On a sunny afternoon in June our little princess came into this world Jalyn Molano.
As I waited patiently, my sister Cathy was so calm. I guess the medications were helping, but I could still feel the energy of all of us in the room with her, Jeison the baby’s dad, my mom the nurses and doctors that kept coming in an out. It was a mix of emotions, hope, fear, sadness, impatience, feeling sorry, joy, nervous and so much more.
|Mommy & Me|
We didn’t know if she would live past this moment, month’s earlier doctors had done tests witch confirmed their concern that the baby had Trisomy 18 but also found heart complications. My sister had two options abortion or keeping the baby. She decided to keep her. It was hard for Cathy, I can’t even begin to imagine what went through her mind during the whole entire pregnancy, but I do know how I felt. It was scary, overwhelming, a sense of feeling useless because there was nothing anyone could do to make it go away. I tried to comfort her in any way I could. I told her maybe there was a purpose, a reason, maybe we would get a miracle and she lives a really long time, but then how can a parent think that. I know deep down she wondered why me.
When the baby arrived, she wasn’t breathing. She was pale blue and as the nurse takes her to clean her I follow. My mom had tears running down her face. I tried to contain mines trying to be strong for my sister but honestly my heart sank and my eyes got so watery watching how the nurse shook her slowly and cleaned her nose and try to help her breath. After just a few seconds, she opens her little eyes wide open like if saying what’s going on and she was breathing on her own. The nurse wraps her up and gives the baby to Cathy. We all smiled. So tiny, so fragile, so beautiful my niece, I was excited, sad, hopeful at the same time. Happy we could meet her and she could meet us.
|Godmother & Godfather|
The first day at the hospital, so much happened. She got baptized by the hospital priest because the doctors said she might not make it pass that day, this was heart breaking. My mom became her godmother and the priest the godfather. She wasn’t fed, my sister tried but Jalyn couldn’t suck on the bottle. So after complaining to doctors and nurses for hours, she got fed. I guess they didn’t expect her to last that long. It was so frustrating because I know Jalyn was probably hungry, it was almost ten o’clock when a nurse from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) came and took Jalyn and apologized for what had happen. Jeison and I went with the nurse and the baby up to the NICU floor. Jalyn was fed through a feeding tube that was inserted through her nose and went down to her belly.
Days after her birth Jalyn remained in the hospital, daily visits from Cathy and family members and her big brother Jayden. We wanted her to feel the love every single moment and we felt her love as well. My sister learned how to insert the feeding tube, how to apply oxygen in case the baby had a seizure where she needed oxygen. Watching my sister do all this was so admiring and it just shows how big the love of a mother is. She came home, so much love, so many emotions, we grew to love her so much. She was in the hospital many times, but she also had a home aid that came a few times a week to the house to make sure my sister had everything she needed for Jalyn.
|Jalyn with a mo-hog|
Cathy would change her into different dresses and take pictures. We took all the pictures we could. We would talk to her and she would just smile. Jalyn loved to hear her grandpa call her and whistle. When he came from work he would call her and you could see her moving in her crib looking to see where the voice was coming from, so smart. That summer Jalyn went to the park, was spoiled, she heard music. I remember Cathy did a mo-hog on her hair one time, it was funny even Jalyn smiled. She always had a smile even after her little seizures which scared us to death. She would smile; it was like telling us that everything is fine. Despite her struggles to breath sometimes and we would think that’s it, she would just come back to us with the biggest smile, amazing. Jayden loved to play and be close to his baby that’s what he called her “my baby mommy” and Cathy said “yes your baby”. With just one year old he knew his sister wasn’t well.
|My first Holloween|
On October 20th, 2007 we had to rush her to the hospital because she had stop breathing for a minute or two. She got blue and afterwards she just smiled and while my sister and I were scared to death, she smiles like if saying its ok no worries as usual. That same day at the hospital we get the news that our grandmother had passed away, Cathy, Mariella (my younger sister) and I couldn’t contain our emotion and tears ran down our face. Nurses try to comfort us and tell us everything will be ok. We spent her first Halloween in the hospital. She was a lady bug, so cute in her costume and though she couldn’t eat them, her pumpkin was full of candy that Sabrina (Best Friend) brought her from her Job. On November 2nd, she came back home after almost two weeks in the hospital, and my dad had just arrive from Dominican Republic from my grandmothers wake and we were glad they were both home.
November 3, 2007, a day after getting back from the hospital, A day after my dad return from Dominican Republic, that Saturday I get a call that she had passed away. My tears ran down my face as my dad gave me the news. All he said was “my mother, now my princess” “she was waiting for me to get back”; when dad said that my heart sank even more. I rushed to the house everyone was there, except my mother who was in PA. My sister was carrying her she looked so pale, lips where purple and she was not smiling anymore. We all took turns carrying her, saying goodbye and we will see you again. We waited on her home care nurse to arrive to declare her dead and it was the most painful moments of my life. I was so sad, as we passed her around for a chance to say our goodbyes and hug her and kiss her one more time. The hardest was explaining a one year old that Jalyn was gone.
After the Funeral home, people took her away. My heart has never felt as empty as that moment and I tried to be strong for everyone else. I felt so empty and I couldn’t imagine what Cathy and Jeison were feeling. Jayden looked sad he was quiet and didn’t speak much. As I carried her casket along with aunt Jenny into the church, what came to my mind was her smile and realized she is smiling and always will be in our hearts.
|Big brother Jayden & Jalyn|
We laid her to rest at Maple Grove Park Cemetery in New Jersey. Days after, things felt a bit better, knowing she is now resting and in a much better place. Though for one year old Jayden things were confusing. He looked at an empty crib with the saddest little face. As the years passed, Jayden now six began understanding why she passed away, and he would ask my sister if he was sick too. She would tell him that he is not. Once in a while, I guess when his imagination wonders he would come out of nowhere and say “I miss my baby” and looking at her picture he would say “I want her back”. My sister has found him sleeping with her picture under his arms. It is so touching how he remembers so clearly and vividly his baby sister and he was just one year old.
She is gone, lived four months, when doctors gave her a day to live. We remember her courage, her bravery, but besides all that her smile, that smile of hope and joy that said I’m ok, don’t cry, don’t be sad, and please don’t worry. Her life was cut short, her purpose to pull a family together more than ever to show us and the world that life despite the pain and sadness needs to be lived with courage and bravery if you fail keep trying. If you feel overwhelmed smile and think everything will be fine, it’s just a phase and things will get better. I wanted to share her story. I wanted people to know who she was and what a difference she made in the lives she touched every day, just like all the children that have lost their lives because of Trisomy18. They all teach us a life lesson showing us bravery and courage. It is never easy to lose someone let alone a baby, who had just begun to live, but they showed us to live, they showed us anything is possible even when we feel all is lost. Jalyn helped me believe everything happens for a reason. She helped me see the bigger picture.
|My favorite picture where she shows |
the smile that always said I am ok.
Jalyn we all love you, we will always miss you but we know your happy watching over us along with all those who are gone but will not be forgotten.
R.I.P Jalyn Molano June 27, 2007-November 3, 2007