• Getting Old and Glorifying the Past

    Yesterday was my day of uterine insurgence. It marked the moment that I was ejected from my mother’s glorious birth canyon, and burst forth into the world. Thanks dad for not pulling out to distribute my essence all over mom’s stomach. You guys are the best!

    I am getting older you guys! I am now just as close to 40 as I am to 30! What does it all mean? Should I make fewer expressions so as not to deepen the lines of emotion on my face? Should I be worried about organs that I am otherwise oblivious too – like my colon, spleen or gallbladder? Or maybe I should get back into doing a bunch of acid, and listening to records backwards to see if Prince actually worships the devil?

    How do I move forward into the future without wanting to clench onto the optimistic naivety of my past!?

    Aging is bitter sweet. On the one hand, you have a better grip on who you are as a human. You are less influenced by the influence of others, and less redundant. You are more likely to have a clear vision of where life is going, and also have confidence that you are actually getting good at what you do. You gain wisdom regarding relationships, and how to better communicate your needs. There is a sense of peacefulness that develops as you become more comfortable in your own skin. Yet perhaps best of all, is accumulating the propensity to give less fucks about everything.

    BUT… there is a longing for youth that is hard to let go of. Everything seems so much purer in the past. The fun was funner, the laughter was harder, and the possibilities were endless. Being young feels so seductive because you had nothing but time ahead of you – how else can I explain the fact that I watched other people play video games while high!? When I think about wishing I was 22 again, it is not so I could actually be 22 – because actually being 22 kind of SUCKED. What I want is to know what I know now, and have the chance to do it all over again. But… even if I did, I would probably do the same dumb shit because I am 22 so who cares and lets get wasted on Jagermeister!

    There is this dust of superiority in the memory, because the memory is rooted in the fantasy of what could have been. It is easy to glorify what was, because it helps justify what is. We have to exalt our perspective of years gone by – it comforts the fear of what never was!! Everything had to be better then, because at least that can help me get through the shit pile of the now! Yet then nostalgia becomes a form of depression, as it hangs onto mediocrity of the moment.

    The only way to be truly content is by acknowledging the past as our teacher, and embracing the future as infinite potential. If we can maintain that perspective, we don’t have to hate the inevitable truth that we are going to deteriorate and die. I can’t deny the instances where I yearn for the mentality of wistfully coasting through life on a magic carpet of late meals and bong hits, but I am also grateful for what is to come. I am smarter, stronger, and more capable than ever before simply by being on the planet for a longer period of time. Maybe I can do something really epic with the rest of my life!? Like making a movie about farts, or curing the common cold. There is still time!

    (kind of the best birthday text of all time)

    December 29, 2014 • Birth • Views: 4341

  • Natural Childbirth Summit

    I am a part of this natural birth summit!!

    This is the link!!

    It is going to be this amazing summit to discuss, educate, and promote natural birth!  I think as long as your not pregnant with a porcupine, all expecting women should be part of this conversation!

    Here is my personal link to this event

    And my free gift to a summit participant will be a consultation with a midwife Sarah Bay to discuss your options and learn more about natural birth!

    About the midwife


    Sarah Bay, CNM

    I am a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and Advanced Practicing Registered Nurse (APRN) licensed in the state of New Hampshire, accepting clients for well-woman and pregnancy related care.

    Philosophy: My commitment to out of hospital birth and midwifery care stems from a long-held belief that women should play an active role in their health and pregnancy care. As a midwife I see myself as a safe keeper to a healthy pregnancy and a physiolgic birth.

    History: I’ve wanted to be a midwife for as long as I can remember. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say my journey into midwifery began with my own birth. I was born at home in the Netherlands, where the majority of births are still with midwives and many take place at home. As a child, I thought all babies were born at home. Only later did I learn from friends and classmates how unique my home birth was.

    Education and Training: My roots in New Hampshire run deep. I attended Pine Hill Waldorf School and graduated from ConVal High School before attending the University of New Hampshire where I earned my BS in Nursing. I live locally in the Monadnock Region, where most of my family still resides.

    After getting my nursing degree, I worked as a labor and delivery nurse for five years. I worked in a variety of settings, including Darthmouth-Hitchcock (Lebanon, NH), Monadnock Community Hospital (Peterborough, NH), UCLA and Kaiser Permanente (Los Angeles, CA), Providence Medical Center (Everett, WA), and as a homebirth assistant with Cindy Dunleavy, CPM. During this time, I attended hundreds of births and learned through experience many of the technical, labor support, breastfeeding, and postpartum skills needed for full scope midwifery care. I also built relationships with many local physicians and nurses, and gained a solid understanding of the values and procedures of the hospital setting. These experiences have strengthened my commitment to evidence-based medicine and help me anticipate and prepare for the unexpected.

    I returned to school and earned a Masters of Nursing from the University of Washington (2010) where I spent most of my clinical time in out of hospital settings, including two birth center practices and a solo midwifery practice. I began my own full scope solo midwifery practice shortly after the arrival of my own daughter, delivered in the care of a midwife at home in Peterborough.





    September 24, 2013 • Birth • Views: 7337

  • Pink Eye Is Seriously Gnarly

    The Munch has pink eye.  In both eyes. It is pretty gnarly.  I am kind of having a hard time looking at her.  I mean I do of course, but not without suppressing gags.  The white part of her eye looks like it’s having its period, and then yellow goo is seeping out of the corners.  Much like her eyeball is ejaculating.

    I took her to the hippy doctor, and now I have a variety of immune boosters and leprechaun tears to give her.  I am also supposed to put chamomile tea bags on her eyes, and my friend told me to make a mixture of raw honey and yogurt.

    So here is the problem with holistic healing when it comes to your kids.  Sure I could sit around with an eye mask of bear feces and yack butter, because I have the foresight to make the sacrifice of discomfort in order to get better.  But The Munch doesn’t see things this way.  I have spent the last hour chasing her around the house trying to spread gnome saliva on her face, and she is having none of it.  I could of course also go to the regular doctor, but they are going to give me eye drops, or some other crap I have to delicately place on the inner lid of her eye… and that would involve me wrestling The Munch to the floor and pinning her head between my knees.

    Pink eye is insanely contagious, and she wont even let me put a condom on her eyes.  Of course she is obsessively touching her eyes too, then touching me, then touching my computer, then touching her eyes again, then crawling all over my bed, then smooshing her face in my pillow leaving a glistening yellow trail behind like a snail, then touching her eyes once more, then touching my face, kissing and hugging me – smearing eye mucus on my cheeks.

    Pink eye is a virus that can be contracted by of a variety of potential causes, one of those being fecal matter.  So, this leaves me with a lot of questions.  Is there fecal matter coating my house?  Did someone fart in my child’s face? Or did she fart in her own face? (A feat that should be commended might I add).  Is it from touching the toilet? Are there shit particles on my toilet?

    And the real torture is, she wont let me clean her eyes out either.  She freaks out if I try to go near them.  Although I probably shouldn’t admit this, as someone who has many unnecessary scars because I have to pick, prod, and extract everything on my body – it is pretty unfair she won’t let me do that too her.  Especially considering pink eye is revolting to look at.  We were eating lunch together, and I had to look over her head to avoid direct eye contact.  After all, I was eating an avocado sandwich and it seemed to have the same mushy consistency as her eye boogers.  As sorry as I feel for her, and as much as my heart goes out to The Munch, even writing about it now the whole thing really makes me want to wretch.


    April 11, 2013 • Birth • Views: 5311

  • The World is Still Full Of Racism

    I am sure you know this, but people are really racist.

    I wanted to show pictures of monkeys to The Munch on my computer, so I typed up “monkey” in google, went to “images,” and the below picture of president Obama came up on the FIRST PAGE!

    How can this be?


    July 20, 2012 • Birth • Views: 2477

  • A Song in Your Heart

    One of the more exiting aspects of parenting is those moments where your child makes a developmental shift that blows your mind so much that your brain innards ooze out your nose and ears and cascades the contours of your face. Your kid goes from having zero capacity to do something, and then the next day they suddenly have the ability. It is truly remarkable to witness the actual connecting of synapsis as their brain matures.

    Recently The Munch has started singing. Her favorite song right now is “ring around the rosie” which is a bit morose, but she is really into it. We sing it holding hands swaying back and forth, we sing it to her baby, we sing it to her facecloths in the bath… But this idea of music coming into her life is really meaningful. No longer are songs an outside force of entertainment, but now an actual energetic force that she can create!

    It makes me think back to a time in human evolution that was pre-music. Who was that first person who starting grunting in rhythm, humming to a beat, and what effect did it have on those around them? All animals have sound, some more musical then others, but are the intention of those noises for pleasure or for communication? Are birds singing for the beauty of it, or because they are trying to get laid? The human desire to create and appreciate music is so engrained in our culture that I tend to believe that all members of the animal kingdom have their own artistic expression of sound. That there is an auditory need to marvel at the capacity ears have, and challenge what vocal cords can manifest. Now if I can only get The Munch to broaden her horizons because I am covered in bruises from all the times I have to “all fall down.”

    March 21, 2012 • 1 year old, 1st Month, 1st time for everything, Birth • Views: 2846

  • Your Bad Mood Becomes My Problem

    Bad moods are contagious.  When you are around someone in a sourpuss state it is supremely difficult to not let it affect you.  It is as if their blackened energy seeps through their pores to pollute your collective atmosphere with noxious vibes, and you can’t help but breathe their emotional bile into your very being.

    A lot of times people in a foul mood expect the person they are with to get them out of it.  It suddenly becomes your responsibility to extract them from their miserable disposition by exerting all the positive force you have to offer, and sacrificing your soul for them to feed.  If you try and ignore someone’s bad mood and remain unaffected, they will eventually poke every button until they find the one that ignites your inner rage and your mood becomes just as vulgar.

    The Munch has been in the worst mood  since she got the flu two weeks ago.  It was one thing to tolerate when she was having moments of barfing so violent I thought she was doing some scene work for the Exorcist.  I could be excessively empathetic and absorb her pain, because her suffering was so blatant.  But now that her anguish is not longer as obvious it is challenging my ability to maintain patience when she acts like a total jerk.  She is still probably not feeling that great because she smells like fart powder and still looks a little pale, but it is showing less in her physicality and more than ever in her attitude.

    Dare I say being around her sucks ass?

    This morning I was really getting to my breaking point.  She wouldn’t let me put her down so I had to carry her from room to room.  She insisted on listening to music on the iPod but every song was the wrong one, so she screamed in my face and cried as I frantically went though all 2,789 tunes.  She won’t play or do anything by herself and wants me to be her constant source of entertainment.  She asked me to make her an egg, and when I gave it to her she frantically sobbed then threw her egg, spoon, and plate.  She demands to watch the movie “Babies” every 20 minutes, and when I refuse she head butts me in the chest.  And when she is not being a total tyrant she is insisting on nursing like her admission to Harvard is dependent on how much of my soul she can suck through me.

    I called my friend Elise asking for advice and what she said resonated so deeply within me…

    “Toni, they grow so much and so fast that there has to be a moment when they regress.  Especially if she has been sick, she is going back to what she knows, and that is being babied.  Being carried everywhere, nursing constantly, being connected to you.  And if that is stressing you out, it is stressing her out more because she doesn’t get that she is your cause of stress.”

    It just made so much sense to me and gave me the energy to keep going.  She is not going to be this way forever.  Soon I will get my Munchee back, who head butts me for the right reasons, because she thinks its hilarious.

    “I don’t want to talk about it Mom… I just want to stand in the potty and be left alone.  WAIT… where are you going??”

    March 8, 2012 • Birth • Views: 3408

  • Birth As Performance Art

    A Brooklyn woman is turning her birth into performance art by putting herself and her last weeks of pregnancy on display at a gallery. When she goes into labor Marni Kotak will squeeze that puppy out in front of a live audience. Part of me feels like this is major exploitation, but another part of me feels she is brilliant.

    There is a fine line between exploitation and inspiration, which I feel I straddle everyday. I write about The Munch because she ignites ideas I feel compelled to share and it keeps me from boring my friends by talking about her all day. After all, she consumes so much of what I think about I have to get it out somehow. I tell myself that she is more than a worthy subject because observing a child grow is relatable to all humans who have ever been a baby. And then I tell myself to get a cute pair of flared corduroy pants and eat less sugar.

    I feel like raising a baby is an art form worth sharing in the same way that writing, painting or dancing is… so maybe birthing a baby is too?

    My initial conviction was that birth should be an intimate experience, and to have a bunch of strangers watching this magical moment would cheapen it. Yet obviously this woman sees birth as part of her own artistic self and sharing it with the world is maybe the her own living personal manifestation of the art inside of her. And besides, hospital births often have people in the room who you don’t know and will never see again. Who was that guy with the camera anyway? Maybe birth isn’t about privacy because creating a child is actually a very public act? You are creating another human for society after all….

    We also have to think of how birth is viewed in today’s society and why transforming it into art might be very meaningful. For modern western women there is also a lot of psychological and emotional confusion around birth. The way it is represented in the media perpetuates a fear culture that is completely inaccurate. Women are often made to feel out of control and like they don’t know what they are doing. There is so much anxiety attached to the birthing experience that women often lose trust in themselves and their connection to their bodies.

    So maybe this birth as art will be very empowering to not only the artist performing, but the people watching as well?

    But what this experiment isn’t seemingly taking into consideration is how the baby is going to feel coming into the world as a piece of art. Is little baby X going to feel objectified that their vaginal entrance into the world is like their debut curtain call even though they didn’t know they made it through the second round of auditions? Maybe the baby will be an exhibitionist for the rest of their lives because of the quantum energy surrounding their first breath? Or maybe everyone will be in such awe that it will experience a massive injection of collective love? Or maybe if this woman was a real edgy artist she would give birth to soldier carrying a white flag in its teeth because that would really make a political statement.

    October 10, 2011 • 1 year old, Being Preggo, Birth, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 2829

  • The Apocalypse Is Screwing With My Weekend Plans!

    The upcoming Armageddon is seriously messing with my Saturday. I mean The Munch and I are supposed to go to an art fair, and the world coming to an end will totally ruin everything!

    You know what I don’t understand… why does the second coming of Jesus have to mean death and destruction? If Jesus were really coming back to earth he would be 33, which is 21 in guy years. What if Jesus wanted to hang out in skinny jeans and get an Ipad? He is a good-looking guy… maybe he wants to go to bars, get laid, and not text the girl back for 6 days. I mean it I has been 2000 years and he probably wants to play the field. God…. Stop pressuring Jesus to be in a long-term commitment!

    I am just saying…

    May 20, 2011 • Birth • Views: 3032

  • After Birth…Stay in Bed For a Week!

    Although staying at the hospital was kinda boring, and I was ready to go home, I also felt a little nervous about leaving. I kept thinking “you guys are really going to let me leave with this thing? I can just take the baby with me, even though I have never been around a newborn, and hadn’t changed a diaper since I was a middle school babysitter.” My gut told me everything would be okay, and that my instincts would know what to do, but my rational mind was like “You guys are nuts! How do you know you can trust me with this?”

    Getting a fragile 2-day old baby in a car seat seemed as mentally complex as particle physics. A nurse was trying to observe the whole affair to make sure we did it correctly, but it was 100 degrees in the parking lot, and just having her watch was making it increasingly difficult to figure the damn thing out. Ahhhhhh the pressure! My mom had bought the seat for me with the best intentions, but is was so freakn’ complicated, it looked like an S&M torture machine. I can’t say I am positive she was in there right, and part of me feels like I Brittany Spears-ed my baby on her first day in a car, but off we went. On the ride back the song “Wonderwall” came on covered by Ryan Adams. The words “I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now,” echoed deeply in my ears. I started to cry, feeling how much I loved this little creature, and how I couldn’t believe she was actually here.

    Once back at the house, I got settled into my bed that was going to be my homebase for the next week. A midwife had suggested to stay in bed with the baby for 1 whole week, and I was taking her advice quite literally. Only get up to go to the bathroom, have all meals brought to you, and don’t even think about going downstairs. Just stay in bed, bond with the baby, and recover. For a type A, overactive person like me, this was not an easy thing to do psychologically. But I intuitively did believe she had a good point, and when I am going to follow directions, you better believe I follow those directions.

    I was kind of anal in not wanting excessive chaos around the baby while on my breastfeeding island. I only talked minimally on the phone to the people I super loved and needed to share my birth story with because I was afraid of the frequency of the phone waves fucking with my baby’s brain. Everyone that came and visited had to just sit on the bed with me and hold the baby there. I kept my voice low, and made sure every conversation was a soft murrmer. My mom said I was going to give the baby a complex and make her super neurotic if I kept whispering around her.

    “Mom! I am not going to whisper around her forever! Obvi! She just doesn’t need to be thrown into the manic energy of the world so quickly. I just want to give her some time to adjust.”

    So what did I do for a week in bed you ask? I read, read, and read some more. I didn’t know this about newborns, but they sleep a lot. She was sleeping about 20-22 hours a day, mostly on my chest. I read all three books of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” All 1,500 pages of it. I would get so into the book at times, that I would forget myself, until I would look down and be like “holy shit there is a baby on me.” It still seemed so surreal. My whole 30 years on the planet I had never had a baby, and now I couldn’t imagine what life was like without her. It was like her essence had always been close, I was just too distracted to notice.

    I also spent every moment that she was awake interacting with her. Her eyes weren’t open that much, so I just wanted to be present for every second I had the opportunity to stare into them. Not to be corny, but I felt like we were just taking the time to really get to know each other. The one thought that I could not shake in that week in bed was “this moment is never going to happen again… I am never going to have this magical time, with this baby again, and I am going to try and appreciate every nuance. Every expression. Every time she looks at me with recognition.”

    So all in all, Toni Bologna suggestion is to stay in bed for at least a week with your baby!

    November 18, 2010 • 1st Month, Birth, Mommy Body • Views: 4942