In November 2, 2010 my sister called me and gave the news that she was pregnant with her first child. She and her husband had found out that same day and couldn’t wait to see the family in person to tell them the news. What surprised me the most was was that my sister was 12 weeks and 2 days pregnant already and she didn’t knew it. She said that she never suspected it because her period is always irregular. But the last few weeks, before getting the official news, she suspected something and decided to go to a laboratory for a blood test. According to the gynecologist, she was due for around May 15.

Ever since both families, hers and her husband’s, knew of the pregnancy, we’ve been calling each other coordinating who will give the parents-to-be what. We’ve been also preparing the baby shower separating expenses. I’ve had  lot of fun, specially talking to my father who lives in Orlando, we’ve talked more in the past few months than in the last twenty years. Even family who I’ve seen only once in my life have been calling me to ask about my sister and what she needs.

On Thursday March 24 my sister went to her gynecologist’s office because she had been feeling ill the past couple of days and she couldn’t see at all. Her doctor said that she had to go directly to the hospital because her blood pressure was at 170/80. In the hospitals doctors said she had preeclampsia. At approximately 5:00 pm she was taken into the surgery room for an emergency c-section and around 6:00 pm her baby was out into this world and was taken immediately to the child intesive care unit. The baby girl’s weight was 4 pounds with 5 ounces and she measured 18 inches long. Nurses hooked the baby to an oxygen machine because she was born eight weeks premature. After surgery my sister was kept in a dark room for a day and a half because her blood pressure wouldn’t go down. On Saturday she was taken to a room and thankfully she was released on Monday.

Unfortunately, the baby will stay in the hospital for at least a month or until she gains more weight. The baby was fed only water for two days with a serum, making her weight only 3 pounds and 2 ounces. She’s so fragile looking, her skin is so wrinkled and seems so loose. Although her cry is strong for being premature, the doctor said the baby had to stay because she lost weight not because she was sick. That’s a relief for the family.

Beatriz Aleksandra Torres Maldonado, what a mouthful, right? This is how my sister and brother-in-law named their firstborn daughter, my niece.