Today, we went back to Lake Park with little Corbin.
Its a large park in Hillsborough County, FL, that I frequented as a child. A few miles from my childhood home, it has lots of trails, and there are many places that one can spend time alone in nature to reflect, think, or cry. The day after we learned of his diagnosis we went here in order to be somewhere quiet and remote. We walked the nature trails so we could be alone, and cry, and grieve. We were so afraid. Scared for our little baby, and his future. I stood by the lake and wept, feeling so very lost.
This was also where on that very same day I got a phone call from the coordinator at CHOP, and scheduled for my fetal surgery diagnostics to see if we would qualify for his procedure. I was hoping with all my heart we would qualify, and give my angel baby his best shot.
Today returning to this same place I am full of joy. I cried lifting him into his stroller. So grateful he is here with us, and so proud of all he had already accomplished. The amazing odds he has already overcome, his beautiful smile, and sweet nature.
I love my little family. And we will love and support him throughout anything that comes his way.
Today instead of sad tears, we wandered the nature trails with daddy, listened to birds, were on watch for alligators, avoided puddles, and sang silly songs.
This blog is a bit of an experiment, mostly a diary, and a work in progress for me as a new mom, and a mom to be of a baby with some specialized needs. Buckle in for a ride into the inner workings of my brain…. Good luck!
“I wouldn’t change you for the world, but I would change the world for you”
This blog began as a way for me to get my thoughts down on “paper.” Ill start with just a general introduction to my life and family. My name is Laura, I’m currently 29 years old, and 29 weeks pregnant. I am from Tampa, FL, but currently am living in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (It’s a long story, bear with me..) I am one of four children, I have two triplet siblings, and a younger sister who showed up 3 years later. My parents are both alive and well, they are the exception to most marriages in that they have been hitched for 37 years and are still completely devoted and obsessed with one another. I come from a very large and blended Hispanic and Polish family, and I love them all to death. Ill probably throw in the occasional ethnic recipe in this blog for funsies, with the exception of my Cuban grandmother’s flan recipe, as that is a state secret that I am not privy to.
I am married. As of November 2017, to an amazing man named Jesse. Jesse and I met when I was 14 years old, it was 2005, and we were both performing in a stunningly average production of A Christmas Carol, at a local community theater in Tampa. I was playing the ghost of Christmas past, and he was playing the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge. I thought he was really cute, but as he was a senior in high school at the time, that age difference seemed insurmountable. We ran into each other again about six months later as he directed me in another play, a rendition of Jack the Ripper , in which I played a prostitute. Yes you have read that correctly ladies and gentlemen, my husband at one point cast me to play a hooker. Its a fun story I tell at parties.
Years went by, and although we were friends on Myspace, the only source of social media at the time, we lost touch. Fast forward to 2012. I was 22, and packing up all my belongings to move across the country from Florida to Chicago. You ever have one of those cross roads in your life where everything is… fluid? Your everything just didn’t pan out the way you thought it would? (Relationships, Career, Schooling, etc) and you just have a chance to try something new? That was Chicago for me. It was a fresh start, I was able to live with my sister, and got a new job, and was able to experience a lot of new things and people, and heal from some parts of my past that were continuing to linger.
Jesse and I had our first date August 2012, and very shortly after became exclusive, and from then on we were joined at the hip. He had been living in Chicago for about six months, and we reconnected on Facebook, and then in person. We explored restaurants, and book stores, parks, museums, etc. I worked two jobs, one in retail selling lingerie and yoga pants at a very popular high end establishment, and then my nights were spent working as a nanny. I loved both, surprisingly. And it was a time of growth for me filled with a youthful energy that I had been searching for back home but finally achieved. We were happy. I was happy. But I couldn’t help feeling tugged back home.
I have a huge support system and network in Tampa. Besides my huge family, its also where I went to college (University of South Florida- Go BULLS!) and I was very much involved with the local theater community, renaissance faires, and the anime and video game convention circuit. The majority of my friends fell into one of the three categories, and the majority of my maternal family lived in the tri-county area. My grandmother was also dying. She had been sick for sometime, but around late 2013 she was beginning to decline and I could see the effect it was having on my family, and especially my mother. Summer of 2014 I packed my things and my mother and I drove a van packed with all of my furniture and my 17 pound black cat, and we drove all the way from Illinois to Florida, where I moved back into parent’s guest room. Not quite what I had in mind my for my 23rd and 24th year on this planet, but I felt the need to be home. I got a new job, working with one of my best friends at a local law firm, learned a lot, once more got used to a steady pay check, reconnected with a lot of my theater, and convention friends, and went on some terrible first dates as Jesse and I had amicably separated upon my move back home. I also spent several days a week with my mom visiting my grandmother who had been declining and recently been transferred to hospice. She and my aunts would take turns visiting her during the week, and I would accompany her on the weekend or the occasional day off. My beautiful grandma Anna died in August of 2014 from complications due to her Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. A huge part of my heart has never recovered, but I was happy to be able to be there in person for my mom, as my siblings were all living out of state at the time, and the majority of the arrangements, planning, and fallout was left for my mom to figure out in stereotypical middle child fashion. She and I frequently have that in common.
Life trekked on, and later that year after a few visits back to Chicago to see my sisters (and my not-boyfriend) I ended up reconnecting with Jesse, and the two of us began to plan our life together. He moved back to Tampa in the summer of 2015, his job at the time promising him a remote position, which they then swiftly pulled from him. We both got new jobs, and were able to rent a cute house in a good neighborhood, and adopted a new puppy to live with our older terrier, and grumpy cat. We made our own little family and I had never been happier.
October 2016 we got engaged, on Halloween, in the very place we had met as kids. (I’ll do a full blog post on that eventually) and a year and six days later I was lucky enough to marry my best friend, on November 5th, 2017.
We spent the next eight months adjusting to married life, and then in the summer of 2018 bought our first home. It is still a work in progress but we were happy to have a place of our own, and one big enough for our growing family, as we were planning on trying to get pregnant in the near future.
That is where I will leave you for now. Fall of 2018, New homeowners, Newlyweds, fresh off of our 1st year anniversary. The pic above always makes me smile. He is the best thing to ever happen to me. I am eternally grateful to the universe for bringing us together.