Plagiocephaly? Fooled you!

Baby Plagiocephaly | Undercover Mexican Girl
One of the first pictures I noticed showing her uneven head, when she was 6 weeks old

“C-section babies are born with perfect heads,” my boss at the time would say. She knew I’d been dreading a C-section and would say this to reassure me.

When Lucia was six weeks old and finally breastfeeding, I began to notice that when she’d lay on her left side, she looked like a normal baby with a flawlessly shaped head, a proportionally placed eye and ear, and a well-rounded cheek. But when she’d lay on her right side, the left side of her head looked a little off: a slanted forehead, a slightly twisted ear, her cheekbone flatter and the area around the eye stretched out.

Mind flipping through memories like thumbing through a card catalog at the library, back to the days after Lucia was born. Red marks on her forehead. “Why where there red marks on Lucia’s forehead?” I’d asked the obstetrician. Forceps. I clearly remember he said something about forceps.

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Congratulations, Your Baby Has a Teratoma and Laryngomalacia

A Natural Papa | Undercover Mexican Girl
Daniel being a pro as Papa

The summer Lucia was born, it seemed a lot of women I knew were having babies. Pictures going up on Facebook and Instagram, round babies with perfect heads, mothers with bright, sparkling faces. We’re happy to announce the arrival of our baby girl or boy, can’t wait to head home to our color coordinated nursery with prancing elephants and magical butterflies. And oh the breast milk! Breasts overflowing with milk for baby!

The day before we were supposed to go home, when my husband Daniel was changing Lucia’s diaper, he noticed she’d cry in pain when he moved her right leg. Something was not right—they talk about a mother’s instinct, but there’s also a father’s instinct, which is all we had. Continue reading “Congratulations, Your Baby Has a Teratoma and Laryngomalacia”

The Inevitable C-Section

Before the External Cephalic Version | Undercover Mexican Girl
Right before the external cephalic version

The bright fluorescent lights and cold air sliced through the operating room. No soft lighting from the lamp on the nightstand. No gentle breeze from bedroom ceiling fan. No walks in the backyard under the giant oak tree through hours of labor. An emergency C-section. She wasn’t supposed to be born this way.

I shook uncontrollably, stuttering over my words. The nurses wrapped a warm blanket around me and had me lay down while they continued darting around. Continue reading “The Inevitable C-Section”

Maternal Metamorphosis

Maternal Metamorphosis | Undercover Mexican Girl
Some of the books I’ve read to help me along the transformation.

My lower and middle back is stiff and achy, and my ribs feel as if they’re about to split apart. Even though the chiropractor is working on my back, along with my slightly misaligned hips, I feel as if I’ve inhabited someone else’s body. The skin on my back has sprouted something akin to acne*, which I’ve never had to deal with as an adult, except for the occasional pimple or two on my face when I get my period. I have to wear a pantiliner every day, because sometimes when I sneeze or cough or laugh, a bit of pee leaks out. Continue reading “Maternal Metamorphosis”

Farewell, Blue Denim Jacket

Undercover Mexican Girl | Blue Denim Jacket in Mexico
The blue denim jacket in Guanajuato, Mexico.

About 3 or 4 years ago, I stumbled onto an Old Navy dark blue denim jacket. It had been abandoned in a lost and found pile at Cattlelacs in Manchaca, Texas, where Doug Moreland hosted a weekly music jam. Doug was de-cluttering, and if I hadn’t taken the jacket, it would have been thrown out or donated. It fit perfectly—tailored but not too snug, with enough room to wear a light sweater underneath. It was meant for me, and it became a vital part of my wardrobe.

I wore it all over Austin and the surrounding Hill Country, to West Texas, to Los Angeles and the Bay Area, to Santa Fe, and to Mexico. I wore it with jeans and skirts. I wore it to casual places and fancy places. I loved the copper-toned snap buttons and the two little breast pockets. The way the bottom flared out with a hint of Victorian style.

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