Maria from 'Quiero mi baby' on why she doesn't talk to her baby in English (EXCLUSIVE)
On tonight's episode of MTV Tr3s' new show, Quiero Mi Baby, we meet Maria and Tom—parents of Jacob who are still learning how to take care of their first baby.
Maria is struggling with keeping the peace between her I-know-what's-best mom and her husband. Meanwhile, she is having a hard time letting go of the baby when it's time to go back to work and trying to figure out how to teach Jacob about their Guatemalan culture.
She talks with Mamás Latinas exclusively about her difficult pregnancy, breast feeding in the middle of the night and how she's trying to bring the two families together on tonight's Quiero Mi Baby episode, which airs at 9 p.m. EST. Read the full interview with Maria and watch the video teaser below!
How did your family react to your pregnancy?
They are very traditional and didn't like that it didn't come in order. When they found out I got pregnant without being married, dad wasn't very happy but mom was ecstatic. She immediately said "Good, now you just have to get married." We got married three months later with a big Hispanic wedding.
How did you react when you found out you were pregnant?
I was very stunned, very scared. I wasn't sure if I was ready for it. At no point did I think I wasn't going to have the baby but I was worried about what Tom would say. There was pressure from my parents to have a baby but I always thought that I would plan everything, so I was a little worried.
What was the most difficult part of the pregnancy?
Getting sick! I thought things would run smoothly. I'm a nurse so I thought "no biggie". I thought I'd get diabetes but I didn't. Hispanics tend to get it a lot. But I got the worst sickness--hyperemesis, which is excessive nausea. If I ate, I'd throw up. If I drank water, I'd throw up. If I didn't eat, I'd throw up bile. It lasted five months, I had to get IV's from a nurse, my potassium was down and I was hospitalized. I was so embarrassed.
What about after you gave birth?
Having mom and husband in the same house. I knew there was going to be some conflict or friction there. My mom is very controlling, she does it because she thinks it's the best way to do things. We're still learning, a little careless and there's a language barrier, so I was always in the middle of things. Plus, I wanted to breastfeed exclusively but she wouldn't wake me up in the middle of the night. "Nope, you need your rest," she'd say. She was dictating what needed to be done, what she thought was best.
What was the most surprising thing?
That I was having a baby! He's the first grandson, the first baby in the house for a long time. Everyone was waiting for my mom's kids to have kids. It was big, happy news for everybody. My aunt was in the delivery room, I called my mom as soon as I broke my water. Everybody being excited that I was having a baby.
How have you brought the two families together?
It has been difficult. His family is not used to a lot of people. He didn't grow up with a big family. His mom is a bit uncomfortable being around a lot of people. That's been hard. There's a language barrier. Sometimes I like to have my sister there just to help me translate. My mom's English is very limited.
Has Tom been trying to learn Spanish?
When I was pregnant, he was learning Spanish on Rosetta Stone but he quit that. Now he's saying he's going to get back to it. Tom is really the only one that speaks English to [the baby]. My mom, family, I speak with him in Spanish only. Tom doesn't want the baby to learn Spanish before him, which is going to happen anyway.
What was the hardest part of going back to work?
Not having someone to take care of him that I felt confident with. I think babies should socialize in day care at 2-3 years, but right now it just broke my heart [to leave him]. I thought he was too little for that kind of exposure.
How are you going to teach Jacob about his culture?
I figure he's in the US already, his father is completely American. I told Tom I don't want to speak to him in English. He's going to learn to be American by doing everyday things, going to school. I want him to at least understand Spanish as an adult. I figure my child will not learn Spanish the way I know it. I'll try so that at least if I speak to him he'll understand Spanish and the culture. Jacob is lucky that he still has his grandfather and that [Guatemalan] culture. I want my son to understand all of those concepts, I want him to know where he came from.
Want to find other moms como tú? "Like" MamásLatinas on Facebook!
Have you tried to teach your children Spanish even if you live in the US?
Image via MTV Tr3s