The Rocco Report: 31 Weeks

Hello Squeezers! Coming to you a little later than usual, but I have good reason! The Buccios are back in NY  on a whirlwind adventure for the next two weeks. We couldn’t be happier! So much to celebrate- from Rocco’s NY sprinkle to Gina’s (Coco’s sister’s wedding) nuptials. We’ve been splitting our time between Long Island and New York, and currently we have set up shop on the Upper West Side. Basically I’ve been eating my way through Brooklyn and Manhattan and taking Maya to lots of parks. It feels so good to be back and can’t wait to share some of my favorite NY spots with you guys later this week. 

Rocco is non-stop moving in his tiny man cave. His jabs and kicks are quite strong! We’ve gotten to the E.T. phase- as Coco and I like to call it- where we can see all of Rocco’s body parts (arms, legs, butt) vividly moving through the walls of my belly. It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. I remember Maya constantly moving as well, but Rocco’s moves are a lot more sharp and actually sometimes painful! But I absolutely love feeling him, even when he keeps me up at night! Speaking of which, those Braxton Hicks contractions are in full force!  I’ll get a few throughout the day, where my belly tightens and hardens for a few seconds and then releases. It’s your body’s way of preparing you for labor. 

I’ve been doing so much walking, which is great, considering how little of it I do back in Miami. It feels fantastic to walk for blocks without having to worry about 95 degree weather and humidity. But I have to tell you, the first day I was out of breath after walking three blocks and I was freaking out. It took me a little bit to regain that momentum and it feels good to get my body moving again. Hey, it’s basically the only exercise I do. 
Daddy’s girl in the making. 

Minutes after birth and the moment love took on a whole new meaning. 
This week, I wanted to talk a little bit about bonding with baby at the hospital and those first couple of weeks at home. This was something I discussed with Coco extensively before giving birth. Let me begin by saying how much I love a ‘full house’ at the hospital. I come from a Cuban family and everyone knows that Cubans (for the most part) love to be loud, love any excuse to come together, and love to celebrar! We’re known for crowding spaces- especially hospital waiting rooms – and when it’s a joyous occasion, the more the merrier (same goes for Italians). And we’ll wait there for hours and that’s okay, because we never run out of things to talk about! 

I knew that I only wanted Coco in the delivery room, especially for our first child. We didn’t want to share that experience with anyone. We wanted to be the first people Maya would meet when she made her grand entrance (aside from the hospital staff). Coco and I wanted to share that happiness, that excitement, the tears, and the emotions between us.  And once she was born and the text, phone calls, and the first official Facebook photo went out, I knew I wanted all my friends and family at the hospital. I had an open door policy when it came to visitors at the hospital. I never had a problem with it and it was nice to have company to share in such a special moment. Maya was with me in that room all day, until it was time to go to the nursery. For the two nights I spent at Lenox Hill, I took advantage of the nursery and sent Maya to sleep there so I could get rest. I would then have the nurses bring her to me early in the am so I could feed her. Mornings and bedtimes were our quiet quality time. I would hold her for hours and just stare at her and play with her. I loved every second of it! After the hospital, however, visitation was a different story. For me, it was important that Coco and I had the first two weeks alone at home with Maya- that meant no visitors whatsoever. I did this for two reasons. First off, I didn’t know how I was going to feel bringing my baby home for the first time and the emotions that would come with it. This was a whole new ball game for us and it was an ‘anything can happen’ scenario and we needed to see what was in store for us. Secondly, I wanted Coco and I to get to know Maya on our own, without any help from outside reenforcement, because the reality of our life is that we weren’t going to have help. My family was in Miami and his family lived out in Long Island and it’s not like they were a hop, skip, or a jump away. We didn’t have the luxury of having our moms help us. We needed to figure it out on our own- the sleeping routine, the eating, the schedules, etc. It was us three- the three amigos- on this parenthood journey of ‘shock and awe.’ 

 A few weeks before Maya’s arrival, I had Coco write an email to all our friends and family letting them know how we were running the show when it came to visitors. Most of my friends completely understood, but I also know that there were some unhappy campers in the family who didn’t quite understand my “no visitor” policy once we left the hospital. I expected that, but quite frankly, I didn’t concern myself with what others thought because at the end of the day, I needed to do what was right for our family- what felt right for us. We went from being a family of two to a family of three overnight and that’s a mind-blowing crazy/beautiful adjustment and something we wanted to share amongst ourselves. Those first couple of weeks at home with a new baby can be overwhelming, emotional, exciting, nerve-wracking but they’re also a once in a lifetime opportunity to connect with your new house guest and your new life. Little by little, you start figuring out a routine, a rhythm, and you get more confident and more secure in your parenting. It’s all baby steps. And after those first few weeks, Coco and I lifted the visitation ban! My family members took turns coming to visit us, as did his family, and to tell you the truth, it worked out wondrously because it was after those first two weeks (at least for me)  that I really appreciated the company and the help, especially with Coco going back to work. I looked forward to those visits and they were well spread out so I always had a consistent flow of friends and family stopping by. 

This approach may not work for everyone, and that’s okay! Some new parents want a low-key hospital experience and want an influx of visitors when they arrive home. Some want visitors at both, some at none. Another option is setting up your own visiting hours. Give visitors a two, three, or four hour window of when they can stop by and meet the baby. You can even let your nurses know if and when you’re up visitors. They’re good about that. I’ll be applying the same system for Rocco’s birth. I already have friends and family asking when they can come and the same ‘two week’ rule applies. We’re going to need some time on our own adjusting to our new family of four, and introducing Rocco to Maya. Sh@#$t just got real with two kids! 

At the end of the day, it comes down to doing whats best for you! Talk to your partner about it. Talk to your family. Expect that some won’t understand your decision, but you can’t care. This day- this moment- is about the life you are bringing into this world and you have to do whatever feels right for you! And if you lay out the plan before hand, it’s one less thing on your ‘baby to-do list!’ 

Ready to go home! Say hello to our family of three. March 4, 2012. 

Bumpin’ Love,

Rocco’s mom