Chapter 1 (a)
As so it came to pass at 5:08 PM EST that Laura Alison Peroutka entered the world…
You did not exactly come out willingly as Dr. Khouzami had to pull you out a bit with forceps…all 6 pounds and 10 ounces of you! But from those very first moments, you seemed happy and content!
I wished you “Happy Birthday” and went to the waiting room as your Mom went to the recovery room. Quite a few relatives came by to see you that first evening: Mom-mom and Pop-pop, Grandmom (Grandpop was on a very rare business trip in Dallas), Uncle Jeff and Aunt Judy. Uncle Bob called from Duke to congratulate us. I went home around 9:30 and I remember that I don’t think that I ever slept so well. Your Birthday had been quite a day!!
I had to go to work the next day at Baltimore City Hospital (now Bayview) as Paternity Leave had not yet been invented! The nurses had a cake for me on rounds and we all went out to lunch at a “White Coffee Pot” restaurant to celebrate your birth. I returned to GMBC later in the day to see you. You again had lots of visitors: Grandmom and Grandpop, Aunt Janet, Uncle Jaime and Pop-Pop.
Thursday April 28 was another busy day of work followed by a visit to you at GBMC. Dr. Sol Snyder from Hopkins called to congratulate us all. You were already maturing well!
Friday April 29th was a big day for all of us as you were coming home for the first time at the age of 3 days. I even got the day off from work. Everything went well at the hospital:
But when we got home (to 555 Brook Road in Towson), we had no house key or some reason!!!
Mom-mom came by with a key to save the day! We then all settled in (and fell asleep from 11-noon!). And our new life with you began…I cut the grass, had our neighbors Don and Jane stop by to see you and then Grandmom and Grandpop for a short time.
You cried a lot that first night from about 2 to 5 AM…we thought that you may have had an upset stomach but maybe it was a baby migraine! On Saturday afternoon the 30th I had to go to the hospital for a few hours to catch-up on the patients. But first, I had some work to do at home!
Saturday night was quiet and peaceful for all of us. A lot of people came to see you on Sunday, May 1: 3 of my Neurology resident friends and their wives, a friend of your mother’s and her husband, our elderly neighbors (the Rekus’), and Grandmom and Grandpop.
It was time to let the world know about you so I sent out the formal announcement.
Life began to settle into a normal routine. Grandmom and Grandpop visited for dinner on May 3. I wrote you a letter about the first week of your life that evening (do you happen to have it???).
On May 4th, after work, I went shopping on your behalf for Mother’s Day! Later that day, Aunt Dot, Uncle Cap and Debbie visited.
On May 5th, your great grandmother, my grandmother (Busia) visited with Grandmom and Grandpop.
Sunday May 8th was your first Mother’s Day and your mother seemed to enjoy your gifts! I still wonder how you managed to get that big box into your bassinet!!!
Later that day, all of your grandparents came by as well as your two maternal great-grandmothers.
On May 11th, you went to Church for the first time to celebrate Ascension Thursday. On May 12th, your mother went to a baby shower so I “babysat” you alone for the first time. I must have bored you because you just slept most of the time!
Your social life began on Sunday May 15th when you ventured out for the first time to a picnic with the Neuroscience Department at Rocks State Park. You got all dressed up and seemed to be happy to attend.
One of my favorite early memories of you is shown below. At the age of 20 days (May 16), you were on your stomach on the bed. You lifted up your head like it weighed a ton! You rotated it and then it fell onto the bed…boom! You had turned your head for the first time!
On May 23rd, you were excited about your upcoming 1 month birthday.
When May 26 finally arrived, you were excited indeed!
And on your May 29th also:
On June 4th, Grandmom came over to babysit you for the first time so that we could go to your Mom’s cousin George Jarosinski’s wedding. You two seemed to get along well…
I built a swing set for you on June 7 and you seemed to get excited…
Uncle Bob (your Godfather to be) came over to meet you for the first time on June 11. Your big day was on Sunday, June 12th, when you got baptized by Father Art at St. Mary’s Church on York Road.
You were ready…
Your Godparents were ready…
Father Art was ready…
Even your great–Grandparents were ready…
And so you became a Catholic…
Everyone came over to our house that afternoon for a party. For some unknown reason, the only photo from the party is of the entire Jarosinski clan:
Except for one with my grandmother.
The following Sunday, June 19 was Father’s Day and you were nice enough to get me some gifts and the following card (you can see me holding it in the photo). How did you manage to buy Bailey’s Irish Cream at such a young age???
One thing for you to appreciate is that throughout your first year, you had great music on the radio and MTV (which was new and exciting then)!
Another historical footnote is that I bought my first computer on June 29, 1983.
You spent the summer growing and developing your personality. For example, there was “Bathtub Laura” (June 22), just before your first time out to a restaurant with us on June 23 (“The Crease” in Towson)
“Outside Laura” (June 26 and August 16)
“Social Laura” (July ?)
“Playful Laura” (July 12-22)
“Hungry Laura” (June 28 and Aug 6)
Which usually turned you into “Sleepy Laura” (July 22)
But only occasionally as “Upset Laura”.
I should mention here that you did indeed have a forceps injury to your right facial nerve, which caused me considerable angst. You can see the asymmetry of your mouth in this photo…I was afraid that you might have speech problems and sound like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. But the regenerative powers of youth caused a complete resolution over your first few years!
In any case, you always bounced back quickly to “Happy Laura” (July 24).
On August 1, you got all dressed up and went out to Sears at Security Mall to have your formal portrait done for the first time…back then you seemed to enjoy having your picture taken!
Even though you were only 3.5 months old, you took some literal “baby steps” for the first time on August 6:
You seemed to be having a good time most of the time (August 12):
And you visited your great-grandparents on August 15.
On August 21, we went tubing on the Gunpowder River with my friends Justin and Julie. Grandmom and Grandpop babysat you. It looks like Grandmom was comfortable to sit on!
On July 14, 1983, we had made a contingent offer to buy 861 Allardice Way at Stanford. We needed a house for the following June but we had only seen photos of it. So, we planned a trip to California (without you) for late August. As a result, your breastfeeding days were coming to an end so your 4 month birthday on August 26th was chosen as the final day…
We took you to Grandmom and Grandpops on Saturday, August 27 and put you to bed at 10 (your first “sleepover”!)
And on Sunday morning, August 28th, it was off to California to find us a house!