Magic for Muggles

The enchanting power of babies


Do you believe in magic, in a young girl's heart? OK, maybe you're too young for the Beach Boys but you'd have to be living in a cave to not know about Harry Potter. My family owns four copies of the latest and greatest, the final HP book. That's why I'm obsessed with magic this week. The closest we Muggles ever come to producing magic is when we produce babies.

Of course, scientists and medical professionals explain procreation in more concrete and practical terms and theories: biology, cell division, anatomy, physiology, genetics, chromosome...yeah, OK, whatever. It's magic, that's what it is. How else can a little kissing and hugging lead to something as spellbinding as a baby? There's a whole lot of stuff going on there we can't explain. How else is it possible that babies are born with a full set of facial expressions, all ready to parade out in their sleep for their totally enchanted parents to stare at for hours on end? And how about that swirl of hair in exactly that spot on her head—just like her grandmother and great-grandmother? Who knows how far back that swirl goes? Genetics? Oh no, I don't think so. It's just plain magic the way we pass traits and characteristics along from generation to generation.

When you first decided to make a baby, didn't it feel a little like playing Wizard? "Let's make a person that's part you, part me, part both of our families for as far back as we can imagine," he said, with a twinkle in his eye. And then she agreed as if she were charmed. And the night you made your baby was more magical than any other. Excellent use of a magic wand, Dude!

Or maybe you never planned this baby. Maybe it was a surprise you allowed into your life. You never imagined this little person belonged to you and yet...and yet. Maybe you've tried and tried but the baby didn't come so you went to the wizard (Go ahead and call her the doctor, if you must) who performed a lot of really unpleasant hocus-pocus and finally, the magic happened. However this baby came to you, he or she has total power to bewitch you. Yes, of course, there will also be a lot of bothering and bewildering but the magic's strong enough to overpower you, Muggle —even when he poops on your lap.

Possibly the greatest bit of magic happens when an unwanted, unplanned baby lands in his mother's arms (sometimes an adoptive mother). Up to this point, there's no way to see how it could work out in any way other than disaster. No way to figure out how to concoct just the right spells to make something good happen out of something so unexpected, so out of control. And then she holds her little one for the first time and... Magic. That's the power of love and babies.

Got a question for Jeanne? E-mail it to and it may be answered in a future blog post.

This Fit Pregnancy blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician. Before initiating any exercise program, diet or treatment provided by Fit Pregnancy, you should seek medical advice from your primary caregiver.