Friday, May 14, 2010

Wow. Wow. Wow. I am mommy


">> Zaya Sol Fox Muniz has arrived!!!!

How things change once you’ve had a baby!!!! I have a very short window of time in between baby baths, breastfeeding, etc. to write a quick update on the blog while she’s taking her nap. I have been wanting to write here for so long!!! I also want to get pictures up so you can see how much she’s growing!!

So, Zaya Sol was born on the early morning of April 27th, 2010. She’s a miracle. We cried, rejoiced, celebrated. I

had had 32 hours of labor (I’m pasting a version of my birth story at the end of this). The sunrise was gorgeous over the ocean, a block from where she was born, and a rainbow appeared. I was high on adrenaline and despite 2 nights of no sleep, didn’t feel tired, and couldn’t wait to have her in my arms. When they brought her to me she latched immediately, and as the early morning sun shone in our room illuminating us, we connected to each other once again mommy and daughter in a near perfect breastfeeding moment. Ever since, it’s been one long feed!!! She can’t get enough. She needs it to calm and sooth herself, to replenish much needed water as she sweats quite a bit with that full head of hair and hot weather here. And she’s so big! 8 pounds 6 ounces at birth, regained in the first week! I can’t imagine what she is by now. We see her growing every day (I keep asking her to hold out a bit til August when she’ll be back to the states to meet you all). She never was a tiny delicate fragile little thing. She’s long (51 centimeters) and strong!!! No wonder I had convulsions going on in my uterus during gestation, she was getting quite a workout and was strengthening her arms and legs. She’s quite the little Italian with all her arm gestures flailing them all the time. She makes this cute oval mouth “ohhhh” thing too that is to die for. I kiss kiss kiss her all the time, it’s intoxicating.

We took her for her first pediatrician visit when she was 7 days old, all good there. She had to have a blood test (they do these things early here) and that was horrible, watching them put a needle into her arm, oh did she cry! High-pitched scream, this time, WITH tears. It broke my heart and I only hope it’s worth it. On Monday we’ll take her to the “Posto de Saude”, the local public health clinic, to get her vaccinations started – I think we start with Hepatitis B. Anyone have strong opinions for or against getting any vaccines? Let me know, I’m open to ideas. I feel like going with what they do here is the smartest thing, since it’s such a different context than the U.S., but if there’s a good reason to hold off on one of the vaccinations, let me know your opinion.

Que mas!? What else? My 2 wonderful madrinas arrived on May 6th – Paula and Phyllis. They came 2 days after me, eder, mom and pete had a serious family meeting about how we are getting – or not – getting along… it was a particularly stressful time. Zaya was born on a Tuesday, came home from hospital on a Thursday and I was really weak and needy. This house is so big and hard to get around – no railing on stairs and steep stairs. Then Eder’s family started coming to visit, I moved around probably too much, hate having to have everyone do everything for me (I know, I know you say I should live it up but it gets really hard), so by Sunday, I was feeling horrible and the doctor came Tuesday morning and determined that my incision was infected. At this point I couldn’t move, I was bedridden and in really terrible pain just getting up to go to the bathroom. Around this time my milk came in (I think it was on Friday?) and boy oh boy what they say about crying is true!!! I cried because Zaya was growing up so fast. I cried when I read people’s emails to us in response to the birth announcement, and wished you could be here to see her. I cried because I was so dependent on people for help. Because I couldn’t walk and rock her. I cried because she was so beautiful. I cried when I tried to walk to the bathroom from the pain, and when Eder and I couldn’t agree on little things. I cried and cried. What a week. But things calmed down, the anti-biotics kicked in and the incision started to heal. I got my strength back and things got so much better. I’m finally on the up and up!!!

I have so much more to write, but I hear my little peanut, pumpkin, xoxo, papai, mamacita, burper and farter, bodacious butter starting to stir in her little mosses basket (nonna – my mom - is amazing – hooked her up with the cutest amenities… changing table, crib (she is still sleeping in our bed though, can’t quite get her to the crib yet), and non-stop support, big big up to super-none, can’t say what I’d do without her, I cried about that too!! The thought of June 10th and her leaving!!!).

Anyway, will post tons of photos here to make up for the lack of writing. Excuse the non-polished text, will try and write again soon, and fill you in on lots of fun stories of spit up, diarrhea in the bath (that was today – first time I tried to bath her on my own and she pooped all over the bathwater!!! Not fun!!! Especially since we have to BOIL all the water she baths in and wait for it to cool down).

Ok, really got to go. She’s a-getting-feisty.

Ps: after naming Zaya, we learned that there is a song by Chico Cesar, a terrific Brazilian musician, and he sings about Zaya!!! You can hear it on you-tube, link below, and lyrics in Portuguese too… beautiful song.



A primeira vista –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnFnUUxN7lM

Composição: Chico César

Quando não tinha nada, eu quis
Quando tudo era ausência, esperei
Quando tive frio, tremi
Quando tive coragem, liguei...

Quando chegou carta, abri
Quando ouvi prince, dancei
Quando o olho brilhou, entendi
Quando criei asas, voei...

Quando me chamou, eu vim
Quando dei por mim, tava aqui
Quando lhe achei, me perdi
Quando vi você, me apaixonei...

Amarazáia zoê, záia, záia
A hin hingá do hanhan.....
Ohhh!
Amarazáia zoê, záia, záia
A hin hingá do hanhan.....

Quando não tinha nada, eu quis
Quando tudo era ausência, esperei
Quando tive frio, tremi
Quando tive coragem, liguei...

Quando chegou carta, abri
Quando ouvi Salif Keita, dancei
Quando o olho brilhou, entendi
Quando criei asas, voei...

Quando me chamou, eu vim
Quando dei por mim, tava aqui
Quando lhe achei, me perdi
Quando vi você, me apaixonei...

Amarazáia zoê, záia, záia
A hin hingá do hanhan...
Ohhhhh!
Amarazáia zoê, záia, záia
A hin hingá do hanhan.....

Quando me chamou, eu vim
Quando dei por mim, tava aqui
Quando lhe achei, me perdi
Quando vi você, me apaixonei...

Amarazáia zoê, záia, záia
A hin hingá do hanhan....

Ohhhhh!
Amarazáia zoê, záia, záia
A hin hingá do hanhan...(2x)

Ohhhhh!
Amarazáia zoê, záia, záia...

Zaya’s Birth Story


Zaya Sol Fox Muniz was born at 4:05am on April 27th in Salvador, Brazil. She is wonderful, marvelous, heavenly, irresistible, and incredible!!!! Here’s her story of how she came into this world.

Month 9 was getting tough, after having quite an easy pregnancy overall. I was experiencing pain as she descended and positioned, headfirst. On Sunday, April 25th, I had slept very different and was experiencing back pain and weird things unlike before. In the grocery store I said to eder (around 5pm) I better start timing these strange pains just to be sure they aren’t contractions, though I didn’t think they were. I was really agitated, couldn’t keep my concentration on anything. Later, while skyping with my stepmom and dad, my stepmom described her labor contractions as very similar to mine – not quite painful, a bit deceiving, but indeed, it was the beginning. We went to bed, I was pretty anxious and excited. My mom and my stepdad Pete were heading back to the city after 3 nights away on an island. They were waiting for a delayed Ferry to get back. I didn’t want to tell them I thought I was in labor, not worth the anxiety… so Eder and I headed to bed. I had a little notebook and pen and tried to record contractions throughout the night. They felt like they were really short, and I could deal with the pain. By morning, they grew in intensity, in the middle of the night my mom and pete came home and so I woke them in the morning with the news. We all started getting ready, and I started having the contractions quite regularly. What felt like 10-sec contractions were actually going for about 30-45 seconds, good news!! I also felt like – wow, this is hard, painful, but I can do it, I can get through these! But I definitely needed Eder’s help pressing on my back – and for good reason, it turns out that Zaya was posterior, which puts incredible pressure on the back. So he had to be around me all the time. I was doing the whole lay down in between contractions and rest, get up and lean over the bed, swaying back and forth, side to side during contractions, with someone applying pressure on my back. Mom was keeping me hydrated with electrolytes, coconut water, even a glass of wine to help me rest. I was able to eat a big breakfast and lunch, was hungry!! At some point I decided to go downstairs, I even went for a swim! (we’re living at my mom’s rental house during these 2 months). Then we played some Pinnacle, taking time to massage me through contractions. I remember the contractions being painful for sure, but thinking – I can handle this, it’s gotta get harder than this! Bring it on! While playing cards my mom had dropped the wine bottle in the kitchen but never cleaned up the glass… what were we thinking!? At this point we were waiting for the doctor (Marilena) to arrive, and when she did (around 6pm?) we went upstairs. I was 6 centimeters dilated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I rejoiced! Wow, not bad, I was so proud I had come so far. Pete and Eder went to take a photo of the sunset (urgh, not good timing) mom attending to my worsening pains (I think the vaginal exam made them get more intense). Mom’s arthritic hands were no match for the type of pressure I needed. In the meantime Marilena went to the kitchen to prepare food she brought and we realized there was glass all over and her bare feet!!! Mom went running down to help her… ahh, it’s those little things during labor. Eder and Pete got back and I asked Eder please never leave me again!!! This is when things do start to get blurry for me and really much harder. Eder and Pete set up the pool in the room, taking turns applying back pressure. Contractions were longer and closer together. Marilena was very relaxed hanging out on the bed, reading some of my birthing books, she was a beautiful, peaceful and calming energy to have around the whole time. She re-read my 4-page birth plan, and was really non-intrusive. The back pain was getting harder and harder, with my need for someone to apply pressure more and more urgent and harder. My stepdad sort of became a birth partner out of the inevitability of needing his strong hands and muscles to put on pressure either with Eder or when Eder needed a break (he vary rarely actually did). My water still hadn’t broken, and at some point later, I was at 8cm, progress, but wow, slow progress! I got in the pool and labored there for awhile. I couldn’t eat at all at this point and actually ended up throwing up quite a bit, so my energy started to decrease I think. This is the part that becomes a total blur. I know I wasn’t comfortable anywhere – the bed, the birth ball, the water… I couldn’t live without the pressure on my back, and rest in between contractions become very short, if not at all. I remember sometimes Marilena didn’t even have time to check the baby’s heartbeat, contractions were coming so fast, hard, and long. My water hadn’t broken yet and we were waiting for it to happen naturally but finally I asked Marilena just to do it to speed things up hopefully. She did and then checked, I was 9 ½ centimeters. I wanted to want to push so bad, to get things over, but I just had no desire. I wasn’t fully dilated. Marilena tried twice to do something – she reached up in and was trying to speed things up (I think by helping turn the baby around), but just couldn’t do it. This was the worse pain I had experienced yet. Wow. Now it’s like 2am and I’m starting to panic, I was in transition but it never ended!! No rest in between because there was no in between! Marilena said lets wait one more hour, and then consider going to the hospital, I was all for it. I kept looking at Eder, my mom, Marilena, wondering if I could do it. They were trying to be so positive, but it was horrible. Horrible. After trying one more time to reach in and do that maneuver, without success, we decided to go. I had no bag packed for the hospital, my mom was running around gathering stuff for me, baby, her, eder… the hospital we had pre-registered at in case of a transfer was full, which meant going to one even farther. Eder and I got in the back of Marilena’s car and mom and pete drove behind us. The 30 minute drive felt like eternity, with the pelvic push in the backseat not quite as satisfying… ; ) at least it was the middle of the night and we didn’t have to respect any traffic signals. In the car I asked Marilena if we could still try and epidural first before having to do a cesarean. She agreed. We got to the hospital and it got so bad. Separating me from Eder meant separating me from my pelvic pusher! I was screaming out in Portuguese to the nurses pushing my gurney to push on my back push on my back push on my back!!!!!!!!! They didn’t really get it, probably my Portuguese was all wrong. It took the anesthesiologist 4 looooong attempts to get that epidural in, and in the meantime, the constant contractions with no pelvic push combined with being poked in the back was the worse moment of labor by far. I was screaming something crazy, my mom and pete could hear me from wherever they were. Marilena checked the baby’s heartbeat and it had slowed down significantly, probably a side effect of the epidural? They told me I had to do a cesarean, I didn’t resist. They moved me to OR and started anesthesia. I was scared. I was relieved. I was relieved to not have the pain. I felt so sad though, I had been laboring 32 hours. I had taken the class. I had read more than 5 books to prepare. I knew how high the cesarean rate was here, the risk of being whisked into an OR. The private hospitals have an 80% cesarean rate, which is why I was trying to do the birth at home. But at the same time, I completely trusted my doctor who I know was really invested in me having a natural birth, and at no moment pushed for anything different. So there I was, going numb, all the sudden Eder appeared in all the scrubs, my mom and pete appeared in a window to my left. And here she came! Eder said – it’s a boy! Mistaking the umbilical cord. My doctor said, it’s a girl! It wasn’t the natural birth I had wanted, but it was what it was, and everyone keeps reminding me we’re healthy. I’ve been talking to so many people – they wonder if it was the combination of her posterior position, her big size, and my exhaustion after so many hours, not able to get her through to start pushing. Who knows. But, she is here, alive, wonderful, and we are crazy in love.

- carly, eder and zaya

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