Birth, Death, Rebirth: A Thank You To Those Who Prayed for My Baby Daughter

Her name is Elizabeth Artemis Arrow. She was born November 6 and she’s alive and well. To the many of you who prayed for my baby daughter and emailed me your well wishes: Thank you. They sustained me.

I think we gave her a strong name: Artemis, as in the kickass Greek hunter-goddess, is what my husband Carlos and I called her for months before her birth, and Arrow was a natural extension of the name, a symbol of strength and intent. The Biblical Elizabeth (“God’s daughter”) we settled on hours before the baby’s birth, for its timelessness — and maybe because deep down, we felt she needed the extra protection.

For months, doctors had been plying us with nothing but worst-case scenarios, based on grainy sonograms that showed a smaller than average chest, and medical guesswork: Possible dwarfism. A chance that she might be so fragile she would not make it through labor.

None of those predictions came true, but neither was our experience, which came a month early, straight out of one of those enchanted celeb-baby fairy tales that dominate gossip websites and magazines. In the operating room, cut off from the C-section action by a curtain, Carlos and I held hands — and our breaths — as Artie was pulled out.

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Damarys Ocaña Perez,

Damarys Ocaña Perez is Director of Editorial Content at Latina Media Ventures. She leads its magazine, Latina, the pre-eminent beauty, fashion, culture and lifestyle magazine for acculturated U.S. Hispanic women and is responsible for maintaining Latina’s voice, vision and mission across all LMV platforms. Born in Havana and raised in Miami, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

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