Author Archives: Jessica Emilia

About Jessica Emilia

Mother, wife, grief survivor, dancer, yogi, feminine, baker, cook, lover, fighter, perfectly imperfect, optimistic, pessimistic, reader, writer, funny, sarcastic, compassionate, emphatic, sympatheric, HR Pro, anxious, confident, supernatural, hocus-pocus, friend, daughter and momma again...

Recovery after VSG


I have been home with Savannah for approximately 5 weeks and I need to return to work next week.  I don’t know how.  I’m going to miss her bitterly.  One of the ways that I will deal with my feelings is to keep telling myself that I will work to pay off all my debt with my job.  Once my debt is paid off and I have some dollars in the bank, my dream of working part time will be a closer reality.  There is not one mom that tells me there won’t be sacrifices – whether professional or economical – but all of them tell me it will be worth it.

My recovery is going very well and i’m down 30lbs.  I had surgery laproscopically(sp) and have 5 tiny little scars that have healed very nicely.  I tend to feel weak when I do too much or have not had adequate protein…but for the most part i’ve followed instructions and usually have a lot of energy. I’ve also graduated to a nearly full diet.  I’ve progressed from clear liquids to full liquids to blended and pureed foods (baby food consistency) and now meat and carbs.  Bring on the meat!  The focus of my diet is protein.  I. must. get. the. protein. in. Several bites of food fill me up so I am eating protein only for now.

I still haven’t had a need to buy new clothes because a lot of the clothing I had was tight on me and now fits me well.  I think when I lose another 20lbs I’ll have to buy clothes.  The trick will be buying just enough to get by as I continue to lose the weight.  I am really looking forward to it.


I left more than my heart in Mexico…


I reclaimed my body on 1/3/12.  I had weightloss surgery.  I had a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.

A week prior to this date, I packed my car and drove myself and Savannah from NY to Georgia. 15 whole hours.  Just me, myself and I.  A few days later I took a flight from Georiga to California.  I met my driver, who drove me across the border into Mexico. I had my surgery the next day.  After surgery I was nauseaus and vomitted often.  I also felt very soar as if I had done one million sit-ups.  I met other American patients and got along with the hospital staff and later on the staff at the hotel I stayed at. Everyone I met was a pleasure; the doctor, whose credentials I checked and whom I spoke to before booking my surgery was every bit as wonderful as he sounded over the phone when I interviewed him.

I went alone.  I am still getting grief about it.  I know it’s crazy and I know it’s something that I would not want Savannah to know about until she’s much older…but…I just wanted to be alone and do this for ME.

For the last several years, my body has belonged to so many people…least of all me.  I’ve shared my body with my precious daughters…I’ve lent it to my husband so that he can become a father and we could fulfill our wish of a living child.  I’ve shared it with all the doctors and nurses and medical assistants that poked and prodded me while I was desperate to find out why Emi died or while I was fighting to keep Daniella alive and finally when I had my TAC surgery that lead us to Savannah.

To a degree, I have felt vialated.  I remember after Emi was born a social worker came to my room to comfort me.  She happened to walk in as they were cleaning me up after delivery and I just saw this look of horror on her face.  I just looked at her and contemplated: woe is me if I can make her look this way – a social worker of all people.  I can only imagine what that scened looked like to her.  Blood everywhere.  I’m in tears, my husband is in tears and there is our dream – our little baby girl…just delivered and laying painfully still between my legs.

With each pregnancy I put on 20lbs.  That’s 60lbs in total.  When you consider that before I gained the 60lbs, I wanted to lose about 40lbs…that meant that my goal was to lose 100lbs.

That’s when I knew I just had to do something about my weight.  Something more than “eat right and excercise” because that has never worked for me longterm.

I’m so glad I took this bold step.  I’m so glad I just went after it and that I did it ALONE and for ME.  And, yes, I’m fully aware that in the long run this investment in myself will trickle down to all facets of my life…but it was an amazing experience to go it alone.

I’m also equally aware that this is so much more about weight, aesthetics…and even health.  It’s is truly about reclaiming years and joy and more than a bit of who I used to be.

And you know what?  I’m really fucking thrilled about it.



I must think about blogging every single day…yet I never find the time to do so.  I must however because I have come to realize that it is one of the ways that I meditate and process all the competing thoughts in my head.

Thoughts…like the coin that Ziggy swallowed which landed us a trip to hospital…x-rays which revealed a coin in her throat…an emergency transfer to another hospital…and overnight stay…surgery the next day which inadvertently propelled the coin into her tummy and into a diaper several days later….sigh.

Or musings on my fun trip to Ohio to visit my girlfriend.  Thoughts on the talks we had…the fun we had…the fun drag show we saw….the excitement I have over knowing that we will be partners in weightloss together…

Thoughts on the decision to  move forward with weight loss surgery in Mexico very early next year…

Processing the idea that the home we invested so much in has closed in a shortsale and we are no longer home owners and adjusting/rationalizing the idea that it was the best decision to let it go for our future…

Writings about how I seem to be adjusting far better to my new role and added responsibilities at work…highly likely to the anxiety meds I am on again.

Recording all the wonderful milestones Ziggy is hitting…the words she’s saying…all her amazing ways…the way she greets her Daddy with repetitive hugs and miles of smiles when he gets home each night…

So much to process…so much to look forward to…

Remembering 10 Years Later


Where were you on that day?  That seems to be the question you get most.  I was on the train that morning on my way in to the city.  I’d always look at the Trade Center – beautiful, tall and prominent – just before the train would dip under ground.  I didn’t know that would be the last time I saw it.  I likely just missed the first plane hit it…by the time I got to school about 20 minutes later the first attack had already taken place.

When I got to my college’s lobby everyone was hushed and listening to a radio along with the security guard.  I was told that a plane had hit the Trade Center – there would be no classes.  I found a few of my friends and we wondered how to get home.  I thought about taking the Queens Borough Bridge home…but there were fears that bridges would be attacked…so we decided to stay on Manhattan Island and walk to my friend’s home.  I went to school on East 71st street…she lived on West 170th street….we walked for over 100 blocks…we barely felt it on that day.

During our walk off in the distance we could see the smoke of the Trade Center…the skyline was forever changed.  We kept thinking about the horror just south of us.  The whole way there we received updates on what was happening…from other people walking…from people sitting in their cars blasting the radio for others to listen…from shop owners that offered our pregnant friend (and us) water or food.

On that day we saw the worst and the absolute best of humanity.

We went to Ground Zero 2 days later to see if we could help.  Authorities requested water and batteries and so we brough that with us.  Other than that there was nothing we could do.  The air was thick with dust and remnants of the attack.  The crowd became silent each time flatbed trucks draped with the American Flag would leave packed with debris.

I stayed with my friend for 3 days and finally felt comfortable taking the train home.  My little brother – then 1 was sitting in his high chair and smiled at me when he saw me after 3 days…right behind him the television flashed images of the planes hitting the towers.

Today I was looking at images on the television of that day.  Seeing those planes and seeing those towers burn and collapse will forever move me.  The images of people helping one another…the images of the heroism of that day will forever inspire.

They will NEVER win.

I can’t beleive it’s been 10 years…I met my husband 3 months later.  He regularly did consulting work in the Trade Center…thankfully he was not there on that day.

The First Step…


I went to a weight loss surgery seminar.  I’m sure this is the path for me…the only question is…what surgery do I choose and when the hell can I get onto my husband’s insurance for coverage…

Regardless…it was the first step…

Tug of War


I never understood a working mother’s guilt.  I just figured that it happened to  someone that maybe didn’t have it all together…something vague.  But now as I drop her off day in and day out at daycare I understand.  When I’m told by others about her day I understand.  When I’m told that she loves the sprinklers and “is really walking”, I understand.

Today, as I was signing her out I heard her cry.  I rushed over to her ‘classroom’ and asked what happened.  I was told that she fell off a ‘horsey’.  I wanted to strangle someone – I know – ilogical.  I know – these things happen.  Still, I wanted to do so.  And then I go home wondering if I would have been told about this had I not walked in and seen it.  These are the kinds of scenarios that break my heart and have me wondering about her welfare.

It’s days like to today that I wish I could just turn my back on my job and stay home with my daughter so that a slip of paper or someone I hardly know will not have to tell me about her day.

I’m contracted to work for my job for 2 years…and it’s days like today that I hardly know how I will get through it.

The Next Phase


Ziggy has brought so much joy and happiness to our lives…but there is still sorrow.  There is still work to do.  Our marraige took a huge hit with the loss of our girls. We just got through with talking this morning and it’s clear that my husband is now processing and working through a lot of pain and anxiety that I always knew he had, but not to this extent.

Things were HARD; and for a long time all we had in common was a lot of pain.  I don’t think either of us bargained for all the work that lay ahead after Ziggy.  We just wanted to get Ziggy here – safely and healthfully – and we got that.  Yet we never looked past that goal because it seemed insurmountable, and we never thought about what came next.

So here we are at that ‘next’ phase.

The fire is out; we finally put it out.  Now we are taking a look around…and holy shit…there is much to do.

Finances have to get in order….

Wellness and health must be moved out of the back burner….I’m looking into weight loss surgery…

Emotions have to come out – no matter how ugly- and they MUST be faced, and they MUST be processed and made peace with if we are ever to find some semblance of freedom.

We need to find ourselves as individuals….he has to go bike riding again and running and hiking and skiing…all those things he loved to do.

I need to start practicing yoga again and reading and dancing and cooking and drinking martinis with the ladies over bad and totally inappropriate jokes.

We need to do all these things…so that we can become WHOLE again and find ourselves again…and then find each other.