Thoughts on Motherhood

Eli_Dressed UpMama Looks NiceEli_So Cute Face

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. My only excuse is that I had a baby and suddenly there was a new boss in town. Elijah George Troncoso was born on September 1st after 26 hours of labor, followed by a cesarean. Needless to say the physical recovery took longer than expected, coupled with the reality of taking care of a newborn. I spent my entire high-risk pregnancy being worried every day that something would take this little guy from me that I never planned for how I would take actually care of him. I don’t come from a big family with lots of children, nor had I ever been around any longer than a few hours, so my skills in this area were pretty comical. I’m also have an obsessive and perfectionist personality and as most people know this does not mix well with a brand new little human.

The learning curve the first few months was huge. I think I must have cried almost every day. Of course the raging hormones didn’t help and the huge struggle I had with breast feeding fed the fire and not to mention the not sleeping part – I was a hot mess. I remember the first day I was going to be completely alone with him was the scariest day of my life. I practically begged my husband not to leave me. I seriously did not know how the population continued to increase after the stark realization of being a mom became clear to me. Sure, I adored the little guy, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. And yes, as many have reminded me, it’s worth it (a phrase I’ve learned to loathe) and yes, after many years of trying I should not complain, and I’m not; I’m only pointing out that being a mom is emotionally hard. I really had no idea! 

But my husband did go to work and there we were – just the two of us. By the end of the day, I thought, well, that wasn’t so bad. Perhaps, I could do this. That one day was followed by two then three, and then I realized that I needed to leave the house to buy food. Leaving the house seemed like a daunting task. We live on the second floor and the stairs alone intimidated me. How was I supposed to carry the car seat with a baby and a diaper bag stuffed with every possible thing you might need (I was a new mom, okay!) all the way to my car through the courtyard and then around to my garage. I did manage to do this. I got to the store and realized that the stroller would have to be the cart. Eli has never liked carriers, so I could only buy what could actually fit in the space below the stroller. Surprisingly, you can fit quite a lot.

Once home I had to carry the groceries, along with Eli in the car seat, and stuffed bag at the same time. I did this in stages, taking long pauses along the way. By the time I did get everything back home the kid was screaming for hunger and for a poopy diaper. Baby screams, especially when they’re your kid are unbearable. I always became frantic. Now, I’m better at tolerating his cries but as a new mother it was literally the worst sound of my life.

But we survived! 

I suppose that is the point of the phrase, ‘It’s worth it, right?’ The reminder that despite the tears and fears, this little human is yours. And you’re his. Rubbing the baby soft skin and kissing those wet lips make it all worth it. So it’s true, it’s worth it.

But this Facebook, idealized version of motherhood that’s propagated on posting the cutest baby pictures everywhere (have you seen the ones I just posted of Eli. Egads, he’s cute) and making every non-mother believe that new motherhood is this land of baby bliss is false.  And by saying this, doesn’t make me a bad mother. It makes me a real one.



See ya later scaremester!

I’m officially 12 weeks and 2 days. I just told the last really important person in my life the news. This feels like a huge milestone to me, and I thought I would write a post to commemorate the occasion. I’m still having some slight spotting, but I’ve been told this is from the uterine polyp removed last week. Still the spotting is really psychologically disturbing, as you can imagine, so I really wish that it would go away. My midwife explained that about 20% of all pregnancies have some unexplained spotting/bleeding. I really am always in that low percentile. If there is a chance of something, I seem to experience it. But the baby on the 12 week ultrasound was doing a boogie woogie and the heartbeat was right on target, so I have to just let go of my fears. Naively I really had no idea how much fear and worry there is associated with pregnancy. I thought just becoming pregnant was the milestone.

I really love reading all the blogs I’m following. Some of you have recently become pregnant and this is so heartwarming. Others are still getting there and this is heart wrenching. It’s hard writing about my journey when so many others are still struggling. But today I wanted to write because it truly does feel like I’ve reached a new doorway into this journey and the feeling of hope and love is amazingly strong. I’m sending these vibes out and hope that you’re catching them.

10 Week Thoughts

It has been a while since I’ve written. Mostly because I’ve been having a hard time relaxing into this pregnancy. I’ve had a few emotional break downs and one trip to the emergency room. Even at ten weeks and a few days, I find it hard to rejoice in this gift I’ve been given, mostly because I’m so afraid that it will be taken away. But at this point the chance is very small. I’ve seen the heartbeat and my baby almost weekly since conception and each time a sense of relief floods my synapsis and for a little bit I relax. But then a few days later I start to worry again and the fear threatens to take over. I fight this pesky emotion with yoga, acupuncture, visualizations, and writing. I even allow myself to plan a little. This week I took on the task of deciding where to have my baby. I really want to have a natural birth at a birth center with a few close people and a doula. So, I toured UCSD Medical Center’s Birth Center and Best Start, a freestanding center close to two major hospitals, including UCSD.

After the tours, I decided on Best Start because it really was like giving birth at grandma’s house, as one recommender yelped. They also practice a method of prenatal care called Centering and this really interests me. The whole place gave off the essence of love and compassion. The birth center at UCSD wasn’t what I was expecting. I knew that it was in a hospital but I expected the birth center to be more of an oasis in the middle of a big city. But I never got that impression. They do have great statistics and the midwives at the tour were really professional and nice. Not to mention all the technology and specialists are seconds away. Still Best Start seemed to be a better fit for me. But then at dinner I started to bleed. It was a medium flow that seemed to come all at once and then start to stop. I immediately went to the emergency room at UCSD because it is literally two blocks from my house. I wasn’t having any cramping, which really helped to ease my fears.

The ER was buzzing with people and eventually, after a blood test, two doctor’s visits, and two nurses asking me the same questions, I was wheeled down to radiology for an ultrasound. The radiologist told me that the doctor would give me the results. I asked him to please let me know if the baby had a heart beat. He said of course. In seconds my little fig was on the screen. I could see the flashing light. The heartbeat. The sense of relief was absolutely keen, almost surreal. The baby even waved. I swear. It looked like a wave. She (I prefer to think of her, as a her, but a boy would be just find too) just kept moving around. It was absolutely beautiful.

After the most thorough ultrasound I have ever had, I was wheeled back to my room to wait to hear from the doctor. The radiologist did tell me that he saw a very small subchorionic rupture but that the doctor wouldn’t mention it because it was so small. At the time I had no idea what that was, but later I educated myself via google (the most dangerous thing in my life) and basically it’s blood that builds up in the layers of the developing placenta. It can become serious and eventually pull the placenta away from the uterus. The doctor told me that there was no known cause for my bleeding. A lot of women have unexplained bleeding during pregnancy and are fine. I was the fourth pregnant women that day to come to the ER. I asked him if there was a subchorionic rupture and he said no. So who knows. I have been having some brown discharge since then but no cramping and no red blood. I’ve had morning sickness and other oh so reassuring pregnancy symptoms in abundance, so I’m just going to have to say . . . it is what it is.

But it has made me revaluate my decision to give birth at Best Start. At UCSD I have immediate access if something goes wrong and a strong chance of giving birth naturally. The problem with birth centers at hospitals is that even though they really do believe in natural birth and want to make sure your birth plan is followed, they are also beholden to hospital regulations. This means if my birth doesn’t go exactly as they hospital sees a low-risk birth, I will be shipped off to labor and delivery where my choices might be made by other people. So I guess I need some advice on this. Where is everyone delivering? Hospital? Birth Center? Natural?