Happy International Day of the Midwife

Newborn Exam Baby M

My midwife Colleen, doing Baby M’s newborn exam in my bedroom, with my three sons and husband watching along.

I love midwives. I’ve had midwives as my care providers for each of my four pregnancies, and they’ve attended my four births, either at a birth center or at home.

Since today is International Day of the Midwife, I’ve been thinking all day of how my midwives made a difference in my journey throughout pregnancy, labor and those precious first few weeks after birth.

Now, if you know me, you know how I can go on and on (and on) about midwifery care, so I tried really hard to keep this short. I really did!

They taught me what birth is really about. Other than the ins and outs of pregnancy, labor and birth, I learned that pregnancy and birth are a sacred journey, one that should be honored and respected. Not a medical disability to be intervened with and managed. This change in perspective alone made the biggest difference.

They taught me the ins and outs of pregnancy, labor and birth. My husband and I learned so much during our pre-natal visits, and we learned tons during the birth classes offered by our midwives. These ultimately empowered us in our journey to four non-medicated natural births.

My pre-natal appointments were not rushed. During my first pregnancy, I remember my pre-natal visits with my ob-gyn lasting barely five minutes. Being a first-time soon-to-be mom, I had no idea what pregnancy was all about. During one of my appointments, I asked my doctor a question about what I should expect to be normal at that time. His response? He told me to read the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” Maybe he misunderstood and thought I asked for a book recommendation.

At around my fifth month of pregnancy, I switched care to a group of midwives at a birth center. My appointments were the complete opposite. It was almost like sitting down with friends to talk about my pregnancy. The midwives did not rush our appointments, which often lasted between 30 minutes up to even an hour, making sure they addressed any and all concerns I had during my visit, and offering tips and information that could be helpful at the time. For a first-timer who didn’t even know what to ask about, this kind of support was invaluable. Even during my fourth time around, sitting down with my midwife during each visit was still priceless.

Post-partum support. This alone is reason enough to have a midwife. Most providers will see you once, at six weeks after giving birth. Six weeks may not seem like a long time, but after giving birth, your body goes through a million changes and you have just as many questions. Most midwives will have seen you and your newborn five to six times by your six week check-up. And some of those visits, will be at your house. Yes, you heard me right – in the comfort of your home.

Breast-feeding support. As they say, “breast is best,” but I think the majority of new moms (if not all) are shocked by how hard it is. My midwives were invaluable, teaching me about the importance of breastfeeding during pre-natal appointments and birth classes, and employing breastfeeding-friendly birth practices. Right after birth, they ensured plenty of skin to skin between me and my babes, making sure baby latched on. They encouraged me to keep the baby on my breast for even up to an hour or longer, allowing for plenty of bonding with baby, before they even began with the newborn exam, such as weighing and measuring the baby. Their support continued throughout the post-partum visits, checking for any breastfeeding issues or challenges, and always checking to see if I was still doing my latches correctly. In between visits, they made themselves available for questions or concerns that I had.

When in doubt, call the midwife. I remember the fear I felt leaving the birth center after having my first son. I’d never had a baby before and was very nervous about messing things up. I remember as we headed home, wondering if they’d made the right decision in letting me leave with the baby. Ha, those new-mommy jitters! However, as nervous as I was, having them available a phone call away was very reassuring. I remember my husband and I calling the birth center with all sorts of baby and post-partum questions in between our visits. Since that time, I have called, texted and even Facebooked my midwives about so many things, from breastfeeding, to post-partum bleeding, to suggestions on how to treat baby’s cold.

I’m gonna have to stop here, otherwise, I’m never going to publish this post!

My hope is that if you are planning to have a baby, you will consider having a midwife as your care provider. And if you’ve used a midwife before, make sure to share your experience in the comments below!

 

 

Posted in Pregnancy | 7 Comments

What I’ve Learned as a SAHM

Life is sometimes about self-discovery and in the month and a half since taking on my new role as a Stay-at-Home Mom, I’ve learned a few things about myself.

I need a new wardrobe. If I’m going to be a SAHM, I need to rock the SAHM uniform. Yoga pants! Unfortunately, my closet is filled with mostly work clothes. Must go shopping.

I don’t like when people talk about their jobs. My husband and I were at a conference a few weeks ago and we all get to talking. They ask my husband, “So, what do you do?” You know, one of these standard small-talk questions. However, as the conversation about work carried on, it really bothered me that nobody asked me what I did. I mean, at least give me a chance to say I’m a SAHM people. This helped me realize that…

My self-identity is, or was, closely tied to my job. I don’t think this is a bad thing, but after investing over a decade into my profession, I realized I needed to mourn the loss of this very big part of my life. Coincidentally, around the same time, I learned that…

If there’s chocolate, I will eat it. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, hot chocolate or Nutella. If it’s in the house, it’s gone. And if I can’t find any, I eat the mini chocolate chips I bought for baking home-made cookies, which by the way I never made.

I should’ve gotten the iPhone with the bigger storage. It’s ridiculous the amount of pictures I take of the baby doing the same pose… all. day. long. I can’t help it though – she’s too cute!! The thing is, once the picture is taken, I can’t bring myself to delete it, even if there are 8 other pictures that look just the same. Case in point: image image image image image                           image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like wine. Around 6:30 p.m., after a long day with baby and when the boys are going full out crazy before bed-time, a little Sangria can go a long way. In moderation, of course.

2 a.m. is my favorite time of day. This is about the only time everyone is sleeping and I can get some uninterrupted “me” time. The only catch is I should also be sleeping, and I usually am. Basically, what I’m trying to say is I rarely ever get any “me” time. Must work on that.

Now that I don’t have to be somewhere at a certain time, it’s ridiculously hard to get up in the morning. It’s like my body thinks it’s Saturday, every day. Except I still have to get a few kids ready for school. Needless to say, there have been more tardies these past weeks than usual.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. My biggest learning is that time flies at home, as opposed to when you’re at work and it seems to drag. Every day I get up, get the kids ready for school (hopefully on time). Nurse the baby. Try to put her down for a nap. Baby wakes up as soon as she feels the bed on her face. Play with baby and read her a book. Keep baby from eating said book. Check Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Oops, baby’s hungry again. Check to see if my builders finished upgrading my clan’s gold storage and Town Hall yet on Clash of Clans. Before you know it, it’s time to pick up the kids from school – already! I had all these high hopes of cleaning and organizing things around the house and so far all I have to show for the last six weeks is a chunkier baby and one organized closet. Actually, just half of it is organized. Sort of. Lesson learned: need to plan out my day.

Being a mom is a journey in which we are constantly learning and re-learning things about ourselves. Now I want to hear from you about things you’ve learned about yourself along the way, or any tips you can share with me to get this SAHM thing down! Make sure to leave a comment below.

Posted in Becoming Mami | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Happy Resurrection Day

For weeks we’ve been bombarded with seemingly endless ads and sales for Easter — “Get the perfect doll/car/book/movie/toy for the Easter Basket!” This year, for some reason, the commercialization of the holiday has gotten to me so much that I think I’m going to start calling today Resurrection Day like many others have done already. It seems a more fitting name to remind myself why we celebrate.

So, as you go to worship services, spend time with family and rejoice on this day, don’t let the gifts, baskets, egg hunts and dinners (as fun as they are!) distract you from the reason we celebrate.

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”  (Luke 24:1-7 NIV)

 

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30, 31 NIV)

 

From my family to yours, Happy Resurrection Day!

IMG_9123IMG_9095

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9127 IMG_9129 IMG_9139

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Five Minute Friday: Glue

This is my first time doing Lisa Jo’s writing prompt, and it was hard. Five minutes just flew by and I barely wrote a thing! Plus, I have to confess, I used a bit more time. But I loved it. Great exercise to write and dig deep inside. Todays word: Glue.

—–

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain… I love this scripture. It always bring me back to the basics of life. What am I toiling for? And why?

As life begins to change again, as life tends to do when you think you’ve figure it out, I need to ask myself who is building all of this. God in his wisdom and grace, or me in my pride?

His word to hold this family together, or my word to get through the days?

His word to encourage us and build us up, or my word to get the kids to obey?

His word to love and forgive, or my word to make sure my point of view is understood?

While I get pulled in a million directions, His glue keeps me together. Glue.

The Family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

—–

If you’d like to join, make sure to find out more about Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday writing prompts.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Party over here! UBP14 Style!

I’m really excited about the Ultimate Blog Party 2014. After all, who doesn’t like a party? Especially one you don’t have to spend over an hour getting all primped and ready just to get baby spit up all over the one dress you still fit into as you’re about to walk out the door. This is my first year at #UBP14 and hope you spend a few minutes to take a look around.

IMG_8551

My blogging journey has been a short one since I recently got started, even though it’s been something I wanted to do for years. In this space I hope to connect with and encourage other moms and moms-t0-be on the daily ups and downs of motherhood. I like to keep things real – the good and the bad. It’s important to remind each other that life with kids is never perfect but always good. As a parent, I tend to skew to the more holistic/crunchy category. I am Latina, from Puerto Rico, and instilling in my kids the traditions I grew up with is very important. I invested 11 years into my career until I very recently decided to stay home full-time with the kiddos.

IMG_7745

I love to babywear!

I have three boys and a baby girl, so you know it’s crazy up in here. I love getting ideas for fun and adventurous things to do with them. My oldest has lots of food allergies, so I’m always looking for recipes and food alternatives for him. I’m a birth junkie and passionate about natural birth and midwifery. My four kids were born outside the traditional hospital setting — either at a birth center or at home. I love God, and seek to grow spiritually as a woman, a wife, a mother and friend. Overall, I love learning and trying out new things.

I hope you join me in this blogging journey, and I’m looking forward to checking everyone out as I blog hop ’till the cows come home. Or, ’till my six month old decides it’s time for her next feeding, in which case I will be the only cow in this home.

See you around!

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 8 Comments

From Working Mom to Stay-at-Home Mom

Most working moms I know, including myself, can often have those the-grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side moments when they dream of the things they’d do if they could stay home with the kids.

Especially on those long work days, when all you’ve done is go from meeting to meeting and you still have a list of deadlines to finish off before the end of the day. When your kid is beginning to show those pesky cold symptoms but you have a client presentation, so you wipe their nose clean, drop them off at school and pray you don’t get a call from the nurse — at least not until your meeting is over.  When you’re taking conference calls from your bathroom floor on your work-from-home day, which luckily coincided with a No School day, and your youngest is banging on the locked door, crying because his brother snatched his favorite toy. Apparently, he forgot the cardinal rule: don’t bother mommy while she’s on a conference call unless someone is bleeding. Profusely.

Yes, on those days you dream.

Wouldn’t life be much easier if you could just be home, full-time? No more rushing bed-time because of a report you have to review. No more missing well check-up visits with the pediatrician or holiday class parties because you have a new business pitch to attend.

So, when the opportunity came up a few weeks ago to finally after seven years of mami-hood stay home full-time, I was surprised at myself when I wasn’t so ready to jump on the SAHM band-wagon. After all, I’ve been working since I was 15. What would I do with myself all day long? I’ve invested 11 years of my life into my career. How can I just walk away? I work with a great team, and have a very flexible schedule. How can I give that up when some can’t even find a job? And, being honest with myself, do I really have the patience to be home with my little terrorists? All day?

All of a sudden, when it became very real, the pros didn’t outweigh the cons so easily. Yet the more I thought about it, one thing remained true for me: there will always be work, but they won’t always be children. So, after much thought and prayer, I am now a bonafide Stay-at-Home Mom.

Three weeks into my new gig, I’ve learned old habits die hard though. On my first official SAHM day, I found myself wondering aimlessly around the house and decided that what I really needed to do was set up my desk area. Because everyone knows that when you don’t have a job, what you need is an office space at home. So, I cleared up my desk, which had become a repository of all things random, and unofficially declared it the place where all the magic will happen.

IMG_8315IMG_8615

You know, the planning of healthy meals, the editing of budgets, the cutting of coupons, the studying of scripture, the scheduling of play dates, the drinking of coffee, the creating of Pinterest boards, the updating of Facebook statuses, the organizing of birthday parties, the editing of family videos and of course, the writing of blog posts. I guess somewhere in between all that the cleaning of the house and the washing of laundry will get done, but that’ll be for some other post.

Back to the fun and magical… It was wonderful watching her face light up when we went to our first baby class this week and the lady started singing songs with her guitar. If you’re local to Broward County, you should definitely check out the free Baby Lapsit classes at the library. We sang, played, learned sign language and met lots of other babies. And did I mention it was free?

Yea, I think I can get used to this. Now, can someone please pass the bon-bons?

—-

I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below, even if it’s just to say hello!

 

Posted in Becoming Mami | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

What do you mean Maternity Leave is over?

Maternity Leave is Over v1After giving birth to our third baby, I used to tell my husband if we had any more kids, he’d better be ready to support us because I was definitely going to quit my job and stay home. Sure, I also wasn’t planning on having any more kids when I ranted off, so really I could’ve said anything without it having much weight… “If we have any more kids, we’re going to sell our home, move out to the country and live off the land.”

And here I am with yet another baby, facing one of her biggest milestones. No, not crawling. Not her first tooth. Not walking or even the elusive (or mythological) sleeping through the night. This is even bigger. It’s the end of my maternity leave.

Yes, those sweet 12 weeks you get to rest, heal and bond with your baby. To forget about all else — like deadlines, and clients, and new business pitches, and workshops, and networking, and…

When I got the opportunity to extend my leave a few extra weeks, I jumped on it. Three and a half months of just me and baby. And my husband. And the boys. And my mother-in-law. But you get the point.

Since she was born almost four months ago, I hadn’t spent more than one hour away from her, so this was pretty big, for me at least. Over the weekend, I tried to prepare her for my return to work on Monday. I let her know I wouldn’t be around to nurse her to sleep for her morning nap, or to sing her the silly songs I like to make up because after four kids my lullaby repertoire is still very limited. And sadly, that’s including songs in English and Spanish. I told her I wouldn’t be around for her to spit up on,  but encouraged her to do so on Daddy.

I wondered if she’d miss me. I wondered if she’d notice I was gone. I wondered if she’d even care that someone else would be the one playing with her and feeding her.

As Monday morning rolled in, it was hard getting ready. Mostly because none of my clothes fit me. As I searched through my closet, I regretted giving away my “fat” clothes over a year ago. A sure-fire way to keep myself motivated not to gain any of the weight I’d lost back, I naively told myself at the time.

Once dressed and ready to go, I nursed her one last time. One. long. last. time. I looked carefully at the way her little nose crinkled, at the way she held my fingers, and the way she looked at me with her squinty eyes — taking it all in so it could last me until I’d see her again. Thank God I only work part-time now. How did I do it working full-time with the other three?

Work was uneventful, in a good way. The day’s highlight? Pumping 10 oz. even though I was reminded of all the reasons I hate pumping. Because in case you don’t know, breast pumps were at one point certified instruments of torture during medieval times.

As soon as I got home, I drilled my husband to find out all the details of her day, secretly looking for any indication that she noticed my absence. Turned out her day was pretty uneventful too. She went with Daddy to take her brothers to school. Napped pretty much all day, and drank 4 oz. of mommy’s milk. Wait? Only 4 oz. in almost six hours? On my second day at work, she drank only 1 oz. and slept all day, waking up right as I pulled up to the driveway. A friend said she was being a good baby while I was gone.

Loss of appetite. Excessive sleeping. I say those are classic signs of depression.

Yes. She missed me.

Posted in Mamihood | 4 Comments

Keeping Traditions Alive with Three Kings Day

Feliz Día de los Reyes Magos! Happy Three Kings Day!

I love my little island, Puerto Rico. I love all of my culture’s different nuances so much that I distinctively remember deciding after visiting family one summer as a college student that although I now lived in the U.S., I would find and marry a suitable Puerto Rican man just so that my children could enjoy everything I loved about our music, food and traditions.

Sure enough, three years later I married my husband and while he is wonderful in many ways, he is not Puerto Rican. He does speak enough Spanish to engage in conversation with my two abuelitas, and can salsa way better than my dad can. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to raise our kids in a bi-cultural family, but it also makes it challenging to pass down certain traditions I cherish. But it recently dawned on me that if I don’t do it, nobody else will. Yes, I know, a big “Duh!” moment.

So 2014 is the year. I am determined to teach my kids more of about their heritage and my island’s history. What better way to start off my new resolution than with El Día de los Reyes Magos, Three Kings Day. In Puerto Rico, Christmas celebrations don’t end until after January 6th, which is why my house is the only one on my street that still has Christmas lights on. I remember when I was a little girl, gathering grass in my little shoe box and leaving it under my bed so that when the Three Wise Men came to visit at night on their way to visit Baby Jesus, they’d have grass for their camels and in return leave a token of appreciation, ideally in the form of a really cool gift.

Sunday night, Three Kings Day Eve, we rounded up some shoe boxes from around the house and got working on filling them up with grass. Put them under their beds, and then they went to sleep anxiously waiting for morning so they could open presents.

 

Getting grass for Three Kings Day
Getting grass for Three Kings Day

 

Keeping this tradition is challenging in the U.S. because the holidays are “over” and school and work are in full swing. It was totally worth it though, even if we had to rush to get ready for school.

In Puerto Rico, and many Latin American countries, January 6th is filled with family gatherings and fancy dinners just like Christmas Day is over here. A special food many make is the Rosca de Reyes. Now, I confess, I actually don’t remember eating this as a little girl, but Abuela did confirm that we had them growing up. (Side note: I have a horrible memory!)

This year I tried making my first ever “rosca.” I call it “rosca” because the real thing is very elaborate made of bread and includes dried fruit, which my picky kids won’t eat. So I made a scaled-down, kid-friendly version — instead of bread I made it into a cake, and substituted the dried fruit for gummy bunnies. OH, and of course it was “special” – gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free and soy-free. Unfortunately for me, it was NOT fat-free nor sugar-free. And for the skeptics out there, it tasted pretty good. To see a picture and recipes of the real thing, check out Happy Día de Reyes! at Mamá Latina Tips.

DSC_0985

My special ingredients.

 

Donnatello, from Ninja Turtles, is guarding my "Rosca" de Reyes
Donnatello, from Ninja Turtles, is guarding my “Rosca” de Reyes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After dinner, I held the “rosca” hostage until we sat down and read the Bible story of the three wise men.

DSC_0038

Super Daddy reading the story from the Bible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The boys being oh so attentive.
The boys being oh so attentive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Ninja was King Herod here. Apparently King Herod is not usually in most Nativity Scenes.
Black Ninja was King Herod here. Apparently King Herod is not usually included in most Nativity Scenes, so we got creative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 3yo crying because he couldn't play with the wise man his brother had already claimed as his. (There's always something, no?)
My 3yo crying because he couldn’t play with the wise man his brother had already claimed as his. (There’s always something, no?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally enjoying our "rosca!"
Finally enjoying our “rosca!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

No holiday is complete without family. My mom and Abuela came by afterwards to give gifts to the kids.

What?!? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt!

What?!? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby M smiling at her great-grandma!
Baby M smiling at her great-grandma!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m hoping we can continue doing this tradition every year, and one day, I’ll be the “Abuela” coming to bring presents to her grandkids on Three Kings Day. I’m sure by then, I will have mastered the real rosca!

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The Not-So-Happy Pregnant Lady

“I’m pregnant!” is declared countless times by expectant parents every day, and is usually followed by shrieks of excitement and a flurry of “Congratulations!” from family and friends. Everyone loves the news of a new pregnancy.

Then, there’s the surge of usual questions: How far along are you? Do you know what it is? Do you want a boy or a girl? What did your husband/spouse/parent/kids/dog think? When’s your due date? Do you have names picked out? Were you trying or was it a surprise? What are you going to do when the baby comes? Are you going back to work or staying home? Who’s going to watch the baby?

And on and on and on. There really isn’t a shortage of topics to cover when it comes to pregnancy.

But as I sit here, 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I can’t help but think of all the emotions you go through in just a “relatively” short period of time.

The pregnant lady is expected to be a ball of joy and excitement. I mean, she is after all creating a new life inside her body – a miracle, really. And, there are so many people who are trying and can’t conceive on their own; so, you should feel even more honored.

The truth is, however, that sometimes you don’t feel so privileged. Sometimes you weren’t expecting to get pregnant. Maybe the current circumstances aren’t the most conducive for starting or expanding a family. Maybe you’re not ready to move on to this new stage of life.  And, when you try to reconcile what you feel (not-so-happy) with what you think you should be feeling (big radiant ball of joy and excitement), it gets a bit difficult. Guilt creeps in because what kind of horrible person wouldn’t be excited to be pregnant. You don’t really want to tell people you’re pregnant to avoid the barrage of questions and the excitement you’re clearly not feeling. And worst of all, you feel like you can’t really talk to anyone about what you feel because you’ll be judged — it’s blasphemy after all!

I have been there – twice – and have decided it’s OKAY to not be excited. The way I see it, God gave us 9 months to deal with whatever emotions we may go through. And better to work through it before the baby comes than after, no?  The challenge is finding someone you feel you can talk to without being judged or being told how you should just be excited, happy, grateful, etc.

I remember being pregnant with my first and this one well-meaning woman (they’re always well-meaning, aren’t they?) at church coming up to me, with a HUGE smile on her face, saying, “Isn’t this the most wonderful thing ever?” So, I put on my fake smile, nodded my head and agreed as she carried on and on about how she loved being pregnant.  What I really wanted to say is, “What’s so wonderful about morning sickness? Or about getting stretch marks? My mouth deciding to over-produce saliva? My face possibly swelling and getting the “pregnancy mask?” Why would anyone be excited about hemorrhoids or gaining a bunch of weight after I just worked so hard for the last six months to be the fittest I’ve ever been? REALLY? Please tell me what’s so great about losing my freedom to do what I want when I want? Please!”

Ready to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon with the bestie. I was Ping from Mulan, she was Merida. I was 8 weeks pregnant with baby #4.

When I got pregnant with my fourth, I really wasn’t expecting to have any more kids. Although my husband and I contemplated the idea of “trying” for a girl, we decided we were good with our three boys. After all, three is one of my favorite numbers. Plus, I was finally getting my “life” back – not having to pump at work, nurse. The boys were more independent and didn’t require non-stop attention. I worked very hard for a year to lose 27 lbs. I was training for a half-marathon with my best friend. Life – life was good.When my period was late by a few days back in February, I immediately told my best friend that I was officially an ultra-athlete with all that training we were doing. Because really, that was the only logical reason I’d be late. There was no way I could be pregnant. When I broke the news to my husband I wasn’t sure how he’d react. But, bless his heart, he just laughed (in disbelief, I’m sure) and said, “As long as it’s mine, I’ll always be happy to have another one!” Well, good thing for him it is his!When people would congratulate us, I really wanted to say, “Okay, go ahead and say what you’re really thinking. How about we start with “My condolences!” Because I’m not sure if you heard correctly, but I am having FOUR kids, six years old and under. Four. FOUR. F.O.U.R. Cuatro. Quatre. IV. I mean, barely anyone has three kids these days, let alone four.”

After 40+ weeks of being pregnant, I am happy to report I have resolved all my “issues” and I’m now that big radiant ball of joy and excitement, literally. I’m grateful for the handful of people who listened and laughed at all my silly and not-so-silly thoughts and concerns.

So, moral of the story? The next time you congratulate someone for their impending bundle of joy, please do so knowing that “happy” isn’t the only emotion that goes along with pregnancy. I make it a point to share my story with friends, just so they know it’s okay if they find themselves feeling underwhelmed with joy. And that in me, they’ll find a non-judgmental, listening ear.

What about you? What was your emotional reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

My future biologists and their summer experiment

Just before summer, I began thinking of all the things we could do as a family throughout the coming months, as I assume most moms do, since school was soon letting out. While I was planning for the boys to spend their days in camp, I knew we’d still have some free time in the afternoon once I got out of work and wanted to make the most of it.

Around the same time I stumbled on an article on NPR.org about a science experiment that took place in 1740, giving me a different perspective: What Did I Do Last Summer? Oh, I Discovered How To Make Babies Without Sex. And You? I read the first few lines and it piqued my interest:

Ah, if only all summers could be like June, July and August 1740 — when three young guys (and a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old) did a science experiment that startled the world. In those days, you could do biology without a fancy diploma. More people could play.

Now, while I’m not ready to have the ‘birds and the bees’ talk with my 6, 4 and 2 year-old boys just yet, I was curious to know how two kids were part of this summer scientific movement. And more importantly, how I could get my boys to focus their curiosity in the same way, and do biology without a fancy diploma. After reading the article, and learning more about aphids that I really cared to know, I fantasized about all the great science experiments we could do together. Nature walks around the neighborhood, armed with a glass jar and an insect encyclopedia to catch and examine unsuspecting bugs.

But summer has rolled along and five weeks into summer vacation, we have yet to go on any walks. And I don’t have any glass jars. Or an insect encyclopedia for that matter.

And then things changed yesterday when I picked them up from camp. Well, sort of.

I was about half an hour earlier than usual so they were still outside in the playground. Once they saw me, they quickly ran up to me, being followed by a trail of preschoolers, excited to show me what they were holding in their hand. As they got closer I saw it, cupped in their tiny fingers, their treasured possession: a dead baby grasshopper. “Look what we found Mami! It’s a grasshopper,” said one. “And he’s dead!” announced the other, seemingly unbothered by the lack of life in that tiny little animal.

Dead baby grasshopper.

Dead baby grasshopper.

There it was, staring out at me – our groundbreaking discovery. Dead. Baby. Grasshopper.

I quickly realized my dream of the boys being part of a sweeping scientific revolution that startles the world is not going to pan out, at least not this summer. But, we did examine that tiny dead grasshopper quite intently.  Counted all its little legs, and its little arms (actually, arm, I think one of them was missing). Looked at its tiny head and even tinier eyes. And they loved every minute of it.

Who knows. Maybe tomorrow we’ll even look up its latin name or something. Now, if I could just get my hands on an insect encyclopedia…

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Adventures | Leave a comment