This post is proudly brought to you by my hormones.
My role as the milk machine was dramatically demoted from Lead Actress to Supporting role at 9 weeks old when Jack decided he no longer needed a night feed. After only two months, this little human was already asking for some independence and started to sleep a full 12 hours through the night, leaving me missing the night time feed and that extra hour we got to spend together in those scary and dark hours of the night. My heart it torn between all the emotions over him not needing me during the night anymore and the pure joy of having the entire night back to ourselves and not needing to stumble into the nursery at 3am.
My feeding experience has been wonderful. Sometimes I feel guilty for saying that, because I know that isn’t always the case and I can completely understand how stressful and painful it would be if it didn’t come easy for others. I am no dummy in knowing how lucky I was to be able to take to it so quickly and easily with Jack and how much easier our lives were from the get go because of it. But as we’re now months (late timing again, soz babes) into no longer having those night feeds I do feel like I miss it. There was something so incredible special and private about that extra hour in the night between just us. We were the little rebels, stealing time in the night to cuddle and be close while the rest of the world was sleeping. That hour gave me time to soak in every wrinkle and fold of his baby skin as it grew and changed as he put on weight. It let him become dead weight on my chest as he lulled himself back to sleep with a full tummy. That extra hour let me just watch, without the pressure to put him down or get onto some other task while he slept. It let me sit and look and smell and just be. And just as quick as it began, that hour we had to ourselves is now gone.
It was during those nights that I got emotional and cried. I have a confession… when Jack was born and they placed him on my chest, I didn’t get that huge emotional rush of love people mention. Because of the C Section and being numb from the arms down, when they laid him on my chest all wrapped up in blankets, all I could do was raise my voice and yell at Tim to get him off me. I had a bad reaction to the drugs in the spinal tap and all I could think of was not vomiting over this precious little babe. I didn’t want that to be his first impression of me. I was so sick, I couldn’t feed him myself for the first time (a midwife had to hand express as they wrapped my head in ice blankets to bring down the reaction), and I couldn’t get right in close to kiss his face when he was placed on me the minutes after birth. I felt really bad about that for a long time, because my oh my I wanted that love explosion. It came a few hours later when the drugs wore off but I felt I missed that moment. It’s just one of those things though, the ones you convince yourself don’t really matter if you both come out of it OK at the end and you just have to let go of any expectations you had of those types of moments because that’s when they’ll flip on you. Those night feeds gave me my love explosion. And not just once. I got the love explosion at approximately 3am every day for approximately 9 weeks. It came over me like a mack truck every night and I let it. It was the best. That time was when I had the space and the calm to ugly cry all over my baby whilst eating chocolate biscuits, exactly how I imaged I would.
There is always something about the silence and darkness of the middle of the night that makes me feel all the feels. It was when I had to catch my breathe, sitting in that chair, when I was OK to let it all wash over me as we rocked back and forth. Together. To let the tears run all over my chunky little babe as he just lay into me as if I were the best damn memory foam mattress there ever was. That chair let me get it all out, without anyone to reassure me everything was going to be OK. Because I already knew it was. I just wanted to take my time with it and make sure I never ever forgot how it felt to take care of our little babe for that hour when it felt like we were the only two people in the world.
This little chair of ours has seen the most precious of moments. It’s soaked in both happy and tired tears. It supported my neck as I supported his when we rocked through the darkness, in the glow of netflix on the ottoman. This chair knows all of our secrets, it’s heard all my whispers of We Love You and I’m Always Here. It’s been an intruder of sorts into the all conversations we’ve had as I told Jack what I hoped and dreamed his life would be life. It’s caught chocolate crumbs as I ate snacks balanced on the back of my feeding baby because if I’m getting up in the night you bet I’m involving chocolate biscuits and a good binge series. It accompanied me as I cried watching the new series of Queer Eye because a show that helps others get their lives in order is exactly what my hormones were craving in those early weeks. We were the worlds biggest cheerleaders that Chair and I.
And here we are now, as that chair is now holding all the tiny clothes that I need to pack away in a container for maybe some time in the future… and I would be lying if I said it didn’t break my heart just a tad to know that I can leave those folded clothes on there for a while if I wish. Because he isn’t showing any signs of needing me in the nights in the same way again. Because this little chair of ours is just that. A little chair, in a little house, that helped me hold a little human for just a little while.
Excuse me while I go wipe my tears off my keyboard.