Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, Three/Seventeen

Good-bye for now...
I waited to see your lifeless body…

for four days following the visit to the hospital.

Your life began on a Sunday night

out of passion two became one.

You were confused and you were on your own

and mommy could not show you the way,

A part of you went the wrong direction

And I’m really sorry that I could not change that.

We loved you - your father and I and all of your brothers and sisters,

and one day we will be together again

souls reunited,

and you can find comfort with your mommy again.

Saturday morning…

Pain woke me up... now holding my breath and rocking, hurts... I am picturing the scene from the ‘Blue Lagoon’ when she is alone in the woods giving birth, screaming “RICHARD”, only it’d be in Spanish of course and switched to Ricardo. The pain is very intense, alone, not knowing...

Not sure what to expect right now. Is this labor, and it all just happens at once? Should I get a bucket or something? Or is this just the beginning of a drawn out painful period? Oh God it hurts like hell. If he were here he would be making me hot tea. His look would be comforting and strong. I would hide inside his arms up against his chest and cry, nice and safe and warm.

Is this that private of a moment that I should be alone? I am confused. I guess logically, it is nothing more than a really bad day on my part. That is if it is only a day. I am hoping a few hours tops because in a few hours everyone will be awake, then what? The kids will want breakfast.

Its slightly worse than cramps, close to a contraction. It is in my stomach and stretching around like a belt into my lower back. Yes same but different. It is coming and going…

I chose to do this instead of the DNC, they did offer. I am not one who likes intervention. I rarely take aspirin for pain, etc. My past 5 out of 6 births were without any intervention. I like to do it myself and no one messing with me. If it were up to me, which I guess it always has been I would have had all of them at home… there is some kind of illusion that we are not to do that though.

Even still I wish Ricardo was with me right now. I don’t know what we would get out of this memory or anything like that, but as far as how I feel right now, I need him.

I figured the DNC sounded damaging, scarring, all of that… the word scraping and “we’ll go in” turned me off right away. I told them I would just wait to have things take care of themselves.

I was not told what to expect and I did not think to ask. I will say that surprisingly it is turning into a round of contractions with breaks in between, and they are getting worse. The first one woke me out of a deep sleep. Yup - having one right now it is building up and intense and the same, a contraction – helps to rock. Okay over… lasted about a minute, two in between….

Okay had enough, I’m waking up my 12 year old daughter. I cannot do this alone. It is way too overboard on the physical pain level…

Sunday morning…

That was around 8am… it first started at 6am.

I continued this labor of contractions lasting a minute with roughly 2 or 3 minutes break in between. Each contraction would start small and tighten and build up strength to a peak in intensity, then hold there for a bit, then die back down… I did this for 7 hours drifting off to sleep between these contractions, with my 13 yr old son Julian checking on me. I remained in the bed staring at a photo of Ricardo and I with our arms around each other standing in front of a volcano in Puebla Mexico, and fell asleep for a few hours bringing my day into the afternoon and I got out of bed for the first time about 3pm. Awaking somewhat refreshed and decided to take a bath, as I had passed a lot of blood… also thinking it would make me feel better.

It is no surprise. When it is bath-time for mommy, Catherine usually jumps in… then Eliott will come in to the bathroom to check out what is going on, get a smirk, and strip down and jump in too - throwing the pile of toys in before his own body. Accustomed to the crowd during my own bath, I have learned to let go of the ideal of that relaxing bath moment. This bath was no surprise for that reason. Bath-time with mommy did not escape the “birth” of my labor’s efforts throughout the morning. I had my privacy this time, and in that private moment I met the handful of what my growing baby once was… a little mango-sized pod that held a sleeping baby inside.

I put her in one of my pair less socks, and buried him under the chestnut tree with flowers planted on top.

That was the end of our romantic conception on January eighth followed by my flight at Christmas to Mexico. That was the end of the name choices and the small effort to gather up maternity shirts as I sold what I had previous in my front yard and out of my van in Mexico for extra money two years ago. That was the end of the October Halloween baby that we welcomed with a smile.

She will always be loved by her mom and papa. We will never forget him…

My husband was told over the phone about my experience after the fact. He said sorry, I love you.

I need him for closure. I physically need him to emotionally move on.

But for now, until then, a temporary wall will be there.

I am getting to be quite the wall builder.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Primary Diagnosis: Fetal demise

“Primary Diagnosis: Fetal demise”… I chose this title for this blog

The previous title consideration: “God Bless my Lil Mexico Souvenir”

The decision  for the ending result title is pretty logical as it seems scientifically cold and calm and comparable to how I feel today regarding the state of my health that has been determined by the ER at the local hospital.

The definition of demise is of course: the death of somebody, the end of something that used to exist, to die… especially when it is slowly and predictably.

Slowly and predictably… that is the hook that reels in the rest of my life with this loss, presumably compounding my scientifically assumed emotional and hormonal pain of loss. It contributes to that ideal image that today I would be hating baby commercials, burning the list of names I had picked out, and rearranging the maternity section of the closet… saying good-bye to someone that “should” have been in our lives soon.

The delivery of 5 of my 6 children took place in this same hospital, average time from coming in the door to baby in arms being three hours, however with a range from 45 minutes to 5 ½ hours. I was there for seven hours, only to receive the verdict in the last thirty minutes of my stay of a diagnosis that of being fetal demise, from a man who made his first introduction to me at that same moment in the ER… there was no emotional attachment in my visit. Walking out of the electric doors at 12:30 am was quite different than being wheeled from a room with a baby in my arms and a balloon tied to the armrest. First words that came out of my mouth when I hit that night air on the walk to the car was “well that sucked” – yes I was talking to myself.  

Three full episodes of Law and Order, two front to back magazines, and a psychological evaluation of the family that was parading around the waiting room (that I seriously feel escaped from a mental institution or a local commune) – entertaining to say the least – led to my annoyance of the visit. I was hungry, tired, concerned how my mother was handling the kids at bed time, and a little worried that my usual night-time call to Ricardo in my absence was going to cause him to worry. The IV needle in the nook of my arm was hurting, and the air conditioning above was blowing as if it were a southern state of 100 degrees outdoors, which is so far from reality as this is freezing Pennsylvania. So I pulled my fists into my sweater sleeves, and adjusted myself in my seat a dozen times… there was nothing “baby” about this visit so far.

The rest of the visit was spent as a patient. I was taken to a room off of the ER where the nurse laid out the gown… and she was fumbling a bit, so I said “you need me to strip down right?” She smiled, “Exactly.” So that was cold. I left my knee high socks on and pulled my sweater back on. I was like a little granny all hunched up watching the votes come in on the Republican debate. After thirty minutes I was transported to the Ultra-sound via stretcher.

She pulled up the sides of my wheelie-bed with my purse beside me and my smock dress wrapped tightly around my legs and even tucked in a bit. There is something about riding through the halls of a hospital that is unnerving anyway, but when you’re wearing a flimsy smock with no undergarments, it intensifies that modesty like a bad dream. Plus it was cold.

All of the sudden I had this amazing flashback… the last time I was in a stretcher moving through the hallways. The guy was slamming into every corner, reaping havoc on my pain level, and Ricardo my husband who was beside me walking, was calling him a “pinche balboso” as he wheeled me to the surgery room from the ER in Mexico. I smiled at that memory of my husband’s determination of protection of his princess. It was comforting. I broke the silence with the woman pushing me and shared this memory with her. She changed her position from the back over to the side of the stretcher while she steered me through, ending the conversation close to our destination with how she was worried about her daughter’s planned endeavor to travel to Mexico with a MS medical condition. I told her, not all aspects of the medical care in Mexico are as horrible as the experience I had in the hospital. I expressed how on a scale of attention as far as daily life with the involvement of the local doctor and the kids’ frequent illnesses and injuries, it was rather advanced in that the care was quick and cheap, and it was in my opinion black and white.

I recognized the ultra-sound man as he introduced himself, and he said, "Yea, I’ve been here too long,” and he recognized me too, to which I responded, “Yea I have a lot of kids.” Kind of funny… I am not a professional, but by this point I can see the sonar screen and pretty much know what is going on. He started to place little crosshair cursors on lateral sides with an adjoining measurement line on a black circle. Aware that a normal part of a sonogram is first the measurement of the head, I thought okay that is the baby’s head… but he was moving the “mouse” around on my jelled up stomach to such degrees that I knew, that wasn’t the baby’s head, but it was my womb, an empty black circle. He measured a little attached piece sticking out of the side that was not black but was the only material object, somewhat grey-colored on the screen, like a little “nub”. He was quiet, taking multiple views and photos; I watched for a while, then rested my head back and stopped watching because I knew. There weren’t any feet or hands or arms or a face, nothing like a baby. I said, “There isn’t a baby in there is there?” He said “yes, but it is early in the pregnancy, I am detecting a baby’s pole.” I got a little a flutter of hope, and said “What is a pole?” And he said, “You know, the one end to the other of the embryo.” So I tried to show my experience with this sort of thing… “I am 11.2 weeks. I had a sonogram with my son at 13 weeks in which I could see him as a baby moving around with his arms and legs and face and even that he was a boy… this is not an early pregnancy.” He was only allowed to say so much because he was not the doctor. I told him though, “I read about this when the baby stops growing but the body continues to produce pregnancy hormones and women do not know.” I Google my self-prognosis for everything that happens to me or the kids prior to doctor’s appointments so that I have an idea of what is going on. The body will continue the pregnancy and the baby will have stopped growing due to chromosomal abnormalities. It all started to make sense to me at that moment. That is why I have felt less morning sickness, I am not showing as much as I should be, and most of all, despite that there is no scientific reasoning for the last and most important sign… I felt empty and unconnected with the “baby” that was in me. From a woman-with-many-children’s perspective, I knew there was something missing. Quite possibly that edge that pregnancy puts a woman at… that door between life and death, where a soul is exchanged to be placed inside your own body that brings your senses to a point of sometimes heightened discernment of life’s fragility… is exactly what I am referring to. We continued with the ultra-sound…

I sat for an hour on my stretcher following the ultra-sound, only wheeled back down to the ER. My room was taken because it was a busy night for them, so I was parked up against the wall. I was right in the middle of all the action, so I just watched and listened… “so this is what a normal life is like” – the conversations were normal – normal life things that happen to people that I have not experienced in years now… Two people were talking about a car that the other was selling and upon ending his shift with his coat on gave a wave and said “Facebook-message me and we’ll talk more about it.” Wow – reality smack in the face.

I have Facebook messages that are regarding loss… loss of rights, loss of husband’s presence or ability to be with me and our children, just loss…

This hospital staff, bustling around my stretcher as if I were an invisible part of the scenery, caused me to feel like I was watching a candid camera film that was to show a person such as myself “this is what real life looks life.” I am sure that this is being overly sensitive. But I am incarcerated within my own mind because of the immigration jailers. I have been given an indefinite sentence of guilt for loving a man from Mexico and forming a family with him. I am never going to be able to break free to join the rest of society, or so it seems, until my husband is “awarded” a begged for visa… as if that constitutes begging.

I try to think of the good things, like the fact that I have cried every day of my pregnancy here in PA without my husband in Mexico. I have been so emotional and nuts over everything. At least that would subside without my pregnancy continuing… I mean just as soon as my HCG hormone levels reduce to normal levels. At least now I can be stronger as a person in the many efforts that it will take in the near future to resume the paperwork where we left off on the sponsorship. At least our next family time/visit with Ricardo in Mexico will not have to be revolved around the pregnancy or regard any type of prenatal care issues, or due dates. We are now without timeline pressures that a pregnancy can put on our already powerfully complicated situation.

Ricardo is very logical. He is my counter-balance because I am dramatic, and he reminds me of this quite often and says that our daughter is the same. He is my rock and my best friend, and I am extremely lucky to have him and I love him so much.

His first reaction to my call was “why do you call me now and not before” because I call him every night and it was very late. His voice was groggy like I just woke him up… I said “I was at the hospital Ricardo the baby is gone” Immediately he was at full attention. I think he thought Catherine because I call her the baby – I said “I am not pregnant anymore. The baby did not grow.” I was being lighthearted towards our conversation because he deals with enough depression of our absence as it is, and I know he has this huge protective need for being here with us. I did not want to make it sound like I was losing it or anything, so I was somewhat as upbeat as possible. I finished with “you okay?” He said it was natural and he was fine… just like I expected.

So that is what happened last night. I was secretly hoping that the ultra sound would reveal this little kicking baby in there with a strong heartbeat proving that my spotting was just a fluke… I even prayed in the little room to please protect me and the baby. I felt completely engulfed in Him for a few seconds as he laid his protection on me. I know that is why I am okay right now, emotionally. I just have to proceed with the miscarriage as of right now not showing any signs, yes, no cramps nor blood… I look for it to begin in the next week or something… I am a little afraid about what to expect.

It was not God’s decision for my baby to not develop. The baby stopped growing around 6 weeks and its sac had a measurement of 8 weeks, but my HCG levels are high like a normal pregnancy. It was nature taking its course. Sometimes biology is real and that is a part of life. God does however protect the soul from pain when you ask for it. That is how I have been surviving.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Wager

     For those who do not understand the truth behind my desire to succeed in our marriage being complete in the USA and instead of being rather adventurous and tearing into life in the heart of Mexico, side by side riding off into the sunset as the happy couple, let me explain just a small minute aspect of why and maybe the reality of why this part of my story is not talked much about by me.

      This above all is certainly not about the fact that Julian and Leah are not Hispanic however I took them into Mexico to learn close to nothing throughout their elementary education years… oh, except that of their comparison to America and what they knew to be missing was huge. That in fact is not meant to knock the Mexican school system, but as a foreigner with no ability to speak to the educational staff in their own language… there is no hope of the PTA assimilation on my part as a mother of two small children who too did not know the language. Their big advantage that was noted by the school system, was that the school gave my kids somewhat of a gifted status, because eventually over time they were both completely bilingual, mother tongue of two languages, dreaming in each - self taught. Forget math and history… who has need for that when the basic opportunity to get a great job knowing English somewhat causes the educational staff to overlook what your child is lacking – especially when they, as opposed to the forty-five other students in the humid overcrowded and under equipped classroom, were not native. No, despite Julian and Leah’s education with a certain possibility of never receiving proper status to live in this Mexican country, and possibly not finishing the 12 years of regular free education in the USA due to lack of money and lack of the comparable social security number (CURP) that is given to residents; yes, the futures of my kids, although dramatic in the dynamics of, are not enough to necessitate the need for the waiver. We could still go back to live in Mexico despite these odds and hope for the best.

        Upon examination of my first marriage, that came of it my children Rachel and Thomas, it seems as though it is a basic divorce situation. Two people looking to be married just to be married and a total lack of respect and love within the attitudes of both of us towards the other. Not uncommon at all in society. Personality wise, I was brought up to make an adventure out of life where he was brought up to control the dreams and funnel them into a small container that he kept in his back pocket. Trusting his wishes for my signature due to supposed technicalities of insurance purposes, I signed my life away a month after separation to him, my house, everything in it, and our children… of course figuring that it was not as serious as the paper read, but that surely he would never just cut me out… papers were only for insurance purposes… Nope! That was the end of my motherhood. Why? - Because I was abusive, on drugs, or drunk? No. Was I a whore or deemed crazy? No. I was not any of these things. I was a mother with a very good job who took her daughter to the library once a week and cuddled at naptime on the couch while the 99th time of Fox and the Hound was playing on the TV. I was a mother that got up to nurse her baby son that she delivered at 9.3 pounds after forty-five minutes labor, every hour during the night in a rocking chair and then went to work at five in the morning. I was that mother who stock piled food and bathroom supplies so much that he did not even have to buy soap a full year and a half after I was gone. I was also a mom who took the kids with me initially and he ended up with them by means of a simple signature. A man who drank his way through the first two years of our relationship enough to require cold buckets of water to be thrown on him to no avail. The man that I drove to work every day for the first 4 years of our relationship because his license was revoked was suddenly the boss and I was without any claims all because of a signature. Still, in my pursuit for an annulment from the Church, I will be claiming full responsibilty because of my personal misunderstanding of the meaning of marriage before I made the commitment in a Catholic sense. In other words, I took the vow without being seriously commited for life. I did it only for my year old daughter. I hold the blame for my own decision to start something that I could not finish, but not the blame for the entirety of our relationship... I gave it all and it was just too much take, in my mind.

    Now this is still not the issue of why I feel the need to explain my waiver desires, as if that needed some type of explanation, but I will proceed regardless to finish the point.

     This has nothing to do with who was right or wrong or big or strong, it is simply an explanation of my emotional state following my loss of my children due to ignorance both on my part for taking a signature so lightly and his part for not acknowledging my importance as a mother in their lives. Ignorance very simply put can destroy people. My visitations were limited to exactly twenty-four hours every two weeks. It was his desire to drop them off at six on Friday evening, and for me to have them back by six on Saturday evening. For years I worked as a substitute mail-carrier, even though I worked six days a week, I was without benefits of the full time. For the first few years of this arrangement I had to basically find a babysitter. I usually had a lot of trouble lining someone up to take their Saturday and donate it to this project. After some time passed, I became a full time mail-carrier and had Saturdays off. He lined up the total Saturday afternoon to be filled with a 3-4 hour day at the soccer fields. Now I was glad that they were in soccer, but that was supposed to be our time… control issues… and he never ever gave me any time extra – even when begged for.

    When they were still pretty small, I would pull up to the house to drop them off, and the kids and I would just hold each other out front of the house in the car. My son was a toddler and my daughter was a bit older…She was five, then six, then seven…. I missed it all! Once when she was around five, we sat there crying talking about how we would think about each other till next time in two weeks, and he came out to the car really mad, and grabbed her out, taunting me “waa waa waa you big baby” “aaawwhhhh I feel so bad for you booo hooo loser” My daughter was there. That is the kind of relationship I had to endure with him if I was to have my small slice of their lives, all verbal abuse. I have never been able to see a report card or school project, nothing. My gifts that I bought for them were quickly removed from their sight. I was not allowed to be a mom. Not to mention the undeserved public humiliation with that wonderful two and a half newspaper article, describing his fatherhood being perfect with no mention that they had a mother… he gloated, “ya like that?” As if it was a game. He stole my children from me. I was suicidal for years following.

     My second husband was abusive and we moved far away when they were nine and six years old, yet another blow to my children. Our relationship remained strong over the phone, which they were old enough to do this now. Before when we lived in the same town, I would call very often but he would never let me talk, "They're busy."- Click.... and they never knew the difference… but as they aged, they became wise to the little things like phone calls. We visited once or twice a year. Then I was put into the abuse shelter and the system and was not supposed to leave until the court case was completed. I found great opportunity in my new job… then I met Ricardo.

      I consistently bugged Ricardo, my new found love, to move to Pennsylvania with me. I needed to go back. The kids were getting older and it was my opportunity to try to get more visits. Now that I was away from the abuse with two years of counseling to strengthen me, I wanted my relationship with my kids back. Ricardo made me strong and content with life. I dreamed of the fairy tale. He didn’t appreciate that pressure when he missed his own family so much. He left for Mexico assuming that I was dead set on going to Pennsylvania with or without him, because that is what I told him. Pressure tactics are not always the best option.

    I can remember as if it were yesterday, the call I made to the kids from Florida. They thought I was coming back to Pennsylvania, finally… I said, “I am going to Mexico, I need to know what it is like there at least to tell the baby where his father came from,” as I was newly found pregnant. “I promise I will not stay. I promise. I will be back. I just want to know what to tell the baby about his father.” I was figuring Ricardo would come back with me. I was figuring he would satisfy his need for his family as he missed them so much that he broke down crying upon reuniting with them (our mutual friend who took him told me later). It was how things would work out in my imagination. We would come back together. I had no idea that there was even such a thing as papers to apply for. So naïve I was. I figured it was a simple basic formality that could be worked out somewhat like any application for anything that we do here in America. Nope. I left everything I owned behind, drove off in my loaded mini-van for a three day drive to the center of Mexico, pregnant with two kids in the back - knowing under ten words of Spanish.

     Over the years with the traveling back and forth on tourist visas because our attempt to get our permanent residency status there became impossible, we of course spent time during many of those transitions in Pennsylvania with my kids. Every time I would see them they were taller, or had braces, or boobs, or casts or stories… growing up between visits and changing naturally like the way the landscape does when left unmanaged. One day they are little babies and the next they are pulling up in a car. Sadly, I was only physically part of that change in small amounts, all visits. The entirety of my relationship with my two first born revolved around this visit and next visit.

      This is where it starts to sound familiar to my marriage to Ricardo and all that we have been able to offer our growing babies: this visit and next visit.
      So you see, my need is not to appease the crowd, or to conform to what the bandwagon is doing, or to avoid simply giving in to supposed natural causes of marriage to a Mexican and label myself tough girl for surviving the adventure. Nope. I am in need of a waiver for my husband to live in Pennsylvania with me, simply because I am very tired. I am very tired of visits. I am very tired of having to say goodbye and having my heart ripped out.
       I only wish that I could somehow describe listening to my daughter sob so much that she lost her breath in my father’s car on the way to the airport at four in the morning a few years ago. We got in line with all of our bags and we had to snap out of it so that we could go our separate ways….

...Just like we did when we she was five… my son the brave smiling soul teared up as he handed Eliott over to me after carrying him to the gate, and away we go....

      A part of life to watch your babies fly from the nest is naturally painful for a mother. Soon they are out of their father’s control and can make their own decisions in life.
     This is only where my turn begins.

     That is, provided I pursue the waiver to be here…

      You see, this is more than an unwillingness to let go of aged children, it is exhaling after a long time coming.

       It is more than a not so simple process of a waiver so that 'Ricardo the Mexican,' my beloved husband, can come to live in Pennsylvania with his waiting family. Maybe to Ricardo and maybe to the kids it is; but for me it is untying the concrete block from my leg and swimming to the top of the water and getting my life back after all of these years.

If you cannot understand that, be glad. Do not try to connect with this.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Could this be it?

        Father Murphy was really not as threatening as the nervous tensions told me to be... those voices in my mind that caused me to picture being struck down as a disappointment to society with my past divorce. No he was kind and real to us, as a true friend would be.

     Leah came along as they had a half day of school, anything to get out of the house for her… but I was glad she came. Leah and Father Murphy click really well and he introduced her to a bunch of different ideas for her to be involved with in the Church, such as the youth group. I could see in her eyes that her wheels were turning …”fun” was what she was thinking coming from the “I’m bored” eleven year old attitude… “friends” that are in the neighborhood that are in her youth group’s age – girls that she knows from school and are already friends with.

Finally – a smidgen of normalcy!

When it starts to happen, the normalcy, after years of raising children out of suitcases… I don’t know I am slightly overwhelmed right now. Wow.

I introduced the two of us and expressed that I was not really sure where to start… that there was probably no other family around town with our situation… and that my family needs so much help right now.
There was absolutely no formal approach, I had no proof, copies, papers, photos, nothing that would be required in all of the other aspects of our marriage up till this point
 – including his I-130 & the prep for the hardship waiver – “PROVE” to us you are REAL…
The traveling to be with each other with our children between countries, they say, “now SHOW us your passports and why were you in Mexico”… to which we always respond, “just being a family.”
Walking through life without as much as an ounce of trust coming from anyone that we are just a real life family so simply, I guess that I have become accustomed to the proof part of who we really are. I went to the Church without any form of proof. I refused to make yet one more aspect of my life an instant business deal. This was about the responsibility that I have to make sure that my family is not living under this huge horrible weight that has been placed on us, regardless of the fault or circumstance...
– we are beyond that “figuring it out how we got here stage” and we are in the “we need to save ourselves right now” stage. We were simply asking to be rescued.

Right away he started jotting down information like my kids’ names, which led to past marriages, which lead to our marriage, which led to a few explanations that are not bragging material to a priest. His expression did not change; he did not snarl or let out any breath of disapproval… he just kept talking and asking questions… trying to make sense of my complicated situation with multiple factors… without judgment – as it should be.

Obvious that I love my husband, and without asking for proof of that, Father Murphy said to me, “Bring all of the papers in that I will need to take over to the lawyer and I will sponsor you. If the diocese has some type of reservation, because they have rules about different things, I know people that will do it.”     

     He wondered about hospitalization - which gave me the opportunity to explain the sponsorship step of the immigration process. Due to the lack of immigration reform, the immigration process presently does not reflect on the US Welfare System’s reform of its benefits policy being unable to be accessed by a non-citizen of the USA, potentially cancelling itself out. I gave him the hypothetical situation where if Ricardo were to be here and find himself hurt enough to require medical attention and say we were not insured, the hospital would not call upon government assistant in the case of a non US citizen however would bill the total cost of the visit directly to Ricardo and I at our address. The sponsorship has no exchange of money. It was basically set up to cover any money that the government lost in paying for the immigrant.
He asked what work I have right now or have had and I let him know that I was a full time student in my second year at an online university to be a preschool teacher with a 4.0 grade average, and  of my past work experience as a mail-carrier for 7 years and my job in the work comp claims business.

Then he asked me “What does he do for a living?” I clumsily described Ricardo’s job as a delivery driver for the many ice cream stores in our Mexican state of Morelos of the big buckets of ice cream products used to make the ice cream… followed by “he’ s a really great driver” because he really is exceptional. He said without hesitation that he can get a job easily with someone that he knows as a driver for an asphalt company, just the technicalities of getting his license.
He asked where we were planning on living, and asked if I realize that homes are really expensive. I said I am not looking for a luxury home, we would be happy simply having stability in an apartment. I then said, “I realize there are many technicalities to life, like him getting the correct license and us finding a home, but when our life gets to the point where we are facing these questions, that is when we know that we are experiencing some type of normal life, and that is all we want is to be a normal family.”
He asked me, “Why did it take you so long to come here?”  I told him that we do not have a car and we do not make it to Church in the city to St Paul’s so we heard that St Fidelis is Roman Catholic and my sister in San Diego had a baby so my parents left us my mom’s car to use and because we were so happy to have transportation we went to church on Sunday and then on Wednesday too because it was Ash Wednesday and there was a song that they played and it was about Jesus but for me it was about my husband and it was page 216 and it made me realize that I just needed to be brave and ask the Church to help us… He got the picture.

I want to believe that he is going to take us under his wing I guess…. HUGE project for anyone…

Of course when you are this bruised, even the best news is too scary to believe.

Maybe we will finally get our opportunity though. Maybe I can focus on one sure plan instead of juggling 4 or 5 possible plans each with detrimental outcomes.

Thank God!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Y scene.

One day in the future my 18 year old daughter will be calling… what will it be like….

Scenario one, I am living in Mexico:  

 “Mom, we are getting married. I know you will not be there because you cannot make it from Mexico. No my brother can’t talk to you sorry… I don’t know I guess he is mad because you left.”…. “Hey mom it was an awesome wedding. Your sisters and their husbands were there and their kids… so were your mom and dad. Lots of people were wondering about you, why my mom was not there for my wedding… or my siblings… I could have used your help with my dress… I was really nervous too. Wish you could have been there, sending photos.”…… “Mom I’m pregnant”…. “Almost time to go to the hospital, wish you were here!”….”First birthday party won’t be the same without you guys… tell my brothers and sisters I said hi and I miss them…”

Scenario two, traveling back and forth like now:

    “Mom I am making arrangements for our wedding. Do you want me to seat you and my sisters and brothers with your parents so you have another adult at your table? Dad will be sitting with his girlfriend and all of the others are coupled off, so I just want to make sure that you are comfortable.”….. “My daughter is so beautiful, don’t you think dad. I wish Ricardo were here for the thousandth precious moment of my life missed”…. “Your baby is so pretty. One day you can vacation to see Ricardo in Mexico so he can be a part of her life.”….. “Another birthday party goes by without Ricardo in the photos or in our memory.”

Scenario three, Ricardo gets his papers and we are living in the USA:

    “Mom and Ricardo… sit down we have news to tell you – we are getting married!”……….. “Mom and Ricardo you look so happy. Mom can you help me with my dress? Ricardo isn’t she beautiful? Let’s dance!”…. “Can you guys come out to eat with us we have good news… We are going to have a baby. You guys are grandparents!”….. “Ricardo I am so nervous sitting in this waiting room. Let’s take the kids down to the café until she is born…. Hey there little baby we are your grandparents… you can come to our house all of the time.... Happy st birthday sweet angel, do you want to sleep over at my house tonight? Grandpap Ricardo will take us all to the park for some ice cream tomorrow!”

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bun in the Oven

We are going to have a baby. I am 10 1/2 weeks right now. It feels like it has been a lot longer because I knew the very second that it happened. Believe me when I say, that moment was sincere and beautiful. To associate it with the baby’s life will be 'our' blessing in itself, I know this. We waited until the last week of the month to walk over to the local store together to buy a pregnancy test. We figured that the hormone level would be best to test after I was technically "late," even though deep down we knew. The directions on the box were in Spanish, so I told him “you will have to read this for me.”

We woke up the next day at 4:30am for him to go to work. He opened the box the night before and put everything upstairs in the bathroom for me, ready to go. In the morning I went up and did the urine test. I brought it down to him while he stood in the kitchen brushing his teeth. He looked at it, looked at the paper, looked at me and said with his sexy foreign accent, “baby you’re pregnant.” We just held each other laughing.

We have always talked about having one more, but not until the papers were finished and that way I could rest and he could work. Stupid papers…. We never dreamed it would have taken this long and now I have aged a bit. When we first made the decision to separate and I take the kids to live in the USA from Mexico, we figured a 3-6 month separation tops, as that was what everyone told us. We had no idea it would have ever been like this. I doubt we would have gone forward with the plan knowing that a year and a half later there is still nothing, no light at the end of the tunnel, no date given. We would have never had the balls, never… if we knew what the last year and a half entailed… we would not have had the balls to proceed.

Yet here we are finding ourselves back to the start, only with more knowledge on the subject of immigration. We now are aware of how we are able to retrieve the blessed legal status papers for my husband, to let our children be raised by their willing father, but most importantly, to start a normal stable life in a home that we sink our love and time into filling with smiles and love and warmth… one home that does not entail suitcases, passports, and time limits to squeeze everything in till next time… and the tears of separation.
However, we may have to give up that goal and return to Mexico this June for good, after all that.

The next few weeks will entail many tests for the baby that I carry to see how the factors of my high risk age pan out. We most certainly do not want to go in on the blind to deliver a baby in a dark room in Mexico until I know that everything is fine. I am sure that he/she is, but it is nice to be prepared.

That is where we are right now.