Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Introducing Joaquin, our perfect bolliti

Oh... the lights...

Our sweet baby Joaquin is finally here!

In just a few days I’ve lived the worst and best moments of my life. There are so many stories I wanted to share, like what it felt like to be among the 25% of pregnant women who deliver via a c-section. Obviously I was not prepared for that and could’ve never imagine all the emotional and physical distress I would go through. Nobody talks about that, or maybe I never looked for that kind of information.

Breastfeeding… Good Lord!… You take a class, or in my case, watch a video, and think that it’s that easy. But nobody tells you that on the night of your baby’s second day on earth, he gets fed up with colostrum and decides that it is time to get real milk, and unfortunately mom still doesn’t have it yet, and the bollito chiquitito makes you go through a night of horror after which a bunch of parents probably end up reaching desperately for a bottle of formula. I know it because Joey was very close to it, but seeing that his poor crippled sleepless wife still wanted to give breastfeeding a chance, he stuck around, and we conquered. That night was one of the worst yet funniest of my life. It felt like such an important family moment, I will remember it forever just as I remember the day of our wedding.

And then, the poop. After my milk came (an event everybody talks about at the hospital, kind of like who you’re taking to your high school prom) and Joaquin started nursing, we anxiously waited for the first poopie diaper as an indication that he was getting enough food. The poop didn’t come until the night I had to change Joaquin’s diaper for the first time. It was 3 am, I was alone with the baby, mom and I had a deal that I would call her to come upstairs if I needed help. There was poop in the diaper; I needed help. I reached for the phone and the darn thing was uncharged. I had to change the diaper by myself… I removed the dirty diaper and reached for a new one. But in that fraction of a second a fountain of new poop started streaming out of Joaquin’s butt. It had the consistency of toothpaste and it poured like a river all over his beautiful PJs. The mess was incredible… Poop all over…

This week has brought so many memorable moments I wanted to record, but the fog of recovering from abdominal surgery, and the time-intensive task of breastfeeding a hungry tiburón around the clock have made me forget so much… I’m not sure that I’ll be able to remember all the details. I keep trying to carve out some time to do some logging and uploading of photos for our families so they can see the changes Joaquin goes through every day. It’s hard, and yet I love this bollo so much. And as much as Joey and I loved each other before last Saturday, we now look at each other in a different way… A very nice and even more loving way… We seem to have grown more mature since Joaquin’s birth. I know now that whatever it is you think life will be after having a baby, you really have no clue until it really happens. Our baby has brought so much more to our home, and some time ago I didn’t know that was possible.

Mom and baby in his room
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  1. On , Petie wrote:

    Nice post. We’re happy everyone is home and happy. :)

  2. On , marla wrote:

    Steve and I had that same night. You’re supposed to get your milk in your 3rd night or something and mine didn’t come in until my fifth and I remember crying and rocking and thinking the world would come to an end if I couldn’t feed my baby with the milk from my breast. We soooo wanted that formula. I believe we’d even pulled out the bottle and got it ready and then low and behold the milk came and there was never a bigger sigh of relief.

    I loved catelogging all the pees and the poops and the time the baby spent on each breast and how often she ate. I remember calculating all the exact amount of minutes I would get to sleep before the baby woke for the next feeding. I remember sitting through episode upon episode of Little House on the Prairie during the day, recovering from the surgery and nursing the baby.

    And yes, the love between the two of you passing over this new little creature that you never knew you could feel so incredible about anything.

    The protectiveness like something that would swallow you whole, so all about being a mother and so scary at the same time.

    I’m sooo happy for you.

  3. On , ksr wrote:

    told ya….

  4. On , mandarine wrote:

    Welcome to the parents’ world. And welcome to Joaquin! Now is the time to let go, chill out, and just live the moment with your loved ones as if you were a gorilla mama. Nothing else matters. Not even the blogging.

  5. On , Mafe Maria • Noche de Perros wrote:

    […] The pediatrician is the first one to visit. He finds me crying and tells me that this always happens. The night we just went through happens when the newborn baby becomes more alert, wants milk, and mom’s body still has only colostrum to offer. He says that things will be a lot easier when my milk comes in. He says that he’s seen the strongest women break down at this point of their lives. His words are a lot of comfort to me. I decide to spend one more day at the hospital… That day my milk comes in and Joaquin and I embark on the wonderful journey of breastfeeding. […]

  6. On , polaris wrote:

    Maria, Congratulations to you, Joe and Joaquin! I haven’t visited in a while, so it is awesome to read this and see the pictures.

  7. On , Maria wrote:

    Thank you all for your messages… Wish I could reply individually to everyone, but as you can imagine, new motherhood is a full time job and the hours are close to 24×7.