You were born on April 24th, 2012 at 3:16 p.m in room 316 at Little Company of Mary hospital in Torrance, CA. I’ve never been more afraid in my life then when I had you. I was on a lot of medication due to having you via c-section. Your head was becoming a cone as you tried to escape the womb and your heart rate was slowing. The Dr felt he needed to get you out ASAP.
Funny thing is, when he gave me the news that you would be coming out in a way I never thought you would, your soon-to-be father was missing! He had been in the room with me the entire time up until then. Ha! I called him from the hospital phone since my phone had died after listening to Dead Kennedys during contractions. I picked punk because I knew I would be passed off from the pain. Come to find out, your Dad was at Panda Express. How rude (since I couldn’t eat). When he finally showed up, he got dressed in his scrubs and put on the protective mask and he was ready to have a baby. Me on the other hand. Well. I never mentally prepared myself for a cesarean birth. I was ready to push you out but not through my guts! Again, I was heavily medicated so the shock didn’t come until later. The worst part on the entire thing was the epidural. It was a cliche movie scene. You know the woman in the hospital who is giving birth and she’s screaming so loud the entire hospital stops in disbelief? That was me. The thought of having a needle go into my spine was terrifying.
The room was bright white. They rolled me in and pulled you right out. Next thing I know, I’m watching the nurses weigh you (8 lbs.) and check your length (21 inches). You cried right away unlike your sister who waited awhile.
I was wheeled off to the recovery room while you went with more nurses to get a bath. Papa was there to make sure you were well taken care of. I’m sad to this day that I couldn’t be there to witness your first bath but I know you were in good hands. While I was recovering Nana brought me a white flower and put it in my hair. It made me feel so peaceful.
We stayed on the hospital for what seemed like forever (4 days to be exact). When we went home, we were all exhausted.
I stared at you ever day in awe that you were mine to keep forever. You smelled like a brand new baby. Like the pink lotion that babies use. Like old milk and throw up. I loved it. You had long fingers and toes. You loved to lay on my chest and listen to my heart beat. You were perfect.
You cried a lot. I didn’t know why at the time. I really had no idea what I was doing. I yelled a lot. Not only when you were a newborn but even as you became a toddler. I am sorry for that. I didn’t know how to deal with my new hormones. Especially when they were mixed with depression. You didn’t deserve to have the wrath of my negativity and I hope one day you can forgive me.
Papa had to go back to work after a month of helping me take care of you.
Now what do I do? Could I do this alone? I didn’t think so, but I did. You’ve made it in one piece for almost 5 years. There were lots of tears. Lots of yelling. Lots of anger. But little did I know that was all fear. And you know what? There was so much love. More love than anyone could measure. And it’s still growing to this day. You are the best thing to happen to me. You saved me from the world. Thank you.
We later moved to the Valley (Northridge, CA) to live with Grandpa and Uncle Riean. You were 6 months old. You learned to crawl while living there. It was on a slippery wooden floor but you managed to get one leg up on its knee and push with the other foot. You also learned how to walk while we lived there. You were 11 months.
We went to a big park with a lake and two big jungle gyms. I followed behind you every step of the way to assure your safety. This is most likely the reason why you were afraid of your own shadow and the floor at Target. I didn’t want to make you fearful, I just didn’t want you to break any limbs.
While in the Valley, you learned shapes, colors, numbers, and even some planets. You knew what a quatrefoil was by the time you were 1. You wanted to fill your brain with as much as you could. You could even read by the age of 2. I later learned that that is was unusual for a 2 year old to be reading. How would I know that? I’ve never had a kid before. I didn’t know the age bracket of certain milestones.
I was having a hard time adjusting to living in a new city where I had no friends. Papa worked a lot so it was just me and you. I had a lot of days of just crying and feeling lonely. Than Grandpa gave us news that he was going to have another baby! How fun! So we decided that in order for the new baby and Wife to be comfortable, we should move back to the South Bay. Grandpa insisted we stay but we knew that Grandma and your new Uncle would need the room.
We rented a U-haul and moved our stuff to Harbor City, CA. Fun fact; I was born at Harbor Ucla Hospital in the middle of Harbor City. When we arrived we rented a one bedroom apartment at Summer Glen Apartments that are actually owned by Papa’s Aunt. I felt a lot better having our own privacy and being closer to family and friends. I want to be clear that I appreciate your Grandfather letting us stay with him. I love him like my own father. I just felt like we needed to be able to raise our family without any distractions since I was still trying to figure out what the hell I was doing. Although we moved closer to friends, I still felt lonely. I learned that not many people want to hang out with a stay at home Mom.
When you were 2 1/2 we started the search for a school that you could attend. You didn’t really have a lot of interaction with other kids and we wanted to make sure you knew there were other people in the world besides Papa and I. You were at the end of your potty training and still wore Pull-ups. Your new teacher asked (demanded) that I bring you in underwear with 5 extra pair in case of an accident. You cried for about a week when I would leave you. But then your teacher, Mrs. Lopez, would come and save the day. She treated you like her own Grandson. She protected you from me. She could sense when I was frustrated with you crying when I would drop you off. You were her favorite kid in the entire school. I am grateful we got to know her and still talk to her to this day. The Director of the school (Teach Love Connect Christian Preschool), Mrs. Monahan was so fascinated that you knew all the planets. Every teacher admired your knowledge.
I was so proud of you. I never took credit for your smarts. You just wanted to learn and learn and learn. I just followed your lead and guided you in whichever direction you were heading. Later you became interested in the United States. You learned them all. Than the Capitals and onto Countries. You could make a map from scratch. It was awesome! You always wanted to go to Russia since it was so big.
You were in school for about 6 months when I started working at Mitsuwa (a Japanese supermarket). My entire paycheck went to helping Papa pay your school tuition. I worked for a few months before I found out I was pregnant! This pregnancy was completely different from yours. You gave me no problems. No vomiting. No dying. No pregnancy symptoms really. I had to quit my job because of how sick I was. You watched my belly grow but weren’t really interested in the fact that I was growing a human in there that would later be your sister. I tried to prepare you or rather warn you that all of our lives were about to change. You listened but I don’t think you ever processed it because when your sister did finally arrive, you were so confused. You started to act out. I knew it would happen and thought I could handle it. Nope. You wanted to make it clear that this life changing event wasn’t what you wanted. I tried to reassure you that you were still a part of the family as much as Penelope was. You later started to accept it. Not be okay with it, but you knew it wasn’t going away so you gave in.
I kept the 3 of us busy. I took you and your sister to as many places as I could. Mostly to your favorite places like the Griffith Observatory and The California Science Center. We couldn’t do as much as we used to but I knew you were just happy to be out. I was terrified to take you two out alone. But I just had to close my eyes and jump. It would be selfish of me to just stay home all of the time because of my own fears. I mean I had bad days where we did just watch movies at home all day because my emotions were overpowering everything.
Let me mention that when I was pregnant with your sister, I started to see a Therapist. I should’ve done it when I was pregnant with you but I felt like I needed to fight myslef and try to parent on my own. I was being selfish and I’m sorry. Although I started the therapy later in life, I promise it has helped me be a better Mom. When you grow up you have to find Jose Gaspar and thank him. He saved my life and taught me how to be a better Mom. A better person.
Penelope turned 6 months which meant it was time for your 4th birthday! We took you to Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor Waterpark, and had the best time.
It is now February 22nd, 2017 and you will soon be 5. Your birthday is in 2 months! You are smarter than you were and have even become a “nerd”. I love that you’d rather read the learn how to ride a bike. You are all brains. I hope you always stay that way. You are stubborn and sweet. You don’t really like being hugged or kissed but I do it anyway. You are so handsome and you know it. You have 5 fillings and a crown when you smile with your teeth. You are tall. The Dr. says you’ll grow to be 6’5! You still have long fingers and toes. I hope you stay stubborn because I love it even though it drives me crazy. Always be yourself and you’ll be loved by everyone.