The following few paragraphs have probably been written in different words a million times over by mummy bloggers around the world. But for the sake of my own memories it bears repeating.
I woke up at 1am for the third time last night and tried to feed Poppy back to sleep as usual. It didn’t work, her nose was blocked so she couldn’t breathe through it and feed, and by the noises she was making I almost thought there was a piglet lying next to me! Amazingly she wasn’t fussing, she just couldn’t get herself to sleep. I lifted her onto my chest and sat upright to clear her airways, and she drifted off peacefully. Gradually my butt went numb and my neck started to ache, but I sat there anyway and stared into space. See that’s the thing with babies, it really is a full time job. I mean of course I always knew this but I didn’t imagine at 6 months I would still be going to bed and feel like I was clocking in for an 8 hour shift, especially when all of my friends babies were sleeping through from 12 weeks or younger! That feeling when you have had a really long day and you cannot wait for your head to touch the pillow, I miss that. Now I look forward to the one or two hours each morning when Tim takes Poppy and I stay in bed. After being woken up roughly 8 times between 10pm-6am, it is the first time all night I am able to actually relax my muscles, pull the duvet right up over me without worrying about a tiny person becoming lost under them and fall into a deep sleep. I usually wake up when they get back from their walk and realise how deeply I was sleeping as my mouth hangs open!
So as I lay wide awake last night I really felt pretty sorry for myself. If I tried to put her down in bed she would maybe last ten minutes before waking again. I soon realised that she really needed me to help her through this unfamiliar sickness. So I tried to make the most of those cuddles, I just lay in silence and cherished the peacefulness (at least for the first hour out of the three I was in that position!) I listened to her breathing and kissed her cheek, knowing that it is only during times like these that you truly have the chance to appreciate the perfectness that is your baby. No interruptions, distractions, crying, spitting up, wriggling, multi-tasking…just me and her. Sometimes it is too easy to look forward to the day when she sleeps through or doesn’t breastfeed anymore, that I forget that those milestones mean she will need me a little bit less.
Of course, we naturally want to protect our children when they are sick or vulnerable. It made me picture a cavewoman sat against an uncomfortable rock by the moonlight, staring into space whilst her baby slept soundly. I would sympathise with her, whilst knowing that she wouldn’t need my sympathy as she has probably come to the same realisation as me. No matter how far advanced technology is, nothing can replace a mother’s love in times of need. And she won’t need me forever.
On the topic of small snotty noses I have decided to link this post to another with some information about a very popular children’s medicine, which could do more harm than good. I think people often turn to medicine unnecessarily to simply feel like they are doing something. The truth is that a lot of the time all your baby needs is a little TLC. Read more here.