• kari alejandre


Day 4-

When I was just a girl, I was adamant that I would get married some day. I wanted kids. And lots of critters. But not necessary a spouse. And a big part of that was because I didn’t want to be a burden to someone else. I mean, who wants to marry someone who has an uncertain future, as transplants typically get 10-15 years to live, statistically. I wasn’t focused on that number, but I was being practical. And since the recommendation is not to have children after transplant, I had to heartbreakingly come to terms with that notion, too. But you can bet your spicy chihuahua I had lots of critters. And still do!

I had a lot of awesome years, working at an art gallery, and then in my cardiology office at KU Med. I loooooved it. But the best years of my life were yet to come. In 2009, I made a new friend. He was rad, he loved music and art, and so we always had something to talk about. He was gentle, he was kind, and upon first meeting, he was bragging about his little 5-year-old daughter. The way he spoke of her, such love and adoration, it was beautiful. I was thankful to eventual meet this little lady. Isabella. She was adorable and hilarious. She was tiny and had a HUGE, contagious laugh. 

We went to a couple concerts together and texted and just became better friends. Since I was not a pro at dating or relationships, he didn’t think I was interested. I didn’t know how to let him know I was. But eventually, we communicated the mutual feelings and let ourselves get totally smitten with each other (& Bella, too). So much so, that after a while, the surprise of a lifetime, I was pregnant with our little love child!

Yeah, yeah, we know what causes pregnancy. But it truly was not planned, and quite planned against. But it was happening. I was getting the push from my doctors to end the pregnancy. I understand why. The risks were there, and the outcome was not good. There were only about 60 women who’d given birth after heart transplant in the world. So yeah, it was a lot of unknown. But I had a peace. And I had a dream. I went to visit a friend in Florida and just check out from being inundated and overwhelmed. Lying on the beach, my bff Samantha swimming in the ocean, yelled to look, a dolphin was swimming so close! It was magical. I took that moment to pray and wish and let myself fall in love with my little tummy bebe. I took any worry I had and cast it into the ocean, and watched as it sailed away into the distance. 

So after a perfectly normal, fun, beautiful, healthy pregnancy, I gave birth to the littlest love of my life. Paolo Samuel. My sonshine. My Paolito Bonito Hermosito. He was born flawless and healthy. He was an instant joy to our little family. And big sister was so helpful and so curious and so in love. 

Funny, I think my capacity to love increased exponentially, even more than before. I saw my loving man differently. I saw Bella differently, and loved her beyond any dna connection. What a gift. And the gift keeps on giving. This family I’ve been gifted with, we love each other big. We love each other right. They love me like a rock, and I right back. Solid and true blue, my friends. 

With big, beautiful, double-hearted love,

Kari Alejandre

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