Welcome to the world

There is something to be said about being able to plan your baby’s birth, even if you only get 24 hours. Dylan was welcomed into this world as an early arrival on a Sunday morning, making today a week since we completed our family with a beautiful baby boy!

It’s a known thing that I am not great at being pregnant, my body doesn’t like to play host, (which come to think about it, neither do I, a sign maybe?) and my placenta likes to give out after about 35 weeks. So when I started to feel sick again and went to my doctor for the normal checkup, I was asked to go to the hospital for general monitoring. A “couple of hours” turned into a 2 night overnight stay, only to be discharged to go home for a night and then return to the hospital the next day for a c-section to get the baby out because of incredibly high protein levels. Pre-eclampsia, we meet again. This time it was caught before things got out of hand and before HELLP syndrome could show its nasty face. I now see that my doctor let me go home so I could get my shit together because everyone knew this baby needed to come out. Luckily, he was thriving and happy, while my body started the paperwork to try to kill me again.

It all worked out the way it was supposed to. My condition was caught at just the right time, I was able to get my doctor to perform the surgery (she came in on her day off which I will be forever grateful), my favorite nurse was working that day, and my family was able to be there with me.

I’m so happy it was Dylan that decided to complete our family, to be the last puzzle piece of our unique little crew. The intimate cuddle time I get to spend with him in the early mornings while my toddler is asleep and the house is quiet is becoming one of my favorite times to spend time with my new love. His facial expressions are the cutest thing ever and I can see his curiosity of this new world as his blurry vision takes it all in. He likes to be held, loves the mamaroo and is a hungry little guy. With no need for the NICU or any other medical problems, our job is to feed him, keep him warm and love on him.

It’s different the second time around. I know how to change a diaper, but no idea how to juggle two kids at the same time. I’ve experienced the “first baby firsts”, but it still feels new and uncharted because every baby is unique and a new experience on its own. A baby boy will be different for obvious reasons, but right now, it’s all about showing him that he is super loved, protected and comforted in this bright, big, overwhelming new world. I make the same promise to him that I did for his sister: to be his protector, advocate and whole-hearted mama bear. I got you. Everyone else better watch out.

Mommy loves you so much, Dyl. Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy and for completing our family.

baby thoughts: lessons for our little boy

I did a lessons for our girl when Liv was still hanging out in my tummy, so it was only appropriate to do a lessons for our little boy the second time around. With a baby boy it’s different. My focus on our little boy is to be a kind human being that is respectful and knows how to treat a lady. There is something different when I think about the fact that Justin and I are going to be raising a little boy who will someday become a man. While I desperately wanted Liv not to be a bratty kid, with a boy I want desperately for him to be a gentleman.

Lesson #1: Education

Just like our wish list for our little girl, education is also big for our little boy. School is so important and I want to make sure that we do everything we can to set him up for a future he can be successful in. It’s probably why we are struggling to find a name that will fit him. While we want his name to be someone who is a “nice guy”, we want the name to also sound great as the president of a reputable company (even if it’s his own).

Lesson #2: Bilingual

It’s been tougher than I thought to get our little girl to speak more Spanish, and I think it’s because 99% of what she’s exposed to is in English. I can talk to her in Spanish all day long, but when daddy comes home or when she’s at her grandparents house (on either side), it’s English all day long. I thought my mom would be my right hand in speaking to her only in Spanish, but it’s surprisingly not been the case. I have to keep in mind that while we were growing up, Spanish is her native language, and while I grew up learning both, living here with an English-speaking spouse and friends gives in to a different environment. We have plenty of books that are bilingual, and I do my best to reference objects and people in Spanish, but it’s been an uphill battle.

Lesson #3: A Gentleman

This is a big one. My dad is old-fashioned when it comes to how to treat a lady, (it also probably has to do with the fact that he’s got a sister and three daughters) and while it can seem a bit overboard to some (especially in the American culture- not so much in the Italian or Mexican culture), I love that he’s been taught to be chivalrous in respect to women. The idea of “taking care” of women in respect to opening doors, walking them to their cars/house, making sure they get home OK, and even paying a the end of a meal are all things that, in this day in age, seems contradictory to the stance of equality for women, but to me is a sign of a man who respects and takes the time to care for women.

Lesson #4: Well-Mannered

Please, thank you, excuse me- all day, everyday. I take pride in the fact that I currently do this with our little girl. You want some milk? Say please. Daddy gave you a snack? Say thank you. Mya in front of you? Say excuse me. I wanted to start this early on with Liv so that it becomes second nature to her and she gets older and let me tell you, the unprompted thank you’s and please’s are music to my ears. Hopefully she’ll be able to help me in training our little boy to do the same thing.

So that’s it. Our little wish list for our little boy!

baby thoughts: fear of the unknown

I’m halfway through this pregnancy, which means that in 4.5 months we’ll be welcoming a little boy into our family.

At first, the fear of the unknown set in hard. Not knowing what I was going to do with a boy, how my relationship with my little one will develop, and how I was going to handle the moving parts of a family of four were overwhelming. I think about those moments when days flow so gracefully when it’s just her and I. Then I think about how that same day would be while also having a newborn. And fear sets in.

As the predicted due date approaches faster and faster, the logistics of bringing another baby have gone from anxiety, to a go-with-the-flow system, back to an anxiety, and round and round we go. Those same thoughts are softened by the support of family and friends, but most of all, the assurance that Justin and I are a true team. Although our little one was a pretty easy baby, the way Justin and I handled being parents of a newborn really impressed me. We worked together, never undermining the other and going with the flow to see what worked and when. It makes such a difference when you’re also struggling with sleep deprivation and trying to keep the human that you’ve made stay alive.

All those things aside, the fear of the unknown is a difficult pill to swallow, and one that I personally struggle with through life. It’s always better to know whether a situation will work out when you know the outcome, but the “wait and see” approach is tough, man. What if it’s harder than I thought? What if I could’ve done something differently? What if, what if, what if. It can be so mind consuming. A surprise pregnancy, different gender, impact of the first born and logistics of space are all unknowns. But in all this I keep going back to two sayings that calm me down:

“God will never give you something you can’t handle”

“People have done this exact thing FOR YEARS”

I guess I’m officially welcomed to the club.