A Love Without Limits

Mason is finally asleep and I am very uncomfortably lying next to him in his Lightning McQueen bed. What a challenge bedtime was tonight! He is currently obsessed with legos and was building a firetruck with Vinnie as I told him it was time to go potty and then night-night. He threw a huge tantrum because there was one tiny little piece missing and he didn’t want to leave the truck unfinished. We tried reasoning with him and explaining it was already late and that we’d look again in the morning because the piece was nowhere to be found, but in true “threenager” fashion he dropped to the floor and screamed bloody murder for the godforsaken lego piece. (Can you tell what a huge fan I am?)

I was left with no other choice but to pick him up kicking and screaming and bring him to his bed. At first it was that defiant, exaggerated, and – for lack of a better word – bratty cry that small children often use when they don’t get their way. After a solid half hour or so, though, it turned into a genuine sob. He cried as if he’d lost the most important thing in the world to him. His cheeks were covered in his salty tears and his little squeals of agony were absolutely heart wrenching. So much so that the disciplinarian in me took a backseat to the nurturing mother that could not stand to see her baby in so much pain. I pulled him close, told him I was sorry he was so sad, and cried with him. Then I held him until he finally calmed down and closed his eyes.

He won’t remember this moment when he is older. Hell, it’ll probably be forgotten in the morning when he wakes up. Lord knows that legos are not worth that kind of heartache and that’s a lesson he will inevitably learn as he faces real challenges in his life, as we all do.

The truth is, it wasn’t about the lego for me. That little white snap block will turn up somewhere in this house and all will be right in Mason’s world once more.

What I was really thinking about in those moments was all the things I won’t be able to protect him from as he grows up. I hope he lives a wonderful life and that future struggles are minimal, but many things will be completely out of my control.

And then I thought about my mom.

What she must have felt witnessing me go through the darkest moments of my life and not being able to make it all go away. Watching me bury my husband with a huge pregnant belly and all the difficult changes I had to endure in such a short period of time thereafter. I know she would have traded places with me in a heartbeat to spare me from the pain I was feeling.

But she couldn’t.

There was nothing she could do other than to be there, listen, hold me as I cried, and support me unconditionally as I started to move forward with my new life. I hope, from the very bottom of my heart, that she knows that was enough and that the gratitude I feel for her during that time of my life is second to none.

And I hope one day Mason will look back on his life and remember a mom who’d do anything for him – even if it meant helping him build the same lego firetruck a million times to see him smile.


Photo taken by Melissa Perez of Simply Captivating

Open Letter to My Love

My Love,

Our little angel has finally arrived, but I know you already knew that. You did, after all, have a special conversation with God and request for his birthdate to be on none other than Mother’s Day. I have no doubt that was your doing. You not only wanted to further ensure the special bond that I will always have with our son, but you also wanted to give your own mother a beautiful distraction on what must have been a difficult day for her. Not to mention, his birthdate – 5/10/15 – will always carry a piece of both of us since you were born on the 5th, I was born on the 10th, and together those numbers add up to 15. You + Me = Mason. Perfect.

What can I tell you about this amazing little person that our love created? Mason Ralf Garcia entered the world at 2:08pm, weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches in length. I was in labor for a total of about 14 hours. Our parents took me in to the hospital once my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. The doctor examined me and found that I was only 1 centimeter dilated, so he had me walk around the hospital for 2 hours to see if that would speed things up. Our moms took the first hour shift, and our dads the second. They comforted me through contractions and made me laugh. I even managed to do some lunges in the hallway with my huge belly. After all the walking, I had dilated some more and the doctor decided to admit me. I had an epidural (which, I must say, was magical) and then the doctor broke my bag of waters. After that, I dilated to a full 10 centimeters in just a couple of hours. All signs pointed to an easy, natural delivery. However, things didn’t turn out as we’d hoped. I pushed for 2.5 hours and the baby just wouldn’t come out. Turns out my pubic bone was in the way by a fraction of an inch and he wasn’t able to squeeze through. So, I ended up needing a c-section.

Our moms went into the operating room with me. I couldn’t see what was going on, of course, but once I heard him cry my own tears began to flow uncontrollably. We all sobbed. I felt you in that moment – not just your spirit, but I swear I felt a physical presence. I could feel your hand rubbing my head, your warm breath in my ear as you whispered, “He’s here and he’s okay.” When they placed him on my chest, the very first thing I noticed was that he has Daddy’s eyebrows.

It’s still too soon to tell who he will look like, since I know he will change so much from week to week and month to month. But I can tell you that I see so much of you in him already. He has your hands and I’m so happy that he does. You know how much I loved your hands. I complemented them all the time- so strong, so masculine. He has the same little dimple on his left cheek. And he already looks at me in that same way that you used to – a look of pure, innocent, unconditional love. He has become the center of my universe, just as you were before you left. I know that I will make mistakes along the way, but I promise you that I will love this child with everything that I am and will do whatever necessary to give him everything he needs and deserves.

I can’t lie to you – the experience has been bittersweet. I have moments when I just cry out of frustration that you aren’t here to help me with the late night feedings or the diaper changes. I cry because I miss you so much that it makes my body ache. I cry because even though I continue to have so much support from both of our families, having them around constantly is a reminder that they are here because you aren’t. But I know I’ll make it through- you will give me the strength to do so. I know that you have given me the strength that has brought me this far, because there really isn’t any other explanation as to where this strength has come from.

photo 1

photo 3

photo 4

Love you to the moon and back,