3 Ways To Stay Involved And Make A Difference

Photo by ARTP on Unsplash

Let’s be honest; if you are a person of color, then the world is potentially scary for you lately. Despite the fear, however, you want to do something, anything! Yet, you realize that you might not have the time. How can you be active in your community or with issues you care about if you’re swamped with work, school, or life? (The oppressive machine keeping you in check, people.)

Here are a few examples of what I found to be most helpful when I can’t be physically active in my community:

1. It starts at home
To be engaged you don’t need to leave your house. Sometimes, we feel anger or sadness which results in wanting to be physically active, but that feeling doesn’t need to equate full out activism via joining a protest or organization. It can be as simple as having someone to talk to that’s close to you about the issues you care about. Start by talking to close family members and sharing your feelings with them. Heck, even talking to your partner about current events can be a great beginning. Then take it a step further, talk to someone within your family that doesn’t share your point of view. Those types of conversations are challenging, but they’re an excellent way to solidify your values, expand them further or change your opinions.

2. Find alternative ways to spend your money
We know that dollars can equal activism. When you donate to a charity, the act of giving to an organization making a change that you value is a great way to help, but there are other ways. If you’ve exhausted your will for charitable giving then why not spend it on clothes, shoes, art, candles, skin care – literally anything that you use on a daily basis? However, do it the right way, by purchasing those things from your local community. Exercise your spending power with those who need it most. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at your local shop, then look online. Our community is savvy and is starting to understand the value of the internet, give them a boost by visiting their websites and providing them uplifting reviews. If you still can’t find what you want from your local google search then look for latinx, or POC owned shops anywhere. Your money provides a living for those small business owners who need it most. Let’s show corporations where economic bounty actually lies. To spread the wealth with our POC communities by boosting our local economies is a perfectly acceptable form of activism.

3. Have time and talents, why not provide a small service?
Have social media skills? Offer to manage an Instagram account for your local taqueria. I think skills in the business marketing fields are the most undervalued or underappreciated for small POC businesses. The local grocery shop could have fantastic deals, great products, and amazing customer service, but no funds for marketing and outreach. In which case, they’ll always be outperformed by more prominent grocery businesses because of their ability to pay for advertising. In that same vein, if you do have professional marketing skills, why not offer classes to local small businesses? Teach them how to create a marketing budget, how to start social media accounts, and how to do local advertising. Regardless, any skill that you could potentially offer is bound to be helpful for someone. Every little bit counts.

As you can tell, there is a multitude of ways to be charitable with your time and money that don’t include being physically present. If every one of us provided one tiny gesture of service, we would all be better for it.

Taking Opportunities When They Come

If there’s anything I’ve learned while starting this new activism journey, it’s that everyone must seize opportunities when they come. There’s no time to mull around about it. There’s urgency to everything happening around us. Activists live life in the fast lane. It seems like the perfect profession for those that love an adrenaline rush or love to be in the spotlight.

I wish I were that person.

Last week, I saw an article (here) where researchers found there is such a thing as an “ambivert.” I cackled, loudly. It’s difficult to get me to laugh so enthusiastically at online articles, but this one had me. It makes me happy to know there is a word that describes my personality. If you’re confused, an ambivert is someone who is an introvert and an extrovert (or they fall on a spectrum in-between those). Yeah, I know. I don’t know what the personality “switch” is, but I can go months without wanting or needing to be around anyone. My idea of a perfect day is staying home, sitting on my couch, facing the window, lighting a candle, drinking some tea or coffee, and reading a book or working. On those days I can tolerate going to a coffee shop but only if it’s relatively empty. Then there are those days when I want interaction with ALL the people. I go to events, heck, I go to my mom’s house where everyone is always hanging out. Those are the days where I can’t get enough of being out of the house and talking to people. Why do I do that? Who knows…

This matters for my activism because most days I lean towards my introverted side. It makes taking significant opportunities emotional, arduous, and stressful for me. Interactions with big groups of people for planning meetings or networking events usually mean I’ll be the one listening to everyone speak while I hover on the sides of their conversations. When suggestions or requests are being made for collaborative efforts, I often hesitate to talk instead of adamantly or enthusiastically participating.

Two weeks ago, the organization where I am volunteering was asked to have our president speak at Yom HaShoah for our local Jewish temple. The week of the service the president was going to be out of town. He asked for others to volunteer, but no one was able. I recognized immediately that this was the opportunity to request partnership from our Jewish community with refugee assistance or volunteering aid, but I hesitated to speak up. I waited until no one else was able or willing to take an interest. After I typed up my response to assist, I waited a few minutes to hit enter. I was pacing all over the kitchen. Ultimately, after a few days of working up the courage to volunteer, I still couldn’t send a quick reply. Here’s the thing – I KNEW I could do it. I knew I could write the speech; I knew it wouldn’t be difficult. DUDE, I EVEN KNEW I WOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM SPEAKING PUBLICLY. Even so, I still hesitated. I still walked around the house like a crazy person looking for something that doesn’t exist – my kids thought I’d lost my marbles (probably literally).

Anxiety manifests itself so differently for everyone. For me, I always know that in the end, I can accomplish what I set out to do, but every time, taking the first step is the most demanding task.

Finally, on April 11th, 2018 I spoke at our local Jewish temple to about 60 people for over 7 minutes and the only thought I had when it was over, was that I need to speak more often so that I can be better. It’s too bad I can’t skip the anxiousness entirely to go straight to the feeling of accomplishment (insert annoyed face here) I have at the end.

My wish for those contemplating taking a step forward to help the world is to take that step – even if you need a few days to think about it because your anxiety spikes knowing that you’ll need to interact with others. If in the end, it seems like a reasonable sacrifice to make – if like me, you think you can overcome those hurdles in the end – then do it. At best, you’ll find the work rewarding, and the world will be better for it. At worst, you continue doing what you were doing before but knowing that you tried.

Note: I uploaded my speech to youtube, but it is awful quality. If you wanna see it anyway, then there’s a link to it here. I was gonna copy/paste my speech here but – plagiarism – and I don’t necessarily wanna copyright it so I won’t be sharing it, unfortunately.

A Bicultural Couple – Stories Of Our Life

bicultural couple

Most of the time we don’t even notice the fact that together we are a pair of different cultures in an interracial marriage. We deal with life as it comes. Our differences only made apparent when we are not together or when we are recounting stories of our younger lives. It’s possible that our almost ten years together has made us indifferent nowadays; however, I do remember that in the beginning, it was all we talked about.

Part of the problem, my mom, said at some point, was that white people were always on time. They didn’t like to be late. If you are Hispanic, however, it is inherent that you will rarely be on time for anything. After being together a few years, I would like to think I have improved my on-time skills, but I don’t think I’ve managed to be on time for anything other than job interviews, and medical appointments. Unfortunately, I’m positive lateness is in my genes. (Sorry, kids.) My husband has learned not to expect my family at the time they say, and together we’ve learned when it’s ok to be late or when it’s not.

On Saturday mornings my mom used to clue us in to start cleaning by playing her Mexican regional music on our stereo system as loudly as possible. We listened to people like Christian Castro, Joan Sebastian, Juan Gabriel, Los Tigres del Norte, or Banda el Recodo. As soon as the first song came on it was game time – start cleaning! Each of the kids had a task to do. At the time my brothers were too young, so it was mostly my sister and me. She would get to clean the living room, dining room, and hallway. I would need to clean the stairs, landing, the bathroom and sort the laundry. (Mind you, she is two years younger than me, and we were full on house cleaners!) We would switch chores every other Saturday. Now that I’m grown-up I still have that habit. The difference is when I decide it’s time to clean on the weekend, and I start blasting my Mexican music, my husband looks at me like I’m crazy (lol!). Had he been Hispanic he wouldn’t even bat a lash. Sometimes I listen to American classic rock, or Lana Del Rey, Muse, John Mayer, Emeli Sande, Young the giant, La Santa Cecilia, OG Shakira, reggaeton, etc.,  – yet he still looks at me, while I’m dancing and doing the dishes like I’m crazy. He’s learned just to let me be, but I think he has unconsciously clued into the cleaning routine. I’ve made my mark. (I did learn later that listening to music while cleaning isn’t only a Hispanic thing; however, blaring the music loudly enough for your neighbors to hear is.)

Comparatively, he’s done things that make no sense to me or that have bewildered me. Notably, my introduction to movies or film. He is a movie aficionado. He studied theater before he settled on being an IT professional. His family is just as invested. There was a time before we dated when we went on a lunch “date.” I made the mistake of asking him about his favorite movies. He started naming and quoting and mentioning, and I just couldn’t keep up. There was not a single thing he said that I recognized. I was aghast and stupefied. It would be a long time before I would ask him anything related to actors, or movies, directors or theater. (A long time! LOL)

Nowadays he makes it his mission to “educate” me. We’ve watched movies from directors like: The Wachowskis (Matrix, V for Vendetta), The Coen Brothers (Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men), Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s 11), Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element) John Woo, Peter Jackson, plus many others. He’s shown me movies like Boondock Saints, Chocolat, and so on. The list of films we’ve seen is endless; likewise, is the list he wants me to see. The time when I was hesitant to ask him about his movie preferences is long gone, nowadays I sit back, listen, and enjoy his movie ramblings.

Here’s a particularly sensitive difference between American culture and Hispanic culture: birthday cards, thank you cards, Christmas cards, birth announcements. Just, why? In my opinion, it’s overkill. If you are close to the person and the event being celebrated then why is it necessary to send a card? It’s a waste of money; it usually gets tossed in the garbage (after the obligatory few months on the fridge).

I feel it’s “sensitive” because all kinds of people have different opinions of them. My husband’s family adores them. My mother-in-law doesn’t expect them from us anymore, lol. However, if I didn’t send one in the past (I use the twins as an excuse now, sorry busy!), I could feel the oppression coming at me from a mile away with, “oh, we didn’t get your birth announcement – when was he born?” (You know damn well – you got the text) Then, recently we heard, “you guys didn’t do Christmas cards, but they are so fun!” (No, they’re not, they’re just a chore). This requests for mailed announcements wasn’t necessarily from my family anymore, but from friends or relatives, we didn’t see often. Maybe this makes me a grinch (or lazy) but I just can’t.

The ones that confuse me the most are thank you cards (writing them, not receiving them!). If I attended your birthday party or whatever celebration, and I gave you a gift, then chances are you already thanked me for it. Why would you need to thank me again? I applaud you for having the time management skills that I don’t have! However, if I didn’t attend the event and I sent a gift, it’s a gift. I don’t expect a thank you. I assume you will hopefully love and enjoy what I gifted – it’s so simple. I’m confident that the next time we meet you’ll probably thank me anyway (I have awesome friends like that). Or if YOU attended my celebration and gave ME a gift I will be thanking you for it right then and there. Nowadays, I can get away with not writing them because I have a legit excuse: twins and a toddler (my oldest is getting up there with the needing constant attention too.).

When you look at my side of the family, then you’ll notice our fridges aren’t covered in Christmas cards and birth announcements. It’s typical at Hispanic celebratory events to have a receiving line for gifts or to expect a verbal thank you from the hostess at an event. You CANNOT get away with not talking to Tio Carlos about his new venture or Tia Consuelo about how her family is doing while giving their gift – it’s rude. So, eventually, during the conversation rounds, you are bound by blood and law to say thank you for whatever gift they gave you and expect a thank you immediately when you provide a gift. And that is that. No written thank you cards in the mail to be sent later – more like backtalk and scolding if you don’t say it then.

Same goes for birth announcements – you are expected to know these events are happening and usually obligated to visit. You bring your welcoming gift (not the baby shower gift) and hang out with the family. Help them do the dishes or change diapers or hold the baby while they get to feel like an average human for a bit. You are expected to KNOW and beg for forgiveness if you didn’t. It would be a shame for you to be out of touch with your own family. It’s both a blessing and a curse – to know what is going on with everyone ALL the time.

So, what’s my husband’s view of this topic? Meh. He’s appreciative if you send anything (me too I promise) but doesn’t feel the need to address anything of our own. Please don’t get me wrong though! I love receiving them. I appreciate the time and effort it takes to book a photographer, get everyone all dolled up, and then miraculously get everyone to smile (simultaneously) for a family picture. It’s just not for us. Honestly, I’m not positive if it wasn’t a convenience for my husband – men tend to be more dismissive of this type of thing. He probably enjoyed the fact that I don’t think sending cards is necessary.

There’s a video I recorded somewhere of our oldest playing in the snow in the backyard. In it, you can hear clearly and consistently my oldest speaking Spanish – “Mami mira!”, “Mami, esta frio,” “Mami, ven juega conmigo.” Regrettably, her fluency is all but gone. Fortunately, she can still understand these words and if she wanted she could say them, she could. However, she is nowhere near the fluency she had when she was young. There is a multitude of things I could blame for her decline: myself, my job (too busy), etc. Ultimately, the excuse prevailing is the necessity to communicate with my husband – he only speaks and understands English. Now, there is a gawking obviousness to our cultural differences.

With the introduction of Jacob and the twins, it has been infinitely tricky to interchange languages at home. They are beginning to learn how to speak so, for now, it is best to stick to one language at home. That is not to say I don’t consider the possibility of my children’s future speaking Spanish, but I feel it might be much easier once they have established a language first. For my oldest, it’ll come when she takes elective Spanish courses in school. I hate to think my responsibility for introducing her to her culture via an essential tool must be taught instead by some institution that hardly holds her in any regard. My plan to make up for this is to one day send her to Mexico with my family for a crash course! In the meantime, she gets plenty of Mexican cultural learning from being with her grandparents and talking about my life growing up.

The sacrifice (as I feel it is one) of losing Spanish at home is not made with scorn for my husband because he can only speak one language. Instead, I decided because I am able. The actuality that in this lifetime I can love someone different from me is a cherished gift. Yes, it has had its consequences, but they are redeemable. We’ve made more significant strides towards a harmonious marriage despite all the outside noise by listening and believing in each other. I am a proud Mexican. My husband is a proud white American. Our two different cultures brought us together. In light of the increase in hate crimes and the boldness of previously “closeted” racists, here you have one example of how we can overcome this ugliness: love.

In conclusion, apparent differences from the beginning of our relationship are bygone. We live our daily lives as every other couple does. There is nothing “special” about us. The thing that would have a potential to divide us (hate) has only made us stronger.

I’d like to note; I do realize that other bicultural/interracial couples may not have as supportive an environment that I do. Potentially, they may not have the environment where the POC is BELIEVED to be oppressed. As a person of color, it’s hard just to live your life sometimes. At any rate, what I want to say is that there are interracial couples that are successful. There is the possibility of loving someone despite their skin color. Is it easy, no – but it is possible.

 

It is possible.

5 Tools To Help My Mexican-American Daughter Thrive Against Hate

ToolsToThriveAgainstHate

If you’ve been anywhere near social media, news outlets, or even outdoors, you know the United States has been fighting an epic battle of good versus evil. Every day somebody throws a punch in the direction of evil and every day there is someone there to punch back in the name of goodness. It’s a super Saiyan free for all. However, we need more people on the good side that know how to punch in the first place. Those people are the children of people of color and their allies. Yes, children of POC realize they are different but do they know that it is OK? Do they realize that they are entitled to share the same space as everyone else? In their innocence, do they also know that there are those that hate them, or have biases against them?

My daughter has questions for me almost daily. On our ride to school every morning we listen to the news, and she is aware of what goes on. She shares her thoughts and opinions with me but struggles to understand the grandeur of it all. At the moment, she is a lucky kid. Her schoolmates are accepting, her friends are her allies, her teachers are multicultural (though still mostly white), and anti-bullying is a top preventative in her school district. Recently, our local community immigrants’ rights group issued a request to our school district to take steps to make it an immigrant safe zone. Today she is safe and happy, but what about tomorrow? What about the times she’s not in school? For that, I’ve written a list for myself. They are my keys to helping her become smarter, stronger, and more capable of consistently having conversations and covering topics relating to struggles of POC. Here they are (in no particular order).

  1. Recognizing misconceptions from other people of color. Specifically, misconceptions from people who assume she’s not “Mexican” enough only because she doesn’t speak Spanish or even as stupid as not struggling enough because she’s an American citizen. Yes, she is privileged to have been born here, but her experiences of being Mexican are still not invalid. When these questions come with negativity or anger, then honestly the only thing she needs to know is that she can turn around and ignore them. The “holier than thou” attitude because they’re Latino and can speak Spanish doesn’t give them the right to belittle her. Sometimes, these questions come with genuine curiosity and then she has to decide how to answer – this is her decision. My job is to let her know that there is an option. She does not need to take on the role of educator for someone else’s ignorance. However, the opportunity to answer the questions with intelligence and facts will, hopefully, educate someone new. Alternatively, a “cheater” option, is to work on just telling people that their question is antiquated and they should not ask it. If they refuse to accept that, then we stop acknowledging them.

 

  1. Teach her how to identify comments (or misguided compliments) against her, against people of any race, against women, and how to stop them. An example is know how to fight against people who demand her family “learn” how to speak English properly or similar bullshit. Breaking news: the US does not have an official language! It won’t deter racists from heckling her to know that bit of information, unfortunately. As long as she understands the years of work and effort it took her non-English speaking family to learn a new language – the effort it took to assimilate into a culture that doesn’t even like them anyway. It takes some skill to catch the underlying racism, or misogynistic tone in comments when you’re only a tween. The best I can do is talk about what I hear or read in my own life. I share an article that talks about what women endure from men. We read about the good things women have accomplished. She learns about the triumphs of other people of color. If she knows what is correct, what is possible, and what is good, then she’ll eventually learn to defend herself. What I want her to know is that it doesn’t matter what you do as someone who isn’t a white American – as long as she understands that, any comment similar to this is just racism.

 

  1. Teach her about her body, how to love it, how to protect it, how to give it, how it belongs only to her. When I was young, my family planned a trip to Mexico that would only include my siblings and my dad. My mother couldn’t take the entire vacation off from work so she would meet us later. I distinctly remember, the day before we left she sat me down to talk about my dad. She said that just because he was my father did not excuse him from misbehaving with my sister or me. I was shocked. I could never imagine my dad wanting to harm us, but my mom knew better. She knew to equip us with knowledge, even if we never had to worry about my dad. We knew from a young age that our bodies were ours. I had the same conversation with my daughter. She wasn’t going on a trip with her dad, but I was leaving her with him for a journey of my own. We had a long conversation; she had a lot of questions (always lots of questions, thankfully). We’ve had many similar discussions since then. Sometimes they’re easy, or they manifest themselves naturally (first period), but they can be difficult. I explain to her that sometimes it’s not easy to find the best way to talk about something but that it needs to be done. It’s not a topic where I can always see the fruit of my labor. She will continue to have life experiences so therefore there are still many conversations to come. This is where I strive to keep our lines of communication open – trying my best to not judge her questions and answer her honestly.

 

  1. Teach her how/when/where to read the news and find reliable sources. Being up-to-date on current events is how we learn where our voices need to be heard the loudest. There is so much information out there, and it seems as though each source of news wants to sway you in their direction. What I’m aiming for, when we talk about the news I’m reading, is always to have multiple sources. Read news from local communities, from news organizations run by POC, by media outlets who support POC and even news that is reported by outlets outside of the United States. It’s tough to have your own opinion lately without needing to have reliable facts to back them up, but when you are reading for yourself, it’s not required to retain where you found a specific fact. It is only necessary to increase your knowledge, to keep being educated, and to continue to keep media accountable. Read my darling, read A LOT.

 

  1. I volunteer and participate in marches. This one is new to me. I’m not an extrovert. I don’t do well with big crowds of people. I don’t make friends easily or engage in conversation with strangers easily. However, it is important to me that she knows how impactful it is to volunteer and participate. I can see in her face how proud she is to see me help others. She’s not always ready to take part in significant events herself, so it is my job to show her that she can. I’m gone from home, but I’m gone for a good reason. I didn’t make dinner today, but it’s because I was helping others or educating myself. Our children see everything we do. I’m not a perfect parent, but I try my damn best. These events are also the ideal setting for meaningful conversations. They encourage us to have face-to-face interactions. She can see in the expressions on my face when a topic is hurtful or happy. I let her into myself so she can see how vulnerable or how strong I am, and therefore she knows how vulnerable and how strong she can be. When we do participate together I point out every action, reaction, poster, overheard conversation and ask her if she understands. What’s the point of engaging in something without comprehending why you’re there? She comes away from these events with more questions than answers, but that’s exactly how I want it.

My story isn’t a manual for how to talk to your children. This isn’t a list of how to live your life as a POC either. There’s inclusivity in acknowledging that there are POC out there that fear to participate or acknowledging a movement that involves them. It’s ok. There are others out there fighting the good fight for you. My only suggestion, if you know someone like this, is to keep them informed anyway. Don’t continue the cycle of oppression and ignorance by keeping them uninformed.

Do you have other suggestions for this list? Let me know. I’m always up for a good conversation.

 

The Greatest Dream Of A Mexican Mother

MothersGreatestGift

A Mexican mother’s greatest dream is to see her children clean the entire house by themselves precisely as she wishes it to be cleaned. To sit down and have a cup of champurrado while her daughters make dinner by themselves. To take a look and see from afar that they are independent and she doesn’t have to lift a damn finger. To know that they can make tortillas from scratch and wipe their nalgas perfectly clean. She has expertly groomed her daughters for adulthood, and she is proud.

My mother saw this come to fruition and now she is happy. Her duties as a responsible mother with chancla and cinturon upbringing have been completed. Unfortunately, it cost me a lot. In her view, my job was to find a good man with which I would show off my excellent cleaning abilities. Dutifully, she inspected the sink each time I did the dishes. With a careful eye, she checked every corner of the kitchen to make sure I scooped up every speck of dirt on the floor. When I cleaned the bathroom, the fixtures should have shined liked diamonds. Every single day, from the day I was young enough to hold a broom, she was there to critically review my work – using tones of exasperation when something wasn’t quite clean and proudly displaying her extremely non-poker-like facial expressions. Yes, she masterfully completed her life’s mission, but it didn’t bring about the result she expected.

I was sixteen when I left my parent’s house to live with my boyfriend. You don’t have to tell me how fucked up that was. I thought, “hey, I know how to clean and cook! I (think) I’m in love with this guy (read asshole and just as naive) and I’m old enough to be on my own anyway!” What should have been typical teen behavior, via telling my parents I hated them and acting out without meaning it, instead quickly escalated into a teen life crisis except I didn’t know it yet. My attempts to be independent outside of our home would come back to slap me in the face as a “tu no sabes nada.” I thought that because I knew how to be a housemaid I could do what I wanted. The ability to maintain a home doesn’t equip you with personal responsibility or actual life experience, however. After years of failing on my own and trying to hold on to a young, cheating, drug-addicted machista, I became pregnant. ( I was scared to death of becoming pregnant! The last thing I wanted was to become another percent on a teen pregnancy statistics report! I was on birth control for all those years, but it failed me.) What I wanted was to prove that I was a grown-up. I wanted a fantastic job, my apartment, and a sense of accomplishment to show my parents that I could be independent outside of their house without a “man.” The guy I had at the time was just a desperate, sad, ugly attempt at getting out of the house.

See me here now, many years later, with my children and my amazing husband, and I continue to struggle. This time, not with knowing what responsibility and independence are, but with knowing how to raise my children with the same fervor as my mother and with a more expansive view of her teachings.

Now, it is my greatest dream as a Mexican mother is to see my girl and my boys clean the entire house precisely as I wish to be done. I want to sit down with my champurrado and admire my son at the stove when he’s making food for the family. To lift every damn finger in my house and wipe the floors along with them. I want them all to make tortillas from scratch and also know how to wipe their nalgas.

The difference is that now I know. Yes, you can cook a delicious meal, but can you also follow instructions at school? Yes, you can clean this house and leave it spotless but do you do your homework with the same attention to detail and follow-through. Obviously, you can make tortillas from scratch but can you just as easily complete other things? Also, do they take the same attention and apply that to other personal relationships – do they care for others as they care each other?

What do you, my child, need from me to be successful outside of the home? How do I help you to become a healthy, independent person? The gist of my revolt was based on that one word “independence.” It’s a swanky word now for parenting books who want to teach you how to manage a difficult child – if only my parents had those same tools when raising me.

Now, don’t mistake my story for hating on my mother. I still rely on her for so much advice and guidance. My goal is not to undo what she did. I don’t want to erase her. What happened to me is part of my story. Instead, it’s vital to me that I find ways to continue Hispanic traditions that maybe we don’t consider to be traditional at all. To have children clean the house from top to bottom on a Sat morning is customary for many Hispanic families. What I don’t want is for those traditions to continue in the name of promoting misogyny and sustaining gender roles. In my new view, who TF cares who/what/where/when/if you marry. Let me maintain my cultural traditions and marry them with new values. Our customs are what make us great people after all. Who am I to end them?

Let us reap the benefits of having our children in mixed cultures. One where we have the resources online or within our American schools to better our parenting and where we seek out the guidance of the tough love from our Mexican mothers to better our souls.

Let me know what you think?

The Struggles Of My Twin Pregnancy – Part 2

Twin Pregnancy

There is no plane in existence where I could ever imagine knowing what it feels like to have a miscarriage. Similarly, there is no plane in existence where I could ever imagine what it feels like to lose twins.

To have the ability to carry life is nature’s gift of love, and to be able to do so times two is a bestowment of grand proportions. It is a blessing that comes with emotions I will never be able to describe aptly. To have the opportunity to feel not one set of arms and legs but two! The joy of hearing two separate heartbeats at your ultrasounds. Feeling an equally immense responsibility to assure their survival is almost primeval – something I felt with my other two children but even more potent this time. This time because there was a nemesis working against us that was the same that brought them to life – my body.

I left off my twin pregnancy story with the beginning of my journey to getting a cerclage. (Read the first part here.) As I said then, it carried the risk of rupturing the twins amniotic sac because of my dilated cervix but also the factor that I was carrying two weighed heavily as well. When we were given the time to think about our decision we knew there wasn’t a decision to make. The odds of these boys surviving were far better with the cerclage than just lying bedridden until infection (practically guaranteed because of the bulging sac).

Both options were risky, and if anyone reading this post has dealt with the heart-wrenching decisions that come with complicated pregnancies, I send you virtual hugs. If anyone reading this post has dealt with the loss of a child (at any stage) or loss of twins, I send you virtual hugs. I have pictures to prove that I did not have to deal with one of those realities, but we were lucky. As I stated in the beginning, there is no existence where I could imagine what you feel. My heart goes out to you.

My surgery to be scheduled for the next morning.

When I was in labor with my oldest the nurses gave me the option of having an epidural. Not knowing anything about pain management and the varying types of pain medication available, I just said yes. I was 18 years old. When my daughter was finally ready to be born, I felt nothing. My abdomen, my legs, my insides were all numb, and the only way for me to know when to push was when the graph on the monitor ticked the highest. It was one of the most disappointing moments in my life. (Being pregnant at 18 was only disappointment in that I had followed all the rules for preventing pregnancy but was one of the 1% – or whatever the small margin is – that got pregnant while on birth control – yay, me.)

When the time came, and the epidural had kicked in, I started to panic. The comfort of my coping space had kept me from panicking earlier, but I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about waking up to bad news. In that space and time, my façade of optimism started breaking away. The creepy feeling that I could not feel my legs and I could not feel my belly began to upset me.

I thought, “I can’t feel my babies!”

The realization made me panic, and I started crying. Internally, despite my horror, I tried to rationalize and understand that everything was OK, but it wasn’t working. The nurse noticed my despair and suggested that I be knocked out. It wasn’t even a suggestion. She told one of the other nurses that I was upset therefore I needed to be knocked out. No sooner had I realized what was going on before I started to drift to sleep – probably for the best, I figured later.

I don’t know how often you have been put under for anything, but the sensation is the oddest. Every time I’ve gone under and then awakened, I feel like a chunk of my existence was just erased – in reality, I know that is not true. I have been laying on the table the entire time, the world hasn’t just stopped going or disappeared, but in my mind, I’m poof gone. If it were like a dream, it wouldn’t be so weird but even when you’re asleep and dreaming there is still a sense of being and living. Being sedated is different.

Anyway, when I wake up, I want to cry again. This time because I’m disoriented, I vaguely recall my last memory, and knew I couldn’t feel the boys but realize that now I can. I realize that THEY ARE MOVING! At this point, I’m a mess about everything and bless the nurses (men & women) for knowing that I am pregnant and susceptible because when they come to wake me up, they immediately assure me that everything went well. That there is nothing to worry about and that they are wheeling me down to see my family. I haven’t been away from the hospital room for more than a few hours, but damn I miss them.

So, there’s the happy news. The boys are now safe. The cerclage was a success, and after another day of observation, I am allowed to go home. Yay! Except, there’s some fine print written on my discharge order, it says, “Strict bed rest, no lifting, no standing more than 30 minutes, showers no longer than 30 minutes, and sitting only when tolerated and for as long as it is tolerable.”

Yes, this will be difficult, but at least the twins are safe, again.

This is the part when you think everything is going to be ok. The rest of the pregnancy will be difficult, but there won’t be any more surprises – WRONG! I’m not done yet. There are still a few more hospital visits left for me. Apparently, I liked it there. The doctors and nurses were kind, I guess.

Let’s get to it then. This next stage setup is pretty mundane. When pregnant there are a few necessary tests given around approximate gestation weeks. I was due for my blood sugar test. (Yep.)

You probably guessed it already. This wasn’t even a week or two after my discharge. I suppose I didn’t have enough stuff on my plate.

The next stage of this story is gestational diabetes. Whoo hoo!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information contained in this blog post is not meant to assist in diagnosing any medical condition. Diagnosing medical conditions is the job of a medical professional; I am not a medical professional. The sole purpose of this blog post is to inform the reader of my personal experiences.

A Mother, A POC And Having Four Children – The Stigma

Stigma

The stigma of being a mother, a POC, and having more than two children is alive and well. Growing up this stigma was seared into my brain by way of watching my mother struggle to raise her four children. Also, by comparing my extended family, like aunts with 5 or more children, to those of my non-Mexican peers at school. Then, by the government and the media where they automatically assumed that a POC family with multiple children is likely on welfare. If I wasn’t drawing comparisons in real life, then I was busy analyzing them from the TV shows on Nickelodeon. Those where the white families of the main characters never had more than two or three brothers and sisters.

Eventually, I learned it would be in my best interest to not have more than two or three children – any more and I would risk looking like a poor, dirty, can’t keep her legs closed Mexican woman. The same as (I admit) I thought of other family members because they were POC, like me. Maybe not that they were dirty or poor, but definitely that they didn’t know how to plan for a family. I thought, “who on earth would want to have more than three children?” “They’re uncontrollable, they constantly cry, and the moms are always mad. I won’t be like that.”

Oh, how naive I was.

Ironically, I have now found myself with one more child than what I considered “ideal.” (Funny how life throws you curve balls.) Here I was, perfectly planning to have my third child, and suddenly I was presented with not one but two.

Now let’s flash forward to today. I have been avoiding going to any store with all my kids for fear of being labeled. How crazy is that? None of the things I once thought of people who fit into that monstrous stigma are real, and yet they are keeping me from going about the regular chores that come with being a mom. The stigma is then aggravated further when I read stories from other moms dealing with strangers’ snide comments about how they “need to learn how to control their children,” or “if you can’t keep them quiet then why did you have them?” Plus other nasty things people say.

So, why is it then that this stigma haunts me? Raising my children has taught me what reality truly is. You cannot plan anything. It was not my fault that I had twins instead of one child for my last pregnancy. My beliefs have evolved. I would have thought I knew how wrong it is to assume anything about any race – that striving to be white isn’t the end all be all. However, I am living in the environment that I idolized on those Nickelodeon TV shows when I was young, where the white family has a beautiful home, nice cars, a SAHM, and nearly the perfect amount of children.

It would seem this stigma has turned into much more.

Luckily, I DO presume my beliefs have evolved. Labels are meant for our food, not people. There should never be a basis of self-worth stemming from the number of children you have and what your skin color is. There is no such number.  Your race is not better than mine.

I want to highlight this stigma because I am well aware of how prevalent it is throughout the POC community. Sadly, even my family has been critical of my brood, and it is unacceptable – even if said in a joking manner.

So, my job as a mother, a POC, is to overcome it and learn – so that I can teach my daughter that she can be a full woman regardless of how many children she has. Irrespective of her skin color and most of all her choice to “keep her legs closed” because what she chooses to do with her body is none of our business.

One of my coping mechanisms is always to put on my brave face and separate the self that cannot with the self that can. So, in keeping with my personal growth goals for this year, I am ready to put my big girl pants on and take ALL my children to the mall by myself. I am opening up to feeling exposed but not being vulnerable.

Finally, if you find yourself in the midst of someone’s unruly children, don’t be an ass. Instead, offer assistance, a gentle smile, or “I’ve been there” knowledge. After all, raising children is hard work and never ends. Let’s not pile criticisms on top of that already tremendous job.

Some Things I learned On My Journey To Turning 30

Turning 30

I turned 30 today. Holy shit. Surprisingly, I’m not upset. Thankfully, I’m not stressed out about it either. Things only get better from here on out. Don’t be afraid – I know there are more of you out there turning 30 this year. It doesn’t mean you’re getting older it simply means you are getting wiser. Just take a look at all the things I’ve learned and gained while growing into adulthood. Then you can contemplate your own stuff – I’m positive there will be some great stuff in there.

  • Somewhere in my late 20s, I managed to pick up three kids – just all of a sudden I came home, and they were there. WTF. (Kidding.) (I already had Denise, so she doesn’t count. :P)
  • I LOVE lavender. Give me ALL the lavender. Give me ALL the things that have lavender in them. (I don’t care that it gives my husband headaches. I enjoy life’s simple pleasures, maybe when he’s not around…)
  • There was this time I went to the grocery store without any makeup on. I didn’t realize it until I was there. I did realize that I didn’t care. My husband still loves me, so, there. (Ha! Unintentional rhyming, love it!)
  • I also gave up shaving over the winter. Again, my husband still loves me. Most importantly, I still love me. Men keep their beards over the winter, so…
  • I am highly interested in politics. However, I am terrible at remembering the name of that senator that I am fond of or don’t like… Regardless, (LOL) I try my best to stay informed as best I can. I try to do my research when it comes to where I’m getting my stories from, and then I discuss what I learn with all the people I can – mostly my husband.
  • When I want to talk about an article I read on a news site I refer to it as “that article I read somewhere,” “it was about some guy,” “it was about some corporation,” “yeah it’s total bullshit.” Stupid details, like the name of the guy the article is about, always elude me (usually not relevant anyway). I know this makes me a pleasure to talk with – not.
  • I’m one of those people that don’t say anything unless I have something important to say. I used to think this was because I was shy, but now I know that I don’t want to contribute to a conversation unless it’s necessary. Sometimes it means I don’t say a word for most of a conversation (with multiple people) and sometimes it means I don’t shut up.
  • Give me all the dark chocolate. The darker, the better. I used to love milk chocolate – what was wrong with me?
  • Music is life. (Maybe I’ll make a Spotify playlist?)
  • Reading is life. (Follow me on Goodreads.)
  • No matter how well dressed I am, inevitably there will be a dirty spot on my shirt, my pants, my face, or my shoes because of 3 under 4. And before my current little ones disagreed with my fashion choices by spitting up on them, there was my oldest because she was a toddler too – basically, I’ve spent my entire adult life always covered in crap. (I’ve learned to love it.)
  • One of my personality traits (that I love) is that I am easy going. It doesn’t take much to please me, and I can easily go with the flow of things. Ever since the day I walked into my house and found those three extra kiddos (refer to the first entry above) I’ve become even easier going and can go with the flow even better than ever – I guess kids do teach you stuff, huh?

If you’ve made it this far I suppose I did something right while growing up, right? Because apparently, the things I’ve learned about me up until turning 30 have been somewhat funny and interesting. There’s so much more to this list, but I could go on forever. My intent for the next decade of my life (wow, why does that sound so bad?) is to continue this trend – hopefully learning funny things, hopefully learning things, but definitely, don’t need more kids. Definitely.

I found a few of my diaries the other day. I read the first one which I started in 2007, exactly ten years ago. On the first page is a list of goals that I made for myself. All of them had to do with being financially independent and purchasing items for one of those goals: my first apartment. While I read the list, I had a moment of realization! I met ALL of them.

At the time I wrote them I was still living with my parents, and my job was not well paid, in the least. However, all you had to do was take a look at me, and you would know that this girl was incredibly stressed but incredibly determined. Within one year I paid off my debts (credit cards), I graduated the IT training program I was in, I secured my first well-paid IT job, I moved on up in the world and got my second much better paying IT job, and I got my first apartment. All in one year.

I already wrote my new year “resolutions” post and put it on the blog earlier this week, here, but I want to add an item to it.

This year I want to get back in touch with that girl that I read about in my diary from 2007. The one that knew what she wanted and went out to get it. That girl got shit done. I’ve been so preoccupied with raising my little ones and don’t get me wrong, that had to be my priority – I don’t regret it – but now feels like the right time to put my big girl pants on, check my ovaries, and get my ass in gear.

One of the reasons this blog exists is because I needed a new space for myself. In the process of starting it I’ve learned so many new things – and while I love that I know these things – I’ve loved the process of learning them more. I even have a neat little list in my “to-do” section that includes new topics that I need to research (insert heart squeal here, he he he).

This year I want to take that new bit of learning motivation that I had when I started this blog and introduce it to the girl that I read about in my diary. The idea is that I will take them with me and together I’ll make great things – for me, for this blog, for my family.

I’m taking it to the next level, and I’m going to love it. So, here’s to the next decade of my life! (OK, now it doesn’t sound so bad after all.)

 

 

Welcoming The New Year – In Memoriam 2016

The New Year

I intended to post this exactly on new year’s eve, but it just didn’t happen. I even wrote a list of a few of my top grappling issues:

  1. Tackling speech therapy for Jacob’s speech delay
  2. The twins first birthday
  3. Facing rejection from my previous job
  4. Coming to grips with having a middle schooler
  5. Dealing with regrets about my education
  6. The election & immigration issues
  7. Starting the blog

There was so much more I wanted to include but not having completed that post is a perfect example of how the only predictable occurrences in my life are the unpredictable ones.

So, with the little time that I have allotted today to write for you, I’ll write about how I’m sitting at my kitchen table with Jacob on my lap (while he’s watching Wild Kratts on a tablet) recalling all of 2016’s happenstances. There were many happy moments but mostly arduous ones. I’m not complaining. Without those moments I would not appreciate the cheerful ones. Mostly, I want to say I’m going into 2017 with renewed vigor and optimism. And finally, that I will continue to look to the motto on my home page “waking up every day trying to be the best me that I can be”.

Additionally, I want to use this blog to send some vital loving juju into the world. It is my opinion that we’ll need it more than ever this coming year.

So…

To all the people who suffered in the Middle East due to this stupid fucking (undeclared) war: I’m sending some love your way. (And a donation to https://www.whitehelmets.org/en)

To all the LGBTQ+ people who are afraid or angry: I’m sending some love your way.

To all my immigrant families who are scared of what may come: I’m sending some love your way.

To all the families of multiples: I’m sending some love your way.

To YOU my reader, for whatever ailment is tugging at your soul, your heart, or your life: I’m sending some love your way.

There are so many atrocities going on around the world at any given time. I hope my bit of love finds its way to where you need it most.

Finally, I hope we all have the strength and courage to take the new year by the horns and kick its ass. Happy 2017!

 

The Struggles of My Twin Pregnancy – Part 1

Twin Pregnancy

Get ready because if you read this, you’re getting TMI. I’m covering, in detail, my struggles with my twin pregnancy.

I’m not sure where to start. I had so many things going on that at some point I said to my specialist doctor that I should be a case study. Here’s what I was dealing with: hypothyroid (I already had it pre-pregnancy, but it caused so many problems that I’m including it), incompetent cervix, gestational diabetes, gallstones, cholestasis, postpartum preeclampsia, and separated pubic symphysis. The twins themselves were perfectly healthy the duration of my pregnancy, but my body was not.

In part, I blame myself, not for my body but for inadequate baby planning. After Jacob was born, I decided I would go back to work and figure out how I felt about being away from him – as I’m sure new mothers do. I made it about two weeks before I knew I wasn’t going to continue working. I made it to about five months before deciding that I was ready to have another kid. The idea was that I was already home with one kid and I wasn’t going back to work until he was in school. If we did this right, I would have a new baby and a newly potty trained two-year-old. I would miss about four years of work before the youngest would be in preschool and Jacob nearly in kindergarten. It wasn’t going to be easy, but I would have two children close in age. I could do it. No big deal.

How does that quote go? “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Yep. Exactly.

The most significant issue I blame myself for is not waiting longer. Jacob was less than a year old before I got pregnant again. I didn’t have any initial problems with my pregnancy with him, but I did have the usual things that happen after pregnancy: weight gain, emotional unbalance, healing. I did not give my body enough time to heal. Somewhere in some medical journal, while I was pregnant with the twins, I read that a woman should allow herself at least a year before CONTEMPLATING another pregnancy. The body goes through so much turmoil and change to make a little human it only makes sense. I cannot say that waiting would have made a difference in how things eventually turned out, but I can say that I had plenty of time to wait to make sure it turned out better.

Right now I’m sitting at my table in the kitchen, and Elliot (one of the twins) is sitting in his chair patiently waiting for me to stop typing and play with him. Every time I look at either of the twins, I’m reminded of the hard work that went into bringing them into this world, and not just work from me but my family, doctors, and nurses.

Alright, let’s get started. In the beginning, the only symptom I had to reckon with was shock. I was a smiling, giggling, panicking mess. The idea that there were going to be two little people coming soon was too grandiose a thought to accept. I don’t believe it sank in until they were born. My husband and I went through the motions of buying another crib, of buying another playpen and double our orders of subscription coffee to welcome them but it wasn’t until we both saw two tiny bodies inside the isolettes of the hospital operating room that we finally accepted being parents of twins.

Then trying to remember the first trimester of my twin pregnancy is like trying to remember what you did the night before going on that drinking binge (not that I’ve ever experienced one of those…). I recall snippets here and there but not much else. All I can say is it took a toll even from the beginning. If I think about it, it couldn’t have been that bad, because after all, I did manage to take care of Jacob all by myself during that time. I just happened to be sleeping on the floor next to a playful baby for most of it.

The real kicker came in a little later. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about dealing with cholestasis of pregnancy during my pregnancy with Jacob. It was a shitty condition on top of the cream pie that was the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Jacob. I got a face full, twice. The second time, you guessed it, during the second trimester of my twin pregnancy.

One thing I did not mention much in the post where I talked about cholestasis was that it is normally a late-term pregnancy condition. In addition, it is usually most common in women carrying multiple babies. Finally, it is highly likely to recur if it was present in a previous pregnancy. Suffice it to say I was fully expecting it to rear its ugly head, but what I was not expecting was it would be so soon. Even my maternal fetal medicine specialist didn’t believe me when I mentioned my cholestatic symptoms were back. He reiterated to me what you just read and said he would take a blood sample just to be cautious. I think were it not for my constant itching while we were talking he would have ignored me.

So, the first condition down is Cholestasis. This time around I was fully prepared, and the only recourse was to take medication and resume weekly non-stress testing (Just like with my pregnancy with Jacob. You should read that post if you want a good backstory: here). Shout out to my husband’s job for allowing him to take 2-4 hours off from work to take me to these sessions every time – at some point closer to their due date they turned into bi-weekly sessions!

Alright, who’s next? Oh! I know! So, following my appointment where I did my cholestasis blood drawing I had another check up to do: cervical. I love those! NOT! Right up there with getting a pap smear, necessary but awkward. I ended up getting pretty comfortable with those checkups though. Eventually, I had a schedule where I had the same nurse every visit so I would get undressed, (half undressed anyway) and lay down nice and pretty for her. It made things quick and easy. (LOL)

As you may have already figured out, I had a full-on incompetent cervix. It wasn’t urgent for the first checkup. My doctor made a note that it was shorter than he was comfortable with for a twin pregnancy and I was advised to start bed rest. All this occurred during the tail end of my first trimester and into the beginning of my second trimester.

You know those novellas (or even TV series) where you’re hooked, and then you get the “to be continued” bullshit? I was the living embodiment of that sentiment – within a few weeks the beginning of my second trimester brought on a slew of new tests, scary moments, anxious feelings, mental breakdowns, and unlimited loving support.

I wish I had started a twin pregnancy journal while I was pregnant. The twins are now 18 months old, and all the hubbub of dealing with them has caused me to forget the details like the timeline of diagnosis for some of my conditions. All I can say is that sometime early on in my second trimester I had a follow-up blood test (after starting the ursodiol medication for cholestasis) to review the status of my cholestasis problem. The expectation was that my bile levels would have begun decreasing because I had been on medication for a few days, but that was not the case. The following morning, after my blood draw, my results came in, and I received a call from my oby/gyn – I was to report myself to the hospital, my bile levels were too high, and I needed to be monitored.

PANIC! This didn’t happen the last time! WTF!

As it turned out, this was the shortest of my many hospital visits. I believe I was only there overnight. Magically my bile levels started decreasing, and I was feeling fine (I had been feeling fine the entire time, really). Personally, I think this was one of those situations where my doctor took the extra double precaution that wasn’t necessary. You never can tell though.

Ok, so that was just the runner-up hospital stay, guess what happened next? ANOTHER APPOINTMENT, YAY! ANOTHER HOSPITAL STAY, YAY!

Almost immediately afterward, I had another cervical check and NST (non-stress test). This one, if I recall, was to make sure the bed rest wasn’t making anything worse, but… you know already. Here comes IC making its second debut. After the cervical check, I got dressed, grabbed my bag and sat in the specialist’s office expectantly waiting to hear some good news. What I got instead rocked my world.

My doctor logged into his computer, pulled up my file and opened up the ultrasound pictures from just a few moments ago. He didn’t have to say anything. I had seen enough ultrasound images to know what was supposed to be where and there was obviously a cervix missing and a bulging sac dangerously protruding through a surface that wasn’t supposed to be made available for months, months! I heard from his mouth the words “hospital bed rest,” “possible infection,” “high probability babies won’t make it.” When I think about it now, I’m surprised I wasn’t a living waterfall. I do distinctly remember looking at my husband and looking at the saddest man I had ever seen.

One of my coping mechanisms for anything stressful is to imagine myself past the end of that tunnel, past the point where whatever is currently happening has just passed and to the extent where whatever is happening has been surpassed by months. Most of the time it’s a picture in my mind’s eye of myself doing mundane happy things like sitting on my couch reading a book or playing with my children after they have been born. Imagining those things tells me that there will come a time where I won’t feel what I am feeling now – that there will be a time of normal feelings and normal things. I couldn’t bring myself to see “normal” at that appointment. I wasn’t a ball of tears, but I was steeling myself with stoicism. Don’t feel, just do. Go through the motions, and we’ll try to picture the normal things coming tomorrow instead – if possible.

This is the part where I am obligated to say a massive thank you to my family. My pregnancy consisted of not doing much of anything at this point. I relied on family to cook our meals, to watch my baby Jacob, and to chauffeur my oldest after school and for play dates. Literally, I could not do a thing. I was allowed 30 min showers and 30 min of light activity. I lived on my couch. MASSIVE. THANK YOU.

Luma, I thought you said you were supposed to be on hospital bed rest? Well, yes. As I’m navigating myself through my story, I am smiling, and you’ll see why in a bit.

Hospital bed rest is a bitch. No one who is genuinely fully functional can accept having someone else who wipes their ass because they’re not allowed to get up and use a bathroom like a normal person. Yes, I was truly fully functional. I could move my legs, my arms, I could lift my tush off the hospital bed but being vertical was forbidden. If I had to pee it was in one of those bed bowl thingies you have to awkwardly put your butt over and then pray you’re aiming in the correct location. (I was so embarrassed that I think my brain made my body constipated because the entire duration of my stay I did not shit.) TOO EMBARRASSED. OMG, I don’t know what I would have done if I needed to go. Side note, if you are reading this and you are in this same situation, then I am so sorry.

Also, last bit about this… if you are here and your husband is doing the ass wiping, I think it goes without saying that you will die together of old age. No man who is willing to do that for you will ever leave your side! LMAO!

OK, back on track. Here I was I believe two days into my hospital stay and a new maternal-fetal medicine specialist was on-call. She was doing her rounds and came in my room to talk. At first, she came in surprised I was on such a strict bed rest. According to her, it didn’t seem necessary. She allowed me to walk to the bathroom when I wished (YES!) and to take a shower. I was ecstatic and oh so confused. I was in the middle of discussing the change with the nurses when the specialist came back to the room; she had a look of “OMG I was so wrong!”.

By that time my husband was out of work and in the room with me. She called him over and took a seat. She explained that she had thought something was off and had reviewed my file again. As it turned out, the level of bed rest I was on before she came in was exactly as it should be (boo) – I should not be allowed to get up. Then she said she had an option for us to contemplate: a cervical cerclage. She finished explaining what it was; we were allowed a few hours to discuss it. After all, having a cerclage done with a singleton pregnancy had its risks. Imagine now trying to do a cerclage with a bulging sac on a twin pregnancy. There was a high chance of rupture during the procedure, and it was not a guarantee it would prevent any miscarriage or early labor; however, it would allow me to continue bed rest at home. This was the day that I allowed myself to go into my coping space. There would indeed come a day where I would have “normal.” Here is where I smile.

To be continued…

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information contained in this blog post is not meant to assist in diagnosing any medical condition. Diagnosing medical conditions is the job of a medical professional; I am not a medical professional. The sole purpose of this blog post is to inform the reader of my personal experiences.