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Monday, April 14, 2008

Our Little Helaman

Well, this was the post that I have been putting off writing for quite a while. Chronologically it's what came next in the life of our little family, so I suppose it's a post that has to be written sooner or later.

Jose and I were engaged for a year so we had quite a while to talk about what we wanted from our marriage. The only thing Jose ever said was that he wanted to have 13 kids (mind you that's the number that I talked him DOWN to; he started at 32). I always said that I only wanted two, maybe three but he soon won me over and we were more than ready to start trying when we got married. I know it's really pathetic but I was completely crushed when two months passed after the wedding and I still wasn't pregnant. My heart goes out to those who try for years without being able to conceive because I only had to wait three months, and already my heart was breaking. We were completely estatic when I finally got pregnant. It was Jose's birthday so I bought a little baby girl outfit and a little baby boy outfit, wrapped them up, and gave them to him as his present. That's how I told him, he was so happy he cried, which is something that definately doesn't happen very often.

This is the little baby boy outfit that I bought Jose

It was a tough pregnancy. I remember just laying in bed wishing I could fall asleep at least for a few hours so that maybe the pregnancy would go by faster--I always wished that I could just skip a few days, to be closer to my due date which was the 28 of Jan. 2008. That's something that I don't think I will ever be able to forgive myself for. Though pregnancy is a very challenging time I will never again complain about the pain or nausea or the length because I would give anything now to be pregnant with Heli again.

I was completely anal about taking care of myself. I only ever missed 5 days my entire pregancy of taking my prenatal vitamins, I ate healthier than I had ever eaten in my life, and I never lifted anything or did hardly anything for fear that it would hurt the baby.

Helaman was definately a strong personality. I always knew exactly how he felt about everything, he always made sure I paid attention to him--and only him. : ) I first began feeling him move when I was about 10 weeks along. I asked the doctor if it was possible that I was actually feeling him move so early and he said no, that it was probably just gas, but later I learned what it actually felt like when he moved and kicked and I learned that it wasn't just gas--that was actually him. He was a big strong boy. We went on our honeymoon when I was two weeks pregnant and looking back on the pictures you can already see a little baby bump. I was already showing at only two weeks--the doctor said it was because my uterus grew two to three times bigger that normal which is good I suppose because he was huge baby and he just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger! Because of this he demanded all the space he could get. He always wanted me to be sitting while reclining back, or standing. He hated when I layed down. If I ever layed down he would put his feet against the bed and push as hard as he could trying to get me to get up, then if I ignored him he would kick and kick and kick until I sat up. In fact may times I had to sleep sitting up.

He hated when I showered. The water hitting my stomach bothered him, so whenever he heard the shower turn on he would start freaking out even before I got in the shower. He didn't like when I held other babies. He would kick them until I stopped holding them. My nephew Diego was born when I was 6 months pregnant, I was so excited to hold a newborn baby but as soon as I picked him up and rested him against my stomach Helaman started kicking him so hard that it actually made Diego cry--so I couldn't hold him anymore.

He absolutely adored Jose. Jose would always blown raspberries on my belly. At first Helaman was terrified because he had no idea what was happening but after a few weeks he realized that it was his daddy telling him hello so he would make bubbles back--I'm not quite sure how he did it, but he did. What a smart boy. Whenever he pushed his hand or foot or butt out Jose would poke it, which would make Helaman stick it out even harder, so Jose would poke harder; and they would fight back and forth to see who could push the hardest. Jose usually won which would make Helaman mad at Jose and he would ignore him for a while. haha If anyone had any doubts as to who Helaman takes after I can tell you he is 100% like his daddy. During the first 2/3 of my pregnancy Jose worked a lot so everyday as soon as he walked in the door and Helaman heard his voice Helaman started jumpin and kickin, wanting all of Jose's attention. The only times he did not absolutely adore Jose is if Jose ever made me cry. The first year of marriage is tough so we faught a few times which always made me cry. As soon as I would start crying Helaman would always--without fail--rub my belly with one hand trying to comfort me, and he wouldn't stop rubbing until I stopped crying. I've never heard of a baby doing that, but my little Helaman did it everytime. After I stopped crying and had forgiven Jose and Jose had forgiven me, Helaman would not forgive Jose. He would stay furious with him and completely ignore him for a few days. : ) He is definately very protective of me--just like his daddy. It feels good to be so completely loved by two amazing men. It is my greatest blessing in life.

So far as food cravings...I was so excited to get pregnant and be able to eat all I wanted, all the time, but I was sorely disappointed. I absolutely loathed food my entire pregnancy--Helaman, however, did not. He somehow figured out where my stomach and intestines were and whenever he got hungry (which was about every 45 mins) he would punch my stomach and kick my intestines like they were punching bags until I would either eat or throw up [I quickly learned to eat : ) ]. His favorite food of all time?...definately milk. Anything dairy as long as it didn't have sugar, (which ruled out ice cream, dang it), he was a very healthy boy and did not like fat, oil, sugar or junk food. He absolutely loved milk, cereal, and fruit.

A couple fun memories...one time he was stretching and somehow managed to claw me super hard with him nails. Ow! It hurt so bad I unintentionally let out a yep that really scared him so he immediately withdrew his hand and didn't move for about 5 seconds (which is a long time for him) then very slowly put his hand back up to where he had clawed me and began to rub it as if he was trying to say sorry. haha Another memory is the day he finally couldn't turn in complete circles. He loved to flip around and turn head over heels in circles over and over and over which always resulted in me throwing up but he didn't seem to mind that. : ) The day came when he finally got too big to do his summersaults--he was not expecting this. He tried a few times unsuccessfully to turn and became extremely frustrated when he was still unable to complete the turn an hour later. Helaman, being as stubborn as his father, decided he was not going to stand for this and continued to work for the next three hours to complete his summersault. After a lot of squeezing and a few times of his mother throwing up, he finally discovered that if he wedged his foot hard enough into my stomach he could use it as leverage for his turn. I could actually see the outline of his feet in my stomach as we walked himself around in his spin. He was so proud of himself, and very exhausted. He actually slept for a full 2 hours that day---ahhhhh I still remember how wonderful it felt to get a full 2 hours of uninterupted rest. One last memory...He had the hiccups almost the entire last trimester. For some reason he having hiccups often made me have hiccups as well (still can't figure that out). He would always get so frustrated at his hiccups, and even more at mine. Helaman, like I said, is a very intelligent being, so he actually figured out a cure for his hiccups. If he squeezed himself tight enough into a ball and tensed up every muscle in his body his hiccups would eventually stop. He was, however, never able to find a cure for my hiccups, which irked him incredibly.

The due date came closer and Helaman got bigger. The doctor started to get worried that if we let Helaman grow anymore he would not fit out of me so he sceduled a date to induce me..the 8th of Jan. I had been having quite strong labor pains since about the fifth month of pregnancy so the doctor guessed I wouldn't even make it until the induction date. I had been in quite strong labor the last week of Dec and the first week of Jan. I kept calling the doctor asking if I should come into the hospital but he said to wait it out until the labor pains became more regular. On Thur the 3 of Jan. I was choreographing a hip-hop dance for my dance classes and noticed a sharp decline in the way Helaman was acting. The following day I was really stressed out and knew that something was wrong but just wrote it off as me being nervous for Heli to be born and him not moving as much because I was getting closer to giving birth because my contractions were becoming much more regular. Because I was under such stress I got into a little fight with Jose and, of course, started to cry. It was the first time that Helaman didn't rub my belly until I stopped. I knew that something was wrong but just kept writting it off as pre-birth jitters. That night I woke up at about 2:15 and felt his spirit leave my body. That might sound really weird to all those who have never experienced the death of their unborn baby, but for those who have they know what I am talking about...that moment where you feel that lurch as if you were falling off something, then nothingness. Never having experienced labor, nor a pregnancy for that matter, I tried to talk myself into beleiving that it was me just freaking out about nothing. I tried everything I could think of to get Helaman to move, to respond to me, but there was nothing. After trying for 7 hours I finally woke up Jose around 9 am and told him I thought there was something wrong and we should go to the hospital.

When I got to the hospital the nurses hooked me up to the fetal monitors and said that I was in hard labor but they couldn't find a heart beat. I would write more details about what happened next, about the birthing process, etc but that is something that I still cannot express well. Helaman was born at 2:15 the next morning Sunday 6, 2008. The umbilical cord had gotten wrapped around his neck and he had basically starved to death--which must have been the worst sort of death for little Heli considering food was his favorite thing in the world next to his mommy and daddy. I don't remember all the stats of exact weight and height and I'm sure they are written down somewhere in the things the doctor gave us, but all those things are in Heli's room and I never go in there so I don't know. He weighed about eight pounds but the doctor said that was after he had lost a lot of weight. He said he was probably closer to about 10 1/2 pounds. Like I said, he was a big boy, just like his daddy, (Jose was born at 13 lbs.!!), and that was almost a month before his due date. He had a really big head and was very hard to birth. I kept pushing and pushing and pushing and I could never get him out and I just remember pushing and the doctor and nurses were screaming and then everything went quiet and dark then I felt totally relaxed and I felt like I was floating to a light. I know that's really cliche and it's almost embarassing to share--I haven't even told Jose this. But it's true. I really wanted to just go to the light, more than anything, but I remember thinking, "no, Helaman needs his body. I worked so hard to make his body as perfectly as I possibly could, I want it out in one peice." Then I felt that same sort of falling off a cliff feeling and I heard the doctors screaming again and I kept pushing. As weird as that whole experience sounds it's true, very cliche, but very true. My mom actually told me later that I had been pushing then I went limb for a split second and the doctor stopped everything and said "Misty are you with us?" Then I woke up and started pushing again like nothing had happened.

The first thing I thought when Helaman was born was "who painted his finger-nails?!"

I am quite proud of how cute Helaman turned out. He looks exactly like his dad...big ears and everything. It makes me sad that I will never know if he has dimples like his dad though. The only thing he has of mine were my eyes. He has bright green eyes, very dark skin, very big feet, and black hair--lots and lots of black hair.

For Heli's funeral I bought him some white shoes that were meant for 3-6 months. I was afraid they would be too big, but there were almost too small, we had to squeeze his feet in there!

This is Helaman's "I'm an old man with a pot belly" pose hehe

This picture is the easiest one to see how much Heli looks like Jose. Their profiles are exactly the same. Look at those ears!!

This is Helaman's eternity ring

I know that Helaman had to serve a mission in heaven, though it does not make me feel any better when people tell me that's why he had to leave. I used to be very angry that if God knew the whole time that Heli had to leave, why did he wait to take him until I was already in labor and ready to deliver. But then I felt the very distinct voice of Heli telling me that it was because Heli had begged the Lord to let him spent as much time as possible with me and Jose so the Lord allowed him up until the very hours until he was going to be born. That brings me a measure of peace knowing how much Helaman truly loves us, and how brave he is for allowing us to be so hurt so he could serve a mission. I know it was the hardest thing he will ever have to do, letting me cry without be able to rub my belly until I stop. His devotion and desire to serve a mission even though it cost him hurting the two people he loved most in the world so deeply inspires me and makes me very very proud.

The healing process has been anything but healing. I can't quite seem to come to grips with losing my precious baby. I can't function in social environments anymore, my marriage has been greatly strained, and I have grown to resent my in-laws for seemingly ingnoring me and consciously forgetting Helaman. I blame myself because I was dancing when the cord got wrapped around his neck. Helaman always hated it when I danced but I alwayst just ignored him because it was something that I loved to do and the doctor assured me that it was harmless. I will never be able to dance again for the guilt I feel for choosing my own selfish desires above my son. I also blame myself because I knew something was wrong, had I gone in earlier they could have saved him. The nurses told me I should have come in earlier because I was in hard labor for so long. Though everyone always says the cliche phrase "it's not your fault, you didn't know, you couldn't have done anything." None of that phases my guilt. On top of that I feel incredibly guilty for not being about to "have enough faith" to snap out of it. I'm not exactly sure what to do next or how to force myself to move on but I suppose life with move on, with or without me, so I am just trying to go along with it.

He looks like he's sleeping in this picture

I apologize if this post is depressing. I try to put on a ruse of strength and positivity in the other posts because I resent apathy, but this was an impossible task to accomplish in this particular post. Like I said, I resent apathy, and am in no way looking for it by posting my true feelings. I am simply trying to keep a diary of my life and at the same time despose of any feelings of hurt or anger that I have generated in my friends and family by being so distant and often times cold towards them since Helaman's death.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jose's Baptism September 11, 2005

I forgot to post this earlier...chronologically speaking this should have been posted before my wedding post, but oh well. Jose was always interested in the church from the get-go. As soon as we started dating he noticed that I didn't drink alcohol, so he stopped. Then he noticed other little things like I didn't drink coffee or caffiene, so he stopped that too. He later told me that it was because he thought I was the most amazing person he has ever met so he wanted to be just like me, (ahhhhh, I know he's a stud). After only a few months of knowing me he asked me if he could get baptized. It took me quite by surprise and I said, "well I suppose you should go to church first at least once." hehe So we went to the spanish branch the next week and found the missionaries. They said they would be by that week to teach him the first discussion, but they never showed up. So the next week they apologized and said they would be by that week, once again they never showed up. Now, those of you who know Jose know that he is the world's best at holding grudges, and he was quite upset that he had been stood up for two weeks in a row, so when the missionaries finally came he decided he wanted to punish them so he didn't tell them that he wanted to be baptized for about a month. haha Bad boy, bad boy. But he finally did tell them and they, as well as I, were estatic. He didn't, however, tell his family until the day before. Needless to say they were not estatic. I would go more along the lines of furious--but they eventually got used to the idea and even showed up for a while to show their support.

Jose asked Topher a few days before if he would be willing to baptize him. Of course he was happy to do it; the only problem was that Jose wanted it in Spanish...so Topher had to learn to prayer in Spanish, but he did amazing! Not a single mistake. (He learns perfection from me hehe)

Elder Padget and Elder Lopez were the two missionaries that taught Jose the discussions. We will forever be indebted and grateful to them for serving a mission and for all the patience and prayers they had in Jose's behalf.

WE LOVE YOU ELDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From them on Jose completely changed. There is no way I will ever be able to explain how exactly, but he had....a light, I suppose. He was so different, in ever aspect. I had liked the pre-baptism Jose, but I fell in love with who he became after---he had the light of Christ, and that has made all the difference in our relationship. It definately was not easy for him to change so much. It's still not easy for him, but he knows it's worth it, and I have a deeper respect for him than I can ever express for doing it each and every day. I love him with all my heart and admire who he has become.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Together Forever

Jose and I were sealed in the LDS temple in Salt Lake City on Feb. 22 2007. I think how he proposed was incredibly romantic, but I may be a bit bias. We had been fighting quite a bit pretty much our entire relationship because of the language and background barriers. We finally decided to call it quits and break up. We had a dinner scheduled with his family that Wednesday so we decided to go to that dinner then we would never have to see each other again. So Jose called me that morning and asked me to come up early from Provo and meet him in Temple Square in Salt Lake before the dinner. So I met him there and he took me to the reflection pond in front of the Temple and he said, "I know you think that you are better off without me, but I know that I can make you happier than any other man in the world because I know I love you more than any man could ever love you. Will you marry me?" What woman could resist that line?! So he won me over. That was the 22 of Feb. 2006. We were engaged for exactly a year almost to the hour. We have now been married for a year and I am happy to say that Jose has more than lived up to his promisel. He truely has made me happier than I ever thought was possible. I don't know what I ever did to deserve him but I honestly think that I am married to the absolute most perfect man on the planet.

Planning the wedding was definately stressful but also incredibly fun. Although I would never suggest being engaged for a year--wow that was tough. But it was worth it! It was made even better when the majority of Jose's family moved here from Mexico just a few weeks before we were married, which was a complete surprise. I don't think I had ever realized how much Jose had missed his family until he saw them again for the first time in four years. He truely loves his family without limit--I suppose that's just how he is--he has the pure love of Christ for everyone in his life. Anyway, back to planning the wedding...it was a blast, but by far the most fun part was when we took a trip down to Arches National Park for three days with Jose and my mom and sister, Anni, to get our bridal pictures taken. By the way the guy who took the pictures was Alan Johnson, Alysia's brother. I highly highly recommend him--he was incredible!!! In fact I have a link to his website here in this blog. Here are some random pictures from that adventure. It was sooooooo cold!!! But so much fun!

There's my beautiful and amazing mother!!Jose checkin' his teeth in the reflector

Can we say COLD???!!!!!!!! In between every photo we had to throw a blanket over me and warm up my ears and nose so they wouldn't look red in the photos.
Poor baby, he got a little tired
Always the gentleman he even carried my bouquet for me. Ahhh