Baby Steps

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By: Toni Nagy

Toni Nagy hung up her hat as downtown
queen -of- the- scene in exchange for a quieter life
in the country when she got pregnant. What
happens after a socialite gets sperminated?
New York City is an addiction: one that I was happily, and unquestioningly addicted to for the past 10 years. I first moved to the city at 19, so of course, lived in the East Village. I would like to say I was a pioneer, rubbing elbows with “Like A Virgin” Madonna, but this was 1999, so it was actually a pretty tame place… at least people remembered the reputation. Now I am not sure anyone even bothers talking about how dangerous the EV used to be. Reminiscing about artists surviving on Twinkies and heroine that colored the streets with their vibrancy and mystique.
I then out grew the east village as all the yuppies began their infiltration, and journeyed over the bridge to Williamsburg. Did I pre-date the hipster revolution you ask? Barely. It was 2004, so I was kind of in the heat of it, but at least was situated in South Williamsburg. So there, I was taking risks, and don’t you dare tell me I wasn’t. So what does all this say about me? That I was painfully trendy, while pretending I was above it all? Perhaps it does my friends… perhaps it does.
So what did I do in New York? I did what most people do in their 20’s living on an island of excess and access. I partied hard and worked even harder. Chasing the high of success during the day, while parading my tail at night. My motto had become “sleep when dead.” There are just too many people, too many ideas, too much going on to stay in, so going out becomes the norm.
I went out almost every night of the week, but became a total snob about it. The novelty of going out was no longer enough have a good time. As I became a seasoned New Yorker, exclusivity became the goal. The funny thing is, the more exclusive does not mean the more fun. The harder the place is to get into, the more uptight the people. You don’t have the excessively belligerent bridge and tunnel types to lighten the mood. Yet, as my ego would have it, that didn’t matter. What mattered was that I was in a place that was hard to get into. I was part of an elite class of people who went out, and acted like they didn’t care about being out.
Not that my sole identity was centered around being a party girl. I had ambitions. Everyone in New York does. It is an amusement park of opportunity for people who want to “make it” on some level. 7 million worker bees who think they are special, and got what “it” takes to “make it” in New York. What “it” exactly means is up for interpretation. I would think most people at least want to impress other humans when asked the unavoidable question of “what do you do?” It is that moment of ultimate of judgment that fuels The City because what is really being asked is… Why should I grace you with my presence? What direct value do you bring to my life? Why do you deserve to breathe the same air as me? How can I exploit my knowing you to benefit me?
When I look back at my life, I can remember all the fun times, all the creative energy, all the ideas of what I wanted to accomplish in life. I loved my life in New York, for all the stress, over booked days, and overtaxing nights. It was like the City was a part of me. A part of my identity. A part of why I got dressed in the morning… to impress all the people around me who I would never see again, and had no relevance in my life. But the potential of everyday was like a drug. I thought I would never leave New York. Then one day, I went home to New Hampshire for the weekend. I thought it was just for the weekend that is. I only brought one pair of underwear. But guess what? I am still here.

So what happened? How did I transform from Concrete Queen, to Wood Nymph of the Sticks? I got pregnant.

No matter how you think your life may turn out, or what you think you want in life, when you have a life inside you, everything changes. Suddenly, the thought of being seen on the scene seemed absurd. Besides, no one wants to see a pregnant bitch getting low in her apple bottom jeans… that is just not right. But my creative side, my ambitions, my goals, even those had to be re-evaluated. All the projects I was involved with that I was in such a hurry to make happen, had to wait.
My instincts told me that being in the country was the best thing for me, my health, and the cherub living in my belly. I could no longer allow myself to be distracted by the world outside myself, when such a profound experience was happening inside. Being in the woods, I was able to really experience all the internal development of my child. I had the mental and physical space to really allow myself to feel… genuinely connecting to the energy I was supporting because there was nothing to dampen the moment.
Although being preggo is a lot like be overtaken by a parasite. Despite the pulsing love you feel, pregnancy is glittered with a series of varying discomforts. From the baby poking my bladder making think I had to pee every five minutes, to a little something I call “sore vagina” (a feeling like my vag had been pumping iron), there was always something going on. But by abandoning the expectation that I was supposed to carry on in life like nothing was going on, all these things that could have stressed me out, just became a sensation to notice. I had totally committed to the idea that my life had changed forever, and this was the preparation I needed to get me ready for the birth, and raising a baby.
Okay, let me just say, that nothing can really get you ready for birth, but it is good to think there is. It is important to have some psychological prop as you feel like you are being ripped in two. I wanted to have a “natural birth.” To have that human experience. To know what that was like. And now I know, and that shit is crazy town. You have to break through so many walls within yourself…. It is like you keep getting to this place where you say to yourself “holy shit I am going to die,” but somehow you keep going. Your body produces so many endorphins to ride you through the wave of the most intense feelings you will ever have. And when that baby comes out you are high as fuck. It is pretty awesome.
So here I am, living in the woods with my little girl, who is a mystical being from another dimension. My outer world may not have the excitement of my past, but my inner world is much richer. Right now I am all about being her mom. I have a feeling that if I take this time to just be with her, she will build security and trust in me, and the world around her. I have plenty of time to return to my personal ambitions… but for now, I am the architect of her dreams while I paint the beauty of her days.
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