Cuddling her up close as she sleeps, I love stroking the creases on her arms, kissing her on the forehead, fingering the turn of her hair, gently squeezing her cheeks, rubbing her little nose..
I love watching her different expressions as she dreams, sometimes sniggering, sometimes frowning, sometimes making odd noises like she lost a game.
These are times I look at her and think, what a beautiful creature. Thank you God for letting me make her and have her. She’s the best gift in the world.
Half an hour later, when she starts squirming and grunting until her face turns red, crying inconsolably, and you forget all the loveliness, best-gift-in-the-world thoughts, and wish she would just shut up.
Ahh, the emotional roller-coaster of a mummy.
After the first night home from the hospital, Ks and I both learnt that we ought to keep her up in the day so she is able to sleep for longer stretches at night. We were doing quite well with Jy waking up for feeds and falling back to sleep after. There were the occasional fuss where she doesn’t settle quite as quickly and needs a bit of rocking to return to her dreams, but generally, Ks and I could get a rather full night’s sleep.
However, on this particular night, the trauma she caused could have driven me to depression.
It started well enough, I swaddled her after her night feed at 10pm, turned on the air-conditioner and left her sound asleep in her cot.
11pm: First cries. I got up and rocked her a little. She couldn’t be hungry. Simply rocking wouldn’t do, I had to walk and rock.
1130pm: Her eyes were starting to close with heavy lids. I stopped walking and sat down. She stirred and I started rocking while sitting. She realised she’s no longer elevated and begins to fling her arms. I got up to walk again.
12am: She looked drowsy again. I was getting tired but was determined to get her to sleep so I continued walking until her eyes were fully shut and breathing steadily. Again, I sat. Until she had some kind of moro reflex which woke her and she started to fling her arms and I stood to walk again.
1230am: She has to be asleep now!! I put her slowly in the cot with my arms still tightly wrapped around her. Before my arm even tried to free itself, she woke up again. My biceps were really hurting then, so I decided to try putting her in the sling. I’ve only tried it once in the day, and she fell asleep pretty quickly. Somehow, she wouldn’t get in the sling. She kept crying even when I’ve successful gotten her in and walked her around. So I took it off and carried her.
130am: I tried setting her down in her cot. Finally, she didn’t stir when I removed my arms. I sat watching her for another 5 minutes, just in case. Then, I turned off the night light and began to head for my room when she made some noises. I went to the cot and there she was staring at me with those eyes wide, wide open.
What the @#*$!!!!
I was really pissed with fatigue overwhelming me. I woke my MIL and told her all that happened and she readily took Jy from me.
I went to bed, exhausted.
3am: My MIL knocked on my door. She told me the same thing happened to her and Jy’s probably hungry now. So I fed her while my MIL went to rest.
By 430, Jy was still awake. My MIL got up upon hearing her cry and told me to rest while she takes over.
6am: Another knock on my door. I got up to feed Jy, who is showing no sign of sleepiness.
After the feed, however, she looked drowsy. Instead of burping her, I left her in my arms in the feeding position. I then quietly put her in the cot.
When I left the room, it was 7am.
My darling daughter drove us crazy by not sleeping from 11am to 7pm. What a nightmare.