May 5th, 2013 | No Comments »

Minha irma veio do Brasil para me acompanhar em minha estréia como mãe. Ela tem dois filhos – filhos que ela deixou no Brasil para estar aqui comigo, 100% focada nas minhas necessidades.

O que passamos juntas nesses dias deu um novo sentido sobre o que significa ser irmã. De forma semelhante a percepção que tive sobre minha relação com meu marido, a postura de minha irmã durante o intenso processo de parto abriu meus olhos ao sentido da irmandade.

Sempre fomos diferentes em tantos aspectos. Ela é prática, eu sou idealista; ela é organizada, eu sou caótica; ela planeja sua vida, eu deixo a minha acontecer. Apesar disso, acho que ambas nutrimos uma pela outra um afeto profundo que não é sempre evidente ao olho nu.

Nossas diferenças ficaram tão claras quando eu revelei minhas escolhas referentes ao parto – especialmente em relação a intervenções médicas.

E foi então que eu vi o amor fluir dela. Seu primeiro movimento foi compartilhar sua experiencia e fazer sugestões, falando comigo sobre intervenção médica para acelerar o parto e administrar a dor. E, francamente, eu fiquei desapontada por ela tentar mudar minhas idéias.

Porém, quando ela percebeu que minha posição estava tomada, ela mudou de atitude tão completamente que sua flexibilidade me comoveu – uma característica que eu não conhecia nela. Ela se uniu ao meu marido para me massagear, me ajudando a lidar com a dor que eu não queria apagar artificialmente. Ela pensou em maneiras alternativas que ela conhecia para suportar a dor, como imersão em água morna. Ela me protegeu do mundo externo, filtrando ligações, mensagens de texto, etc, mas ao mesmo tempo mantendo a família informada do estado das coisas.

Essa mudança na atitude dela e o apoio que mostrou foram para mim prova do amor maior – amor que é a raíz de um respeito pelo outro mesmo quando as idéias diferem das nossas próprias.

Eu espero que ela saiba que eu tenho por ela o mesmo afeto. Espero que seja percepível para ela da mesma forma como o dela por mim se fez visível nesses dias que ela está aqui cuidando de mim enquanto eu aprendo a ser mãe do meu nenezinho, às vezes seguindo seus passos, outras tomando uma direção diferente, mas sempre com o maior respeito pela experiencia dela, por sua opinião e por quem ela é.

Posted in life, Português
May 5th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

My sister flew here from Brazil to be with me in my inception as a mother. She has two children of her own – children she left in Brazil to be here with me, focusing 100% on my needs.

The process we went through together shed a new light to the meaning of sisterhood. Just like the realization that came upon me of my relationship with my husband, my sister’s stance through the intensity of my birthing process opened my eyes to the meanig of being a sibling.

We have always been very different in so many aspects. She is practical, I am idealistic; she is organized, I am chaotic; she plans her life, I let mine happen. Still, I think we both nurture for each other a deep affection that isn’t always evident to the naked eye.

Our differences became oh so clear when I brought to the table the choices I made for birthing my baby – especially when it came to medical interventions.

And that’s when I saw the love flow from her. Her first movement was share her experience and make suggestions, talking to me about accepting medical help to speed up labor and manage pain. I was against both. And quite frankly, I was disappointed she would try to change my mind.

Once she realized I was firm in my position, however, she shifted so completely I was moved by her flexibility – a trait I had not known her to have. She joined my husband in massaging me, helping me cope with the pain I did not want to kill artificially. She brought up alternative pain management solutions, such as using warm water. She kept the outside world at bay, filtering the phone calls, text messages, and the like, while still informing the family of the state of things.

This change in her attitude and the support she showed me were to me proof of the deepest love – love that is the root of respect even for ideas that differ from our own.

I hope she realizes I nurture the same affection for her. I hope it shows through as clearly as hers did to me in the days she’s been here taking care of me while I learn to be a mother to my baby, sometimes following her steps, sometimes veering in a different direction, but always nurturing the deepest respect for her experience, her opinion and her self.

Posted in life
May 5th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

Ideas

We are home with our perfect baby boy now. He was born on April 29 in a ‘normal’ birth, aided by epidural anesthesia. And let me say, I do not think I would have survived without it.

Throughout my very tranquil pregnancy my husband and I pondered the options. He has always made it clear that the final say was mine, since it was my body on the line. And he held my hand the whole way – physically and metaphorically. One of the ideas that was on my mind even before conception was that I wanted a healthy, toxin-free baby. That encompassed the way I prepared my body to conceive, the attention I had to my eating habits during the pregnancy, and the ideas I gathered about the delivery.

On that last item, I knew I wanted to provide our baby with a normal birth instead of a cesarean. I knew I wanted as little medical intervention as possible, and that referred to the method of delivery as well as to the ‘additives’ that are offered to laboring women.


Hypnobirthing

We found hypnobirthing as an alternative pain management procedure, we took the classes and I practiced a little at home, as much as I could within my busy routine.

Last weekend, when I went into labor, hypnobirthing was my companion throughout the pre-labor and early labor parts of the experience. The breathing and relaxing techniques I had learned helped me cope with the pain of the ‘surges’ – as they call the contractions.


My hero

Nothing, however, helped me cope with giving birth as much as my husband did. He kept me grounded and focusing on my breathing, he offered numerous times to get my hypnobirthing recordings to help me relax and focus, he massaged my back each time I had a contraction, he hugged me and danced with me (another way to relax the back muscles), and he looked at me with proud eyes that let me know I was being a hero to him as much as he was being a hero to me.


Crossroad

At 8 cm dilation, when my water broke, the back cramps I had were so powerful I felt as if I was being torn from the inside, and I felt I was going to lose consciousness – or maybe I hoped I would just so I would not feel that pain any longer. That was a crucial point in the whole giving birth process, a point in which we had to revise our expectations and deal with reality in real time. After being sure no harm would come to the baby, we agreed that the epidural was the way to go. And I am thankful we did. Thinking back to the intensity of what I went through, I do not believe I would have survived had I not taken the anesthesia. The epidural made it possible by masking the pain so I could birth my baby. And my husband made it possible by bringing to light our strength as a couple. I could not have made it without either.

Posted in life