September 4, 2014

Very First Day of Daycare

2 years, 5 months, and 9 days after she was born with a severe right-sided CDH, my beautiful baby girl had her very first day of daycare. The emotions that filled my heart as I prepped her lunchbox and other school supplies the day before were extremely overwhelming. On a daily basis, I stand in awe of how far my Luna has come. But that night was a particularly emotional one. I cried and I cried. Mostly happy tears along with some tears of gratitude mixed with tears of amazement. I prayed so so hard for this little one. She continues to prove how strong she is, how strong we all can be when faced with the impossibly difficult hurdles that life can sometimes throw at us. So when I dropped her off, I was okay because most of me knew that she would be just fine. Although she cried for me and her dad to stay, I knew she would be okay. And guess what?

She did great! Her teacher said she calmed down quickly once she met the other kids in her class. She sat on the potty twice. She made her very first arts & craft project which I will treasure FOREVER. And she even napped the whole afternoon. I could not be prouder of my baby girl. Here's hoping to many, many more good days at daycare. :)

July 1, 2014

Our First CHOP Fetal Family Reunion

Wow! Has it really been over a year since I last posted? So much has happened since then. We welcomed a beautiful healthy baby girl into our family in August 2013. Her name is Emilia. We call her Mimi and she is just as amazing as her big sister. Speaking of which, our super girl turned TWO this past March! She is growing so fast and she is doing so well health wise, thank God. We celebrated the wonderful occasion by having lunch with some family and friends and then enjoying the circus. We had a GREAT time!
Another wonderful event that we wanted to share was our very first trip to CHOP's Fetal Family Reunion which we attended the weekend before last. We spent the weekend in Philly (which has a very special place in our hearts for a couple of reasons) with the girls and Abuelo and Abuela. We spent Saturday at the Philadelphia Zoo. It was a very fun-filled day!! Later that night while the abuelos watched the girls, Riq and I had dinner at Distrito which is the restaurant where we celebrated Luna's discharge the day before she came home. It is soooooo yummy!

Then on Sunday we made our way to CHOP for the Family Reunion. It was so overwhelming seeing the incredible amount of people who have lived the very same journey we have. We got to see sooooo many little heroes with smiles on their faces. It was a beautiful day with so many fun things to do. We can't wait to participate in it again next year.
Road trip! Mimi did not make the picture because she was buckled into her rear-facing car seat. Sorry, not sorry, Mimi!
Back at the Wood Center. But this time for a celebration!!!

Our CDH hero!!!

Luna and Mimi having a great time with Abuelo and Abuela.

Luna waving to Abuelo from the Coast Guard rescue raft.
We made it into the famous Family Group Picture! Soooooo many families!

Before leaving Philly, we stopped by the Ronald McDonald House where we stayed during Luna's time at CHOP. We wanted to deliver all the soda pop tabs we collected for Luna's Annual Birthday CDH Drive.

We collected about 15 pounds of tabs thanks to our wonderfully supportive family and friends! It felt great doing something, although small, to give back to the house that did so much for us.


April 19, 2013

Marking International CDH Awareness Day 2013

Today I can't help but look back at this crazy journey my little family has been on since November 2011 when we found out at our 20 week ultrasound that our unborn daughter, Luna, had a severe right-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia and was given a very grim prognosis. That day I decided that I would not take this sitting down. I knew I had to do something. I had to fight for my daughter. So that day I called CHOP and asked them for help.

Luna was born at 3:48am on March 24, 2012 weighing 8 pounds, 12 ounces. That was the scariest moment of my life. We did not know how she would do. We did not know what would happen. But Luna proved to be a tough little baby. She had her repair surgery at 4 days old. That was the second scariest day of my life. Thankfully, her surgery was a success. Although her hernia was large, she did not require a patch. She also had a Ladd's procedure and her appendix removed along with her repair. Luna handled the recovery very well. We were finally able to hold her at 10 days old. She was extubated at 11 days old. She came home at 5 weeks old.

Today, Luna is a very happy and healthy 1 year old. We are so, so, so blessed. She is the absolute best thing ever. CDH, not so much. I pray that myself and other CDH parents will continue to raise CDH awareness so that hopefully one day we may learn more about CDH and be able to perhaps prevent the incredible amount of pain it has brought to so many families who weren't able to bring their babies home. I hurt for these families and pray that God bless them and bring them some sense of comfort in the midst of such pain.

Wearing my CDH bracelet at work.

On the left: holding Luna for the first time at 10 days old. On the right: Luna and I today.

April 17, 2013

Paying it forward...

In honor of Luna's 1st Birthday we decided to hold a CHERUBS Hope Tote Bag Drive to collect items for the tote bags that CHERUBS mails out to new CDH families. We are so blessed with such kind and generous family, friends and coworkers. As you can see we were able to collect quiet a few items. We can't wait to ship everything out to CHERUBS. I remember when we first joined and received our tote bag. It brought a sense of comfort during an otherwise unknown and scary period in our pregnancy. We hope that these items can bring the same feeling to new CDH families.

March 6, 2013

Celebrating Luna by Paying it Forward

Our dear Luna is turning the “BIG 1” this month. We are beyond happy, excited, and thankful to reach this very momentous milestone with our strong and beautiful daughter. We thought we would do something special to give thanks to one of the organizations that provided us with so much support throughout our very bumpy CDH journey.

We've decided to ask our family, friends and coworkers to participate in a month long CHERUBS HOPE Tote Bag Drive to collect the various items that go into each Totebag that is then delivered to parents expecting a CDH baby. We are so excited to "pay it forward" to this great organization.

December 25, 2012

Merry 1st Christmas, Luna!!!!

I can't even begin to properly describe how amazing this Christmas has been. As I watched my now 9 month old daughter happily tear paper and totally disregard all the presents she received, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with emotion. This has been the Best. Christmas. Ever. This little person has reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas. For years, I always looked forward to Christmas but was kinda underwhelmed by the actual day itself. Not this year. Luna has filled my heart with so much love and joy it feels like its going to burst. I am so blessed to have her and such loving, beautiful family.

Here's hoping you are also having a wonderful holiday!!!

November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!!

What I am I giving thanks for this year?

- The medical technology, ultrasound techs, and doctors who spotted Luna's CDH early enough for us to prepare for her arrival. Although hearing and coping with the news was extremely difficult, it allowed us to learn more about CDH and make the decision to deliver at CHOP.

- Which brings me to: The entire medical team at CHOP (prenatal team, midwives, nurses, neonatologists, respiratory therapists, and the surgeon who did Luna's repair). I know in my heart of hearts that they saved my daughter's life. And because of that I thank them from the deepest corner of my heart.

- My husband, who has been my best friend for the past 9 years. Thank you for repeatedly telling me "everything is going to be alright." I loves you.

- My mother, who is sooooooo much stronger than I will ever be. Thank you for always supporting me and holding my hand through the heartbreaks, pains, and joys. I am so very blessed to call you my mother. Te quiero mucho, Mami!!!

- To Luna's personal little angel in heaven. Thank you for watching over her. I love you.

- To our family and friends who have shown us so much love and support. Thank you for visiting us at the hospital, sending your words of love, and praying for Luna. She is blessed to have such a big and loving family and network of friends. You are ALL great!!!

- To my Luna: I love you more than words can ever say. You are the reason I was put on this earth. You are my sunshine. You are my strength. Always remember that you are loved.

- To my Lord: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For everything and for always: Thank you!

Hope you all enjoy a happy, healthy, and restful holiday season!!!