Greetings, ladies! I’m thrilled to be among the new contributors to this awesome resource and excited for the opportunity to explore my writing skills in a more personal way, that as a new mama.
My husband, Patrick, and I welcomed our first child on December 1 – a daughter we named Remy Lee. We didn’t know what we were having, which only added to the excitement for us and, it turns out, the labor and delivery nurses who anxiously awaited his or her big reveal. Until I heard, ‘It’s a girl!’ I distinctly remember thinking, ‘Oh yeah, that’s right we didn’t know what we were having.’ Ha! Labor will do that to you. Was just thrilled to welcome a healthy new addition and with both boy and girl names picked out, we were ready for either.
Honestly, not knowing not only added to the thrill of her arrival, but it kept our spending down (I would’ve been buying tons of tiny, adorable girl clothes) and our purchases of the essentials gender-neutral. So, in the event we are blessed with a second child – boy or girl – we will have pretty much everything we need. Ask Patrick; I’m too practical for my own good.
The past three months have been a blissful blur. Watching Remy grow and change and show glimmers of her personality has been pretty amazing. She stretches all the time, loves to stand on our laps and has added 4+ inches to her height since birth! Her 5’1” mama is jealous and wishes she could garner the same results. In the past week, she’s started to sleep through the night on her own, no sleep training. Not bragging and not convinced it will last, but as I prepare to return to the workforce where I need to look camera-ready, it’s very much welcomed.
Returning to Work
For more than a dozen years now, I’ve worked full time as a television news reporter/anchor for affiliates in Florida, Kansas and Texas under my maiden name, Alana Rocha. After time spent doing live shots in awful weather and covering deadly accidents, house fires, and the like, my focus is now on state politics and policy. I am the primary multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune – an online nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization based in downtown. I will return from maternity leave ready to cover the legislative session in full swing. There won’t be much time to ease back into it all and, frankly, the more distractions the better.
As I write this, my daughter is experiencing her second day in the care of someone other than me. (Cue ugly cry.) I have to say today’s drop off was a bit easier, but still hurts. I do love my job and I’m excited to get back to work, but as I often (half) joke to anyone who will listen, I just wish I could wear her on my chest all day – she could be my soft in to holding the powerful accountable at the state capitol.
I was delusional during my pregnancy that Patrick, who works out of our home as a realtor, would have the bandwidth to be successful in his job AND care for our daughter full time. So needless to say, we were lucky to find childcare in time.
Thankfully, Patrick gets the unpredictable nature of the news business. We met in 2009 when we both moved from out-of-state to take jobs at the same Austin station. We worked together for more than a year before our fateful midnight kiss at a New Year’s Eve party at Nasty’s Bar – the classy joint on the Drag.
We are now in the midst of figuring out how to balance our demanding careers, make sure our feisty one-year-old Boston terrier, Pearl, feels included and care for our number one priority, Miss Remy. Looking forward to continue learning from your experiences and now share my own!