The upside to having both parents in the same city is we never have to divide up the holidays or fly to different cities to see each set of parents. The only difficult thing -- and it's really not so terrible -- is having to choose whose house to stay at that night, for how long, and where we're eating dinner. In fact, I think the decision of where to eat dinner trumps all the other decisions. Because our mothers have thought long and hard about just what to make on those special days. That chicken curry that no one else can make as good as Mom, the special herbal soup that will detox us of Mexico City's pollution, or the pan-fried noodles that Nick loves and that my mom loves him for loving.
But the holidays isn't really what was so special this year... Just before the holidays, we learned that we are expecting our first baby!! :) Just before we moved to Mexico, we got married, and we always had it in our head to start our family here. However, the outlook looked dim as we realized having a baby wasn't as easy as just saying so. It took a lot of time, but we're both overjoyed to be joining the club -- is it really true that you'll never sleep again?? sigh...
Right now, we're navigating our way through the process of having a baby in Mexico. It requires talking to lots of people, hearing their experiences, and deciding what kind of birthing plan we'd like. C-section is very common here, and using a midwife is something most people here deem antiquated and left to the indigenous. It's like we've made having a baby too technologically advanced.
Last week, I was catching up on my back issues of National Geographic, and one of the articles was about the Aztecs. A few years ago, archaeologists in Mexico City's downtown ruin, Templo Mayor, unearthed a stone carving of the Aztec earth goddess, Tlaltecuhtli, squatting to give birth. (You can find the story in the November 2010 issue. She's actually devouring the dead to give them new life, but whatever, I like that she's squatting!) So while everyone pushes me to lay down in bed, get an epidural, or go for a c-section, I'm going to remember that even goddesses had to pain their way through childbirth.
Many of you out there in bloglandia are mothers, and I would love to hear your stories. There's a lot to learn before July 22nd.