Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Midwife Appointment

I had an appointment with my midwife today. Not much to report. We were able to process our Mexico-trauma with her, which was nice. We discussed referrals for chiropractic, recommendations for supplements, and the pros/cons of circumcision (wow). But I did learn today about a major difference between midwifery care and doctor care. When I asked the midwife about whether we should be having sex, her answer was somewhere along the lines of, "Well, it's up to you. It could cause more bleeding, but gentle sex is likely ok. But really, make a choice regarding what feels right for you." And more info about what feels comfortable and safe for me. Now, if I'd asked my previous doctor, do you know what she would have said? No. One of the problems I had with that doctor was her overly cautious, shut-the-door to ambivalence approach to medicine. But now I find that here I am maybe just wishing the midwife would have done the same thing and said a clear-cut-NO.

Is this me? Am I completely dissatisfied with whatever type of treatment I receive? Am I trying out medical practitioners like a grown-up Goldilocks? But then I realized, no, I think this is just my fear talking. I think I wanted a black and white answer so as to not leave things up to me to decide. I wanted her to tell me that I am "better" or that I am "Not better." But the truth is, who knows?? So either, have sex or not. It's up to me.

In regards to other questions, I liked her flexible approach. For example, then I asked her the oh-so-important-question that is spoken about on Forums as if it is the most important thing in the world: "Should I be laying on my back? Ha. And here I liked her ambivalent answer. Basically, "It's up to you and what you feel comfortable with. Some women can sleep on their backs the whole pregnancy. Some can't. Your body will tell you if you are going numb from lack of blood supply. You'll wake up and roll over." Now, that...I agree with. So, when there's less fear involved, I guess I'm okay with a bit of flexibility.

What else? Oh. Well, I got lectured a bit about my Food Diary. Part of standard treatment is to track a week's worth of food and water intake. I was feeling pretty good about mine...drinking a ton of water (50-90oz a day) and eating no processed foods. But then she kept saying I could drink more water and lectured me about my pasta intake. Ooops. Yes, I eat way too much pasta. My dad is Italian, what do you want? B. pointed out that pasta is technically a processed food. Really? Even when I cover it with homemade marinara sauce?? *sigh* She said that I could continue to eat this way, but that it could lead to higher weight gain and a bigger baby. Damn. Why do I feel like I need to go back on WW? (In case you're curious, I've gained about a total of 10 lbs so far...not so bad, right?)

And then....my favorite part of the exam. Aka, the part where she plays with my belly. My fundal height measured at 22.5, which I will be 22 weeks Thursday, so that's within the range of normal. Then she asked where I'd been feeling him move and I showed her. She felt around and showed me that his head is low down on the left side and his feet are up high on the right (where I feel him move). How cool. Like she was showing me my baby through my skin. Wow. And....heartbeat time. So freaking amazing. I laid there with my hand behind my head, looking down at B.'s face and listening to our baby's heart beating. I'm in love.

P.S. We bought the Bugaboo! I officially own a stroller!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dr. Mom

”Are you a mother?”

This is a question my clients have been asking me for years. It always has a different motive. Sometimes pure curiosity, sometimes malice, sometimes scorn, sometimes surprise, and sometimes just a little kid who is struck by the fact that oh-my-gosh, my therapist might be someone’s mom. As a therapist, it’s my job to try to discern the reasons behind the question before answering. Early in graduate school they train you with a simplistic response that bases on never disclose ANYTHING personal, so you are left floundering with awkward responses such as , “Oh, um, funny you should ask…um, so, do you like ice cream?” or the robotic-devoid-of-emotion-response ”I am not permitted to disclose information of a personal nature.” As you progress in your career, you realize the better idea is to try to understand why the person is asking, and then respond to that question instead. However, with little skill, you then end up sounded like a cross between Freud and Sherlock Holmes. ”Funny you should ask that. Can you tell me WHAT exactly it would mean to you if I WERE a mother? And the poor client looks dumbfounded and stares at you.

Now that I’m farther along in my career and have learned how to appropriately integrate parts of myself while still maintaining my identity as a psychologist, I usually just say something like, ”Nope. Why do you ask?” And that starts an interesting conversation.

The point is, as psychologists, we are trained to be blank slates for a reason. I’m not going to go into the many reasons and theories behind this because I promised myself this will not be a therapy blog*, but let’s just leave it at, most good therapists will spend a lot less time talking about themselves and a lot more time talking about you. If we do bring ourselves into the equation it should be for a good reason that we have thought through carefully.

BUT. Some things you cannot hide. Like your gender. The color of your skin. Your age. A wedding ring. And…..your prominent stomach that screams…”I AM GOING TO BE A MOMMY!” Now, this is weird. A round belly is a very personal thing and allows the families I work with to project all sorts of thoughts onto me. Such as, “Be Careful With Her – She’s Expecting,” “She Must Be Maternal and Caring,” or “Well NOW She Gets What I’m Going Through, “ etc, etc, etc.

So what is my point here? My point is, my pregnancy has become intertwined with my job in an interesting way. My clients and their parents now know something about me (and may think they know a LOT about me) that I maybe would not have normally shared so openly. In fact, we need to have sessions about it (“What Will Happen When Your Therapist Leaves You for Six Months To Take Care of Her Own Child?”) and process what it means. It brings up issues of mothers’ own pregnancies – either successful or tragic. It brings up confusion and a little discomfort for the children. Basically, it’s weird.

Speaking of weird, everyone knows about oddly personal comments that pregnant woman receive, with everyone and their grandmother telling you what to do or think. Well, I can tell you it's doubly weird when it's coming from my clients. I've had comments about "how wide my hips are" or that I should "eat more" because my belly is too small or whether I want to go back to work and if so, who will take care of my baby. It's very bizarre to have people analyzing my body and health when I am supposed to be the one giving them advice from a professional distance.

To make it even more complex, the majority of my clients are monolingual, Latino immigrants. Family is a big deal in traditional Latino culture. I even studied it - familismo- in my dissertation. My clients have been known to bring me gifts (another grad school face value no-no) that have important cultural meaning to them. Now I’m worried they will start bringing gifts for my baby. What do you do with that?

So, to bring me back to my point…I am realizing that this shift from non-mother to mother is not just a private shift for me. I am being observed. And I need to figure out how to integrate this part of me into who I am publicly at work. The responses I have gotten from families have been like a mirror for me. I see the reflected images and think, oh, yes, this too is part of motherhood. It is something that male therapists will never (have to?) experience. Something unique to being a woman in this professional role. I imagine there are other roles (teachers? social workers? doctors?) who experience something similar to this. I mean, imagine being a pregnant OB!!

But really, we’re just women. We’ll be “just mothers.” No matter how much people want to put us on a pedestal or examine us. Just like every other idea my clients have had about me, I need to remember that their ideas come from them, not from my reality. In the meantime, I will have to keep going through this very public metamorphosis while still trying to provide really good care for my patients. And, at the same time, allowing myself time to figure out what it means to me.

”Are you a mother?


*I really try to keep my job out of this blog. I know there are psychologists out there who blog about their careers, their professional values, or even (ugh!) their clients, but I want this blog to just be about me. So, since part of ME is my profession, it will seep in occasionally. I just want you readers to know, that when I make comments about something related to child psychology, I am NOT recommending anything, I am just talking in my totally non-professional capacity. Also, when I make comments about how I want to raise my kids, I am not talking based off of years of training and education, but just what feels right to me. As a person. As a mother.

Baby Materialism

Well, we did it. We plunged. Even the name of the store - Buy, Buy, Baby - implies spending a lot of money to feel better about the way you are raising your child. A bit bizarre. But, we did it anyhow. We let our GPS lead us South to a the giant department store that looks just like Toys R Us but seems to somehow carry the more expensive version of everything Toys R Us carries. Strollers? Yep. Cribs? Yep. And everything else you didn't know you needed and now feel panicked about not having.

Why did we dot this? Well, remember I told you about our friends with the $1200 stroller? It's a Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Special Edition something, something, something. And somehow they have two. Yes, two (it's a long story). And they want to sell one for "cheap." As in, cheaper than you would normally spend on a Bugaboo but more than any normal person would spend on a stroller. So, what do you think we did? We considered it.

Of course, if B. had his way, he would have just said, "Hey great, a stroller! And it does nifty things! And it's top of the line and it gets good reviews AND I like it! Let's get this one!" And we could have skipped the Buy, Buy, Baby extravaganza. But, me being me, I said, "No, we need to consider every single other stroller option before we settle for this ridiculously expensive option."

We looked at strollers for hours today. It felt more stressful than being a car. I realized (well, actually I already knew this) that I am not good at gadgetry or pressing this fancy button or origamiing this object into a folded position. And I realized, I like the damn Bugaboo stroller.

But then all of my guilt about privilege and luxury and wasting money just leapt up at me. How in the hell can you buy a stroller that would pay someone's rent for a month??? Well, ok, not in Los Angeles, but maybe in like, North Dakota. But, I argued with myself, We're getting such a good deal because it's so much cheaper than buying it retail! Yeah right. It's still more than most people spend on their strollers. My eyes kept going to the small little umbrella strollers that my clients buy and thinking, So what makes me better than that?

You can see the lunacy here. B. was fed up with me. He kept arguing logically about the merits of the stroller and the fact that we've worked our asses off to get where we are and so if we want to get our a baby a nice stroller, we can. Why oh why can't I have his decisiveness? With a side of guilt-free confidence?

So, what did we do? Well, nothing so far. But I still really like the Bugaboo stroller.

Instead, we bought a couple of things because I was caught up in the moment of consumerism and just wanted to buy something. So we bought these:

Which is actually really exciting because these two articles of clothing are the first things I have bought for our baby. As in, actually walked into a store and shopped for my son. Of course, I HAD to buy overalls. Who wouldn't?

Oh, and we bought this Teddy Bear. But mostly so he could wear these little t-shirt we bought in Mexico at the airport. A really random, last minute purchase after our crazy, crazy adventure.

Oh, and while we're on the subject of purchases, I guess I'm going to sneak this little review in here. Right around 18 weeks I started to get really uncomfortable sleeping. I was surprised, because I didn't expect that to happen until much later. But suddenly, but body just seemed to have changed just enough that my typical sleep positioning (which is, by the way, on my side) didn't feel comfortable anymore. My stomach ached, my hips hurt, my chest felt like it was collapsing, and I just was...well, uncomfortable. So, I did some research and decided to buy a pregnancy pillow. I think if you read on forums and what not, people recommend the Snoogie. But I was sure that I wanted a pillow that went down both sides, was soft, and cozy. After reading comparison reviews, I got this one:

It's called the Comfort U Pillow (how cheesy) and I am in love. B. and I call it the Giant White Vagina and I crawl into every night as if I"m returning to the womb. It's pure heaven. But please, don't buy it unless you have an enormous king size bed to accommodate it. It takes up as much space as another person in the bed. Sometimes I reach for B's hand and can't even find him from the other side of the pillow mountain. But that's ok. "Cus I'm comfortable again.

So there you have it. A random post about Buying Things. But really, just an excuse to pour out my guilt about the fact that we may be succumbing to stereotypes of upper-middle-class-suburban-parents to buy a Bugaboo stroller. For real? Is this me??

No, it's not me....it's Kourtney Kardashian.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Sense of Place

Lately, with everything that has been going on (I could insert a list again here, but I’ll spare you my moaning), both B. and I have been feeling the urge to escape. Now, this may seem ironic, as the last time we “escaped” away to Mexico, the results were not what we had intended. But no, this Escape we’re planning is much larger and more dramatic.

We live in LA.

This is LA.

Now granted, those of you who are LA-savvy and read my blog closely may have picked up on the fact that I live on the Westside. The Westside of Los Angeles is a bit different than urban-smog-land. We live in Venice, a few blocks from the artsy-hipster-land of Abbott Kinney Blvd, ¼ of a mile from the beach, and a few steps away from this:

But regardless of the fact that those of us who are lucky enough to live on the Westside feel somehow “removed from LA,” the truth is, it’s still a huge city with too many people and too many problems. Now I know that living in this city has had nothing to do with the stressors we’ve had so far (unless you count traffic killing our cat?), but the thing is, that living here makes it seem like you are already functioning on a higher level of stress as your homeostasis.

Things are just harder in the city. The noise. The helicopters circling our house at night. The 30-60 minute commute for ten miles of distance (where I end up in downtown LA – the heart of it all). The people. And just the fact that everyone is exponentially harder here. For example: You decide to run to the grocery store to grab something for dinner. You fight with traffic, people cutting you off and then yelling at you about it, you search desperately for a parking spot (good luck), you wait in lines and then pay too much for your food, and then on the way home you realize you should fill up your gas tank before the drive to work tomorrow, but you can’t find a gas station without long lines that is easy to pull into from the busy road so you just say ‘fuck it’ and go back home.

Now, I’m not saying there aren’t great things about living here. There are. There really are. But this post isn’t about the restaurants, the culture, the weather or the beaches. It is about the fact that we are used to moving at a faster pace with a higher level of tension at all times, just due to the sheer proximity to too many other people. Some people may be used to this. Some people may thrive off of it. But, as someone who grew up in Montana, sometimes it just seems like too much.

And so B. and I dream. We dream about the perfect place where we can Have It All. We know going home to Montana isn’t the solution. Those lazy days and beautiful dirt roads are also filled with boredom, unemployment, and dreary, dreary weather. Oh, and a lot of really conservative people. Right now our dream Escape location is to northern California. Specifically, wine country. Sonoma-ish.

We dream about owning 10-20 acres (I need land!) where I can have my horses, our dogs can roam free, and we can see the stars. At the same time, being close enough to civilization that we can have a gourmet dinner, enjoy local wines, or jet down to San Francisco for the weekend. Hey, we’re dreaming, right??

The problem is, how do you finance that dream? So we’re here. Working really hard. Stressfully experiencing LA and all the good/bad it has to offer. It’s just that….lately, we want to put everything in the car and run away to somewhere slower and gentler.

What do you guys think? Is “Place” important? Or should you develop our own internal sense of place wherever you live? Do you find yourselves dreaming as a solution to life problems? Do you have an “ideal place” in mind?

p.s. I will bake Virtual Cookies for anyone who can give me a rational, believable excuse that will me feel better about procrastinating at work to write this blog post when I am desperately behind. There must be some kind of neurochemical reason why pregnant women are helpless to procrastination….right???

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Afraid to Wear a Dress

What happened to us in Mexico was traumatic. I am trying to move past it. I’m trying to not let it affect the way I see the rest of this pregnancy. And I am moving past it. I have humor now about some of the more inane parts. I have appreciation for the health that I have and the knowledge that I will probably come out of this just fine with a healthy, healthy baby.


But I still feel stuck in a no-mans-land of fear. I realized that when I talked to my friend who is 37 weeks. I realized when I was struck by jealousy by the fact that she was at the other end of the pregnancy and ready to have her baby. I find myself hating being at 20 weeks where my baby is a real baby to me but not a baby who can live on his own. I find myself calculating how long until I get to random numbers that sound safer to me….24, 30, 36. I find myself wanting to fastforward. And that makes me sad. Because, damnit, I don’t want to rush this pregnancy. I want to enjoy it.

I think that in order to do that, I need to let go of the fear of it happening again. I know it could happen again. I was told it may happen again. But, honestly, it could happen to any of us. I can’t live with the fear of waiting for when it will happen again. And I can’t enjoy the pregnancy if every time I go to the bathroom I am terrified.

I realized the absurdity of it when I was getting dressed for work this week. I have bought all of these cute maternity dresses and trendy little blazers to dress them up for work and guess what? I’m too scared to wear them. Scared to wear a dress? Yes. Because what happens if I start to bleed when I am wearing one of those pretty dresses? Irrational? Yes. Depressing? Yes.

And so, I need to try to stop being afraid. Not sure how, but I think B. is right. I can’t keep it up like this. It’s not fair to my baby, it’s not fair to B., and it’s not fair to me. I am pregnant and I want to enjoy it. And I will risk wearing those dresses and I will enjoy that too.

Let me leave you with another normal-pregnancy-moment, since I said I wanted to post more of that (and less of my dramatic monologues). I haven’t posted about movement. I expected that the first time I felt the baby move it would be one of those Hollywood moments full of shock and amazement. But instead, it’s been a lot of flutters, bubbles and… “Was that baby or my dinner gurgling??” Lately it’s been more and more 100% baby. Little delicate kicks that are definitely kicks. Even B. has felt a few. Exciting? Yes. Hollywood moment? Not yet.

But then, today, laying in bed for a midday nap, he kicked me. Four times. He kicked me. And I don’t mean, I felt little kicks. I mean, he kicked me so hard I caught my breath. And it was amazing.

Friday, June 14, 2013

20 and 20

Yesterday I hit 20 weeks. For some reason 20 weeks has always seemed like a big deal to me. I know most people focus on 24, but 20 has been stuck in my head as the big number. And now, here I am. 20 weeks in, 20 to go. Halfway there. It made me smile. And thus, this post is going to be a totally-normal-pregnancy post in which I give you some updates about what it's like to be totally-boring-normal pregnant. Ready? Great.

As previously stated, I am not sick anymore! That kind of got lost in the drama of...everything else. But not only am I not sick, but I wake up every morning feeling refreshed and ready for my day. I have enough energy to do my work and come home and make dinner. I am a human being again. I also have a cute little bump that I love. I know it's still small, but it's there and I love rubbing it like I'm a not-so-zen Buddha. I am for sure feeling Baby kick now. No more flutters, I am getting little teeny-tiny kicks. B. can feel them too. I don't even need my hands pushed on my belly to feel it, when B. has his hands there I can feel the Baby kicking him. It makes me jump a little. Love this too.

I'm also refocusing on eating healthy. Part of my job with the midwives is to track a week's worth of what I'm eating. I decided to try to do better and just use my old WW App to track what I'm eating all the time (we'll see how long that lasts). That way I can track whether I'm getting in enough dairy, fruits, veggies, water, and protein. The midwives are BIG on protein. This morning I had a typical WW breakfast: Greek yogurt with chopped strawberries. And then I realized...Wow, that's not enough breakfast for a pregnant woman...and so I also helped myself to a toasted English Muffin with huge dollops of peanut butter. Good start. Wish me luck for the rest of the day/week.

I also met with with some other pregnant people yesterday. First, I was lucky enough to have lunch with Lorna from LaLaDiaries. Let me tell you guys, she is sweet and cute and a great conversationalist. Also, (bonus!) pregnant. Ha. I don't have any pregnant friends so that was really nice. Thanks, Lorna, for having lunch with me! Also, did I mention I love your accent?

Then I went to a BBQ at my husband's work and spent most of the time speaking with (*gasp*) another pregnant woman! She is 37 weeks and adorably ready to pop. She kept saying "2-3 more weeks to go" and I kept thinking how jealous I was that she could go at any time and baby would be just fine. This girl impressed the hell out of me with how relaxed and easy she has been with her pregnancy. First of all, physically she has had NO problems with her pregnancy...never even threw up once. Secondly, she is SO damn relaxed about everything pregnancy-related. I mentioned the GD test and she said, "Oh, I didn't do that...I just know I don't have it." This was the theme of her general approach to pregnancy. Wow. Did I mention she's delivering with the same midwives as me. Would I have been like that if I'd started with them since Day 1?

Next, she and her husband took B. and I down to look at their nursery. I was instantly overwhelmed. The diapers alone (of course she's doing cloth diapering) overwhelmed me and scared the shit out of me. Not to mention the amount of research she has put into each item she's bought. And the amount of THINGS they have. I mean, they don't have that much stuff compared to most people (picture teeny tiny nursery), but I don't have ANYTHING, so it seemed like a lot. We also saw their completely-organic diapers, organic bedding, organic mattress and, oh, did I mention their $1200 Stroller? Again, I was overwhelmed. It made me want to go out and start buying things right now.

Finally, the evening ended with all of us standing around discussing The Episode in Mexico. My husband and her husband were joking around the whole time about the incident and it was the first time we joked about the craziness of it all. It was good, because while they acknowledged the horror of it all, we could step back and laugh at some of the funnier moments (such as my boobs hanging out the hospital gown unbeknownst to me while I spoke earnestly to the doctor).

So yep, here I am, halfway there, happily pregnant and hoping to stay that way. Going to enjoy this.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Good News!!

I’m not going to drag this post out for you and make you wait because I know how absolutely terrible the waiting is. So I’ll just tell you…..BABY BOY IS FINE!!

We had an ultrasound with the perinatologist today and he said everything is completely fine. And yes, I know that sounds crazy considering how traumatic our experience was, but he showed us that the placenta is still fully attached, not bleeding, and there are no tears or blood clots. The placenta is now classified as partial previa, but he didn’t even think that was the cause of bleeding. Basically, he said that there is a surprising number of women who have unexplained uterine bleeding during pregnancy and that as long as it isn’t coming from the placenta, it is not dangerous to the baby at all. It could be dangerous to me and result in a need for blood transfusions, but that seems like something I can control.

He prescribed no restriction of activities, no change in anything and encouraged me to exercise. He said if I have more bleeding that I need to come in just to check my blood levels and make sure all is ok. It literally sounds too good to be true. BUT…the baby was great, heartbeat is great, and all is better than I could have ever expected.

Soooo now what? Now I try to go back to “normal.” B. told me that the last six days I have been “gone” and not the wife he knows. While that makes sense, I am ready to get back to being me. What’s more, I am ready to start posting on my blog – normal, boring posts. Posts like – ”Hey, today the baby kicked my stomach and I jumped in surprise” or ”Today I bought a ridiculously expensive mobile/toychest/rockinghorse on Etsy!” No more posts about bleeding, vomiting, gender surprises or any other dramatic reveals. I would like the rest of this pregnancy to be calm and boring. Pretty, pretty please.

And, in light of that, I’d like to share something that I haven’t been able to fully embrace or appreciate yet because I have either been in Mexico-heaven or trauma-land. And that is….I am finally enjoying being pregnant! I am loving my little bump, I am not feeling sick, and I am just feeling…happily pregnant. So there. That is where I would like to stay from now on. Happily-pregnant-land.

I will leave you with this. If you look close, you can see he is smiling.

Oh, and I really want to thank you all for your comments on both my post and my husband's (how sweet is his post??). I felt so supported and it is just amazing how helpful it can be to receive your support from all around the world. I adore you guys.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Beyond Belief

This post was written by my husband. It is a follow up to my post about what happened Tuesday night. He wrote it in real time, as everything was happening. He said it helped him to stay calm. I think it's amazingly written because it captures the confusion and emotion of the experience (not to mention a little bit of the bizarre hilarity of certain moments). I inserted a few of my own comments at times in italics, but tried to keep those to a minimum.

I can't talk to you, you are in the hospital in Zihuatanejo, I'm just a few feet outside the door in the waiting room. I want to hold you, sit next to you but I can't. Though they just let me in to calm you down which was wonderful.

I thought writing all this down so we don't forget would be an interesting way to pass the time. It's 2:08am as I start writing.

I woke up tonight to you calling my name in fear. Then I saw the blood, everything just started ... occurring, with such complete disregard to our wishes and dreams that it has me sitting here, in shock, in a waiting room with sleeping and worried people from Zihua. There are so many of them it is shocking.

Part of me wants to listen to them talking about why they are here, but I am too busy rehearsing in my mind the things I may need to say to someone if the need arises.

We sat there watching the blood, in disbelief, at first it was just dripping out of you so fast. "Trying to hold your hopes and dreams in with a piece of toilet paper" seems so incredibly appropriate. Then, for just an instant the bleeding seemed to almost stop, and .... Hope. And then suddenly, more, darker, redder, more terrifying blood. It had something else in it, placenta? Ooze, mucus, I don't even know. You were being VERY brave, staying calm (I definitely didn’t feel calm OR brave) and asked me to get the phone it was time to call the midwives, which leads me into a tangent.

THANK FUCKING GOD for us switching care when we did, we only spoke to them briefly so far, but I know they are going to be there for us through all of this, I am so thankful for (I never caught her name). I am so glad I got my call through to speak with her again. It's the only thing that calmed you for the IV (and self-administered butt suppository, which reminds me we will be washing your hands first thing tomorrow!).

Then we heard the dreaded word from her - "miscarriage" followed by "ER." Did I mention we're in Mexico? I grab cash, passports, cellphones and call the front desk to get us a cab. You actually asked me "what am I going to wear???" Then in a surreal haze of continuing disbelief we go up the stairs to the street. Juan? Called us a taxi and told them it was an emergency. Within minutes we hear it screeching corners, screaming towards us on its terrible shocks and awful brakes. 7 minutes later we pull up to the ER and there are 50 people standing or lying around. Something awful happened to another family tonight, I don't know what.

We walk in, no one at the booth and a security guard suggests we knock on the other door. And a little nurse is standing there and she takes you from me. Then, mortal terror. Helpless, useless, worthless me left to do nothing but stand by the brown, overfull trashcan, everyone is staring at me. 20 Mexicans, all looking at the fat gringo guy staring into space in the corner by the garbage can. (Writing this is surprisingly difficult). Mind racing, wonder what is happening, are they checking your blood? Weighing you? WHAT IS HAPPENING. Then the door opens and you smiling, shaking and an ultrasound machine. Blue jelly on your tummy and then. Our baby, heart beating strong, squirming, wiggling, ALIVE. Lots of Spanish I couldn't follow, there was no headrest so I was holding your head in my hand. Then she mimes a scissoring motion and after wiping her gloved hand through the lubrication on your tummy, she slides her fingers up to your CLEAR discomfort. More blood, lots more, placenta sliding down, was it from the walk?? Who cares, is the baby ok?? Why so much blood?? No answers until "he says I’ll be staying overnight, maybe even a couple days." My first thought was, Kirk and Mary will be so worried. Odd, but they will. So will everyone at Amuleto I think?

Then I get told to go buy you adult diapers from somewhere. It's 1am in Zihuatanejo and my Spanish is awful at best, but...ok, where can I get them! This was an important moment because I was doing something to help. Not just useless, I had a job to do. Then I take all your things, even your phone???? But how can I talk to you while I'm away, what if something happens?? I just do as I am told and then realize I've lost MY phone, and I struggle to care, we still have yours.

Walking to pharmacy and the taxi driver is waiting!! My phone IS there in his backseat. I am able to tell him what is happening and he understands everything I'm saying? Maybe I'm not so horrible after all. Down the street is a Mexican pharmacy which is literally a garage, but I talk to the nice lady who works there and tell her what's happening. She smiles when I say "Miramos nuestra bebe y todo esta bien, el corazon es muy fuerte."

Then she said "todo esta bien, es una aventura y no tengo bolsas." So I carried the adult diapers and what not back to you. I try to call the midwife but cant get through. I get inside and you moved, nothing but a bloodstained sheet where I left you. Momentary panic, then I see you across the room. I can't stay with you, I can't even come to you, so I tell you hurriedly I love you, I’ll be right outside and I’ll keep trying the midwife. Then I sit and read the signs on the wall and begin to process what is happening.

Your placenta dropped and is blocking the cervix, does that mean c-section? Does that mean hospital birth after all? I try to call the midwife back and get through this time! When I explain she sounds SO relieved.

Does this place have a bathroom? Oh, yes it's over there. I check the clock in the clerks room, it stopped at 11:34:23. Glad I have a phone. Fucking Mexico.

Staring at the wall, practicing my Spanish, rehearsing in my head what to say. She's calling me in to see you!! Oh, you're too tense to take the IV I have to calm you down. I feel like an idiot standing across the room trying to comfort you with words. The other nurses are all sleeping on the unoccupied beds and snoring while I try to bring your heart rate and blood pressure down with words. Blood stains still on the ultrasound table? Blood on your gown? I suppose sleeping is more important for them than keeping the room clean (Yes, they medical staff did a lot of sleeping). Trying hard not to be a judgmental American prick. As I look around I realize, you are in a neonatal ICU, my hope goes up.

She makes you insert a rectal suppository yourself, then she graciously allows you to wipe your hand on the bed! (Yes, this really happened. I neglected to share it in my version of the story.)

You need the IV to slow your bleeding so I try to calm you down and we use the time to talk a bit. I tell you what the midwife said and you visibly relax, but I have to remind you to do deep breathing exercises and eventually she gets the IV in. Success! I helped twice tonight!

Sadly though, this means they shoo me back out. So here I sit, writing all this down, wishing so badly that I was lying in bed with you at Amuleto snuggling up and dreaming about our perfect little boy.

Shit it's hot back where you are, way cooler in the waiting room it seems.

Another family arrived with a little girl, the kids here are SO adorable it's crazy.

Another ambulance just arrived, bringing someone in the front doors now, how do doctors deal with so much pain and suffering. Limitless stress and tension and fear, I am at a loss. Ugh, a man covered in blood, head tied down, unconscious just came out of the ambulance. He looks like he was hit by a car. No family for him yet. The poor little girl saw him. The child in the back is screaming loudly as they bring him in. The EMTs have serious uniforms, look like spelunkers.

So many worried people here, a child screaming in pain in the hospital and the family going in and out. They all look so scared, I am worried for them. The child is wailing and making the most awful noises, have I mentioned this is awful. I hope the little kid is ok.

I'm thirsty but afraid to leave if they come looking for me. Wonder if I can explain to one of these people here to tell the nurse I’ll be right back if she comes out.... Time to see if my limited Spanish is sufficient for this conversation.

Como se dice "nurse". Doctor!

Yea... Not sure I got this. 3:27am. At least 5 more hours til the doctor comes to see you?(B. was told the doctor would come at a certain time to check on me. That never actually happened. At least he had something to make him feel better).

I wonder if we should try and get home on Friday's Alaska flight, I wonder if there is still room...

Slowing down here at El Hospital General de Zihuatanejo, everyone is mostly asleep though the snoring has picked up considerably. There is another prego girl here, she looks about 15. Wonder what she's doing...

Can't fall asleep, only have this plastic baggy to carry our passports and everything else. Rather not wake up to that all gone. I hope you are sleeping. I love you so much it hurts.

5:10am. Snoring people all around and I’m almost falling asleep but impossible to get comfy. Would pay 100 bucks for the dirty sheet and piece of cardboard the guy in the corner is under. Hoping you are healing. Another full day of this will be brutal, gonna have to sleep at some point but won't leave hospital without you. A nice local guy tried to convince me to sleep on the bench I'm sitting on but it's a no go, maybe under it tho...

Pharmacy is closed, waited too long. Crazy though, street vendors setup shop already just down the street. Just saw another super young pregnant girl. Maybe 14-16. Couple of super prime time floor spaces just opened up but I'm afraid if I crash on the floor the nurse won't see me. Might use the bathroom finally, janitor just cleaned it, though no TP, doesn't seem to bother the locals. Just noticed that there are another 30 ppl sleeping outside on lawn chairs and what not. They are just waiting in line to see a doctor. Crasaaaazy.

Took a short walk, wasn't abducted or mugged. Everyone I saw looked tired too. Oh shit, the cardboard guy just have me his cardboard for FREE. Still too afraid to use it though. He missed out on a serious cash making opportunity. Was considering paying him to just STOP snoring, especially as though he were sleeping on a down comforter on a pillow top mattress. At least have the decency to sit here and be miserable like a man. Going on 6am. Left Amuleto at midnight. This nightmare coaster just keeps on Rollin.

Mexicans flock to emergency health care like white people to the apple store on iPhone release day. Steve jobs and Dr. Bernardo Sepulveda y Gutierrez seem to know how to create a product that everyone wants.

Floor mopping shit is pungent taking a brief respite from my vigilance, be back shortly.

6:03am. Wondering if the doctor is an early riser. What does a night in this place cost I wonder?

Whaaaaaat?! A truck pulled up, dude shouts something and a few people rush out and come back with TP! The toilet paper man came and I fuckin missed it...

Just hallucinated a local girl into you. Hope you are sleeping (nope) and healing. I love you SO much.

7am, birds chirping like crazy outside. World waking up. I am a anxious to see you. The place next door just filled up instantly with like 100 people. Not sure what it is, they have been sleeping for their place in line for hours. It seems like a medical place.

Still haven't slept more than a minute or two. Tired, but went on an adventure and bought some water and toilet paper! Whew, I watched the lady bleach that restroom 1.5 hours ago and it still smells like a rat died in there. (I literally looked for a dead rat, it's that bad).

People keep knocking on the door to that room and no answer. Just got asked for some contact info. They said the doctor will be here between 9-10 to speak with us again (this never happened), but that he has to see all the patients. Couple more hours, maybe we can go back to Amuleto! Nervous again, talking to them made me worse for some reason. And I'm so frazzled I couldn't even dictate my phone number.

Tiredness is fading, getting sick to stomach now. Worried about you, you're all alone with your thoughts. 7:32 am, I hope they are talking to you. (No one was talking to me.) This place got super busy in the last 30 minutes. Some people have been here since last night just waiting to see a doctor.

Wow, Juan came and asked if I could see you and they let me in to you!!!

Baby being born in the room next door, they kept sending her out to walk around more! You're almost finished bleeding its 8:30am. Lucio came as well, I was almost in tears speaking to him, how amazingly kind of them to come to check on us.

Just got kicked back outside, this place is a zoo now. 8:40am. Seeing you and talking to you made all the difference in the world. I am so worried for you and so sorry you were alone all night. Most of the people who were here all night have a new family member with them and are smiling and happy!

I have to say, this had an adverse effect on me, today I am not uncomfortable being the only American in sight.

Heeeeeeey. The baby!!!!!! It's so little and quiet.

One girl is crying uncontrollably (she's not happy about something, maybe she learned about the poor girl in the bed next to you). Literally multiple families sobbing tears of joy and tears of grief and then hugging each other. This emotional roller coaster just went off the tracks, I am gonna just fall apart soon. Hope we can leave, I hope everything is ok. Almost 9am. I love you.

Uhm. Side note, reading over a guys shoulder in a newspaper and there is AWFUL picture of a woman who was murdered. They don't filter out the stuff not safe for kids apparently. Aaaand I just coughed all over his head, sweet.

Wow, it's 9:11am, a woman has been here since 3am needing to see the neonatal doctor, she JUST got called back. We must have just caught him last night, this must mean he's here! Doctors came and went randomly all night). When was the last time you drank water? (Who knows?) Tick tock where's the doc.

9:37 got you more water but that dude closes the door so fast I can't give it to him. (This hospital didn’t give water to patients. Family members had to provide it). Doctor must be with the girl who just gave birth!

Guy who came in last night just left again, on stretcher but he was alive! 9:52 trying to tell myself it's just Mexico and nothing is wrong.

Bibi just brought me chilaquiles, fruit, coffee and oj. She's just sitting here with me. I'm trying not to cry. Now she's seeing how much we owe. I am pretty much in shock by the care they are giving to us. Remind me to write a glowing review novel on trip advisor and send them all gifts and baby pictures.

Looks like you're staying longer, at least til 2pm. Bibi is talking to everyone for us and just went in to talk with you. Apparently there are better places for you to be but they are full. They may move you, she said the entire cost is gong to be like 200 pesos, 20 dollars. In LA I would expect a 3000 bill by now.

So now we wait longer, everything is under control but they just want to monitor you longer, you're ok, the baby is ok, we're just being cautious. The last of my overnight buddies just left.

1030 am. Bibi is still in talking with you, I hope she's making you feel better. I hope the doctor helped. (yeah right)I hope a lot of things. Coffee helped me, much more awake now.

12:09 were home.

And now it's Saturday and we are actually home, in our real home. Waiting until Monday to see what we can find out. I am trying to stay calm, but it's been really hard. Feeling confused and sad and nervous.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Warning: Please do not read this post if you have experienced a miscarriage or something similarly traumatic and feel you will be traumatized by reading about that subject matter.

Tuesday night B. and I (I am sick of writing "my husband" so now you get his first initial) decided to walk down the hill to the beach to get some dinner. It was a lovely walk and we got to explore areas we had never explored before. We wandered around the beach, had a nice dinner, and then took a taxi back up the hill. It was a great walk. The beach was tranquil, the water warm, and we hit it right as the sun was setting. Perfect. All in all I would guess we ended up walking around 3 miles.

That night, when I was laying in bed, I felt a weird movement. I have been obsessing about feeling him move this whole trip as I haven't felt anything at all. While laying in bed, I suddenly felt a strong rolling sensation right below my belly button. It hit me stronger than any other "possible movements" and felt like going over a small hill in a car - that weird, dipping feeling in your lower stomach. It happened three times. Afterwards, when trying to sleep, I was really uncomfortable and remember asking myself how I would be able to sleep when I got bigger, if I already felt so sore and cumbersome. I had trouble falling asleep and remember complaining that my "heart was racing" for some reason. Then, suddenly, I felt a small amount of warm liquid drip onto my thighs. I sighed, thinking about the indignity of being pregnant and peeing yourself in bed. But, as I got up, a thought grabbed me - what if it wasn't pee?.

I went into the bathroom, a room open to the night air coming off the ocean. I sat down thinking about how beautiful the night was. Then I looked down and saw the blood on my thighs. I screamed for B. and he was there immediately, squatting in front of me. "Okay, okay..." he was saying as we watched me repeatedly wipe away scarlet red on the toilet paper. Then, suddenly, a small waterfall of blood rushed into the toilet. It was like I was peeing blood. My brain stopped and we stared in horror and I couldn't believe this was happening. I started saying, "I don't want to see.... and he shushed me, but we both knew I was thinking about sitting alone in this hotel room in another country and seeing our baby come out early - a sight no one should ever see. The blood torrent stopped and switched to heavy clots and some stretchy mucus that looked like EWCM. I looked at B. and calmly told him to grab my phone.

While he was grabbing it, crazy thoughts went through my head - We won't be able to go on the outing we had planned for tomorrow - Why did I post those pictures of my pregnant self on Facebook? - Why did I start to tell my clients at work? - How can this be happening? He got back with the phone and I called the after-hours number for the midwives. I had to repeat my callback number three times because I wasn't sure if I was saying it correctly. I hung up and instantly the phone rang.

Me: "I'm in Mexico and I am having heavy bleeding. There was a rush of liquid blood. I don't know what to do."
Midwife: "I am so sorry, but you need to go to the hospital."
Me, irrational:"But I'm in another country!"
Midwife, calmly but with a pained tone: "I really am sorry, but this could be a miscarriage."

After she said the M-word, I don't even remember saying goodbye to her. I stood up, stuffed my underwear with toilet paper, grabbed a dress (how surreal - a beach dress on the way to the hospital) and caught a glimpse of the sheets as I was dressing. I remember thinking how awful that the maid would have to clean that up. Why is it always red on white? Meanwhile, B. had the front desk call a taxi and then Juan (the night worker) escorted us quickly up the stairs. The taxi screeched up and he rushed us to the hospital, promising we would be there in "five minutes." We sat in the car, in shock, with my hand and his on my stomach. I remember thinking irrationally that my stomach felt flatter.

There were people everywhere when we pulled up and I remember not wanting to look for fear of what I would see. A guard directed us to a small door and we knocked. A young-looking woman with pretty eyes opened it. "Estoy embarazada. Tengo 19 semanas y estoy sangrando mucho." I'm 19 weeks pregnant and I am bleeding a lot. She whisked me into the door, leaving B. outside. She sent me into a bathroom and handed me a gown. The bathroom had blood on the floor and bloody urine in the toilet. I tried not to think and put on the gown. It was for nursing mothers and there were holes cut out for your breasts. Depending on how I moved, my boobs fell out (I later learned you could tie it shut so it was a weird peep show look). I didn't care. I burst out and she got me to the holy grail - the Ultrasound Machine. I watched in terror, catching glimpses of my baby, but not knowing what was happening. Then, suddenly, she paused the screen and I saw it - the heartbeat. "Es la corazon? Yes, she answered and then I saw the sound waves along the bottom of the screen. I asked her if it was slow or fast or normal and she said, "Dejeme ver..." Let me see. And then - 142 beats for minute. Totally normal for our guy. And then the BEST part, he kicked! She exclaimed, "Se mueve!" and we both watched him dance for a second that felt like an eternity. She moved to examine me further but I pleaded with her to at least open the door and tell my husband that the heart was beating.

Then suddenly he was there, looking terrified, holding my head and looking so lost (he told me later that he looked terrified because when he came in he saw the blood pooling underneath me onto the table). I told him..."He's moving, his heart beat is good, he looks good." Next, the doctor (nurse??) told me she was going to do a cervical exam. Again - magic words - "Esta cerrada." It's closed. But her glove came out dripping with dark blood the color of wine. She said she was going to call the other doctor. The other doctor also checked my cervix and then looked at the ultrasound. Suddenly we could see the placenta, it looked like it was covering my cervix. I asked the doctor and explained that I had an anterior placenta and he confirmed it was anterior and that it was low down, by the cervix and that was causing the bleeding.

He told me the only treatment was rest. The Spanish word he used was "reposo," which just means bed rest in this context, but I was stuck on the idea of the Victorian state of lying "in repose." It seemed to tranquil and at odds with how I felt. I asked if we could do anything. He said he would give me some medicine and that I would need to stay overnight and then we would just see. I tried to ask him about what the odds were at losing the baby, but either my Spanish failed me or he didn't think I needed to know.

Next, the sent B. out to a pharmacy to buy some medical supplies for me. That was when I realized that, despite the ultrasound machine, we were definitely in a different Medical World. One where you need to buy your own medical supplies. Literally - you buy your own cup to pee in and your own pads to bleed upon. I was taken to a bed and then left. B. came back but they wouldn't let him in. I told him I was okay. What the hell did that mean?

The next horrific thing that happened is when they tried to put an IV in. First of all, I don't know if the nurse had any idea what she was doing. She keep telling me my "piel was tan duro" (my skin was so hard) and asking if I'd ever had an IV before. Now, I have had an IV before as well as plenty blood drawn. Nurses always exclaim at how great my veins are. When she was putting the needle in it felt like someone had taken a dull stick and was slowly, jab by jab, forcing it into my arm. I cried out and she shushed me. It hurt so fucking bad. Then both nurses started exclaiming and I looked and saw my bright red blood rushing up the IV line toward the bag. What the hell?? I asked them what was happening but they seemed too freaked out to respond. I wondered if I actually might be in danger of dying in this hospital. They told me my blood pressure was so high it was literally pushing my blood up the IV line. She took the IV out and then started freaking out again. I looked, only to see that she had pressed her finger to the wound IV site and a giant goose egg had risen up on my wrist. I realized that goose egg was filled with blood and she was literally holding it in with her fingers. Finally, the tried another IV line and the same thing happened. They told me I needed to calm down or they couldn't give me the medicine to stop my bleeding. Great. As if someone is holding a gun to your head and telling you if you want to live you need to calm down. Worse - if you want your baby to live, you need to calm down. AGH. Finally, someone had the bright idea of letting B. come in to calm me down. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let him come all the way to me. He had to stand by the door and calm me down from afar. He told me he had spoken to the midwife who had laughed in relief and said we were doing the exact right thing by staying in the hospital and letting me rest and that she was so happy to hear the baby was fine. I made him tell me over and over what the midwife said, as it was calming me down. But, they kept checking my blood pressure and it was through the roof (for some reason, my grasp of Spanish numbers seemed to have disappeared, so I have no idea how high it actually was). So my, dear, sweet husband, who has been married to a psychologist for so long, talked me through some breathing exercises until my blood pressure came back to that of a normal person - not someone who's blood was leaping out of her. They got the IV in (again, excruciating, my hand today looks like it was bitten three times by a wild animal) and then shooed B. back out into the waiting room.

And then, the waiting started. I realized I was laying on a bed in the Triage room for labor and delivery. And I realized, with dread, that there was now nothing to do but wait. For hours. Not only am I not good at sitting and doing nothing, but I found myself alone with my thoughts. The waiting lasted almost 12 hours so I am going to try to give you a condensed version (this post is long enough already) of random memories from that night. I remember telling me baby over and over, "It's okay, you're okay, I love you." And this made me feel better. I learned about lacatation support in Mexico and learned how to say "to nurse" in Spanish (amamantar). I was terribly hot (no AC in 90 degree heat) and angry that the nurses aimed the fans at themselves and not the patients. I tried to keep my boobs from hanging out the boob-holes in the front of my gown. I accidentally caught a glimpse of a woman's bloody vagina with a catheter hanging out. I saw that the name tag above my head had my name spelled wrong and had my diagnosis as "Amenaza de Aborto." I saw that all of our medical records were handwritten and stored in Elemntary-school folders with pictures of Strawberry Shortcake and Disney princesses on their covers. I watched the nurses clean speculums and delivery tools and god knows what else (needles?) by hand in the sink with regular soap and water. At one point, a nurse came and told me to sleep. I told her I couldn't. She touched my shoulder and said "Lo que pasa a ti..." then touched by stomach "le pasa a tu bebe." What happens to you, happens to your baby. Ok, I tried to sleep.

I was woken 15-30 minutes later by a terrible urge to pee overwhelmed only by an urge to be sick (diarrhea). I woke up the nurse (yes, they were all sleeping, no regular vital checks here) and she said I couldn't get up to go to the bathroom, but could use a bedpan. Now, I am not too private of a person, but about bodily functions I am fairly modest. Not the type of person who wants to pee in a bedpan in a bed in the middle of a room of people coming and going. I declined. But I'm just going to make a long story short here and admit to you guys that I finally broke down and peed in the damn bedpan. It was humiliating and I wanted to cry but I had to pee so badly that waiting was worse than the shame.

Finally - FINALLY - morning came, and with it, a nurse named Rocio who was kind to me. She gave me a gown without boob holes and let me get up to use the bathroom (nerves gives me chronic diarrhea - sorry, but it's true). The bathroom was still covered in blood and got knows what else, but I suppose hovering was better than the alternative. And then, goddess that is Rocio, she let my husband come in when I asked for him. She even let him come all the way to my bed and sit with me. We didn't know what to talk about. We just held hands and talked about nonsense. He told me about the hell that was the waiting room and the awful things happening out there. He told me that two of the staff from the hotel had showed up to check on us. Mostly, we just sat and felt overwhelmed. Then they kicked him out again.

While I was there I learned a lot about Mexican labor and delivery. Their system is to allow women to come in and have their cervix checked periodically, only to be told "four centimeters - go walk some more." Women walked outside of the hospital (B. told me later he had no idea they were in labor and wondering why so many women were walking, walking, walking...) until they finally were allowed in as they were moving into the Pushing stage of labor. I watched one women begin to crown on the table and heard her baby cry two minutes later from the hallway. I saw another go through transition standing in front of my bed. Her strength and tears seemed too personal to witness.

And then the babies. They went back and forth all day as a nurse would carry them out to meet the families. They cried screams of shock as they were born. I watched one woman (19-years-old and on her birthday) stare in amazement at her new baby boy and laughed in shock every 30 seconds or so. I watched his arm reach up to the sky. And then, I started to cry. Waves of tears that I felt physically but felt disconnected from emotionally. I sat in the middle of this room, the only white person in this strange place, crying and I couldn't stop. Those babies. What was happening to my baby???

During all of this, I had been left pretty much alone. No checking on me, no information, basically I was invisible. It was during my silent crying attack that one of the hotel staff, Bibi, a woman I had semi-made-friends-with, walked into the room. I started crying harder. She was so kind and told me she had brought B. his favorite breakfast (chilaquiles) and a mocha (his favorite). Of course, I cried more. I was so worried about him, all alone, seeing terrible things, and not being able to communicate very well in Spanish. Bibi told me that I was in a public hospital (for very poor people) and she wanted to have me transferred. She was furious that no doctor had spoken to me since last night (by now it was around noon) and that they would not let B. in to see me.

From then on, they started treating me differently. The nurses took me seriously when I asked for information and a doctor. Finally, a doctor (not one I had ever seen before) showed up. They escorted B. into the room and he started shouting across the room to B. about my diagnosis. He was trying to speak in English (first person to do so) but wasn't doing so well. I kept responding in Spanish (better than his English), but he wouldn't take my hint. He said I had come in because of "pains in my stomach." I repeatedly said I had had "no pain" and finally he stopped talking and said, "Well why are you here?" I told him because I had been bleeding. He asked if I was still bleeding. I said some, but that it had slowed some (no one had checked me to see if this was true). He then gave me a prescription for medicine. I asked him what it was for and he said "To stop the bleeding." Why was he giving me medicine to stop the bleeding if he didn't know I was bleeding?? (I later talked to my midwife who said there is no such medicine that can stop the bleeding like that. We realized the medicine was for "abdominal pain." Great). And then the doctor said that his recommendation was to hospitalize me for a few more days, but that there were no more beds and so I would have to stay in Triage. I spoke up and said I wanted to transfer to another hospital. He looked relieved and agreed with me.

There is much more to this story, but I am going to curb myself and try to fast forward a bit here. I have already written so much and feel bad for those of you still reading. But I need to get it out. So, long story short (ha), we checked out of the hospital (total cost: $58USD) and we came back to the hotel with the plan of calling the midwife back to see her thoughts on what had happened and whether I should go to another hospital. She explained that, based on what I described, the most likely explanation was that part of my placenta had separated from my uterine wall, causing the massive bleeding. The only treatment was bedrest (reposo/repose) and that I could do that just as well at the hotel as the hospital. We talked for a long time, but basically I decided to stay in my beautiful hotel room where the staff was treating us like family and bringing me everything I needed. I would lay here and try to heal. But, she was cautious and explained that the bleeding could start again at any time but that "hopefully this pregnancy would result in a healthy baby." I hate that she even needed to say that. I hate that I am now in that category where you just don't know.

It is now the next day. We have moved our flight up and are flying home five days early. I am sad. I am sad that this happened to us, sat that this happened to our baby (who, by the way, didn't seem too perturbed when I saw him), and sad that we are cutting our last trip short. Our trip that was supposed to be about celebrating our relationship before we become parents. But mostly, I am relieved. Relieved we are going home. Relieved we have an ultrasound scheduled with the perinatalogist on Monday. Relieved that the baby is still ok. Relieved and....terrified. Absolutely terrified.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Well, this is my 100th post. I remember when I started this blog and I saw others talking about their 100th post and I was wondering where I would be when I got that far along. Well…here I am, almost 19th weeks pregnant and sitting in Zihuatanejo, where it all began.

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And, by “it all began,” what I mean is, this is the place that we went for our honeymoon. This is the place we’ve gone for important events in our life. And, this is the place that we spent our LAST two week wait before finding out I was pregnant. So, technically, this is where our little guy implanted. Crazy.

Our trip has been great so far. We’re staying at a tiny hotel with a staff of about 8 people and they all know that I am pregnant, which is really cute. Our room is luxurious (a splurge for our last trip just the two of us for some time – not to mention great off-season rates!) and it is about pure relaxation. All I have done so far is swim, sunbathe, lay in the hammock, read, sleep, and eat.

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We have met another couple staying at our hotel and have been spending a lot of time with them. It’s a bit eerie. They are about 15 years older than us and we keep joking that they are our “future selves.” They have two teenage boys, are here on their anniversary and have way too much in common with us. For example, she works in Special Education (to my child psychology), he owns his own business (like my husband), they were married 8 years before having kids (like us), and they met because she was dating his best friend (like us). Weird.

My husband keeps commenting that I’m different on this trip. I am trying to put my finger on what that means. I feel….quieter. More inwardly focused. I share less. I just…AM. He says he misses my energy and conversation and excitement. It’s weird to see how much pregnancy does to change you. Mind you, I’m not unhappy or sad. Just…quiet. Although, we joked that part of the problem is that everyone is drinking but me. And it’s really only half of a joke. Ha.

We’ve talked about trying to spend one month of my maternity leave here in this town. Renting a home, bringing the baby, and just enjoying our time with him (him!). I don’t know if it’s really feasible or not for my husband’s work or for the baby, but it is a nice dream. I picture family visiting us while we’re here, soaking in the tranquility, and just bonding with our son. I feel like part of me belongs here in Mexico. I just relax and feel comfortable here. I’ve been to other countries (and want to go to more!), but in other countries I feel like an outsider, like a traveler. Here I feel like I could live.

Amanda, from Poppies and Ice Cream, suggested that our baby may feel somehow connected to being here too, just from having been here in the womb. I love that idea. I want to raise children that are comfortable in other countries. But especially, that feel a connection to Mexico and are able to get by in Spanish. I love that idea.

Well, that’s all for now, I think. I am going to go back to the difficult world of relaxation when the hardest decision is when to order room service for lunch or whether to be in the pool or the hammock. We usually venture out at night (when it’s cooler) to go downtown and seek out dinner. Tomorrow we are going to go exploring local beaches and little towns. Wish me luck in this 90 degree heat plus humidity!!

I will leave you with some photos….

Yep, I did it, I posted a picture of pregnant-me-in-a-bikini on the Internet. Wow. Good thing my head is chopped off. Fun fact: A women in line at the airport asked me when I was due. First total stranger to ask :)

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p.s. I am sorry I'm not posting on anyone's blogs. I will try to catch up when I get back! The internet is...well, we're in Mexico, so you can imagine. Thank you all for your comments on my last post about the gender-surprise-switch. Your comments all REALLY helped me. I am still processing it, but am feeling better am more connected now to the idea of my little boy.