Modern Mom Battles Wives' Tales
Growing up in a Dominican household wives’ tales have shaped many of my beliefs and life style, especially now during this new journey as a brand new mother after 10 years. Every day you get a list of dos and don’ts from all the elders in your tribe. Here are a few..
- “No se lava el pelo hasta que sus 41 días de riesgo hayan terminado” (Don’t wash your hair until your 41 days are up).
- “Poner una faja para poner todo en su lugar.” (Wear a girdle so all your parts go back to place)
- “No deje que una mujer que está en su período cargagar a su bebé?” (Don’t let any women menstruation hold the baby)
And the list goes on and on and on. As a first generation American my beliefs are questioned and sometimes criticized by many. It is like I am battling myself and others on what to believe and what is bogus. Until one recent night… at 2 weeks and 3 days my baby girl was having difficulties pooping. She would turn red and was not relieving, and I was freaking out as this had never occurred before. My in laws immediately said she has Pujo or what you might refer to as colic. My first reaction was of anger, surprise, and “OMG, my baby has pujo!!! Coño!!! Who held my baby during their bloody period?”
A friend had come over earlier that day the symptoms started and was on her period so that immediately was a red flag. What to do now? After calling my parents and performing what seem to have been a 100 rituals from placing her on the floor and having a virgin (yes you read that right, a virgin) use a spoon to make the sign of the cross over her to tying a red and black ribbon around her ankles... I swore my baby was curse!!!
Finally, after a while I saw the sign of relief in her face and the cries subsided and my little heart found its way back into calmness and peace.
Now what can I tell from all this? I still don’t know what to believe in, so for now I believe in everything and treat my newborn with a lot of care and respect for her personal space. I make sure that I listen to all advice and filter out what works for me. Don’t drive yourself nuts but know a newborn is fragile and its pores are new to this world so you must treat it with carefulness and protect it and its energy.