The Mother of All Moms

The Mother
      of All Moms

In the first tests of vitality Sasha got a nine out of a possible
ten. After examining the baby, pediatrician Sérgio Cabral stated, "Xuxa has plenty
of milk. Sasha is being breastfed every three hours. It is important now that she gets her
food from the mother’s breasts alone."
By

You knew that this had to be big news when Brazil’s most prestigious prime-time news
show, TV Globo’s Jornal Nacional, dedicated 10 minutes to the subject, while
turmoil over the biggest privatization ever in the country, that of Brazil’s
telecommunications, was compressed into 4 minutes and 35 seconds. Apparently envious of
this exclusive scoop, every paper in the country commented on this excess the next day.
You knew this was big news when one of the most popular weekly magazines, slick Manchete,
in a technological coup, came out with a special edition, the same day the birth occurred.
The ten-minute prime spot and the magazine cover went to Sasha, the first-born child to TV
personality, Xuxa, 35, whose pregnancy had been covered step by step in the more and the
less serious media.

The country learned that Sasha was born on July 28 at 12:45 am and that she was 3.135
(6.897 lb.) and 51 cm (20 inches) at birth. But this was just the beginning of the Sasha
deluge to come. The Jornal Nacional showed Sasha’s first bath, an exclusive, which
happened at 10 am. The country was able to see that the baby had a ring on her finger
similar to the one that Xuxa herself wears and that she was not blonde as the mother, but
tawny, like the sperm donor, Luciano Szafir. (Szafir’s relationship with Xuxa was on shaky
ground after she said in an interview that he only had ugly people in his family.) After
her first bath, Sasha wore a pink overall that, according to the news, was bought in New
York. The public was also made aware that Xuxa’s baby was breastfed first at six in the
morning, then every time she started crying. And some details: the baby was taking
15-minute turns on each breast. Explained press aide Mônica Muniz, "As soon as the
baby starts crying, Xuxa offers her the breast."

In the first tests of vitality Sasha got a nine out of a possible ten. The next day the
girl got a BCG and a hepatitis vaccine. After examining the baby, pediatrician Sérgio
Cabral stated, "Xuxa has plenty of milk. Sasha is being breastfed every three hours.
It is important now that she gets her food from the mother’s breasts alone."

The birth was expected for August 10, but Carlos Dale, the gynecologist, said that the
delivery wasn’t premature since the TV star was already on her 39th week of pregnancy. The
choice for a caesarian was due to Xuxa’s age and the fear that the umbilical cord was
around the baby’s neck. Xuxa withstood an 8-cm incision that was applied with surgical
precision and the procedure was followed up by her plastic surgeon, Ricardo Pieranti.
"The stitches were done internally so there would be no visible scars,"
explained Dale.

Some Dirty
Laundry, Too

From her father, who is a model and businessman, Sasha received a golden brooch with a
little angel and a David star "to symbolize Judaism and Christianity, the religions
of the father and the mother," said press aide Monica Muniz. A little lion was on the
card relaying Sasha’s birth as well as on the baby’s linen and every door on the wing Xuxa
stayed. The Lion is Sasha’s sign.

The next day the cameras and flashes were still running amok when Luciano Szafir went
to a cartório (notary public) to get a gift certificate for daughter Sasha
Meneghel Szafir. In Minas Gerais state, however, parents who decided to name their
children Sasha were dissuaded from doing so with the argument that the moniker might cause
embarrassment to the girl later, since Sasha is a Russian diminutive for Alexander and not
common in Brazil.

The spectacle started on December 7, 1997, when Xuxa appeared on Globo TV Domingão
do Faustão (Big Fausto’s Big Sunday) to reveal that she was pregnant. Then the news
bombardment ensued: the construction of special quarters for the coming baby, Xuxa’s trips
overseas to buy Sasha’s layette, the gifts people started sending, the skirmishes between
the TV star and her daughter’s father. People were informed that Sasha would have two
rooms in her mother’s mansion plus a swimming pool with hydromassage.

Jornal do Brasil’s (a traditional daily from Rio) irreverent curmudgeon
columnist, Xexéo, distilled some venom and went scatological saying that the country also
wanted to know about Sasha’s first vomit and first bowel movement. Xuxa herself stayed on
the sidelines on the first day, but Szafir was interviewed live and no other TV station
besides Globo, where Xuxa is a star, had access to the hospital and the little princess.

Show-business also had some humane touches. All the children who were born during the
time Xuxa stayed in the luxurious São Vicente hospital, in the Gávea neighborhood,
received a teddy bear and a baby kit. The celebrity also made donations of toys and
diapers to the Pró-Matre foundation, an institution that cares for poor mothers.

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