Tolby's got a very cute head, but it doesn't smell so great. I hear people rave about that cerebral scent peculiar to infants and I wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Like, is my daughter unclean? So I put her in the tub, scrub Johnson's Baby Bath into her tiny scalp, and press my nose to the fuzziness before the suds are even completely rinsed. Nothing. Sorry, guys, but I'm not feeling it. My daughter's head doesn't even make it onto the Top Ten List of Binky's Aromatic Pleasures.

What does make the list is the smell of Tolby's breath when she was just-born. Holding onto that memory is no mean feat, considering the amount of Morphine coursing through my veins at the time. Forever and ever, the scent of rubbing alcohol will make me think of pure baby girl. I didn't expect her to smell like that when I put my face to hers the first time. I hurt everywhere. The pain, drugs and lost time conspired to take away all of the primal exhilaration that is (supposed to be) childbirth. But then I saw my husband's tears, and I smelled my daughter's breath like muted isoproponol on wet, red lips, and I knew that something monumental was happening. I knew it, and I almost felt it. But mostly I felt bad, my arm limp around the swaddled mass that exuded perfect newness. I couldn't stop shivering. I was glad when my husband took her away so I could lose consciousness again.

I fell into a sleep void of all senses except her breath on my face. Posted by Picasa


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happen to be one of those people who loves the baby smell - but what I really love is Johnson's lavender body wash. That's a great smell :)

You know, you talk so poeticly about her birth (despite all the heartache also associated with it), and you know what, I was completely lucid and alert after a normal vaginal delivery - a short one at that - I only pushed 13 minutes... I did have an epidural so I didn't endure the major pains associated with labor, I slept a lot during labor, so I was actually fairly well rested when she finally popped out, and you know what? I have absolutely no etherial moments to speak of. I mean, the most exhilirating part for me was the fact that I was no longer pregnant. It was so hectic in the delivery room - her getting cleaned off and my SIL and DH snapping pictures and everyone talking all at once, and I was stuck in the stirrups with the Dr. stitching me up. They finally brought her over to me and I held her, but it was a weird moment for me, and I certainly don't have anything poetic to say about it. I tried to get her to latch on and breastfeed immediately - because everyone says to do that as soon as possible after birth, and that was trying with my SIL and nurse all up in my face...

I guess what I am trying to say is that I'm a little jealous of the first moment memory you have, because even though I had the "better" labor and delivery, I don't know that I had anymore bonding time with her...

But I won't feel quilty about it - I bond with her plenty now...


10:48 AM  
Blogger hey mama said...

i actually prefer the smell of wile's head after he hasn't had a shampoo in a few days.... maybe you need to let the natural baby smell build up ;)

2:18 PM  

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