Mary Dixon: Becoming a parent is beautiful, and at times overwhelming. And some say the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation have made it harder. In our series “The First 12 Weeks” we hear private moments of joy and frustration first hand, as we follow three Chicago-area mothers during their babies’ first 12 weeks of life. One of those moms is Kristal Acuña Pitts. She lives in Chicago's West Englewood neighborhood with her husband, her Mexican in-laws and their dog Flor.Kristal gave birth to Itzayana in January. She shared her experience with an intimate audio diary that begins with an early morning feeding.
Kristal Acuña Pitts: Today is Monday February 27th. It is 5:08 a.m. My name is Kristal Acuña Pitts and we're up feeding. I'm very tired. My breasts were swelling. You know, I really like listening to her eat, hear her gulp and swallow. It's so reassuring, I guess, knowing that she is getting what she needs. You know, that is crazy to think about how big she's gotten.
It's Monday, February 27 5:37am. Just finished breastfeeding that from long ago. I want to empty my bladder, which I totally should have done before I started feeding. I'm hungry. It's 5:30 in the morning. I'm hungry. So I decided to go and just make a tiny piece of a pastry and now the pastry is done. This body of mine, it's gonna take some work to get back to.
Good morning. It is 11:22 a.m. and it is Wednesday, March 1. Wow. We're already in March. So right now, I'm pumping on one side and I just put Itzayana on the other side to breastfeed, so we're multitasking. She's eating and just fed our other, our dog, Flor. I had to force myself to get up. Sometimes I feel like I'm just so tired all the time. And it's kind of annoying. Because I'm nighttime I'll be wide awake when it's time to sleep and in the daytime I feel like sometimes I just kind of like nap the day away, when I'm able to submit a to-do list and hopefully I'm able to get through today it will we'll see.
I'm hungry. I know it's already 11. Almost 11:30. But I haven't eaten yet. So right now my focus is making sure that the dog eats and that my little baby girl here eats and then I take care of myself after I guess.
It's Sunday, March 19. And it is 4:30 p.m. We have visitors here at the house upstairs, that we have committed to go and spend some time with since yesterday. This is what's next. I'm tired. I'm coughing quite a bit. Got a headache. Got to feed Itzayana. And then we're going to head upstairs. Sometimes I wish I could just just say no. See you next time.
Today is Sunday, March 26, 5:32 p.m. I'm currently sitting on my nephew's man in the backroom of my sister in law's house breastfeeding, Itzayana to calm her down. She is really tired, and so she's very, very fussy and has been crying, because everyone's passing her around, and they want to spend time with her, but she really just wants to sleep. The problem is that a lot of times we have to resort to putting her on my breast in order for her to actually fall asleep and it gets really stressful. So, the room and the mood of the house were from all happy, everybody's excited to like stress. All I could feel was stress, externally and internally.
Today is Monday, March 27 and it is 4:26p.m. I just got back home from running lots of errands today and I'm feeling so accomplished. I was able to shop, while actually Ismael was able to take Itzayana with him so I can go to the doctor's to get my X-ray done. And then I went back and hung out with her and my mother-in-law and husband. After that and went and picked up medication for my dog. All that time she slept through. And now we are home. I'm pumping. She's eating, and I'm feeling really good guys. The only thing I forgot to do was eat today. That's it! I also feel really good because today I woke up and I looked at myself in the mirror, and I felt good about myself. And I feel like I'm getting back to myself. Dressed up nicely today, you know? It’s a good time. Good time. Almost done with 12 weeks. I'm feeling good.
Mary Dixon: That's Kristal Acuña Pitts a new mom to baby Itzayana in Chicago. This audio diary was produced by WBEZ's Araceli Gomez-Aldana. Tune in tomorrow morning when Araceli will speak with a mom who is new to the U.S. and new to parenting. That conversation is coming up on Weekend Edition here on 91.5. And to read more of the "First 12 Weeks" series, you can visit wbez.org/first12weeks.
WBEZ transcripts are generated by an automatic speech recognition service. We do our best to edit for misspellings and typos, but mistakes do come through.