Oh, a baby. And cleavage. And only sleeping in 2 hour spurts.
1.5 Ohh, cleavage huh?
You care about the cleavage? Really? I just birthed a baby!
2. Okay, tell us allllllll about your baby.
Well....we had a baby boy on December 3, 2016 at 9:17pm. He was brought into this world after a very painful induced labor and ultimately via an unplanned cesarean. He was 6lbs 5oz and 20" at birth and had a very funny shaped head because he was stuck in my birth canal.
3. Does this baby boy have a name?
Well husband often calls him "baby boy," but he is also known as Julien. Julien Gangsan Mandell. Gangsan (강산) means rivers and mountains in Korean and we loved it right away when my mom presented it as an option. Julien is a derivative of Julius and doesn't hold much inherent meaning. We just knew we wanted a name that started with a J (if we were having a boy) and we liked that Julien was easy to say for the Koreans on my side of the family. We also wanted to represent baby boy's French roots, so we wanted to give him the French spelling with an "e" and not an "a." I'm biased, but I think it's a beautiful name!
4. Say, why'd you skip the 1-month interview? Too busy for the internet these days?
Ha! Some (meaning the husband) might argue I'm on the internet way more than before because what else does one do in the dark in the middle of the night while a tiny human being sucks on your nipple? Internet. (I'm using it in the verb form, btw. #interneting ftw!)
5. Gee, you seem more sarcastic now that you have a baby. Is this true?
I'm feeling especially spicy right now not necessarily because I have a newborn, but because I detest trump and want to see him suffer. I want to lock him in a small room with no windows and a crying baby for 10 days and watch him shrivel up. So if you sense any sarcasm, its roots lie in my repulsion with our current president.
6. Trump aside (since he's evil and disgusting), how have you survived the last two months?
Minute-by-minute, I have no idea. But on the whole, I've survived because of community. My mama was here for the first seven weeks to cook, clean, and take care of me and Julien while I recovered. My sister Helen came during a pivotal time to help with my transition. She installed blinds, cooked food, set up my house for baby's arrival, woke up in the middle of the night to take Julien, and more! My oldest sister sent me 16 lbs of breast milk overnight when we thought my milk supply wouldn't come in, and then later flew out with her family to visit and showed me her "walk" to get baby to chill out. Hahah! My sister-in-law came and cooked us meals, held Julien when he was crying, and took my mom grocery shopping. We've had local friends bringing us meals. And I've been supported by girlfriends via text/email/social media. I'm so grateful for technology! Ironically, I have felt less alone because of it.
7. I've heard the first three months is really like the fourth trimester. Would you rather have baby inside you or outside if our bodies could handle it?
Odd but intriguing question. Where do you come up with this stuff? I'd rather have baby inside.
8. I also heard you're obsessed with something right now. What is it?
Freezing and storing breast milk. Every bag I can store away makes my eyes glisten with hope. Each bag represents a tiny bit more freedom! I duno, it's just fun too to see my little stash grow. I feel proud of each bag.
9. So going back to having a baby boy, were you surprised by his sex?
Honestly, not really. I had a feeling we were going to have a boy so his sex wasn't surprising. I was probably more surprised that the belly bump that was growing actually did house a baby - not an alien - and that the baby looked like a miniature version of my husband! (Although, he looks a tiny bit like me here...no?)
This is kind of a sad question. As miserable as I was being pregnant, I can now look back and appreciate it as a special time where literally my body was throwing the greatest magic show EVER. It made a whole new organ that would be the lifeline to a whole new human being. My body made something incredible (like you and me, and every human life out there) out of the miraculous meeting of one sperm and one egg in the most miraculous timing. It was really quite difficult to have this perspective while I was pregnant, but now that I'm not, it's crystal clear how remarkable that time was.
11. Miraculous seems like a theme here.
It is. I have PCOS, so I didn't even think I would get pregnant for a very long time or ever. Then to survive a pregnancy I wanted over within the first couple months was a miracle. Then to survive a very complicated delivery was a miracle. And now, surviving each day seems like a miracle. With all these miracles all over the place, you'd think I'd be a little more joyful! Unfortunately, it's usually hard to see the joys of this little baby because sleep-deprivation is torture and I've been managing postpartum depression since Julien's birth. (It's getting better little by little though. I think seeing him smile every so often gives me a bit of hope.)
Haha, yeah, I do.
13. C'mon, you barely mentioned anything about Julien. Why don't you tell us one thing about him that makes you smile.
When I change him, I love seeing the multiple rolls on his thighs. They are GLORIOUS! I don't feel right about posting a pic of his thighs because the only one I have is x-rated, but this pic might make up for it because look at that face!