Month: June 2013

My pregnancy and delivery: Part 3

There are things about pregnancy and childbirth that we often romanticize. Ideas about what this entails are influenced by what we see in movies, read in books and hear from other people. Reality is often much different. When Diego was born he wasn’t placed on my chest. He was taken to a warming bed to be cleaned off and examined. 

Because he was not yet thirty-six weeks when he was born he was considered premature and for this reason he was taken to the NICU. His lungs were fully developed and he did not require any breathing assistance. His APGAR scores were 9 each time. His being in the NICU meant that he did not room with me. The magnesium sulfite I was on meant that I could not go to him or hold him until the last bolus was administered. 

I felt a little strange at having gone through what was to me a traumatizing experience and yet having nothing to show for it. It was a strange feeling to be without my baby and part of me didn’t really assimilate the reality of having become a mother. My blood pressure was stable after having been given medication intravenously but as that wore off my blood pressure crept back up. My blood work all came back normal and I had no protein in my urine which baffled my doctor. 

My friend Jessica came to visit, her own due date just over a month away. It was nice to see her. It made me feel normal to sit there and gab as we usually did. My husband split his time between being with me and visiting Diego in the NICU. When his sister arrived he took her to see him. I felt a little jealous that I couldn’t be there. I wanted to hold him. It was almost painful not to. When I asked my doctor about seeing him she explained that her concern was getting me stable and that my baby would have to wait. It was at that moment that I understood the potential gravity of my condition. 

I was finally told that twenty-four hours post surgery they would remove the foley catheter and help me to stand. Once I could stand up and ambulate I would be taken to see my baby. Can I just say that the foley catheter was one of the best things about the entire ordeal? Not having to get up to go to the bathroom was the best thing ever!

Since my legs were still numb in the hours after my surgery I was laid up in bed wearing nothing but a gown. I was sitting on one of those pads they put on hospital beds in case you soil yourself and I had a diaper sized sanitary napkin between my legs. Every now and then a nurse would come in and check said pad. I was mortified. They would also push down on my tummy while they looked to see if I was gushing blood. I couldn’t move my legs so it wasn’t like I had much of a choice. I also had some plastic sleeves around my calves that would inflate and deflate constantly. This compression aided circulation and prevented clots. 

The following day I was finally able to try to stand up. My first attempt was over quickly as I became dizzy and had ringing in my ears. After a few more tries I was able to walk to the bathroom and use the toilet since the catheter had been removed. My bladder and I were on our own. 

My mom had arrived right around the time I almost passed out during my first attempt at standing. I asked my husband to take her to see Diego. I didn’t want to see me struggling to stand. An audience I could not endure. The nurse and I had made great strides by the time they returned.

When I was finally taken to the NICU (in a wheelchair) I felt sort of numb to it all. I had never thought that my baby would end up there. It was almost as though none of it was real. When I finally held him I was too stunned to even cry. I was relieved that the worst was over but I was still concerned about my blood pressure. This anxiety clouded everything else. I think a lot of the time I was on autopilot but I wasn’t really there. I had checked out mentally. 

My sister in law and my mom took care of the nursery. They washed the clothes, made up the crib and basically unboxed all of the baby gear that we had yet to open. I remember telling my husband to order the stroller and car seat ahead of time but he kept putting it off. He was hitting send on his amazon order as I was wheeled into the operating room. I think about that now and laugh. 

I spent a total of six days in the hospital. I was released on a Saturday but Diego remained until the following Tuesday. He developed some jaundice and had trouble feeding. He would fall asleep at mealtime and had a lazy suck. He needed to have a nasogastric tube placed but this was removed the day before he was released. He was healthy, just sleepy. He wasn’t ready for the world just yet, or to have to participate in his own nourishment. 

It was good to finally be home with Diego. My husband stayed with me at the hospital every single night I was there. He never left my side except to eat, shower, and visit Diego. The hospital encourages the father to stay which I loved. 

The metallic taste in mouth I suffered from my entire pregnancy disappeared the day after Diego was born. I wanted to mention this because in retrospect this taste did nothing but make my morning sickness worse. 

There is so much more I can write about my pregnancy and delivery but that would be much too long. 

My Pregnancy and delivery: Part 2

If you are reading this post please note that this is a continuation of the previous one. You should definitely read that first =)


I remember feeling a lot of things when my doctor told me that I would be having a cesarian section that day. It was October 2, 2012 and Diego was not supposed to be born just yet. It was about a month too soon. I felt my blood run cold at the thought of surgery but I knew I was in a situation that I had no control over. I had to trust my doctor’s judgment and I knew that delivering the baby was medically necessary. 

Things seemed to happen slowly and all at once. I remember calling my mom in a frightened panic and telling her the news. I am sure my husband made similar, albeit less frantic, calls to his family. Initially they were going to wait eight hours before performing the surgery because I had eaten breakfast that morning. Minutes later anesthesia decided they could go ahead right away. 

They started me on magnesium sulfate in order to prevent seizures common in patients with preeclampsia. These seizures can be fatal which is why they started me on the magnesium. My blood pressure had remained high and unstable. My doctor told me that I would likely not enjoy this magnesium sulfate business. She was right. It made me itch and I felt a hot, burning sensation on the inside. It’s hard to describe it precisely but it was not pleasant. 

There was a brief period during which I had a huge panic attack, I was cold, clammy, hot, and everything in between. I had a feeling of doom and helplessness along with a desire to get out of my own body. It was the stuff of nightmares. I eventually calmed down and briefly fell asleep. 

When I was wheeled into the operating room I was struck by how large it seemed. I am assuming that they need to be in order to fit in all of the medical personnel needed to assist both mother and baby. I was helped up onto the table by some nice nurses. One of them introduced herself and gave me a pillow to hug for when the epidural was put in place. I wish I remembered her name. She was a calming presence. It was difficult not to picture the huge needle that I knew would be inserted into my back. I can still remember the sensation of having that needle stuck into my spine. I think if I focus on that memory for long enough I will pass out. 

Once that was over and done with I was laid down on the table and one of the nurses used an electric razor to shave me bare. Down there. By this point I didn’t have it in me to be completely humiliated but in retrospect that is kind of embarrassing. Especially because I kept my lawn neat and tidy. Oh well, I guess it wasn’t up to cesarian section standards.

Whenever I recount my experience I often wonder how prudent of me it is to frame it in such negative imagery. I feel the need to point out that this was my own perception, influenced by my fears and general anxiety. Other women have a much different perspective. This is mine and I own up to the fact that these medical procedures are not as terrible as I make them sound. They are performed every single day by dedicated and competent medical professionals. I am in their debt. 

The surgery itself was a cacophony of sounds and sensations. My biggest fear was that I would be sliced open before I was numb enough. My legs had gone numb and tingly minutes after the spinal was administered and I couldn’t move my legs but I still wasn’t sure if I was numb or not. My anesthesiologist tested my level of numbness and once they determined I was where I needed to be they got to work. It was at this point that my husband was let into the room. He was wearing a face mask so I could only see his eyes. I think we had a deep, wordlessly silent conversation. When the doctor offered to aim a mirror so that he could see I asked him not to look. I couldn’t risk him passing out on me. I needed his stoic calmness. 

While the doctors and nurses did whatever it is they were doing I focused on my breathing. I was working very hard to remain calm. My biggest obstacle during this procedure was my mind. I remember feeling pressure, tugging, pulling, more pressure and then everything stopped. I didn’t hear or feel anything. The only thing in that moment was Diego’s strong cries. In that moment everything was worth it. In that moment I realized I would do it all again. For him. To hear him. Luis was called over to cut the cord and when he came back to my side he had Diego in his arms. 

I wish I wasn’t so hyped up so that I could have enjoyed the moment more. I wish I had savored it. Diego was sort of shoved in my face and I remember kissing him before making an attempt at holding him. It was brief and before long the neonatologist explained that they would be taking him to the NICU. My husband went with him. 

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I love this picture because the neonatologist photobombed it!

imageThis is Diego after being hooked up to all the monitors and being given an IV once he was in the NICU.

Being stitched up was the worst part for me. They really manhandle you and it’s rough. I was given morphine but I was so keyed up that I didn’t feel its effects until much later. 

I will finish the rest in tomorrow’s post. 

My pregnancy and delivery: Part 1

I was watching a Baby Story on TLC today and I was remembering my own baby story. A friend had asked me to recount my experience and this spurred me to finally write it down. I am sure I have written this before in e-mails and spoken about it to some but I’ve never written it out and made it public. 

I think the first post I ever wrote for this blog mentions the disgusting sick feeling I experienced for most of my pregnancy. I often feel a bit queasy a few days before my period. Nothing too terrible just a slight wave of nausea occasionally hits but it doesn’t really bother me. In the interest of sharing as much information as possible I am going to enter TMI territory (that’s too much information, for anybody wondering). 

My periods can be irregular. My cycle is normally 32-35 days in length but emotional stress can cause it to go a bit crazy and I’ve had 50 day cycles. I use an app on my phone to track it. I like stuff like that. Anyway when I started feeling sick I thought my period was likely imminent and for a day or two I ignored it. I was cramping and feeling blah. A week went by and I had other symptoms. 

Firstly my nipples were really sore. (I am not going to apologize for using anatomically correct names but if this stuff makes you uncomfortable I suggest you stop reading now.) As were my breasts in general. It was a soreness unlike I had ever experienced. Tender I knew but this, this was something different. It hurt to put on a bra. It hurt to stand in the shower. Still, I was expecting the mother of all periods. When I became constipated I self diagnosed. I was dying of some terminal disease. This is how my mind works. 

I was not eating much and the nausea was getting to the point where I couldn’t ignore it. When a friend jokingly suggested I was pregnant I laughed it off and told her to piss off. When I got home from work that day the idea that I might be pregnant was nagging at me and even though I had decided to go to the doctor about my symptoms I figured it couldn’t hurt to rule out pregnancy. 

I had some tests at home so I took one as soon as I made my way upstairs. The two lines appeared before the test was even complete. I was shaking. I think it was both relief and every other emotion a human is capable of feeling. I will never forget that day, nor that test. The date was February 23, 2012.

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Once I told my husband (I promise this part of the story is not worth mentioning. I was such a mess I can’t even be sure I spoke words) we told some family and friends about the positive test. We were so excited to share this moment. It’s a moment you don’t ever get back. Choosing to tell people right away is not something that everybody does. Some people like to wait until the pregnancy is past the first trimester. I cannot keep a secret and I wanted everybody to share that moment with us so spilling the beans right away was right for us. 

My husband and I went to La Bamba for dinner and our good friends met us there. They brought me the most beautiful flower arrangement. They didn’t know it at the time but they were expecting as well!

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The next week was exciting. The pregnancy was still sinking in. I was feeling pretty much the same but knowing the reason alleviated my symptoms. On March 2nd we went to Carrabas for my friend’s birthday dinner (she’s the one who would soon become my pregnancy buddy) and the next day she called to tell me that she too was pregnant. Our due dates were one week apart!

My first appointment with my obstetrician was on March 5, 2012. My pregnancy was confirmed once again by a pregnancy test and my due date was calculated to be November 1st. I left the office with some goodies along with orders for a lot of blood work. I went to the lab the following day and almost passed out after vial number seven. I felt horrid but went back to work afterwards. I was so dizzy and nauseated that I couldn’t drive home from work that day. I had to call my husband to pick me up. 

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On March 18th I had some bleeding. I remember the terrifying moment vividly. When I saw the blood my first thought was “No.” I didn’t want this to be happening. My mind immediately went to a dark place. I remember walking out of the bathroom feeling dazed and telling my husband that we needed to go to the hospital. I didn’t know what I was going to do if I was losing the pregnancy. I didn’t want to know. 

At the hospital they performed an ultrasound. The technician told us that she would not be able to tell us anything and we were both prevented from seeing the screen. We had to wait for the doctor. I lay there feeling already as if my life had taken a turn for the worst. While the technician worked the wand over my abdomen I studied her face for any signs of doom. She had a good poker face. 

Finally once I had been wiped free of jelly and had righted my clothes the technician smiled at me and showed me the screen. She pointed at my baby’s heart beating inside a little blob that would soon become a body. I thanked her and silently hugged her. I was seven and a half weeks along at this point. 

After a pelvic exam and some blood work (after which I almost passed out again), the doctor told me that I had what is known as a subchorionic hematoma, which is an accumulation of blood in the fetal layer next to the placenta. In a lot of cases it is reabsorbed and poses no risk to the pregnancy. In others it could result in a miscarriage. The good news was that I only experienced minimal bleeding and was no longer actively bleeding. The ultrasound had shown a small hematoma so size wise it was in our favor. I was told to rest, abstain from sex, and follow up with my obstetrician. 

After this scare I decided to quit my job. I was already barely functioning with my intense nausea that often reduced me to tears. I also didn’t want to wonder if staying home would have saved my baby. Being a legal assistant wasn’t strenuous by any means but I am of the mind that if I can’t do a job well I might as well not do it at all. 

As the weeks wore on my nausea got worse. It was almost painful. I was prescribed Zofran but this gave me a really bad headache and I stopped taking it after a few days. A few weeks after that I gave it another whirl and found that it gave me some relief. I still felt nauseated but I didn’t feel like death. I think it was during week thirteen that I started throwing up. I continued this daily ritual for about ten weeks. Afterwards I still felt sick but I could actually eat. 

Not eating and throwing up will cause you to lose weight. I did. It was very worrisome to me. I was anxious about everything already but knowing that my illness could affect the baby terrified me. The night before my 20 week ultrasound I spent it awake. In the hours before I had a full blown panic attack. I was so scared and worried that the ultrasound would reveal a problem. 

Thankfully all that was revealed was a healthy baby boy. 

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Aside from my own anxiety and debilitating nausea and morning sickness my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I had some hip pain from time to time and I was constantly tired and out of breath. I think that my own fear and reaction to my symptoms took away from any enjoyment I would have found in my state. 

Diego was mostly active at night. Once I could feel him moving I spent a lot of time focused on the sensation. In many ways knowing he was there helped me overcome my discomfort. He did spend a lot of time on my bladder and for this I will hold him accountable, ha ha. Going to the bathroom every give minutes is something I won’t ever miss. 

Let’s fast forward to thirty-five weeks. By this point I’ve had my baby shower and this appointment was supposed to be my first weekly appointment. Once you reach thirty-five weeks most doctors see you weekly and check you for dilation and high blood pressure. The latter was sky high and I was admitted to the hospital that evening. At this point they were just monitoring my blood pressure, doing some blood work and running some tests on my urine. 

I thought they would medicate me and send me on my way but the next day after consulting with the neonatologist I was seeing my doctor decided that the baby needed to come out. Preeclampsia is thought to be caused by the placenta becoming toxic to the mother. The only known cure for it is to remove it. Diego was breech so a cesarian section was the only way to get him out. 

I’m going to stop here for now because this post is way too long. I will pick back up tomorrow. 

Father’s Day

Today we celebrated my husband’s first Father’s Day with a big brunch at home. Well, it was big for us. I made croissants, cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs and coffee. It was delicious and we were very full by the time we were done eating. Afterwards I cleaned up while Diego took a nap. 

Lastly, we went to the mall as we needed to visit the Apple Store about a problem with an iPhone. It was a pretty laid back day and we all had a great time. It’s always nice to do something with the people we love. 

Today, as with most commercial holidays I was thinking about what we were celebrating today. It is not a holiday per se but a lot of people make a big deal about it. I think that there are some great fathers out there. I really do. I was lucky enough to grow up having one. He was not perfect but he was there. Especially when it mattered. I can also say without hesitation that my husband is a great father. He doesn’t just kiss him on the forehead on his way out the door. He actually takes care of him. 

Having said that I think that men have it easier when it comes to being a good parent. Most people deem a man a good father simply because his name is on the birth certificate, or because he’s the breadwinner. It is a distinctly male privilege to have the bare minimum earn you some sort of reward. I see and hear about men who do don’t do a damn thing around the house and be proclaimed model husbands. I understand that for some that is  expected and therefore celebrated but I refuse to believe that it makes for a happy marriage. I am of course speaking from personal experience and preference. 

I am fortunate to have a husband that makes an effort to help me when he comes home from work. I tell him this often and I thank him for everything he does. That’s the way it should be. Parents should work together to provide the best environment for their children. This goes beyond actually caring for the child as it spills over to other household duties. A clean home is in the best interest of its inhabitants, as is clean clothes and fresh food. I find that when we work together we get more done and once we are done we feel more bonded. I’m not saying we split everything down the middle. Naturally since I am home all day I do more of it but sometimes I have no choice but to wait until my husband comes home in order to get things done. 

There are times when he comes home exhausted and doesn’t feel well enough to take over from me. That is perfectly fine and understandable. When such days come we readjust. Things don’t get done, we eat cereal for dinner and shift the rest of the routine so that we can function with one man down. 

Today’s breakfast was not healthy, but it was delicious!

As usual, the Apple Store was packed to the gills. Our Genius appointment is for next week. 

Father and son checking out some fancy cars at the mall.  =)

For me, Father’s Day is for celebrating the outstanding fathers out there. The ones who get down and dirty, the ones who parent, the ones who offer support to the mothers, and the ones who sacrifice so that their children have better lives. It’s also a day for remembering the great ones who are no longer with us. Male or female, people in this role are an important part of a child’s life. 

Hard times

I am at a point in my sleep deprived state where I am too tired to function. I do get some sleep every day but it’s interrupted and unsatisfying. We are doing the best we can with Diego but nothing we do seems to help. The other night he slept for four and a half hours before waking up. That was an improvement over the regular every two hour schedule he had been keeping. Keeping his bedtime routine the same does not seem to ensure a repeat performance. When he wakes up in the middle of the night he immediately sits up and sometimes he even stands. He has thus far refused to put himself back into a laying down position. 

Today I put him down for a nap and as soon as his body touched the mattress inside his crib he woke up screaming. I tried to soothe him back to sleep but he sat up and proceeded to stand. For almost an hour he alternated between crying and sitting up and staring. He never once made to go back to sleep. I was in the room ignoring him part of the time, I left the room for some of the time and felt like a bad parent the entire time. Letting him cry only makes things worse. He did not tire and honestly I cannot imagine doing this for any period of time during the night. I am much too tired to attempt it. 

Another problem I have personally is that even though Diego wakes up and goes right back to sleep as soon as he’s had his bottle I remain wide awake and unable to summon the special train to the Land of Nod. My husband on the other hand has no problem waking up numerous times during the night and falling right back asleep. Sometimes he doesn’t even remember doing any of it. I could kill him. Out of sheer envy of course. 

So I’m not working out, not writing my blog as often as I wanted to and not sleeping. I feel very impatient sometimes and am prone to pity parties where I curse our geographical location. I need to remind myself that this is temporary. There is an end date somewhere, I wish I knew when this would get better but just knowing that it will has to be enough for now. I also remind myself that my health and fitness goals do not have a timeline. Nobody is expecting me to look a certain way except for me. Now with a trip home looming I am even more disappointed at my lack of physical activity. 

My family will judge my appearance. It’s what happens when most have not seen you in over five years. Also, my family is known for making slights against a person for not being thin. Just remembering all the crap I’ve taken over my life makes me question whether going back is even a good idea. This is my lack of sleep talking. I am excited to see my parents, to sleep in my old bed and how crazy will it be to see MY baby amongst the things I lived in so many years ago when the idea of marriage and pregnancy were all but foreign to me. 

There is so much I am looking forward to. The first is sleep. I plan to spend my birthday sleeping haha. Give me eight hours wrapped in a bow and I will be the happiest person on Earth. I also can’t wait to eat certain things. I don’t know how I will fit in all of my culinary wishes into a few days but I am not averse to stuffing my face. It’s a vacation after all. 

Well, this blog took an odd turn but I feel a lot better having put this out there. 

Parental Milestones

I am always excited when Diego hits his milestones. Well, I’m a combination of excited and worried about how I am going to keep him out of trouble but by and large I feel great happiness at his continued development. 

There are milestones that are shared, firsts that I take an active role in. This past Sunday my husband and I went to the movies together for the first time since July 20, 2012 when we went to see The Dark Knight Rises. I was about six months pregnant then and I went to the bathroom a lot! His aunt and uncle in West Palm Beach offered to watch Diego for a few hours so we could go out. We took them up on this offer and drove the forty minutes to Palm Beach. 

I was nervous and excited. I knew Diego would be perfectly fine and well cared for. What I was worried about was myself. I have an anxiety problem that rears its ugly head from time to time. I feared a full on panic attack but thankfully none of my fears were realized. I was cucumber cool and at ease. Diego was as well. I said goodbye to him and kissed his head before calmly walking out. 

Iron Man 3 was everything I hoped it would be. I loved it. I loved spending time with my husband without worrying about anything but being with him. The little bit of guilt I felt for leaving Diego was washed down with a diet coke and small bag of popcorn. On a more serious note I think feeling guilty is normal and even healthy. It means we care but it also means we actually did something for ourselves. 

Being a parent is demanding. It is a responsibility that has no end, no hours of operation. It is a constant, ever-changing task that can test our patience and ability to operate without sleep. Parents need to care for themselves and each other. I don’t know when the right time is to leave your baby in the care of somebody else. For some that is four weeks after birth when both parents must return to work. As a stay at home mom the timeline is different for me. I needed to do this because I believe it’s important for both of us to get used to spending time away from each other. 

I am so very thankful to my husband’s aunt and uncle for taking such good care of Diego. He is my everything and it felt so good to know he was in good hands. I’ve seen them with him and they love him so much. They’re also very comfortable with him. That’s important. Babies, like dogs, can sense discomfort and fear. If you’re unsure or scared they will pick up on that and get scared as well. A good care taker is many things but among these is confident. If you look the part the baby will trust you. That is my Dog Whisperer inspired baby behavior analysis of the day. 

Here are some pictures just because. They’re not really related to this post. 

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Oatmeal and banana

We have finally reached the stage where the texture and combination of Diego’s food is beginning to change. This week I introduced him to oatmeal. I had initially milled the oats and cooked the resulting powder but I found this to clump up and form globs. It looked disgusting. What I did instead is cook the whole oats and then run them through the Baby Bullet. This worked much better. The texture is not a fine puree but a chunkier consistency which is perfect for this stage. 

I tasted the oatmeal and it is so disgusting with just plain water. I decided to add some banana puree for sweetness since I already know Diego to enjoy and tolerate bananas well. His first encounter with this oatmeal and banana mixture was hesitant. He only took a few spoonfuls before refusing more. 

Today I tried again. He ate a little more than yesterday but I could tell that the texture is something he is getting used to. He hasn’t had a physical reaction to the oatmeal so I know it’s just a matter of time until he takes to it. 

I am eager for him to try new foods and to make new and interesting combinations. I had never given much thought to the awe I would feel at seeing him taste something for the first time. It’s funny to see the faces he makes but most of all it is very humbling to see him accept anything i give him without question. He was engineered to trust me unconditionally. I literally have his life in my hands everyday. I remind myself to not take it for granted. 

One day he will be all grown up and not need me to do much of anything for him. I will then look back at when he was small enough to hold to my chest and protect from the world. It will be bittersweet.

I have continued to make most of his food but there are days where I have either run out or don’t have time to thaw some out of the freezer so I give him jarred food. I try to keep these handy because you never know when you might need them. I don’t believe in beating myself up because of this. I am not perfect, I do not aspire to be the mother who does it all, feeds her baby organic and makes everything from scratch. I make decisions judiciously, factoring in time and money. 

I think that’s one of the running themes in my thinking these days: choice. We have a choice. We can choose to feed our baby organic, a combination or simply whatever is affordable. There is no recipe in parenting. We do what works, scrap what doesn’t and amend where necessary.

 

The strangeness of strangers

Having a baby attracts people. When we go out I often get questions or comments about Diego. Most are nothing remarkable, just standard baby fare such as how old, boy or girl and sometimes even a compliment on his cuteness. Today however I had my first oddball encounter which I will blame on Diego, haha. 

My husband and I were having lunch when an elderly lady sat at the table right next to ours. She inquired about Diego, said something nice and then went into other topics. My husband and I had been mid conversation so she essentially interrupted us. I have no idea how or why she told us about somebody she knows ordering a penis enhancer from a television advertisement and receiving a magnifying glass. I almost choked on my taco. I’m not sure if she was telling us a joke or if this is something that actually happened. I was too stunned by the content to bother with other details. 

What I did learn about her is that she was seventy-eight years old and clearly has a penchant for telling semi-inappropriate jokes to complete strangers. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with discussing penises but to bring it up out of nowhere seems odd and you need to know your audience and in what circumstances it is acceptable to discuss male genitalia. 

Another interesting anecdote she shared, again with zero prodding on our behalf, was that even though she is dark skinned and her husband white all of her children and grandchildren are fair skinned. She said one of her grandkids asked her why she is to tan and she responded that it’s because she was born at night while all of them were born in the day time. I immediately thought about an opportunity missed to explain and explore her heritage and in turn the grandchild’s. This also got me thinking about how to handle similar questions that Diego might have in the future. 

I definitely don’t want to come up with elaborate lies to explain things when truth will suffice. More importantly, to me at least, what purpose does lying to our children serve? Might it not create a feeling of doubt in the child? I think there is a difference between caring for a child and wrapping him in bubble wrap so that the world doesn’t touch him. To me, caring for Diego means guiding him, protecting him from life threatening stuff, minimizing damage and tending to wounds while allowing him to scuff himself up in the process. A delicate balance to be sure. 

The power of suggestion

The other night my mom asked me if Diego tried to swipe at his mobile when he was standing up in his crib. I told her that he hadn’t really ventured to that corner. 

Her questions must’ve inspired him because this morning I found him doing this:

“Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It’s about understanding that he is exactly the person he is supposed to be. And that, if you’re lucky, he just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.” 

― Joan Ryan, The Water Giver: The Story of a Mother, a Son, and Their Second Chance