This candle's flame may flicker,
but its fire will never die.
Though you miss her dearly,
In your heart she'll always lie.
This candle's made for you,
To represent your love,
For the daughter you lost too quickly,
Now watching from above.
This candle's warmth
Is meant to ease your weary heart,
To help you through the days
That you and she are apart.
This candle's whispered promise
Is solely meant for you,
A mother so precious,
For her child,
There isn't anything
She wouldn't do.
This candle signifies a love so pure and deep,
And though she isn't here on Earth,
She's always yours to keep
Sophia Grace Velazquez
I couldn't thank her enough for he kindness and love she has shown me. I thank our angels daily for bringing us to one another. As I sat there reading this poem, my eyes were filled with tears. After reading it, I looked up to the Heavens and whispered a heartfelt "thank you". This special gift couldn't have come at a better time. I had prepared myself to hear bad news on this day. This gift reminded me of all I have to be thankful for. And that I really need to stay in a positive state of mind.
We continued our journey to Geisinger Medical Center. Along the way, I spotted hundreds (literally) of butterflies. I imagined this as being Sophia and all her angel friends telling me, "You are not alone. We're watching out for you." And I truly believe they were. I said a silent prayer, asking God to allow my daughter to be at my side. I also asked for Him to allow all her friends to be right there with her. I believe He answered that prayer! I remember telling myself, "Everyone else is getting their rainbows. Or they have recently had their's. Can I please have mine? Can you please ease my heart, just a little bit? This heaviness becomes so much to bear at times. I need a little joy."
In no time, we made it to the hospital. At exactly 1:09pm, we were parked and ready to walk through those doors. These doors hold many memories for us. Memories of walking in to deliver 2 of my sons. Memories of walking out with 2 gorgeous boys in my arms. Memories of walking in, receiving heartbreaking news that our daughter would not survive. Memories of walking out with a white bunny in my arms, tears flowing freely from my eyes. Memories of walking in, not knowing I was in labor. Memories of walking out with empty arms, a heavy heart, and tears stinging my eyes. Memories of walking in to be told our baby has a beautiful heart beat. Walking out with a small smile on my face. Memories of walking in, not sure what we'd be told.
We checked in. There was no place to sit! The waiting room was exploding with people. I remember looking around and seeing a priest sitting in one of the chairs. I secretly prayed and hoped he wasn't there to support a family going through a loss journey of their own. After a few minutes, I found a place to sit. I began praying again. We NEEDED good news this time around. After a few more minutes, we were called in. Blood pressure was great. I put on an extra 4 pounds since our last visit (1 pound a week). Shortly after, the doc was in the room. We spoke for a few minutes, I explained how scared I was. She tried to ease my worries. She told me to hop up on the bed, it was time to listen to baby's heart beat. I was getting nervous as it took her a little bit to find Bean's heart beat. She kept it there for a good 2 minutes or longer. Such a beautiful sound. I laid there smiling from ear to ear. I knew what it was like to have a monitor on my belly and not hear anything coming out. She even said that baby sounds like a girl. We'll find out soon enough. At that time, baby's heart beat was in the 150s.
Next, we had appointments with a nutritionist, and a social worker. Easy! We'd been through this before. It went by rather quickly. Then it was time to check out and check in to MFM. Now is when the fun begins. I could feel my heart beating through my chest. In no time, we had our first MFM appointment with a Genetic Counselor. She reviewed our family history (or what we know of it). Nothing has changed since last year. She explained to me about having a First Trimester Screening done. I was all for it. After talking for awhile, she went off to find one of the nurses from MFM. It felt like we were waiting forever! Angel actually fell asleep on the couch waiting for the nurse to come. We went in, she checked my weight and blood pressure. Everything was the same as it was earlier. We were taken to Exam Room 4.
As soon as we walked in, Angel said "Oh no, not this room!" and I wasn't quite sure what he meant. I started looking around,. I knew what he meant. This was the room we were in when we were having the prenatal echo done to find out exactly what heart defect Sophia had. I felt my body tense up. I was starting to worry. Within about 10 minutes, the ultrasound tech walked in. She introduced herself and we got things under way. I laid there on the bed, holding my head up, just waiting to see Bean's head. I knew what I was looking for this time. As soon as she made her way towards the head, I noticed a beautiful round head. I said nothing, in case my eyes were playing tricks on me. Angel didn't hesitate. He said, "This is the head right?" and the tech responded with, "Yes, that is the baby's head." He starred for a few minutes and then asked, "Everything looks good right? No openings? No Anencephaly?" and her response was, "You're right! The baby looks perfect. Baby is measuring a few days ahead but that's just fine." After she spoke those words, I put my head down on the pillow with a whisper of, "Thank you, God!" Every time she said that baby looks perfect (it had to be about 3 times) I said the same thing over again. We listened to baby's heart beat. An amazing 178bpm! She took some pictures for us and just went around looking at everything. At one time, Bean was hanging upside down. Another time, baby rolled and tried to hide in my back. I think he/she was getting tired of the pictures. She wanted to take just one more picture for us. A 4D picture. She switched probes and pushed a button. The screen changed! I noticed this itty bitty baby laying in there shaking his/her head up and down as if saying yes along with moving his/her arm up and down, as if asking a passing truck to blow their horn. She finished up and allowed me to use the restroom.
About 10 minutes later, Doc Maslow came in. I missed seeing him. He sat down next to me with a smile on his face. He rubbed my arm as he said, "Baby looks perfect! I see no defects and no Anencephaly. I'm so happy to give you this news. It's much better news than we've had to give you in the past." He was so right! I felt like crying! I held myself together. He walked us over to check out and told the receptionist to schedule me for 7 weeks. In 7 weeks, we will know if Bean is a Boy or a Girl. I was so happy. The happiest I have been in a long time. We scheduled our scan... set for September 19th. No more super long appointments.
Now I sit back, I'm finally enjoying this pregnancy. I haven't been able to wipe this smile from my face. I owe all the thanks to God and my own special Guardian Angel. I've held on to my faith as if I were dying. I prayed more yesterday than I have in my entire life. I do believe that God hears our prayers... and answers them. Sometimes we do not always like the answer. Sometimes there is a lesson to be learned. And so I have. I've learned to love on a much larger scale. I've learned to forgive because holding a grudge will not get me anywhere. I've learned to hold on to my faith, no matter what. I've learned to appreciate life, for life is truly too short and precious. I've learned to let the small things slide. Most of all, I've learned to dance in the rain! After every storm, there lies a rainbow. You just have to open your eyes to find it.
Our rainbow is brewing! Time to enjoy every little thing about this pregnancy. This will be my last baby. And my last baby is my RAINBOW!
Please keep our family in your prayers while we wait for test results for Downs, Trisomy 13, and Trisomy 18. Prayers would also be nice for an uneventful pregnancy, an easy surgery, and a great recovery. Thank you all so much for joining us on this ride of grief and journey to joy.