I GOT YOU BABE

Nico6

So I’ve been sitting and sitting on this blog post, trying to unspool something insightful about having a baby. But in the two and a half weeks since she’s been here, you know what I’ve come to realize? All the cliches about babies? Totally true.

Maybe you’ve heard things like this before from sniffling new parents, or have come across them on an Anne Geddes card:

Babies are miracles.

Babies are adorable.

The moment you have a baby, your whole life changes.

Looking at your baby, you finally understand true love.

In other words, babies inspire sap. Babies = Sap City! And I am Sap City’s new mayor.

Historically, I’ve never really been a baby person. Two years, three, when kids are starting to talk – that is my jam. My absolute favorite age. Babies, I always thought, were…fine, I suppose, if a little blob-like. You eat, you expel, you sleep? Ok. That’s cool, baby. I guess.

Until (and you knew this was coming) Nico arrived.

Now, I have to physically restrain myself from staring at her and openly weeping fat, salty tears all over her pink baby body.

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We’ve had a lot of delightful family and friend visits lately, and when they come over, I usually tell them something like the above. Then, I quickly qualify it with: “But that’s just the oxytocin talking.”

Why do I do that? Why the reflex to undercut my admittedly sappy and enormous affection for Nico with some cool-girl quip?

I’m not sure, but I’m trying to stop. As I told a friend the other day about having a baby, “it erases all of your cynicism and makes you feel like walking love.” That is how I actually feel. More to the point: I never thought I would joyfully cheer for chubby baby legs, or more surprisingly, diapers. Because every one is this unbelievable affirmation that things are working over here, and that holy shit — I’m keeping you alive! My body is making FOOD and you’re EATING IT and we’re DOING THIS THING! Game on, baby!

Here are some other realities / feelings I didn’t expect about having a baby:

* “I will never exploit my baby over the Internet.” Hahaha! Tooooooo late. This is something I said to myself a few times during pregnancy, born of some high-minded resolve that Nico would choose the time to share her own picture over the Internet. Sorry, Nico! I want to show the whole world my beautiful baby! Privacy be damned; the NSA will also be receiving your birth announcement.

* “I will never co-sleep.” As soon as you have a baby – hell, as soon as you’re pregnant – you start trying to figure out what kind of parent you’re going to be. You do this by assessing the available baby-rearing tribes out there: the attachment crowd? Bringing Up Bebe? Religious? There are lots of labels out there, but in the end everybody kind of mixes things up based on what kind of baby they get. Still, I knew enough about attachment parenting to determine that I’d never be into co-sleeping, the practice by which you and baby share a bed. Because, dude! What if you rolled over on them?! Or worse: had an eventual 15 year-old who insisted on crawling into bed with you? Terrifying.

What a surprise it was, then, that co-sleeping turned out to be 50 times easier than anything else we’ve tried. Maybe because Nico is still transitioning out of the good ol’ days in the womb? Whatever the reason, she sleeps the most soundly all cuddled up in our bed. I still feel guilty admitting this, because I’m still worried about rolling over on her; as a result we keep a bassinet next to the bed and usually start her off there at night. And even there, I thought I’d be such a hard-ass in terms of self-soothing (“oh, let her fuss! That’s what babies DO!”), but as it turns out, I’m just like every other freakin’ softie who jumps the very second their baby whimpers. And when she does, up into bed she goes.

* You’ll check if they’re still breathing roughly 100 times an hour. I always, always think Nico has stopped breathing. Even when she’s grasping my hand like a miniature vice grip, and her eyes are physically open as if to say, “hey, look! Still breathing!”

* You’ll constantly worry about dropping them. Here’s another paranoid thing: I envision her falling out of my arms constantly. My brain has no shortage of twisted/ridiculous scenarios for how this could happen, either, including but not limited to me stepping Three Stooges-like onto a rake and it stunning me into full-on baby drop (note: we don’t own a rake).

* You really will want to kiss their eyeballs. A fellow mom told me this once on Facebook when I mentioned I was pregnant. And actually, I think I successfully have (owing to the fact that I kiss Nico compulsively all over her face while she is crying, a new practice she probably finds extremely annoying).

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More to come.

  • whitney martin

    Awe! This makes me want to have a baby RIGHT now! Nico is so precious!!

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      Whitney – at the risk of out-clicheing the cliches, it really is the most fun I’ve EVER had. Had no idea it’d be like this.

  • trevoray

    Great post Tolly! I totally hear you on #1. I’m sure everyone is getting tired of my baby posts. I try to do it with a little restraint, but I just can’t help it!

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      I’m not tired of your baby posts, Trevor!

  • Claire D.

    Love it, Tolly! I laughed out loud at “note: we don’t own a rake” and your little babe is perfect. Way to go, mama!

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      LOL. Man I miss you, Claire! And it’s true…much to our yard’s chagrin, we lost our rake (?) somehow.

  • Lauren Wolf

    Love this! We’re due July 8th… Sapville here we come!

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      Ah! Congrats Lauren!!!! You’re in the home stretch.

  • Kaykei K.

    I co-slept with both my girls and you know what? I don’t have a 6 and 9 year old who want to be in my bed all the time. I have 2 girls who have slept soundly (8 hours a night!) on their own since moving them to their own beds. :)

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      So great to hear, Kaykei (ps: awesome name). I’m embracing it. In fact, soon (i.e. today), a Snuggle Nest Co-Sleeper will be in my possession!

  • Mad Betty

    Tolly, she’s just so beautiful. Keep exploiting her on the internet as we all want to see her. MOAR photos! Congratulations. It looks like you are a natural. Enjoy every second. :)

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      Thanks Kristin! When she hits puberty, I’ll try to demonstrate some restraint…until then, I’m single-handedly papping this baby.

  • Juliet

    I’m also not a baby person and really prefer toddlers…. but I think the reason you want to kiss her eyeballs is because your baby is actually cute as shit. Congrats on making a cute one! :)

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      Thanks girl :) We agree!

  • Belle

    So happy for you Tolly! <3

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      <3

  • http://genieinablog.com. Leigh Ann

    She’s beautiful, and you look radiant. I love the name! Also, welcome to the dark side. ;) It’s pretty good over here.

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      Thanks Leigh Ann! “Byrd” is my dad’s, grandfather’s, and great-grandfather’s middle name…so she’s actually the fourth one to carry it on.

      Cheers right back at you from the dark side!

  • Pang

    Baby!!! Cutie-pa-tootie-baby!
    Oh, and congratz again, Tollster!

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      Thanks Pang! We think she’s pretty RAD.

  • Omar L. Gallaga

    This cuteness is too much, you are going to break the Internet. Great job with her, though, Nico looks like a winner.

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      Thanks O! We’re giving her one more week to rest up, then time for SAT prep.

  • Aquila Mendez-Valdez

    Congratulations! She is precious, and I love your honest, heartfelt feelings about becoming a new mom. My daughter is 2 1/2 now, but those newborn days feel like a blink away! :)

  • lexi

    Oh my goodness, congratulations! Our first is due in just a few weeks (a little girl too) and we cannot wait!
    xx Lexi, Glitter, Inc.