Monday, May 16, 2011

What it means to be a mother...

I am now 34 weeks pregnant but back in week 33 we celebrated Mother's Day. I bought my mom and my mother in law presents and cards for my grandmothers but never gave a thought about the possibility of someone giving me presents. After all, I am a Mother-to-Be, not a mother per se, so it was a pleasant surprise to get a couple of gifts and tons of congratulations on my First Mother's Day!

However, something called my attention more than the congratulations and the gifts...

Someone on Facebook wrote:

To be a Mother is to understand that she is a mother before being a woman.

A man wrote this. I was, and still am, in shock.


Because I don't share that belief. I was not taught to share that belief. My mother is an excellent one, and I love her with all of my heart and she did NOT, even for a second, stop being a wonderful wife to my father and an incredible mom to my sister and me. She had mom time and she had wife time. She would sit down with my sister and me and chat about whatever we wanted to chat about, and then she would listen just as intently to my father talk about his day.

And my mom is not a stay-at-home mom, she is a Doctor and has a very successful practice. So its not like she had the ENTIRE day to dedicate to the three of us, she had few precious hours that she divided among us. I would often wonder how she kept her sanity, but she always tells me that my father, my sister and I are not just her family, but her best friends as well and while she was always listening to us, we too were always listening to her. So she was, and is, well taken care of.

During the weekends, my mom would leave us with my grandmother and had date nights with my dad. I loved the weekends because it was my special time with my grandparents, which loved us, spoiled us and disciplined us a lot! It was also a chance to change from the normal atmosphere at home and be at a more country place. I loved it, and so did my sister. And it gave a chance to my mom and dad to spend time together being just them: not mom and dad but just the two of them. I didn't really understand it then, but I didn't have to, nor really cared: I was having fun, I was being taken care of by two of the people I love the most... 

My mother also knew when an activity was appropriate for my sister and me to be in attendance or not. She was never the mother that goes NOWHERE unless her offspring can come with her. Why? Because there are simply some activities that are not meant for children. She never took my sister and I to Baby Showers when we were little because there was nothing for us to do there. We might have simply become a nuisance out of sheer boredom. She took us to some weddings, when they were earlier in the day, but she and my dad always went alone to evening weddings, because, really... what do young children do in evening weddings? They get cranky, they are tired... its no fun for them, so they become unbearable for the adults too. There is a time and a place for everything and my mother never encouraged me and my sister to grow up quicker than we had to. She took us to age appropriate places and shows, and invited us to join in when a conversation was appropriate for us, and disciplined us when we wanted to give an opinion on matters that were clearly for adults only.

Because of this, we were easy children to take care of. People loved us because we were so well adjusted and behaved. We were never the "unruly" kids that didn't know how to behave themselves in situations, we were the "Doctor's Daughters" who were always polite, always smiling and happy. Because we truly were. And we truly are.

My mother NEVER stopped being a wife because she was a WIFE before she became a MOTHER. She didn't make us alone, my dad is an essential part of us just as any father is an essential part of any baby. Mom and dad, whether married or not, make a baby. That much is obvious. 

So why in the world are women expected to stop being women, wives and girlfriends to become solely mothers?!

Yes, children require tons of attention. Yes, some husbands or boyfriends are unbearable but if the latter is your case, then why be with a man like that in the first place? If you have a caring and loving husband or boyfriend, why should he take second or even third place to your offspring when, if you really think about it, you wouldn't be a mother if it wasn't for them?

To me, being a mother is understanding how to create balance in your life. A balance between my husband, my unborn baby, our family and just me. A balance between home, work and Church. There are a lot of things to juggle, but my mom did them all perfectly which makes me feel assured that everything IS possible as long as I am willing to commit to it. 

I DO NOT want to stop being a wife to my husband. 
I WILL be an excellent mom to my baby and he will feel my love every day.
I DO NOT believe that being a mother means that I should stop being a woman first.
I WILL be strong, and I WILL create a balance in my life.

I DO believe this is all possible.

What do YOU believe?

Anxiously waiting for my baby to be born...


Monday, May 2, 2011

32 weeks and counting... SURPRISE Baby Shower!


First things first, though... today I am actually feeling a little under the weather. But it has perfectly good explanations:

1. I am tired. Every night I sleep a little less because my Julian seems to think he is playing a soccer game inside the womb. I love every single kick and punch but it makes it kinda hard to sleep. On top of that, I have to go to the bathroom more often and getting up from the bed is not getting any easier. I am not complaining, though, I take it all in stride because, really... I am in love with my baby! Also, this weekend was very action packed and I rested very little during the day which is taking its toll... My feet are starting to swell slightly. But I'm told that's a good sign so I'm happy!

2. I am extremely disappointed at a so-called friend. Has it ever happened to you that you write a cute birthday message on a friend's Facebook wall only to discover that said "friend" deleted what you wrote? For no apparent reason? It feels like crap and it really hurt my feelings. Since I am feeling a bit hormonal I proceeded to delete said "friend". Is it any wonder I have trouble trusting people outside of my family? When I try to open myself to new friends outside of family something always happens. I am a busy, and often opinionated person. It seems some people can't handle that. *shrugs*

Oh, and before you tell me I'm overreacting let me tell you this: my "friend's" behavior has been sketchy for awhile and though I've tried to speak to him he acts as if nothing is wrong then proceeds to ignore me. So the friendship is really over, for whatever reason. Oh well...

Back to pregnancy issues!

These past weeks have gone by in a blur! I've been working, helping out in Church (Holy Week), helping out my parents in their business, prepping Julian's room (there is still a lot to do!) and watching amazed as my body changes bit by bit every day. Julian likes to move a lot, which is reassuring to me, and I know I will miss that once he is born.

Something really interesting happened on my last OBGYN visit, though. My doctor likes to check on the baby's heartbeat and contractions to see if everything is going smoothly. Everything IS going smoothly, but apparently my baby doesn't like loud noises, and the machine amplified his heartbeats by a ton. He started kicking violently, my stomach looked like it was made out of water it was moving so much! My husband was shocked at how visible the kicks were and I was getting a bit anxious because his heartbeat picked up as well. So I started caressing my tummy and speaking to him. Little by little, apparently soothed by the sound of my voice, he started to calm down until his heartbeat settled down into a normal beating, almost as if he was asleep. It was so touching to be able to actually hear how the sound of my voice calms him down! My husband was in awe... it was so beautiful!

Now... to the Baby Shower!

Last weekend my dad informed me that we'd be going to visit some relatives in Aibonito. He didn't ask me if I could he just informed me that I would be going there. I didn't mind, I love going there. And he told me one of my cousins who lives in the States was coming down so I was even more excited! I expected a lot of tummy touching and funny stories, but nothing else. It was a normal visit. So much so that I was planning to take along a comic book just in case I got tired and wanted to lie down to read.

So... we get to my aunt's place. I see decorations and what looks like cupcakes on pedestals and I immediately thought: "It's someone's birthday! Awesome!"

Yeah, I'm that naive!

Then I look at the sign: "BABY SHOWER!"

And my brilliant reaction: "Uh... is this for me?!"

My family's (including my husband's) reaction: "LMAO! Of course! We kept a secret from you! Who else in the family is pregnant?!"

And my other amazingly brilliant reaction: "There really is no other cousin pregnant?! It's really for me?!"

More laughter. Hugs, kisses, tummy caressing and well wishes! Pictures, food, games... My cousin Lilly prepared a beautiful introduction to the shower which she later gave to me and I loved! We cried, we laughed (again!) and we thanked the Lord for giving us such a beautiful day and such a beautiful baby to celebrate! We truly are blessed!

So this Baby Shower was hosted by my aunts and cousins. And I say "this" baby shower because my mom is hosting another one in about a month, but me and my husband are actually planning this one with her. I can tell you right now: it won't be as beautiful as my first one! I don't have that kind of talent and since it was a surprise... well its incredibly special! We'll have fun on the second one as well, you can be sure of that! We sent out most of the invitations already and I really hope some people understand that I can't invite EVERYONE I know, so I'm limiting the list to the people that are around me the most and have been watching over me the most during this amazing time in my life.

It's going to be great. And my First Baby Shower was amazing. It feels so incredible, I feel SO blessed and honored to know that my baby will be loved so much. I couldn't ask for more...

Thank you Lord!