Libertad: Birthing the Unborn

2011_04220269

Ivan, Gabriel and I by the river near Astoria Park.

On a sunny, brisk March afternoon in 2011, I asked my husband that we go for a walk. We drove to Astoria Park, under the Queens side of the Triboro Bridge. There was a reason why we chose this site. As we strolled by the river, passersby smiled at our toddler wobbling his way down the path, the cold currents flowing with him.  Last time we had been there, several years prior, I asked the river to give us a baby.  This was the first time we had gone back to this particular place with our baby, but this time I was there to also ask that she protect my womb and clean it with her waters.

As the people smiled at us and we sort of smiled back, no one knew that I wanted to walk to relieve the tension in my lower back and abdominal muscles.  We had just learned the day before that our pregnancy had not gone how we expected. Even our midwife was hopeful, but I knew something was very wrong. I knew that my body was trying to expel the baby.  The sensations I felt when I birthed Gabriel were back. My body was doing it again, except instead of being nine months pregnant, I was only nine weeks.

Knowing how reluctant folks are to talk about death and grief, my husband and I were cautious about revealing the news of our miscarriage.  Yet we learned that like us, so many have endured miscarriages but for a variety of reasons do not openly share their grief.  Without sharing it, and without outside support, where do grieving parents turn for relief? In the hopes of having this experience touch, or better yet, help heal the heart of another grieving parent of a baby gone unborn, after two years of silence, I am finally sharing my third birth story.  I shared the birth stories of my two boys Gabriel and Josef and now, in this week of the anniversary of this third birth, I share this one for Libertad. Libertad means freedom in Spanish.  The concept of libertad, in all forms, has been the pulse of my art and life. The word however took on new meaning in March of 2011.   In a dream, I was presented with the name of the unborn child I had lost: Libertad!

PUERTO RICO

Gabriel looking tiny near el Morro.

Gabriel looking tiny near el Morro.

In January of 2011 we traveled to Puerto Rico for the first time as parents.  Our son Gabriel was 21 months.  Libertad continuously revealed itself as the theme of that trip.  Leaving our Queens apartment in the dead of winter we began the trip in Viejo San Juan.  One of our most dear memories of the trip was walking up the path towards el Morro, bordered by the vast expanse of grass on either side, followed by the sea and then a majestic sky of the setting sun. Dotting the sky were countless kites of children whose laughter both

Rainbow and Sunset over el Morro.

Rainbow and Sunset over el Morro.

echoed and disappeared into the sunset.   Little Gabriel waddled in front of us as if he had a sacred destination, marching towards infinity. From there we traveled to Aguada to stay in our friend’s home. We were there to attend a wedding in Rincon with the sunset over the sea as the altar. Each night Gabriel would run around our friend’s patio collecting rocks which he tossed into a little pond.  Unlike Queens, the sky that covers Aguada is adorned with stars and the coquis serenade them nightly.  I was amazed by this utopia we seemed to have found in a place that was anything but free.

DSCF2013

Gabriel, me and Ivan with the setting sun over Rincon, Puerto Rico, at our friends’ wedding.

During this trip I began taking note of several things. Traveling through the island on our own, Gabriel mostly played alone.  Suddenly the idea of a sibling began to creep into our heads.  During the trip I also began noticing that when I would nurse Gabriel to sleep, I felt a burning sensation on my nipples.  When we would wake up in the mornings, Gabriel would roll around the bed and then he’d start cuddling with my belly, something he had never done before.  His face would transform into this romantic expression, he’d place his hands on my belly, nuzzle his nose into my belly button and then start communicating with my belly in some squeaky bird sounds.

I had tried to pack as lightly as I could considering that we were traveling with a baby for the first time.  Having expected my period during the trip, I made sure to pack some maxi pads.  I noticed something one night, figured it was my period and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning and it was gone.  I took the pack of maxi pads with me when we left the West side and traveled to Fajardo.  I had an exhibit of my Vieques project there.  We enjoyed staying nearby in Ceiba with a view of El Yunque. We enjoyed it so much we never discussed the missed period.

IGNORNANCE IS BLISS
We returned to New York on Valentine’s Day.  While in Puerto Rico for three weeks, we managed to miss several severe snow and ice storms that had hit the city.  Yet on that Valentine’s Day, it was almost 60 degrees.   I came back with the usual funk that I always return from Puerto Rico with—the -why-am-I-here?-take-me-back-to-my-land funk.  Coming back to New York City, besides realizing just how damn grey and concrete this place is, has a way of forcing you back to harsh reality.  Getting back to business, it was no longer ok to exist in the libertad utopia I had floated around down in Puerto Rico.  I had a pregnancy test in the bathroom cabinet.  I took it and sure enough, it was positive.  That explained the new burning sensation I was feeling when nursing, since pregnancy makes your breasts more sensitive. We might have spent the earlier part of our Valentine’s Day on a plane, but the second part was spent celebrating that our little Gabriel was going to be a big brother.

At my mom's gitana party.

At my mom’s gitana party.

The utopia of Puerto Rico traveled back with us and we were in a constant state of bliss.  I had been crippled by grief most of 2010.  2011 had gotten off to a rough start.  That thankfully changed with our trip. Later that month I threw my mother a gitana-themed party for her birthday and retirement.  It was not the triumphant retirement that most aspire to.  She had lost her son, my brother, to cancer 10 months prior and now her husband was battling cancer.  The retirement would allow her to stay home to care for him. In my happy bubble, I was determined to give her an oasis, a moment of bliss in the midst of all the sorrow that had surrounded us.  In the middle of the party, I turned on Shakira’s Ojos Asi and made my mother belly dance in front of everyone.  She totally went for it and put on an awesome performance.  We had a great time.  I with Gabriel in my arms laughed happily, especially knowing that Ivan and I were keeping a little secret about our bun in the oven.

Journal Entry:

March 10th, 2011
Days ago, probably as recent as yesterday, I was elated.  I have my spectacular baby boy, who isn’t really a baby anymore and another on the way.

Today, since last night actually, has been torturous, beginning with sitting on the sofa in the evening and hearing the word “miscarriage” whispered in my ear/mind/spirit.  As soon as it entered, it left and I forgot.  But a while later, having to pee, I discovered that I was spotting.  It stopped, but I still cried myself to sleep.  Today it began again and Sakina, my midwife, advised me to rest, not lift heavy objects and not be on my feet for some time.

I have tried to pray that all will be ok, but I cannot.  I cannot successfully do anything right now.  I am ashamed that I have not been able to generate the faith and confidence to convince myself that all will be ok.  Instead I sit here almost paralyzed, analyzing every sensation, every feeling to determine whether or not it is pain—so that I may know to go to the emergency room as instructed.  It is a waiting game that seems to provoke expectations.  I think if I concentrate any harder, those pains that I have been told to watch out for, will come.  I must break out of this rut and believe that destiny will carry itself out.  That is all I can do. 

 DREADING THE HOSPITAL

We are often taught to hide our pregnancies during the first trimester because this is when most miscarriages happen and you don’t want to share the news and then have something go wrong.  Well on the flip side, the first trimester is filled with major physiological changes, mixed emotions and vulnerability.  For all of these reasons it is helpful to have a support group of a few trusted individuals to help you through it.

You hope that sharing the news of your pregnancy will be happy and glorious.  In my case, here’s how I told my mother, “Ma I didn’t tell you I was pregnant, but I’m telling you now because I’m bleeding and I’m scared.” I had no choice but to go to the hospital. Ivan stayed home from work, we dropped Gabriel off at my moms and were on our way.

We had no insurance.  The emergency room had a large sign posted which read something to the effect of, to just check in and be seen through emergency was $800.  Another part of the sign shared  that it didn’t include the doctor’s fees or any tests/ services, etc.  Of course I would need a sonogram.  Who knows what that would have cost. Things got really interesting however when I was called in.  My husband couldn’t accompany me.  Huh!? We may lose OUR baby but he can’t come in. I have to go in alone?!

I went into the Emergency GYN room and it was full of anxious undressed women. They all sat there with their clothes in a little clear plastic bag.  Reminded me of prison and how you get released with all your shit in plastic bags.  They all sat there in flimsy hospital gowns.  I was handed a gown and bag.  I refused to do anything with them and just sat there dressed.  A few moments later a man desperately poked his head into the door.  His wife saw him and she happily ran up to greet him but he was everything but tackled by the staff and shuffled out.  As he was taken away, he kept shouting, “but she’s my wife, I want to know that she’s ok.”  It soon became clear, as we all spoke that we were all there for the same reason. We were all pregnant mommas, bleeding, anxious to know if our babies would be ok.  But no daddies allowed. We were all brown.  I thought about how our men are always stereotyped as bouncing and leaving their babies fatherless.  Well here were some concerned dads but they weren’t allowed in.  I demanded to know why.  I asked that if during the sonogram it was revealed that my baby wasn’t alive, why should I have to endure that alone? I was told that men weren’t allowed for the comfort of the other women in the room.  Just then a woman was picked up in a wheelchair to be taken for a sonogram.  Who came to transport her? A dude, a random ass strange dude.  I’m sure she was very comfortable in a thin hospital gown, clothes in a bag, being kept away from her partner to be transported by some random dude.

I called my midwife.  When I told her Ivan was out by himself in the emergency waiting room she was livid.  She told me I could leave and go to her office. She didn’t have the equipment to offer me a sonogram but she would check me for dilation and try to get a heartbeat. If not, she would send me to a lab for an ultrasound.  It sounded like a plan but they didn’t want to let me out.  I would have to sign myself out but not before getting a lecture from several hospital staff members about being neglectful to my baby.  When the opportunity came, I ran the hell out of there.  By some miracle of God we arrived in Harlem at my midwife’s office within a half hour.  She opened the door and welcomed me with a tight hug then she told me how beautiful I looked despite all I was going through. You know something, of my three pregnancies, boy was I glowing with that one.  I was at the hospital that day feeling rugged, no make-up, thrown-together clothes, but I glowed. If it weren’t for the blood, I’d still be in my lovely happy bubble.

Sakina felt around for the heartbeat but couldn’t find it.  She told me that I was only 9 weeks and technically the heart beat won’t be heard on a Doppler until 12 weeks.  It was a long shot but she was trying to do all she could to put me at ease.  I wasn’t dilated, which meant there was still a chance that the baby might be ok.  She made several calls and got me an immediate appointment at a lab for an ultrasound.  Again off we went.

The ultrasound was torture. There was no heartbeat. All I wanted to hear was a heartbeat, but there was none.  The technician wouldn’t say anything. I would  have to wait for them to send the report to Sakina and she would tell me.  I had to wait and wait, and wait.  It was complete torture.

So this was the verdict:  According to my last menstrual period, I should have been 9 weeks pregnant.  The ultrasound measured a five-week baby.  The heartbeat starts around 7 or so weeks.  Sakina asked me if I may have miscalculated.  She assured me that if my baby was five weeks, then there would be no heartbeat yet.  It would still be too early to tell.  I told her no.  I knew.  I knew I was nine weeks.  I knew that the baby measured at five weeks because that was when it stopped developing.  Sakina sent me for some blood work the next morning that confirmed that the baby was not viable.

I don’t know when it finally hit me, that I had been carrying a lifeless fetus.  Ignorance is bliss.  I was in this happy bubble since my return from Puerto Rico, but I was five weeks sometime during that trip.  My blissful month back in New York was a lie.

With Gabriel at la Piedra Escrita, el Rio Saliente, Jayuya, Puerto Rico.

With Gabriel at la Piedra Escrita, el Rio Saliente, Jayuya, Puerto Rico.

Journal Entry: March 15, 2011

Rota
me siento
Y una rabia
me  llena
por dentro.
Mientras
la sangre cae,
Ese espacio
Que crea
según mi vientre
se va vaciando
es reemplazado
por una rabia
profunda
y siento
que el alma
de Julia de Burgos
se me monta.

Rabia
después de haberme dado cuenta
que esta criatura
que acabo de perder
no sobrevivió
Mucho más después
de nuestro regreso
a Nueva York,
que la paz
que sentí en Puerto Rico
Allá se nos quedó.
Que la criatura
que llevé a la isla
No quiso regresar
con nosotros
A este lugar.

Quizás allá
se quedó
Cuando su almita
se nos escapó.
Quizás al Yunque se metió
Quizás en el Rio Blanco
o en el Rio Saliente nadó.

Pero este mes
Que hemos estado acá
Ha sido solo
una mentira
De creerme algo
Que no fui,
De pensar
que una criatura
crecía dentro de mí.
Pero mi vientre
solo fue su tumba.

Broken
I feel
And a rage
Fills me
inside
As the blood
Falls
That space
it creates
As my womb
empties
Is replaced
by a profound
rage
and I feel
the soul
Of Julia de Burgos
overtake me
Rage
After having realized
That this creation
that I lost
Didn’t survive
Much more
beyond our return
to New York

That the peace
That I felt in Puerto Rico
Stayed over there
That the creation
I took to the island
Refused to return
With us
to this place

Perhaps it stayed
Over there
When its tiny soul
Escaped us

Perhaps it went into the Yunque rainforest
Perhaps in the Rio Blanco
or in the Rio Saliente it swam
But this month
That we’ve been here
Has only been
A lie
Of believing myself to be
Something I wasn’t
Of believing
that a child grew within me
But my womb
Was only its tomb

THE RIVER
That Saturday the cramps began.  I imagined it would be like a heavy period.  My pregnancy had to end. I would get my period again. I didn’t realize the process that I was about to undergo or rather that I was actually undergoing.  I was given the choice of going about it naturally or having a D&C procedure or scraping to clean out my uterus.  Given my view of the hospital and having assumed that all would happen as a more intense period, I chose to forgo the D&C.

Me by the river, under Triboro Bridge

Me by the river, under Triboro Bridge

We drove to Astoria that day and ate at a Brazilian restaurant.  The cramps were building in intensity. By the time we got back to the car the cramps were very stong and I got the idea that I needed to walk.  It was then that we drove to Astoria Park by the Triboro Bridge.  We walked alongside the river.  The river marks a sacred space.  Its waters heal, nurture and cleanse.  In the Yoruba spiritual tradition of the African Diaspora, Oshun, the river goddess, is the patroness of love, pregnant women and children.  I was there to ask Oshun to help me clean out my womb.  I couldn’t begin to question, doubt or wonder why this all had happened.  I was in too much shock and pain. I just knew that having my son was my saving grace. Had this been my first pregnancy, I don’t know how I would have endured.

Ivan and Gabriel by the river.

Ivan and Gabriel by the river.

Walking alongside the river, exchanging smiles with people who had no idea of the physical and emotional pain I was in, nor that my body was in the process of expelling the baby that we had hoped to one day welcome into our family, got me considering all sorts of things.  How many times do we pass people on the street, never knowing of their pain or joy, of their losses and triumphs?

That night we returned home and I endured the worst cramps.  At one point I honestly thought I would faint. I bled heavily. From it all, I assumed that I had miscarried, that the pregnancy was largely over and out of my body.

THE SEA

2011_04220286It was all so very sad.  We were just numb.  We were in disbelief.  I grieved the lost of my brother the whole year before and going through another loss was just impossible to me.  I sat there in denial, refusing to believe it was actually happening.  Still I had to come to terms with the actual loss. The day before I was at the river.  On this day, I needed to be by mother, the sea. Yemaya is the goddess of motherhood who rules the oceans.  Salt water, coincidentally, is what makes up the amniotic fluid that nurtures babies in utero and of course our tears.

Documenting my moments at the shore that day.

Documenting my moments at the shore that day.

We drove along the south shore of Long Island and arrived at a beach that was deserted on that cold, windy March day.  It felt like a mile of sand before I reached the shore.

Me on the beach that day.

Me on the beach that day.

Each step brought stronger cramps, even though I was convinced that the worst was over.  I arrived at the shore and studied the surf.  I watched violent waves crash and their powerful mist rising.  I stood at what I considered to be a safe distance where my shoes wouldn’t get wet.  As usual, the water somehow managed to find its way right to me.  There face to face, or essence to essence, I had a conversation with my mother. I asked that she cleanse my womb with her salt water and that she welcome my baby back into her arms to nurture it eternally.  I asked that she help me get through this both physically and emotionally.  There was no better place to be at that moment. It all felt so right.  I took the time I needed to say what I had to say, listen to what needed to be heard and feel all necessary.  On the way back we drove along the shore again. We turned on a radio station that was playing different mixes. All the music happened to be my brother’s music.  I felt him close.2011_04220303

BIRTHING THE UNBORN
When we arrived at home that evening, Ivan went into the kitchen to make dinner.  Gabriel was in his room.  I went in there and sat on the ottoman to the glider where I nursed him.  I straddled the ottoman, much like I had in my last month of Gabriel’s pregnancy and began rocking side to side, moving my hips.  This ottoman was like a birthing ball.  I made a mental note at that moment about how this all seemed like being in labor.  I was still having cramps and lower back pains.  I then decided to go into the kitchen to speak to Ivan.

While there the lower back pains got stronger and stronger.  Suddenly I got a cramp like I had to use the bathroom.  I got up and to the bathroom thinking that was all that was happening. I sat on the toilet and as soon as I did I felt a small mass pass through me and into the toilet.  I realized I didn’t have to use the bathroom at all. I had just birthed my tiny baby. As my birthing instructor had explained before I gave birth to Gabriel, when you are about to push you feel like you have to use the bathroom. You feel the pressure of the baby against your rectum first.  I didn’t know what to do and tried to wipe, but I saw more blood and what appeared to be a formation of flesh that resembled part of a baby.

I was so clueless about this process and in a state of shock.  My immediate reaction was to start sobbing.  Ivan heard and knocked on the door.  When he came in I cried to him something about our “baby falling into the fucking toilet.”  Ivan tried to figure out how to keep Gabriel away from the bathroom while I sat there sobbing.  I knew I should collect myself and I did somehow.

It was the most traumatizing thing I think we’ve endured.  Here was the baby that for weeks we were starting to fall in love with. We had fantasized about having another baby, a playmate for our son.  This pregnancy had been an oasis, a source of much needed happiness in a field of grief and sorrow and it was now over. The baby we fantasized about meeting was delivered not into our arms but into a toilet. How cold, insensitive, harsh.  I was truly traumatized.

What saved me at that moment was the conversation I had had with Yemaya earlier that day on the beach.  At the time I thought that the worse of it had passed. I thought I’d have some more bleeding as a regular period and that would be that.  But still what I asked was that she’d welcome my baby into her salt water arms and protect and nurture it.  The only thing that allowed me to get up off that toilet and move forward was the recognition that in the baby falling there, it would eventually end up in the sea.  I wasn’t of the mindset that I would pick up whatever I found and take it anywhere or bury it. It was just too painful to touch, see and I thought my baby belonged in nurturing salt water as it had been carried in my womb, not buried in cold earth.

I gathered various things and a candle.  My husband and I lit the candle and with Gabriel in our arms we stood over the toilet and held a ceremony.  We said prayers.  We gave ourselves closure and when we felt it was right, when we felt we were done, we allowed ourselves to flush, as we sobbed. Here was the baby that Gabriel would speak to through the belly before we even knew we were pregnant.  But we had to say goodbye.

Journal Entry:
3.14.11

Salt
In tears
Dropped
Into my womb
Where nurturing water
Nourished my baby
To later spill
As flesh
Passed through
My thighs
Into the toilet
Onto tissue
Where I wiped
Blood unwelcomed.
Dissipating drops
Replaced with flesh
Of lifeless remnants
Expelled
From my womb.
Salted drops
Washed out my womb
And my sea mother
Welcomed my unborn
Into her salt water tomb
Transported by a funerary flush
Sent flowing
By dad’s finger and mine
Amidst candlelight
For an unknown soul
That we invited to return
One future day

RE-GRIEF

In the weeks following Libertad’s (un)birth I was again paralyzed by grief.  What helped me greatly were conversations with a close relative who had to have an abortion. I was amazed at the similarities. If I had had a D&C procedure then perhaps there would have been more parallels, but ultimately they are both forms of baby loss. You still endure the hormonal changes that mothers who have just birthed do, but you do not have the reward of a baby in your arms.  You do not have the endorphin rush of holding and smelling your baby, nursing.  What you have is everything in place for a crippling case of the baby(less) blues.

Frida Kahlo’s Henry Ford Hospital 1932

The following month would have been my brother’s one year anniversary and in the wake  of the miscarriage I planned his memorial.  A few weeks after the miscarriage I had my first meeting to discuss the Soldaderas mural that I had  planned to create of Julia de Burgos and Frida Kahlo. I had written that proposal two years before.  In it, I outlined all of the parallels I had found in their lives and art.  Among them were both Frida and Julia’s miscarriages and how vividly they had portrayed these experiences in their paintings and poems. I realized that in having gone through this same pain I was now better equipped to paint this mural and honor them.  Learning more about their pain and triumph as artists helped me rechannel  my pain into creativity.

Excerpt from the Soldaderas mural page on my website: http://www.yasminhernandez.com/soldaderas.html

Me standing in front of my Soldaderas mural during the unveiling, July 6, 2011, two months pregnant with Baby Josef. Photo: Javier Soriano, http://www.javiersoriano.com/.

“Here the two artists are presented as larger than life goddesses, examples to women globally. Referencing nature, solidarity and sisterhood, the figures are dressed in blue and yellow, the colors of the Yoruba sister goddesses Yemaya and Oshun who represent the ocean and the river respectively. References to both bodies of water are found throughout Julia de Burgos’ poetry. The two goddesses guide over all women and mothers. Both Frida Kahlo and Julia de Burgos were profoundly affected by miscarriages they each suffered. They revealed their despair through graphic paintings and poems. For this reason, the top of the mural is bordered by a Julia de Burgos quote which is divided by images of three fetuses. Though they appear to be in utero, they are actually floating in blue bubbles, no umbilical cords in view, and hover over the mural as if in the heavens. The three fetuses represent the spirits of unborn babies. Three is the number of fetuses in total that Frida Kahlo lost. Each baby depicted represents miscarriages suffered by Frida Kahlo, Julia de Burgos and myself. I received the news of the mural project finally coming to life just weeks after having suffered a miscarriage in my second pregnancy. I began painting the mural three months after that loss, feeling yet another bond connecting me to my two heroes. The Julia de Burgos quote that borders the upper portion of the mural reads:

Fetus and Julia de Burgos quote detail from my Soldaderas mural, taken while I was still painting it...

Fetus and Julia de Burgos quote detail from my Soldaderas mural, taken while I was still painting it…

Como naciste para la claridad te fuiste no nacido….
Pie fértil caminando para siempre en la tierra

(Since you were born for clarity you left unborn
Fertile foot forever walking the earth)

Perhaps channeling the spirit of these two mujeres and the energies of Yemaya and Oshun, less than two weeks after I began working on the mural, I learned I was pregnant again. My second son, Josef Elijah, was born on February 11, 2012, 6 days before Julia’s birthday February 17.”

My birthday, pregnant with Baby Josef who came after the miscarriage.

My birthday, pregnant with Baby Josef who came after the miscarriage.

Journal Entry:

May 5, 2011

Mothers of the unborn,
mothers just the same.
Unborn babies,
Our offspring just the same.
Reserved spirits
Embodying space
In ancestral lineage
Though not in living
memories or experiences.
Names assigned to unborn souls
That live in our prayers
Mentioned and honored
That walk with us
Though unseen.
That are ours
Though unborn.

Self-Portraits post miscarriage, 2011, inspired by my Luz project, dedicated to the memory of my brother: http://www.yasminhernandez.com/luzgallery

Self-Portraits post miscarriage, 2011, inspired by my Luz project, dedicated to the memory of my brother: http://www.yasminhernandez.com/luzgallery

I had read that in New Zealand, when asked how many children a parent has, they always state a number that includes their miscarried babies.  Special provisions are made in cemeteries for families wishing to lay their miscarried babies to rest.  Here’s to a society that doesn’t fear the inevitable human condition of loss and that honors the value of our spirits incarnate and not.  I dedicate this to the spirit of Libertad. May that gentle spirit soar in an eternal flight of peace and light.  In the name of that spirit, may the parents of unborn souls find warmth and light in their hearts!

Blessings,
Yasmin

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13 Comments on “Libertad: Birthing the Unborn”

  1. Ana Luz Says:

    Thank you Yasmin…. this is truely a work of art!

    Love you,

    Ana Luz


  2. very beautiful post Yasmin.

  3. Vivianna Says:

    This is beautiful !! Wow ! Thank you for sharing.

    Vivianna
    Zeta Chapter
    Spring 1992


  4. Mujer: This is such a brave, powerful and soul-stirring account of your experiences. The poems are exquisite. I was especially moved by the end of the second: “That we invited to return / One future day.” May Libertad’s spirit forever soar.


    • Gracias Raquel…for the encouragement throughout this blogging process and for the awesome feedback. Much appreciated. I’m a closet poet since in the past I could get open in my paintings but my poems were a private space for my personal thoughts. Now that all has come full circle in my life and art, there are no more borders! Thank you for the good wishes for Libertad! Blessings to your family.

  5. Sol Says:

    Hermana, you have brought from deep within me my own memories, pain and grief of our similar story. Thank you for speaking the beauty of all of us. HLM, Sol


    • Hi Sol,
      So sorry to hear that you went through this too. Thank you opening up here about this and for labeling it as “beauty.” We are often too struck by the pain and difficulty of it all to see that there is a beauty that does lie within the whole experience. I once read something about the “ironic beauty of death.” I so knew what they meant. We all experience loss in one form or another. it is part of the human condition. at some point we have to give in to it, share it and experience and celebrate the humanity within it. Much love hermana! wishing you much healing

  6. Diana Dabdub Says:

    What a beautiful post Yasmin! Thank you for being so brave to share your story.

    Love & HLM,
    Diana

  7. Pilar Olivo Says:

    This has me in tears over a recent loss of my baby Delilah. Thank you for sharing; this will offer healing to so many mothers. You have created absolutely beautiful art, poetry and the spirit of Libertdad will touch so many. i will personally cherish your words and hold them close to my heart as I heal.


    • Pilar thank you so very much for sharing in return. I am honored that you took the time to read my story and that Libertad’s story will be with you on your journey towards healing. I wish you much strength and millions of blessings in that process. Love and Light to our mommy wounds and to our babies! Mil gracias.


  8. […] Watched my mother nurse her own first born through cancer then her husband. Lost my brother. Lost my second pregnancy. Painted the Soldaderas mural in a momentary coming up and out for air before disappearing again. […]


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