Sunday, October 29, 2006

THE CUTEST!

This is my most favorite Gideon face. He makes this oval shape with his mouth when he is ready to eat, and I just love it. I sat next to him with the camera, waiting for him to make this face so I could capture it and post it. Aren't you glad I did? Isn't he the most precious, sweetest, most adorable baby? He is now 18 days old. Isn't that amazing? He will be 3 weeks old next Wednesday. I know it's a cliche to say that time is flying by, but I really feel that he is growing so quickly! It really seems like yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital, and now he is making cute "o" shapes with his mouth. Sigh.

All in all, we are all doing pretty well. I am going a bit stir-crazy. It is hard to be in the house all the time. And I have things I need to do, that I haven't had time to do. There are still people who haven't gotten thank you cards from my baby shower, and Alex brought down the fall/winter clothes yesterday, and I haven't had time to organize them, so there are bins everywhere. Since I have to breastfeed about every 2 hours, and it takes about an hour at a time, no hay tiempo for Alexa. Sometimes, I am mid-feed, and I have to pee really badly. What do I have to do? Yup...hold it. And there are times that I have to think of when the last time I ate was. The breastfeeding has been challenging, but we seem to have gotten the hang of it now. I say "we", because really, I 've known what to do all along, it is Gideon who is being difficult. He apparently prefers to bottle feed, and is being lazy about boob feeding. But I am determined to continue this course, since it is better for him in the long run. I am already sounding like a mom, don't you think? I am on the verge of saying "you'll thank me later", or "things were different when I was 18 days old". Oh, he was sleeping, but I can hear him making "I am awake" noises in the monitor. I am going to go check up on him. He is probably making the "o" face right this minute! Talk soon - Alexa

Monday, October 23, 2006

A United Family.

Admittedly, I was initially concerned about Miggy's reaction to Gideon's arrival -- even more concerned than Alexa.

The fact is that in the past, Miggy has not been accepting of strangers. In fact, he gave Alexa a hard time when we first got married. Since then, he has grown to love her very much because she feeds him and has become an expert cat petter. It is true that he probably loves me more; after all, I did save him from a life of neglect and abuse.

Miggy's reputation forces me to be watchful over the situation, but as you can see from the picture, all is well and peaceful in our house. Miggy was a bit stressed and scared in the beginning with all of Gideon's high-pitch crying, but after 12 days Miggy barely flinches at all. Sometimes Miggy just sits and watches as we comfort Gideon, almost as if he understands that Gideon is here to stay as a member of the family.

We are still very careful because Gideon is still so fragile, but it appears that Miggy has accepted him. He has sniffed Gideon's toes, head and even clothes. As he does with everyone else, Miggy has shown some signs indicating his desire to scent mark Gideon, as aggressive male cats like to do. We won't let him though -- not yet at least.

Alexa couldn't be in the picture because she took it, but there have already been many beautiful moments where all members of our small family sat together peacefully.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Almost Famous

We went to Gideon's Pediatrician yesterday and a lady recognized him from afar. She asked Alexa, "Excuse me, but is that Gideon Soto?" After responding "Yes, " the lady expressed excitement.

Why was some strange lady pleased to see Gideon? More importantly, how did she know him by name?

The answer is simple. He's famous, or at least getting there. You see – Gideon and Alexa appeared on NBC's local New York news channel 4 at 5pm this past Wednesday. Dr. Max Gomez interviewed Alexa about a new NJ law that was enacted for postpartum depression screening.

No, Alexa is not depressed. She just happened to be a new mother at the right time. They sought her opinion about the new law. 90% of the intelligent stuff she said was cut out of the segment. It was obvious that Gideon was the star of the show. But Alexa was also cute during the interview.

We are trying to get the tape and hopefully post it up so all of you can see.

Other news. The Mets lost. Gideon, who was all revved up for the game as you can see in the picture, was disappointed -- as was I, but we're hopeful for next year.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Happy Birthday Gideon!
As you can see by my previous post, I started having contractions on Sunday. On Monday, they had escalated to a point that I went to the hospital to get checked, but I was not dilated enough, so they sent me home. On Tuesday, I went to my doctor's expecting the same, but to my surprise he said I was 3cm dilated and sent me immediately to the hospital! Alex and Andrea were both with me, since Andrea had stayed overnight to take turns with Alex; both helping me get through the painful contractions with Lamaze breathing exercises. We had already packed a bag, and left it in the car (thank you Shelley), so we just headed over the hospital which is pretty much across the street from Dr. Gallo's. I was admitted at around 4pm on Tuesday afternoon, and Gideon was born at 6:53am on Wednesday. I am not going to go into the details of the labor and delivery, but I am just going to say that I would not have gotten through it without my wonderful husband and sister as coaches. And without alot of prayer. I know alot of people were praying for us, and I know for a fact that the last final push would not have happened if it happened been for all your prayers. So, thank you. And Gideon thanks you too.
I just want to say that as corny as this sounds, my life will never be the same. Having Gideon has been completely and totally fulfilling. I love him like I have never loved anyone before. Every day, I just look at him, and can't believe he is mine. He is crying right now, so I have to go and see if he wants to be fed. Alex will be posting more than I will, since he is not breastfeeding. Thank you all for your wishes and prayers and cards and gifts. I can't wait for everyone to meet him. Love you, Alexa
Maybe Next Year

I'm a huge Mets fan and as a result, so is Gideon. If only Gideon knew what I know now -- it is tough to be a fan of the Mets and Jets. He really doesn't have a choice though.

This is what proud daddies do; they rear their children to love the sports teams they grew up loving. My brother, who is a Yankees and Giants fan, did it with my nephews. The sports rivalry my brother and I must live on through our children, and our children's children. In fact, Gideon already has more Mets gear than I do, thanks in large part to my side of the family.

Now that the NLCS is 3 - 2 in favor of the Cardinals, I fear that I may have to taste end of baseball season disappointment once again and say the inevitable phrase of hopeful sports fans worldwide; "maybe next year." Hopefully, they'll win so that Gideon won't have to savor the awful taste so early in his life. We'll see. I'm still hopeful that the Mets can pull off a miracle and still win this year.

Speaking of miracles, Gideon beat the odds against him during labor. Throughout the entire morning of October 11th, Alexa's contractions were consistent -- about a minute long and a minute apart (I think - I was so busy coaching her to push and breathe that taking time between contractions was the least of my worries).

When the doctor arrived to deliver, we learned that she wasn't pushing correctly. A nurse mentioned that she was pushing with her face. Lamaze covers breathing techniques, but for obvious reasons, not pushing techniques. So any pushing done during labor is self-taught.

On about 6 occasions, Alexa pushed, but every time she pushed, Gideon would sneak out then go back in. The doctor and nurses showed very visible signs of concern -- this was not good news for Gideon. I turned to Alexa. She looked defeated and tired as if she couldn't push any more. After a nurse told her to give one long push on her next contraction, we waited.

1 minute past. No contraction.

3 minutes past. No contraction.

5 minutes past. No contraction.

While only a few minutes, it felt like an eternity. At this point, the visible signs of concern by the doctor became outward, physical expressions of distress as he nodded his head as if saying "No." At this time, I was reminded that a successful delivery was not completely in the hands of our wonderful doctor. Nor was it in the excellent care Alexa's nurses provided for her.

So I decided to ask for divine intervention - I put my head down and prayed silently while stroking my fingers through Alexa's hair. I noticed that Andrea walked away. Later I learned that she also was in prayer at the moment.

Within seconds, Alexa cries out, "Another one is coming." She was feeling a contraction. She took a deep breath. Then with one final push, much longer than any other one, Gideon comes out. Alexa told us afterward that she also prayed for strength because she honestly felt that she could push no more.

Now that Gideon is home with us, I am reminded of the miracle that occurred in that hospital room. Sure, the Red Sea was not parted on that day, nor were thousands of people fed with just a few loaves of bread, but Gideon, my son, was born.

This was a miracle God gave me. He filled a need that I desperately needed at that time. I believed and He heard my prayer.

Prayer is a funny thing. It's something most people decide to do only when times are tough or when in a situation that is out of their hands. At that moment in time, there was nothing more that I wanted than for Gideon to be born and healthy. If necessary, I would have given all of my possessions to make it happen. Even my life. Nothing else mattered.

Now that the Mets need some miraculous things to happen in order to win, like in 1969, I guess I can pray that God makes it so. I can ask God to make these things to come to fruition - good pitching, timely hitting and errorless baseball.

But whether the Mets win or lose, I can go on living knowing that God already answered a true need in my life. I want the Mets to win; I don't need them to win. So I won't pray for them to win. If they win, great! If they don't, then Gideon and I will have to wait till next year.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Gideon Juan Soto
Born: October 11, 2006 6:53 am 7lbs/12.7 ounces 21 inches



I proudly present a few pictures of my newborn son, Gideon. Because of him, I have discovered a new love which has entered my life; one unlike any other love I have ever felt before. This love brings me closer to my God, closer to my lovely wife, closer to my wonderful family and friends and yes, even closer to my moody and sometimes menacing cat, Miggy. From the moment we first laid eyes on each other, I felt Gideon’s innocent stare piercing my heart and searching my soul. Moments like these are where I remember that love, in its purest form, overcomes all.

At a later date I will detail the miracle of Gideon's birth. Thank you all for your hearts, prayers and thoughts. Enjoy and God bless.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

4 am on a Sunday morning, and 39 weeks pregnant.
I was actually considering posting a picture of myself at this hour, so you could all see me in my insomnia state. I guess I hadn't seen me in my insomnia state, because there is no way I am posting any of those pictures. Wow, am I looking puffy and tired. I honestly don't know how I am functioning anymore; it must be for the grace of God. I have accepted my insomnia as something related to my pregnancy. It is really amazing how I can survive on so little sleep. Everyone tells me to clear my mind, but the truth of the matter is that there is very little on my mind at this hour. I am basically just reading, talking to God, or watching TV. And there really isn't any good TV. Lots of infomercial. I think they assume if you are awake at this hour, you are so tired, you will just buy anything. I guess what I am not good at is being totally alone. Everyone else that I know is sleeping. Even Gideon! Despite the fact that me being awake is technically his fault, he is sleeping right through it all.
So, I have been experiencing kind of painful Braxton-Hicks for a week now. They are a little scary, simply because I feel now that I will never know when I am in labor for real. At my last check up, I was already partially effaced, and my cervix had already started to soften. Don't ask me what any of that means. Gideon is now 7lbs 4 ounces, and he is in a head down position. Woo-hoo. I will post pictures of the almost ready nursery soon. Everything is pretty much in place, just some decorative touches left. Ok, so I am sorry for this boring post. I promise the next one will be more exciting, with photos and funniness. I am going to go drink some chamomile tea now. Sweet dreams to all. Don't call me between 7-10am. I will hopefully be sleeping then.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Just 2 weeks to go and counting...I am sitting at my desk at work right now, and I am completely and totally falling asleep. One of the "perks" of my body getting ready to welcome Gideon, is that I have complete and total insomnia. My ob-gyn, who is constantly trying to put a positive spin on my pain, let me know that this is the body's way of preparing itself for countless sleepless nights. Isn't that fantastic? (by the way, if you want to take a look at the cutest obgyn in Bergen County, you must check out www.drgallo.com) Don't you think the logical thing for my body to be doing to get ready is resting? Like in sleeping? I was so desperate for sleep last night, that I actually asked Alex to give me the rundown of his fantasy football team. I mean, that usually puts me out like there is no tomorrow. And it did...for about 30 minutes. Then, yours truly was WIDE AWAKE. Mr. Sleeping Sweet Dreams of Being the Ultimate Fantasy Football Champion snoring beside me, the cat staring at me with disdain because apparently I don't know that only cats are awake at this hour, the cable box letting me know that it was 1am, then 2am, then 3am...etc.
I have tried hot showers before bed (I haven't tried hot baths, because I am afraid I won't be able to get out of the tub), glasses of warm milk, chamomile and sleepytime teas, giant pillow, reading/watching tv until I am nodding off, praying, reading Psalm4: "In peace I shall both lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me secure." Nothing so far is working. Of course, everything I am reading online and in books says that this is Perfectly Normal. If anyone has any suggestions, please fill me in. I am pretty much willing to do anything at this point. I am in danger of becoming bitter towards anyone who looks rested.