Sensibilities and a Brief Reflection

It's funny how certain memories of the most mundane details of life stick with you.

The smell of Walgreen's Natural baby wipes will forever remind me of my first weeks as a new mom, nights and days mixed up, an endless parade of diapers needing changed, Laurel still curled up in a fetal position and nestled on my chest.

The closet in our guest room is filled with our hiking gear and the stale sweat and synthetic fabric odor takes me right to the woods, falling asleep in a not-so-fresh sleeping bag, drinking icy cold spring water, and the scary-jumpy feeling in my heart when I hear thunder.

The smell of baking bread, no matter where, reminds me of my parents.

I had to take Laurel to work with me on Thursday. Normally M watches her, but he had to go see the hand surgeon to see how his fingers are healing (they are doing quite well). A few months ago, I was writing middle-of-the-night emails to Leah every other day about how needy Laurel was. And indeed, she was. I could not put her down even to go to the bathroom without her becoming hysterical. She never took long naps during the day and was up for hours at night. She nursed constantly. I was so tired it hurt.

Then one day (or was it gradual? I don't know.) she became easier. She entertains herself in her crib while I get dressed in the morning. She sleeps at night and wakes up smiling. I was able to put her on a blanket on the ground with a few toys, where she played quite happily during the first 45 minutes of my presentations. And everywhere we go, people say "what a happy baby you have there."

Did Laurel get better at being a baby? Or did I get better at being a mom?

I'm kind of obsessed with the television show "16 and Pregnant". (The episodes with Catelynn and Tyler make me cry every single time.) The girls are always giddy at their baby showers, but look like deer caught in headlights once labor starts, and it goes downhill as the reality of 2 am feedings hits home. The thing is, I'm not sure "30 and Pregnant" looks any different. I didn't have any idea of what I was getting into, and the first few weeks were a total blur, between recovering from surgery and dealing with Laurel's weight loss. Now that our family life is starting to gel, I'm still learning something new about juggling my responsibilities every day. On Thursday it was figuring out how to help Laurel nap when we are out and about all day (cover her stroller with a blanket and pace the hallways a few times). This past week, I figured out how to get enough sleep every night (for us, sleeping together works best). I'm hoping to get some more regular exercise (I think the jogging stroller will be key).


Joe said...

Hi Katy,
The smell of baking bread reminds me of spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa Benzenhoefer's home (my dad's parents) as they lived next to a bakery. The smell of toasted bread remind me of Grandma and Grandpa McKinley (my mom's parents) as Grandpa had toast at every meal and Grandma used to make me a delicious Swiss cheese and tomato on toast sandwich with mayo. Wow that brought back some nice memories.
Uncle Joe

Anonymous said...

Hi Katy,
You and Mark are doing a wonderful job with baby Laurel. You too will create lasting memories for Laurel without ever knowing you are doing so. Keep up the great work.
Aunt DC