Sunday, May 26, 2013

Noé is 5

People kept telling me "Five is a big one!"... and I kept kind of blowing it off. It's just a number... no big deal. And, it is just a number. But, five has been a big birthday for Noé. In the last couple months, the change in Noé has been notable and huge. He is markedly more mature, more independent. He wants to snuggle less, needs me less. He doesn't just automatically laugh at my jokes--he analyzes them first. He can get embaressed if I appear to be offering him too much help or tenderness in front of his peers.

In short, that which I wasn't sure would happen is happening: Noé is growing up.

I have heard that a child basically "is who he is" by the age of 5. If that's true, I'm pretty proud of the little man Noé is today.

There is nothing better than Noé's laugh. He is always studying things so intensely, his face solemn in thought... and then when something strikes him as funny--his face splits open in huge smile; his laugh is so honest and genuine. I love it.

Noé continues to be a tender, sensitive little man. He often is in tune with how others are feeling and is very good about checking if his friends are okay when they hurt themselves. If I hurt myself, he will rub my back and ask me if I need a band-aid to feel better. I love his compassion.

He is insanely smart when it comes to memorizing things that fascinate him--for now, that is dinosaurs. He is also very good at remembering people's names. He definitely gets that ability from his daddy!

Noé is in the stage of defining the differences between boys and girls; between babies and big kids. He is sure to let us know he is no longer "cute"; he is "handsome". He wants desperately to win, but he is learning to loose with grace. He loves to note how tall he is ("I am almost taller than you, mom!") and check on his muscle growth. He daily makes new mental connections that amaze me.

Noé has always been very meticulous and logical, so it has been so different to watch him begin to develop behavior more typical of a little boy: crazy, silly, goofy. So fun.

This has been the first birthday that Noé was able to join in on the planning and know what was going on. He was counting down to May 26 all month, putting an "X" on the day passed each new morning. He did a great job being patient for the big day to arrive.

The fact that Noé is beginning to pull away from me is a healthy thing, but it also makes me treasure the "snuggly moments" when they come. I told him the other day, "You're breaking my heart because you're getting so big and your not my baby anymore." I heard him proudly telling Rey at dinner time, "You know what, daddy? I am breaking momma's heart!" ;)

Noé is still one of the most tenaciously loyal and loving friends a person could ever want. It has been such a joy to watch him learn to be a kind friend, but also to stand up for himself when needs be. He has grown so much in every area, I can't even believe it most days. It is hard to put into words.

I am just glad I get to be his mom.

5 years ago today... pt. 4

5 years ago today, Rey went to work as usual around 6 am since my contractions weren't getting any closer together. I hadn't slept much at all that night, with the constant-yet-very-seperated contractions going on.

By 8 am, I found out what labor really feels like! Now I was getting those contractions that stop you in your tracks. No talking through these babies! My aunt and I would laugh somewhat hysterically between contractions as she'd read the "helpful" descriptions of labor from different books on the subject. "Imagine birth like the opening of a flower..." Whaaaa---?? Who writes these things?

Around 11am, we called Rey and the other midwife. They could come around noon, we said. The contractions were probably more like 5 minutes apart by that point.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in walking, stopping, walking, stopping. Kneeling, sitting, leaning. The midwife kept telling me the baby was still too high to push and encouraged walking. I was having some intense "back labor" and got to a point that my legs were shaking too bad to walk, but the baby was still too high.

That got us to a really "fun" part, where I was sitting and with each contraction, the midwife instructed Rey to push inwards and downwards on my stomach to encourage the baby down. Ouch.

Finally, the midwife decided it was ok to push... I think that was around 3:30pm... and at 5:45p--after the hardest day of work I'd done in my life up to that point--a darling little boy made his entrance into the world! He didn't cry at all, but was instantly very alert, taking in the world around him silently. He did begin to show us his lungs when the midwives got him cleaned up and dressed!

Baby boy didn't have a name yet... we didn't decide that until the next morning (we had a list of "maybes"... nothing for sure). But, he was here. He was our first child. Our hearts burst with love for him. He was beautiful, perfect. And, our world was changed forever..

5 years ago today.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

5 years ago today.... pt. 3

5 years ago today, I woke up somewhat annoyed to not have had any progression in this labor thing. I was having contractions anywhere from 15-20 minutes apart, and they weren't ever so strong that I couldn't go on with my daily activities. It was just tiring, not knowing what was going on!

Rey went to church that Sunday morning, and I opted to stay home. Didn't know when things could start heating up! When Rey got home, he announced that his family had thrown together a surprise baby shower for me that afternoon out at the family farm. To say I was not excited is an understatement! "They want me to go out there and be 'the star of the show' when I am having contractions???!!" And, poor Rey. Stuck in the middle!

Rey's mom and sisters stopped by a few moments later to say "hi". I thought for sure once my mother-in-law knew my predicament, she'd do a rain check on the whole baby shower thing. Instead, she advised me to take some chamomile tea and see if that helped.

By the time we were getting ready to go to my shower, I was in tears. I felt guilty--knowing that the family was putting the shower together out of love for us, and from their lack, but SO wishing to not be going ANYWHERE!

But, I made it! They had tables set up outside. We played bridal shower bingo, while I smile-winced through regular contractions (maybe more like 10-15 minutes apart now). They served large portions of carne asada, rice, soda... and I moved food around, not really wanting to put anything in my rather annoying stomach at that point. Every 20 minutes or so, I would waddle slowly across the field to the outhouse... give myself a little pep talk while there.... and then waddle back to the party.

We got home around 8 pm, and my aunt (who was to be one of the midwives) was there waiting for us. She spent the night, ready for whatever might come!

She and Rey were soon fast asleep, while I spent the night watching one Andy Griffith episode after another (the only videos we had!). Again, the pain wasn't so much intense as it was constant and noticeable.

5 years ago, today. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

5 years ago today.... pt. 2

5 years ago today.... Rey and I woke up and waited around for the gynecologist's office to open. I was feeling a little ready to be embaressed: Surely it was just my anxiousness to get this birth on the road that made me think labor was eminent, I thought. I envisioned the gynecologist shaking her head knowingly, patting me on the back.

And, that's how it started. Her looking at me, disinterestedly pulling on her gloves with the attitude of, "Little Miss Thing thinks labor is starting, eh?"

But, her expression soon changed to shock. "You're 3 centimeters dilated! Why are you out walking around like nothing is going on? Do you want your baby to be born in the street??! Get to your bed, stay in it. Do not eat--only take in liquids and prepare to be parents by tonight!"

Rey and I stopped by the movie store--since I wasn't in pain, might as well enjoy our day in. We informed our 2 midwives of the news, but since I wasn't in any actual pain... we didn't have them come over.

And so the day went. No real pain, just odd twinges here and there. I was getting ravenously hungry by the end of the day--but felt guilty eating, remembering the gynecologist's instructions. By nightfall, I decided to eat whatever I wanted and went to bed, feeling out-of-sorts and full of questions,

Was I in labor or not??

5 years ago today.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

5 years ago today.... pt.1

Thinking back... to five years ago today.

I was 9 months married, 38 weeks pregnant. We were living in Rey's hometown: Rio Bravo, Mexico. Rey was working in a factory, I was home alone most days. It was sweltering outside, all the time. We had one air conditioner in the bedroom that we'd purchased the month before.

As I lay in bed that night, I felt like "something" was going on. Like "twitches" or something. Not painful, just different. I wondered if it meant anything, but went to sleep anyway.

5 years ago today.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Running... and making goals...

If you didn't know me before I had kids--you might not know that I used to run. Kind of a lot. I really loved it. I also loved being a runner. The identity in it. I also loved pushing myself, setting big goals, and achieving them!

So, then I had two kids. Kind of close together. And, we lived for a while in a region where just taking off and running on my own wasn't really a thing I could do. And, kids changed my body (big surprise there!). My hips are wider, my back is weaker.... and I am generally just a lot more tired than "back in the day". Throw in the added fun of things like sickness, plans changing and general life-craziness... and it all added up to me being too frustrated to even get motivated about getting back in shape.

I would half-heartedly do aerobics classes, sighing about how far back I had slidden. I would get it in my head that I needed to start running--and then would nearly kill myself running for 40 minutes... and wouldn't try it again for several more months.

It was so hard to really just face up to this "new normal" (again!)... and be ok with it. I felt frustrated as I would run with legs seemingly made of concrete--when I could remember back to feeling as though I was running with the wind. I hated (mmm... not sure if this one should really be in past tense...) how much my tempo had slowed down. I usually ran around 8 1/2 minute miles... now I am puffing away at 10 minute miles. It makes me feel like a grandma! ;)

But! I heard a snippet a great interview geared towards encouraging people to get back into exercising... and the woman said we can never continue on in our "wellness plan" if we are constantly thinking back to where we were, or ahead to where we wish we were. We just have to take where we are, and make a plan for tomorrow. And tomorrow, we need to make a plan for the next day.

That was SO encouraging to me, because I was beating myself up so much about where I was that I couldn't devise a do-able plan for my "now".

At the beginning of the year... the dreaded "New Year's Resolution" lists began circulating. I tend to shy away from those... but, this year I thought: You know what. I am going to stop trying to make "big" resolutions... And I am going to make resolutions so do-able... That it would be a crime not to stick to them.

So, one of the items on my list did deal with fitness. I knew I would love to do at least one 4 mile race this summer. But, instead of focusing on that, I devised an easy-peasy plan to get there. I decided to start with running 5 minutes. I would not focus on how far or fast I ran. Just that I completed the time running.

Then, every 2 weeks I would add on 3 minutes. That way, I was gradually building up to a greater distance and not hurting my body in the process. It also helped in the beginning, not-very-motivated days to know I didn't have to go far to stick to the plan!

Another great thing with this plan is it has actually WORKED with the craziness of life with little ones, and with starting a new business. It is not so set in stone that if I miss a day (or 5) that it is the end of the world. And, the time increases in such small increments that if I only run one time some weeks, it is still helpful.

All that to say, this momma ran 3.2 miles this morning in 30 minutes! Woohoo! Only a few more weeks to get to my 4 mile mark... and then it will be time to put a race on the calender! :)

I am grateful for this lesson in not getting bogged down in making grandiose plans that really are set up to fail in this season of life I am in. It is helpful to know what the bigger goal is, and then to figure out small, manageable ways to inch my way towards that end!