1st Month

  • The Secret to Baby’s Happiness

    This baby is almost permanently attached to my boob. I never knew that my nipple could make someone so happy. It is like my boobs have magic heroin in them and they are the solution to all her problems.

    If she is hungry, the nip satisfies that… if she is tired, the nip knocks her out like a shot of whisky… if she is emotionally distressed, the nip calms her like valium. So far, if there is any problem in her life, my nip seems to be the answer. If only the rest of her life could be this simple.

    Come to think of it, if only the rest of life could be that simple. Why do we ever stray from these basic comforts? I could see it now… my baby as president, at a world leader conference, solving all global problems. “World hunger?” She would say with a pen in her mouth and distinguished glasses, “Ahhh, well my mom’s nip is the answer to that! War you say?? Yes, yes, my mom’s nip will calm that chaos down. Really puts people at ease you know?”

    Why do we make life so complicated as adults? With all our excessive needs and wants we forget that it is the simple things in life that make us happy. I know that sounds like a total cliché, but take a minute to see how miserable people are because they don’t have what they think they want. The more complex the desires, the less gratifying the result. We live in a culture that is impossible to satiate, because there is always something in the horizon to market, promote, and buy.

    I know you all have had one of those moments when you look at a baby and think “Gosh, if only I could be that happy.” Kind of like the same envy that can be felt for a dog. Their simplistic joy is intoxicating. I guess my point is sure, material luxuries can bring temporary contentment, but I don’t think that a Ferrari has ever made anyone as happy as my boob does to my baby.

    December 9, 2010 • 1st Month, Breast Feeding • Views: 2960

  • Where Do Babies Come From??

    Technically, I know where babies come from. Sort of. I mean, I have a vague idea of what happens from 8th grade science class, and diagrams on the internet of a tadpole like creatures turning into a baby. You know… if you think about it from an evolutionary standpoint (assuming you believe in that sort of thing) the human gestation period mimics the evolution of life on the planet. A primitive single cell organism (sperm) that develops into an amphibian with a tail, and then eventually a mammal. Crazy town!

    So yes, there is a rational, scientific explanation of where babies come from… but that does not satisfy my genuine intrigue of how this all happens. There is such magic and mystery to how one day you are suddenly hosting a life… a life that develops completely without any conscious effort. It is not like you sit around being like “okay body, now its time to create the ears.” All this happens without any deliberate effort on your part. You just have to do is ride the wave of the experience.

    Having a baby connects you to questioning the impetus of life, period. Life as meta concept. How was life created? How do you get from life not existing, to suddenly just being? Is life eternal? Has it always existed? If so, has the baby always existed? If yes, then where? Another dimension? What is that spark? The initiation that creates life? I feel now more than ever the vast unanswerable wonderment of it all.

    I was once watching the discovery channel, and it was talking about how all the building blocks of life, the hard elements that comprise every living being on the planet, are the same as the insides of stars. So the theory was that the implosion of stars, and the stardust falling to the earth, was what ignited life to be possible. Isn’t that the most breathtaking thing you have ever heard? That we are children from the stars!

    When I look at this newborn baby, I think I can totally see that, because she does kinda look like an alien ;o)

    December 3, 2010 • 1st Month, Musings • Views: 2140

  • What Do Babies Dream About?

    Newborn babies sleep a shit ton. This baby of mine, I swear on everything holy, sleeps about 20-22 hours a day. The rare moments that she has her eyes open, all I want to do is stare into them and interact with her, because that time with her being awake is so rare and precious. Not that I am complaining. It is nice to hold a sleeping content baby all day. It is like the ultimate cuddle session.

    I get that during these endless days of sleep her brain is developing, and her body is growing at astronomical speeds… but I cannot help from wondering… what is she dreaming about all that time??

    I have two theories on this. Either, she is dreaming about past lives, and is working out the karmic debt of all that. Like she is going over all her triumphs and mistakes of being a Native American princess, or Cleopatra, or Ronald Reagan, or something along those lines. Or, she is dreaming of the material that is given to her in her own life experience. Maybe that is why they sleep so peacefully in the beginning? Because the majority of their life was spent sloshing around in the womb? Maybe each day that they live, they are given new visual stimulus to dream about? Maybe that is why sleep becomes more of a challenge, as they grow older? Because there is so much to process with all that they are exposed to?

    If I think that I am providing her with the vocabulary to narrate her dreams, that is not only a whole lot of responsibility, but also a serious honor! It inspires me to imagine brining her to the most beautiful places so her eyes can feast on the buffet that will entertain her while she is off in never never land.

    December 3, 2010 • 1st Month, baby brain, Musings • Views: 1944

  • Bebe’s 1st Bath

    Baby’s first bath

    Although this may not be something you want to think about too deeply, birth cheese is really good for your baby’s skin. You know, the white shit that covers the baby when its born? Yes, that stuff. So you actually don’t want to rush to wash it off, but rather rub it in and let it seep into your babies pours. Yum! Point is, when I took bebe home, she had yet to have her first bath.

    I was sitting on the bed with bebe, my mother, and my friend Grace, and we were all sweating in the excessive summer heat. My mom was holding bebe when she started to fuss. It was her first real declaration of protest, so I felt like something was definitely disturbing her.

    “Ummm Mom, something is going on, maybe give her to me.”
    “Oh she is fine Toni. She is just happy to be with her grandma.” I thought, “well, okay, she was a mom too, she probably knows what she is talking about,” but the fussiness only intensified.

    “Okay mom… maybe give her to me. I think she is uncomfortable.” My mom rolled her eyes and handed her to me, and at that moment, the problem became painfully obvious for all involved. She had pooed. But not just any poo. A poo as black and sticky as tar… a poo that seemed as if it had been summoned from the depths of hell… a poo with a mass so impressive, it could have competed with a frat boy after a night of drinking and McDonald’s… a poo that seemed to be comprised of a substance from another dimension that had oozed all the way down her back, and into her hair.

    “Holy shit! Literally! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! We need to get her in the bath!!!!” Not sure if my new precious bebe was leaking toxic sludge, I knew that I had to get this shit of her pronto. Now I had never given a little newborn a bath before, and their bodies are so scrawny, and now my little lizard was covered in poo that rationally I did not want to touch, but practically, my hands where now immersed in.

    We rushed the baby into the bathroom, and my mom ran the bath as I held the baby dripping poo onto my toes, and now very agitated. My mom, in her best intentions, had purchased a bath that was too big for bebe’s tiny body, and I, in my usual Toni way, never even examined the bath she had bought.

    “This bath is too big! I can’t put her down in that! She is going to drown!”
    “Oh Toni, don’t be ridiculous. Just hold her up in the bath and support her.”

    I bent over and placed the baby in the water, while Grace searched for a washcloth. My mom had added soap to the water, which only made her slippery, and I thought she was going to shoot out my hands and get sucked down the drain.

    “Fuck mom… I hate this bath. It’s too big. Why did you put soap in the water?? She is too wiggly and slippery! Ahhhhhhhh.”

    “Oh for God’s sake Toni, just hold on to her and Grace can wipe off the poo!”
    “Ahhhh Mom!! I can’t support her head at this angle! It’s gonna fall off!!”

    With the help of my mom and Grace, we did get the poo that would have made Satan proud off her. We then got her dressed, and while I was still panting from the whole ordeal she was asleep again.

    “Man… I am lucky you guys were here! What would I have done with out you?”

    So what I learned about
    1) Bebe’s first poo is pretty gnarly so watch out. That is a lot of impacted shit up in there.
    2) Know about the basic equipment you are going to be using, and do a dry run. Make sure you are comfortable with the things that you have bought to take care your bebe!

    November 30, 2010 • 1st Month, 1st time for everything, baby gear • Views: 2181

  • 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: 4754

  • My First Breast Feeding Extravaganza

    I feel like there is a lot of mystery around breastfeeding, that you can’t fully comprehend until you try it. I know I was pretty dumbfounded as to what it would feel like, and how someone is seriously going to survive just by sucking on my boob all day. I had gotten a lot of books from friends on the “art of breast feeding” which confused me even further considering there was a litany of literature on the subject. I kept wondering if it was more complicated than I was assuming. Don’t you just put your baby on your boob and call it a day?

    After popping the baby out, Sage, my Doula asked if I wanted to try breastfeeding. Everyone was still in the room milling about, while the nurse wondered if I wanted my bedding changed considering all the birth juice that was pooled at my feet. Point being, it wasn’t the most calm of situations. I put the baby towards my boob, and she just kinda bobbed her head around. I tried to guide her mouth towards the nip, but nothing really happened and I didn’t want to be forceful and snap her head off on the first day and all. I also felt a little self conscious with people watching with looks of anticipation much like being at the US Open and waiting to see if Andy Federer was going to miss his second serve. I decided, “fuck it” there is too much going on.

    After about 30 minutes, the doctor, nurses, and Doula all left, and for the next 3 hours we just held her and stared at her face. Time was like an illusion and I couldn’t believe it was already 1:30 when the nurse asked if I wanted to take a shower. Getting up no longer preggo was the craziest feeling. In the shower I got so lost in my head thinking about the total insanity of what had just happened. I couldn’t believe I had just given birth and that my baby was out. While I washed off I realized it was the first time I hadn’t been with her for the last 9 months, and I felt so empty without her energy inside me anymore. Then, about 11 pounds of blood and birthing material suddenly gushed onto my feet and I decided it was time to get out. Lucky for me, they give you pads the size of a diaper for a giant to soak up all that fun stuff.

    Now that I was clean, and my bed was no longer saturated, I jumped in and the nurse handed me the baby like I knew what I was doing. I snuggled up next her and tried to sleep, but there was no way that was going to happen considering the amount of adrenalin pumping through my system. The nurse came back around 3:30, asking if I wanted to try feeding her. Looking back, I can see how everything about this moment was perfect for learning how to breastfeed. It was the strange hour in the middle of the night where you are naturally calm, and no one was awake to watch the progress. Breastfeeding is not a spectator sport, and I highly suggest trying for the first time by yourself or with one nurse to give you suggestions.

    The nurse told me to lay on my side, and lay the baby on her side, so she could try feeding on the bottom boob. The nurse explained that you don’t just put the tip of the nip in the baby’s mouth, but the whole freakin’ thing. The baby means business, and needs the nip all the way in there. So I would basically take my boob, and stuff it into my baby’s mouth. The nurse explained, that if she wasn’t “latched on” correctly I was going to have issues, so to stick my finger in her mouth to get her off and try again. Although the thought of anyone being “latched on” to my nip is quite intimidating, I did get what she meant because you definitely felt that sweet spot when she was stuck on there.

    The exciting thing they don’t tell you about your first breastfeeding sessions, is that it contracts your uterus. So basically, the baby feeding helps your giant baby-sized uterus shrink back to its normal pear size. Although the last thing you want to feel after having had contractions all day and giving birth, is more contractions, but there are two reasons why this is okay. Reason number 1 is that you know the baby is on there right and feeding. Reason number 2 is because you do not want your uterus to maintain that weird hollow baggy feeling any longer than it needs to.

    So at the end of the day I feel really lucky to have had such a great nurse to help me with this first experience. From then on I felt pretty calm about it, and never let her suck on my nip if she wasn’t latched on properly. I would stick my finger in her mouth and pry her off faster than bunnies get laid because I did not want her to give me raw nips. I need those things. I had a friend who had bleeding, cracked nipples, because of breastfeeding. She told me she just never really knew what it was supposed to feel like, so assumed it was normal to be super painful. Of course, everyone experience is unique, but these are my thoughts on how to make it easier for you…

    Toni Bologna Breast Feeding Suggestions That Will Rock Your World
    1) be calm
    2) have the least amount of people observing possible
    3) don’t let baby suck if not really stuck on like a Valasor Raptor
    4) moisturize your nips with Argon Oil!!!!!!!!!!

    November 17, 2010 • 1st Month, Breast Feeding, Mommy Body • Views: 2352