Saturday, February 25, 2017

Is This Thing Still Working?

It has been three years since I posted on here. A lot has happened since then. 

First, we are back in the US. Miguel is undocumented again. He now has a lifetime ban that will be able to be waived in 10 years. We knew this would happen, but as you'll see in the next few paragraphs, we really had no choice.

Let's go back to 2014 where I left off. I lost my job in May 2014 after moving to Matamoros. I had been job searching in Brownsville, McAllen, and Harlingen, Texas, but never even got called for an interview. We were barely surviving off Miguel's salary of 1,200 MXN pesos a week (60 USD). If it hadn't had been for his aunt and my grandmother, we would have been here before we came. We were in bad shape. No money to pay bills or even buy food. Most days we were eating with his aunt. After paying rent and utility bills, we had no money left from his check. My grandmother was sending us around 150 USD a month for food, but that would only buy so much food. 

July 2014: Miguel started working with his brother-in-law out of town. We hated that he was gone all the time, but he was making 2500 MXN a week (125 USD). We were actually surviving, but barely. This job only lasted a little over a month. His brother-in-law started shorting his check. First, it was 2000 pesos, then 1500 pesos, then nothing. He came back to Matamoros and started working at his old job again. 

August-October 2014: I had been feeling nauseous at night and craving hot salsa constantly. I decided to do a pregnancy test. It was positive! We were very surprised and ecstatic!! I was so scared though. We did betas. The first was 76. 2 days later it was 115. I was scared, because it didn't double like it was supposed to do. The next one was 334. Awesome number!! I was beyond happy! I broke down crying. I started cramping and spotting a few days later. My doctor from Monterrey prescribed me a higher dose of progesterone. I took it and went to the obstetrician 2 days later. She checked and everything looked good. She did another beta. It was 467, not good. We did an ultrasound. We saw a sac in the uterus, but we saw what they thought was a tumor on my right ovary. They said the sac was not a viable pregnancy. I knew that. They did the ovarian cancer blood test on me, and the levels were high. I was so scared. I calmed down, and researched. I found out that that test is not to be done during pregnancy, ovulation, or menstruation, because it causes false positives. I went to the oncologist. He measured it through ultrasound and sent me for a CT scan. He also had me do more blood work. I did another beta, and it was 142. So the next day, I had the CT scan. The spot was tiny, 17mm. He offered 2 options: remove the tumor and test it or remove both ovaries. I decided both ovaries, I didn't want to deal with this again. the surgery was 60,000 MXN (3000 USD) which I had to pay beforehand. I didn't have any money, I created a GoFundMe account, but very few people helped. I decided to go to a doctor in Texas.  One person, someone I don't even know personally donated $250USD. He was from the Ranch that Miguel's from. I won't share his name, because he did it privately. However, I am forever grateful to him. He helped when nobody else would, not even my own family except my grandmother. I went to the doctor in Texas. They reviewed my medical records from Mexico. She then scheduled an ultrasound for a month later. Over the next month, I threw myself into the last month of school. 2 years of tears, frustration, and happiness ended with an Associate's Degree. The ultrasound showed no tumor or even cyst, and the ovarian cancer test was negative. They did it when I was not ovulating or menstruating.

November & December 2014: I am still job hunting. Our van broke down. It was 6000 MXN to repair it (300USD). Thank God for Miguel's aunt. She paid for the repair. I went to a few interviews, but nobody called me back for a second interview. Thanksgiving was ok, my grandmother sent me enough money for Thanksgiving dinner and a few Christmas gifts. Miguel’s aunt pitched in on the dinner, so we had a really good dinner. I made buttermilk custards, turkey, dressing, macaroni salad, potato salad, and green beans. I decided to use the money my grandmother sent for Christmas on Cyber-Monday I was able to get the kids a cheap tablet, tennis shoes, an outfit, and a few other small things. They were very happy with their gifts. Miguel's parents and sisters came for New year's, so it was a good holiday spent with his parents, sisters, aunt, and uncle.

February-May 2015: A friend helped me to get a job at Dish in Harlingen. I worked there for 3 months, and one day they fired me. They just said it wasn't working out. I think it was because I wasn't getting many upsells which are sells made during an incoming phone call about a technical or billing issue.

May 2015: I lost my job the day before Mother's Day. I was devastated. I began searching for another job the same day, but couldn't find one. 2 weeks later, I returned to GA. A week later, Miguel followed. 

June 2015- September 2015: Life was hard when we first moved back to Georgia. Miguel was working but I couldn't find a job. I had come to the conclusion that my degree was no good. In July, my grandmother's fiancé passed away unexpectedly with heart failure. We knew he had heart failure, but he got sick one week, and the next he was gone. I reconnected with an old friend. She had her husband get Miguel a job with him in concrete. He started making a better salary, so things started looking up. I was still job searching, but I wasn't as stressed about it. We could actually afford to purchase a few things here and there. 

December 2015: Christmas this year was awesome for the kids! It felt so good to actually get my kids what they asked for Christmas instead of what I could afford. It was pretty boring, because my family defuses to celebrate Christmas in a fun way. We eat dinner and open gifts. That's it. Mexico was about spending time with family and having fun. Not here with my family.

April- June 2016: I was told that I would never get pregnant one my own anymore. My hormone levels were off, so I was preparing for menopause. My gynecologist recommended a reproductive endocrinologist or fertility specialist near us. Well, fertility treatment in the US is ridiculously expensive so that was out. Jeni graduated middle school and Luis graduated elementary school. We bought them a cookie cake and made enchiladas potosinas for a celebration dinner. We wanted to do something special, because they are special events in Mexico. I got a new car for Mother’s Day! In May, I started feeling a little nauseous here and there, but I thought it was just my crazy hormones fluctuating. So, I ignored it. In June, it got worse. I finally gave in and called my gynecologist on Thursday, June 16 to setup an appointment for betas. I was to go in the following Monday. I hadn't done a pregnancy test, because I knew even if I was pregnant it wouldn't last. It never did. Friday evening, I started getting dizzy and very nauseous. I finally vomited. When I did, I felt a very weird sensation. The only way to describe it is how it feels when your 5 months pregnant and the baby balls up. It didn't really hurt, but it was very uncomfortable. I thought maybe I pulled a muscle or something, because the vomiting was worse than I had ever had. I decided to take a shower to see if the warm water would help. I got out and sat down to put my shoes on. I couldn't sit down completely, it hurt too bad. I had to sit on the side of my hip. I knew something was wrong, so I got Miguel to take me to the ER. They thought ectopic. They did betas. My levels were 13,468! I was so happy, and I didn't think it was an ectopic. My symptoms were not what I had read about. I had no real pain, just horrible pressure, no shoulder pain, nothing. They sent me for an ultrasound. No baby or even a sac was in my uterus. I had a ruptured ectopic and my abdomen was filling with blood. I had to have emergency surgery to save my life. I was devastated, but at the moment I was scared to death. I didn't want to die. I kept thinking about my kids at home. They did surgery and removed 2 pints of blood from my abdomen, and 8-week-old fetus, and my shredded fallopian tube. Along with all of this went my chances of every getting pregnant naturally again. The doctor said I had a lot of scar tissue built up, and she removed that. However, it would more than likely grow back. She said I have endometriosis. I looked back at the dates. I got pregnant 2 weeks after the gynecologist told me that I couldn’t get pregnant naturally. Had he have not told me that, I would have tested in May. I would have more than likely avoided surgery, because they would have given me the methotrexate shot.

July- December 2016: I was still recuperating from my ectopic surgery, but my little sister came to visit from Montana. I was 2 weeks’ post-op and still in a lot of pain. We went to Stars and Strikes to spend time with the kids. Then, she wanted to go to White Water. My incisions hadn't healed yet, so I sat on the side all day. I was exhausted and in so much pain after that. I tried to spend as much time with her as I could, but it was hard. November was a very sad month for us, the person we did not need to become president won. We
We along with a million other people were devastated, how could the people of our country vote in a person with so much hate for people who are different from him?! The only good thing to happen in November was that Jeni's 15 dress came in!! December came, and Christmas was better this year. We did a drawing for names for a gift exchange. We actually spent time together. We bought a piñata, so the kids could have more fun. It ended early, but was fun. We went to my cousin's house for New year's and had a blast.

January 2017: Jeni turned 15!! We celebrated the day with a small party of cake and a mini regalo sorpresa (surprise gift). Then, we went to eat at Chili’s and went to downtown Atlanta to get on the Skyview. We didn’t in the end, the line was too long. We ended up back at Stars and Strikes for a fun evening of playing games. It wasn’t what she had planned, but she had fun. Her quinceanera was going to be April 8, but with Trump winning the presidency we were considering changing it. That just depended on what he did after he was sworn in. A week later, he was sworn in. The following week was Miguel’s birthday and my mom left for Montana. This week also consisted of devastating news from the White House. An executive order was signed to not only build a wall between Mexico and the US, but to deport the people in the US who are undocumented. Raids started in many cities throughout the US. I am thanking God that we didn’t move to a more diverse area last year when I wanted to. We have now postponed Jeni’s quinceanera until her 16th birthday. It will be a Quince/ Sweet Sixteen. We are scared to do it here, and Miguel get arrested right before her party. We are planning a move back to Mexico at the end of this year. So, I have a lot to do between now and then. We want to build a house there before going. I also need to find a prepa for Jeni and a good secundaria for Luis, because he was diagnosed with ADHD last year. This is all for now. I will keep you posted on our journey the next few months.

Luis never smiles in pictures. It is very rare that I catch a smile. Jeni loves pictures, so she always smiles!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Immigration Process

We have been trying to get Miguel's FOIA for a little over 2 years now. For some reason, CBP never responds. The most I have seen is "under agency review." We are going to file FBI fingerprints soon, and go ahead and get started on the I-130. I didn't want to get started until we were sure that his CBP record had no expedited deportations, but 2 years is too long.

I plan to file the I-130 in August, and hope things go fast. I have seen online that it is moving faster than before.

Now we are stuck in another dilemma, whether to stay here, put the kids in school in Texas, or us go back to GA and put the kids in school in GA so they won't have to change schools again when he gets his visa. 

The kids prefer GA, but I don't really like the idea of being a 1000 miles away from Miguel for 9 months at a time. We will be renting my grandmother's basement, and she has said that she will get the kids to school and take care of them so I can come visit Miguel, but I am not so sure about this. I need to figure it out. I really need to think about the pros and cons of being there. Everything was fine before, but Miguel and I fought a lot. It was usually me who was fighting too, so I need to work on that. I have a great support system in GA with my grandmother, her husband, and my sister. My sister and I don't see eye to eye most times, but she really likes Miguel and loves the kids, so she tends to help out a lot when I am there and need help. I just need to get an online job again, and all will be good. 

If we stay here, we will be with Miguel daily, of course. The kids will go to school in Texas, but I will have to rent an apartment or something in Texas too. Plus, we would stay in Matamoros with Miguel most nights so that would mean getting the kids up at 4am so they would be ready to leave by 5:30 to avoid waiting in line for 2-3 hours at the border. I can't find a job here, I have been here almost 3 months and nothing. Miguel is working out-of-town so we never see each other anyway. I love our home here, but I don't know what to do.

Update: I started writing this post 3 days ago. We have more or less decided to stay here, and apply. I will be renting a house in Brownsville in August. We will be staying in Brownsville Monday night through Friday morning, and in Matamoros Friday afternoon until Monday morning. Miguel will continue to work out of town, so we will be in Matamoros at the same time. I will just have to cross some during the week to take care of our pitbull who will stay at our Matamoros house. The good thing is she won't be lonely, Miguel's cousin lives right down the street from us, so he will visit and care for her the days we aren't here.