HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM

I have one story and one memory of my mom that has molded my perception of the world.
Story One
She was a refugee of her country that would continue to be at war ten years after she left. Two days of being a resident here, she took her first job at a factory making bras. Every work day, she stood at the bus stop at 5 am to be in downtown by 8 am. This work ethic continues on close to her retirement age.
Memory One
My mom had to be the working mom, but in the summers, she took a few weeks off to spend it with us. I remember walking the clothes racks of Palais Royal (one of her favorite stores back in the day) buying much of nothing for herself (my mom was in need of a wardrobe update. She wore outdated, tapered jeans with some very mom reeboks), but usually, letting us choose something for ourselves.
Today on her birthday, I’m thankful for everything she is to us and the person she aspires to be. I want to choose to be honest, diligent and enterprising when times are difficult. I want to give without expecting. I want to be selfless like her.

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Happy National Midwifery Week

This week is National Midwifery Week. It’s one of many of my favorite topics. I had such a great experience with Nativiti. The moment I had my first appointment, I knew Nativiti was the right place for me. I had two appointments prior to Nativiti with obstetricians. I would say that both doctors knew what they were doing, but they couldn’t give me the “scoop” about birthing. My first appointment with Nativiti was about an hour to an hour and half long. Mostly I listened and Jaelin talked about everything from diet, to tea, to exercise. I took it all very seriously. At the moment, I really didn’t have a clue what she was preparing me for.
The day finally came. The day I get to show off what I’m really made of. This day I needed all the endurance, support, love, and power. Hospitals, society, women, etc, make a major emphasis about pain during birth, but throughout my labor, my midwives taught me to surrender to it and breathe through it. The most important part of my care was that I had options, I was supported in my choices and respected. When I was tired of sitting in the warm bathtub, they encouraged, supported, and respected my option to change positions. The small details (giving me water from a straw, placing a wet towel on my neck, encouraging me through my contractions, spoon feeding me) made me feel safe, supported, and loved.
Having a midwife made a major imprint in my life. My experience gave my husband and I beautiful and unforgettable memories. The choices we had gave us the freedom to work together as husband and wife through this beautiful rite of passage.

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MY WEEK IN REVIEW: “A MARATHON WORTH THE FINISH LINE.”

My favorite topic lately has been breastfeeding. It was not easy, but it has become enjoyable. For the moms who need help, there’s a whole lot of it. Beginning with La Leche League, they have been my source for every breastfeeding related question.

Also, a few things I’ve gathered from experienced moms and learned along the way….

Camisoles underneath my tops. Benjamin easily sweats, so I was concerned about using nursing covers. I decided I would try one. It was definitely uncomfortable fiddling with the cover and my newborn, so I decided I wouldn’t use one to make both Benjamin and I more comfortable. The camisoles do not necessarily have to be for nursing. I bought some at New York and Company that are lightweight and stretchy. They also have several color options.

The diaper bag. Being a first time mom, I put EVERYTHING in my diaper bag. I had a monstrous bag when I really only need diapers, wipes, changing pad, and a change of clothes. Now, I just carry my personal handbag with all the essentials.

Pumping. The best time for me is between 3 am and 5 am. Benjamin sleeps heavily during these hours, so I actually get a lot more done during the early morning hours. Although, I breastfeed throughout the day, I like to have at least one bottle ready for him. It helps to have one for car rides when we go out as a family, or if I need extra help during the day, Raul will bottle feed him.

All the small details came together through trial and error. I thought I had everything figured out from my perfect birth to breastfeeding. There were plenty of challenges at the beginning, but it’s been “a marathon worth the finish line.”

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WE’RE NOT JUST PHOTOGRAPHERS

We’re not just photographers. Sometimes we choose to be the water girl, the girl that pulls your hair back, or the girl that takes the new role as a midwife’s assistant.

For forty hours, I lived in a time warp. I vaguely remember hearing the clock tick and thinking, “I don’t want to know what day it is.” I remember everyone supporting me with their silent stares. When the contractions hit, I heard everyone cheering me on and encouraging me. I remember hearing the click sound as the shutter was being released and thinking, “I wonder what photo she captured.”

Here are a few.

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INSPIRATION MONDAY

One of my favorite quotes from Benjamin Franklin- his reflection on the joys and sorrows of bringing up children.

“When we launch our little fleets of barks into the ocean, bound to different ports, we hope for each a prosperous voyage. But contrary winds, hidden shoals, storms, and enemies come in for a share in the disposition of events; and though these occasion a mixture of disappointment, yet considering the rest where we can make no insurance, we should think ourselves happy if some return with success.”

On June 21, we welcome our “little fleet.”

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WEEK IN REVIEW: FATHER’S DAY EDITION

We are only a few days short from Benjamin arriving, and my husband has shown so much love and support; I consider myself the luckiest person. There was never any doubt in my mind that he could be a wonderful husband and soon father.
When we first met, he mentioned he disliked the idea of work. Of course, I nearly panicked and rolled my eyes at the same time. Slowly, I started to notice he put in 14 hour work days and  still managed to take me out on dates and never lose focus of what really matters, experiences and time.
He visualized life how I wanted it-worry free, always de-cluttering, and liberating.
He sets the best example of hard work, determination, and strength. He is also my reminder to live in the present and participate in life.

WEEK IN REVIEW

I don’t watch much television, but it seems I have accomplished more of it in the past few days than I could imagine. In between snacks, yoga, and meals, I managed to watch the following Netflix’s series.

1. Anne of Green Gables on Netflix. This series just makes me cry. Anne reminds me of my niece. She just wants to make friends, but somethings just work against her. Anne also inspires me want to read more book and say words like conundrum.
2. House of Cards on Netflix. Omg Frank and Claire are flipping crazy! I can’t say enough.
3. Cable Girls on Netflix. I love the 1920s era! I imagined myself with a cute bob, ruby red lipstick and a cigarette in my hand.
4. And currently 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. I feel this show is more for the teenage audience, so it’s taking me awhile to get to episode 2. However, I need to know what happens.

So now, I have a few weeks before Benjamin gets here. If anyone can recommend some new shows or movies, I’d love to add to my healthy dose of Netflix.