Birth Story: An end and a beginning

Dear Maya,

Your due date was 3/7/2012. "They" say that you should try to tackle big life changes in doses. Don't have big changes occur too close together. Then life happens and the changes just kind of come. My first words of advice for you are cliche but true. Take it easy, relax and be flexible. You can only do a few things when change comes your way. Ignore it, fight it or go with the flow. There is only right answer there if you want to live peacefully. 


Grandma (Mama's Mom) arrives. She is uber excited to visit Mommy and can't wait to meet you.


We lost Grandpa Castañeda one year ago today. Grandpa had been sick and in the hospital for a few months now. He was such a strong good man and I wish you could have met him. I think he knew it was his time but our family wasn't ready for that. He was such a trooper and kept fighting and working to get better. I think he did it more for his family rather than anything else. That is what he was about; family. He sacrificed so much of himself to provide for his family.  I was too worried to leave your Mother and worried that I would miss your birth so I wasn't there when he passed. He knew you were coming and understood. He would have wanted me to be here with my family because that is the way he was. Unselfish always. We miss him dearly. He was the Castañeda glue, if you will.

3/5/2012 - 3/8/2012

Maya, Maya, Maya. We should have taken your delayed arrival as a sign. You were going to come when you were ready and not a moment sooner. Your due date came and went. We thought there was a sign every day; every hour and nothing. Surely it is going to be any day now.


I decide at the last minute to fly back to Ohio for Grandpa's funeral. I was so worried that I was going to miss you being born but Grandma Gibson was such a great help with Mama that I decided I had time to go. I jump on a red-eye on Friday, 3-9-2012 at about 11:30 at night.


I arrive at Detroit airport at  7 AM. I have time to change into my suit at the airport bathroom, get my stuff and drive to Toledo for the funeral that I believe started at 9 or 10 AM. I get there just in time. It is hard for me to imagine a world without my Dad but it never felt so empty as it did that day. I got a text from one of my good friends the day before. He went to Grandpa's calling hours and texted me a simple line. "Tons of respect in that room, man." That made me feel so good. That is what Grandpa deserves. Oodles and oodles of respect. I'm so glad I was able to go to the funeral. It was a theraputic emotional ride. 5 PM hit pretty quick and I was back on the road again back to Detroit to catch a 7 PM flight.


I thought for sure you were going to be born on 3/11. The one thing I forgot to schedule was sleep. I was going on 48 hours without sleep so I thought for sure you were going to come that day. I guess I should thank you for holding out a little longer?

3/12/2012 - 3/14/2012

Okay. At this point it is getting a little ridiculous Mai. C'mon out . Join the party. The water is warm. At this point Grandma's visit was nearing an end and she still hasn't seen you! She was super helpful for us and couldn't fathom missing you at this point so she decides to extend her trip another week. It was getting to the point where we started to worry she was going to have to extend it a second time.

We also had something else to worry about at this time; induction. They had scheduled an induction on 3/13 for 3/16. 

That led us to the whole crazy accupuncture adventure. It all seems like a dream somtimes.

Then the next day hit. It hasn't been the same since. 

The Glue

Grandpa was truly the glue for our family. We gathered because of him. We laughed because of him. We are, because of him. There are a fair amount of years between you and your closest first cousin on the Castañeda side Mai and I think that is proving to be a blessing in disguise. The life you bring helps us. Even though we are far away right now, the amount of support and love that we see from all of our families and friends is overwhelming. I know it is a lot of weight to put on your shoulders but you are becoming that glue. Helping us through this time.

You're also pretty darn funny and cute, so that helps.

And here are some random pics of you eating Pho with Tofu. Why? You know, to not be too serious. My second piece of advice. Never take yourself too seriously and smile and laugh at least once a day. Heck, make smiling and laughing what you do MOST every day. Life's better with smiles and laughs.