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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