Last night Freddie cried non-stop as I was putting him to bed, he cried for almost two hours. This isn’t common for him to cry like this and it was really hard for me to work out what was wrong with him. I tried rocking him, I tried more milk, I tried singing to him, I tried talking to him, I tried patting him, I tried music, light, no light, nappy check, heat check, I tried him in my bed, I tried the cot again, bonjella incase it was his teething, tried it all. Josh came in and tag teamed with me over and over and tried all his own ‘bag of tricks’ too and nothing seemed to work.
This got me thinking and of course, remembering my first year as a mother seven years ago…
It would be so easy for a parent to get frustrated, angry, feel at their wits end, I get it, I have had three children, and I still feel this way often, but going through this ‘can’t do anything to fix it’ situation for, oh, I dunno, about a million times before in motherhood land, this time, it was different, this third time around, I knew one thing was certain…
I knew that once he would finally fall asleep, all my hopeless frustration and tense feelings would stop immediately and all would be back to normal.
Freddie fell asleep in my arms. He fell asleep holding my finger, fist clenched. He was calm, he was safe and he was beautiful. I stared at his soft little face, his lips pursed as his dummy popped out of his mouth as he drifted off, I felt his tummy go up and down against mine, up and down, slow and peaceful. I felt a smile spread on my face and my heart go warm, I felt my shoulders rest and my breath slow, and in that exact moment, I remembered.
I remembered that this time last year, this baby was in my tummy, I was so excited for him to come into this world and complete our family, I remembered the kicks and twists he did in my tummy and having quiet moments like this, holding my bump, on this chair, in his nursery, in silence, imagining what he would be like. I remembered only a few months ago, when he was only a teeny tiny baby, thinking that I couldn’t believe he was here, that he was mine and how blessed I was. The clock keeps ticking and these babies keep growing.
As his sleepy heavy body was against mine, held up in my arms, I kissed the spot between his eyebrows and his nose, to feel close to him, and I told him that I loved him. Not more than five minutes ago, I was bursting with frustration and now, I was in absolute bliss, full of love and that’s what they do to you. These little people that we created, they continue to challenge us as humans, our emotions and our strength, I can tell you, that if that was my first baby, yeah, I would have burst into tears or walked out the room screaming just to let out my feelings, but as Freddie is my third, I knew, I knew he would calm down, I knew it would all be over and I knew that however long it took, I would be in this moment with him and I would feel that feeling that children were born to give their parents, an absolute love that can’t be described in pen, but a feeling that warms your body, mind and heart.
Hang in there, days are tough, nights are challenging but when you already know that feeling you will get when they are still is just around the corner, use that and you will get through anything.
Note: as it turns out, he is cutting his Canine teeth.