Among the thrilling things about having a newborn is “the first.” Or the sequential firsts.
Nico’s first bath was in the hospital and we made of a video of the entire screaming, torturous, 15-minute event.
There was the first time she breastfed, when Marta was still all hooked up to tubes from the c-section, nauseous from the medicine they’d given her and generally exhausted, but still able–and thrilled–to take Nico in her arms. And Nico was able, despite her tiny little form and baby-rat-like squirming abilities to “latch on” as they say in breast-feeding land. She latched on and stayed there, eating for the first time (though newborn’s stomachs are the size of a marble so the experience didn’t last all that long).
There was Nico’s first walk. We went out together, me carrying her in one of those Kangaroo carriers, and Marta still walking slowly and painfully from the surgery. We felt fragile and triumphant.
And then her first trip to Target, which happened yesterday. She slept through the whole thing, as any sane mini-person would.
In addition to Nico’s firsts, there are also our firsts.
My first time sleeping only in two hour increments, for instance.
My first time carrying an infant in a kangaroo pouch that snuggles her up against my chest and then, at one moment, looking down to see her curled up and asleep like a hairless koala.
My first time singing a song to an infant that my mom used to sing to me–and then trying to figure out how to translate it into Spanish. And singing it again in Spanish.
And then, perhaps the most memorable of these firsts: the first time my new baby girl pees all over me.
It happened last night. We were giving her what I believe is the fifth bath of her life. We’re slowly perfecting this routine: wrapping her in a receiving blanket while she’s in the bath so that she stays warm and feels protected; making sure the water is warm enough; adding some Spanish folk music to distract her from it all. And this time we felt we were nearly successful. Nico barely cried. She even appeared to like the experience–another first. And so afterwards, when we pulled her from the bath and wrapped her in her Frog-head baby towel, I curled her up in my arms, feeling celebratory.
Yes, I thought, we can give our baby a relatively painless bath! After this, we can do anything.
We paused at that moment to snap a first successful bath picture. Nico was stuffing her hands in her mouth and curling up like a hairless Koala covered in terrycloth frog skin. In other words, she looked especially cute.
It was then that I started to feel warm. At first I thought maybe it was pure joy. Love. Success. Etc. Then I realized that the warm sensation was also wet and clearly originating from the area where Nico’s bottom was touching my waist.
My first baby urine baptism.
The experience followed closely on the heels of my first bra-covered-in-baby-throw-up experience, which was similar but not nearly as bad as Marta’s try-to-give-the-baby-a-kiss-and-get-spit-up-in-your-mouth experience.
Oh, firsts. They are so…..memorable.