Thursday, December 17, 2015

Francisca Tandem Nursed

Today while pumping I was reading this story about my co-workers niece who died in her sleep from Type I diabetes. I was feeling very grateful for my family's health, but sad for my friend. I decided to give my dad a call because conversations with him are so easy going. 

I told him I was on my break pumping and we started talking about breastfeeding. He told me a very special story about my Grandma Perea, his mother, who lived in Mexico. I don't feel like I got to know her very well because I was a little kid and didn't understand the importance of getting to know my grandma and distance and a language barrier didn't help. I often wonder what kind of person she was or if I'm like her. I find myself talking to her like my higher power to hash out my bad days. 

He told me he had a cousin his age whose mother got very sick and had to be in the hospital. This was in a small rancho in Mexico in the 60's, where they didn't have access to formula, so my grandma tandem nursed both boys. 

It feels really special to be able to openly talk about about nursing with my dad because I think many people find it taboo to talk about it with males. Sometimes he jokes with me when I visit that I better go outside and feed my baby. 

This story made my day, knowing how capable our bodies are to nurture and nourish. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Let the Holiday Drama Begin & End Quickly

I've been going to this postpartum support group, which I don't think is the right fit for me. I like hanging out with the ladies, but my time would be better spent at home with my family. I don't feel like I'm suffering from anything postpartum. I went because I thought maybe I would need to cope with my c-section and returning back to work, but I am doing fine with both of those things.

At last night's meeting we went over ways to cope during the holidays. Good thing because the drama has already begun. Seriously, sometimes I wonder how everyone feels so comfortable talking to my mom and how she's so nice to everyone, but when it comes to her kids she is a very manipulative communicator and doesn't respect when you ask her to keep things private. 

In November I decided that I wouldn't be going to my parents' house for Christmas because Jose isn't allowed to come. I wrote myself a note in my phone with my reasoning because I knew eventually I'd have to tell my mom and the guilt would kill me. I was hoping that somehow I'd be able to last minute tell her, "sorry, can't make it," but of course she plans things in advance and I didn't want to leave her hanging if she asked me to bring something. 

This morning she sent out a group message on Facebook asking who would like to participate in a gift exchange on Christmas morning. I wrote her in a separate message saying, "count me out." I have a new baby and a new little family that I want to nourish and grow. I let her know that we wouldn't be coming on Christmas morning because I want to start my own traditions with my family and splitting us up is not a tradition I want for my son. I can just imagine how fucked up it would be to take my son and leave my husband alone on Christmas. I've chosen my family over him too many times and I won't do it anymore. It's not nice, it's not fair. 

I had a moment of hope that she'd understand, but of course not. She wrote me back several nasty messages, like always, saying she's done the best she can and it's not ever good enough and that she'll be out of my life forever and wants nothing to do with us. She lays on the guilt really heavy. Then she sent a group message out with capital letters saying that all Christmas plans are canceled. 

I didn't even reply back because I'm not having a keyboard war with her. I stand firm with my decision. I was thinking today how uncomfortable Christmas was last year and I don't need to feel that again. People don't realize that you're not the same person you were yesterday or one or two years ago. I'm a different, better person and this is my life. I don't want to spend it doing things out of obligation or guilt. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Postpartum Support

Sometimes I don't get myself. I think that I don't like to be social but I'm always out and about at social events. My husband claims he's social but hates having people visit unexpected but loves spending hours in the backyard with his friends. I like visitors but hate(accurate description) the backyard cookout scene. I think it's more of an uncomfortable dislike for drunk inappropriateness. I'm a prude in that sense. I like an easy going social drink not drunken annoying trashiness.

Back to where I wanted to go with this. Since having my baby I've found some neat local groups on Facebook. The O-Town Babywearers are my kind of crunchy people. 

I recently went to a positive postpartum group. I'm not feeling depressed but I am upset about my delivery so I thought it would be a good place to find support. I worry about the ladies in the group who are struggling with depression and anxiety. I hope they can find the help they need. 

The major things I took away from the first meeting was so many women struggle with balancing all of their roles. The struggle usually comes about from comparison and setting really high expectations. 

We went over exercises to bring ourselves back to the present moment.  

One woman mentioned one of her coping strategies is to write, especially letters to herself or the person she's mad at. 

The 3 things I want to incorporate into my week are: 
1. Don't set unattainable expectations for myself and family. 

2. When I find myself dwelling on the past or worrying about the future I'll bring myself to the present by tapping into my 5 senses and awkowledging what I'm seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and physically touching. 

3. I need to write a letter to my midwife and possibly 3 other people I resent. I won't actually be delivering the letters but writing my feelings out might help me feel better. 

I'm Grateful for My Baby Daddy

Now isn't that the trashiest blog title?

I'm grateful for my husband. Being married is weirdly a lot of work. Recently so many of my family are struggling through divorces and it makes me sad for them. It sounds so painful that people can just stop loving each other. Shitty things happen and sometimes I get really judgey towards people who give up, but I suppose people know what they can handle.

Anyway back to my life. We're in family mode, focused on building and raising our clan. We're so different so I know we'll face parenting challenges, but I believe we both have great qualities to pass on.

While I was recovering from childbirth if I've ever questioned if he loves me, in those moments, I knew he absolutely does. He would tell me to do my self care rituals, go to my room, shut the door, and take a nap. The best thing a new mom could do.

Watching how he interacts and loves his son puts the biggest smile on my face. They're lucky to have each other.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November 1st: Time to Write Again

I really need to get back to writing. I have so many ideas and drafted posts of life lately with a new addition to our family. Most days it doesn't seem like I have any time to write, which is a lie, because it seems I have plenty of time to scroll through Facebook nonsense. I always feel like I can't post unless it's from a desktop but that's not practical for me right now. I need to make use of my smart little phone and post from it. Since I can't bring myself to finish up my drafted ideas I'm going to do the typical November gratitude posts to get some type of writing in. I need an outlet. I am also going to limit my Facebook usage this month so hopefully those wasted minutes will be used here. 

Day 1
This one is so obvious, and the most important. I am grateful for my baby boy. I absolutely love him. He's so handsome and sweet. I love watching him wiggle around. I love watching the smiles and joy exchanged between him and his dad. I'm happy for this stage in life so I can continue learning and growing. His dad always tells me that the baby loves me, misses me and sometimes only wants me, but I've got issues about believing I'm worthy and loveable. For a human to absolutely love me feels weird, but I know my little guys does. I'm his food, his comfort, his protector and number one fan. He is the best thing in my world. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I cannot pinpoint in my timeline when I became interested in midwifery, but I think it had to have been back in 2010 when I studied abroad in Guatemala. For some reason I feel like it was before this, but it couldn't have been because I had no reason to be thinking of child birth. 

Part of our trip was learning about the indigenous Mayan culture. We stayed in a Tz'utujil village where we did a Mayan cleansing ceremony. I was such a dumb youngster back then that I remember trying to hold in laughs while the shaman swatted my friends with plant leaves. Now I'm so interested in that stuff. 

We learned about the local comadronas or midwives. Form what I remember people in the village have different gifts or callings and being a midwife was one of them. If  a baby was born en caul or still enclosed in their amniotic sac it was a sign that they had the gift to help deliver babies. Midwifery in Guatemala is a hands on learned skill. While on this trip an 8 months pregnant mama-to-be went with us. A local midwife did an examination of her belly for our group. She confirmed that the fetus was about 8 and half months and I swear she said it was a boy. The parents weren't finding out until it was born and it turned out to be a boy. I was fascinated and talked to one of my new friends about it. He told me that his son was delivered by a midwife in our city back home. I had no idea and this opened a whole new world for me. I think this was the first time I ever heard about natural childbirth too, because that was the mom's plan.

Since then I've always scheduled my yearly check-ups with local midwives to get a feel for who I'd like to be my midwife when the time came. 

This pregnancy I decided to go with Rebecca Vance in Layton because I liked her and she was close to my work so I could easily make it to appointments on my lunch hour. I saw her 3 times before pregnancy and 3 times during. I remember during my first prenatal appointment I asked her if she had any doula recommendations and she replied that she couldn't even remember the last time she delivered with a doula present. I thought that was odd, but didn't worry too much. I also asked her if she would let me squat birth and she said that was fine but she had to do what was best for me and the baby. I understand that completely, but I still felt uneasy. After briefly mentioning this to a natural childbirth educator she told me to continue asking questions to see if she was the right fit for me, but ultimately I needed to trust my instinct. 

While reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth she hit the nail right on the head for me. "There are two distinct ways of thinking about pregnancy in the US, the midwifery model and the techno-medical model. Midwifery is female-centered, birth is something women do--not something that happens to them. The midwifery model of care recognizes the essential oneness of mind and body and the power of women in the creation of new life." Yes, and yes, that is so my thinking too. The model also conceives pregnancy and birth as inherently healthy process and each mother and baby as an inseparable unit. Emotions of the women have a very real impact upon the well-being of the baby.

On the other hand, the techno-medical model is male-derived and a product of the industrial revolution. The model assumes the human body is a machine and that the female body is a machine full of shortcomings and defects. Pregnancy and labor are seen as an illness, which in order to no be harmful to mother or baby, must be treated with drugs and medical equipment. That mean, drugs, cutting you, rushing you, and not acknowledging any mind body connection. I'm not going to get worked up and write any more about the techno-med model. If you want to read more check out Ina May's book.

After reading a portion of the book that explained how many midwives work for large hospital practices where the techno-medical model is the rule; therefore the midwife is constantly pressured to follow the techno-med model rather than a true midwifery model. Reading that I instantly  knew that was probably how Becky's practice was and it wasn't going to work for me.

Previously I had had a yearly check up with Christy Francis and had read through her blog. I thought it was pretty neat she had a blog and I actually sent her inquires about topics I wanted to hear more about and she either wrote a post about it or personally emailed me back. Now where can you find a practitioner that does that.

I started seeing Christy at week 21. I like that she does ultrasounds on every visit. I know there's controversy about that, but I like seeing my little guy. Christy was able to answer my question of which hospital will likely be able to suit my needs and wishes of having a natural birth. So far I'm feeling good about the birth team I'm putting together.

In the future I'd like to go to Chris Miller who specializes in home births, but for our first one my husband feels more comfortable being at a hospital in case we need medical attention. Also the downside of home birth or at the birthing center is we'd have to pay for it out of pocket, insurance won't cover it.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Gender Reveal

We found out the gender of our baby at 21 weeks. We were sure it was a girl, we even had her name picked out. As soon as the ultrasound tech put the wand up to my belly we saw. She asked us if we could tell what it is, but I told her no because I wanted to be sure what I was seeing; I had to hear the words come from her mouth. It's a boy. Tears ran down my eyes seeing our little guy up on the screen. 

It looks like he has Jose's nose and hairline. 

I didn't feel him move until 21-22 weeks because my placenta was in front. I think seeing him on screen and knowing his gender made it more real, so feeling him was easier. 

That night we went to tell our families. I made these scratch off lottery cards. The idea was cute, but it was a struggle for both families to understand what we were trying to tell them. Either way it was fun to share the news with everyone. 

Monday, April 6, 2015


We found out two days before Christmas and Jose was very excited to tell his family.  I on the other hand was more reserved. I didn't mind telling his parents, but I didn't really want to announce it to 50 people at Christmas. My fear was that what if it doesn't work out, I was only 4 weeks, way too early to shout it out. I read up on different opinions and there is a different view that if you do miscarry you have that many more people in your support system if you share the news. I imagined us telling everyone at his parents' for Christmas, recording it and it going well, but I backed out last minute. I felt bad because I could see how happy and excited he was to share the news, but I just wasn't ready. 

We didn't wait much longer and ended up telling both of our parents on New Years. I wanted to keep it small, but there were several aunts, uncles, cousins and a brother from church that also heard our news. Oh well I can't have it all. 

I seriously hate unnecessary attention and answering people's questions. I know that people are curious because they love us and care, but I didn't deal exceptionally well with sharing the news. At Jose's aunt's I was kind of detached and ended up being bratty to Jose because I was overstimulated and overwhelmed. 

I was nervous to tell my parents, but they genuinely seemed happy and excited which made me feel good. My mom was sick so I know our timing wasn't great, but I wanted them to know soon since we had already told Jose's family. 

Since then, telling people has been stressful for me. My mom wanted to know when she could shout it to the world and I told her she could tell her close friends, but that I was not ok with her blasting it on Facebook to fake friends until after we had a doctor's appointment. She respected my wishes. Again, I understand people are just happy and want to share the news. Maybe I'm too uptight. I just like control. 

After our 8 week midwife appointment my mom and father-in-law put it on FB. I braced myself for it and felt such anxiety checking peoples' comments. Everything was so nice and loving that it did make me feel more at ease. 

Even to this day at 18 weeks I'm still not cool telling people. At work people are starting to notice and chismear, but I don't want to come out and talk about it. I can't hide it for much longer, but don't expect me to shout it down the halls. If they want to know, the awkwardness can be on them and they can gamble the ask whether I'm pregnant or fat. 

Am I crazy? It just feels so personal to me and I don't know how to share the news. All responses I've received from people have been so loving. I think I'm just scared of feeling my feelings. 

In both families we gave something to our mothers. This is what my mom got. 

For Jose's mom we wrapped up a baby outfit she gave us at my graduation party and returned it to her with coming in August 2015. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

And Then You Wait

I guess they call it the dreaded two week waiting period. You've ovulated, now you're waiting to see if you get your period. I would say I wasn't extremely hopeful that the artificial insemination was going to work. They say you can try up to 7 times before you have to try more specialized fertility treatments.

We went to New York for the weekend. I didn't drink, just in case. I'm a big believer in no alcohol whatsoever during pregnancy and if you're trying to conceive why would you play around with alcohol if there's a chance you're pregnant. People do it, I'm judgemental, oh well. 

While we were in NY we went to Macy's to see the Christmas decorations. While we were there we wrote Santa a little message and put it in the mailbox so it could be sent to the North Pole. 

Around the time my period was supposed to start I had some pelvic cramping and my nipples felt tender, but I was just listening to my body extra closely and noticing PMS symptoms.  

On the day I was supposed to get my period I went to a yoga class and thought it was really unusual that after savasana, I usually roll to my right side, but that day I felt like switching it up and rolled to my left. The teacher prompted everyone to roll to their left if they were pregnant. That surprised me because I've never heard her say that. Why today? Could it have been a sign from the universe? 

I like to hold out on surprises and not spoil them earlier than I need to. I'm sure a part of me didn't want to take the early pregnancy test and be disappointed. I waited two days after my expected period date before testing. Even then I didn't want to, but Jose on the other hand can't wait for surprises. 

I peed and went about brushing my teeth. I was in too much suspense and didn't even want to look at the test. Jose came in and asked me what the answer was and I told him I couldn't look. He looked and it was a yes. He was so happy and teary eyed. I was in disbelief and very happy. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Unconventional Conception

Gosh we've been trying to make a baby for 18 months and it just wasn't happening. We finally went to an infertility consultation at Circle of Life Womens Center. Everything checked out fine with us. Our options were to do a follicle check and possible artificial insemination. I went in November and sure enough right on schedule I had a follicle ready to burst in a few days. I could've tried intrauterine insemination, but Jose was out of town. We tried again in December and in the doctor's words I had a "juicy follicle." We were scheduled the day before Jose's birthday to go in and do artificial insemination. It was more emotional than had I ever imagined it would be. Exciting, scary, and so much more. Modern medicine is cool. We did one final follicle check and you could see the shriveled water sack, meaning the egg was released, so they gave Jose the go-ahead to do his thing.

The insemination part was borderline traumatic. The doctor mentioned that it's a quick, easy process, but not for us, of course. She was really struggling to get the catheter past my cervix and had to keep leaving the room for more tools. When I get really nervous I laugh, this time was no different. I seriously started laughing hysterically. The doctor already looked frustrated, my laughing and the flopping forceps didn't make it any easier. She told me I needed to try harder to stop moving. Jose was getting mad at me to for laughing like a maniac during something so serious. She finally did what she could and called it good. From what Jose could see it didn't look like she got it in because the tube came out bent. Her instructions to us were next steps as if she knew it wasn't going work. She wrote me a prescription for Clomid, which I wasn't even sure I wanted to take. I don't know if I want to deal with the side effects of mood swings or the possibility of multiples.

I had to lay with a wedge under my back for 20 minutes. Laying there with my fingers in a yoni fertility mudra I started crying. Crying because I was meditating on all of the women who love me and visualized them sending me positive energy. Crying because I felt fear and anger that this may be a reoccuring procedure that hurts and costs money. Life is not fair, people don't want babies and accidently get pregnant. People who want babies can't have them. I know there's no real answer, but my mind wandered to darker thinking like maybe we're not supposed to have kids, that's why it's not working. I guess that can't be true though, if there's a will, there's a way and everyone on this earth is here for a reason, whether I like it or not.

Jose was really nice and gave me a pep talk on the way home that if it doesn't work we'll keep trying. If it doesn't work we'll be okay because we have each other.

Technology is cool. That's a follicle with an egg in my left ovary. 

I'm so lucky to have friends that care enough to send me sweet messages.

Apparently organic pineapple is supposed to make your uterus sticky.

Our experience.