Monthly Archives: December 2007

Virgen of Guadalupe

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I just learned from my friend Erika that Shea was born on the day of the Virgen of Guadalupe, an important holy day in Latin America. Here is the Wikipedia entry:

Our Lady of Guadalupe, also called the Virgin of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe or Virgen de Guadalupe) is a 16th century Roman Catholic icon depicting an apparition of the Virgin Mary. It is Mexico’s most beloved religious and cultural image. Our Lady of Guadalupe is known in Mexico as “La Virgen Morena”, which means “The brown-skinned Virgin”. Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast day is celebrated on December 12, commemorating the account of her appearances to Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City from December 9 through December 12, 1531.

The Virgin of Guadalupe is a cultural symbol of significant importance to the Mexican identity.

Some historians consider that the icon was meant to syncretically represent both the Virgin Mary and the indigenous Mexican goddess Tonantzin, providing a way for 16th century Spaniards to gain converts among the indigenous population of early Mexico. It may have provided a method for 16th century indigenous Mexicans to covertly practice their native religion, although the contrary was asserted in the canonization process of Juan Diego.[1]

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Escape

I got out for a couple of hours today sans baby. I fed him, laid him down to sleep, and then went to meet a friend for brunch and to get a pedicure. Brunch was delicious, but a bit painful to sit on those hard chairs, even with my down jacket as a cushion. I was antsy during the pedicure because I knew he was probably waking up and screaming for food. I kept checking my phone to see if Martin had texted me to rush home, but he hadn’t. He was awake when I got back, and making that little fish face that means he knows there’s a nipple nearby.

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Day 10

Although the last night in the hospital and first night home were pretty hellish, we’re miraculously getting a good amount of sleep right now. Last night, Shea slept SEVEN hours straight. I finally woke him up to feed him at 3:30 a.m., then played with him, fed him again and put him back to sleep from 5 to 8 a.m. We’ve been going on walks every day either with the Mobi Wrap or the stroller, and today I was so tired after our walk that I handed him over to Martin and went to sleep for a couple more hours. I woke up to find Martin and the baby sound asleep on the couch together, so the house is very quiet right now.

Breastfeeding has been challenging. At first it was excruciating, so I started using a nipple shield (piece of plastic with holes in it) and that worked well, but people kept telling me that I had to wean myself off of it eventually (WHY, I want to know?!) I did three feedings without it a couple days ago, and was in too much pain to continue after that. Then last night and today I did FIVE more feedings without it before I reverted to the shield. I’m proud of that. And he feeds for a much shorter time without it, so I think he’s getting a lot more milk that way.

I’m enjoying my new sheltered life. I read or watch TV while breast feeding. We’ve watched the entire third and fourth seasons of The Office and the last two episodes of Dexter and are working our way through Season Four of The Wire and are about to begin Season One of Weeds. I tried to watch Superbad and had to turn it off after ten minutes. My rating of that movie is—super bad. I laughed because after I gave it a one-star rating on Netflix, it said, “Based on your recommendation of Superbad, we would like to suggest the following movies:” and they were all old French films I’ve seen before. Ha. I’m reading Annie Lamott’s Operating Instructions as well as Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby on the Block. Maybe I’ll read a non-baby related book next—or maybe not.

It’s so nice not to have goals, particularly writing goals. It’s nice not to stress about anything but how to get enough sleep, although I do set very small goals for myself each day like, “Balance checkbook” or “File Blue Cross claim,” but I don’t worry if I don’t do them. One goal I DON’T plan to set for several more weeks is a weight-loss goal. Right now I’m weighing myself out of curiosity to see if it’s true that breast feeding “makes the pounds melt off.” I gained 48 pounds total (gulp), lost 10 with the birth and another seven since then. Still have 31 to go!

I haven’t noticed any changes in Shea yet, not in size or temperament, except that for a couple of nights he wouldn’t sleep unless I was holding him, and now he goes down for hours in his Moses basket, which lies next to me on the bed. The key was swaddling him extra tightly so he couldn’t wiggle his arms out and upset himself. I am a huge advocate of Harvey Karp’s Five S’s.

I’m ready for Christmas! Our tree has dozens of presents under it—both for other people and for us. We have lights up and candy made and, although I haven’t dug up my Christmas music yet, we’ve been listening to a lot of Chopin. My music is so disorganized because I removed it all from my computer at one point to free up space and now I CAN’T REMEMBER where I put it. Ugh. It’s on one of my external hard drives, or my computer that’s broken , or one of Martin’s many computers. Someday I hope to find it and put it all in one place.

I’m babbling now, so I’ll stop. The weather has been beautiful, by the way, and Martin gave me a fancy SLR as an early Christmas present, so I’ll have to start posting pictures of our walks.

Oh, and one more thing! I forgot to mention in my Birth Story post that my first thought after delivering the baby was, “I will NEVER EVER do that again. I am getting an epidural next time.” It really is pretty masochistic to have a baby without drugs. And yet everything went so smoothly, so perfectly, that yes, now that I’ve had ten days to forget how bad the pain was, I would do it naturally again. The second time is supposed to be easier anyway.

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Birth Story

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After three false starts (the last on the night of Tuesday, Dec. 11), I went to the hospital at 1:30 Wednesday for my NST (non-stress test) and ultrasound. The NST was fine, but the ultrasound revealed that my amniotic fluid was low. I was told to walk over to Labor and Delivery and get induced right then and there. I had purposely left my bags a home in case that happened, so I headed down to tell them that I had an acupuncture appointment at 4 p.m., and that I wanted to try that first. On my way down, I ran into a guy from my birth class. His wife was the only one beside me who hadn’t yet delivered. She was due three days before me, and I’d run into them at a previous NST. He told me his wife had eaten a castor oil omelet at 4 p.m. the previous day and gone straight into labor. Six hours later, she’d delivered a baby girl. I went to L&D and told them I wanted to go to my acupuncture appointment and asked the doctor on call (it was my OBs day off) about the castor oil omelet. She said it would give me cramps and make me sick, and that it wasn’t safe because my fluid wouldn’t be monitored at home. Continue reading

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Welcome to the World

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Shea Tymon was born at 11:53 p.m. on 12/12/07 after I narrowly avoided induction by eating a castor oil omelet and getting stuck with (acupuncture) needles. He arrived at 8 lbs 4 oz and 21 inches long with a head of circumference 14.5 inches—and that last detail was all that really mattered. I’m full of stitches and not walking well, but he’s doing great—eating and sleeping all day. I’ll post more details soon.

Photo courtesy of Witort Photography

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Showtime!

So, finally in labor, I think. Contractions woke me up at 2:30 and have been painful ever since. Feels kind of like when you have food poisoning, and you get those awful cramps. And this is just the beginning. Fun morning to look forward to! I can’t get this one Fleetwood Mac song out of my head (after hearing Landslide at the concert Monday night), so I got up to download it from iTunes and put it on my iPod. I love Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits. I remember the first time I heard it. My friend Jennifer and I played it on a cassette tape in one of those old-fashioned tape recorders and put it in my bedroom window so we could hear it while we were playing basketball down in the driveway. Contraction coming—about 6.5 minutes apart right now. Will try to wait a couple more hours before I call my doula. Will see how long I last. The Fleetwood Mac song I love, by the way, is Never Going Back Again. I used to beg my old roommate to play it on guitar for me. I see now, though, that it’s on Rumors, not Greatest Hits.

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Waiting

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I had another OB appointment yesterday, and she said I can go one more week, then would have to be induced next Tuesday. But I don’t think I’m going to last that long. I’ve been having a lot of contractions since last night. And yet this happened last Thursday night, too, and then they stopped by Friday morning, so who knows. They were fairly consistent and close together at 6 a.m. this morning—about every ten minutes— (I didn’t sleep much last night because I went to bed late and was woken up early by the contractions), but then I gave up timing then and went back to sleep. I’m still tired—Martin and I went to the city last night to see two friends play in bands and didn’t get home until after midnight—but today I plan to take a walk, a bath, a nap if possible, make some more candy (my second and third batches were successful!) and see how it goes from there.

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