Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Warm Welcome

I would like to take a minute to welcome all of my most recent readers. I haven't been able to update as much as I would like. But as of lately, I've been trying. I can't believe how many people are now reading Sophia's story. It really has traveled across the world, exactly what I was hoping for! So, welcome and please excuse some of my posts. There are times I just need to vent and have nowhere else to do it but here.

Sophia's article finally made it in the newspaper! I have been beside myself since Sunday. It just leaves me to sit here and wonder, "How many people took the time out of their busy days to read?". But I guess that is a question I will never know the answer to. I have received so much positive feedback from others on Facebook. It's amazing. I love knowing how they have read it and how the story has touched them. And what better story than one that is TRUE!! If you haven't read it yet but would like to, I added a tab at the top of this page! You're only a click away.

We've been receiving some pretty steady traffic here on Sophia's blog and now also on her newest Facebook page. Please feel free to swing by! Just type in "Team: Sophia's Angels" in the search bar. That should bring you right to us. I've been trying to update as much as possible, as our March of Dimes walk is not too far from now. Also, the Team Sophia's Angels March Of Dimes page has been getting a few donations as of lately. It's incredible to see that there are still some good people left in the world. It brings a smile to my face to see those people wanting to help other babies. I can't imagine what this world would be like without the sounds of baby cries, laughs, even hiccups!

Today marks 39 weeks since Sophia was brought into this world. An angel we got to hold for the very first time. People will tell you that it gets easier in time, after losing a child. I don't believe that. I miss her more and more with each passing moment. I couldn't even begin to sit here and describe exactly what it's like. There really are no words. It's a pain I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Life changes drastically when you lose a baby. You're stuck sitting back thinking about the "what-ifs" or wondering what your baby would be doing if he/she was still here. Would they be holding their head up on their own? Would they be trying to sit up unassisted? Would they be trying to say their first words? Would she be a Daddy's girl? Would he be a Momma's boy? There are so many questions that are left unanswered.

I've learned to live with this pain. I'll never stop wishing and hoping that she was still here. But I will continue to try telling myself that I will be able to see her one day. That she will always know who her family is and that she's watching over us and keeping us out of harms way. I guess, for now, that is just the way that things have to be.

Normally on every Tuesday, I sit here upset. Wondering exactly how I am going to get through my day. But today is different. I'm on a mission to get through to Baby Talk magazine and see about having an article written. Maybe even ask some of the other Anencephaly Angel Moms to help! Wouldn't it be pretty cool to read the stories of not only one baby, but many many others as well? I think it would be. I'm also going to be searching around this week comparing prices of t-shirts. I've had several people ask if we're going to have Team Sophia's Angels t-shirts made. And I was, for our family. I just didn't think anyone else would want them. Yet again I was wrong. So I'm going to look around at the different businesses and see what their designs look like, along with their prices. Hopefully I can find something really good. Anyone who knows me, knows that I will not settle for second best when it comes to Sophia (or any of my kids for that matter). Everything has to be perfect! Once I have more information on that, I'll be sure to let my readers know.

The only thing that hasn't changed on this Monday night/Tuesday morning, is my sleep. I still find it difficult to sleep. Here it is, creeping up on 4:30am and I'm awake. I wish I could change that, but right now I just can't. I'm worn out physically and emotionally, but I keep on truckin'. I feel like nothing can hold me down at this point. As if I'm unstoppable! More or less, my body is so used to waking up several times throughout the night to feed, change, and cuddle with a baby. And since I can't do that, I have a very hard time falling asleep. Not to mention, my mind races in a million different directions when I try to relax and go to bed. I find myself wondering, "What is Sophia doing right now?" and then I end up with a bunch of images in my head of her playing with all the other Anencephaly Angels. Hanging out with members of our family who have passed. I'm sure they all met her with big hugs and smiles on their faces when she made her way to the Pearly Gates.

God knows I miss her. God knows just how much I love her. And quite honestly, I would do it all over again if it meant that I could hold her, hug her, kiss her little cheeks, whisper little secrets in her ear. Our biggest secret has been made open for the world. That secret was that I would go on to tell everyone and anyone about Sophia & Anencephaly. I'm working my way on doing that. One article at a time, one Facebook post at a time, and one blog at a time!

Miss Sophia, our little princess, we hope you're having a fantastic day! Make sure you sit down and take some time out to spend with Andrew. Oh, and make sure the two of you eat a bowl of ice cream! His mommy did :) Better yet, make it two... it's a celebration! We love and miss you so very much. Come visit my dreams, beautiful angel <3

Sophia's resting place. Thanks to everyone who helped us raise the money for this beautiful headstone

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Random Thoughts

Often, I sit here and wonder, "Do they still remember you? Do they think less of you because you didn't get to live outside of my womb?" I've come to notice that in some of the support groups, there are cliques. I have found myself not checking into those groups much anymore, except to update my notebook with Anencephaly Angel birthdays. I'm thinking that I may just stop going into support groups and delete myself from those pages.

The best support I can get is from those who are right here, in real life. I have met several amazing women through these groups and I'm happy with our friendships. We don't get to talk that often, but that's okay. I've just come to notice how certain babies get mentioned more then others. And it always seems as if it's only the babies who have "lived" outside their mothers womb. They just don't seem to think the way us mother's of stillborns do. You were a very active baby... you lived for 31+ weeks. They didn't get to see all the awesome things you did. But I did! I am so proud of you. Babies do not have to be born alive to be amazing & breathtaking.

I think at times people are afraid to talk to me simply because I talk about you. Maybe that makes them uncomfortable. Maybe it  makes them nervous. Or maybe they think I'll have some sort of breakdown. I just wish they would understand just how much I love talking about you. About how beautiful you are, about the way you touched the lives of so many (even if only for a short time). I have to speak your name, I have to show your pictures. It makes things more real to them. I don't know, maybe they just think I'm crazy. And maybe they're right! I'm crazy in love with my angel princess!

As I have mentioned before about your story being written in the paper, it wasn't posted today. I was really hoping today would be the day. Fact is, I'm very impatient. I guess I need to learn to have a little more patience. I'm just so excited to be able to get your story out there. I want others to know of you. And most of all, I want the education and awareness spread all over the world. I guess it is better if it gets printed in the Sunday paper. More people read the paper on Sunday then on any other day.

We have created a new page for you on Facebook. The first one from several months ago was "In Memory of Sophia Grace Velazquez "Born Sleeping" May 31, 2011". I've met some pretty amazing people through that page, but I want to be able to do more. So, "Team: Sophia's Angels" has been born. We decided to use the name of your March of Dimes team. Sounds pretty good to me! I plan on posting many facts about Anencephaly, along with Myths vs. Facts. I'm sure that this new page will turn into much more than that. I can't wait to see it evolve and grow into something that even my imagination can't come up with.

I've been having a pretty rough couple of days. I guess I'm just being too hard on myself. Yesterday was the anniversary of my Aunt Cindy's passing. I'm sure she's just having so much fun with you. I an remember clearly the day that your brother Jordan was born. She came up to be here for his birth, along with your Uncle Josh. I have a picture of her sitting in a rocking chair at the hospital, with Jordan swaddled in her arms. The look on her face and the love in her eyes was truly amazing. I can just picture her doing that with you. And taking such wonderful care of you, until I can be there to do it myself. Speaking of Jordan, he's had a rather rough day so far today. He woke me up this morning, eyes full of tears, and repeating, "I miss Sophia, Mommy! I wish it could have been me and not her. She's your baby!" Those words stung my heart! I know how much your brothers and sister miss you. But for one of them to "wish" it was them, kills me. I would do anything to have you here in my arms, but that doesn't mean I'd want to lose another child just for you to be here. I'm not trying to make that sound bad at all. I don't like being an Angel Mommy. I'd be much happier if I had all my children here and in one place.

Once again, I've been thinking about a "rainbow baby". A lot of the other Anencephaly Angel moms have or will be having their rainbow babies. Most of those babies are healthy! That's good news. And then there are moms who are expecting their first or second Anencephaly Angel. I would like to try again, but I am just so very scared! Scared that it'll happen again, scared that you'll feel as if I'm trying to replace you, scared that others will think the same, and scared that everyone will just completely forget about you. I just don't know what to do. My mind is once again back to running in a million different directions at one time. One day, I'll be able to sort this all out.

So my day has started off rather depressingly. I keep trying to look for the light at the end of this dark tunnel. Right now, all I can see is a tiny speck of light.I'm hoping that as I continue trying to move forward, I'll start seeing that tiny speck turn into a bright light.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An Amazing Day

I think it is safe to say that I have had one of the most amazing days since May 31, 2011! We have been trying for quite some time to get an article written in our local newspaper. Well, today was the day! We had our interview with one of the reporters. When we first left the house, I was feeling very nervous, excited, felt the anxiety creeping in. Anyone who knows me well enough, knows that I don't do too well when it comes to talking to strangers. Once Angel got the ball rolling, it was like I just couldn't stop! There were several times when I caught myself choking up. I reminded myself to take a deep breath. While doing so, Angel would take his turn talking. That gave me the few seconds that I needed. I'm not the type of person to sit there and cry in front of people, unless they are family or close friends. After a couple minutes, I got back to talking. It didn't even feel as if it was me talking. It's hard to explain but it's almost like it was Sophia talking through me. What an amazing feeling! Javier was with us today (as he is still trying to get over pneumonia) and after a few short minutes, he started to get bored. Thankfully, the reporter allowed him to play "Angry Birds" on his cell phone and that kept him busy for awhile. Before he started playing, Angel asked him, "Javier, where is Sophia?" And Javier responded with his usual answer, "In Heaven". Angel then asked, "With who?" And he responded with another one of his typical answers, "With God". So I decided to chime in real quick and I asked him, "Well, what is she doing up there?" And he said, "I don't know! I can't see her. I have to see her to know what she is doing." He's just too cute. Before the interview really got under way, he was sitting at the table paging through Sophia's photo album saying, "That's my sister. That's my sister. That's my mom. That's me. That's Daddy!" And so on.

It felt so good to be able to sit down with someone who was taking notes about everything we have been through on our Journey with Sophia. As some of you may already know, I made my beautiful girl a promise before allowing the nurses to take Sophia away. I told her, "Baby Girl, I promise you that I'm going to spread awareness on this condition. I know God put you in my life because He knew I was strong enough to talk about this condition and openly talk about you! From here on out, this is my job!" And this is just the beginning. There are so many others places that I want to contact to see if they will run our story. So many people know about Spina Bifida. Nearly everyone in this world has heard of cancer in one form or another. But once you come out with the word, "Anencephaly", no one has ever heard of it. So now I take the first step forward in a new journey... the journey of spreading awareness! This is so important to us. We would really hate to see another family go through what us, and many others across the globe, have gone through. It is not an easy journey. It is one that no parent should ever have to face.

Our story should be posted on The News-Item website on Saturday or Sunday. I can't wait to see it in black & white. Oh how I wish I could get this amazing story of life and love posted all over the world, in every newspaper, in every language, in every country.

Thus far, we have helped one family make a tough decision. They live in Spain. And thanks to me creating this blog, this family decided to carry their son to term. He was also diagnosed with the more rare form on Anencephaly, called Iniencephaly. Just helping one family, through our words and through our feelings, makes me feel so much better inside. Through this page, we were able to give one more baby a fighting chance at life. Doctors say that most babies with Anencephaly will not survive any more then a few minutes to a few hours after birth. I know of a few who have defied those odds. Vitoria just celebrated her 2nd birthday not too long ago. Andrew "Bumble" blessed his family with 10 wonderful days! Katie-girl has given her family 7+ months and counting! And just to think, most doctors won't even give our babies a second thought. They almost make it seem like an experiment gone wrong. Since the "experiment" didn't go according to planned, they no longer want to bother. If only those doctors would take a look at these amazing babies and see just how much they are able to do and how many lives they touch. Maybe then, they'll start doing things with a little more heart!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

36 weeks

36 weeks have gone by... People say, "It gets easier in time."' I don't think that is true. It's been just a little over 8 months and the pain is still very fresh, time only seems to be making it harder. The more days that tick by, the more I miss her, the more I wish Sophia was still here with us. I'm doing better with the tears. I try to put a "fake" smile on my face, so I don't have to answer the constant question of... "What's wrong?" It's not that hard to figure out. My life is what's wrong. I no longer have my baby here with me. It shouldn't be that way. She should be here in my arms, crawling around on the floor, trying to talk. I'm missing it all. Life has yet to get any easier.

A lot of things have been going on since my last post. We moved in to a bigger place. All of your pictures are now hanging up throughout the house. We have your own little shelf hanging on the wall. I find myself staring up at those pictures daily and wondering what you may be doing. At times, I still feel as if you're all alone. Stuck without any one. But then I remind myself that many of our great relatives have also passed away and I know they are taking good care of you until it is my time.

Javier has made up his own little game for us to play. When he sees that Mommy is looking sad, he says, "Mommy, do you miss Sophia? I miss her too! I'll go get her!" And then he pretends to fly to Heaven and bring you here. I pretend like I'm hugging and kissing on you and then he tells me, "I have to take her back now." And when he returns, he has a new baby! He tells me to guess who it is. I'll ask if it's a baby girl or a baby boy, and once he tells me, I start making guesses. I've named off Kolton, Andrew, Palmer, Nevyn, Rachel, Christina, and many others. He does the same thing with them, gives me enough time to hug & kiss each one of them and then "takes them Home". It's a game we have been playing for quite some time now and we both love it!

On another note, a friend of ours contacted the News-Item to ask about running your story in the local newspaper. I made a promise to you that I would spread awareness on Anencephaly and I plan to stick to that promise. I tried e-mailing them a couple times myself but never heard anything back. After Stephanie e-mailed them, she heard back the next day. They have agreed to run the story. I'm very excited! But at the same time, I'm a bit nervous. I just can''t wait to read it in black & white and be able to educate others in the community and surrounding areas. This story will not only be about you but about all babies who have been born with Anencephaly. Most people think of it as being a "tale". Like it'll never happen to them. Just as they start thinking that, the unexpected happens. So many people have to face the loss of a baby or child every single day all over the world. How can one planet experience so much pain and sadness? It's beyond me.

I finally had the chance to set up a team with the March of Dimes. We were supposed to have a walk set up here in our town by last fall, but the woman never got back to me. So this year, we're going to walk in Danville, at the hospital where you were born! Our team name.... Sophia's Angels! I remember posting a "question" on Facebook some time ago asking what everyone thought we should name the team. Sophia's Angels and Sophia's Hope were the ones with the most votes, Sophia's Angels having several more. So there is the meaning behind the name :) If you live near by and would like to walk with us, please visit www.marchforbabies.org/angelbabysophia and join our team! If you can't attend, please feel free to make a donation. We would love to see many families faces on the day of the walk. It would mean so much to us!

Today you're 36 weeks old. I hope you have had an amazing day! Don't get too hyper off your cake and ice cream! I'm sure you're having a blast with all your friends. Please come visit Mommy in my dreams, I could really use you tonight. I love & miss you to the moon & back!!