This post is a few days late but better late than never.
Emilia’s birthday was on Friday, January 25th. I still can’t believe she is 3 years old! I remember so clearly the day she was born. The day I delivered was pretty smooth. I had a scheduled C-section at the advice of my OBGYN. Because I had an emergency C-section with my son, there would be risk of tearing if I chose a V-Bac delivery so we thought better safe than sorry and go the less riskier route. I went in to prep for surgery at 8:00am and by 9:30am, out came this 5 pounds 8 ounces and 19 inches tiny beautiful baby girl.
As soon as she came out and the nurses cleaned her off and checked her vitals, etc… I was able to do skin to skin with her right away. This was unusual for a C-section and something new that Stanford hospital implemented. It was at that moment, our bond was sealed and from that moment on, Emilia and I have been inseparable.
She was small but man, she had lungs. She had to be in the NICU for a few days because they wanted to pay close attention to her heart and breathing since she was so small. She had lost weight and was down to 4 pounds 6 ounces at one point. She also failed the car seat test which didn’t allow us to take her home right away. She was the smallest baby in the NICU but she was certainly the loudest!
While she was in the NICU, I was also being closely monitored because my blood pressure would not remain at a normal level. At one point, my blood pressure was so high that there was multiple doctors and nurses in the room injecting me with medication so that it would go down immediately. It was scary and they later diagnosed me with post-eclampsia. I was in the hospital for this condition for 11 days and on high blood pressure medication for 6 months after giving birth.
The first year postpartum was one of the hardest years of my life if not THE hardest. It tested every fiber of my being; mentally and physically.
Not only did we just have a new baby which is a challenge in itself but we were in a new city, with no family and no friends. We had only been living in our new city 9 months when I gave birth. We had no support system. It was just me, Rowell and Gabe. IT. WAS. HARD.
Looking back now, that entire year after having Emilia was a blur. Sometimes I’ll come across photos we took during her first year of life and can’t help but get emotional because I wish I was more emotionally and mentally present. I was just trying to survive and keep her, Gabe and myself alive. I didn’t take the time to enjoy her. If I could go back to that year and have a do-over, I would.
My brain was in such a fog the whole time that I didn’t even realize that I was suffering from postpartum depression. I suffered through it thinking to myself that this is normal and this is how new mothers are supposed to feel. Until one day, I lost it and realized that no, this is not normal. Immediately I took the appropriate steps to get my mind and my body back to a healthy state. It’s a work in progress and it’s something I work on every single day.
Fast forward to today and while life isn’t perfect by any means (what is perfect anyways?), the struggles we faced as a family and as a husband and wife has made us stronger. We are resilient and there is nothing that we can’t overcome together. The hardships I encountered the first and second year after Emilia was born was what I had to go through to become who I am today. It’s a journey and sometimes the journey sucks but the lesson I learned is that we just gotta get through it day by day and then suddenly, you wake up and everything is amazing!
Now, I can safely say that we are finally settled into our new city, new home, with friends and people we can trust and count on in our lives. Rowell has built an amazing business in those three years and our family is so grateful for all his opportunities which in turn, really are OUR opportunities.
Emilia changed our lives. Literally flipped it upside down. She is an extremely strong-willed, confident, social, happy and funny little girl and she surprises me with something new everyday. She pushes me to my limits. She is so different from Gabriel, my easy going child. She tests my patience everyday and everyday I learn something new about parenting because she forces me to learn.
Emilia is our gift. She is MY gift. She has been the missing piece I’ve been missing my whole life. The best friend I’ve always wanted. She has given me the mother daughter relationship I’ve dreamed and prayed of having when I become a mother.
So this post is dedicated to her. She has given me so much and I hope one day she’ll look fondly back at her childhood one day and tell her own kids stories of all the happy memories we have as a mother and daughter and as a family.
Happy 3rd birthday, Princess Emilia!