Jessica Mendoza ready for baby No. 2
With just over two weeks left before baby boy No. 2 arrives -- my due date is Aug. 17! -- I'm enjoying time back at home in Moorpark, Calif., after being on the road all summer. Adam, Caleb and I are making the most of this extra time, including camping on the beach, going for walks and hanging around the house together.
This past weekend we threw a shark-themed party at a local pool for Caleb's fourth birthday. Let me tell you, hosting a pool party for 45 people, most of whom are 4-year-olds, is no easy task. We went all-out, assembling goodie bags with shark water guns, shark tattoos and shark gummy bears. We even had big, inflatable sharks in the pool. Caleb was delighted, and so were all his little buddies. Needless to say, it was a day that made me happy to be home with them.
I just pulled Caleb's onesies out of storage in preparation for the new baby, and it reminded me of how quickly the last four years have gone. It's hard to believe he was ever that small. The funny part is he was 6 pounds, 8 ounces, and this baby is already close to that size, so I'm bracing myself for a big boy.
Even with a 6-plus-pound baby growing inside me, I'm continuing to stay active, albeit not at the level I'm used to. I'm adept at listening to my body since everything I do affects my little one. Every time my heart rate goes up, his does, too, and every time I breathe hard, he feels it.
In preparation for labor, I'm doing core-strengthening workouts with TRX. In some ways it's like training for a big competition, except this will be far more difficult than any athletic endeavor. TRX works a lot of the muscles I'll use in labor, and the prenatal yoga classes I've been taking will help with my breathing. We've also been going on a lot of family walks. I've even done some relaxed stand-up paddleboarding in the ocean. These activities keep me feeling good and help me take care of my body as I prepare for what's coming up. When I sit still, the baby becomes a kung fu hero, pushing on my belly so much that we can see it; he's almost ready to show up!
Along with my excitement comes some anxiety about the lack of sleep that's inevitable during the first few months with a new baby, along with a general shift in my priorities. Since Caleb came into our world, I've learned the important lesson that it's OK if I'm not always 100 percent on my game. I think a lot of women get preoccupied with trying to do it all between their career and family, but I've discovered that perfection isn't realistic, and that makes it better for all of us.
I remember going to a big conference as the guest speaker when Caleb was still a baby. Someone pointed out that I had spit-up in my hair. It was one of those decisive moments when I could've chosen to be embarrassed and frustrated, but instead I laughed at myself, and I owned up to it. That day, and ever since, I've been the mom and the professional athlete. I was the guest speaker with throw-up in her hair that day, and it was OK. What I've learned from all this is that life can be messy. But I can't imagine having it any other way. Even if perfection was attainable, I don't think I'd want it because that would make life pretty boring. I'll take puke in my hair any day.