At the end of the day, it has been known for Emily and I to have a little bit of a leak session. Leaking is crying for no explainable reason or emotion. Well Emily might have a reason but usually I really don’t.
Last night I did have a reason to feel like leaking: exhaustion, frustration over the crazy physical changes that occur with having a baby, and not knowing how to comfort a screaming baby in great discomfort while she was trying to eat. I was having a moment of self pity and thinking about how much longer it would be until I adjusted to this new sleeping schedule, until my body was at least to a new normal and until I knew what to do differently to help her calm down. I had a few seconds of wishing Emily was older so we could just talk through the situation instead of helplessly screaming, at which point I felt bad for not cherishing the moments we have with her as a newborn because already she is growing so fast.
And then the thought came to my mind that Emily and I are in the same boat. Her spirit is in a new body and all at once she is experiencing and dealing with new physical things. She is trying to figure out how her limbs work, how to eat, and how her internal systems function. When those don’t all come together she feels hunger, discomfort, pain, and frustration. Communication is limited. She can’t see very well, isn’t sure how to react to noises, and has no control over her environment. My list of changes looks pretty pitiful next to hers. My heart filled with understanding, love, and compassion for my precious daughter.
I have been learning to strategically place burp cloths all over our apartment so we are always ready for a mess. No amount of preparation could have prevented last nights adventure.
After we both had a good cry, we went to bed. Six hours later she was ready to eat. It was going so smoothly, and then I heard lots of noises that suggested her diaper was becoming quite full. So we temporarily discontinued eating for a diaper change since we had both been covered in the last 24 hours from a diaper explosion. Andrew graciously got up to change her, during which time she spit up and squirmed around in it. New onsie was in order.
Back to eating, which was going so well. There were no warning signs for the explosive throwing up that soaked every article of clothing I was wearing, left a wide spread splatter pattern on my pillowcase, and created a nice puddle on the bed for me to sit in. First thought: I’m so grateful I just slept for 5 hours.
As we then went through the process of cleaning up that mess at 2am while Emily contentedly laid in her crib and waited to finish eating, I kept thinking of this quote from Sister Hinkley.
The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.
So I laughed, although I think it was more out of exhaustion than a conscious choice.
In between all the the thoughts and night festivities, we celebrated my birthday. Andrew got me a pair of pajamas and my parents gave me sewing scissors! We ate delicious bowls of mint-chocolate chip ice cream.