I dedicate this blog to my friend Melissa who inspired me with her own blog to reinvigorate mine...
One of my best friend's husband Ray told me this. "Your life is like in black and white. Once you have kids, your life is in color. Its beautiful."
I dreamt of a brand new house for me and my baby in Dallas. His own room. His crib and nursery decor. Life was perfect. But not real. Like the movie Pleasantville, life was perfect but life is not about perfection, its about being real.
Here in California, we are in living color. Real. Alive and kicking. Surviving? We would rather thrive.
I am so lucky to have decided to have my baby in California and raise a bonafide Berkeley baby!
Going back to the true nature of the theme of the blog, I wanted to share the main differences between having a child in Texas vs. California
In Dallas, the natural birthing world is small. Everyone goes to the same labor coach. Everyone knows the same doulas. My prenatal doctor coincidentally goes to my church.
One of the things I loved about Dallas is that when you are a liberal upper middle class citizen, you fit in. You eat at the same restaurants, know where to live, you all hang out at the same places. We all flock to the same people and places. You fit in. With the ease of life, you easily become part of a bubble and you almost don't notice the surrounding fast food restaurants and religious/political controversies that stereotype Dallas as often filled with obesity, rednecks and close minded attitudes. You drink a beer outside. Life is good.
I never delivered in Texas so I don't know. I did visit the hospital once and saw a cockroach. Maybe it was an omen?
I delivered in Berkeley, CA. I was so excited, the hospital was very modern- even had rooms with jacuzzis. I had 2 doulas. I was ready and in heaven to have a natural birth. Due to circumstances not under my control, I was given a c-section pretty much without my consent. There is a huge rise of c-section in this country and in this world and its sad. Doctors get scared. They don't want a liability if the natural birth doesn't go well. They also want to make a lot more money. Boo on doctors! If I could do it all over again I would have had a home birth! And are doulas in your corner? Not really. They are great labor coaches but when you are stressed, sleep deprived and need their help standing up to the doctors they coward in fear since they don't want to be banned as doulas in that hospital in the future.
Day Care and Education
Loving the options of day cares and preschools in SF East Bay. Montessori, Waldorf, Jewish play based- you name it, it's here. It's not bad in Dallas - just missing a bit of diversity. And the closest Waldorf school to Dallas is 3 hours away in Austin.
As for public school systems? SF East Bay on the most part rocks. Until you get to high school and the ratings drop dramatically. Its the opposite in Dallas. I am sure it has something to do with how cray-cray Texans are about their high school football. Friday Night Lights anyone?
Walk, run baby run...
I love the Dallas heat. I miss the thunderstorms and the snow. But I drove everywhere in Dallas. How would I spend time with the baby outside? How will I deal with the heat when breastfeeding? In the cool breeze of the SF East Bay, I love the daily walks with the baby in the stroller and in the ergo. I also love the public transportation which was never ideal in Dallas.
Update on Me!
As a new mama, I am super sensitive to women's and children's rights. Because of legal reasons, I cannot say much but let's just say women and children's rights are near and dear to my heart and I have found a new passion in helping other moms and other children that are at a disadvantage. I hope to be a role model for other women and will dedicate my life to helping others in need.
Do I miss Dallas? Yes. Will I ever go back? I have no plans. California is my home now. Dallas was a great experience and I am very proud of what the city has done especially when I left with the new Perot science museum and the new kid area at the Arboretum. California has its pros and cons but I have found really amazing people here through joining new mom groups. Nothing is perfect here. Nothing is easy. But there is a realness here that shows the nitty gritty of life that juxtaposes the amazing beauty and perseverance of moms dealing with life. The vulnerability and the candor that holds a common thread of moms everywhere.
I feel welcomed. I feel like I belong. I feel humbled. And most of all I feel my son has a bright future ahead here.
I am me again.
We are home.