Tuesday, February 11, 2014

32 weeks and planning for co- sleep!!!

One day left until I am thirty two weeks pregnant!





 I feel big as a house. I've gained well over the recommended amount of weight. Well over..but I take comfort in knowing next to none of it was in empty calories. I didn't have any major junk food binges. An occasional milk and cookies craving but not very often. Matt and I finally gave up trying to share a bed other then for watching television. Its impossible for either one of us to get any good rest. I take up a huge amount of room and Matteo really enjoys kicking his daddy most of the night. So we are in twin beds for now,which I find very cute in that I Love Lucy kind of way. 

 

I am seriously thinking about sleeping arrangements when Matteo is born. I owned a crib with all of my children...I'd say more for decorative purposes because they next to never slept in it, I used it as a playpen or changing table from time to time but even then, it was never worth the cost of buying for how little we used it. Because my babies breastfed for the first year, as I intend for Matteo to also do, it was so much easier to have them not only in the same room, but yes, co-sleeping. I know..GASP! I can hear many of my readers shaking their heads in disapproval. Those who wants to educate themselves further about the benefits verses risks of co-sleeping should looking deeply into my favorite baby doctor..Dr. Sears and attachment parenting. For now I want to talk about the many products that have come out since my early days of mommy hood and co-sleeping.

I had a failed experience as a fifteen year old mommy, with my daughter. I was trying to keep the bassinet snug against my bed. I'd had a c-section and getting up to get her to nurse was very painful. Well I managed to fall asleep nursing her and she landed between the bassinet and the bed, not on the floor, just in between. I heard her make a little squeak and there she was. Epic bad mommy moment. This was in 1995. 



In 1998 when I had my first son, I again tried the bassinet and the crib because my now toddler daughter was still in the bed with me. I wasnt comfortable with him in his room far away and he fussed in the bassinet. My kids always wanted to be in my arms and then there was the getting up to nurse almost hourly. 

By 2001 when I had my second son, I had just manged to get my two older children into their own rooms to sleep. I said forget it, he had a crib but slept in my bed exclusively til around age two when he wanted to sleep with his brother or sister or in his own toddler bed. Sometimes all three kids would drag their little mattresses into my room and sleep scattered around my bed which was fine with me too.

The back lash to co-sleeping was how very little sleep I actually got. Between breast feeding on demand and the crazy positions babies like to sleep in, and the fact that NONE of my children slept through the night until age three..I was blessed that I was a mostly stay at home mom with the ability to nap when they did. 

 With Matteo, I will be returning to work and Matt is in school full time, and will be be working part time. Sleep is crucial. Yet, I want Matteo to  be just as close. I noticed a long with the huge safety campaign in regards to co-sleeping, there are a lot of new products that allow baby to be close and safe, almost in bed but not..and will most likely allow just a little better sleep for mom and dad. I love these options because they are far better than my early tries of a bassinet tucked plush against the bed. 

Right now I am surfing the web comparing reviews and safety of each co-sleeping product option. I've asked a number of moms. I am thinking this is the way we will go.

For more info on the benefits of co-sleeping and safety visit the following links:

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/sleep-problems/scientific-benefits-co-sleeping

http://cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/


 



 

 

 

 

 

 



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Welcome to the Love Social Amazon Gift Card Giveaway


Welcome to the Love Social Amazon Gift Card Giveaway sponsored by Social News Daily and hosted by The Parenting Patch! One lucky reader of The Parenting Patch and Social News Daily will win one (1) $50 Amazon gift card. To enter for your chance to win the Love Social Amazon Gift Card Giveaway, simply use the following Rafflecopter form. Good luck! Happy Valentine's Day! a Rafflecopter giveaway The Love Social Amazon Gift Card Giveaway is open worldwide. An international winner will receive $50 via PayPal in lieu of the specified prize. The Love Social Amazon Gift Card Giveaway ends at midnight CST on February 24, 2014. The winner will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. The Parenting Patch and other participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Purex Laundry Detergent Giveaway! Enter here !

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Disclosure: Purex Laundry Detergent provided me with coupons in exchange for sharing the Purex Make-A-Wish Campaign. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Diaper duty

With Matteo due to be born in two short months...I've been thinking a lot about diapers. Odd thing to think about I guess but since i haven't had a baby in thirteen years..standing in the diaper aisle of the department store sent me into a full blown tale spin with so many choices. I stopped the first well put together mother I saw..dragging two small boys behind her which diapers she preferred. She told me Pampers for boys worked best. Hmmm...I wondered...is there a difference between Pampers verses Huggies verses Luvs? ..just to mention some of the top name brands.
I am head over heels in love with idea of cloth. Ecstatic to see them making a come back.Thrilled with how easy they appear to fasten now.  The idea, yes, I love the idea...the reality is I am going back to work and do I really want to place the burden of cloth diapers on another unsuspecting party to agrees to care for my baby while work at 12 hour shift? I ran into a woman by chance at my job who has business washing and folding and delivering cloth diapers..just $25 a week. Sadly not in my area but she does have my thinker thinking.

 And then my head starts going over the safety and cleanliness issues. And I start to panic about toxins. I google and see organic diapers..organic is always good. Next clock I find chlorine free diapers. I didnt know chlorine was in diapers and what is the issue chlorine in diapers? Well come to find out its in the gel of disposable diapers and is linked to cancer. 


I found some really cool corn based material diapers filled with only plant based absorbers. Totally earth friendly that way too. Eighteen dollars a box but you cant just stop at the store and buy them so with five dollars shipping...and about 35 diapers in a box..well what's a broke mommy to do? 
So I want to know..What diapers did you choose for your baby? What were your reasons for doing choosing a specific brand or type?

 

A lot can change in a year!

My poor blog went neglected as I took a huge leap into a new adventure for my life. Now that I have landed with my feet somewhat on the ground..I am ready to slowly share with the world again. Explore all the lessons I've learned and how each journey pertains to parenting.

In big news..I left my marriage of fourteen years ..and began life with my true soul mate and  best friend.

 

 My daughter DeAna turned eighteen...moved out with her fiance and made me a grandmother at 34 years old. My precious grand daughter Brooklynn was born on Christmas. 

My son Giovani turned sixteen years old and my son Anthony turns thirteen next month. So I have become the mother of all teenagers.

BUT IN EVEN BIGGER NEWS....

I am expecting!!! So not only am I a grandmother now..a mother of three teens...engaged with five future step children.. but I am currently 31 weeks pregnant with a little boy we will name Matteo. I look forward to sharing where my life as a mom is going. Having a new baby after thirteen years feels like the first time all over again. 

I cant wait to share our welcome to the world adventures of baby Matteo with all of you. 



 





Tuesday, May 8, 2012

the more good I did, the more doors God opened for me.

Sometimes I think I knew more at eighteen then at any other point of my life.
When I started leaning on God, I suddenly knew exactly who I was and what I wanted out of life.

When i turned to God, I didn't care that I didn't have a boyfriend in life like I was so fixated on before. My relationship with God, my children, my family and friends made my life so full. Within a few months of me not seeking, I met a great guy who became a life long friend right there in the parking lot of the complex. Within a year of that I met my husband.

God had shown me my purpose finally. Once word got out that I took in children, there wasn't a day that my house wasn't full with little feet running around, I wasn't bouncing babies off my hip or rocking little ones in the rocker. Parents from our playgroups who knew what kind of mother I was and am, brought me their children, and parents in our complex knocked at my door asking if I could possibly take a few more.

I didn't have time to be lonely and I knew in my heart that God was making this possible. These moms needed a safe place for their children to be, and I gave them that. I ran everything like a daycare. We had outside time, arts and crafts time, singing and dancing time. My children photograph albums are filled with the happy memories of growing up with our house filled with many children and love and happiness.

Many mothers became life long friends, some of the children I cared for are parents themselves now. A small few of these children came from really bad situations and really thrived in the time I had the opportunity to care for them. A small number of them got lost in the foster care system and were adopted out. A lot of them I have the blessing of still talking to, even if only on face book level. Most are still friends with my children.

If I knew a parent couldn't pay, I took their children anyway with a promise of being able to call on them for a favor. I am trying as I write this to come up with an approximate number of the children God allowed me to be there for , I want to say its somewhere near fifty, if not more in a period of five years. They each have a special place in my hearts as their families do too.

I learned fast that the more good I did with my life, the more doors God opened for me. I started doing good deeds every chance I got. I don't want to list all my good deeds because it makes me seem like I am trying to run for saintly hood, of which I am not. As you will later read, I fell off track a number of times in my life. But I want people to realise, that when you do good, good really comes back. When my children or I outgrew our clothes, I bagged them up and put them on the doorstep of people I knew might want them. When I learned some lost their job or was having a hard time, I would clean my pantry and leave a box of what food I could. For every bag of clothes I gave, three more came my way. For every box of food, God filled my cabinets. We no longer struggled a single day somehow, and the how was God.

I see on TV, when I watch the religious channels, the preachers talk a lot about sowing seeds "send a thousand dollars to us and God with bless you with then thousand" That type of thing. I don't know if that really works but I do know, that when you give of yourself, from your heart and truly make everyday a day God will be proud of, when you show kindness to others just because... God really does reach down and return the favor. My life is a testimony to that. Because when I have done good, good has come back..when I stopped.. I lost all I lost all I gained.

Prayer conquered post partum depression

The post partum depression was hard but then I began talking about turning my life over to God. I did, I prayed, I spent a lot of time in prayer and I hung some religious sayings around the house. I got my first Sylvia Browne book and found my own truth in that book that brought me great comfort and peace. I started talking to God more and more. I told God, " God, I am here in this apartment complex, I have to kids, and no way to make money. God if you can help me, I will help someone else..as many as you send me."

God took me up on my promise within a day. I went into pay my rent and the women in the office asked if I might take in an extra child during the day, she had a single mom needing child care. I happily agreed to take the little girl in the day. This little girl was the daughter of a drug addicted mother and father. She needed someone more then the average child, Deana had a playmate and the little girl had a safe place to be. I had a way to make money. The mother drove me crazy but I loved the child and took care of her for many months, until her family moved away.

At the mail box that week I met my next door neighbor, she was married and had a young son and was pregnant. I started going to church with her and her family. It was the same church I'd been baptised at as a child.. 14 years later she is still in my life everyday, we talk on the phone every night, and there has never been a major life event in either of each other's lives that we haven't been there for each other during.

The more I gave of my self to others, the more the blessings started flowing.


I

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Simple Secret to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food.

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan




SERVING STRATEGIES

•Grate or dice the vegetables and add them to chili, hamburgers and meat loaf.
•Don't forget muffins and quick breads as vehicles for grated carrots and zucchini or mashed squash and sweet potatoes.
•Make your own pasta sauces by pureeing flavorful vegetables like red peppers. Kids who won't eat plain cauliflower might eat pasta with cauliflower sauce. (Or, then again, they might not.)
•Kids love finger food, so serve small raw vegetable pieces with low-fat dips and salsas. (Or with that ever-popular kids' dip, ketchup.)
•Sneak leftover vegetables into your child's favorite soup.
•Melt cheese on top of vegetables before serving.
•Use wraps. Try mashing up beans, spreading them on a flour tortilla topped with grated cheese, rolling it and heating in the microwave. The result is a delicious, healthy lunch dish or snack disguised as a fast-food burrito.
If after all your best stealth efforts your child still detects a pea in his soup and threatens to run away to a distant star planet, don't be discouraged. Did you like olives when you were a child? Coffee? Eggplant? Wine? Tastes change and mature as we do. Luce suggests introducing the loathed vegetable again at a later time. "Have patience and expect a lot of trial and error," she says.
And may the Force be with you.

Tracie Richardson and Monique Hooker are the authors of COOKING WITH THE SEASONS: A YEAR IN MY KITCHEN (Henry Holt).


******************


I've made these for my kids a number of times and they never did know until one day they caught me adding the spinach to the batter! They are just as yummy as regular brownies!


Directions:


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  3. Squeeze out the liquid from the spinach.
  4. Place spinach, vegetable oil, milk and carrot juice in a blender and puree until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, 3 eggs, and the spinach mixture until well blended.
  6. Spread batter into pan and bake 40 minutes.



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Depression turned into purpose

With two babies at home my day was extremely busy. They took turns waking me up throughout the night. I made a huge mommy mistake by letting DeAna fall asleep with the TV on. There wasn't anything out yet on stats for why parents should let a child do just that and I was exhausted. With her kicking around on my bed all night and waking up for cups of water or diaper change. Then every time her video tape ended, she woke me up ti rewind it and play it again because I couldn't afford cable. Giovani was waking up to nurse all night, at least every hour. I was totally exhausted when morning came!

In the morning, I'd get up and bathe and change both of them. We'd get dressed, eat breakfast and head out the door. With it being winter, I'd have to bundle them, and also pack a ton of diapers and change of clothes and snacks for the day because we had to walk 2 1/2 miles to take my adult education classes.
Then cross the street and attend playgroups, and walk 2 1/2 miles back home.
When we got home, I'd fix a lunch, usually we met up and did lunch with Stephanie who'd moved into the apartment across from mine with her baby and boyfriend. We'd watch soaps and then I'd take my kids back to my place and we'd nap. We'd wake up in time to fix a dinner, I;d take them out to play for a while, give them a bath and then clean.
 The only changes in our routine were when my parent aid came or friends or family came to visit. Once a week I'd put Giovani in a baby carrier that held him to my chest and DeAna in the double stroller and walk to the grocery store or the laundry mat.

At the time I got state assistance, I paid my bills on time and all were current, I even set aside a 20 a month sum to send to Feed the Children. When all that was paid, that left us with 20 a month and 40 I recieved in child support. I was able to buy diapers and wipes for the two kids and that was all. I needed a job but couldn't get daycare.

I started noticing I was getting depressed. I was still trying to work things out with Giovani's dad who was spending alot of time with us, and then suddenly wasn't..and then would..and then ended up meeting someone else. So my heart was all over the place.

I felt so guilty for having a second baby, because DeAna was now showing signs of sibling rivalry. She'd gotten a hold of him twice and put him on the floor, I felt like a horrible mother. The lack of sleep was really getting to me. I was constantly having to give her time-outs because she was doing all kinds of crazy things for attention. Trying to balance the kids and study and clean and cook. Having no time for friends at all anymore. I was stressed. My friends had graduated High School and were off to college and I was home raising two kids alone.

I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. I also was worried I wasn't bonding with my new baby. Which was non-sense made up by my post par tum depression but I cried a lot about that. Worried I was doing it all wrong.

A few moms had told me if I switched to formula or gave him a little cereal in a bottle before bed, he might sleep longer and maybe I would feel better too. That I couldn't be the mom I wanted to be if I was exhausted all the time. The bottle gave him a bellyache and when I tried to give him cereal he projectile vomited. I ended up feeling like an even worse.

I was lucky that he hadn't developed colic like DeAna had. Other then the sleep factor he was an easy baby. Which was a very good thing because DeAna was in the midst of her terrible twos. I'd taken a very short lived position in a hell hole of a daycare center but could bring her with me, and she'd taken to biting other kids right away. She'd not bitten before. When i got my first paycheck and I got no pay at all, because the cost of having her in the daycare while I worked was more then I made. I quit and they said they were letting me go anyway because she was biter. After that she really took to biting me every chance she got. Having tantrums and refusing to go to sleep until two in the morning.


Giovani's dad and his new girlfriend moved out of state to Florida. Which ironically was where DeAna's dad had moved to as well. You know the song, all my exes live in Texas..well all mine moved to Florida I guess.  I hated her, the new girlfriend. Not just because she was with my sons father, at a time where he and I were close to getting back together and because they'd moved away where he didn't see his son but because when DeAna was a baby I'd dated her daughters father for a short while. I didn't know of her at the time but when I learned he had a baby, I ended it telling him he needed to work things out with the mother of his child. Just to have her take my son's father away from me in future. It was a double blow and it hurt.

I was too scared to go to counseling ever again after what that woman had tried to do to me. I talked to my family and friends which helped of course, and my parent aid was a great support. I feel guilty now for all the time she took out of her own life to help me get on my feet. It was a struggle. I took my GED test and failed, totally.

Around that same time, I could have really just messed up, gave up, or quit. I was overwhelmed. Then God put someone on TV who changed my life. Sylvia Browne was on Montell. Between Montell everyday and the days he had Sylvia, I heard words that changed me for the better. Something as silly as a TV talk show renewed my hope.

I started buying Sylvia Browne books and became in touch with God fully for the first time in my life. I had not grown up with any religion. Not that we didn't believe in God but didn't as a family go to church or claim a label to any religion. Throughout my childhood I attended all different types of religious services with friends and family on my quest to find who God was to me. It wasn't until i heard Sylvia speak and looked into Novus Spiritus, did I finally hear what felt like truth to me.  My new found hope in God suddenly turned me from a depressed and hopeless feeling person, into a powerful warrior with a great purpose. There indeed was a purpose for what I was going through, and through prayers every night, God slowly unfolded what would be an amazing plan and journey ahead for us.


Taking DeAna out for a stroll in 1998


conspiracy? corruption? and panic!

My second child, my first son, Giovani, arrived January 11th, 1998.
His birth was happy and joyous event, and yet there was so much going on in that hospital that was just not right. I couldn't make sense of it.

After his birth, I finally demanded that they allow my son's father in to see him. Why they hadn't allowed him in? That was still baffling to me. I was 18 years old, not a minor and had made no request of them that he be kept out. I couldn't understand why no one would listen to me or answer my questions but I remained calm and rational. I knew that still.. even at 18, I was watched like a hawk as a young mother and did not want to do anything to make myself appear anything less then a perfect mother.

 We had visitors in and out all day when he was born. The nurses took a special liking to Giovani, they adored his name for one and paid much more attention to him then I'd seen with DeAna and my other friends babies I'd visited in the same hospital upon birth. Of course that was a good thing, but they also kept giving me the oddest looks. Have you ever just noticed when people aren't looking at you in the way you expect them to? When there eyes seem to be saying something but you can't understand what? It put me on edge but I dismissed it. Being tired, still having medication in my system, it could have been anything making me feel that way.

My sons father was there for a lot of time in. He signed the birth certificate and all those things. We finally agreed on circumcision which was something I couldn't make up my mind about and once it was done, I  instantly cried hearing my newborn cry in pain. He posed for pictures holding him and all was good.

Later when he called me from the place he lived, I could hear his girlfriend making comments to me in the background. This happened at the same time a nurse was taking my blood pressure. It was something like 186/110... outrageously high and she told me to get off the phone. That talking to him was too much stress and I needed to rest.

Now babies slept in the same room as mom in the hospital but the nurse offered to take him for a little while so I could rest. I didn't see anything wrong with it. If I was a nurse working in a hospital I would want to borrow the babies, of course. Isn't that the best part of being a neo-natal nurse? Getting to spend time with the babies? I knew they adored him and I also knew I was going home on my own to not just a new born but my two year old little girl, so i should rest as much as I could. I agreed. I trusted the hospital and the nurses. I told her to bring him back so i could nurse him.

When I woke up, it was morning and my baby was not in my room. Nor had they woke me to feed him. No one was there but me. I remember how bright the sun was in the room as a warm streak of panic swept through me. I rang my bell and a new nurse came in, shifts had changed. I asked for my son, she snapped at me that she had instruction to keep him with her. I said I knew that, that I had requested that he stay the night at the desk so i could rest but I wanted him back now, he needed to eat.

She refused to bring my son back to me!!! She walked away saying she would look into it. Tears poured down my face but i refused to give in to the panic attack stroking its way through my upper torso. I wanted to sob but I was exhausted and so confused. Surely there had been some big mistake. God blessed me in that moment, because my children's Doctor, Dr. Curi, came into the room to see me and my son. He'd been my doctor my whole childhood and was now also caring for my kids. He always told me how he held me in such high regards as a mother. I explained to him what I'd been told about my son being held from me and he said he would find out.

Moments later a nurse came in and said Dr. Curi was giving my son a check up and he would be brought back to me as soon as he was done. The panic passed but moments went by so slowly. It felt like hours when in reality it was minutes, before I held my son in my arms. After that I was scared to even get up and take a shower for fear they would come in and take him. I will always be thankful to that doctor, he was an amazing man who touched my life and the life of my children in so many great ways for decades.

Only month before my own step sister had given birth to her second son only to have him snatched from her in the very same hospital by DCF. She would later regain custody of both her children was it was a long and painful battle. One I didn't want to go through myself, and one I didn't see reason for them to put us through.

I was a good mom, a young mom, but a very good mom. They had no reason in my eyes to target me but what was going on??

The rest of our hospital stay was glorious. Friends and family poured in from all over. A favorite memory of mine was having my high school girlfriends serenade my son with a duet of KC and JoJo and Boys 2 Men songs I loved.

DeAna was unsure of what to think of her mommy being in the hospital with a new baby. I tried to make their introduction as smooth and bonding as possible but it was obvious she was a little unhappy with the whole thing, In fact she was much more interested in the single serving sized box of cheerios then her new baby brother.

When the day of discharge came I was more then ready to get home and back to my new life. It was taking for ever for my discharge to happen. An older nurse, who had been overly kind to me saw the worry on my face. She told me she'd been a teen mother too who had gone through much of what I was facing. She told me not worry, things would play out but be okay. I asked her what was going on. Why had there been security outside of my door? Why had they held my son from me?

She closed the door and explained. The counselor I was seeing had called the hospital and given instruction for my son's father to not be let in. I'd even been checked in under a fake name. I later learned a friend had called and let him know that yes, I'd gone into labor, what room and the phone number to reach me. When my son's father showed up at the hospital with his new girlfriend in hand, panic broke out amongst everyone.
That was the commotion I'd heard in the hallway.

When I allowed him to come in to see his son, that's when the counselor was contacted. She in turn had called the Department of Children and Families, which is why my son hadn't been given back to me right away!

Now mind you, my sons father was just 18 himself at that time with no criminal record, no problems with the law. We never had a domestic violence issue. Other then being young and immature in our relationship, there was no big issues, no threat of harm..ever!! I mean ever, ever..even to this day he is one of the greatest people you could know in life and our son is 14 years old and I still consider him a great friend.

DCF didn't respond, and didn't see what the issue was. Because it was a mandated reporter calling..that certainly says a lot about the fact that she was reporting on nothing. But why?? I will never know. I will never know why she did those things to me. I would love to say after that I never crossed paths with her again but that didn't happen. I can say that DCF never showed up at my door based on her false report and she made one last visit our house with her daughter by her side, it was uncomfortable and she said she was closing out my case because I was doing "so well". She never made mention of her calls to the hospital or DCF. I never confronted on all the heartache she caused or tragedy she tried to bring to my family.

What did happen was I brought my precious baby son home with my adorable little girl, and made a happy life for all of us. Ignoring everything and anyone who would have wanted otherwise.

US LEAVING THE HOSPITAL AND GOING HOME!
Giovani Matthew wearing the shirt his daddy bought him while I was pregnant

Started playgroup almost right away!


Monday, April 23, 2012

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

A New year, A new baby

In my mind I was ready for my son to be born. Again I had a labor plan. The maternity ward at the hospital I used had been moved to newly renovated floor. I toured it and put in a written request to both the hospital and my doctors that I would like to use the new labor pool, whirl pool bath style during my labor. I also refused to have a repeat c-section which took a lot of convincing but I was finally able to get the doctors to consent.

 Although my labor with DeAna had been long and traumatic, there would good points. They'd given me and my children's godfather (since I didn't have a spouse) a nice little "couples dinner" with shrimp and everything to celebrate her birth. This time, they'd done away with that but had a beautiful new rooms you didn't haven't to change from after delivery which was great.

I went over my due date and was hugely pregnant. When I finally did go into labor, it was just as slow a process. My water didn't break right away like it had with DeAna so I was able to stay home longer. My mother and my parent aid stayed with me off and on in turns even after getting to the hospital. DeAna stayed with family which was hard because I had not really been away from her. I was worried and yet in so much pain, I had to put my worries to the back of my mind. I missed her though.

As with every happy event in my life, there were shadows of darkness just floating around close enough that I can never fully enjoy every moment of what should be so blissful. I didn't want my son's father to know the exact moment I was in labor, we'd been having some major arguments. At one point he'd threatened to take custodu of our son when he was born and bring him back to Puerto rico, when I'd called a lawyer, they told me I really wouldn't be able to stop him.  I wanted to get through the rough labor without the emotional strain of seeing him so I didn't call him when I'd gone into labor right away but I did want him there for the pushing part, to see his son born. A friend of ours had called him anyway.

Again it was three days of brutal labor. I ended up with the one doctor I didn't want from the group of doctors so I was upset. The same doctor who'd not given me the ultrasound picture of my daughter, he had no bedside manner. Yet, God has a reason for everything and in the end I was blessed that he was the doctor on-call, because he worked a miracle to get my son here safely. His skill more than made up for his lack of personality.

The labor was brutal. My son was kicking the monitor wrapped around my stomach so hard it went flying off. I kept requesting to use the whirl pool and they told me it was broken ( brand new and broken?)  In my third day of labor, I again agreed to drugs and gave in to taking any medication the offered, I was getting drained of any energy and just weak. I had a shot of pain killer, and medicine to speed up the birthing process. This did nothing but make my head dizzy and my contractions a thousand times more painful. I begged for an epidural and got one. I was terrified of the needle going into my spin again but then..sweet relief.  I was able to go in and out of sleep while the labor continued on. I was really confused from the drugs.

I heard a lot of commotion in the hallway but when i asked no one would tell me anything. A few minutes later the phone rang. It was my son's father. He wanted to know why he wasn't allowed in the room. I told him he could come in, but he told me a security guard was outside my door! A security guard!! Why? I asked those around me, but everyone hushed me and rushed me to get off the phone. I told him to try again to come in and see his son born, he asked me to name him after him. I told him I would think about it and hung up. I was too confused to make sense of anything and I still had a baby to deliver. I kept seeing two old woman in polka-dot dresses in the corner of my room watching me, they weren't really there. It was still a policy to not allow you anything to eat or drink, I occasionally got a Popsicle or ice, and an I.V. kept me hydrated.

When it finally came time to push I couldn't believe it. I'd ask in my birth plan for a mirror to be able to watch him enter the world. At first they did provide it, but his entry into the world was so difficult that they took it away in fear i would go into shock. For one thing, they had to cut, and I mean really cut me to get him out. When that didn't work, they used suction. When that didn't work, they used forceps. I could see the doctor sweating, I could see my mother looking pale. My parent aid had gone home for rest, she'd driven her son back to college in between sitting with me and was exhausted.

Then finally, he was out. I reached for him, he had his little hands over his cheeks Home Alone style. They put him in my arms. He had jaundice and was a dark yellow. His hair was long and black, his head was elongated from  pulling him out by suction. His rotator cuff had been injured, I'd later learn but he was perfect. They let me hold and nurse him a few minutes and then they cleaned him up. He was 8lbs, 5oz. 21 inches long.  I knew he wouldn't be a Matthew like his father. Matthew Raymond Morales didn't suit him. The names I'd floated around with were Carlito, Keenan, or Giovani. One look at him and he was a Giovani all the way. Giovani Matthew and I gave him me and his sister's ( my daughter's) last name because WE WERE A FAMILY.

IN THIS PICTURE:About five or six months along at my baby shower at Stephanie's house.
 ALMOST FULL TERM IN MY FIRST APARTMENT
 GIOVANI MATTHEW, BORN WITH HIS HANDS ON HIS CHEEKS!
 HE WAS SUCH A BEAUTOFUL BABY!
 SO CALM AND SWEET! VERY SLEEPY FROM HIS JOURNEY!










Breaking my own blog rule

I NORMALLY TRY TO SAVE THIS STUFF FOR FACE BOOK WHERE IT BELONGS BUT THESE WERE TOO RELEVANT AND GOOD TO RESIST! I HAD TO SHARE!