Ana is a promising tennis player with a collection of titles and trophies to flaunt. She finds out she is pregnant by her loving boyfriend Rodrigo. Her controlling mother, Eva, forces her to break up with Rodrigo and compels her to stay out of town until the baby is born. Eva’s biggest concern is that she doesn’t lose any of her sponsorship deals. Later, Ana returns home and is eager to resume her athletic career, raise her baby Julia, and tell Rodrigo the truth. As always, she counts on her best friend and sister, Manuela, to give her support. But Eva lies to everyone, including Rodrigo, and says that Julia is the girls’ sister, a result from a fling she had in the past. Throughout their lives, Eva had always been extremely overprotective and loving towards Ana but she never had a warm relationship with Manuela. On the contrary, Eva always went out of her way to put Manuela down. Ana and Manuela no longer wish to live side by side with their oppressive mother and deal with her unstable temperament. They decide to drive to their grandmother’s home, so they take off in the middle of the night with baby Julia. But they get into a horrible car accident on the way and Ana is left in a deep coma.
As time passes and there seems to be no progress in Ana’s condition, Manuela takes over the role of Julia’s mother. Devastated and feeling guilty, Manuela tells Rodrigo that Julia is really his daughter. Together, they go through all the difficulties and delights of raising a child and begin to feel a deep connection and love for each other. Five years later, Julia is a confident and happy child who turned to Manuela in her mother’s absence although it was always made clear to her that she was really Ana’s daughter.
But suddenly, Ana awakens from the coma to face a very different reality than what she remembers. Now she must deal with the mixed feelings provided by the life that she missed. She is happy to see a healthy, grown Julia and thankful to Manuela for looking after her daughter as if she was her own. But she is frustrated for not being able to express the choked up feelings she still has for Rodrigo and also envies Manuela for leading the life that belonged to her. Ana can still count on her loving sister to give her support in adapting to her new life until Eva finally succeeds in setting the girls against each other. She reassures Manuela that her feelings for Rodrigo remain in the past and even reveals that she has a crush on her doctor, Lucio. But deep down she strives to repress the love she still feels for Rodrigo.
Ana’s great struggle to recover the life that went on without her is only surpassed because of positive attitude, persistence, and especially love. Her relationship with Manuela and the dedication of those who come to know her, reveal that unconditional love is the only thing that can overcome life’s unexpected turnarounds. With radiant, colorful photography and breathtaking locations, The Life We lead is a moving telenovela that reveals how love can reunite families and even conquer the greatest hardships.