Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What Did She Say?

Tonight was my big night. If you remember on September 28, 2011 I went to Huntington to speak with the Parent Connection coordinator about my experience at Huntington as a patient. I told her I needed to speak to her before I accepted the invitation to be a guest speaker for tonight. 

On my way home from work I read my speech one more time to be sure I was happy with it. I started bawling as I was reading it. I don't know what came over me. Maybe I just needed to get it out, who knows. 

So here it is, what I said for all of you to read:

Good Evening. My name is Cassie Beserra. I am the mother of beautiful twin girls. My twin A, Sophia Rene and my twin B, Mya Quinn. I am also the founder of Walk to Remember, Los Angeles, a non-profit organization that provides support to families that have lost a child during pregnancy or infancy. We also provide support to all the hospitals here in LA County. My goal is to provide them with all the tools necessary to help families at the time of their loss.

My husband Eddie and I found out 11 weeks into my pregnancy my twin A was ill. A diagnosis of Turners Syndrome, Cystic Hygroma and Hydrops was given and it would most likely be that she would not even survive pregnancy. We also found out that day that "she" was a little girl. Sophia quickly became known as our little fighter.

A month had gone by and she was still fighting, her condition kept getting worse but she was fighting at that time we also found out her twin was another girl.

I always tried to think to myself there was nothing wrong with Sophia, it was an error, there are always things that are missed in the world of medicine.

Another month had gone by and she was still fighting. I was starting to feel like Sophia was defying all odds and there would be a chance I would get to meet both of my daughters. Then a week later we went in to our specialist and those words were said "I am sorry there is no heartbeat on twin A"

No matter how much you prepare you can NEVER prepare enough to hear those words. Our daughter, Sophia Rene Beserra passed away on March 11, 2008.

Throughout my work with Walk to Remember, Los Angeles I always find myself making two specific comments, the first "if I knew then what I know now" and "one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life is juggle such grief and sorrow with such happiness" Because there I was still pregnant with twins, grieving for one of my daughters and still trying to nurcher the other. Since Sophia is our twin A we were told there could be many complications after she passed away. I was put on bed rest for 3 months. The two things I started looking forward to became going to 1 of 3 doctors or going for blood work. But I did it. I kept going. I had one goal in mind.....Bring home one healthy baby.

On June 30th at 34 1/2 weeks we welcomed Mya Quinn Beserra into this world and said good bye to "My Sweet Sophia"

Even after Sophia had passed away I still had this feeling that as long as she was still inside of me she was safe. Knowing she was leaving her little nest broke my heart. But knowing that I managed to make it far enough to have Mya to a point where she was out of danger was also a huge accomplishment.

About 2 1/2 years ago I was reading that some parents find it healing to collect their child's name in various places. So that is what I started doing. I have built a collection of "Sophia" pictures that is so beautiful in my eyes. "Sophia" has had pictures taken throughout the US and even as far as Canada, Italy, Australia and The Great Pyramids of Egypt. It warms my heart to know that even for a minute someone else is thinking of our daughter. So though I have no pictures of Sophia I see each and every one of these pictures as the beauty of my daughter and I know that her name lives on.

In May of 2010 I started Walk to Remember, Los Angeles. My feeling was I am so blessed to be a mother to Mya, this was the least I could do for Sophia. On Saturday we will be having our 2nd Annual Memorial Ceremony, 5k and candle lighting. Much like tonight it is a time of reflection and a time to remember our beautiful children. While they have left our arms, they have not left our hearts. It is such a day of togetherness and there is such a feeling that you are not alone. Every one here and everyone who attends WTRLA share a common bond and a common understanding.

I would like to thank Huntington Memorial and Mary Holzer for asking me to be part of tonight and I would like to thank everyone here for listening to my story.

Thank you.

So that was it. I was happy I got to be a part of a special evening. Unfortunately no one took pictures but it was a nice evening.

I want to thank, Eddie, Mya, Eddie, Alice, My Mom, Aunt Joan and Monica for joining me tonight.

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