Kristi and Nora’s Very Rookie Summer

We’re happy to share the eighth edition of our Very Rookie Summer series.

Kristi is sharing three short stories (the final one is a love story) about a great big green ball. Her daughter, Nora, is 6 weeks old. They live in smokin’ hot North Carolina. She blogs at Here we go…

This story is about the Giant Green Miracle Ball (also known as Exercise ball, Core strengthening ball, Balance ball, or Birthing ball but to us it will always be the Giant Green Miracle Ball of Goodness). Call it what you want.  THIS lone item has saved my sanity over the past six weeks since Nora was born. Let me explain.

The first time I was introduced to one of these balls, it was a core strengthening ball. Some fanatical dare-I-say-PERKY class instructor at the gym introduced it as a miracle tool which would help our balance, strengthen our cores, and basically give us all the abs of a bikini-clad 18 year old model.  She then led us through 25 minutes of crunches in every possible position imaginable: sitting on top of the ball, reclining with our upper backs and shoulders on the ball, holding the ball between our knees while lifting our legs in the air and crunching up to transfer the ball to our hands (don’t even try to picture that last one; it took coordination that I do not possess).

I hated the ball that day.  I hated the ball the next day.  And I’m sad to say that me and my almost-30-year-old-abs hated that ball the third day after the class also.

The second time I was introduced to one of these balls, it was birthing ball. The lovely woman who taught our childbirth classes at the hospital taught me that sitting on the ball during labor could help with the pain of contractions (something about distributing pressure evenly across my back).  This lovely woman told me a lot of LIES about childbirth… (Trust me – this was one of the things I yelled about while I was pushing…that this woman LIED TO ME!!  I have yet to determine whether it was on purpose or whether she has the absolute WORST case of placenta brain known to man) …BUT…BUT…BUT… she was right about the birthing ball.

I sat on a birthing ball for several hours during my 33 1/2 hours of labor.  It did magically help with the pain of the contractions.  Okay crazy woman, ONE correct piece of advice to 47 LIES. Deep breaths…therapy session on Tuesday…moving on…

The third time I was introduced to one of these balls, it was a miracle ball. A woman leading our infant care class casually mentioned that her giant “miracle ball” had saved her sanity during the first few months after her child was born.  She claimed that holding her baby close while sitting and bouncing on the ball stopped her baby from fussing when nothing else would.  I made a mental note of this comment and went right back to taking notes and wondering how in the world we were going to handle an infant.

Fast forward to two weeks after Ms. Nora was born.  Don’t get me wrong, she is a good baby, but like any baby, there are times that she cannot be soothed.  We tried everything those first few weeks: swaddling, shushing, singing, and there were times that nothing would work.

Finally I remembered the “miracle ball” idea, so we ran right out and bought one.  Four weeks later, not a single day has passed without Nora and me bouncing on that ball.  And you know what?

IT WORKS.  Oh my goodness it works.

I would estimate that 95% of the time, Nora calms down almost immediately once we start bouncing, and then 70% of the time, she is asleep within five minutes of bouncing.  Yes, there are still a few times when she is inconsolable, but anything with a 95% success rate deserves a blog post in my book!  I LOVE this ball.  I will seriously be giving these “Giant green miracle balls of goodness” as baby shower gifts from this point on.  I’m not saying that this is a solution for every baby, but for us, it is probably the single most useful item that we currently own.

So again, call it what you want.  Use it for whatever devious, weird, or useful purpose that you want.  I will call mine a Giant Green Miracle Ball of Goodness, and I will use it to soothe my sometimes fussy baby.

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.

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