My Dear Friends & Family,
2019 brought my family one of the most challenging times of our lives. It started out very exciting, finding out that my younger sister, Gianna, was pregnant! Although she was only 20 years old, and really is like my first baby, our family was so excited for the arrival of another family member and bundle of joy! Early in her pregnancy Gianna had some irregular blood work. An early ultrasound detected that our baby had a condition called Gastroschisis. Gastroschisis is a birth defect in which the baby's intestines extend outside of the abdomen through a hole next to the belly button. The size of the hole is variable, and other organs including the stomach, appendix and liver may also occur outside the baby's body. Gianna and her boyfriend, Ozzy, were devastated. I tried to be there for them as best I could with a positive outlook and hope. We connected immediately with Boston Children's Hospital once diagnosed and began our journey with the most amazing Children's Hospital in the world!
During Gianna's pregnancy there were a lot of ups and downs and A LOT of appointments. I drove her to as many appointments as I was able to and became a regular old Boston driva! No one could mess with me and my precious cargo...in my white mommy van! Seeing that baby boy on the ultrasounds was amazing, he was so strong. Although his intestines were floating around on the outside, he was a feisty little guy and loved to kick his mama!
Fast forward to August 29th, Gianna went into BCH to be induced at 37 weeks pregnant. Her labor went well and she was able to deliver her beautiful baby boy naturally! From what Ozzy says...she was a Rock Star! On August 30, 2019 our miracle baby boy came into this beautiful world at 1:12am. He was 5 pounds 14 ounces and 17 inches long and absolutely beautiful! After he was delivered doctors wrapped put his body and intestines into a plastic bag and wrapped him in a receiving blanket so his mama could breifly hold him before he was transported from Brigham and Woman's Hospital to Boston Children's Hospital for his first surgery of putting his intestines, appendix and part of his stomach into a silo. I got to visit him that next morning and couldn't be more in love with a little human being. He was absolutely perfect and although there were many 'unknowns' in the beginning, I knew deep down in my heart, he was going to be okay.
It took a few days for Gianna and Ozzy to decide on a name for this little guy, so in the meantime I called him my little Super Man! They decided on a strong masculine name: Grayson Antonio Estrada (aka Baby Grayson).
Grayson spent the first two months of his life at BCH. He had multiple surgeries and blood clotting issues. His mother never left his side and he had tons of visitors from his family while he was there. Gianna and Ozzy went through so much during this time and I cannot express how proud I am of the both of them. BCH was amazing to Grayson and our entire family while he was there and they continue to provide him with the best care. Gianna had to pump her breast milk since Grayson had to figure out how to eat slowly through a feeding tube and BCH provided her with meals the entire stay. They said, "Since you are feeding you baby, we are feeding you!" This small act of kindness from the hospital amazed me and I will be forever grateful for all they have done.
Tomorrow, Grayson will be 6 months old...my how the time goes by fast! He is a happy, healthy and striving baby boy! He is our family's miracle and loved so much. His progress has been amazing and we are so proud of how strong this little person is and always will be. We will be forever grateful for our journey with Boston Children's Hospital and all they did for my nephew Grayson, my baby sister, Ozzy and our entire family. I have had to take my own babies, Victoria (6) and Sawyer (3) to BCH for minor scares, which they have thankfully been okay. Having BCH there for the children in my life is a huge relief and I feel so blessed, as a mother and aunt, to know I have them there if I need them.
This will be my second time participating in Yoga Reaches Out, day-long yogathon, more than 1,200 yogis will come together for an inspirational day of yoga, music, and fundraising - all to help bring peace and healing to others. The first experience I had with Yoga Reaches Out was moving, inspirational and heart warming. Even though my right bicep twitched for three days after...it was totally worth it! Now, after the experience I have had with BCH last year, I know I will have many more emotions going through this experience and I am excited to raise money for this amazing hospital.
I'm participating in Yoga Reaches Out because I want to help Boston Children's Hospital continue its amazing work for babies, kids and families. I ask for your donations, no amount is too small, to help this hospital continue the outstanding work it does.
This year donations will benefit Boston Children's Wellness Program and Every Child Fund.
Support me in helping give strength to families, like mine, coping with rare medical conditions and sickness.
All my love,