January 31, 2011

Should childbirth be Painful

This one topic has been in mind everyday since I got pregnant. Because this is my first child I really don't know what to expect come delivery time. Yes, you have a vague idea, you take childbirth classes, you prepare mentally and physically for any mishaps, but can you really be prepared for the pain?

According to this MOMLOGIC article some hail from the school of thought that women should not be given drugs. They should experience the pain, because it makes you a better mother. Really?

I have read some articles that have eased my concerns about experiencing pain. Why are we so scared of it? Because It is painful to birth a child. My mom and grandmother can both attest to that and they are not like these nouveau 21st Century moms who are opting for elected C-sections or the epidural shot the moment they walk into the hospital. Both of them are tough women, who didn't have the option of drugs during childbirth. They do not exaggerate when they tell me it is going to hurt. A lot.

I just don't know if I can personally go through all the pain. I have stopped reading about it because I think the more you read that labor is painful, you will be less willing to go through it. I will take it as it comes. If it's too much for me, pass me the drugs and let's have fun. But if in the grit of pain, I realize it's not unmanageable and the time is ticking faster than I expected, then I might be able to go through it. But please give us the option and educate us about it.  Don't just treat us like cattle. 

High Street Market: Vintage Inspired Kids Rooms

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High Street Market: Vintage Inspired Kids Rooms

January 30, 2011

Knock, Knock

Something extraordinary happened last night while in bed.  My soon-to-be daughter started her usual evening somersaults and cartwheels as I was lying down in bed.  My husband leaned over and put his hand on my belly wanting to feel these Olympic feats.  But mostly she's rather shy about tact and as soon as he places his hand on my belly she suddenly stops all activity.  It had been a few days since my husband last felt her kicks. So I placed his hand back on my belly and then I started soothingly calling her name.  I did this a couple of times until my husband's hand suddenly jerked up.  She had responded!  What an awesome feeling. We did this again and again, and even poked my belly a few times to see if she would respond to touch rather than voice and guess what?  She kicked again and again! So what did we do last night? Had us our first baby dialogue with our baby daughter. So moving.

January 27, 2011

Fresh Ideas for Kids Room

I'm loving these kids' rooms.  I still have a long way to go until Emma Lucia has her own room in the house.  But I couldn't help peeking at these rooms.   So far I'm very much leaning towards a daybed with a pullout mattress drawer.  I love the versatility and functionality.

Talking about versatility how about these other ones. I love the idea of a bed/crib built-in and the colors are a dream. 

Courtesy of  Casa Diez

Lovely Snowday morning in DC

There's nothing like the morning after a winter snowstorm. Right before everything turns slushy and muddy brown, the snow on the ground glistens with new light, a testament of beauty to its predestined ugliness. I love my hometown after a snowfall.  It's a quiet picturesque reminder of the passing seasons.  Hardly any cars on the road, and even then, the snow acts as an acoustic sponge drowning the inevitable urban sounds.  Businesses open their doors as usual, but there is a communal and unspoken code of "Let's take it easy today" and it shows.  

People are out sipping hot chocolate and walking their dogs.  Others shovel snow with a sense of gratifying duty. This is what small community feeling is like in a city.  After the sun is out the day after a snowstorm, if only for a couple of hours, people forget their lonely and compact lifestyles and shovel their frustrations away.  It has all the elements of a fresh start.  And soon enough the sidewalks are walkable again.

January 24, 2011

Due Dates, are they useful?

The more I think about my EDD (estimated due date) the more I know it’s an imperfect, inaccurate date.  When I first went to the doctor, and they confirmed my pregnancy, they gave me an EDD of May 6th 2011.  Mid-way through my pregnancy, and this date has not changed in their charts, something I will bring up in our next prenatal appointment.  

Let’s back up.  When I had my last, mid-pregnancy sonogram, which takes into account the complete anatomy of the baby and its measurements, the technician changed the date to May 3rd according to what she saw in the monitor.  Still, the doctor did not make any changes to her chart.  

Now that I’m in week 25 or possibly week 27, who really knows?  I have the gut feeling
-that self-proclaimed nagging certainty that inhabits your cerebral cortex-  that this child will be born the last week of April instead of the first week of May.  

This gut feeling is further supported by the fact that EDDs are created based on the pregnant women’s first day of their last menstrual cycle, and that cycle is based on the average 28-day cycle.  This measurement is both inaccurate and simplistic.  Firstly because I know the day of conception.  Secondly, because my cycles are not 28 days, but 23 days.  So I may have enough evidence to support my case of an inaccurately calculated EDD.    

For the most accurate due date calculator online visit this link at Discovery Health.

January 20, 2011


Let’s talk about the secret world of cravings. Cravings are common during pregnancy and most women experience some type of food craving at any moment during this phase in their lives. I have heard about the most awkward combinations of food and tastes, things that would turn your stomach if you weren’t pregnant. Ketchup with every dish in front of them, Tabasco sauce, pineapples, sweet pickles, and other interesting combinations. I can’t say that I have had strong cravings. But that’s because I have pretty much ignored by doctor’s advice on foods I can’t have. I do have deli chicken in my sandwich even though I’m a vegetarian, it’s a craving for meat protein. I have continued eating all the soft cheeses I was not allowed to eat, including feta, goat, blue cheese and string mozzarella. I have also satisfied my sushi cravings twice. No problems there. I think everything in moderation is fine.

But I do crave more sugary foods in this state than any other in my life. I was never a sweets person, but I now find myself demanding more sugar than ever. Because I know this is a big no during pregnancy as it can trigger gestational diabetes and other complications I satisfy it with fruits. I eat lots of pineapples, apples, oranges and mandarins. Of course I succumb to the occasionally twisted whim of ice cream or spoonful of Nutella. But always in moderation.

Here are some of the dessert items (not including fruits) I’m currently craving:

January 19, 2011

Can someone find my head?

My head is somewhere out there in the maze of pregnant euphoric women.  Lately it’s been hard staying focused in the things I used to love.  I still love to do them, but I’m finding harder to keep them on my priority list.  It happened with the Golden Globes broadcast.  I never miss this.  But the truth is we didn't even see the list of movies nominated.  I usually stay on top of these things because I love films.  I love a good story. My friend had to remind me that I was pregnant.  And I said to her "please don't ever let me go this far."  I don't want to lose the essence of me.

Let’s take writing for example.  This has taken a back seat in my daily routine.  If I’m not online reading about cloth diapering –it’s as confusing as it is  challenging to understand the endless possibilities out there for cloth diapers- ordering nursery items or relocating furniture or even deep cleaning the contents of the hallway closets, I’m too exhausted to sit down to write anything, let alone write any fiction.  I told myself when I first found out I was expecting that I would finish a fiction workshop and have at least 2 short stories written by the time the baby was born.  But it didn’t happen.  Then came the impossible to-deal-with symptoms of the first trimester that kept me groggy and nauseated all day long. 

Now that I’m six months pregnant, other priorities are keeping me away from the pad and pencil.  Exercising has suddenly become important.  Also this nesting feeling has overtaken my entire awake hours.  And reading about childbirth and raising a kid has overshadowed any desire to get lost in a good novel.  There is so much to do in these last three months around the house.  Putting fresh colors on the walls, building baby furniture, re-arranging furniture and creating new layouts.  It seems too much for two working parents and yet is there any other choice?  Some people live their lives in compartmentalized units in their heads.  I can’t do this.  But ultimately I know I should get cracking on that workshop if I’m to finish that shriveled old short story that has been weighing on my head for the past 6 months.  

January 10, 2011

Bedtime stories

One of the most exciting moments I can't wait to experience with my daughter is storybook time. While I was in Miami for the holidays, I bought two Spanish books with classic children stories that I know are hard to find where I live. One has all the classic stories, an international recipe, of all time. The other is a more gender specific one, which includes little rhymes and classic songs from the Spanish speaking world.

Of course, my mom also bought her a story book.  This one in English with all the Disney classics.  It's a big little book with condensed stories and graphics. 

I once read somewhere, pun intended, that if you initiate your children early into the wonderful world of reading and they see their parents reading, chances are you will have a little reader of your own.  As simple as that.  And it's true, that's what happened to me!

January 7, 2011


Hello strangers.  It’s been over a month since I have written here.  Now that the holidays are over, I’ve been busy scrambling ideas to build a nursery nook for Emma Lucia.  She will have to share our bedroom for the fist year of life.  We are so excited to have her so close all time.  But at our impromptu baby shower, which my sisters’ in law gave me in Miami a couple of weeks ago, all the parental advice for this new mother-to-be was centered around not spoiling the child by letting her sleep in our bed or room.  Let’s see how we can manage that.

Since Emilu will be sharing our room, I want to keep things simple and clean without too much baby stuff or overly done with nursery décor. In my initial searches online I have found a great link with a nursery nook designed by a mom who happens to be an artist as well.

This is the link.  

She has used almost the same furniture that I plan on using for our nursery.  Ikea has saved the day and our budgets with the arrival of Emma Lucia!