Friday, August 26, 2011

Insta-Friday and potty time!

Yes!! Adiel has begun her potty training! What??! She is only 1 year and almost 4 months... It took me by surprise, but apparently she is imitating the older kids at the Montessori kinder garden and she lets the teachers know when she wants to visit the potty, she sits there with a book and then she pees! I do not plan on pushing her to accomplish anything on this matter yet, but I am attending whenever she lets me know she wants to pee. We will see...

On a different note, I recently got my iphone, and with it came many great apps. Of course my first one was Instagram, to be able to take some nicely filtered pictures and share them with my network. So here are my pictures of the week. You will see some deck fun in the sun, baby horse (the name is Chiquillo), neighbors house (my favorite in the mountain), a sunset walk with daddy, the fields, some sugar craving, a few sky shots and a home made ravioli dinner preparation with Uri and our neighbor Aris (yes, it was yummy!).

For more Inta-Friday here is the link:

Have a great weekend.
Until soon,

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to school

After a month of daycare, where of course Adiel had fun, we finally came back to our beloved Montessori kinder garden! We love it there... we love the teachers, the other kids and babies, and we love the system. Adiel had a good first day.

Here she is (waking up after an hour nap on the way from our home) 
with one of her teachers. 

Her name is Sal and she comes from England. She speaks in English to the little ones, which we love. Most of the kids there come from multicultural families, and it is important for everyone that they learn other languages from the beginning. We want her to grow up with kids that are different from her and from each other, so she gets used to diverse mentalities, traditions and backgrounds (and let me tell you, our region in Mexico is NOT known for being very cosmopolitan, so we were lucky to find this place!).

I also wanted to share with you some pictures I took on our way home. 

I see this guy every day hanging out with the sea behind him. I don't know his name, but I love him.

We live quite secluded... That comes with amazing advantages and great disadvantages, but definitely one of the plus is our dirt road (not really if you want your car clean)... and our neighborhood...

I also see some crazy funky things on my way to the city... I will share one day!

Until soon,

Friday, August 19, 2011

Embracing my birth story

Becoming a mother has brought to me wonderful things! However, motherhood is something that should NOT be taken for granted, and it is not an on going state of joy. It is a relationship that has to be cultivated, taken care of, it requires constant learning, research, work, acknowledgment and lots of patience. Yes, it comes with tons of gifts, but you as a mama have to embrace them, internalize them and then put them into practice! It is the biggest responsibility...

And it all begins with one enormous event (as enormous as you wish to see it): giving birth.

I, like all my other journey sisters, planned a home birth. We wanted a beautiful, natural, empowering and grand water birth, in the comfort and familiarity of our living rooms. Tunning into our bodies, into our womanhood. No drugs, no rush, no forced positions. We wanted to give our baby girls the best of the best: waiting for the cord to stop palpitating before cutting it, keeping the placenta, getting lot's of skin to skin time, letting them do the baby crawl, having them protected in their own space... and many other things.

I kept a very strict diet during my pregnancy, making sure my baby would be healthy and strong. No smoking, no alcohol, no coffee, no fish, nothing fried, checking on the carbs and fats, lots of organic food. I went to pregnancy yoga classes and  I took long walks with my dog at the park every day (which does not explained that huge belly with over 40 pounds on!).  I took all the classes: child care, CPR for infants, breastfeeding, vaccinations workshop, pumping 101 and of course the class that brought us all together, childbirth class. Finally I saw all the videos and read many books...

I was physically prepared and I had all that amazing information. I had a birth plan going on! I was even dreaming about the BEST position to catch my baby... Just for your amusement this was the vision: I saw the famous "Business of being born" video, and let's say <it had me at hello>. As you all may know, in the video you follow the pregnancy of a few women and then their births. Ricki Lake (the producer) had a specially incredible, beautiful home birth. She was in the bath tub when her midwife told her "rich down and grab your baby", so she took her little one and placed her in her chest... I cried so much, it was very emotional. I could not believe the magic of it, I was inspired... I wanted that for myself, I wanted to catch my baby with my own hands, put her in my chest and fill her with warm words of love and blessings!...

It was all unrealistic! Not because home births aren't great, but because labor is wild! My visions and my birth plan set me on a case where anything different would be labeled as a failure, and that is exactly what happened... 

My little Adiel is one year, 3 months and 3 weeks old, and that is how long it took me to embrace my birth story. Why now? I guess because God works in mysterious ways and this time it was through my friend Paulina, who I have not seen in over a decade, lives in Singapore, and just had her first born son. Two days ago she wrote me her birth story: she planned everything as much as me. Like me, she was going for a more "conscious and responsible birth", and like me, she ended up frustrated, so I talked to her from the heart and as I was writing, I finally internalized many things... (Gracias querida Pau!)

This is my birth story:

It began on a Wednesday morning when I went to my yoga class. As my teacher had told me, that day was my day to sit in the center of the circle of mamas and receive their blessings! It was very touching, I was happy and by the end of the class I had officially entered Laborland! I was calm and walking and smiley. I spent some time with my mother and aunt and at night my friend Vania came to be with us during labor. Later, my husband, my friend and I went to the park to throw some frisbee with our dog. We came back and my friend Fernanda came to also help us (she was in charge of our dog, our phones and food). We had a light dinner and I started moving around. The midwife came at 2 am when I was less than 5 minutes apart, but we decided that she would come back the next day. At 4 am the hypnotherapist came and did a session with me that got me through the night. I was able to sleep! The next morning labor was going incredibly well and by noon I was 8 cm dilated... The pool was set on my living room, and we were all ready to go...

Unfortunately, that is when things took a turn... The midwife told me to let her know when I was ready to push and, after half an hour, I was so excited I decided to start pushing... I pushed for 6 hours non stop, by then it was very hard for me to move, I was in a lot of pain, and baby's head was not even close to coming out... I started loosing confidence, we started to talk about the possibility of going to the hospital, my uterus was swollen and I was exhausted. I can't tell you how hurt and disappointed I was to even hear the word hospital, I could not tell what was going wrong, I was working so incredibly hard!!... the midwife seemed a little worried, she tried many things and did not know what else to do at that point.

We got in the car to Cedars Sinai and called Dr. K (midwifes back up, who specializes in "failed home births"). I walked all the way to the delivery room (read pain) and at that point my water came out completely... that gave me hope, so by the time the nurse suggested the epidural I firmly said "NO"...  My husband and midwife would not believe it, I was not going to be able to push any longer in such pain. Eventually, I accepted the epidural and by then I could not even sit on my own to get the injection!

Light came into my heart and my whole universe opened when I saw the doctor (who knew?? I had been afraid of the guy all through my pregnancy thinking a doctor and a hospital would be a nightmare). He told me with full confidence that I still could have a vaginal birth if I helped him... all the power and strength came back to me and I knew that everything was going to be ok.

Adiel Sima was born vaginally with a little assistance from a vacuum and lots of support from Dr. K and his staff!! I had to get several stitches and I was grateful to get them from such a good surgeon. Apparently Adiel's head was completely on the side and could not get down... So, I have to say: giving birth at the hospital, with drugs, on that bed, with a great team of professionals was a blessing to us!! We received great care in a very personal and compassionate way!

However, as the days and weeks passed, I kept rolling the whole event in my head... what went wrong? why did it happened like that? who is to blame? what would I have done differently? where did my dream go? that dream was so heavy and bitter now...  I kept trying to focus on the many positives of the experience, but the feeling of failure stayed. I mean... all those months I was talking in support of home birth, explaining my reasons to all the skeptic and fearful relatives and friends, I made such a big deal about it AND I paid a lot of money to have it!... and then it felt and looked like a big fat failure! Don't get me wrong, I was bursting happy and deeply in love with my darling little Adiel, she was perfect and astonishingly beautiful to my eyes. I was sitting home with my precious, healthy baby and  still with a terrible itch in my heart... it did not make any sense...

Here is what happened: I spent months building up what was to be my birth experience, preparing to live the ideal scenario, to be blown away by it... I basically forgot the one fundamental truth: you can NOT control labor (unless you plan a C-section from the beginning), you can NOT predict what will happen, you do NOT know where it will take you (specially with a home birth plan) or what presents it will bring you.

I know the things I prayed for in labor were 1. a healthy baby and a healthy delivery, 2. a beautiful enriching event and 3. a healing and enlightening experience that was perfect for my baby and for me. And all of those things I got! Now I can see the birth of my daughter taught me to let go, to flow with whatever comes my way with confidence, responsibility, a little bit of fear and knowledge, and specially to respect and honor my baby's path, her needs and her destiny since now. I always knew all those things, but never really got them so clearly. Today I can see that my birth experience has been a very important first lesson for my baby and myself.

I am adopted. I was adopted when I was a couple of days old and my father came to pick me up from the hospital to finally become my family. My parents do not know much about my biological family, but since I was very little they gave me a very crucial and significant piece of information: my biological mother passed away giving birth to me. These days, that data does not make any sense and brings many other questions, but that is not the point now. What is important is that I grew up knowing, feeling and internalizing the idea of my mother dying to give me life. That thought had many many implications on who I am today. All this just to say that we have to consider that not only our babies birth experiences will have an impact on the person they will become tomorrow, but also the way we talk to them about their birth story and share what we have learned from it.

I finally can see my birth story with loving eyes. It has brought many precious things for me as a mama and a person... things that I can bring to other areas of my life, important lessons. We can not control everything in life, but we chose to learn from them or to hang heavily from them. And, as my friend Paulina said, all those months of preparation for a home birth had a great deal to do with the type of mother I have become and also the type of parents Uri and I have chosen to be as a couple.

The birth of my little Adiel is the greatest blessing I have ever received and I am forever thankful for it!

But, would I plan a home birth again? not sure... I loved being in labor at home and all the freedom... I am just not sure yet. Would I plan a water birth again? must definitely! Now that I am not afraid of hospitals, doctors, drugs, nurses and the straps birthing position, now that I know my body much better, I would love to try it again!

Yes, I am aware I did not discover anything new, but writing all this was important for me, and I want to encourage all of you mamas to do the same, share your birth story! It is good, not only for you, but for other mamas and mothers to be (even if you plan a C-section from the beginning). I was amazed how little I knew about births before having my baby at the age of 30. I was never in a birth before, I never saw a mother breastfeeding her child, nobody shared the important details with me. It is a very intimate process, but it should be a process shared among women, for it will help us all connect to our inner wisdom.

Am I ready for my second birth? Yes! Am I ready to have another little one running around? Maybe in a few months... not just yet =)

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