In late 2012, Delamar Arias talked to Smart Parenting about the joys and challenges of being a first-time mom to her son, Cooper Matteo.
Two years later, the popular DJ returns to the magazine’s cover for its January-February 2014 issue with a sad story about losing her newborn second child in the latter part of 2013.
“The truth is if you’ve lost a child, you’re never going to be okay,” Delamar reveals in her painful retelling of her ordeal.
Her baby girl, Eva Sloane Arias, was 27 days old when she passed.
Delamar keeps up her bubbly self and infectious laughter for the avid listeners of the radio show Morning Rush, which she has been hosting with DJ Chico Garcia since the ‘90s and recently with Gino Quillamor.
She says she is propped up by her partner, Tyler Ashby, her companion in grief—each drawing strength from the other for the sake of their two-year-old son Cooper.
DIFFICULT PREGNANCY. Delamar was diagnosed with placenta previa during her pregnancy. Placenta previa is an obstetric problem where the mother’s placenta is close to the cervix.
The condition made Delamar prone to bleeding and early contractions. The worse happened on the 33rd week of her pregnancy.
She was rushed to The Medical City on Ortigas Avenue where doctors opened her up to stanch her bleeding.
The gushing of blood that followed, however, led Delamar's doctor to perform a cesarean delivery two months before her daughter was due—for the safety of both mother and baby.
Delamar relates she even heard her baby cry after giving birth to her.
But she was unable to hold her as the baby was immediately brought to the hospital's NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).
“Twenty-four hours after she was born, they told me that she wasn’t peeing and that her kidneys weren’t working.
“And then the journey started,” Delamar tells Smart Parenting.
A MOTHER'S NIGHTMARE. Delamar went through the heart-wrenching ordeal of leaving behind her newborn baby at the hospital when she was discharged.
Through her melancholy, Delamar describes Eva’s condition.
“We found out that her liver was also [imperiled]. There was problem in her blood; she needed a transfusion many times.
“There was also some hemorrhage in her brain, but it was not a problem.
"She could’ve survived that. Her lungs were okay; she was never on a respirator.
“But her liver, her kidney, and her blood—those were our main concerns.”
Delamar recalls pumping breast milk as she battled the traffic every day on her way to the hospital to see her baby daughter.
She and her family finally lost Eva on the baby’s 27th day at the NICU.
The moment remains poignantly etched in Delamar's mind.
“Eva didn’t look anything like herself.
"I remember holding her hand—you know how you give your finger to a baby—and she held it so tight; she was very strong.
“For the two hours and 26 minutes that it took before she finally passed, paluwang yun nang paluwang.”
It was then that Delamar realized she was losing her baby girl.
“I tried not to go crazy.
"Parang naintindihan ko si Sisa (Jose Rizal’s fictional character in Noli Me Tangere who went mad while searching in vain for her sons Basilio and Crispin).
“I understood that woman and how grief can take hold of your sanity and you’d never see the world the same way again,” she painfully relates.
Bravely confronting her grief, Delamar recalls her daughter's last moments with her.
She requested everyone with her in the room to leave her alone with her baby, and then she spoke to Eva: “You’re the best baby girl for Mama. There’s nobody else. You’re so strong.”
“She really was,” Delamar proudly tells Smart Parenting.
UNCONDITIONALLY GRATEFUL. Delamar shares her story two and half months after losing Eva.
Still in mourning, she says the experience is teaching her to be unconditionally grateful for what she has.
She is discovering first hand why parents who have lost their kids are easier to please.
She remarks, “Huwag lang sipunin yung anak nila, masaya na.
"If Tyler is next to me, Cooper is next to me, and we’re all okay at the end of the day, I’m happy.
“And, wow, I’ve never had that perspective in my life.
"The appreciation for the things that you have left is priceless.”
LIVING LIFE AGAIN. Delamar is motivated to move on by the thought that Cooper needs her.
She points out, “I think it’s important to get back because it’s in the getting back out there, although mahirap siya, that makes you realize that you still have a life that you need to live."
She learns too that her recovery lies in taking care of her family and getting back to work.
Otherwise, she’ll “get stuck with the grief,” which is not an option because “there’s Cooper.”