Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Doctor Promised Me I Couldn't Accidentally Poke the Brain

I hate the fontanelle. It needs to be there, sure, but in my mind that necessary gap just adds to the vulnerably of the newborn in my arms. As if I might accidentally poke my pinky finger right into some baby's brain while I'm stroking it's otherwise perfect little head because I'm distracted by a ringing phone.

Or when I'm picking at that yellow scaly scalp skin both of my babies have had (because I just can't help myself when it comes to that and baby boogers).

When P. was born, possibly because she was a preemie, her skull plates stayed in the birth position for so long that it seemed like her fontanelle was extra large for an extra long time. Touching her head scared me a little. Washing Bo's head at bathtime is something I do as fast as possible and so not particularly well.

Plus, it pulsates. My number one point of reference for things that pulsate is science fiction, and in sci-fi, things that pulsate are seldom good. Most of the time they are downright yucky.

But last night Bo had his gorgeous round head buried under my chin while he snoozed on my chest and I could feel his heartbeat right through his fontanelle. A calm heartbeat. I snuggled him closer. Suddenly that weird opening in his big ol' head wasn't so scary.

Instead, it was a reminder that he'll grow and it'll close and he'll sleep on me less and full-time nursing will give way to real food and maybe daycare then preschool and on and on forever. I think about that stuff a lot now that the mister and I are officially two and through.

And so I try to savor every sleepy weird happy dancing moment with the two littles I have now because in just a minute or three they're going to be the two kids I have now and just a minute after that the two young adults listening to music too darn loud before turning into a couple of real, live grownup people who live who knows where.

All that from a fontanelle. Motherhood is sometimes pretty philosophical, ya know? All you can do is make sure to love on 'em a lot and hope you can remember a even quarter of the amazing stuff.



  1. Oh man. I have fontanelle freak outs. Well, I used to. He's eight months now so it's a bit better. My daughter had so much hair that I never noticed hers. My son was born with some nice male pattern baldness so the soft spot was always staring at me. And his is "generous but normal" according to the doctor. Big growth, I say! Once I called the doctor in a panic because it seemed sunken to me. It was just gravity in that case..but oh man..I can't wait until it's gone.

    1. Generous, eek! That's not something you hear every day. The worst for me is when they get excited and there it goes, in and out, in and out. So much skeev!

  2. Thanks for reminding me that "his broken head where it pulsates" isn't the real name for The Fontanelle. It creeped me out but I thought it would be the downfall of my husband. Oh, and when the pedi would check on it ::faints:: SO.MUCH.PRESSURE! o_O

    1. That's a thing? Now I'm glad that our pedi has never been too interested in it beyond "yep, it's there"...

  3. THE PULSATING!!!! so disturbing.

    (and I agree, picking at the "head chunks," as I call them, is most satisfying!)

  4. You know, the fontanelle didn't bother me until we had our second. Then, every time the toddler would put her hands on her sister's head I would freak out a bit. But it does seem like our second's fontanelle is a bit smaller than our first. But like you said, it will soon close, and all this will be over in a flash. So enjoy those cuddles and the sweet heartbeat for as long as you can!


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