The Last Year…

The other day I got an email letting me know my “anniversary” for my blog was coming up. Can’t believe it’s been four years since I’ve started this journey; not an entire four years though. I’ve been inactive for the last year, and I didn’t even realize I stopped doing what I love. But coming here after reading that email, I realized that I haven’t written, or even really photographed, since I wrote about losing Alessia, our daughter. Did I stop writing because I had expressed so much and lost so much in that one post? Not sure, but here I am to catch up on everything that’s happened to us since then.

For starters: we lost Alessia on September 29, 2016. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through, and the months that followed were not easy. After just a few days I went back to work and school, like nothing had happened. But it was a good distraction. After having the D&E done, I talked with Ruben about possibly having another baby. There was something in me that felt like the time was right. A lot of people might think that it was me trying to “fill the void,” but it was nothing like that. It was a feeling I couldn’t describe. We agreed we would try, and when I didn’t get pregnant again on the first try, I was devastated- feared that I would never be able to get pregnant again. But on January 9th of 2017, we found out we were pregnant.

When I was pregnant with Alessia, Ruben’s sister Breanna and I were only a few weeks apart in our pregnancies. She had her daughter, Arielle, on January 12th… 3 days after I found out I was pregnant again. Naturally, when I went to see her and the new baby at the hospital, I couldn’t keep the secret. She had asked me if I was okay being around a newborn after everything that had happened. I told her I was fine, and had news- she was going to be an aunt (fingers crossed everything would work out this time around). I remember this so clearly- she was in the middle of changing her newborn, stop, squealed, and gave me the tightest hug; her words, “she can be naked for a second, I have to hug you right now, I’m so excited!”

For a long time after finding out we were pregnant, I felt like I couldn’t be excited. I was excited with Alessia, and look where it got me. Everything was “going great” with Alessia, only to find out it really wasn’t. So this time around, I thought would be the same. I don’t think I got “excited” until half way through, after our anatomy scan. But EVERYTHING about this pregnancy was different- I didn’t get sick, all of my appointments were so positive, and soon enough I was 9 months pregnant and ready for baby (it seriously went by so fast!)

We had Luna Mia Bello (yes, she has the same middle name as Alessia) on September 17, 2017 at 6:24 AM. What a wild experience. I labored for like 30 hours in the hospital. They broke my water for me. It was just crazy- I literally pushed for THREE HOURS!! Yeah, most people push like once, or like 15 minutes. But not me. I pushed for THREE DAMN HOURS. But I guess that’s probably because she was almost 9 pounds.

I was lucky enough to have my partner, Ruben, his sister Breanna, my mom, and Ruben’s mom. They were all so supportive, and not just for this moment, but for my entire pregnancy.

I feel very blessed to have had such a smooth pregnancy. Though it was not all rainbows – Ruben had to work up North the last two months of my pregnancy, I finally graduated college at 6 months pregnant (walking around that big in the Summer heat was no joke), and we literally built a room/nursery for Luna. But it has been such an exciting, challenging, and rewarding journey and I feel so thankful that God has given me this opportunity to be Luna’s mom. So I’ll say it like I said it two posts ago- “New Mom Alert!”

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Alessia Mia Bello

On 9/2 we had an appointment – Monthly visit. I took my mom with me. The doctor said everything looked great. She was a little tiny but everything else looked great. Good heart beat and all. She even told us she believed she was a girl- but we would find out forsure on 9/12. 

10 days later on 9/12 (my little girl’s daddy’s birthday) we went to our appointment. The ultra sound was about 45 minutes long. When we were done we asked if he knew the sex (because he got up and just said we were done without saying anything about the ultra sound)… He said he couldn’t tell and the pictures were blurry. And that’s all we were left with. 

The next day I got a call asking if I could come in for a last minute appointment because the pictures “were blurry” and because it was a technician that did the ultra sound, a “specialist” needed to do a follow up… everything felt like it was about to shatter. Every appointment we had been to, I would always ask my doctor if we could hear the heartbeat first. Because my biggest fear was that something would go wrong. I got to the doctors office, sat in the room waiting, and the doctor came in and said “I’m so sorry we have to meet under these circumstances.” I instantly started to cry. She told me what was wrong… Alessia had cystic hygroma with hydrops. It was connected/related to turners syndrome. She showed me what was happening, but I couldn’t watch. I covered my eyes and I cried the whole time she performed the ultra sound to get the measurements of the baby. 

Alessia had a missing chromosome which is why she was two weeks behind in size, had an under developed heart, fluid in her lungs, chest, and all over her body. She was swollen. Everywhere. We either performed a D&E to remove her before her heart gave out or let her fight for another week and give birth to a still born. Because everything was just getting worse those were the only options we were left with. 

We waited about a week or so to get a second pair of eyes, or rather a third. The doctor confirmed what the tech saw and what the previous doctor saw and gave our little girl a 0% survival rate because her condition was so severe. If she were growing semi-normally, and the fluid wasn’t EVERYWHERE, “then I would tell you guys to let her fight. But because it’s this bad so early on in the pregnancy, there’s a 100% chance she won’t make it full term.” 

With that, we left, and cried the whole way home in silence. As a week went by, we were scheduled for a D&E on September 29, 2016. And within that week we waited, we told her how much we loved her and how sorry we were- but we enjoyed her while we could. 

What was once my little girl’s home is now gone, I’m leaking milk with no baby to nurture, and I’m emotionally exhausted. Here I am, a week after giving birth, with no baby to show for it, and I’m sad. I miss her every day. But it’s important to share my story because it’s my story of the days that led up to the birth of my child. 

I love you, Alessia Mia Bello, and mommy and daddy miss you so much. 

New Mom Alert!

Still so weird to say… I’m going to be a mom! I’ve always been a baby person, and my boyfriend always gets mad because, “babies love you more than they love me.” It’s my calling- especially because my mom used to run a daycare when I was in middle school. However, I never thought I would be a mom this soon in my life. I had plans like everyone else. I wanted to graduate, and get married, and travel the world, and then have a family. But life never really goes the way you “plan it,” does it? And today, I can honestly say I’m okay with it because I know things happen for a reason and whatever comes my way I will take control and handle it… As a mother. Having this happen at this point in my life is truly a blessing in disguise; it’s motivated me to continue pushing for a career- I’m loading up on 5 classes in the Fall, 3 classes in the Winter (which, I’ll have the baby during midterms), and finish off strong with 3 classes in the Spring and graduate in June of 2017 with my Bachelor’s in English Literature. So, thank you, baby… For pushing me to be the woman I’ve always wanted to be. I am more motivated than I’ve ever been in my life, and it’s all for the future of my child.

I want this especially to show my child that no matter what people might say, or what people might think, you can always do what makes you happy even if all odds are against you. I will be able to tell this story to my child with confidence and pride… That I had a baby during a time that no one thought was possibly.

At just three-months, it’s been stressful. I have no control over what happens to my child as it “bakes,” and I officially have no control over my own body anymore. But I’m excited for this journey, and I’m excited to share the good, bad, sad, and happy times of it all. Ready for this roller coaster ride…. No, seriously, these hormones are so up and down- help!