Sunday, November 11, 2007


Boydee and I have felt at peace ever since we made the firm decision to keep our baby and continue with the pregnancy. And so far, we've been doing a great job in looking at the brighter side and cheering ourselves up despite our situation.

But there are lulls when thoughts turn to our baby and the tears silently flow. It is hard to look at this bump in my body with happy thoughts because we both know how it will turn out. I feel so sorry that I can't carry him nor hold him in my arms but I console myself and him that when the time comes, Mama Mary and the saints will cradle him in theirs. I'm sorry that he can't see our world, but that where he's going will be a much more beautiful and better place. I'm sorry we can not have the chance to watch him grow, or lavish him with attention or toys because he'll be taken away so soon.

Oh baby!!! I am so sorry for this but please know that you are loved. In fact, you must be very special, God wants you back with Him right away. He's only letting us borrow you for so short a time and here inside me.

I can feel our baby moving and kicking in my womb and I feel a certain kind of melancholy. This pregnancy can not be completely happy because of its outcome. It is a weird feeling to carry a living being, perhaps reaching even up to full term, and know that he will eventually be taken away after a few minutes. It's like you're supposed to move forward but you don't actually get anywhere. It's weird to be handling this pregnancy like any other normal one because the real motivation or purpose of doing so has disappeared.

Now, I take care of myself just so I'll have no or lesser complications when the time comes for me to deliver. I can not even use the term "give birth" because the life of my baby is so short lived. So, the excitement, the joy of progressing in this pregnancy is 'lost', and the essence has lessened.

I haven't really reached the point of self-pity, nor do I question God for giving us this painful cross to bear. I know despite all else, we are still so blessed. There are just times when I just wish things turned out differently, that things could've been better and we would have been gifted with a normal pregnancy, and a normal, healthy child.

But it isn't the case, and God has other plans for us. We just have to keep the faith, and trust in Him. I pray He take care of me and our baby. I ask the Lord to take him away peacefully and painlessly when He calls him back to heaven.

Friday, November 09, 2007


The next day, we were scheduled to visit Eve Surgical Center to check the facilities and talk with the doctors regarding procedure and experiences of Moms who have had to go through this. From there, we still had a few more days to decide but at least we knew our options. We set up an appointment and were on our way after a quick lunch.

Despite the GPS, and driving through the avenue two times, we couldn't find the place. We finally called and Sam, the girl I made the appointment with, got out of the gate to lead us the way. The clinic didn't even have a sign outside, just the number on the wall which was completely covered in ivy. Just the thought of going inside an 'abortion' clinic felt unsettling but we were there to 'explore' and for 'good and justifiable' reason.

Sam showed us in. She was Filipina, by the way, and I felt a little more comforted at having someone from back home there. She gave us some forms to fill up. The first two pages asked for my basic and medical information. The next few pages were 'agreements' detailing the procedure, the use of anaesthesia, and some sort of a waiver although it stated that complications arising from the procedure was very, very minimal. After scanning through the pages, I went back to Sam and told her I wasn't going to sign these yet because we were yet undecided. She said I had to sign it anyway to signify that I had read it. So, I went back to my seat to read it thoroughly since I had to put my signature on it.

While I was reading, Boydee had settled into a chair and started reading a magazine that was lying around. He found an article on Mother Teresa's letters to her confessors expressing her doubt on the existence of God because she's seen so much suffering in her life. One of those lines clearly said that she found abortion and youth addiction as condemnable. Boydee had me read those lines and said, "Love, I'm leaning more towards keeping the baby." I was half paying attention since I was reading.

As I was reading through those sheets, I came across a line that said that it was customary for them to euthanize the baby before they bring him out. I read that line to Boydee, too. As I tried to read more, I couldn't. My eyes were starting to fill with tears and I told Boydee I couldn't do it. He understood me completely and said, "Let's go! Let's get out of here."

We returned the forms, unsigned except for the registration, and told them we'd pass up. We didn't talk with the doctors anymore. There was no use for it.

Outside, I couldn't help but burst into tears. How could I have even considered 'harming' and even 'killing' our innocent baby? Sure, we know his fate, but how could we have been so selfish as to end it for him just because I might be at risk, just because he doesn't stand a chance? If he wasn't meant to live, it wasn't our decision to make.

After all the crying was done, we finally felt at peace. We were both convinced this was the right decision to make... that we were meant to continue with this pregnancy despite the expected and known outcome. It wasn't our decision to end our baby's life; it's God's alone. Who were we to intervene? God lent this baby to us and even if we can never hold him or watch him grow, I can feel him inside me. And he is alive. For now, my womb is the safest place for him and until the time God decides to call him back, this is where he'll stay... with me, with us, even for a temporary while.

Boydee and I are both convinced we had to go through this whole ordeal, including the thinking process of even considering abortion and visiting the clinic, so that we may come up with a decision that's truly ours, and something that we can be proud of and live with our whole lives. We had to go through it before He would show us the light, before the Holy Spirit would enlighten us. And He did. How great is it that He even showed us both the way at almost the same time through different mediums.

Whatever risks may come my way for choosing to keep this baby will far outweigh whatever pain we would've inflicted on our baby, and the damage to our souls. We trust that God won't allow me and my baby to suffer too much nor too long. We trust He will not abandon us. We are resigned to the fate of our baby, and we are relieved, glad and at peace with our decision.

Family and friends say, with good intentions, that perhaps God will perform a great miracle and our baby might live and be normal. While I believe in God's power and in His miracles, Boydee and I have psyched and readied ourselves with the eventuality of our baby's passing. But we also both realize that no amount of psyching will prepare us for that moment, nor soften the blow.

Not all of life is all joy, or happy endings. But that doesn't mean God isn't working His miracles. We have to accept what God gives us. There's always a reason for everything and God isn't the type who would leave us alone to fend for ourselves. Beyond all this grief and sad news, there will always be something better to come; something good that will come out of this. There's always a rainbow after every rain.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Longest Night

That night, Boydee and I had to face the looming question ahead. We were resigned to our baby's fate, having read about oligohydramnios and having talked to the doctors in Manila and here. We came here in the hope that the 'advancement' of the US might be able to offer us a solution but we knew in our hearts, our baby's future was bleak and we've surrendered that to the Lord.

We also knew we would have to face the option of 'therapeutic abortion' although I prayed we wouldn't have to face it. But the question was right in front of us, and time was ticking. We had 6 days to determine if we'd play a role in our child's fate.

It was clear to Boydee now that if the choice were between our baby and my safety, hands down, he'd choose me. That was my Mom's stand also. Given the risks, we were inclined to take the 'fastest' and 'safest' way out. I mean, why prolong the agony. I wasn't quite convinced of it although I could find more reasons to justify doing it. In my heart of hearts though, I wasn't sure I would be able to commit that sin.

In our Catholic faith, things are put in black and white. Not much grey. I realized that night that there are greys and that you can't judge a person for doing a 'black' action without knowing the real reason for it. If we went through this abortion, would it really be a grave sin, knowing our baby was going to pass anyway? Is keeping the baby who eventually won't live, worth the risks on my life? Why wait for our baby to suffer?

Boydee and I researched on the internet for articles on Catholic faith and abortion. While most articles clearly states abortion as sin, I found an article that was written by a mother who had just gone through almost the same thing. We also consulted with our mothers. While both of them were not for abortion, they were also after my safety and were supportive of what we would eventually decide on.

Boydee and I cried our way to sleep. What a difficult choice to make!!! What did God want us to do? If He hadn't meant for us to take this option, why make it so easy for us - the trip of coming, the gestational age of our pregnancy, the people who were so nice and helpful? And if this was a test, how did He want us to pass it? Believe me, all logic were leading towards going through the abortion but something was holding us back.

Our Future Angel

The past two days since Boydee and I arrived were all visits to doctors, hospitals and check ups.

The day after we arrived (Nov 6), we went to my OB-GYNE, Dr. Artenos, where Roc had made an appointment for us. When he looked at my ultrasound, he was dumbfounded. He said "Uh-oh! This is very, very bad! You have no fluid at all! I don't know how you managed to fly all the way here." He said our best bet was to go to USC County because if he admitted us in Glendale Adventist, it would cost us hundred and hundreds of dollars and he still wouldn't be sure of our baby's fate. There, they would be able to give us the best care for me and the baby because they have all the experts there.

So, Boydee and I went to LAC+USC Women's and Children's Medical Hospital right after our visit, hopeful they might be able to give us definite answers as to what was really wrong, and how best to save the baby. When we went there, I was subjected to further ultrasound scans. I had three ultrasounds that day, but still same findings but no definite answers nor solutions. We were asked to go back the next day where the Genetics Director in the OB Department would do the tests and give her diagnosis.

The next day saw us staying in the hospital the whole day, mostly waiting for our turn with the Doctors. But at least, we got our answers. Dr. Giuliana Songster, head of Genetics Clinic, conclusively said that there is a problem with the baby's kidneys. It was not passing urine and by this time, I had absolutely no water in my uterus. The baby is surviving only because of me. On his own, he can not survive especially since at this stage, he would need the fluid for the crucial development of the lungs. To be without water for a known two weeks was already damaging to his development. Moreover, to be without water this early, there wasn't much intervention they could do because our baby was just developing. We asked about amnio infusion - putting water in me to at least give our baby time to develop, or steroid injection - to hasten development of the lungs, but the doctors all said that our baby was just too young and too small.

The options offered to us were: to continue with the pregnancy, meaning wait it out, or terminate the pregnancy. We asked if the baby had a chance at all of surviving. She said hardly any at all. We asked if she's ever handled cases like this. She said, yes and not one survived. Continuing with the pregnancy posed risks for me - diabetes, hypertension, a possible caesarian operation again, and all for a known outcome that's not happy. Given those facts, we were leaning towards the second option. They said it was safe and the most logical thing to do. They said that if there was the slightest chance our baby would survive, they wouldn't even suggest this, but that realistically and medically speaking, a few hours of life would be the longest that our baby could spend, IF ever he would still be alive by full term.

If we opted for the latter, we only had a window of 6 days to decide since the hospital only performs that procedure for mothers who are a maximum of 23 1/2 weeks pregnant. They asked if we wanted to talk more extensively about the process. We said yes.

We were endorsed to Dr. Ronna Jurrow, who explained the procedures to us and the options as to where we may have the 'termination' procedure done. She suggested Eve's Surgical Center, or their own hospital and assured us that she'll personally make sure we will be well taken care of.

The Doctors at USC County were very humane despite the sad news. We truly admire and commend them for really taking time to explain and show that they care. Dr. Songster was especially sympathetic and consoling. So were Dr. Ishimaru and Dr. Phatak. They've put concern and 'humane-ness' in their profession. There should be more doctors like them.

On our way home, we were faced with a BIG decision to make. But one thing was definite. Our baby won't be staying long with us. We don't know if he/she would've been a son or a daughter; or what life he would have made for himself because he wouldn't be alive long enough to live it. What we do know for sure is he/she will be a future angel. As to when, we would have to think about it that night and in the next few days.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Off We Go

Tomorrow, off we go to the US to find more answers, to know the fate of our 2nd baby, to venture into an uncertainty. Here, we leave behind our son, Bric, in the care of family and his yaya Mila. Boydee and I take with us our faith, our families' love and prayers and each others' love and courage. We pray for His guidance and His unwavering and constant love and trust whatever is in store for us is with His blessing and is His divine will.