The most important thing about me is that I’m a mom. More specifically a preemie and special needs mom (i.e. what I call a ‘special parent’). If you are reading this, then it’s highly likely that you are a special parent too. This makes us connected in a way that’s difficult to explain…yet easy to feel.
My story began in 2006 when our son Alejandro entered this world at 24 weeks gestation weighing a whopping 645 grams (1 lb 4 oz)! He is legally blind due to him developing progressive Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) while in the NICU, which did not respond to treatment. He also has moderate developmental delays. Alejandro explores and truly embraces life despite of or maybe because of his blindness……all with an infectious giggle and he is the inspiration behind me creating Families Blossoming LLC.
Professionally, I trained as an Occupational Therapist and worked in this field for several years in the USA (several states) and UK (London), holding both clinical and management roles. I then began doing project management, still within the healthcare field, while I furthered my education. I obtained my MSc in Health, Population and Society from The London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) and my Diploma in Personal Performance Coaching (Distinction) from The Coaching Academy (UK). I am a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the New York City Chapter of the ICF. Continuing to develop myself personally and professionally so that both the parents I serve and I benefit and grow together is very important to me. To this end, I am currently in the process of obtaining further accreditation with ICF.
Personally, aside from now being primarily known as Alejandro’s mum, I am also married to an incredibly wonderful man. He and I (and our marriage) were tested on every level with Alejandro’s prematurity and everything that came along with it.
My life’s view had been to always look at the glass half full rather than half empty but Alejandro’s extremely early birth via emergency C-section challenged this view in every way. We had entered the strange, abnormal and surreal world of prematurity – a place few parents even know exist, let alone think they will go there. Alejandro’s acute hospital phase consisted of 5 1/2 months in the NICU in London, England followed by an additional 2 months in the USA for further surgical intervention. Regular ongoing surgical follow-ups continue to this day. His (and our) journey has been both frightening and heartwarming and characterized by huge highs and lows on a minute by minute basis, which gradually changed to a daily basis……. and then back to minute by minute! Through lots of prayers & the love and support from family and friends, we got through the hospital phase (just barely).
We soon realized though that these highs and lows continued long after you have left the hospital – sometimes they were directly related to your little one – but often times they were in reference to yourself, your relationships, your ability to cope, your work, your inner feelings and beliefs, your own anxieties, your overall health, etc. Parents can easily lose themselves as they care for their child. I know this and so do you.
As a Professional Coach and most importantly as a ‘special parent’, my desire is to help other parents start embracing their lives again. Using proven coaching techniques, sprinkled with a little dash of “Gigi-ness”, I want parents to start thinking and living outside of the box of prematurity that life has put them in.
My style is warm, friendly, open, honest & positive – with a big dose of laughter – and I am passionate about supporting other preemie and special needs parents along their unique and often challenging journey. I listen well, both to what you say and what you don’t say and will challenge you, as appropriate, because I truly want to move you towards who you want to become and where you want to be.
Being Alejandro’s mother gives me a unique perspective, shall I say a ‘knowing-ness’ and sense of empathy that is essential to understanding you & helping you move forward. Together we will walk YOUR walk and create the life you want to live both as a person and as a parent, in the midst of all of the challenges you face.
Are you ready to fully embrace, re-energise or maybe even reinvent your life again? If so, I am ready too.
“I know God will not give my anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa