2016 – The Year That Changed My Life

It seems cliche to write a blog post recapping the year on New Year’s Eve, but I am going to do it anyway.

Exactly a year ago today, my second blood test confirmed that I was pregnant. Even though I was still cautious of making it through the first trimester, I ended 2015 with so much hope for the year to come. 2015 had been a rough one personally. It was a year of living in 2 week increments pumped with hormones and false hope.

While a lot has been said recently about how 2016 sucked, for my personal life it has been the best year of my life. My kids may end up taking history classes on 2016 being the year the world changed, but I will always remember it fondly as the year I became a mother.

Nothing is without its rough starts. The first few months of pregnancy were filled with nausea and light headedness, which I took in stride because I was so happy to be pregnant. The first couple of months of motherhood were brutal, yet amazing. It has truly been a year I will never forget. I had always fantasized of what it was like to be pregnant and a mother, but the reality was quite different both in regards to the highs and the lows.

There is nothing like seeing their faces light up when you get into their sight line or smelling their perfect baby smell (even tinged with formula) or seeing them do something new for the first time. August 22nd was the BEST day, but every day since has been a wonderful adventure.

Whatever 2017 has to offer, I’m ready to take it on with my family of 3!

Gender Obsession


That is usually what anyone I run into while out with the girls will say. Sometimes they don’t even say it to me, but I hear them say it to whoever they are with.

If they are talking to me, the next thing they ask is whether they are 2 boys or one of each. When I respond that they are two girls, they look at them closely and usually continue with some comment about how they don’t look like girls or I should dress them in pink (sometimes they are) or I should pierce their ears (I did). Only one woman has responded by saying, “I love that you dress them in blue.”

The obsession with gender since before they were even born has been pretty surprising. I have never much cared if someone is pregnant with a boy or girl. I don’t think it’s something that I have even asked someone, but it was the main thing I was asked while pregnant by people I know and by strangers. I spent the majority of my pregnancy explaining to people that I didn’t want to know the genders. This bothered people a lot. They could not understand how I could prepare myself if I didn’t know the gender. It’s not like I was going to create a pink ballet or blue baseball themed nursery. Random people would make definitive statements to me about the baby’s gender based on my belly shape and size. I was walking on the sidewalk of a strip mall, when a man yelled from inside a T-mobile, “It’s a boy!” I had a standard response to these people, which was “Well, there’s two of them.”

This fascination with gender shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. My mom has always told me stories of having me in dresses and people still saying, “Oh, what a cute baby boy.” The thing is that babies are pretty androgynous. Depending on the angle I look at my girls they can look more feminine or masculine (and really what does that even mean at that age). It doesn’t bother me that people think they are boys, it bothers me that they seem annoyed to find out they are girls.

I don’t consciously make it a point NOT to dress them in pink, but I dress them in the clothes that I like. Sometimes there is pink involved and a lot of times there are flowers, but many times it is blue. I do refuse to put them in those huge headbands with flowers or bows bigger than their heads. It’s just a matter of my taste. I am fully aware that when they are old enough to choose their own clothes, I can end up with one or both of them wanting to be in head to toe pink or in a constant princess costume. Until that day comes, I will dress them like me: I love dresses and skirts more than pants, but I also gravitate to blue, black and gray. I don’t care too much about my shoes (comfort over fashion), but LOVE purses.

That’s the thing, there’s no standard way to be male or female, especially not as an infant. Once I tell you that they are girls, just smile or nod or simply walk away if you don’t like how they are dressed.


Those of you that have been following since I first talked about becoming a mom, or those of you that read back to past entries, will remember that one of my initial hesitations was what the community might think of my choice. It wasn’t going to sway me enough to change my decision, but I was concerned as to how it would be received in my “small” Jewish Hispanic community.

It has been truly overwhelming at how much I have been embraced and how sincerely happy people are for me and my family. I am pleasantly surprised. From the moment I announced I was pregnant, it has been nothing but an outpouring of love and support. Some have joked that I have a fan club. I know there are plenty of people who are disapproving and are keeping quiet (for the most part), but that is fine with me.

The only negative reaction has been somewhat an anonymous one. As is Jewish tradition, when a girl is born, she receives her name officially when someone (usually the father) goes up to the Torah. As soon as I gave birth to the girls, my father reached out to the Rabbi so that he and my brothers could go to one of the services and make Elena and Yael “official.” At first it seemed like the Rabbi was stalling and that he was the one disapproving, even though he had initially reached out with congratulations. When he finally spoke to my father, he advised that he was in full support, but he was hesitant to make a big deal of their birth as some others in the community may not feel as comfortable with my choice. In the end they were named and no big deal, whatever that is, was made. It wasn’t like we were planning a huge event. At the time this was happening, I was consumed with new motherhood and gall bladder surgery, so I did not let it get to me. I am OK with people not approving. I am not OK with people denying my girls the opportunity to be welcomed into the Jewish community like any other child.

Anyway, back to the positive. Last my mother held a tea for all the ladies to come and meet my girls. It was like their introduction into society without all the debutante stuff! Again, I was overwhelmed by how happy people are for me and my daughters. I know that the majority of the community has embraced our little family and that makes me happy. I am well aware that as they grow up, there will be questions from them, from their friends and others about our non-conventional family. I’ll be as prepared as I can to deal with that and make Elena and Yael feel appreciative of the unit that the three of us are. For now, I am extremely grateful for the warm embrace we have received from those near and far!