Saturday, September 23, 2017

Let Me Know What I Can Do

"Let me know what I can do."

I have used this phrase extensively this week. I live in Mexico City. 

As the city joins hands, and hearts, and casts a wide net to catch friends, family members, and strangers - the pockets of in betweens are often met with the phrase, "Let me know what can I do?" 

Because simply put, sometimes we just don't know. 

I am still not sure where my energy and time is best spent right now, but I do know that sitting on the sideline has always made me feel powerless. And while I know it's necessary sometimes it's important you know what to do when you're called to play. 

I am inviting you all to play.

This post is about service. About being called to action. About being curious. Finding what fires you up. And not ignoring that feeling. 

Five years ago I sat in my kitchen eating soup, while it may seem like a minor detail; knowing full well my soup would go cold while filling out the application, I stopped in my tracks, got my computer and applied to be an Africa Yoga Project ambassador. My soup went cold. 

I just knew it was something I needed to be part of. Though it's taken me a very long time to achieve my fundraising goal, I have not given up, not stopped and I am reminded constantly that it feels better to be part of something than to watch from the sidelines and wonder. 

This week my energy has been diverted and my efforts have been here in my hometown. And I felt torn as to what I should be posting about, promoting and working on. 

"Let me know what I can do." 

Every one of us is a player (not that kind of player). Some are starters, some take a winning shot. Some help people, some help animals, others help Mother Earth. And some super-humas (my sisters) help all three. Be curious about what fires you up. Be it in your own back yard, or across the pond. While sitting on the sideline is sometimes necessary (and you can do a lot from there too) - this is a call to action. In the words of Margaret Mead,  "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Photo: AYP Facebook Page

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Giving Birth x 2

I have given birth twice. Something, had you asked me years ago, I didn't think would happen at all. In fact, neither did my mom. In the last conversation we ever had (March 2004) she said, "I don't think you will ever have children, Diane. I think your students will be your kids."

For once, she was wrong. And I am glad she was.

April 14, 2015: My due date
April 15, 2015:  I started having contractions late at night (10:00pm)
From 10:00pm - 6:00am I stayed awake counting these contractions. Despite the good advice I received, I stayed up all night timing them. By morning, they were close enough together to warrant an email to my doctor - but, like I said, they were not intense.
April 16, 2015: 7:00 - My doctor asked me to come in to the hospital to check my fluids. I had heard that this was often used to pressure women here (in Mexico) to go for a cesarian, but you never know, so I made my way to the hospital. Still - the contractions were't intense - just a mild tightening sensation. Fluids were in check, and I was not at all dilated, so I was sent home. I took Aero to the dog park, and I silently cheered on the little baby inside who was about the transition into the world. I chatted with friends, and I tried to rest up for what was ahead. Ya right.

By 10:00pm, the contractions were intensifying. My friend Leslie came to get Aero, and as she cheered me on from the porch of the apartment building, I remember needing to take a moment to let the contractions pass as we talked. Had you asked me at that moment, what the pain was like, I may have said 4-5. If you asked me now, I would go with a solid ONE.

Again, I stayed up all night timing the contractions. I took child's pose in bed as I couldn't get comfortable any other way, and I breathed through what I thought was tough. By morning, we made our way to the hospital once again. This time, I was pretty sure, I wasn't going to be sent home.

We checked in.

The delivery rooms here in Mexico are wonderful. Its one advantage of having private health insurance, even though you end up paying for part of the delivery. There's no place quite like home.

I ran a bath, and got naked, and that's how I would spend the rest of the day - cruising from bath to bed to leaning on the wall wall - buck naked, not caring who was, or wasn't in the room. Believing, at 8:00am, that things were kind of intense.

They weren't.

My 3cm progressed from 3-to-4-to-5-to-6-to-7 ... by about noon or shortly thereafter. My contractions continued, often overlapping so that I never got that magical one minute in between to regroup. I forgot how to breath, found myself light-headed and wanting to pass out, and wishing I had created a birth playlist ... I remember NEEDING to be touching Ricky during each contraction. The knowing, that I was not alone was comforting.

By 7cm, I asked my doctor, "given my progress, when might I have the baby?

To which she responded, "Around 2 or 3:00pm."

Rule # uno of giving birth: NEVER ask the doctor when you will give birth
Rule # dos of giving birth: NEVER trust a doctor who tells you when you might give birth.

I could do that. I could last until 2:00 or 3:00pm.

At 1:00pm she came back to check me out ... 7cm
At 2:00pm (wasn't I supposed to be pushing by now?)  she came back to check me out ... 7cm
At 3:00pm she came back to check me out ... 7cm
At 4:00pm she came back to check me out ... 7cm
At 5:00pm she came back to check me out ... 7cm
At 6:00pm she came back to check me out ... 7cm

... and it was at 6:00pm that I made the executive decision ... if at 7:00pm she came to check me and I was still at 7cm - I was asking for an epidural.

At 7:00pm she came back to check me out ... 7cm.

And I cried. I bawled. I sobbed. And just then, my water broke.

I cried partly because I was in so much pain, partly because I was completely exhausted, but mostly, because I had cracked. With my breath out of control, the sobs in my throat, the pain in my body, I said to Ricky, "I need the epidural!" And that was that. In a matter of 15 minutes, I was in another room, welcoming the needle in my back and finally able to wipe the grimace from my face.

I think I passed out.

By 9:30pm, I was finally fully dilated and told I would be pushing ... so into the delivery room I went, and though I couldn't feel shit - I pushed. I pushed so hard I sweat from every pour in my head. I was pushing so, so hard ... but not feeling a thing. My doctor was yelling at me to push with the right muscle ... but the thing was, I couldn't find them - the ones I needed to get the baby out. I felt like a blind person in The Library of Congress ... being asked to find a book. I simply couldn't do it. She told me she was getting out the vacuum and while I was ok with that, I decided that I would just push - continuously, not waiting for contractions I couldn't feel ... but that I would just push-push-push. So I did. I pushed, and pushed and pushed ... then she gave me a little snip-snip-snip, and I just kept pushing ... she never got the vacuum ...

April 17, 10:02pm:  Cami was born ... with a nuchal arm. (warning - graphic and amazing content)

Oh my - she still looks like this when she is upset. 

They put her on my chest, but we all agreed that I was in no condition to take care of her. So she was sent up to the nursery while I was wheeled into recovery. I know a doctor came in to check on me ... and all I could do was lift my thumb to show him I was coherent ... my eyes remained closed, I didn't move. I had never been more exhausted in my life.

While I was thrilled to have a healthy, happy baby ... I wanted to give birth, naturally - with no drugs. 

June 13, 2017: My due date
June 1, 2017: I got a great manicure and pedicure. Unbeknown to me that the movie was just released, I comment, "These nails are WonderWoman nails."
June 2, 2017: I woke up and went to the bathroom. I noticed a rash on my legs and when I scratched it, it got much worse. Hives. An allergic reaction. So I texted my doctor (a new doctor) with a pic and she invited me into her office. I had a 10:30 brunch date with my friend Leslie, so I texted her that I would be late. I waited in the doctor's office for a solid 45 minutes and then she let me in. I showed her my rash and she was baffled. No idea what caused it. I also mentioned that I had bled a little bit in the morning, so she asked to check me out.

"You are 5cm dilated!" Was her observation. "You're going to have this baby today or tomorrow."


She suggested I go home, get ready, and if nothing happened before hand, to go to the hospital at 5:00pm.

I cancelled brunch.

I went home, finished getting my bag ready, called Ricky and scared the shit out of him with the 5:00 news, and then decided to go to the Baby Expo at the World Trade Center. As I walked around, I felt contractions happening, but nothing compared to the 3cm contractions with Cami .. so I was kind of annoyed that my doctor was making me go to the hospital at 5:00. I was sure this was not active labour ... even Googled it.

5:00pm we made our way to the hospital ... this is where it gets interesting. We check in, calm and composed, the doctor arrives, the doula arrives, and I am in FULL denial that this is happening. The contractions are not consistent, and do not hurt AT ALL. Like a 0.1/10. So I am sure that the doctor is going to check me and that I am going to be a -2cm.

This is what calm and cool looks like at check in (Bravo Ricky for wearing a Leafs t-shirt!)

She checks. 7cm. WHAT? I am the same dilated as my breaking point with Cami, but I feel nothing ... how is this possible? It just is.

My water has not broken yet.

I run a bath that I would find out later cost me $200 ... and I chilled out.
Chillin in my $200 tub ... and yes, I have undies on. 
By 9:00pm I am fully dilated to 10cm. But guess what. I am not in any pain. And my water - still in tact.

By 10:00pm, I am still hanging out in my room, playing on the birthing ball, on the little toilet shaped birth stool, I'm hanging off a thing on the wall, I am using a step and I am jumping up and down to try to break the water ... nada.

By 11:00, my doctor recommends that we break the water. That way, she can control the descent, and make sure that 2.0 hasn't pooped in there. She mentioned that although it's not ideal to break the water, the advantage is that we can control the process more this way should the baby start to show signs of stress. So, she breaks my water.

Zero to one hundred in 15 minutes.

That's what happened. All those blissful hours of laughing and joking and bouncing and climbing, and squatting and chatting came to a screeching halt and the freight train that I KNEW was coming, came. And it plowed right into me. The contractions came alright - in full force.

I breathed differently this time, so that I wouldn't hyperventilate as I did with Cami ... but hours went by, and 2.0 was still not descending. I had no desire to push. None. 12:00am, 1:00am, 2:00am, "she's still up high" the doctor repeated. And after the 2:00 news. I started to feel a tingling sensation in my hands and arms, I felt dizzy ... and I knew what was happening. I am no stranger to panic. It's happened three times in my life, and it is scary as all hell. I remember thinking, If I go crazy, are these people going to take care of me. And it was then, that I said, "I need the epidural."

I think Ricky pretty much screamed, "She wants the epidural!" Within minutes, the wheelchair was in the room, and I was being wheeled to that familiar place with the magic needle. I hopped out, jumped on the bed and got in position (all while screaming I think). In my mind, they couldn't give it to me fast enough.

My hand was ready for the IV and just moments before they inserted the needle, the most miraculous thing happened.

I felt the sensation to push.

"I need to push!" I winced as I withdrew my hand along with the need to use any drugs. The need to push trumped all, and I knew, this baby was coming - without drugs.

Then the circus started.

Ricky called out (picture hands at mount), "She needs to push!" The anesthesiologists backed up against the wall with their needles charged, the doula tells Ricky to get on the bed with me, the doctor comes in to feel a head making her way into the world and I feel elated that I get to push.

The doula tells Ricky to stay behind me so that I have something to push into, the doctors are telling him to get off the bed, the doula whips off his shoes, the doctors are dressing him in scrubs and I am annoyed with this position because my neck is getting crunched. The dudes who move the beds from place to place start wheeling me to the delivery room, and when we get there, Ricky jumps off (dressed in scrubs) and I shift from the gurney to the bed.

I place my legs in the stirrups and my doctor tells me that when the contraction is at it's peak, to push. The beautiful part about the pushing part (the second time around) ... is that it didn't hurt. It really didn't. I was so nervous about this part because I didn't feel it the first time around. But it didn't hurt. And I can feel the muscles this time - I am a little afraid to use them, but I can feel them. And they are working. I feel this head move down and press against my tailbone ... and I push, and I feel it making it's way out and sliding back in (continue for 15 minutes) ...and then finally I feel the whole head pop out. One more contraction - and the body is next. And there she is ... the baby who was called 2.0 for a long time.

June 3, 2017, 2:45am: Niva was born

June 4, 2017: I wanted to do it all over again.

True Stories.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

16 for 16

I forgot my New Year's tradition ... until a few weeks ago. Upon losing the url, I made my way back, changed some things up - still don't like the piece meal look and flava flav. of the blog, but posting the top pics of the year is a great way to reminisce and take a stroll down memory lane. These are in no particular order. It's a miracle they are even being published. This means I don't have a baby on my boob at the moment. Oooops ... there is some stirring in the basinette.

1.  Cami Jude - Amsterdam apartment, Mexico City


I love this picture for three reasons. The batman onesie, the AquaSphere goggles, and the Compressport wristband. Cami LOVED our triathlon drawer and everything in it when we lived in this apartment. Especially goggles. She has been known to obsess over a thing of two, and one of her early obsessions curiosities were goggles. She loved to put them on, take them off and then walk around and play - goggles on. Ricky and I obvs. loved this and encouraged her to EXPLORE the wild world of the triathlon drawer.

2.  Cami and Nicoline - San Luis Potosi


I think every parent has one of these shots. Nicoline is Cami's sister from the same mister, but another mother. She lives in Sweden. We were lucky enough to have them visit us and the whole family over the Christmas break in San Luis Potosi, Ricky's home town. As we can see here ... Cami is not a big fan of the bearded man. If fact, this may be the first (or second, or third) time we traumatized her this year. As the old saying goes, "they'll never remember."

Is that even a saying?


3. Mommy and Cami - Golden Gate Bridge, California


This pic reminds me of a great day, and a great trip we took summer of '16. Cami and I spent two weeks in Canada, and then met up with Daddy-O in California. This day we rented bikes, strapped our gal in and took a trip across the Golden Gate bridge. I would be lying if I didn't confess that my heart rate was elevated, palms sweaty and that there was some fear about the gusts of winds that were picking up as we neared the center of the bridge. Luckily, we made it to the other side and then hit up a restaurant to have the BEST pizza. A great day of adventure - though, I had the wrong shoes on for the occasion - Havianas!

4. Daddy and Cami - Russian River, California


We LOVE California. In fact, we are a little obsessed (and I think 1/4 of the 2016 pics are taken in Cali. Ricky raced the Vineman 70.3 in Wine Country and we tagged along to cheer. We stayed in a little place called the Russian River where we lived in a rustic cottage (with a hot tub and a Q) for the week. This pic is taken on the last day when Ricky and I had the place to ourselves. We took advantage of the floaties and spend the afternoon down on the river. There was not shortage of ducks, of passerby's and of relaxation.

5. Diane and IM World Champ Craig Alexander, Santa Rosa California


Oh hey ... that's not my hubs! He's still racing. This is, however, IM WOrld Champion Craig Alexander.  That's all!

6. Camila Jude Godinez Clement, Muskoka, Canada


I love this pic for so many reasons. One, Cami was such a great side kick. She was sprouting some new chompers this trip and that didn't even get her down. Jenn and Averie gave her this dress (she has given up on dresses all together now) and she is just so damn cute in it. I never want my girl to feel like she is more Mexican than Canadian, or more Canadian than Mexican, but be so proud to be both.

7. Ricky, Alex, Di - Taxco, Mexico


This is one of the last long rides I did on the Cervelo. I loved that bike. But I was pregnant at the time, and I didn't want my bike to sit for that long. We rode from Cuernavaca to the charming little town on Taxco. Most of you know, that my favorite place in the world, is on my bike. This ride was no exception. As we got to Taxco, we had to navigate narrow cobblestone roads and then climb this very steep road to the city square. A great ride, a great breakfast!

 8. Cami Jude, Oakville, Canada


I love my friends. A lot. Here we have Cami in her element. Water. My friends decided to have a reunion of sorts and Kimmy blew up the best inflatable slide and pool and made the back yard a haven for kids - clothed or not. I love this picture because I know that behind the scenes there are friends catching up, kids running around naked, wine being had and goodness all around.

And come on - look at that face of glee.

9. Kimmy, Danah, Mags, Kim and I, Vegas


What happens in Vegas. Stays in Vegas.

I will only mention the hats:

Chicora Dawn
Charlie Dell
Lucky Varsity
Rambo Rivercrest
Andy Regina

10. Ricky, Alex, Di, Encinitas, California


Spring break we visited San Diego. Oh, San Diego. Where the air is clean and the roads are long and bike friendly. Before we went, Ricky and I investigated the small town on Encinitas. And by investigated, I mean, looked up houses. On this particular day, we rode from La Joya to Encinitas ... and the hashtag was born #roadtoencinitas (I wasn't the first). We decided that our decisions would be based on one strong question - will this get us to Encinitas? If anyone knows a way that a Mexican and a Canadian (and their two kids) can move to the states, you let me know.

11. Cami and mama, Huasca, Mexico


This is my gal and I ... just waiting for Leslie to come cruising in from her 50km trail race. The year before, she did the 15k, and the year before that, her first 5k. I remember the day, we went out for a starting-out run ... we we jogged for one minute, and walked for one minute. On this day, we cheered on her and her tribe as they discovered the trails in Hidalgo. Cami had a few rough nights on this trip - but like always, she pulled through and was a trooper Classes on upside down and all!

12. Les and Di, Baja California, Mexico


I'll tell you all about the dolphins. But not the thongs. It wouldn't be right. In November we led a yoga retreat in Baja California. Here we are, getting on our boat to take a trip to see (and swim with) the sea lions. We've got our Body Bliss Hats on, our wetsuits (that have probably been peed in by so many folks) and we're excited for a great day ahead. Sea lions are magical creatures, and so was out guide. She embodied the sea lion and had so much fun swirling and twirling around among them. On our way back to land we caught some huge waves - but also a pod of dolphins. So, after the lead of our guide, we jumped off the boat, into the water and were swimming among a huge pod of dolphins. A once in a lifetime experience, really!

13. Cami, Daddy, Aero, Mommy and 2.0


This isn't Cami's first Christmas - but it's our first at home - with Christmas jammies - and it wont be our last. Cami LOVED having matching jammies with us, and up until a few months ago, we would actually wear these (now she as a repertoire of about 5 articles of clothing that she wants to wear EVERY day).

Will work on some Christmas traditions, but there was turkey, there was gravy and mashed potatoes, Santa came and there was LOVE.

14. Alex, Cami and Di, Alapulco, Mexico

10 Weeks Pregnant

You'd think this might be the last race while preggers, but there are actually a few more. I raced a lot with 2.0. An 80km bike race, two sprint triathlons, two 10k's and a half marathon. This one, however, is one of my fav. races, the Acapulco triathlon. Did I suffer, a bit? Yes. Did I love the race? Yep. Here we have me and my girl having a little moment as I head out for the run. Again - trooper! Cami - that is!

15. Cami, Russian River, California

Bucket & Balance

This is a shot from the Russian River again. Cami loves her water, and her we have her enjoying the most unsophisticated pool ever. A bucket. It's not her first bucket. In fact, she has been doing buckets for a long time. But it was a reminder that sometimes the best things are the simplest things.

Oh - and check out that balance. She gets it from her mom.

16. Sharon, Cami and I, Meaford Ranch, Canada

Giddy Up

This pic is taken at my sister's house in Meaford. I was so hesitant to get up on the horse, but after some convincing from my sister, we got on up. I love this pic for oh, so many reasons. First off - my sister has a lot of love for little Godinez and she reminds us of that every time we come home. And I also love that Cami and I are wearing matching bandanas - again, my sister's idea. This is just a happy pic and a happy day.

That's a wrap - 1/2 a year late, but who's counting. These are my top 16 of 16 Folks.

Time to drop 2017 into a folder!

Wishing you all a whole bunch of THIS for the rest of the year!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Age is Just a Number

2016 marked the year that I celebrated 40 years. 40 years. Some spent in Canada, some in Japan and Thailand, others in Colombia, five in Brazil and five in Mexico. I am lucky that my life happens in chunks. It makes remembering a lot easier.

Thanks to the lovely blogger here, I have put some limitations on this blog post. One being, I will not take more than 30 minutes to complete it. Enough with dressing up the posts so that they are eye catching and pretty. These are the days of, "I have 30 minutes, and that's it."

Back to being 40.

I am 16 weeks pregnant and will have baby number two when I am 40 and a half. I have done the simple math here and this means that when baby 2.0 turns 20, I will be 60. My mom left us when she was 61 and my 45 year old sister is currently battling the same dis-ease that swept my mom into stardust. Numbers carry some harsh realities.

A lot goes through my mind these days, but there is a choice. Focus on what is real and happening today, or focus on what might happen in 5, 10, 20, 40 years.

I choose today.

Today I am growing a little person. I have grown to love and adore Camila more that I ever imagined I could love a child. Her fascination with putting play-do on her toes and obsession with wearing her bike helmet makes my heart swell more than some of the most beautiful landscapes, beaches and exotic trips ever did. And that was just today!

I don't feel the need to chase a place as I once did in the past. But that "place" has become home and that "place" has become people. I am thrilled to add another one to the mix. To face the challenge of having two babies, two little stink monsters, two beating hearts. And oh, the vulnerability, the deep vulnerability of loving someone so much. Doubled!

40 is they number when our family becomes four (plus one furry one). 40 is the number when my sister will turn the corner and see that there is light in darkness, and life at the end of a weathered feather. 40 is the number that marks learning that enough is enough. I mean that literally - the end to feeling like enough is "out there" and not "out here, in here, right here."