Anytime there is an occasion (birthday, holiday, anniversary, etc.) it is usually a time where family, friends and loved ones gather to enjoy good times, make memories that will be cherished for years to come. Regardless of the occasion, I always enjoy being with family and friends who are with me to enjoy these great moments. I especially look forward the Christmas season because I have grown to love the idea of helping others out in the hopes that they will have a Merry Christmas just like I typically do. I know that as much as I want to believe that there are plenty of good times and moments to go around, there are also hard times for some during that time of year. Fortunately for me, I really didn’t have too much of the hard times and bad moments during the Christmas season for most of my life…until recently.
Sometime in the month of November 2010, my wife rushed to me one evening with the wonderful news that we were expecting our first child. We were both excited and incredibly happy with this. The two of us talked about wanting to be parents since we were dating and believed that we were both ready (being married for a year and a half at the time), and it looked like it was going to become a reality (in approximately 9 months). Being overwhelmed with joy of the news, I posted something on my social networking page and got a ton of congrats; we also informed our parents of this news and they were excited as we were. At the time, I was a seasonal worker at a warehouse in town in my last month of my seasonal period, so this news gave me a huge motivation to do the best that I could, hoping to get a full-time job offer. It was a busy holiday season, but I felt I did my best at what I was able to control. The rest I simply laid at God’s feet, knowing that He would handle the rest. Christmas day was great for us; we were with family opening up gifts and thinking that next Christmas would be our first Christmas as a family with a little baby boy or girl. However, on the day after Christmas, my wife and I had to go to the ER because of her complaining of bad cramps. Doctors determined that it was a near miscarriage and needed some follow-up appointments. The whole time in the ER was such a blur, but what I do remember is seeing the baby in the ultrasound. Yes, it was simply the size of a sweet pea approximately 8 weeks into the pregnancy, but I saw a baby with a beating heartbeat. The minute I laid eyes into that baby, I fell in love with him/her. I knew in that moment that I couldn’t wait to become a father. A few days after Christmas and this incident at the ER, I did receive a phone call from the place I worked and accepted their job offer, which was an answered prayer from what I saw as a year of uncertainty of what I would be doing to provide for my wife and I. We were both relieved, but it was short-lived. A day before new year’s eve, we were back in the ER with the same symptoms, and the doctors did another ultrasound but were very hesitant to show us anything about the ultrasounds or pictures of the baby. We waited for what seemed like days for someone to let us know what they found. At that time, I prayed to save the pregnancy. I knew that my wife wanted to be a mother more than anything and I just wanted her to be a happy parent with a bundle of joy in her arms.
Then shortly after that prayer, the doctors came back with the news. They did confirm that we did lose the baby. We were both deeply saddened by this because we knew that our plans for parenthood would have to be delayed for now, but what I don’t understand to this day is how and why I took it worse than my wife. Granted, we both were frustrated and sad for a good month or so, but it has taken me several months to really get over it (and there are moments when I am an emotional wreck). Now, before the doctors confirmed this horrible news, our follow-up appointment doctor said something similar to this, but I was in complete denial. My thought to this was that he shouldn’t be saying this to a couple who is expecting for the first time and dash their hopes and dreams of being parents. But thinking back on it now, he knew what was coming and simply told us of what we were to expect.
The ride home from the ER had to have been the longest car ride that I could ever remember. Maybe it was because it was late at night (in the early hours of new year’s eve), or that I didn’t have the radio on and my wife and I kept silent for the majority of the trip, but it was simply saddening coming home knowing that for the time being it would be just us, along with our cats, living in the place we were in at the time. Waking up in that late morning, I knew that it was new year’s eve and everyone was in a festive mood, but I sure as heck wasn’t festive. I mean why would I be? We just lost a baby for crying out loud. But we did go to both our parents house to say happy new year and get some support from our families.
In the weeks after the loss of the baby, I felt that only family and some friends should know of our unfortunate news. I know that, in my excitement, posting the news on my social network page was appropriate because I wanted the world to know that we were expecting, but I definitely didn’t want to post about us losing it. It’s just something that shouldn’t be announced to the whole world. Yet, what I found interesting was that hardly anyone who congratulated us of the news months ago noticed that my wife and I weren’t giving updates on our pregnancy. Some of my friends and co-workers did ask, in which I had to give them the news on what happened, but it was such a small percent compared to the many people who congratulated my wife and me. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only time we have gone through a lost pregnancy. In June of 2011, my wife and I lost our second pregnancy of 9 weeks.
I feel that the only thing that will make life better is to have a pregnancy go full term and have a healthy boy or girl. The only explanation I can make to have this logic sound reasonable is a sports analogy. Up until 2004, the last time the Boston Red Sox won a World Series Championship was in 1918. During that long 86 year drought, they had to endure several collapses and mishaps that prevented them from reaching the World Series. Feeling cursed, they simply had faith and pressed on. During the 2004 playoffs, they came back from a 0-3 series deficit against their rival New York Yankees to become the first team in history to win a 7 game series after being down 3 games in the series. After winning the World Series nearly a week later, a member of the media asked one of the players something along the lines of, “What does 86 years mean to you now?” in which the player responded, “It doesn’t matter anymore.” Now, what I am going through is rough. To see others around me become parents before myself makes it hurt a little more. But all of this pain, frustration, sadness and a hint of anger at times will be just a distant memory for me the day I am blessed to hold a bundle of joy in my arms and take that first family picture with my wife in the hospital, who delivered without any complications. I may be a bit ahead of myself, but I really look forward to the day that this happens so I can put this current set back and enjoy my expanded family.
Until that day happens though, I have enjoy and cherish what I have now. I have always been a “Glass half full” kind of guy, and I recently shifted my perspective and way of thinking. I have my awesome wife, my family, a job, and I feel blessed to have that in my life. My wife and I have discussed the thought of adoption (if there is a chance that we are unable to have a full term pregnancy). Although I would prefer to be a father to a child that is biologically mine, I am open to the idea of adopting a child and raising him/her as my own.
To sort of put a bow on this whole story/thoughts on this issue, I want to share a few new developments. So, the title says ‘A Tribute’, and I am working on a few things that, in my mind, is a way of remembering them and keeping them in my heart. For one, we will participate in the March of Dimes walk in our town this year (like we did last year for baby #1). My wife has been a supporter of the March of Dimes cause and now it means more for the both of us to do the walk and support that organization. We recently did a balloon tribute, where we released a collection of balloons into the air on the year anniversary we lost baby #1 (and we plan to do the same for baby #2 in June of this year). I am also in the middle of arranging a collection of band music (based on video game tunes). One of the tune’s, which will be revealed later, has a personal meaning to me now because of the events over the past year. But the one tribute that means so much to my wife and I is that we gave them names. We had names picked while my wife was pregnant with the first baby (one for if it was a boy and one for if it was a girl), but we feel that we should give them other names as well. After some thought to this, we picked them and I will reveal them in the next few sentences: “To my daughter Libby Hannah Hermosa and my son Samuel Gene Hermosa, there is never a day that passes by that I don’t think of you. Your mother and I love you, and we look forward to the day to see you in Heaven because I know that we will give both of you the biggest hugs ever. Until then, you will always be in our hearts.”
Update: July 3rd 2012- So, I have been very busy with a ton of things that I have put on my plate, but one of them was something that I alluded to in the last paragraph of this post. I was asked to arrange music for a high school in town. The show concept is called “A Band of Heroes” (more information on this in another post), but the one tune I alluded to was a ballad called “Aerith’s Theme” from Final Fantasy VII. For those who know the game or tune, it’s my tribute in song form to my kids. For those who may not be familiar with this, a person is forced to move on from the loss of the person he holds near to him. This video may be the best way to explain it: