Gender Predictions

I'm starting to feel quite anxious.  On next Friday, July 9, we will learn the sex of our new baby!  I'm so excited and I have no real "predictions".

With Marco, I was sure he was a girl... I just had a gut feeling.  Goes to show you how much I can trust my gut!  I was so surprised when they told me it was a boy... I needed them to double check.  In my mind he was a girl... 100%.  I even bought a doll, and when people would give me boy things I'd immediately want to return them.  I was so confident that it was going to be a girl.  When I found out he was in fact ALL boy, it took me a few hours to get used to the idea.  Not that I wasn't thrilled to be having a boy, but I had to wrap my head around it.  How could I have been so absolutely wrong?!  Within a few days we got really cozy with the idea of having a boy and once we picked out his name, there was no turning back.  We fell in love with him... HARD!

So, here we go again.  This time, I've tried my best to ignore my "gut", since it's so unreliable.  This pregnancy is somewhat different from Marco's, so that makes me automatically think GIRL.  But, at the same time, do I expect to have the exact same experience as I did the first time?  That's unrealistic!  Every pregnancy is different.  I am carrying higher than I did with Marco, but it's still all round belly.  With Marco, the belly started low, and I was in maternity pants at 13 weeks.  With this one, the belly starts above my belt, so here I am at 18 weeks and still wearing my normal jeans... with a belt... buckled on the tightest loop!  That makes me think that maybe it's a girl too... however, I've heard that girls are more spread out from side to side, and I am not.  I have a defined round belly, all in front.

A question everyone asks... What do you WANT it to be?  Of course we want it to be healthy, and deep down it doesn't matter what it is, but I'll answer the question, without the PC response.  We would love love LOVE to have another boy; mainly for Marco's sake.  IF I make it to my due date (and that is a BIG "if"), Marco will only be 17 months old.  It would be so wonderful for him to have a little brother, so close in age, so they can be really tight.  Of course he can be tight with a girl sibling, but honestly, it's not the same as same sex siblings.  Also, we're super cheap (lol) and have saved all of Marco's clothes and gear and would love to reuse it.

Now here's the thing, if we have another boy, then I need to get used to the idea that we may NEVER have a girl.  Am I, as a mother, ok with only having boys and never experiencing the mother/daughter bond?  Never shopping for training bras, never teaching her about her body, or talking about boys, or picking out her wedding dress, or being there when she has her babies.  Am I ok with the fact that the closest mother/daughter bond I'll have is with my daughter-in-laws?  And then of course, I'll be the intruding MOTHER-IN-LAW!! That's definitely something I'm going to have to be ok with, since it is still undetermined whether or not we will have another child after this one.

It's undetermined whether we'll have a third.  I think that if this one is a boy, we may keep the doors open because of my previous statements.  However, there is no guarantee that our third will be a girl, and THEN what?!  Four certainly is NOT an option!  Then again, if this one is a girl, we may close up shop for good.  Two versus three.  I think they're vastly different.  With two, you're playing man to man defense... with three, you're outnumbered.  With two, you can fit in a compact car... with three, you're driving a mini-van.  With two, you're ok in a 3 bedroom home... with three, you're way too tight.  The jury's still out as to what we're going to do.  I tell everyone, we'll see how it goes with two.  In any case, IF we choose to have a third, it wont be as close as Marco and #2 are.  I'm going to get an IUD so we have a good 3-5 years to put this on the back burner and think about it a bit more.  There's no rush.

Next Friday, our futures will be just a little more in shape and focused.  I'm so eager, anxious and excited to know what kind of baby will be joining us for the rest of our lives!  We know, either way, boy or girl, God's blessing have been vast and we pray that He continues to guide us in every decision we make.

My baby is ONE!

Today, not only do we celebrate Father's Day, but also the day my beautiful boy came into this world.  One year ago, at 1:09 am, he changed my world forever.  Let's take a little walk down memory lane, as I remember his birth day.

It was June 19, 2009 at 9am when I woke up feeling strange.  I knew I shouldn't be in labor, being only 35 weeks pregnant, but still something wasn't right.  I felt like I was leaking, but only when laying down.  I called into the OB and they asked me to come in.  Since I'd had several "false alarms" throughout the week, I told Mauricio to stay at work and if it was the "real thing", I'd call him to leave.  Little did I know that I really was in labor!  When I arrived at the doctor and they did the oh, so comfortable internal exam, they told me I was 1 cm dilated and 90% effaced.  I was definitely having this baby today!
They wheeled me down to the hospital, but FIRST to the BILLING department!  Can you believe they make you take care of your bill BEFORE you have the baby WHILE you're in labor?  That's a crime!  When I finally got up to the maternity ward, and hooked up, I called Mau and told him it was the real deal. I then called my parents, who immediately took off in the car, a 12 hour drive, to try to make it before the baby arrived!  Then as we all know, is the waiting game.

Once Mau arrived, I was much happier, as he always puts me in such a good mood.  He snuck in some Chick-fil-a, which I devoured (against all recommendations).  But, it was a mistake... as soon as my contractions became a little stronger, up came all my food!  Carol arrived to be another moral support for me, since she's a veteran, and the three of us were having a great time.  I was able to walk, move around and sit in a chair... until my water broke... all over the floor.  Then the dr came in, checked me and said those 3 horrifying words... "Let's start Pitocin".  HOLD THE PHONE!  No one is giving me Pitocin without an Epidural!  Even though my contractions were not unmanageable... yes, I was grunting through them, but not screaming/crying... I refused to have the Pitocin make my body a mad woman.  I had my wonderful, fantastic, lovely Epidural (and I don't regret it one bit)!

After the Epi, it was a REAL waiting game.  There was nothing to do but hang out, watch tv (which is nice because we don't have cable at home, so we take advantage of it at the hospital!) and talk.  At around 9pm, the dr came in and told me that we were going to wait till I was at 10 cm and let the baby come down as far as possible on his own, before I started to push.  He estimated it would be about 4 am before that would happen and he told me to get some sleep.  Well, I didn't take his advice and continued to talk and watch tv for another few hours.  At around 11:30 pm we finally decided to try to go to sleep, but were all very excited.  So we turned off the lights and the tv, and all of a sudden I had an extreme amount of pressure... in my butt.  It was so uncomfortable that I COULD NOT sleep.  I told Carol to run out into the hall and tell the nurse that I wasn't feeling right, and to come check on me.  When she finally got there and checked, it was midnight.  She told me that the baby was already down and I had to begin pushing!  It was time!!

The way you see the pushing in movies and on tv is not at all how my experience went.  Mine was so easy and pleasant that I really didn't feel like I was having a baby.  It was all so surreal!  I would ask the nurse, calmly, "Can I push now", and she'd say yes, so I'd push 3 times.  Then we'd take a rest, talk and laugh, make jokes, and then I'd ask to push again.  It's really amazing how your body knows what to do. It's not just that you want to push... you HAVE to... your body is pushing for you!

At first Mauricio was standing to the side, feeling a little apprehensive about getting up close and personal with what was going on down there, but by half way, he was bent over, looking straight at it, screaming "I SEE THE HEAD!" Carol, on the other hand, was not at all apprehensive.  She was ALL UP in that bizness... we reached a WHOLE new level of friendship that day!

After 55 minutes of on and off pushing, at 1:09 am on June 20th, my beautiful boy was born.  He came right into my arms and even with all that goo and yuck on him, I gave him a little kiss on the head.  I knew something was not right immediately.  He wasn't crying, just whimpering.  I knew, being born 4 weeks early, that something was not right with his lungs.  After cleaning him up and having the pediatrician come in to see him, they sent him to the NICU.

You always dream that after you have your baby, you'll be allowed to hold him and cuddle and breast feed, but that was not the case with me.  After that initial hold, I did not get to hold him again for 2 days.  They didn't even want me to touch him.  He was breathing really laboriously and fast.  He was given a mask that had additional air coming into his face so he wouldn't have to pull it so hard from our atmosphere.  He had the mask on all day, with the exception of twice a day for a few minutes.  Here is the only picture we got of Marco without the mask while in the hospital.

He stayed in the NICU for 6 days... the hardest 6 days of my life. (It really gave me an appreciation and admiration for the parents who spend months in the NICU).  You never think you'll go home without your baby and when you do, it's a very empty and sad feeling.  But, we had our homecoming!  
Marco thrived throughout his first year!  Even though he was a premie, he kept up with all of his milestones.  He's been a little low on the curve chart, but that's a blessing for me!  I'm not strong and have loved having a light weight baby! 

He smiled at 7 weeks:

Had a fun loving personality right from the start:

Sat up (tripod) at 5 months:

Always wants to be just like Dad:

Future musician:

And as we celebrate his very first birthday, we took a few photos to commemorate! 

The first birthday is bitter-sweet.  I'm going to miss my itty-bitty baby, but at the same time, I've been so blessed to have watched him grow and flourish.  May God bless Marco with many more birthdays, and may He give me the health and life to see it as well.  

Cravings Complete (almost)

Last week, I visited my family in beautiful sunny Florida!  I first went to the west coast (Naples), and then traveled to Miami.  While there, I took full advantage of all of the foods I've been missing and craving during this pregnancy.  If you read my blog, you've seen that I've been one frustrated pregnant lady!  Living and eating in Greenville are not so easy for a Cubanita.  So, while there, I did not hold back at all.
Fortunately, I didn't even have to travel to Orlando to hit up some of my favorite spots.  I did a quick search and found that these amazing establishments have moved south, to Naples, and I got my fill!  My mom took me to Crispers for lunch and I got to enjoy a wonderful Citrus Chicken Wrap.  It was so tasty and fresh... and they've added some crunchy apples to it.  I can't remember if it was there before, but it was a pleasant surprise, either way.
We also found a Tijuana Flats in Naples!  I couldn't believe it!  And, it was only a mile from my moms house!  What, whaaaaat!  I had two hugemongo tacos slathered with the yummy sweet sauce "slap my @ss and call me Sally".  Mmmm, too good.
Although all of this was amazing, it can't even compare to the delicious-ness that was in Miami.  Upon entering the city, I made my first pit stop at "the spot", Futuro Supermarket.  And yes, I had croquetas and a pastelito de queso.  Holy Cow, it was like dying and going to heaven!  Even Marco loved them... but I didn't want to share with him!  I had sooooo many croquetas and pastelitos while there, that it shouldn't be allowed.  I figured I needed to make up for lost time and empty cravings!  We had croquetas, pastelitos and tostada nearly every day while there.  And I said, "It was Good".
Now, I didn't blog about craving this next item, but I hadn't realized just how much I missed it until I had it... SUSHI!  Don't worry, I know I'm pregnant... I had the most amazing Dragon Roll (which is fully cooked with shrimp tempura).  It was so fresh and crunchy... I actually dreamt about it.  Yes, I can get sushi here in Greenville, but Mau isn't really fond of Japanese food, so I have to twist his arm a bit.  LOL.
So, now I'm back in Greenville, and I thought my craving quest was completed, but I was wrong.  Mauricio and I travelled to Charlotte, NC (on a whim) on Friday, and we took full advantage of that trip as well.  We visited the nearest Cheesecake Factory!  We shared a huge plate of Louisiana Chicken Pasta and took a Chocolate Moose Cheesecake home for dessert!   Anyone who says Cheesecake Factory is too expensive, just doesn't know how to order there.  Every plate can AND SHOULD be shared... seriously, they are ridiculously large portions!  Mau and I shared and I couldn't even finish my half.  It was oh, so good.
Overall, I'd say I was very productive during my trips.  I covered a lot of craving grounds.  I'm not completely done though... as you see I didn't even scratch the surface on Brazilian food, both salgadinho and pizza.  But, never fear, we have another trip planned at the end of June and I fully intend on completing my craving desires!