Noa’s Freestyle Friday

Raffi has asked me to write a response and share my personal experience in regards to circumcision so…..here it is.

I was brought up Jewish, yes. However, growing up with a religious mom (I.e God will punish you if you don’t do it) and an atheist dad (“religion is the enemy”) has allowed me to question my identity and every single tradition we ‘had’ to follow. So yes, I absolutely agree traditions should not be followed blindly and should be questioned constantly. That’s why in our little family we do not follow tradition, we follow spirituality. Meaning, everything we do needs to have a spiritual realm for us to do it. From our jobs to celebrating holidays to circumcising our boy.  It was not obvious to us that we end up having a ‘Brit Milah’ for our lil miracle(=circumcision ceremony). We wanted to know why we are doing it, and so after reading more about it ,asking the right people the right questions and set out an intention to seek out the spiritual reason behind this barbaric ceremony we were convinced it was the right thing for us. Raising our son in a multi faith family with my soul mate being brought up Catholic makes us do things differently. With meaning, not by the book and not for anyone else. I am not the flag carrier of how and what everyone else should do, I’m a mother who follows her heart and educating her mind and together with my partner we make conscious decisions .With all do respect to science I honestly believe that science plays catch up with what the world presents us with, and that every theory out there can be backed up by another ‘scientific’ theory until ‘science’ comes up with another theory, so I really don’t care about that aspect. I care about the fact that on the 8th day the soul of the newborn becomes complete, I care about the consciousness of the person (the ‘mohel’, in our case) as he performs the ceremony, I care about the environment the Brit is being held at (we had it in our home), I care about the spiritual aspect of removing the impurity of the foreskin and by that, symbolically, separating the pure from the impure of the egoistic desires in my child’s heart in order to elevate his soul. You know what? our lil boy did not cry! It was a beautiful, moving, meaningful, intense ceremony that everyone still remembers to this day.

Whether you decide to do it or not know that there is no right or wrong, no black or white only what’s true in your heart.

To our healthy babies,

Noa

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The Great Debate Of The Penis

A response to my husband regarding the state of our future son’s penis.

My husband wrote a blog over at www.Dadswagger.com discussing the great debate of circumcision. My husband and I are not pregnant, we do not have a son and are not expecting a son, yet. It could be in our future, so we decided to discuss circumcision. When we first had this great debate, I was pregnant with our little girl. I said an absolute no, and my husband said it is up to him because he is the father and has the dong. I do not care who has the penis. I stand firmly on the no cutting side. I rolled my eyes after a short debate and walked away. I knew this wouldn’t be the end of it, and he would soon see things differently.

My reasons are simple. We have no reason to cut it, period. There is not enough science to back cutting a baby’s genitals. We have no religious purpose to circumcise our non-existent son.    Frankly, growing up in an Italian and Venezuelan family, to circumcise is not a conversation. It wasn’t even a thought; until I married Kansas. Then the conversation came up and for whatever reason hubster thought it was important for his man parts to match our future son’s baby parts.

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Papabear sleeping on the issue.

I get it, to an extent. A little bit of an ego thing going on there, maybe? Father-son bonding over penis. Here’s the thing hubby, there is a whole lot of bonding that will happen without comparing penis. You can still swing your dongs from side to side and do boy things. Helicopter time, whatever. Circumcision doesn’t change that. Just as we are going to wait to pierce our little girl’s ears so she can make her own decision, we will keep our boy in tact so he can make his own decision as well. Those small percentages of babies dying and infection, and all sorts of negative things. They just aren’t worth it. The conversation on the other hand, is worth the battle. I am moved by you, you dad with swagger. Thank you for bringing up the conversation that not many people like to have. I will say to all you other fathers. Where are you in this conversation?

I noticed that all the comments were from feisty mamas. A couple of men sprinkled in the conversation but not a whole lot. I’m going to keep poking the bear. Thank you to those who shared their insights, views, and stories. Yes, the topic is private. Genitals are private, but it is an important topic to discuss. It is important to do the research to back your position up. It is important to take a stance on whether or not a scalpel gets put to your son’s penis.

Question traditions, question societal attitudes, question research, question it all then do what is best for you. Don’t blindly accept the status quo.

I am the only mother with a daughter and not a son over here at Talking Baby Bumps. The three of us have different perspectives, opinions, beliefs and lives. Ladies, let’s start this conversation.

Thank you to my husband for being open minded, questioning the status quo, and constantly wanting to better himself.

Cheers to the Rumpleforeskins, Long-Dong Silvers, and Frank and Beans.

Happy Wednesday!!!!

Raffaella

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Roxy’s Mom Moment Monday – #2

There are times when I wake up in the morning feeling so amped and motivated that I’m certain if someone shadowed me throughout the day that I’m envisioning, I would for sure earn some sort of mother award involving a deep tissue massage, peonies, endless new books on my Kindle… any acknowledgment really, I’m not picky.

On this particular day, I’m so excited after waking up that I actually go straight for the bathroom to brush my teeth instead of waiting thirty minutes and then lazily dragging myself over. While I’m in here I might as well run a brush through my hair….and do my makeup! I try to balance myself while Little Man weaves through my legs like a puppy. Takes a while, but I’m done. Off to a great start. Little and I eat our breakfast together while Mickey Mouse Clubhouse plays in the background. I think to myself how cute I was when I was pregnant, telling everyone with a serious I’m-going-to-be-the-best-parent face, that we would have a no tv rule. How sweet…and clueless. Mickey is my life.
As part of my feeling awesome mood, I decide to go on a morning outing instead of waiting until the afternoon. I take Little to the park. After about twenty minutes I’m ready to leave but that smiling cute little face tells me otherwise, so I tough it out for another thirty. We go home. Lunch. Nap. Second outing is to the grocery store, where I decide I will be making broccoli soup from scratch!
We get home, and I’m in full soup-making force. Little is busy arranging ten water bottles on the kitchen floor. Totally fine, as long as he’s engaged. Soup’s almost done. As I’m adding salt to my masterpiece, Little yells, ‘mommy, look!’ As I turn around to look at his masterpiece, my gargantuan salt shaker slips from my fingers into my soup. The whole thing. I’m heart broken. Can’t believe it. But I have two choices. Throw out the soup and cry about it, or throw out the soup and come up with another solution. As much as a good cry is always welcome in my life, I go with option number two. I order a pizza, and sit down on the floor with my Little Man and arrange his ten water bottles. Later, daddy comes home and we have a dance party in the living room jumping up and down around the coffee table.
Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned, but if you change your mind-set, they may just turn out even better.
Baby steps,
Roxy
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Noa’s Freestyle Fridays

Happy Friday, everyone!

Let me share with you our first time around: we took a beautiful, optimistic child birth class, read every possible holistic midwifery book out there, had my daily special raspberry tea leaf and rose hips concoction , learned how to swaddle and how to give a relaxing partner massage while giving birth, watched a water birth with a mom actually reaching an orgasm (I really don’t need to see THAT one again) and let me tell you nothing, NOTHING went according to our precious plan and that’s when we learned, there is OUR plan and there’s the BABY’s plan. long story short water broke (I thought I peed on myself), no contractions, no opening, no nothing, just a puddle of water in my pants and so I turned to my soulmate and said:  “Baby, I think I just peed on myself”

Dave: “My love, when have you ever peed on yourself?”

Me: “Never”

Dave: Clearly laughing at me at this point, “my love, your water broke!”

Me:”Ha?  so that’s what it feels like, peeing??”

No Adults Allowed

so…we took our time since we knew that if its clear we have no reason to worry and so we headed out to Noah’s Bagels for breakfast when the sun came out about 9 hours later. Then we went to see my wonderful pro natural birth OB ,whom after checking me sent me out to Cedar’s right away. At that point it was already almost 20 hours later, but still we wanted to “stick to the natural plan” and so we were set out to go for a walk and later make out in the car to naturally induce some movement, contractions..anything.(according to the plan, right?) well, needless to say I did NOT feel sexy, so 40 mins into us trying to make out we quit the plan and headed out to the hospital. With copies of the birth plan in hand,a ‘Quiet Please’ sign on the door ,no partner massage (I felt I was about to break his hand, the poor thing), a good friend as a doula and 2 days later our little (Well, not so little 8.5 lbs, 21′) baby boy was born in a natural (with some oxytocin to induce contractions the first 2 days)birth. Later,to avoid vaccinations and give him some mama’s liquid gold I breastfed him for a year and a half ,which created a beautiful bond, of course, made me change my entire life around and a challenging weaning. I honestly think he’s still angry with me, since he still sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night yelling my name and the word Tzizi (boob) right after. Fast forward 2 years later I’m weeks away from giving birth to our second baby, with no special teas, no burrito baby swaddling ,no happiest baby on the block (since that seemed to just piss our lil guy off, if anything)  NO PLAN, only a mantra “healthy baby, healthy, happy delivery”. Whatever it takes we’re on board!

To your health,my babies!

Noa

 

Raffi’s Wacky Wednesday

 

I feel like superwoman. I’ve got knockers, jugs, boobies, breasts, whatever you want to call them. They are filled with gold. I am able to provide every single nutrient to my little girl through the milk that I produce in my breasts. It changes depending on what my babe needs at any time, and every time she nurses.

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I began producing colostrum at 23 weeks. I was so fascinated and in shock when the first bit leaked out. It took me a moment to process what just happened. One of the many, but early “holy shit” moments I would experience in this journey of motherhood.

I know that I am extremely lucky to have begun producing colostrum so early on and enough milk for my babe. So much, that when l nurse my little one, if she misses my nipple once the milk comes down, it begins spraying everywhere. imagegen.ashxI imagine, the music video “It’s Raining Men”, but instead of a woman singing, it’s a baby dancing and singing “It’s Raining Milk”. Remember that blockbuster baby dancing? That’s what I imagine. Instead of a child outside catching snowflakes in their mouth, it’s my baby trying to catch the stream that rushed from my nipple. I could feel disgusting, like a cow, but why in the world would I want to do that.

I hear so many mother’s mention that they feel like animals feeding their young. After nine months of feeding my babe, I can completely understand that. Sometimes my skin crawls when my daughter scratches my chest when I nurse. Then that frustration got put in check.

I heard a mother needed milk for her newborn who was quickly losing weight; possibly due to the inability to produce milk due to trauma in the family. I passed my milk on and returned to my home so freaking grateful. Breastfeeding is hard. Having your baby latch, is hard. It hurts and your nipples bleed. It takes time and so much effort. Sometimes you don’t produce enough, sometimes your baby doesn’t latch. That’s the reality. The benefits far outweigh those moments of insanity. When the flu is going around and everyone but your babe is sick, it’s worth it. Give me saggy breasts, raw nipples, moments of insanity, because at the end of the day I have a healthy baby and I can provide other women milk who are in unfortunate circumstances, are unable to produce.

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My nipples stream out pure gold made up of all the building blocks that give my baby those thick thighs and chubby cheeks, those strong bones, and a growing brain. Superwoman, one of the fembots from the Austin Powers movies, clearly not with bullets, but with milk.

Happy Boobs, Babes, and Bumps.

Raffi

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Roxy’s Mom Moment Monday #1

It’s 8 Am and I’m proud of myself. I fed Little man his breakfast, gave him a bath, which is usually a 30 minute process of playing with toys, convincing him to let me wash his hair, and constant reminders that water stays in the tub. Little man out. Towel dry hair. Blow dry hair. Put lotion on. Find clothes that somewhat go together. Put said clothes on while Little throws his body on the floor in protest. It takes a while, but we’re done. Socks on. Shoes on socks. We’re ready to go. Feeling pretty good.

I run to the kitchen to grab a banana. I hear shuffling in the bedroom. I run back. Little has his tiny chair pushed up against the chest of drawers, with a big smile on his face. He has a huge glob of baby Vicks vapor rub smeared all over his head. Holy Magnolia. There’s no way this is coming out with a paper towel. I frantically text friends asking how the heck one would remove something with such surprisingly adhesive-like qualities. I’m going with lemon juice. Clothes off, back in the bath. More protests, ‘mommy nooooooo! No, mommy!’ The best part about this particular bath is that I get to wash his hair three times! And as a bonus, add lemon juice! Little man out. Towel dry hair. Blow dry hair. His hair is especially shiny, glistening even. Clothes, socks, shoes. We’re done. Finally. Second bath was just a minor set back, I keep telling myself. No harm done.

I run to the kitchen for the banana I never quite made it to. More shuffling in the bedroom. I run back. Little has a huge smile on his face once again. This time he has a handful of lotion from bath number one rubbed onto his head. As I silently recite my favorite curse words, I look at him. I look at the lotion. And as we head to the kitchen together for that darn banana, I decide that the lotion can stay. It’s organic. And really, it’s good for him. In fact, how thoughtful am I for allowing him to nourish his scalp like this?

Friends, go with whatever works to get yourself through the day.

Baby steps,
Roxy

What We’re Doing Here

We want to create a space where women can come together, support one another through their individual experiences. We are all so different in so many ways but at the core, we are women who have given birth to babies. That single + experience changes a woman profoundly and it should be celebrated. From the challenges of the day to day. From moments of hating your child and/or your husband or partner. That moment of “What the fuck?” to laughing hysterically over baby poop and puke. There is a wound that opens and continues to scab over and heal repeatedly until, hopefully healed with a little scar. One that as a woman we can look at and love. Those tiger stripes we gain on our breasts, bellies, and butts. Like those, ones we can look at and say, this is where I housed my baby. This was their first home. Even more so, the heart is their home. 

 
That love doesn’t come easily. It takes time. It comes through support from others. In this society we are expected to tote our babes and smile, while others may think we are crazy for being mothers and oh, how we must not sleep but oh, what a cute baby you have and how beautiful you are with your babe. The mother comes second, the first to be adorned is the babe. Rightfully so, the sweet face and presence of a baby gives the sense of hope for the future. Let’s switch the focus for an hour or so here and there, just for a little bit. Let’s do that here.
 
Let’s create that space together. That support for one another as our days pass. Because our differences aren’t as different as we may think. Few of us sleep, few of us sleep without worry, we provide milk from our breasts or formula from a bottle, or search high and low for another mother’s milk, we try our best to create a safe, loving environment. We attempt to do the best we can. The greater the connection we have to one another, the greater connection we can have to our babes. Without resentment from the sacrifices we give so willingly, though we don’t see them as sacrifices, because it is so simply what we do, period. Let’s connect so we can quiet the crazy that might make us want to run. Because if you compare us to other first world countries, their systems cheer on and value the family unit. The difference here is support. That void, is the lack of support. The praise for parents who love, care, and keep their children safe. So let’s start here.
 
It’s not easy, but in my soul I believe that there are very few of us that would trade parenthood for anything else. We speak about women because we are three mothers, but we want to hear more. Let’s support fathers, grandmothers, guardians, family units, families of all types. Let’s talk babies and let’s talk bumps, everything in between and past. Let’s do that here. 
 
 
With laughs and love,
>>Raffi, Roxy, and Noa<<