I find it strange yet familiar on how such a young lady embodies such an old soul. Her silence bewilders me as she sits in solitude. I can almost discern her thoughts but she is elusive.
Then her words speak volumes so loud, it’s powerful. I feel her written reflections that echo in my mind, and I thank God for the wonder she brings into my life.
She’s my daughter…
“I am not a look,
I am a feeling.
You will feel my presence
before your eyes
even catch a glimpse of my face.
I am the warmth in your heart;
the glow that leaves you breathless
I fill your corners with comfort.
You will grow used to the feeling
of my love harboring the gaps of your soul
but I can never be enough.
I am the emptiness you feel
the hollowness, wounds left naked
as I fade away.
You will feel me as I leave
The light I had once warmed you with
will grow cold.
The physical embodiment of my soul
That was once intertwined with yours?
Will break away.
You won’t feel me anymore.
My warmth, my love, my soul
the things that had once fed you
Now the only place I can be found
is in your insomnia
as you lay awake; searching for me in your thoughts
The only place I can be found
is in your memories
and in the bittersweet throbs
of the heart I once tended to;
By Lisette S. Vasquez
Copyright ©2017 Lisette Vasquez
I may be biased, but she’s just a beautiful and talented young writer.
Dedicated to my son…
Black, White, and In-between
He sees himself in black and white
Rarely any colors in-between
He doesn’t know what they mean
But he’s still trying
He sees the sky in black and white
No shades of blue
Or different hues
It’s just day and night
But he keeps trying
He sees the world in black and white
Sometimes he’s in fright
Fears the darkest of night
Like there’s no end in sight
Can’t take the colors when it’s too bright
But if it’s a question of might
He’ll keep trying
He’ll try to see between these fixed colors
The white of light
The black of night
To the in-between of gray
Where he seems to stray
But the longer he stays
More colors come out into the warmest of day
Then fades in a cold way
So he’ll keep on trying
Hope he finds those bright colors to help see
himself, the world, the sky
As he grows to reach the utmost high
And take in all that gleams
Just to reach his dreams
There are many things I don’t understand
There’s much from me that life demands
But I can do some things
Like smile, sing, and dance
I won’t give up, so give me a chance
If you give me acceptance back,
Then I’ll do better than white or black
I’ll solve this puzzle that’s a part of me
Even if the pieces are all you see
I’ll show more colors of the in-between
To shine brighter than red, yellow, blue, or green
I just know there’s a light, an end in sight
But it’s not as simple as black
By Lisa Malabanan-Vasquez
Support Educate Advocate Love
We’ve all heard the phrase “I’m eating for two.” Even though you’re eating for two, or three, the recommended weight gain during pregnancy is based on your height and weight. The two values together calculate a measure of body fat, which is called Body Mass Index (BMI). So it’s important to know your pre-pregnancy BMI to understand how much you should put on.
It’s easy to believe that you can eat anything when you are pregnant. Perhaps the craving for chili dogs or ice cream in the middle of the night is OK because “the baby wants it.” Depending on your BMI and the average distribution of pregnancy weight gain for a single or multiple gestation, women must be careful not to put on too much or too little. The amount of weight gain outside the normal recommendations may lead to complications. Getting the right amount and eating the right foods help support a healthy pregnancy.
Here is the average distribution of weight gain in pounds for a baby:
Baby = 7 ½
Placenta = 1 ½
Breasts = 2
Uterus = 2
Amniotic Fluid = 2
Blood Volume = 4
Fluid Volume = 4
Fats, Protein, Nutrients = 7
TOTAL POUNDS = 30
Most women don’t need to increase calories in the first trimester. According to the Institute of Medicine, women only need an extra 340 calories a day in the second trimester, and 452 calories a day in the third trimester. If you are having twins, then the recommendations for weight gain are a bit more.
Health care providers advise a steady weight gain for a healthy pregnancy outcome. Women who get more than the recommended amount may have a large baby, and are at higher risk of having a premature birth or cesarean section delivery. However, women who don’t put on enough weight may have a low birth weight or premature baby.
The chance of having pregnancy problems is higher for overweight and obese women. These women are at increased risk for health issues like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and respiratory complications, or death. The probability of a miscarriage and a recurrent miscarriage is more likely for an obese woman than a normal weight woman.
Babies of obese women are at higher risk for congenital abnormalities (neural tube defects, cardiac problems, cleft lip or cleft palate), macrosomia, or fetal death. Macrosomic babies are at danger for birth trauma like shoulder dystocia. Premature babies have an increased chance for lung and heart complications after delivery. Large babies are more likely to have obesity in childhood and as an adult with health issues.
Talk to your health care provider about managing your weight throughout the pregnancy. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly (if not contraindicated), and go to your prenatal appointments to keep your pregnancy and weight on point.
Here are some helpful links and resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Adult BMI calculator
Institute of Medicine Healthy weight gain during pregnancy
Baby Center Pregnancy weight tracker
March of Dimes Eating healthy during pregnancy
- Institute of Medicine
- American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- American Pregnancy Association
- Mayo Clinic
- Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nurses