A Love Named Michael and Valentina

Author: Felica de la Pena

An article regarding my love for my husband and daughter.

I thought I knew joy and happiness. I thought my heart was full of so much love for my husband, Michael, there just couldn’t be one inch left for anyone else. How wrong was I. With the birth of my little girl, Valentina Marie, an entire world of emotion was opened to me.

For many of my 30 odd years of being single, I sometimes wondered if I’d ever find true happiness. You know, the happiness that the couples on cable TV’s “A Wedding Story” wax poetic about every episode. That almost indescribable emotion that comes from falling madly, passionately in love i.e. finding your soul mate. I had plenty of fun times and hours of laughter with my wonderfully loving family and my best friends, but I always felt something was missing in my existence. Was there a special someone out there just for me? Could I actually fall in love and have that person fall in love with me in return? Was there one person out of millions who could actually complete me? In 2001, all of my questions were answered with the arrival into my life, of a man named Michael.

If you’ve never been in love, what an amazing experience you’ve missed. If you are or have ever been in love, you know the true meaning of the word “bliss”. Suddenly the sky is bluer, birds sing louder, the sun shines for you and your beloved alone, even when it’s raining. Every other word out of your mouth is the name of that one person you’ve been waiting for your entire life. I felt and did all of these things and more with Michael in my life. Our courtship was fast. We met and within weeks of seeing each other every single day, we both knew this was IT. Even though he was going through a difficult divorce when we met, our commitment to each from the very beginning was incredibly strong. We were in love and no matter what, no matter who, we were going to be together for the rest of our lives.

We moved in together after a few months and became engaged a little over a year later. We scheduled our wedding for a year from the day of our engagement, but destiny had other plans. I became pregnant, scant months after we announced our engagement and the wedding was pushed ahead by 7 months. Michael and I married
in a small ceremony on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Pedro, CA. And 4 months later, our daughter was born.

Valentina Marie, from conception it seemed was a little soul that could not wait. She was due in February of 2003, but 5 weeks earlier she arrived after having caused me to lie in the hospital for 2 weeks because of a prematurely ruptured water bag.
The first glimpse I received of my baby girl was her 2 little dark eyes staring back at me as the nurse held a swaddled little bundle over me quickly before they carried her to NICU.

In the 4 months since her birth, I have felt such an overflow of emotion I have worried sometimes that my heart could not withstand the overload. Her presence in my life, I feel is a true blessing from God. I do believe there is a God, because surely no mere human alone could create such a miracle. Everyday, every time I look into her big brown eyes and she looks back at me, her momma I am amazed that this little human being was created out of the love that Michael and I feel for one another.

After September 11, millions of people stood back and took another look at their lives and their priorities. I thought I did as well. But now after marrying the love of my life and the birth of my daughter I truly feel that I must be more than a good mother, more than a good wife. I feel that I must constantly strive to be a better, stronger more loving person. Because the two miracles in my life deserve nothing less.