Eliana, Roma, and . . .

10389066_10153102532011796_4458570761496398914_nI love choosing names almost as much as I love telling people how we chose the name. I told my husband that I think I jinxed us into having all girls because every time we get pregnant and start discussing names I immediately fall in love with a girls name. And I’m always a bit meh on our boy choices. They never really excite me.

So we named our first daughter Eliana Reese and our second daughter Roma Eve. Oddly enough, when I wrote Eliana’s backstory on how we named her I guess I couldn’t remember (after just having her) how we found her name. Now that I look back maybe I was too embarrassed to admit it, but I can distinctly remember googling names of Latin supermodels. Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s not sentimental or emotional or related to our traveling journeys, but it worked. And I still love it.

With baby #3 I felt stumped. Roma’s name would be hard to beat. It’s meaning and just the uniqueness of it was pretty spectacular. I couldn’t drop the ball and name this child anything. It had to fit with her siblings names, end in an “a”, and yet somehow carry it’s own sense of significance.

When we first discussed girl names we were considering Isla (eye-lah), Ophelia, Estella, Olivia, and Cora. We ruled out Cora and Olivia based on popularity (we don’t really like doing names in the top 100). But we both loved Liv as a nickname. And Olivia is popular for a reason: it’s gorgeous! Cora blew up from Downton Abbey and it’s spelling was too similar to Roma. Same thing with Ophelia. We couldn’t have a Ro and an O in the house. That’s just maddening. Estella we considered for a long time (also a family name). But, once again, we were contending with the ever popular nickname Stella (which many use as a first name) and also the similarity in spelling to Eliana. Too many E, L, A’s to consider. It just wouldn’t work for us. So we went back to Isla.

The problem with Isla was the language confusion. In Scottish it’s pronounced eye-lah and in Spanish it actually translates as island and is pronounced eees-lah. We liked the Scottish pronunciation most, but that just wasn’t going to fly in our Mexican-American household. And I didn’t want to change the spelling. It looks pretty as Isla. We eventually considered naming her Isla in Spanish and her nickname would be Izzy. But then we felt like we opened up a Spanish dictionary and just pointed. “Hey, kid. We named you Island because why not!”

Anyhow, this led me to google searching islands. No lie. And in the end we actually are naming her after an island that absolutely holds no significance to us. It’s just pretty. And that’s the awesomeness of being her mom. Or being a parent in general for that matter: we can name our kids whatever we want because they are our kids. Although, I will say I did research the meaning of the name and the history behind it and how to pronounce it in all possible languages and after that the husband and I were both 100% still in love.

Now that I’ve written a mini-novel all about two simple words. I’d like to introduce you to our third baby girl:

Lucia ReySo, yeah, we named her Lucia as in the Island of St. Lucia. Not to be confused with the Spanish form of the name Loo-see-uh or the Italian form of the name Loo-chee-uh. This is pronounced Loo-sha. It’s the English form of the name. Now we have a daughter with a Spanish name, an Italian name, and an English name. But, somehow, in all of that craziness it totally works.

Her middle name is a family name. We took it from my husband’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name. His maternal grandmother passed away at a very young age. When my mother in law was only 18 actually (and she was the oldest of four girls–women run in the family). And so his dad’s mother was very involved in my husband’s life as a child and although I never got to meet her a very revered woman. She had 15 children of which my father in law was the youngest and my husband her “baby’s” first baby. People talk about her with such love and admiration I couldn’t imagine not passing a part of her legacy onto my daughter. And I know she would’ve loved to meet all of her great granddaughters. When Eliana was born we counted her to be somewhere around the 47th grand-great grand baby. Lucia is now closer to #51 or #52. Pretty darn amazing.

In about 19 more weeks we will get to meet her.
Our little Lulu.
Life couldn’t be anymore spectacular. ❤ ❤ ❤

 

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Dear Daughters

You are being raised into a world of choices and opportunity. Opportunities with choices and choices with opportunities. The problem is the world expects certain things from you. The world wants to compartmentalize you and restrict you, but it also wants to see you soar and succeed.

Why?

Because the world has no idea who it is or what it stands for. It is everyone and it stands for everything. It is full of questions with contradictory answers. It hates and it loves. It gives and it takes. So my daughters, rule number one of your life is to not chase the world.

If it must do anything … let it chase you.

There are many other rules you will learn within the Art of Being a Woman and I’d like to warn you ahead of time of the ones you do not have to follow.

1. The Girly Girl
Over the years the idea of being a “Girl” who is in fact girly has somehow grown disdainful. Most women do not endeavor to be viewed as “The Girly Girl”. I do not rightfully know how this came into place, but I dislike it. As I grew up, most of the girls around me strove to be known as  “Tom Boys”. They didn’t like being associated as a weak, ultra feminine, delicate “Girly Girl”. They wanted to be cool with the boys, play sports and get dirty. They felt that losing their femininity made them more powerful. And that my sweet daughters is just not right.

What I want you to know is that you can get dirty, play sports, be aggressive and tough all the while wearing a dress with pink nails. Your femininity is the most beautiful thing about you. Being a girl isn’t a bad thing. It’s the BEST thing. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you graceful. It doesn’t make you dumb, it makes you compassionate. It doesn’t mean you can’t achieve anything your heart desires. Do not let the idea of being beautiful, delicate, graceful, feminine or any other concept of womanliness detour you in life. Let it empower you. Being a woman is a gift. And yes, I will teach you how to change a tire in three inch heels–I do not raise helpless women–but if somewhere along the road you find a man who wants to do it for you, you let him.

2. Slutty is Sexy
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Sex appeal, being sexy, being desired does not come with DD boobs in a crop top or your butt cheeks squeezed into a mini skirt. Confidence is sexy even if you’re in sweatpants three sizes too big. Knowledge is sexy as long as you’re not flaunting it. Flaunting anything is not sexy, it’s a demand for attention. And you do not demand attention. You are given attention without having to ask. Respect is sexy. Kindness is sexy. Being you is sexy. And to the right man, being you will always be sexy. No. matter. what.

3. Biting Your Tongue
You are being raised by a mother who has a large mouth. My lack of self-control growing up got me into trouble many times, but it also kept me out of trouble more times than I could count. Men will try to quiet you. Women too. I will not. I will try and teach you how to control it. How to use it wisely. But more so I will teach you how to voice your opinions, voice your self, so that no one questions who you are. So that no man would consider you a toy to be played with. No woman a tool for her manipulations. That in the darkest moments of your life, in the times when you feel there is no way out, you will feel the words within you, the boldness of your self pour out and not be contained. That you feel safety in using your voice at all times. You have not been given a spirit of timidity and I want to see you soar.

4. Beauty is Everything
You are beautiful. Beyond my wildest dreams you are more beautiful than I could ever have hoped for. But be wary of beauty. The power. The pain. The fickleness of it all. The world has made sport of hunting even the prettiest of eagles. You, even in your innocence and youth, will not be made an exception.

Be wary of the world dear daughters. It only wants to take.

xoxo, mommy

Mourning Motherhood

I’m roughly five months away from giving birth to our second child and although that still seems very far away, I know that I will go to bed tonight and wake up tomorrow and the day will be upon me.

That’s how quickly time passes.

In lieu of this new addition, I recently told a group of my girlfriends that I feel like I’m mourning the loss of my first child and I mean that in the most figurative way. Life with E these past two years and three months has been emotional, overbearing, joyful, exquisite, challenging and rewarding. She was my first and we’ve learned so much together on this road of parent/child and I know that I’m about to rock her world and my own.

Doing things with her now at this age is easy. It’s fun. It’s manageable. But in July my focus will change, my responsibilities will be doubled and my freedom will be squelched, until I learn to adjust to a whole new life.

I know I can do it. I know it will be hard. I know it’s what I want. It’s just the acknowledgement of the change that is equal parts exciting and intimidating.

Eliana has become my best bud, my partner in crime, my eyes to a world that’s 30 inches tall. She’s the only reason worth waking up in the morning before 7am. Pancakes taste sweeter, butterflies are more enchanting, and reading is no longer a selfish pleasure. I look at her and I see half of me and half of her father. A product of love so wonderful that I can only imagine she will be a force to reckon with in the world and I don’t hope, I know she will accomplish great things.

Continue reading “Mourning Motherhood”

Free Birth Control

Readers beware! If you are looking at procreating anytime soon, this may not encourage you. So my suggestion is to avert your eyes, get knocked up and then come back when you are well into your third trimester.

This Life

“Melissa, sweetie.” Says the nurse as she looks at me with a crease dividing her eyes. “We need you to turn over on your side. The baby’s heart beat is dropping and we have to remove the stress.”

My eyes glaze over. I hear her. I understand her. My body complies with the request as I summon the last resources of my strength and shift my naked flesh onto my left hip. Pain from the beginning of time pushes it’s way through my bones. It centers at the apex of my thighs as the pressure of God almighty pours out of me.

“You’re doing great honey. Stay focused. Almost there.”

A large strong palm grips my tiny, pale hand. This reassurance is all it takes. I turn in his direction, lock eyes and the tiniest smile brushes the surface of his dark, flushed cheeks. The bright lights illuminate a salt infused drop of emotion that falls from the corner of his left eye. Time pauses. I follow its trail as it stumbles over the small beard that has developed. We’ve gone through three nurses already.

Continue reading “Free Birth Control”

A Rationally-Irrational Fear

I am pretty sure I just made up the term “rationally-irrational”, but sometimes double negatives are a necessity in life.

You see, I have an irrational fear of having a second child, but this irrational fear is technically made rational when you understand my predicament. Therefore, I have a rationally-irrational fear of procreating for a second time. In my mind it makes sense, but sometimes my mind is a very interesting place to reside.

If I could explain to you how I feel via nursery rhymes it would go something like this….

This was the least frightening humpty picture I could find.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses, And all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty back together again!

Now I know your utterly confused, but stick with me here. Most people would assume that after having one kid the second would be a walk-in-the-park. Sort of going with the whole been-there done-that mentality. And of course there is that concept that Mother’s apparently forget what goes on in the delivery room and that’s why we end up rushing to have a 2nd, 3rd and possibly even a 4th, when just 9 months before we were literally wondering why we ever decided to have children in the first place, as you attempt to push a 26 cm head out of a 10 cm hole.

But as much as I would like to think I have forgotten, I don’t really think I was blessed with this so-called delivery amnesia. And to be honest its not really the delivery that was the problem for me, but more-so the post-delivery circumstances that have my panties in knots whenever I even remotely entertain the idea of getting a sperm to reach one of my eggs. Seriously, I have to work hard to suppress the mild anxiety attacks that threaten to overwhelm me and to top it off these feelings are intermixed with the giddiness & joy of adding to our family. Which, I dream about often and want more then anything else in the world (except possibly our trip to Italy in the fall, kidding, well maybe just a little bit). Continue reading “A Rationally-Irrational Fear”

It takes a village

Therapy is expensive. So when I am having “bad days” I write about them because it’s therapeutic and free. Some posts get published and others are set-aside for my eyes only or to be re-written or re-worked at a later date. But today, today, I find myself writing in the moment and there will probably be many errors as you read this, but when I get emotionally worked up about stuff it just spews out of my mouth and I don’t stop to think whether or not it sounds good.

Today I am having a bad day. And I realize that lots of us have bad days. Many, most, actually probably 90% of other bad days, I know, would be considered WAY worse. But nonetheless here I am writing about mine.

Today my bad day is the result of so many things, but the culmination of those things seems to be the reality that Motherhood is hard. Or can be hard, or has moments of extreme hardness, in which I speak of the trials & tribulations we face and not the perception that Motherhood has a sense of density in relation to being “hard”. Anyhow….

I am in the middle of a transitional phase with our daughter and it is wearing me thin. No longer a “baby” she is entering the toddler phase of life like a bullet from a gun and its been difficult trying to find a daily rhythm. Her naps are changing, her attitude is changing, and her entire being is changing. Since its my first go at this, everything is new and so I am learning every day. And I am slowly realizing that my 4 year college degree did nothing to prepare me for it. Continue reading “It takes a village”

E’s 1st Birthday!!

We have officially passed our first huge milestone as parents and celebrated our lovely daughter’s 1st birthday!! In true Mexican fashion we threw E a ginormous fiesta complete with an almost life size Minnie Mouse pinata straight from Mexico. The day was overwhelming, exciting, frustrating, stressful and joyous. To say that we did it for her would be a lie. It was 100% a selfish endeavor brought on by several factors, the least of which is me wanting to put my college degree in Event Planning to good use. But nonetheless it was a fantastic celebration regardless of the fact that the guest of honor was not even the slightest bit aware that the entire extravaganza was for her .

Anyhow it truly couldn’t have been a more perfect celebration and since so much of the day was inspired by pinterest I have decided to use the rest of this post to show you the details 🙂

As most of us know any party worth attending begins with a freaking awesome invitation. I stumbled upon something many many months ago from a little shop on Etsy. I pinned it and sent an email to the designer stating that I definitely wanted to buy her design, but that I was gonna wait until it got closer to her actual birthday (purchasing an invitation 6 months prior to her turning 1 was a little over zealous even for me). Much to my chagrin I went to purchase said “invitation” and the little shop on Etsy was CLOSED!!! I went berserk. Nothing else I found could even compare to how perfect this little invitation was. So I did the 2nd best thing and recreated the original design by myself in Microsoft Publisher. (If the original designer ever stumbles upon this post please take note that I owe you $15 & I am truly sorry I copied your original design, but you left me no choice). So anyhow here is a side by side look at the original invitation and my re-make of it. Continue reading “E’s 1st Birthday!!”

Snow in San Diego

*2 years ago I started working from home because my employer decided to move to the east coast.
*5 months later I was forced to quit what I thought was the-most-amazing-job-ever.
*3 months after that I was still unemployed and looking for work.
*The next day I found out I was pregnant.
*I spent the following 6 months still looking for a job.
*Then I looked in the mirror and saw why I was more then likely not going to get hired by anyone.
*Non-discrimination laws don’t work.
*3 months later I became a mommy.
*We spent the next 6 months looking for a bigger house to rent.
*Our 600sq foot closet home continued to be our humble abode against our fiercest wishes for a bigger one.
*I cried on a long drive home a few months ago, from Laguna Nigel, because we didn’t get that 7th house we just applied for.  
*A week later at 5am I found out that after being denied our 7th applied house that-happened-to-have-everything-we-could-ever-ask-for-in-a-rental-except-a-dishwasher was now being offered to us.
*2 months ago I got a job writing from home. It was a dream.
*3 weeks after being hired I was laid off. Along with dozens of other writers.
*The next day Eliana started waking up 2-3x a night. It was hell. I think she was teething.
*This continued for 2 weeks.
*Did I mention we had house guests every single day of those 2 weeks.
*Then 5 days ago her first tooth finally broke through.
*For the last 4 nights she has been sleeping 12-13 hours every night.
*During those 2 weeks of hell-I-think-she-might-be-teething-but-its-just-a-theory she wanted to be held all the time.
*Yesterday I held her almost the entire day. Not because she wanted it, but because I needed it.
*And today I find myself sitting in a living room the size of our condo, watching Sesame Street with the most gorgeous child on the planet, listening to the dishwasher (that we didn’t think we were gonna get with this house, but ended up getting because our landlord decided to remodel the entire kitchen before we moved-in) wash the dishes so I can spend more time with Eliana and less time actually washing dishes, while drinking coffee as I contemplate the job that I never knew I could have, but always wanted and then lost, and I see how good life is. In fact its not just good, its superb. It’s beyond superb its exquisite. I have an exquisite life.

Sometimes amazingly good things happen and amazingly bad things happen. In the end its your perspective on how they balance out your opinion on life. So I am thinking today it just might Snow in San Diego. I have seen crazier things happen in my own life. The question is will you view the snow as something bad or something good…

Thank You for Pushing

Many many years ago I found myself one Sunday morning sitting in the nursery at the Rock Church with a bunch of precious little newborns. I was serving that morning and I happened to meet a new mom who wanted to stick around for the first 20 minutes to see how her son would do. It was his first time in the nursery and her son was probably 3 or 4 weeks old I can’t exactly remember, but what I do remember is seeing the most beautiful, intricately designed and breathtaking ring ever. It was situated on the ring finger of her right hand so I had assumed it was an anniversary gift of some sort. I proceeded to ask her about it and she nonchalantly explained to me it was her Push Present. Insert awkward pause. I just sat there staring at her thinking I didn’t hear her correctly and when I realized she was gonna say nothing more on the subject I continued the conversation with a quizzical look and a slight tilt of my head. I think she was vaguely aware of my ignorance on the subject and when the silence got weird she finally clarified her previous statement with, “The ring is my push present. My husband gave it to me for pushing out this little guy”. Light bulb on! I returned the news with a bright smile and finally an understanding expression. I finally got it. I asked her if I could see it and she politely handed it over for me to get a closer look. It was truly love at first sight.

I think if Hector knew this conversation would have unfolded that morning he would’ve somehow tried to persuade me from going to church. But lucky me he isn’t clairvoyant and my Sunday morning proceeded as any other regular Sunday morning except on this day I learned about Push Presents. At the time I wasn’t even remotely close to desiring a child and yet this little tid bit of educational news on the wonders of becoming a new parent enticed me. Instead of doing something stupid like getting knocked up just so I could get a pretty ring I decided to file the memory away for future use 🙂 And let me just say that for the next 5 years I made sure Hector was randomly educated on the concept of a Push Present because you just never know when that knowledge of such a thing would come in handy. And boy did it come in handy.

Now my dear New Momma from above defined a Push Present as a gift she received from pushing her son out, but for those of you who would prefer a more specific definition here is what the wonderful Wikipedia has to say about the subject:

A push present (also known as a “push gift” or “baby bauble”) is a present a new father gives a new mother when she gives birth to their child. In practice the present may be given before or after the birth, or even in the delivery room.

Now, I personally find nothing insulting or wrong about wanting to bestow a beautiful gift to a new mother after enduring 9 months of pregnancy, who knows how many hours of labor and the obvious proceedings that one occurs from pushing a 26 cm head out of a 10 cm hole (and to all my friends out there who had to undergo c-sections you get an even better present for having to be cut open, just because you didn’t push didn’t mean it wasn’t hard!) But apparently, there is actually a lot of scrutiny over the idea of “Push Presents”. Some women think they are ridiculous and that its just another means of turning something beautiful such as the miracle of childbirth into something consumer driven and focused on material things. Now I can totally see where this perspective comes from, but I think you could also argue the same thing with almost any holiday or special occasion in life that involves presents. So that’s my 2 cents on that.

To be honest I had never thought about getting a gift for pushing out a child, that is until I saw that ring on that New Momma’s hand. I am pretty sure the dozens of generations before me never heard of such a concept, but lets be honest a lot has changed since the 1900’s and if Push Presents is one of them I am not complaining. But don’t get me wrong here. I am not some materialistic snob that thinks she is entitled to have anything and everything. However, if my husband feels the need to spoil me I will gladly accept.

Needless to say 6 1/2 months ago when I was at UCSD undergoing the most intense experience of my life the term Push Present was brought up by my husband. Eliana was 15 seconds old and laying on my chest and I was lying in a bed that looked more befitting to a crime scene then what I envisioned when I saw myself welcoming my child into the world. My husband was staring at me like he actually witnessed a murder instead of a birth as well so that was lovely. But after his initial shock his expression turned to wonderment and awe. He tilted his nose to my cheek and kissed me. Then in the softest voice ever in his attempt to not disturb the new life that lay on my chest even though she was a wailing, bloody, wet mess he whispered “You can have whatever you want for a push present, I’ll give you anything.”

I just turned and giggled. I was seriously experiencing the greatest natural high of my life and was letting it rush over me like a wave of joy. Oh the pure relief of having her out was honestly the only gift I wanted at that moment and I had found it. Truly there was nothing more that I wanted, but as we all know time passes, the days fade and life goes on. It’s not to say that after the high wore off that I felt I needed something more then her because let me tell you her smile is enough to keep me happy for all eternity. But for me though a push present was more of a need to commemorate that day and her birth into something special.

Since my first acknowledgment of a push present was in the form of a ring I think that idea just stuck with me. I don’t wear bracelets or necklaces really and even though I love earrings you really won’t see a day go by where I don’t have my pearl studs on. So naturally it made sense to want a ring if I ever planned on wearing the darn thing. Hector had casually asked me here and there what I was sort of thinking of when I thought of my push present and I simply told him this… I would love an heirloom piece of jewelry that I could pass on down to Eliana. Something that represents her and is timeless and classic. Not something that is disposable or will get tossed to the side as the years pass by. Something that I could wear and think of her and the day she was born.

I did a little research on her birthstone and was happy to realize that she was born in a month that represented a stone that I loved. Citrine comes in such beautiful colors, all differing shades of the sun. It was fitting on so many levels that I knew I wanted her stone to be a part of it. The rest was really up to him. I gave him a few recommendations on things I liked and disliked because he really wanted me to love it. In the end I realized I couldn’t have picked out something more beautiful and perfect if I had done it myself.

We went out to dinner a couple weeks ago and that’s when he bestowed upon me something that I love and treasure just as much as my wedding ring. Something that I will keep for the rest of my life and hopefully one day pass down to Eliana. A ring that represents all of the beauty that a new life brings. I couldn’t be more grateful and feel more loved by how much Hector appreciates me in my new role as wife and mother. Life is good.

So what do you think?

Cymbalta – Depression Hurts

If there was one word that would be considered an antonym of my life I think depressed would work quite well. There is hardly a day where I do not have a smile on my face and even on my worst days I feel like I can still make the sun shine out of my ass (props to Diablo Cody and Juno’s Father – one of my favorite lines in that movie and my apologies to those who think ass is a rather terse word – I am quoting someone else so be mad at them).

Anyway to get back to the point at hand depression. Apparently depression hurts and Cymbalta can help. I used to think commercials for medicine that healed depression were for the weaklings of the world who just couldn’t get their lives together and be happy. Now after having a baby and experiencing early onset Postpartum Depression aka The Baby Blues I humbly apologize to those who are affected by depression every day. It’s no laughing matter.

I know most of us have all heard the term “Postpartum Depression” and generally its not something most people, I think, would like to admit having. I don’t know why the world we live in likes to sugar coat everything in life and make it seem that everything is peaches and cream. Because guess what… it isn’t. If I truly tried to describe to you all how I felt during the first 3-4 weeks of Eliana’s life I am afraid I might scare some of you away from ever having kids. But I think I am going to take my chances and risk telling the truth instead of candy coating it. This way if you find yourself in similar shoes you won’t think your a crazy bad person who doesn’t love their child and is on the brink of a mental breakdown. So be forewarned my words might act as birth control.

So let’s begin with the definition of Postpartum Depression (PPD). PPD is a temporary depression related to pregnancy and childbirth. It comes in two forms: early onset, commonly referred to as the “baby blues,” and late onset. The early-onset type is mild and may affect as many as 80% of women after they deliver. It starts after delivery and usually resolves within a couple of weeks without medical treatment. The later-onset form is what most people think of as “postpartum depression”. This more severe form is usually recognized several weeks after delivery. Overall it affects about 10%-16% of women.

I place myself in the “baby blues” department of PPD, however I believe I teeter-tottered towards late-onset PPD, but thankfully was able to pull it together after 4 weeks. For those of you have truly experienced a prolonged form of late-onset PPD… I do not envy you. The medical world describes symptoms of the “baby blues” as including sadness, anxiety, tearfulness, and trouble sleeping. These symptoms usually appear within several days of delivery and go away within 10-12 days post delivery. Usually the only treatment needed is reassurance and some help with household chores and the care of the baby.

I say usually because this is where I place myself between the baby blues and late-onset PPD. I don’t even know if I can fully describe how I felt since feelings can be so subjective, but basically life sucked and I wasn’t prepared.

Since Eliana was in the NICU for her first week that part wasn’t that bad. However weeks 2, 3 and 4 felt like I was in the twilight zone. Everyone tells you to sleep all you can before you deliver because you will never sleep again. There is some major truth to that statement. But it’s so much more than that. Not only was I physically exhausted from the lack of sleep and from breastfeeding, but I felt like I was mentally losing it. I remember taking a walk with Hector while my sister was watching Eliana and I just started to cry. I had so many emotions streaming through me and I was afraid that if I was honest with him he would be scared and think that I really was losing it (even though I sort of was). 

For starter’s I felt very little love towards Eliana. I knew I loved her, but loving her was a whole different ball game. All she did was feed, sleep, cry, poop and repeat. It sounds simple enough, but I really started to believe that I was not cut out for motherhood. I started to rethink my plans of having a big family and I started feeling the worst anxiety and fear that it was going to be like this forever…… and ever…… and ever. My life as I knew it had ended. 
I tried really hard to play it cool those first few weeks. Whenever we had company over I put a smile on my face and some blush on my cheeks. I tried my hardest to look like the happy new mother who was utterly enraptured in her child, but inside I felt this big dark expanse of emptiness. Thankfully the days were easier then the nights, but the nights… oh the nights. They were hell on a shiny silver platter.
I started to wonder how in the world people had more then 1 child…
And then it was Sunday, the last day I would have Hector with me before he went back to work. The internal tears of fear were flowing and I felt a flood was about to ensue. I told him I had no idea how I was going to survive without him. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who had zero doubt in my ability to take care of our child, but I on the other hand had all the doubt in the world. That first Monday came and went and somehow I did survive.

My exact situation might have been worsened considering the extent to which delivering Eliana had destroyed me downstairs. I read a lot about other women who had undergone severe tearing and that it was common to have depression. I mean when peeing and pooping (life’s simplest tasks) become as time consuming and exhausting as running a marathon its no wonder one would start to have an Eeyore complex.

However, with the bad definitely came the good. At 4 weeks Eliana finally gave me my first real smile. Not a gas induced crinkling of her lips that you thought was a smile. And it was like all my fears, insecurities, worries, frustrations and exhaustion just melted away. It was at that moment that I finally fell IN love with my daughter. She also started sleeping through the night right around that time and it was MAGNIFICENT.

Sometimes I wonder why in the world God would make those first weeks/months so difficult for parents. I mean I understand the whole pain in childbirth situation, but couldn’t we get a small reprieve after accomplishing something as wonderful as BIRTHING a child?! But now I see that its all a part of the big picture. If it wasn’t hard, if we didn’t lose sleep, if it was as easy as pie – then our love for our children wouldn’t be as fierce as God had intended. We would take them for granted and we wouldn’t go to the ends of the earth to protect them and provide for them. Because I can tell you wholeheartedly without a single doubt in my mind I would give up ANYTHING and EVERYTHING for that little 15lb chunker sleeping just mere steps away from me.

My Lexus? Here are the keys. Our condo? let me just shine those floors for you first. Our beautiful San Diego location? cars packed and I am ready to move… To Minnesota in the Winter? sounds superb! Trips to the mall? Vacations? Fancy Restaurants? Whatever you want… its yours as long as I get to keep her.

So when I look back at weeks 2, 3 and 4 of her life I can still see the dark cloud that hovered above me, but I can also see the sun trying to break through. I wish I had been more prepared for what to expect during those first few weeks, but in the end I am glad to know that life has only gotten sweeter.

People complain and say that kids change things and that life will never be the same. But isn’t that the whole point? Ask most people over 80 years of age if they could be 21 forever and they would say No. Every season in life has its time and its place. I would hate to look back at my life and regret not having kids just so that I could sleep more or travel more or have a higher disposable income. Life is about relationships and the things you do with people through those relationships. I would hate to be on my death bed and have my final thoughts be… “Well at least I drove a bad ass Ferrari”.

Although if I could have all of thee above and a Ferrari I wouldn’t complain.

Just sayin 🙂