..And like an angel you would visit our dreams to say “hello.”
14 years ago, something happened that changed my life forever. You changed my life – forever.
When dad and I got married, we weren’t really planning on having a kid – at least not yet. But 5 months later, we decided we were ready for the next step of building our family. We were ready for you. And soon enough, we found out that we were pregnant with you. Ahhh we were ecstatic!
Ate and I have been praying for a little sister. Every time I was pregnant she would ask if we could pray together. We would kneel beside her bed praying to God that the next baby would be a girl. Then kuya Wind came, then Kuya Geoff, then Kuya Marley. But Ate did not lose hope we prayed and prayed and prayed.
When we found out about you, we were so excited. It felt like it was my first time to be pregnant! We couldn’t stop thinking about you; we kept imagining what you would look like. And like an angel you would visit our dreams to say “hello.” You would even visit dad’s dreams to show him the beautiful baby we were about to have – and like the excited father he is, he drew you for the first time. It was so vivid – so real.
3 Months Into My Pregnancy
A few months into my pregnancy there were a lot of things we weren’t sure of. Dad and I had just gotten married, we just got a new home, Kuya Geoff and Kuya Marley were still very young. But amidst all the things we had yet to figure out, we were certain of two things – that you were going to be a girl, and that we will be calling you “Zoe.”
Every night, your siblings and I would gather to sing you songs. They would take turns talking to you, and would convincingly tell us all about the conversation you had with them. You brought in a piece of heaven, a breath of fresh air to our family as we went through our toughest moments.
6 Months Into My Pregnancy
6 months into my pregnancy with you, dad and I were finally ready to confirm that you were a baby girl, so we went for our check-up. Your ate and kuyas all came with us to the check-up excited to know their baby sister was coming.
When we got there and did the ultrasound, the med-tech who was scanning you in my tummy just stopped, looked at me, and told me, “your baby’s gone.” Just like that my life spun in a hundred different directions. I could not believe it. It felt like a nightmare I couldn’t will myself to wake up from. I cried, a lot. Dad did, too.
It’s a moment no parent ever expects and a moment nobody can ever put into words.
I felt like the med-tech in charge stabbed my heart with a knife. There was no remorse in her eyes. No apologies, no sadness, and that hurt me even more. She joked and even told me to just make a new one. But what I heard was her saying I couldn’t have loved you before I even met you. And that is farthest from the truth.
For a moment, Zoe, I couldn’t breathe; my whole body froze in disbelief. I did not know how to feel. And through all that pain, all I could think of was if you knew I loved you as much as I did. I wanted to bargain with life, for just a few more minutes – just enough to have the chance to say “thank you” for bringing all your siblings together – for bringing the whole family together. The very idea of you inspired hope and love.
I could not gather myself to believe the news, let alone, to tell your siblings that we lost you.
In my silence I could only pray that before you completely leave – me and this world, that you at least know how much you’re loved, Zoe.
Pain and emptiness
That moment painted a scar across all our hearts. A moment that we carry with us forever. I am deeply sorry that we lost you. I’m sorry that the stress I was experiencing caused your life. And I am forever sorry.
When I was younger I thought mothers just overreact when losing children they have not even met. I used to think: “how can you cry over something you didn’t even get to hold?” I thought it was weakness, until I lost you, and realized it was love.
Losing you made me realize that miscarriage is a very serious and delicate matter especially to mothers. As if hearing the news of losing you was not painful enough, we had to go through the changes, the labor, the pain of giving birth, just to walk away empty-handed; without you.
Moments when you come out of the operating room, usually feel victorious. It feels like a win after recovering from a surgery. It feels like a success after giving birth to your child. But the moment I came out of the operating room without you, all I felt was pain and emptiness. It’s a moment I would not wish upon even my worst enemies.
The pain time can’t heal
The first few months were the hardest. You were everywhere I looked. I saw you sleeping in the crib we bought for you. I see you playing around the playpen dad had made for you. I hear you crying in the middle of the night loud enough to wake dad and I up, just to find an empty crib and a silent room.
I cried for the moments I couldn’t have. For the birthdays I couldn’t give you, for the years I couldn’t watch you grow up. I cry for the days I couldn’t comfort you, for the dresses I couldn’t buy for you, for the games I couldn’t cheer for you. I cry for the days that could have been but we will never know.
Every day I think about what you would be doing if you were still with us.
They say that it’s common and that the pain will heal, but it’s been 14 years and everyday, I still wish you were here. Losing a child is the most painful experience a mother can have – and that pain does not change whether you’ve held your child or not. That pain is not healed by time or cliche. That pain is not comforted by a million “that’s okay’s.”
They say that when I lost you, life made up for it by giving me Zeena and Zac. But I hope you know that no amount of children would ever replace you. Zeena and Zac love you so much, and they wish they could have met their Ate Zoe.
A Glimpse of Heaven
Fortunately, through the years, I’ve slowly learned to forgive and somehow forget – the experience, the people that caused me the greatest stress of my life, and even myself — for not being stronger. I find comfort remembering what Jesse Duplantis, a Christian pastor once said about heaven. He spoke about being guided around as if he was on a tour, by King David and he saw many houses… the homes of the faithful. He also said that there is a house where the unborn go, where they are raised by those who couldn’t have children, and they grow along as if they had been born. And when we do reach heaven, he said that our children will rejoin us to be part of our family, in our own home in heaven. Exactly the same as the book I once read, Heaven Is For Real. In that book (a true to life story book) they shared the experience of how the boy met his sister who passed away in heaven.
Stories like these help remind me that we will be reunited again, Zoe. I hold on to the idea that you are very well in heaven – and someday, I will get to hug you, kiss you and tell you myself how much I have never stopped loving you. That you have always lived in my heart – in our hearts.
And while we wait for the day we all meet again in heaven, I pray that you have now met Grandpa Hector there. Please enjoy his love, and his company – he was your Lolo Waldy’s best friend, your dad’s hero, and your sister, Zeena’s super Grandpa. Let him first be our representative – until we meet again Zoe.
Always remember you are loved, my little one.