Posts Tagged ‘Newborns’

Hello Baby Brother

Hello Baby Brother

I’m in the land of Music again, only this time it’s been a whirlwind, fast trip. The Love Bug was a beautiful Ballerina for Halloween; more White Swan less Black Swan. And then the very next day we were surprised to welcome her baby brother to the world, three weeks early! The family is home and doing fine, and soon we’ll have a Bris to celebrate his passage into the Tribe.

The problem is, this passionate progressive didn’t get a chance to vote! I hate to admit it but I was not prepared to vote early this year, and not prepared to be out-of-town either! And now I feel really bad – what if Warner loses by ONE vote??? http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Mark-Warner-Ed-Gillespie-Virginia-Senate-Race–281500861.html

What can you do, especially since no one under the age of 35 has old-fashioned TV service anymore, and I don’t have WiFi in my place. I just logged on at the Bride and Groom’s house to blog and read the results of the election online. UGH Too close to call is too close to home for me. But now that the GOP has control of the House AND the Senate, the prognosis for the next two years seems downright spooky! “Republicans Seize the Senate; Gaining Full Control of Congress” – notice they didn’t just capture the Senate, they seized it!! http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/04/politics/election-day-story/index.html

What is wrong with that picture?! What’s right in Nashville is our little family of four and they have plenty of support in this musical community. Big Sister is back at pre-school, Dada (the Groom) took her to the Library today to see a puppet show, and friends have delivered food and recycled baby boy clothes already. Dada had just finished his on-call rotation in the Medical ICU, and Mama had a beautiful VBAC labor experience with her midwife and husband close-by, while I was driving fast to get here. Baby boy beat me by about half an hour!!

Welcome to the World!

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A poet I’m not. But listening to Maya Angelou read from her latest book, Mom, and Me, and Mom, made me wish I could craft words of poetry. She writes about her “terrible wonderful” mother who shipped her off to her grandmother at the age of 3 after a divorce. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/mar/30/maya-angelou-terrible-wonderful-mother They were reunited when she became a teen, and she learned to love and respect her mother, particularly after becoming a mother herself. I must read this book, because I can identify with being separated from my birth mother, and reuniting later in life. The Flapper let me go to live with her friends, because she was alone, widowed and finally crippled in that car accident, in our Year of Living Dangerously. It’s hard to imagine now, but a woman alone was not expected to work and raise a family in the middle of the 20th Century. There were no social safety nets at the time. If family or friends didn’t step in to help, often children would end up in an orphanage.

Still, Angelou called babies “Technicolor Stars.”

Yesterday I met the latest star in one of the sweetest young families in the Old Dominion. Born at 9 minutes after midnight, not even 24 hours old, MP’s mom asked me if I’d like to hold him. He had golden brown duck fuzz hair, his pink legs were still pulled up into his time-tested fetal position, and his umbilicus announced his newness to the world. He made little baby sounds that only angels can decipher, and his big dimple stamped his face with undeniable cuteness. I fell in love. 7 lbs, 7 oz. He’ll be going home today to meet his big brother and sister, and his grandmother and great grandmother from California. MP’s mom is an outstanding NICU nurse who is working toward her doctorate at UVA. She is a natural with a baby, and the dad is an ER doc who trained with the Bride. Lucky baby.

Between the polar opposite parenting types – the overly-attachment type vs the free ranging type – there is a happy medium. A sweet spot of consideration and caring. I’m thinking our friends could write a book, or a baby blog? How not to worry yourself sick with a newborn and prevent unnecessary food allergies! Believe me, with all the noise out there in parenthood land, a sensible, sane voice would be helpful. My friend Kath, although primarily a food blogger, does a good job with her baby blog. She has been my go-to for researching baby products and baby nutrition. Her son Maze is the same age as the Love Bug.

Welcome home MP! Next stop on your technicolor journey, maybe the Saturday Morning City Market?

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Normally, you would find some smart-alec retort here about politics. Normally, I would try and weave some family story into my opinion, hopefully with a dash of humor or at least a dollop of wit. And don’t get me wrong, I watched a few snippets of both conventions. I loved the nun and the ex-President, and even Mrs Mitt wasn’t too saccharine sweet. But life stopped being normal on August 25th, when I found myself transformed from the Mother-of-the-Bride to the Grandmother.

Nothing really prepares you for this stage in life. Gone are the black shoes and stockings of my Nana from Scranton, PA. I’m not pickling things and storing cans on the shelves leading down to the basement. I still have the sacred memory of Nana taking me to my very first movie – Picnic, starring William Holden and Kim Novak. In 1955 I was 7 years old when this classic was released and Nana told me only big girls are allowed in a movie theatre and that I couldn’t leave my seat and run up and down the aisles. Of course I can’t remember the plot, but something “big” was happening in the grass and I was praised for staying put.

Can you remember your first anything? The first time you rode a real bike, the first kiss? Mine happened on the Kindergarten school bus. A boy named Lloyd, who’s mom was what we called then a “war bride” from London, cornered me and kissed me. i remember feeling somewhat terrified and proud all at the same time. Growing up can be challenging. The simple courage to try something new has prompted Jamie Lee Curtis to write her latest children’s book, “My Brave Year of Firsts.” Curtis said, “I started thinking about how often we ask children to try things, and it brought up to me the bravery of being a kid; for a child, jumping a rope, riding a horse, tying shoes, going to school — all are new activities. But adults don’t naturally choose to do something brave. We’re afraid we’re going to look foolish.”

It’s true. We ask our young children constantly to just try some new food, while we are content to eat the same old thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But last night I tried something new, and it was delicious! The Rocker rolled into the Music City with Aunt Cait and made us dinner. We feasted on yummy quinoa cakes with a cranberry curry and yogurt remoulade, all made from scratch! The kale salad on the side was the best I’ve ever tasted. Later we watched the documentary “Babies” and that was illuminating and fun!

The Bride gave her brother his first lesson in diapering. As I watched, I felt true bliss. My baby boy had cooked for his sister and his new niece. Better it couldn’t be.

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Bob and I lost the Bride and the Groom in the hospital parking garage. Well we didn’t really lose them, since we have smart cells and can always find them again, wherever they are. Except for maybe a Caribbean island, our collective happy visualization spot! We were headed for Labor and Delivery; we picked up the happy couple on another subterranean floor and as we’re going up in the elevator, I repeat “BJ,” maybe a touch too loud. That is where we will presumably find my car again, once we are grandparents. Basment level, row “J.” Except for a small giggle from the back of the elevator, the Bride turns to me and says, “Don’t you have that App?” “What App,” I say.

It seems there is an App that will locate your car for you when you are stuck in an airport or mall parking lot, or even a covered, cavernous hospital garage. Now not only will I never get lost, I’ll never lose my car again! “Interesting,” I said, “Have they created an App that will tell me – “‘Why am I here?'” The whole elevator had a smile about that one. But really, besides the existensial question in general, why do we need grandparents? Let me count the ways.

To Cook! Your children will be busy, very busy with a newborn. Cooking anything will be appreciated. I lucked out cause the Groom does dishes.

To Shop! Of course you need to shop for the groceries to cook, which should include all your daughter’s favorite things…avocados, peaches, grapefruit juice. Don’t forget the new Dad, he needs beer and beef. You won’t go wrong. And be prepared to go on special hunting expeditions for things like Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads – amazing things! Spell it out on your Notes App, L-A-N-S-I-N-O-H. ps Target carries them.

To Burp, Rock and Change the Occasional Diaper! Be prepared. Dads are way more involved than they were in our day. So the actual baby nurse duties will be minimal with a nursing Mom and today’s Dad.

To Give Nursing Advice! Who needs a doula when you have a Grandmother? Well, maybe we did. It’s been over 30 years since I nursed the Bride and for some strange reason this hospital doesn’t employ Lactation Counsultants on weekends. I had a 1-800 La Leche number, and now I have a post-menopausal brain that tends to forget the tough times of sleep deprivation and an inverted nipple. Lucky for me, the Bride has a very cooperative baby girl!

To Know When NOT to Give Advice! This can be tricky. I learned a long time ago never to give anyone advice unless they asked for it. But when it’s your daughter, and your brand new grand daughter you may start to feel just like one of those crazy, old women who would constantly tell you what to do when you were a new mom. “What do you mean the nurse recommends not putting lotion on her bottom?” “You’re going to swaddle her that tight?” Anyway, try very hard to keep most of your opinions to yourself – unless asked. My daughter said she only sees babies in the ER who are either dehydrated or febrile and septic, so I trust her to know what to do in most every circumstance. Still, that leaves a wide range of normal neonate behavior, right? “Wait, you want the dog to lick her face?”

To Take Pictures. My phone has like 4 or 5 picture Apps! Here’s the thing, you get to take pictures as much as you want! And you get to catch those unlikely times with the whole new family. For instance, I think this looks like a soap opera. First time nursing in the recovery room: nurse at the computer, BFF and colleague Kristyn comes in, off camera are many of their friends who are residents…all crying. And bam, the Groom turns. What is he thinking?

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