and they said that 41/42 babies with tetrasomy 18p have feeding issues. So realistically he will be in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) shortly after he is born, and will probably be there for 4-6 weeks. They will be able to do a cranium ultrasound, heart ultrasound, abdomen ultrasound and chromosome blood test in our room, before he goes to NICU. They also gave us a tour of NICU and it looks very homely and they even have a camera above his bed that will be having live streaming feed of him at all times so we can just go online and see what he’s up to 24/7! The meeting was very informative and help make us feel more confident that he will be in the best hands after birth.
We had another growth ultrasound a week later and he measures at 4lbs 10 oz! He’s growing even though I’m not and I actually lost a pound but it’s ok since his weight is the only thing that matters! His stomach is still a little small but that’s ok. His heart still has the same issues, his right chamber looks a little bigger than the left so they think it could be due to the dilated size of one of the pulmonary blood vessels or one of the valves. The doctor is referring us to see a pediatric cardiologist and we will meet with one to take a closer look at Leo’s heart. I had my obgyn appointment afterwards and everything seems to be ok for the most part except for my weight lost and belly size got a tad bit smaller but that’s ok. Oh and at the u/s they measured his heart rate range 115-119bmp which is at the low side. As long as it’s above 110bmp then it’s ok, but if it goes below then they might have to deliver early because it means baby isn’t getting enough oxygen and blood flow. However, shortly afterwards at my OBGYN appt, they measured his heart rate to be 140bmp…so who knows what’s going on. Maybe Leo decided to sleep durng the ultrasound and wake up for my doctor’s appointment haha.
Also, my OBGYN said if I make it past 35 wks (so 1 more week at this point), if I get frequent contractions again, then they won’t try to stop the contractions and I’ll most likely just go into labor and deliver, but it sounds like chances of him surviving at that point is better than if he were to be born a premie now. It’s still risky but the longer he stays in the belly, the better, so giving birth 2 weeks from that point is still a lot better than if I were to give birth a month ago. So that’s good to know. So all in all, not too much changed, and we just have to see the pediatric cardiologist and see what they find. I’m also going to be going into the hospital twice a week (monday and thursday) for fetal diagnostics where they strap me in for an hour and monitor the baby’s heart rate and my contractions, and then do a quick ultrasound now and then only to measure the amniotic fluids. I have my next u/s in a month, beginning of June, and my next obgyn appt is in two wks and then every week after that. Also, the ultrasound showed that he has a lot of hair already!! Probably like a cm of hair already! He’s probably gonna have a full head of hair like Lily did!
Fast forward a week, I got a call from the pediatric cardiologist today and I’ll have an Eco u/s on Monday after my fetal diagnostic. But at the u/s, they’re going to take a much closer look at his heart and determine if he will need surgery or not. If he does then I can’t deliver at Hoag and I’ll have to do it at the Long Beach Memorial Hospital since that’s where all the pediatric cardiologist specialists are, so that would be a little disappointing since I really wanted to be at Hoag, but it would be even more scary and worrisome since that means he will need surgery, but at least he will be in the best hands. Hopefully though he won’t need surgery but I’ll find out on Monday. Also, the other thing is the severity of his neurological issues and developmental delays; we won’t know how severe that will be until he’s born and we just have to watch him and see. But for now, we can just hope his heart will be ok and that things stay minor. Fingers crossed!
Later I had the first fetal diagnostics and the nurse said everything seems to look ok so far, but the doctor still has to go over the results but I think everything’s fine at the moment. His heart rate is still on the low end but it’s still within the normal range for now. I just have to make sure I relax and not do anything to bring on more contractions. I had the eco u/s with the pediatric cardiologist afterwards and there might be a lil hole in the bottom chamber of his heart but pulmonary vessel the valve size irregularities and stuff is ok and he said there is nothing to be concerned about for now. So that means we can plan to still delivery at Hoag and Leo won’t have to go into immediate survey after he’s born, so that’s wonderful! We will still need to do an Eco u/s when he is born but for now it’s ok! He is such a little fighter, making me so proud of him already! All these unknown situations and the whole waiting game is very nerve wreckng and the health and happiness of my Leo is constantly on my mind and is one of my many focuses in my daily routine. It’s hard to be positive, stress free, and happy when I’m constantly worrying about this, but I just have to keep on truckin’ along in hopes of knowing he will be in my arms soon.
On another note, here’s my latest crafting adventure for my Lily pad, a crocheted musical unicorn that plays the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow! I had it all finished and it was sitting on Lily’s little couch waiting for her when she got home from school, and she noticed it right away and asked if it was for her! I said yes of course and that I made it for her, and showed her how to pull the tail for the music to play. When she heard the music, it got her even more excited and she said “oh thank you mommy!!” and gave me a hug and kiss! Spending all that time and putting in all my love into this little projects for her is all made worth it by her sweet reactions. She would hug the unicorn while watching her shows and randomly she would give it piggyback rides too and then make me do it and tell me she wants to take a picture of me doing so haha! She loves to pull the string to play the music. Such a genius invention, the pull string music box! I’m so glad she likes!
This past Sunday night, we went into the hospital because my OBGYN told me that if my contractions are about 10 mins apart then I should go in. So that’s what happened and I went in, but the doctors there didn’t seem to be too concerned and sent me back home. I had my fetal diagnostics the next morning and was monitored for half an hour and got 3 contractions as well but it seemed to be fine, which is a good thing since I’m so close to 37 weeks (full term). I’m almost there, just hang in a little longer Leo! Tonight I had another scare where the contractions almost got down to every 5 minutes, and I was so uncomfortable and in pain that at one point I was shaking and crying from it all. Lily saw I as hurting and ran to me and said “mommy you are hurting? It’s ok, do you want a bandaid? It will make you feel better!” I told her I’m ok and she gave me a sweet hug and kiss. I love her to pieces! I decided to lay down to see if th contractions like get better but after ten minutes my acid reflux got the best of me and I ran for the bathroom and threw up pretty much everything I ate today. Oh the glamour of pregnancy! Luckily though, the contractions calmed down and I’m going to tough it out for the night. I have my fetal diagnostics again in the morning along with my OBGYN appointment afterwards so I will see what happens then. (Tomorrow I’ll be 9 months with my little prince Leo. I will update this later with my 9 month baby bump photo on I find time to take a photo this weekend, so stay tuned!)
Update: (5/23/2015) As of this past Thursday, I am 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. My belly measures 33cm, a little small but it’s ok. I’ve also gained a total of 7 lbs… Progress right? Haha. My fetal diagnostics went well and baby is looking good in terms of heart beat! I still have contractions but not enough for them to be concerned. My amniotic fluids measured at 21 which is good, anything between 8-25 is normal. So Leo just hang in there a little longer!
“No one will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you [and your sister] are the only one who know what my heart sounds like from the inside.”
Journey to meet Leo continues…
One of my many hobbies is crafting, and I like it not only because it’s fun, therapeutic, and I get to be creative and exercise that part of my brain, but because I know that all my time, and love I put into my projects, will totally be worth it when I see the excitement and smile on my baby’s faces when I give it to them, or when later the grow up and realized that I made it for them, since newborns don’t really understand much about gifts yet haha. So when I was pregnant with Lily, I made a bunch of things (you can see them below) and I figured it’s time to start making things for Leo! I actually knitted a bear for him while I was pregnant with Lily because I knew we would have a 2nd child eventually, so I made a similar style stuff animal for the 2nd child, and make it gender neutral. I crocheted a little beanie for him with ear flaps and baby lamb ears and braids, and letter blocks that spelled out his name, just like the ones I made for Lily. My favorite thing that I made for Leo though is this musical baby lamb that I crocheted, and when you pull it’s tail, it plays the musical tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! It’s so cute and I can’t wait to give it to my baby Leo. I’m thinking about making one for Lily but with a different animal since it’s so cute and adorable! I found the pull string music box on ebay and this particular one, you can choose which song it plays too, so for Lily’s I’ll pick a different song so they can have their own unique musical stuff animal. There’s a video to demonstrate the musical lamb below, ENJOY!
Here are some crafts that I made for Lily when I was awaiting her arrival! The first collage image is all done by knitting. I remember going to a specialty yarn store to buy the pink yarn for the dragon’s body since I wanted to find a yarn that had random specs of color in it. Making these little crafts for my babies is very relaxing and fun and I know they’ll appreciate the time, effort and love I put into them one day!
It’s the little moments that makes life big. We decided to have a little sprinkle celebration for our little prince Leo. Earlier this month we had a lunch dim sum celebration with our immediate families to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our baby boy, and yesterday we had a small intimate gathering with some friends at our house. We didn’t want to do anything big or fancy, no gifts needed, no games or elaborate party decorations, we just wanted to enjoy the company of our great friends before the arrival of our second little bundle of joy. However, I did want to have a small little dessert table, so I decided to make a little castle diaper cake for Leo for fun since I never made a diaper cake before, and I figured it’ll be cute to have a little castle for our little prince. I also made koala bear mobile and block letters that spell out Leo’s name for Leo’s that will be used o decorate Leo’s crib area as well! I like having practical and multi-functioning things, in this case, my crafts can be used as party display decorations and then decorations for Leo’s nursery corner in our room! I made two flavors of macarons as well, matcha green tea and vanilla macarons. We also bought a yummy cheesecake from costco as well and got to reuse the cake stand that my dad made for Lily’s 2nd birthday party last year! The backdrop curtain I used to Leo’s dessert table display, was actually part of our laundry room curtains that I made awhile ago, hooray for being resourceful! We frames Leo’s recent ultrasound photo for the center of the display as well and even though it’s the back side of his head and body, it’s a still a cute picture of our baby boy!
It is important to me that we celebrate the little moments, even when there’s nothing special about any given days, it’s what you make of it that makes it special. I’m happy to know that one day I can show Leo how much is was already so loved before he even arrived, and that we took the time out of our busy crazy lives to celebrate this journey to meet him. No matter what challenges we will face in the future, it won’t take away the love we all have for him. Thank you to everyone who took the time to come out and celebrate Leo, it means a great deal to us. it’s nice to know what we are not the only ones excited for Leo’s arrival. Thank you all for the diapers as well! We feel very grateful and blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who continually provide us with so much love and support for our precious baby Leo. You can view more pictures HERE.
Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. Journey to meet our Leo prince continues…
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
For a while now, I started to get confident in our situation with Leo and feel like I’m ready to handle whatever comes our way. I avoided shopping for clothes and things for Leo because we didn’t know what to expect in terms of life expectancy, but as time progressed, it seemed like we will be able to have a life with him. So I started to shop for Leo and allowing myself to get excited for his arriving, especially when I picture him wearing the cute little onesies and everything. We started to make plans for his arrival like picking out the perfect outfit for him to wear for when he leaves the hospital and getting ideas for his baptism/1 month party. It made me happy to be able to think about those things and plan, and even buying swaddles blankets for him was exciting for me!
Then last Wednesday night, I started to spot a little bit, and a little bit in the morning. So I called my OBGYN and they asked if I was experiencing and cramping or contractions too, and I said I was. So they suggested I come in to L&D (Labor and Delivery) to get monitored to make sure I’m not going to preterm labor. After 2 hours of monitoring, they picked up 3 contractions and the doctor told me there’s a high chance that I can go into preterm labor as soon as a week, or 5 weeks, or just any time now! She said that babies with chromosome disorders have very little chance of survival if born premature, and she told me to talk to my doctors to discuss the game plan for if I do go into preterm labor. It was very shocking to hear, especially when she asked me if the situation arises, if I’m “prepared to watch my baby die on the screen”, or in the incubator, or in your arms, as our options if we go into preterm labor. It was very harsh but I guess they have to be realistic and no sugar coat reality of things, so it was definitely hard to hear but I guess the reality is hard in general. Sugar coating only misleads the heart, so even though it’s upsetting to hear, it had to be said I suppose. It broke my heart to hear that there’s a high chance he might not make it now, I felt like we just can’t seem to catch a break from all this craziness. Do we keep planning for a future with our son? Or do we just put everything on pause in case the worst case scenario happens? I was very torn and emotionally spent from everything, I needed time to just take in the news and reorganize my thoughts. The doctors also suggest I stop going into work and so I’ll be working from home now until birth time. Until then, I just have to keep Leo inside as long as possible and take it easy and hope the contractions don’t increase. After a couple days of deep thinking, I decided to just keep having hope and proceed my plans for having a life with my son. As each day passes with him still in my belly, it’s one day closer to a higher chance of his survival. The phrase “Time is precious” never meant more to me until now. We aren’t ready for you to come out yet Leo, you still have a lot of baking to do!
Yesterday I was very nervous going into Leo’s growth ultrasound. The unknown is always scary, but luckily, after a long ultrasound session, it went well for the most part! He currently measures about 2lbs 14oz – 33% with a heart beat rate of 119bpm. He is facing head down, so that’s a good sign for having a natural delivery, however if something comes up, a c-section is still a possibility. They looked at his heart extensively and the Dr. said he’s concerned that one of his heart blood vessels might be dilated still, but it’s really hard to tell in the ultrasound, but if that’s the case, he’ll just need some extra treatment after birth. Either way, Leo will most likely have a scan after he’s born anyways to take a better look at this heart and look at things that the ultrasound can’t pick up. His stomach is still on the small side, which the doctor said is expected, but it’s not too much of a big issue yet. Other than that, there are no new developments, which is a good thing. Ultrasounds can’t detect every single birth defect, but at least for now, there’s no major issues that can be seen, and of course we won’t know what neurological issues he’ll have until he’s born as well. So we just have to keep hoping for the minimal amount of issues possible.
Today I am 30 weeks and 1 day, and I had my doctor’s appointment with my OBGYN and Leo’s heart rate measured at 140 bpm (big jump from the day before) and my belly measured at 30.5cm. Growth wise we are on track, which is a very good sign since they expected my belly to not be as big considering the circumstances, and the fact that I’ve only gained 2 pounds since my start weight. But as long as baby is growing, that’s all that matters! I’ll be going into my appointments every two weeks now, and in a month, I’ll have my next growth ultrasound and we will have a meeting with all the doctors, nursing staff, genetic counselor and doctor, and other members of the hospital staff from NICU department, etc. to go over the game plan for Leo’s arrival. Around that time, I’ll be going in to L&D for fetal monitoring for an hour once a week as well to check up on Leo to make sure everything is okay in terms of amnio fluids, his heart rate, breathing, etc. I am still getting about 6-8 random contractions a day, but at least it hasn’t increased in frequency. So until then, I just have to relax and keep Leo inside as long as possible! Stay in momma’s belly sweet Leo, at least 7 more weeks to go! I am feeling hopeful, despite our new reality and scare from last week. Also, during the ultrasound, Leo decides to be camera shy just like his sister, and didn’t want to show his face, so enjoy his lovely backside in the ultrasound images below!
“The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”
Allan K. Chalmers
Journey to meet Leo continues…
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou. “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis.
On the morning of October 18th, I found out we’re having a precious baby and it brought me to tears of joy! We decided that after two miscarriages, I cannot bare the pain of loss again and so this would be the last time we will try for a little miracle, a little sibling for Lily. So once I saw that positive test, I instantly cried and was overwhelmed with the hopes and joys of what’s to come! However, I didn’t know we were about to embark a very challenging and emotional journey to meet our precious little addition to our family. We went in for our first ultrasound when I was supposedly 7 weeks pregnant, and all I wanted to see was a strong heart beat. When I watched the screen, and saw an empty gestational sac, my heart sank. It was like deja vu all over again. I couldn’t fight back the tears, and the voice of the radiologist saying that I’m possibly just earlier than I thought, and that this doesn’t necessarily mean anything, was very faint and distant to my ears, and I just felt like these words are just from a broken record. We waited a long agonizing 2 weeks till our follow up ultrasound. To our amazement and surprise, there on the screen was our precious baby, head, hands, toes and all! He had a strong heart beat rate of My heart exploded from happiness and my tears are now of joy! As we left the hospital, I told Khoa that I bet this one’s a boy because only boys can cause this much trouble already haha.
After this, of course, we started planning for the future and preparing for our 2nd child’s arrival! I experienced lots of morning sickness, probably a little worse than with Lily because I ended up losing about 8-9 pounds in the first 4 months of this pregnancy, and didn’t start gaining my appetite back until 5 months into the pregnancy. However, every time I got sick, I just felt that I’d gladly puke into the toilet knowing that this is a good thing and that our baby is just getting that much stronger and bigger! The worse I felt physically, the better I felt emotional. Strange how that works huh? Anyways, it was time for our first trimester NT screening. I came into this ultrasound worry free and was super excited to see our baby again! We did the screening and the radiologist at times would make sounds like “hmmm” and then look concerned now and then. I tried not to think too much of it, until she told us that she’s trying to measure the baby’s neck again because it’s very “borderline.” She then left and gave the images to the doctor, and they came back and told us that the baby tested positive for chromosomal issues. My heart sank… What does that mean? Our baby’s neck was measured at 3.6, which is 0.1 over the normal measurement. It means our baby had a 20% chance of a chromosome disorder, but look, there’s still 80% chance that everything will be ok! So immediately after the ultrasound, they sent us next door to see a genetic counselor where she told us all the possible chromosome disorders and birth defects that our baby could possibly have, and then gave us several testing options. It was very overwhelming and hard to hear. However, we decided to do a blood test, which is just a screening test but at least it’s non invasive and safer and is 99% accurate. The silver lining from doing this blood test is that we would find out the gender of our precious baby. We would get the results within 2 weeks, so until then, we just had to focus on that 80%, and the eagerness of finding out whether we’d be having baby brother or baby sister for Lily! All we can do is try our best to stay positive and have hope that our precious baby will be ok.
2 weeks slowly came to pass, and I remember I was at work when I got the call from the genetics counselor. I picked up the phone, and she asked me where I was and if I can talk. I felt a little uneasy after hearing that…and so I stepped outside to talk, I can remember it was a nice sunny day too. She told me the results and said our baby tested positive for trisomy 18 and proceeded to tell me what that means and what to expect. She told us most babies who do survive till birth, only live for a few hours, maybe a couple days at best, but they’ll have lots of birth defects, especially heart defects, and maybe 1% of babies live up to a year old. Tears streamed down my face, I felt like all my hopes and dreams for our child has been ripped away from me, my heart shattered into tiny little irreparable pieces… I felt so much pain and sadness, for our baby boy.
We were giving the option to end the pregnancy, but we were allowed to do the amniocentesis test first, which is a diagnostic test and 100% accurate. Once we get the results from that, we can then make our final decision. Until the results came, so many questions and thoughts came into mind with so many difficult emotions to deal face. We really wanted a son since it would be nice to have one of each, but another daughter would have been nice as well since Lily can have a little sister. Regardless of gender, this is our baby, my son, my little miracle. How can we give up on him just because his future is so uncertain, and would involve deep tragic pain and hardship? We had to think about what’s best for not just us as a family, but for Lily too. Do I want Lily to see us go through such hard times, and not fully understand what’s going, and why her baby brother is here but only possibly for a few hours and then never see him again? Would we want to put ourselves through that heartache of having to bury our newborn? I understand the reasons why people would choose that option, but I did not want to do anything that I would regret, and I definitely didn’t want to do anything that would lead to the unanswered questions of “what if…”. Ultimately, we decided that no matter what the amnio test says, we will not give up on our son. Even if I can hold him, and see him breathe and feel his warmth in my arms, just for a brief moment, the pain would be worth it. I’ve loved him from the start, and I will love him to the end, and beyond.
I took the amnio test, and before doing so, they did another ultrasound. From the ultrasound, our baby looked perfect! There were no markers that showed any sign of chromosome disorders, even his neck size was perfect! Just look at our son on that screen, moving, sucking his thumb, kicking, stretching, being so active, and normal, made my heart melt and put a huge smile to my face. No matter what the tests says or what the outcome may be, I see him and he’s already perfect in my eyes. It’s hard not to have our hopes up after seeing such a great ultrasound screening, but the genetics counselor told us that at this point, a normal ultrasound doesn’t mean much since 60% of these babies don’t show any signs yet. However, it’s hard not to get carried away. After all, I’m a hopeful person and focusing on the positive is what I do, so I allowed myself to just be in the moment and at that time, everything was just fine.
Finally another long and anticipated 2 weeks go by and I get the call. The genetics counselor calls and tells us that our baby has been confirmed with Tetrasomy 18p, rather than Trisomy 18, and also making this a high risk pregnancy. It is a super rare disorder with not much literature on it, and therefore we can only only wait and see how this will affect our son. Our genetics counselor told me that because this is so rare, it is up to us to be prepared and educate ourselves the best we can, and that a normal pediatrician would not be familiar with this disorder, and therefore our baby would have to see a geneticists at a big hospital for all his pediatric needs. The good news is that he will live longer and we can possibly have a good amount of time with him in this lifetime, and have a chance to make wonderful memories with him. I am so so so grateful for that. However, since the range of severity of this disorder is so broad, we can only hope for the minimal defects possible, and hope that he won’t have to struggle too much to have a happy and healthy life. We know his life will be a challenging one, but it is up to us to make sure we do our research and provide him with the best care possible and love him and give him the life he deserves.
So next up is the echocardiogram ultrasound, an extensive ultrasound that takes a closer and detailed look at the baby’s heart. Due to this emotional rollercoaster we’ve been on, I told myself I’d go into this with no expectations and whatever they find, if anything, we will be able to handle it. So after a long while with lots of silence and waiting while the radiologist did her thing, they told us that they found a few minor things. The baby’s stomach is a little small but it’s nothing to be worried about for now. His left hand was clenched at times, which is a sign of neurological issues, we just won’t know the degree of severity until he’s born. Also at certain angles, it looked like there was a tiny hole in his heart, and that some of the blood vessels in his heart weren’t the right size, but if that’s the case, then the issues would be minor, nothing major. I’m glad they didn’t find any major issues, but going from perfect ultrasound to this, it makes the situation more real. I just hope no more issues develop, of if they do, it stays minor. Here’s to hoping…and waiting…and wishing for the best.
This journey so far has been incredibly emotion and difficult, filled with lots of joy and sadness. I find myself crying now and then because of our situation, but then I feel guilty and sad that our son feels the pain in my heart and the sadness from my tears. So after I go through the dips, I tell myself to be happy for him and to try to enjoy this journey and make happy memories, so he can feel how much I do love him, and how happy he already makes me, just by being there, kicking inside me, breathing, and being mine. So, I chose to celebrate him and celebrate his process and milestones.
We put together a little gender reveal party for our baby, and for those who couldn’t make it to the reveal, I put together this little video for them. It’s hard to tell but it’s blue confetti. Lily really liked to blow the confetti and see it fly everywhere and kept wanting to do it again! I’m glad it was a fun activity for her and she even participated in the count down too before blowing the confetti! I don’t know why the lighting is inconsistent but you get the idea! Thanks Leilani for capturing this for us with your fancy slow-mo camera feature on your phone!
Also, here’s a video from our gender reveal celebration. Blue silly string and confetti poppers!!! Thanks Mieng for letting us use your phone for this slowmo video as well! Sorry it’s so dark…the sun was moving too fast for us! I feel very lucky and grateful to have such wonderful people in our lives who love and care for us and are there to support us through this crazy journey.
I have my next ultrasound in a couple weeks. Until then, I’m just going to take it one day at a time, and do things that makes me happy, to make my son happy. I don’t understand why these things happen in life, and I don’t need to know why. I just know that it happened, and I have to face it the best I can. People often tell me how strong and brave I am, for making the decisions we make and for handling it the way we do. Yet, I sometimes feel the complete opposite, and I think that’s just human. There’s this nice saying that goes “Strength of character isn’t always about how much you can handle before you break, it’s also about how much you can handle after you’ve broken.” I do feel like I’ve been broken many times, from my 2 losses, and the multiple heart breaking news for our son, and I feel like my heart’s been broken many times and cannot be put back together as the darkness consumes me. Lily is my brightest light and she is my strength. She makes me brave and strong and gives me the will to move forward in life, with a smile on my face, and love in my heart. Also, thanks to Khoa for being my rock and making sure I’m not going through this alone. Soon, our son, our precious baby Leo, will be that light for me as well. He’s already 26.5 weeks of the way there and will be here in no time! =). Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain. Without rain, there wouldn’t be rainbows.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. – Stephen Hawkings
I believe in unconditional love.
My adventures with my little prince Leo continues…
Lily has been developing quite a sassy and entertaining personality. I can never get enough of my Lily pad, and I seriously can just watch her all day with the biggest smile on my face because she also does and says the darnest things! If you’re bored, or just want to brighten up your day, here are a bunch of videos for you to enjoy! Warning: these videos will force you to smile and melt your heart! =)
Here’s one of Lily laughing so hard that she had to pee haha!
Lily (2.5 years old) uses training chopsticks for the first time! I’m so impressed with her because she picked it up in a matter of minutes!! Before I started recording, she said “I did it!” and was so excited!! I’m so proud of you my lily pad!!!
Lily (2.5 years old) learns her first Christmas song, Jingle Bells! I love her voice and enthusiasm!!! So cute!!
Lily (2 years 8 months old) is enjoying eating her orange slices with mommy and being silly!! She cracks me up!!
Lily (2 years 8 months old) really loves music and singing and likes to play on her guitar! Check out her awesomely cute talent!!! I love her to pieces!!
Lily (2 years 9 months) loves to talk and sometimes it’s gibberish but it’s still pretty cute. Here’s a video of Lily reading a book called Animals Around The World (thanks Sarah for the book!) and she decides to read it her way to us! I can listen to her all day, she’s so hilarious!! I love her to pieces!!
Lily (2 years 9 months) loves to sing and picks up songs really quick now. She sang this song before but it hasn’t been this clear. It’s really cute, but why does she have an accent when she says “master”? Haha! I think it’s from the youtube video from the UK that she watches and they tend to have an accent when they sing…Either way, it’s super cute. Also, when she weighed herself on the scale, she said she’s 24 pounds, and she really is 24 pounds, amazing! High 5 Lily!
I’m a little behind on my blogging lately, but better late than never! Here’s what we did during the holidays 2014!
This year for Thanksgiving I decided to take on the challenge of cooking my very first turkey! I brined it the night before with broth and seasoning and gave that bird a salt rub down massage too haha. It was pretty simple after that, just wash the turkey the next day when I’m ready to cook it and then put some season on it, stuff it with veggies , bay leaf and thyme, and surround the pan with veggies as well. Then just let the oven do the rest of the work with the occasional basting every hour or so. The turkey came out delicious and was a big success and I’m very glad I got to share it with some wonderful people!! I’m definitely thankful for many things in my life, but most of all, I’m thankful to be going through this crazy journey of life with the people I love.
In December, we took lily to the Queen Mary’s Chill for the first time to see the cool ice sculptures and walk around the Queen Mary as well. There were 2 million pounds of ice sculptures, even a 10 foot ice slide, and a bunch of fun activities that Lily was unfortunately too young and small for, but we will definitely come back for her to enjoy them. They had tubing, a carousel, swings, ice skating, and games too! The Ice Kingdom was 9 degrees inside and so they gave us all parkas to wear over our normal clothes, but be sure to bring gloves or else taking pictures in there will turn your hands into popsicles! It was a very “cool” experience though =P. We then took her to see some fun Christmas lights at IlluminOcean at Dana Point. She loved going through the tunnel of lights where they had bubble stations and blew bubbles everywhere. She also really liked looking at the light sculptures and pointing out all the sea creatures too! It’s amazing how lights can bring so much joy to a toddle, it’s very nice to see her eyes light up from wonder and happiness =).
Then all the Christmas festivities began and it was nice to be with all our family during this time of year. You can view more pictures from all our Christmas celebrations from this year HERE!
For New Years, we took Lily to her second trip to the snow and had a fun little getaway at Lake Arrowhead with some friends! We all stayed in a cozy little cabin and got to enjoy each other’s cooking and spend quality time with one another. It was fun to see the kids play with each other and create wonderful new memories. This is also the first time Lily was old enough to actually play in the snow, instead of just sit there and not know what to do. She LOVED sledding, thanks Emmy for letting her play with it, and it was so cute to see her pull the sled back up the hill be herself and climb on, hold on tight and ready to sled down with the biggest smile and silliest giggle down the hill. It melts me heart to see her have so much fun! You can view more pictures from our trip HERE!
Lily on Zullily.com for Infantino’s Stay and Play Fun Flower! Thanks Chi Hai for the discovery!! You can go to the Girls, Boys, or Toys category in zulilly and find her there! Here is the direct link!
This is a big year for us with lots of life milestones, but turning 30 is definitely a milestone that stands out for sure. For my birthday this year, my work threw me a nice party, with a giant cupcake cake! They totally went all out this year with decorations too! Then I got to celebrate with my other half, since she come down from Canada so we can celebrate together!! I then had a nice family day at the Irvine Great Park, then a nice intimate dinner at the Orange County Mining Company, which had an amazing sunset view of the city. For Khoa’s birthday celebration, I threw him a raving dance party at our clubhouse with a bartender and DJ, with laser lights and tons of glow in the dark accessories. We also had nice dinners with our families, still waiting on the dinner with Khoa’s parents for his birthday, but that will happen soon. At the end of the day, parties are fun, but it’s all about being able to celebrate with the people who love you most. Being surrounded by so many great people, feeling the love and care in the air, really makes you feel like you’re so rich in life. Who needs presents when you have this lovely bunch of family and friends? You guys make life so much more fun and better =). Also, it’s so cute and fun to see Lily getting the hang of blowing out candles now, she can blow out all our candles from now on, we’re definitely gonna need help doing so! Haha.
Birthdays are always a good time to sit and reflect on what you’ve done with your life the past year or so and see what you’ve accomplished, or not accomplished haha, and milestone birthdays tend to make people heavily analyze what they’ve done with their lives since their last milestone birthday. As for me, I feel like so much has happened in my 20’s, but the best part was obviously 2 years ago when my sweet Lily pad was born. The last year in my 20’s was probably the toughest year of my life, and everything I knew about life and myself got challenged and I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever recover from it. However, although it was the hardest year of my life, I am very grateful for my experiences and what came from it, because there’s a silver lining to everything, even if it may not seem clear at first. I’ve found a new love and appreciation for life, and the phrase “cherish each moment” have never meant so much to me than it does now. Life is about going on adventures with your love ones, battling the bumps on the road together, and getting through and onto the next adventure. Creating fond new memories is what I aim to do in this next new chapter of my life and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for me. Life isn’t perfect, but as long as I have my angels, my lily pad, and my love with me, I’m one lucky and happy gal! =)
You can check out more pictures from my birthday HERE and from Khoa’s birthday HERE. Also, check out this video of Lily, Emmy and Skye having the time of their lives at Khoa’s dance party bday! They’re so stinking cute!!
This year for Halloween, Lily casted her spell on all of us with her bewitching costume that my aunt gave her! Lily got to participate in her school’s Halloween parade for the first time, and she did so well! She is quite a character! Check out the video below!
We also took Lily to Mickey Mouse’s Trick or Treat Halloween Party at Disneyland for the first time this year too! Lily dressed up as a Minion, one of her favorite characters, and totally got spoiled by all the candy Disneyland gave out! It was literally handfuls of candy at each station! What was nice was that they didn’t just give out chocolate candies, but they also had healthy alternatives like baby carrot sticks, apple slices and yogurt craisins! Way ta go Disneyland! We will definitely come back next year! You can view more pictures here. We also took Lily to go trick or treating for the first time at the South Coast Plaza Mall. I like it a lot since it’s so safe and easy and Lily got the hang of it really quickly, and even said “trick or treat” before they gave her the candy!
We also took Lily to the pumpkin patch again at the Irvine Regional Park with her friends Emmy and Skye! She enjoyed riding the fake pony, rolling the pumpkins around, and playing with her friends more than the pumpkin patch itself. Maybe next year she’ll be big enough to drive the little motor tractors and enjoy doing more activities! She’ll probably be able to carve her first pumpkin next year! That’ll be something fun to look forward to! You can see more pictures and videos here.
Last year we lit 1 candle, now this year we light 2. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about my angels. They were only here for a little time but they brought a lot of joy and happiness to our lives. They forever changed my life, our life, and I am a better mother, and better person because of them. They taught me so much about compassion and love, and I will be forever grateful for them and how they’ve touched my heart so deeply.
So I invite you all today, on October 15th, to light a candle at 7pm, for at least an hour, and participate in the worldwide “Wave of Light” in observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness/Remembrance Day. So many people worldwide suffer the pain and loss of their lost babies, and too many do it in silence. The Wave of Light is a way to help spread awareness, to honor our angels, and to support all those grieving, since the grieving never ends, it is a part of who we are now. We will never forget our angels and the love and joy they brought to our lives in the brief time that they were here. I will light my candles for my angels, and all the other angels smiling down on us.
“We quickly find there are no words to describe the experience of losing a child. For those who have not lost a child, no explanation will do. For those who have, no explanation is necessary” ~ Mary Lingle
”The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, suffering, struggle, loss… and who have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep, loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
For my angels, a poem by an unknown author with a few modifications:
To “let go” does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To “let go” is not to cut myself off,
it is the realisation I can’t control another.
To “let go” is to admit powerlessness,
which means that the outcome is not in my hands.
To “let go” is not to care for,
but to care about.
To “let go” is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To “let go” is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To “let go” is not to be in the middle, arranging the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own destinies,
To “let go” is not to be protective,
but to permit another to face reality.
To “let go” is not to deny,
but to accept.
To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take every day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.
To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To “let go” is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To “let go” is to fear less and love more.
It’s been a whole year yesterday since my first angel left us. Instead of filling my day with sadness, I decided to do something to positive in honor of my angels. We got some balloons, and two special balloons for my angels, and I wrote the words “I love you” “my Angels” on the them. I chose yellow for them because they symbolizes pure happiness and are my shining stars. We went to a nice park and sat/laid there on the grass, watching them move peacefully move with the wind. After a moment, it was time to let them go. It was very hard to me, I know they’re just balloons, but they symbolize something much more to me, my angels. I never got to say goodbye, and I never wanted to say goodbye, so it’s just an “until we meet again” instead. It took all my strength to let go of the strings, it felt like a part of me flew away with the balloons, but I know they are flying high to a better place. Although it’s only been a year for my first angel, this was for both of my angels. As I look up to the skies, I know they are smiling down on me. I love you my sweet angel, I always will.
I lastly leave with some really beautiful poems, some by unknown authors, and some modified by me.
Last night two little angels
Came and whispered in my ear.
And this is what they told me
“Don’t worry Mommy, we’re right here.
It feels like a long time
Since we last felt your touch.
And we wanted you to know
We miss you, Daddy, & Lily so very much.
We know that you love us
and think of us every day.
And it makes us very sad
that we had to go away.
But we know that our memory
will never ever die.
And we know that sometimes
when you think of us you cry.
But don’t worry Mommy
There’s so much here to do.
And every day remember
We are watching over you.”
Then my angels kissed me
As tears rolled down my face.
And I knew we’ll all be together again
Another time. Another place.
AN ANGEL’S KISS
We go through life so often
Not stopping to enjoy the day,
And we take each one for granted
As we travel on our way.
We never stop to measure
Anything we just might miss,
But if the wind should blow by softly
You’ll feel an ANGELS KISS.
A kiss that is sent from Heaven
A kiss from up above,
A kiss that is very special
From someone that you love.
For in your pain and sorrow
An ANGELS KISS will help you through,
This kiss is very private
For it is meant for only you.
So when your hearts are heavy
And filled with tears and pain,
And no one can console you
Remember once again…..
About the ones you grieve for
Because you sadly miss
And the gentle breeze you took for granted
Was just……… “AN ANGELS KISS”
By Peggie Bouse
I REMEMBER YOU
The world may never notice
If a rosebud doesn’t bloom
Or even pause to wonder
if the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be
Touches the World in some small way
For all eternity.
The little ones we longed for
Were swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do
Every beating of my heart says
“I Remember and I Love You”