The word ‘impossible’ is not part of Michelle Galván‘s vocabulary. Despite the warnings and her medical condition, the journalist for Primer Impacto (Univision) fulfilled her greatest wish: to be a mother. On July 22, she and her husband, Fernando Guajardo, became parents to baby Megan, and since then, her life has never been the same. Becoming pregnant was not an easy task since the couple had previously suffered three losses that had an impact on them. However, Michelle did not let these events upset her faith and moved on, until finally, last February, she announced that she was expecting her first baby. Yes, there were feelings of anguish and uncertainty, because Michelle was afraid that this baby, who was on the way, would not make it ... but as she rightly says, “God’s timing is perfect.”
Currently, Michelle and Fernando‘s home is full of happiness. In an exclusive interview with HOLA! USA, Michelle shared her first weeks as a new mother, which have taken place in a complex context, since both her pregnancy and Megan’s arrival occurred in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, something unprecedented in the history of modern mankind.
With new challenges ahead and great enthusiasm, Michelle is becoming a mother ‘de impacto’, showing that her struggle, her tears and prayers were worth it: Megan, the apple of her eye, is in her arms.
HOLA!: Michelle, how are you?
Michelle: Here I am with Megan; I introduce her to you. She is in a deep sleep, like that dream in which I was for many years thinking that one day I would be a mother and today I can tell you that that dream came true. My husband, Fernando, and I are so happy to share our story with the audience of HOLA! USA. Of course, in this digital age we feel honored to be on the cover and in these wonderful photographs where we had several changes of clothes, used neutral tones and many bows.
HOLA!: How has your routine changed? Before Megan, you woke up to the news and to do journalistic work. Is that now completely different?
Michelle: Before, I would get up and the first thing I would see was the international news and headlines. Now the first thing I do when I get up is to see what time it is to feed Megan so she doesn‘t cry, because that’s the only thing she cries for. The truth is that I have a very calm girl. Yes, my world was turned upside down because we are living in a revolution of love, diapers, milk and tears of happiness. This little person, who is less than 50 cm tall, has brought us a lot of happiness at home, so I can tell you that right now my whole world revolves around Megan.
“My world was turned upside down because we are living in a revolution of love, diapers, milk and tears of happiness.”
HOLA!: How are chores divided at home?
Michelle: Here we do everything. My mother and my grandmother are here. We are four generations and they all help me a lot. Let’s not forget about Fernando. The truth is that he has already earned father of the year by changing diapers, helping me change and match her clothes. We are all doing a little of everything. This little miracle has turned into love, hope and a lot of teamwork.
HOLA!: Does Megan keep you up all night?
Michelle: I need all the mothers to give me advice because having a newborn is not an easy task. I still have trouble adapting 100% with those sleepless nights we have had. Megan wakes up every two or three hours. We are keeping a diaper change count. I am exclusively breastfeeding and it has been a war (laughs). If mothers have any advice, please give it to me so I know what to do when the baby wakes up in the morning and so I don’t only assume that she is hungry. That has been the biggest challenge I have had during these days that Megan has come into our life.
Megan means a capable woman. Capable of coming to change our lives for the better and capable of coming to fill us with this tiny little body and heart, our whole world full of love.
HOLA!: What is the most curious thing you have learned from Megan?
Michelle: The most curious or funny thing that I have learned from her is that not everything has to be taken so seriously. You have to enjoy the process. Megan came to change that part of me, because as a journalist I am methodical, analytical and everything has to be at a certain time. Well, now she really came to change my life in a second because she is the boss in this house and we have to follow the boss‘s instructions.
HOLA!: What is a new quality that you have discovered in your husband as a father?
Michelle: I have always said that my greatest success is my marriage. I emphasize it, until this very day, that I won the lottery with my husband Fernando. Today he is proving it as a father. He helps me a lot and we have a new dynamic, both as new parents that has not been easy, but we have been adapting little by little with a lot of patience and a lot of love. Something that I admire a lot about Fernando is precisely that: the patience he has had with Megan, even to change her diapers.
HOLA!: He is a committed dad who does not shy away from helping ...
Michelle: I think that this generation, above all, knows that as millennial fathers it is not easy for women to carry out all of the tasks and all of the responsibility with a newborn at home. I also think there is a link between a father and a daughter or a father and a son. In the case of a son, that bond is inexplicable. Once those dads create that bond with their children, which is scientifically proven, forget it! The love bond they make is for life, which is the case between Fernando and Megan.
HOLA!: Who do you think Megan is more like, Mom or Dad?
Michelle: I must say that now that I see her, I feel like I was like an oven for nine months because she looks so much like dad. They even sleep the same way. Genetics are impressive. Genetics do not fail. My girl came out very identical. I think she got the whites of her eyes and the blood type from me. That was wonderful for me, because of my struggle to become a mother for years and to then hold my miracle in my arms. My doctors told me that one of the main reasons that I had such a hard time getting pregnant was because of my blood type. I want to share this with everyone so that all of you can check this and talk about it with your gynecologist. Luckily, Megan is the same blood type as I am, so it was another miracle to be able to hold her in my arms. We are both O negative. It is very important for women that are this blood type to be vigilant about their pregnancy because we need a vaccine in order to become pregnant. With this blood type, certain complications can arise and even more so if you have endometriosis.
HOLA!: Is it easy for you to breastfeed?
Michelle: The truth is that breastfeeding is something new for me as a new mom too. As a journalist, I studied and reported on it. It has been a test of patience with how to make your milk banks and to not despair. The colostrum was total chaos for me and thank God I received the advice of a doula and a breastfeeding expert. If new moms have the chance to do it, do it for real, don‘t throw in the towel. During the time of the Coronavirus, it is very important to breastfeed my baby. I am convinced that breastfeeding is the best we can offer our newborns right now.
HOLA!: How has your recovery process been?
Michelle: It has been a lot of recovery work because I had 36 hours of natural labor. We were going for a natural delivery, and we entered a 36 hour labor. Unfortunately, because I didn‘t dilate one more centimeter, my doctor had to do an emergency C-section. That recovery was pretty tough because somehow I was in both birth modes for my baby. Imagine this: 36 hours of labor, an emergency cesarean section and the recovery of what had already happened with trying to have Megan naturally.
It was a very exhausting process ...
After all the storms we have gone through, this was our rainbow. The storms we went through were worth enduring because I now have the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen in my life.
HOLA!: A very tiring process...
Michelle: Very exhausting, but there is also something in you that at that moment you say: “I can do more. I can and continue. I see the goal. I am almost there.” I don‘t know where my strength came from. I spent it praying. I no longer knew what to do and time flew by. You discover your capacity for endurance, as a woman. You discover sublime love for a human being that you still do not know and that you have not seen. This is a love that you have carried in your womb for months. She is the only one who knows how your heart really is and the only one that really knows you inside. Now I can tell you that I feel super powerful like all Latin moms who deliver a baby in childbirth, who are even premature, who have the strength to say: ”I can handle this and more.”
HOLA!: How has giving birth to your miracle, in the midst of our unprecedented world, impacted you?
Michelle: We are living historical moments with the Coronavirus. In my hospital there were many cases of COVID-19. I was precisely in one of the three rooms free of Coronavirus. I was too concerned with something potentially happening in the hospital because of one of the nurses entering my room … I experienced a lot of stress and I was just asking God to please leave this hospital free of Coronavirus. I think that all the moms who get pregnant in the middle of this pandemic and who live through the arrival of our children in this historical and difficult moment, we see the arrival of these little angels as a ray of hope. As the world is trying to become better, to become more aware as human beings and to be a better version not only of ourselves, for each member of society; to become aware, especially of others.
HOLA!: What steps are you taking at home to take care of the child‘s health?
Michelle: In this house, we have had two quarantines. I suspended my work on the Primer Impacto program on Univision in March. I was broadcasting from home. At that time, I was four months pregnant and from there I spent it at home. Now, Megan was born and now we have her in quarantine. We only went to her consultations with the pediatrician, to my consultations with my doctor, which are extremely important. When the family arrives we use all precautions. We wear masks when we go out. I think it‘s time to take responsibility as adults and think about others as well.
HOLA!: Did you consider giving birth at home?
Michelle: Yes. When I talked to my doula, one of the things that interested me a lot was home birth. Later, I began to study the subject more and saw the complications it could bring. Also with my background, I did not want to risk having Megan at home in case I needed an emergency incubator (an expert in newborns) and have that person on hand. It worked better for me to go to a hospital and feel calm that doctors could attend to anything that was needed. If we had the baby at home and something changed, we would have had to go to the hospital.
HOLA!: What did you feel when you held your daughter for the first time in your arms?
Michelle: My miracle turned into an enormous love, in which I realized that the limits are in my head. I felt the deepest and most sublime love in the world. When I heard her cry it was that feeling from those stories that they tell you, that tears come to you. It is automatic. There is something in you that turns on, that makes you change as a person. From the moment I heard her cry, my life changed for the better. It is the greatest love I have ever felt. I feel powerful. I feel beautiful. I feel fulfilled. I feel complete with my baby and my husband enjoying this miracle. We chose her name (which means sent from God and strong woman) because she was able to reach nine months of pregnancy despite all of the warnings they gave us. Her name also means a capable woman. Capable of coming to change our lives for the better and capable of coming to fill us with this tiny little body and heart, our whole world full of love.
HOLA!: Did you feel anguish or fear of losing it during pregnancy?
Michelle: I can not say no. Yes, I was very afraid. I was very nervous about my background, especially with my first pregnancies. I would say to Fernando: “We shouldn‘t get so excited. What if something happens?”, but he always reminded me that faith moves mountains and that we had to be supported by our faith as it is our greatest anchor to weather any storm. After all the storms we have gone through, this was our rainbow. The storms we went through were worth enduring because I now have the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen in my life.
HOLA!: Have you ever considered adoption?
Michelle: Of course. Adoption was part of our plans too, we never ruled it out, nor have we ruled it out. We know that there are many children, especially in this country, who need unconditional love, someone to watch over them. There is a long waiting list here in the United States of Hispanic children waiting for home and we are not ruling out adoption yet.
HOLA!: Have you thought about another baby?
Michelle: I would love to be able to give Megan a baby brother or sister, but right now we have to enjoy our miracle, that I feel took a little while to arrive. Everyday I asked God for her and she arrived. God‘s timing is perfect, as they say, and today I have no doubt about that. If God’s timing decides that they can send us a little brother for Megan or a little sister in the future, that would be wonderful.
HOLA!: When do you plan to return to Primer Impacto?
Michelle: I am already on my maternity leave. Audiences won’t see me in the afternoon at Primer Impacto precisely because I am dedicating myself to my baby. God willing, we will return on October 14. In the middle of October I will be back in one of the most important programs of Univision. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and meditations. Our audiences have filled us with gifts for Megan and this girl is very blessed. I have nothing but an enlarged heart full of gratitude.
HOLA!: What message can you give your followers?
Michelle: My message for all the women who followed my story very closely, from Lázaro, later with Roberta, we had a third loss last year in December. There are many women who have identified with our struggle, with our battle, that they have not achieved that much desired pregnancy. Perhaps they are forming right now or that they have the intention of looking beyond what they hear or what friends and family tell them. My message would be mainly not to lose faith because Megan is a sign that miracles do exist. Then, let them be very well informed, because the family will be able to say one thing and the friends another, but at the end of the day, doctors and scientists can help us a lot because there are many different options that can help us become mothers. Check your reproductive system well because sometimes we do not know that we have endometriosis. That terrible word increases in our body more and more and makes sleep sometimes unattainable. Today there are many therapies for that and treatments to eradicate it.
And the third and last thing I have to say is thank you because we have a very large community via my social networks. This community is not alone because this battle can be won as long as they are informed and have a lot of faith.