Friday, April 29, 2016

Age 4: Do not Panic, My Newborn

by Dr Margaret Aranda

One of the most wondrous events in a lifetime is being a mom...and bringing home your very own newborn baby from the hospital. You do not need a "Mom License" or a "Newborn License" or a "Parent's License" or any proof at all that you are to be trusted with this little, helpless newborn who depends on you for his/her very life. How does anyone know that you will love your own flesh and blood?

Trepidly and distinctly, I recall leaving the hospital doors as a new mom, with each of my two newborn babies who are separated by about twenty years. Both times, it was exactly the same kind of 'mom' love. Wondrous. Enormous. Spectacular. Speechless.

Moments turned into days, days turned into years, and in this story, we are at 4 years of age with my second baby, a girl. All I could hear was her screams, all bloody, horrible screams.


It was just a few minutes after polishing my nails that I heard it. 

It was as if my mom breast milk was going to start leaking uncontrollable milk for the love of the newborn that she used to be. Reflexively, my body reacted to her instinctually, as if she was four days old, not four years old. The "mother" in me longed to run to her, to touch her ​​skin, to hold her and love her and tell all that everything was okay. I needed to feel her skin: skin contact so my brain could release endorphins that would satiate my body from the withdrawals of each contact. The 'Mommy Love' was a brand of its own, nothing that could be described or replaced. 

"Wa-aaa-ahh!" "Mo-mmy!"

I ran to the bathroom door, white and tall. And locked. I checked it again. It was really locked.

Image 1. The Bathroom Door. Locked inside was my newborn baby I loved so much. 
I knelt on the carpet outside, figuring out a way to coax this former newborn away from the gripping hands of panic and toward rationality, so she could simply unlock the door. 
It seemed so simple. But my hands were sweating. 

She was just four years old, wailing like she was dying, one fingernail at a time. Again, my newborn "Mommy breasts" still wanted to drip milk onto my shirt, drop by drop. I felt it.

"Do not panic!" I said, with my mouth by the doorknob, squishing my lips in the tiny airspace therein. "Use your head!"

"Wa-aaa-ahh Mommy!" Louder now, as if I never said one word. 

How was she ever going to hear me if she was screaming so loud? This was my conundrum. It was double sided: I wanted all quiet for myself and for all, and I was also desperate to quiet all down, lest the neighbors thought that I was a Mommy Torturing the poor girl!  Despite all, the screams Continued. And Continued.....

Actually, then they became 'wails.' Worse than screams. "Wa-aaa -Ahh!" "Wa-aaa-ahh!" ... And the louder "Wa-AAA-AHHH!" I called this "Level Two" crying. It carries a more 'newborn',  deeper, more primal 'blown-away' effect.  Then, to my great chagrin, the "Mo-mmy!" turned into "MAMA-MAMA !!" I NEED you! "Mmmm-mmmm-mmmm-mmmmm!" Oh, my. It melted my very Mommy soul, with the same exact effect of looking at her as a newborn for the first time. It just melted my love, my spirit, and my helpless soul.

For a full five minutes, it continued. I had sweat under my arms too, now, and I just wanted to take a breath so I could get all of two words out. "Do not panic! Use your head!"

Finally, finally, finally, when we were both so spent that it hurt to be so breathless, she talked to me. She was listening now. Oh! Oh my! OH MY GOSH! The time was finally here!

"Huh?" In all, I calmed down too. I told her to put her fingers on that thingie that stuck out over the lock. "Huh?" I explained that it had to turn 'sideways' instead of 'up and down'. I felt so stupid explaining this to a 4-year old. How was she going to understand? I calmly talked her through it and suddenly, 'Pop! ' the door opened.

She flew into my arms, along with the sunshine from the room, sweaty, red-faced, panicked, shaking, covered in a cloud of effort like Pigpen from Peanuts, and still so dependent on her Mommy, just like a newborn. 

I told her, "YOU did it!" "YOU figured it out!" "YOU are so smart!" as each whimpering and shaking continued to consume every breath. Beforehand, they rose and continued from the pillar of fear that had rendered her so helpless and so alone, to be rendered inert. Helpless. Stuck. Alone. Afraid. Now, her fears were gone, banished to go under the beds and into the dark shadows, forever jailed and never to return.

And I saw all of the "newborn babies" that every mother sees in every child, no matter how old each baby is. And I understood what it really, really meant to give up your life for your baby, as a mother. We live and love for them. We put them first. We cast aside our own Mommy desires. We strive to give them the Mommy lessons and the lives that we never had. We want them to come to us, to love us just as we could never go to our own moms. I never, ever, ever want to lose her, or hurt her, or cause her not to trust me; not in any way.

And I hugged her tightly, and I said, "I'm never going to let you go!" 

Image 2. Mother:Daughter bond. Unconditional love, forever.

It was as if nothing in the world could be any better at this very moment.

Because nothing in this world was better at this moment, 
and I could not keep it, even by writing it down to share it with you.
It's in my heart and in my brain. It lives on forever.

Maybe when she is a teenager, she can look back at this and know how much I loved her.
Or maybe when she has her own newborn, the epiphany will "shine" and 
she will finally, finally, understand me, her own Mommy who loves her so much.

No. No matter what, I know that no one can take that "newborn" in her away from me. 
I am her Mommy and she is my daughter, my newborn.
It lives on forever, with a life of its own.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


by Dr Margaret Aranda

These are my orphans of Hope & amp; Joy Ministries. I have known the Pastor Steven Mwesigw for 7 years. Never before has there been such a need. Never before have we had to beg for food so often. Pastor borrowed $ 281 from the grocery lady, and it is due on Sunday. Please give so that she will allow them to have food for May 1, 2016. And God Bless You. 

Image 1.  Dr Margaret Aranda and Dale Lee Masters ask that donations go to feed them are orphans here: to 


These are my orphans of Hope & amp; Joy Ministries, whom I have known the Pastor Steven Mwesigw for 7 years. Only two others have this weight being carried with me. Never before has there been such a need. Never before have we had to beg for food so often. Pastor borrowed $ 281 from the grocery lady, and it is due on Sunday. Please give so that she will allow them to have food for May 1, 2016. That's when we'll need another $ 400. And God Bless You. 

And we are reminded of James 1:27:
Pure and undefiled religion is to feed the orphans and the widows in their suffering, According the to God, and to remain uncorrupted by the world.

"For what good is it to" persevere "for ourselves, if the orphans have no morsel of food? None. We should" persevere "for them, even if it is thankless.

                                                     ~ Margaret Aranda, MD, Ph.D. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Age 3: The Edge of the Cliff

by Dr Margaret Aranda

She was three years old now, with brown curly hair and matching big brown eyes that belonged to an actual doll. Just mesmerizing. 

They were going to do some errands, Mom and daughter. As long as she had her toy for the car, she was fine with it all. Her Mum put her in the back seat of the Ford Expedition. All tucked in, yes indeed. Seat belt tight, pillow under the neck for when she took the inevitable nap.  

After shopping, it was a drive home, so the baby had a diaper change, a full stomach, and you know. The nap was next. They had just finished visiting Grandma with her heart attack. Grandma lived in a city that was "over the hill," and today they had taken the dog Biscuit for a visit in the Nursing Home. All was well with the world.

It was a sunny California Tuesday afternoon, April 24, 2006 at 2:16 pm to be exact. Pepperdine University was on the right, and the cliffs of Malibu beach were just beyond the baseball diamond that was straight ahead. The sea gulls swerved away from imaginary pockets in the sky, and

All of a sudden. Whoosh! CRASH! Spin. Smack. Stopped.

Video 1. Eyewitness News TV Coverage, Drs. Margaret Aranda-Ferrante and David S. Cannom. Getting the diagnosis of dysautonomia took over 20 doctor visits, several months, a Near-Death Experience, and lots of pain and suffering. Millions of patients go through this annually, so I wrote the Invisible Illness Petition to increase physician education as a Preventive Medicine measure for all. 

Cars driving past. Their car was facing the wrong side of the street, and traffic simply veered out of the way, passing them. No one stopped.

She didn't cry. She wasn't worried. She didn't realize what happened that day. She didn't know how messed up the future was going to be. She didn't have to know. She shouldn't have to know. None of it should have happened to such a beautiful girl. Mum used to look at her and Dad, the three of them together, and say, "This family is the best thing that I could ever have. It's the best present that I could ever give our daughter. We have such a beautiful family."

When her Mum opened the car door, she opened it too hard; it swung shut back onto Mum's arm. She screeched a bit, seeming really perturbed. She ignored it though, and asked the baby, "Are you okay?" The baby looked up at her Mum, wondering where her toy was, as it had fallen to the ground. "Yes, Mum. Can I have my toy now?" Yes, that was a three-year old for you. She was okay, and her Mum suffered all the pain and injuries so that her Mum wouldn't have to...just the same way as any Mum would have it. Thank God.

After that, Mum would leave the house sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a few weeks. The baby grew and came to know that the ambulance in the home driveway meant that Mum was being taken away again. Again. Something about her brain, something about well... her brain. She visited Mum in the hospital once, and Mum couldn't walk except with a walker but she didn't know why. All she knew is that Mum wasn''t allowed to pick her up anymore, and they couldn't play "Mummy Monster" with Mum chasing her all around the house any more. Mum was in bed, in pain alot. I mean A LOT.

Eventually, the toddler didn't want to go to the hospital to visit her Mum any more. It gave her bad dreams. She did, though, because it made her Mummy happy. She missed her Mum, and no one quite brushed her hair, brushed her teeth, nor read books to her like Mum had done before. No one tucked her into bed and made her giggle like Mum did. No more playing Peter Pan in the morning. The whole world was different now.

Weeks went by, then months, then years. Mum was in a wheelchair and she couldn't talk. Then she had an "iv", then she baked a Thanksgiving turkey after three years went by. COW! After that, she could walk with a walker. And after that, after a long time, she could walk with a cane. One day, she tripped on the cane and in her anger, she threw it in the trash can. She never used a cane again.

The toddler, she turned eleven. She watched her Mum drive, and she listened to Mum tell stories of morning glories, of ladybugs and of rhymes, of songs and of the times. And Mum even wrote a Ladybug book for her.

And she knows that the edge of the cliff is just the edge.

It can be diverted.

If you stay on top, it doesn't matter that there's a cliff below.

It just doesn't matter.

Just don't look at it, pray to Jesus, and one day your Mummy will come home. To stay.

The only thing that Mum ever really, really wanted to be was a Mummy. So she smiled that fantastic smile of hers, and made it past the odds.

How did Mum recover? She just took one day at a time, laying on the edge of the cliff and not rolling over the wrong way. And she prayed. Mum knew that God would find a way. She never stopped believing.


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