Monthly Archives: May 2017

Pregnancy/birth thoughts

A sweet thing happened this morning. Diego was lying on my belly, kind of kicking and punching his arms around.  I looked out the window, and thought, aww, this reminds me of the same little Diego kicks and punches I felt inside my belly, while pregnant.


For a brief breath, I missed that, and missed being pregnant. Every now and then I have those moments, missing pregnancy and all the anticipation of birth. As Diego grows, so does the distance with that life chapter. I realize there’s a few unique pregnancy/birth moments that I want to remember before it all becomes a blur:

The going-to-sleep waiting game

Going to sleep those last few weeks, wondering, would this be the night? As I pulled back the covers, I always thought, is this it? The last night we go to sleep just the two of us? As I mentioned, most TV was off-limits, so we spent most nights in the living room, playing WordswithFriends, running through the same conversation: “Can you believe we’re going to have a BABY soon? This could be it, the last night we just hang out like this? What’s it going to be like when there’s a BABY here with us?” Same convo, night after night after night.


(Took this on our evening walk, Friday before Diego was born)

Last day before Baby

That last day was a sunny, quiet Saturday. We met up with the Dillons for a yummy brunch and on the way home, we stopped by the Bethany Reservoir for a walk. Of course, I wondered, is this the last long walk we’ll take before becoming a family? And, it was! But, I’d had that same thought a zillion times those last few weeks. 


Last belly photo!

After a trip to Target (of course Target factors into this baby story), we made grilled cheese and tomato soup and played a game of Scrabble (wild times!).  After dinner, I called my mom for my daily “nope, no baby yet” update. “So…you might want to try standing under the moon tonight,” she said.  It was a full moon, maybe it would help start labor? Like the child that I apparently still am, first I rolled my eyes, then I decided the advice couldn’t hurt. I walked out to the street to look at the full moon.

3:33 a.m. wake up call

Turns out, Mom is always right. Hours later, my water broke. When a birth class instructor tells you a) it’s rare to go into labor on your due date, b) most women’s water won’t break, and c) it’s nothing like the movies-its rarely that much water…ALL LIES.  

Pretty soon we were in the car, hospital bound, ready to meet the baby!! 

Throughout this whole experience, I’ve wondered how David would react to different situations. In each of them, I’m always reminded how grateful I am for his steady, kind heart.  He was so relaxed throughout the labor; encouraging but not overwhelmingly so, and just his typical, even-keel, loving, David-self. No joke, as we were driving down Harding to the hospital, it kind of felt like our normal, early morning drive to the train station-he kept everything so calm.

Labor, contractions, epidural, yadda, yadda, yadda, C-Section


This photo is clearly from the beginning of the day…

The good news about the whole water breaking thing is it’s basically a L&D Fastpass. There’s no turning away for early labor-it’s the real deal and you’re quickly admitted. The not so great part is the sense of urgency-the baby can’t just linger around for days, patiently waiting for delivery. Long story short, hours later, around 9ish pm, it became clear that my body was not progressing to the transition/delivery phase. Diego was not handling this well and his heartbeat kept dropping when the contractions got intense.  While it was likely clear to EVERYONE that a C-Section was imminent, for some reason, I was in total denial.  When the doctor eventually said, yes, we have to do this now, I was shocked. I cried, David consoled me, Angelica calmly explained everything, I texted my girlfriends who’d had C-sections for encouragement (thank you for the awesome support!!!!), and soon we were off to the OR. David squeezed my hand, and lovingly kept reminding me “we’re going to meet our son, we’re going to meet our son.”

Family gathering 


David likes to joke that he was my publicist throughout the whole thing, and he kind of was.  While I labored/slept, David read me news articles and coordinated with my family (note: sleeping post-epidural, while laboring is bizarre. I’ve never been so calm, yet exhausted, while sleeping). Janou was a ROCK STAR and booked a flight THAT MORNING. She and Max managed to get to Stockton before I delivered. AMAZING. My parents drove up from Irvine, and once they all got word that the C-seciton was happening, they gathered at the hospital. I loved knowing they were all close by.

Bright lights, big room

Everything gets pretty hazy at this point. I couldn’t believe how bright and big the OR was (or it seemed), and how many people were involved. Angelica was amazing, calmly leading all the preparations. I was shaking a lot and David kept trying to help me calm down (very sweet, but the Benadryl really did the trick).

I remember the surgery beginning and pretty soon after hearing the doctor say, “here he is! Yes, there’s the cord (the cord was wrapped around him, another reason for the C-section)” and then…a few seconds….and there it was…Diego’s cry! Our son was here!



Hello, World

I want to acknowledge that it is a bit strange that this chapter of the day doesn’t start with me saying, “And then I cried and it was the most amazing, beautiful moment, ever.” Because, it WAS. Hearing my son (my son!) crying, it was the most absolutely, incredible, literally life altering moment EVER. And rationally, I was filled with gratitude, knowing he was here and healthy. However, at that point, with all the painkillers, exhaustion and hormones, my rational and emotional self were not exactly aligned.  And it took several days to get to that point.  My rational self was filled with joy, relief and wonder at this beautiful, sweet baby boy.  But that rush of love, that overwhelming need to scoop my baby up, wrap him in my arms, gaze at his darling little recessed chin, his snobby upper lip, those husky blue eyes, and just hold on tight….that astounding physical bond with little Diego? It took a few days to kick in.  Again, to clarify, it wasn’t that I didn’t feel love for him right away (I did), or we didn’t connect (we did!), but our intense bond took a few days (/hormone leveling), and I think it’s important to acknowledge and be honest about that.

Thankfully, for David, the bond was totally immediate! So, I’ll share his part of this chapter :) Immediately after Diego was born, David was off to the recovery room with Angelica and the NICU nurses for Diego’s post-delivery procedures.  Diego was in the little bassinet, David just stared at him in awe, put his hand out, and Diego gripped right on to his finger! There he was, all 6 lbs, 10 ounces of wonder, Diego Antonio. David took a photo of his puffy, red little face and texted my family, “Hello, world.”  He asked if he could do skin-to-skin with the baby, and soon Diego was lying on David’s chest, father and son, together.


Sunday morning, family breakfast

There’s obviously many, many more important moments from that night and the week after (holding my baby, introducing Diego to our family, our first night [how did we even sleep??!!], bringing Diego home) all of it. But, when I think about this story, of becoming a family, for some reason, I always think about the following Sunday morning. I’ve always loved weekend breakfasts with David, and often wondered what it would be like when we had kids.  That Sunday morning was the first morning of just the three of us, in our home, with David cooking breakfast.  We didn’t have a swing yet, so we put Diego in his co-sleeper on the table (NOTE: not a good idea, won’t do again), and sat down to breakfast burritos and orange juice, our usual Sunday breakfast. I remember looking at David and Diego, my husband and my son, and thinking, “this is it, the three of us, here we are, together as a family,” and it just felt great.

My first moments holding Diego :) 

Whooo-this ended up being way longer and more personal than I intended. Time to get off the computer and feed my cooing, squirming little baby!

Hanging at home, a few weeks old 
 

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Wednesday thoughts…

Diego got his first round of vaccines yesterday, and woke up this morning a cuddly, tired little monkey.  While he sleeps curled up on me, wanted to jot down some recent memories:


Last week, I drove to Healdsburg for a work retreat. Seeing all my colleagues (from all three offices!) and engaging in a day of important, substantive conversation was a perfect shot of energy. And, it helped me feel a bit more confident about being away from Diego for a day. AND-the drive back as STUNNING. Due to horrible traffic on the 101, Google maps rerouted me to take Highway 12 and it was a very happy adjustment! The route tracked gorgeous wineries and vistas throughout Sonoma Valley and made the hours of driving a pleasant escape.

Speaking of escapes, I’ve become a total Crooked Media junkie. After avoiding Keeping it 1600 because I assumed the hosts would be smarmy egomaniacs, I caved and started listening to Pod Save America. I’m HOOKED. John Lovett’s (smarmy but spot-on) humor might be the only way I can mentally survive this administration (and stay moderately informed during parental leave).

Master of None returned!! I keep hearing how it is even better than last season. I can’t wait to watch.


On Friday night, the Library and Literacy Foundation of San Joaquin County hosted their annual trivia bee fundraiser. Our team didn’t win, but it was a super fun night AND hilarious to wake up the next morning and see this:


Ha!

The SJBC hosted their annual Best Ride Ever Ride on Saturday and Diego and I met up with David at the final stop, Lange  Twins Family Vineyards in Lodi.  Another “wow, I can’t believe I ever judged people for —-” moment? Using the curbside pickup at a deli. Pre-baby, I would have been flabbergasted at the need for curbside pickup IN A STRIP MALL with ample parking. Post baby? I giddily picked up our picnic sandwiches (delicious, from Fioris Deli) without having to wake my napping baby. Curbside pickup = genius.


This was my first time at Lange Twins and the wine was excellent! After the tasting, we enjoyed a glass on the lawn-it was a delicious.

Also-how about this polite little drinker, clasped hands and everything? :)

Since Diego was born, I’ve been on quite the social media bender. Honestly, with hours and hours of nursing and a mushy, sleepy brain, scrolling through endless photos is about all I can handle. Anyway, I decided to log off for the day on Sunday to truly enjoy Mother’s Day.

That lasted until 6 pm-so, small victory?

When I logged back on, I saw this beautiful print by Mari Andrew, c/o Cup of Joe, and it just brought tears to my eyes. It was exactly what I wish we could all say and express on this lovely, but emotional, and sometimes painful holiday:


I thought a lot about the emotional gravity of the day, and Mari’s art better expresses those thoughts than any words I could put to paper.

I’m profoundly grateful to have been with my family on my first Mother’s Day. When David asked what I wanted to do, all I could think about was getting out in nature. Sunday, after breakfast, we drove out to Redwood Regional Park.

Just the forest bath I’ve been wanting. We mostly stuck to the paved walk, which extends through gorgeous little meadows and cuts through the spectacular redwood trees.


And…in one of the meadows…a family of llamas! This man just brought his four llamas to the park! David was BEYOND excited.

This guys name is Quinoa. Of course it is.


We ended the day with pizza from Zachary’s and kale Caser salad from Market Hall-hooray!

Big news in our house: Diego moved into his crib.  Can’t tell how he feels, or if he even notices, but a big change! He looks so, so tiny when I put him in it, I can’t believe it. The first night, it broke my heart a bit, I was so worried he would feel abandoned, but once again, I was far more stressed than Diego.

However, he did NOT love getting his shots. This was just before his vaccines at his two month appointment. The nurse was so kind–and didn’t judge me when I said I couldn’t watch!–but Diego was not pleased. Walking back to the car, he just glared at me from the stroller-ouch.

img_2118Lots of napping, cuddling and curling up together to try to restore his trust :)

Looking forward to the weekend!

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2 months!

Diego Antonio is two months old today!


Writing this, as usual, on my phone, while my favorite little two-month-old naps on me :) Definitely feel quite a difference at two months versus one month. A few first and other moments I want to remember:

Firsts:

  • First flight! From Sacramento to Orange County at six weeks.
  • First trip to Target! This seems like a fairly monumental milestone American baby experience. He slept through the whole thing in the Bjorn :)
  • First brewery. Diego was a good sport during Incident 1 of MANY when his parents did the exact thing they swore they would never do as parents (take a baby to a bar, take cheesy baby monthly photos, talk incessantly about baby sleep patterns…)
  • First time in the East Bay, first party, first picnic, first farmers’market–hopefully a first of many more of these experiences.
  • First time spending a whole day without me: On Wednesday, I drove to Healdsburg for a work retreat and David and Diego spent the day together.  Total pulling-off-the-band-aid day, but I had a great time at the retreat and Diego had fun (?? who knows, he’s two months old! Probably better to just say his was fine) at home. Total relief!
  • First trip to the beach. Ahhhh-the best.

Was just looking at photos of Diego from last month, and he has definitely grown! He’s still a tiny little peanut, but I think he’s done with his newborn clothes and he’s finally getting some rolls on his previously lanky legs and arms.  Speaking of his arms-he’s started to discover them. Not sure if he recognizes that his hands are actually attached to him, but he’s been playing with them more and more. And, the best part of two months, these little smiles.  Like his mom, his much cheerier in the morning than in the evenings, and his smiles make my day.

Oh man, I am so grateful for this time and these moments. It’s overwhelming and intimidating learning how to be his mom and I’m immensely thankful for all of it.

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Weekend 

A few photos from this very spring-y weekend:

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Friday afternoon, Diego and I met David downtown for happy hour.  We started with dinner at Cast Iron (churro bread pudding….amazing….)

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And then got drinks at Channel Brewing Company.  After years of promising ourselves we would never be those people who brought their baby to a bar…7 weeks in, and here we are:

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The BEST part of the weekend was brunch with Janou and Max! Janou was in town and she and Max kindly drove to the East Bay for brunch.  !!! Can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see these three in a photo together !!! So special.

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Narges and Zac hosted their annual Kentucky Derby party Saturday afternoon.  Zac had a Mint Julep bar set up with everything–even perfectly crushed ice and homemade syrup–they truly are the BEST HOSTS EVER.

img_1943-1I put all my money on Looking at Lee, but Diego/David bet on Almost Dreaming, so we got some farmers’ market cash :)

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We’ve been counting down the days for an occasion/for him to be big enough to wear this outfit:

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Sunday morning, we took those winnings to the farmers market-it’s definitely cherry season! Nature’s candy, so good.

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Later that morning, we celebrated an early Mother’s Day with Silvia and Abuelita.  We also toasted to France, filled with relief after hearing the results of the recent election.

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And then, a nice, quiet Sunday afternoon.  Sending good thoughts for this week!

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First flight!

Hello, Friday.  So, yesterday was awful.  Diego and I watched the votes on C-SPAN, and one of us burst into tears when the AYE column hit 216 (I was too angry to cry). Truly horrible-appreciated this summary of what happened and what should happen next.

Anyway, in an effort to not totally slip into despair, trying to think of happier moments from the last few days. On Wednesday, Diego and I flew back home after a great trip to Irvine to see my parents.  Some photos from Diego’s first flight and the trip:

My dad flew to Sacramento for the day last Friday, so I decided it was a perfect opportunity to tag along for the flight back. I was definitely anxious about flying with a baby, but also excited to take a trip and pull the band aid off the first-flight-fears. On Saturday morning, the three of us headed to the airport.

Even though it is only an hour flight, the door-to-door process took about as long as driving, once we factored in the long drive to the airport (one of my frequent complaints about living in Stockton–distance from the airport) and time checking and retrieving baggage. Thankfully, since it was a Saturday afternoon, the airport was pretty quiet and we were able to get three seats together, no problem.  Also-super exciting to get Diego’s first boarding pass!

img_1825Clearly, I’m way more excited about all of this than he is.

Sleeping on the plane–thank you, Diego :)

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And thank you, Dad, for getting us to Irvine! As excited as I was about taking the flight, I was even more thrilled to land in Irvine.  We picked up my suitcase and the car seat from baggage claim and headed to one of my favorite restaurants for an early dinner.

img_1851img_1916California had a heat wave this week, so we tried to walk earlier in the afternoon and in the evenings.  After years and years of drought, it is pretty great to see all the greenery in May.

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Happy hour from my favorite perch in the family room :)

When I was pregnant, I often thought about introducing my baby to the beach.  Images of the waves at Crystal Cove became my focal point for when I needed to push during labor-and when that never happened, I thought about those ocean scenes to *slighty* calm down pre-surgery.  All to say I was especially excited to introduce Diego to Crystal Cove.

He was pretty unfazed by the gorgeous views, but it was a special moment for me.  We picked up potato chips and coleslaw and had a picnic dinner on the deck overlooking the ocean. It was awesome.

Soon it was Wednesday, and time to fly back home-David was desperately missing this face!

And now it’s Friday–looking forward to the weekend! (Side note-I always wondered if weekends would feel different when not working–would every day feel like a weekend? But it’s funny, I still get super excited about Fridays, even though I’ve been home all week.  Even when temporarily not working, weekends are still WAY better–the three of us are all together, the world seems to quiet down, and it’s just better).

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