It’s past midnight. I’ve been standing by your cot now for over 20 minutes, shaking a little, taking invisible slow breaths so as to not wake you up. Checking out every little line on your face, watching every tiny movement you make. Trying hard to relax, I tell myself that I am doing ok – that we are both doing ok. We are pretty new to this baby/mother adventure, but we are feeling our way in the dark and somehow we are figuring out what to do. We are being guided by powerful instincts that neither of us totally understand. We just trust each other and are holding invisible hands on this unfolding journey.
You know exactly what to do when you feed and my body synchs with yours. You have no idea what it feels like to have your little body curled up in my arms – it’s almost as though we are reading each other’s minds – maybe we actually are. Just the fact you are here is so magical, almost any impossible reality seems totally possible.
Today I with our 6 (or was it 7) breastfeeding sessions, and with the help of my magic double pump, I managed to make enough milk to nourish you. You even gave me a sweet little smile – your gift for the sore nipples and numbing exhaustion that permeates every cell in my body. So my little one, we’ve made it through another day.
Since you are fast asleep and can’t hear me, I can now share some of my secrets with you – things you will never hear me say when you are awake. Obviously you won’t have a clue what I am talking about, so here goes. I just need to make some sense of the unbelievably complex feelings I have – now that you are here in my life.
I am Scared
So this is the hardest secret to admit to you, because it is not just a simple fear of the dark where I can turn on a light, or fear of heights where I can just avoid elevators and ladders. This is different. This is a total, deep, irrational fear of the unknown, a fundamental fear of failure. I worry that I just don’t have a clue what I am doing and that one day you and everyone who thinks I am being so capable and strong will find out it’s been a big lie. What then? You my love, will never see my fear or weakness because for you, my baby, I will always be strong, brave and fearless. It’s a mystery to me how my fear is transformed when you are in my arms and I feel so invincible and brave. I would fight off any enemy. You will always feel that you are protected and never see my fear. You will always know I am there for you. I want to be a warrior, not a worrier so we are just going to have to work on that together ok?
I am Fascinated
Every mom has a public life, a private life and a secret life. That secret life is the one that they share with their babies. I am totally fascinated by how your mind works, how you see connections and figure things out. How you learn to walk and talk and laugh. This secret world is where dreams and imagination and fantasy come to life. The other day your sister asked me where dragons lived, and I swear the next 10 minutes was spent giving her a detailed description of the likely places on the planet that a turquoise dragon with sparkling pink wings might live. Of course daddy is very important too and he will share his own secret life with you. It will be different, but just as special.
I am Excited!
I really don’t know what is ahead for you, but I do know that whether you decide to be an astronaut, an actor or an acrobat, I will be your biggest fan. I’ll be the one cheering you on every step of the way. You will get tired of this constant encouragement and flag waving, but trust me, you will appreciate it in your heart. All I do know is that this is an amazing time to be alive on this beautiful planet and that technology and discoveries we haven’t even thought about are going to make your world so incredibly interesting. You will have different challenges than daddy and I have today, but just being born is quite an accomplishment! Great job! (See I’ve started being your cheer leader already).
I am Loved
You don’t know the definition of this word “love” yet. But it is one that you will hear (and hopefully experience) a lot in your life. But even as a baby, you know how love feels – and so do I. When you look into my eyes and smile as I stroke your face and kiss your forehead, you are saying that you love me. Even when you pull my hair and poke your little fingers in my eyes – that’s love too. It doesn’t matter what I am wearing (thank goodness), or how much money I have. I am your mommy, and that makes you happy. Love will get complicated, and we can chat about that when the time comes. I just know that right now the love you give me is the purest thing in the world. You trust me, you like me, you appreciate and need me. I feel loved.
So my little one, let’s enjoy this journey together. I will share more secrets with you as you get older. Hopefully you will share yours with me too. For now, I am excited about all the adventures we are going to have together as I start to teach you some of the things I have learned in my life and I know that you will be my teacher too.
What do you think? What secrets would you like to share with your baby? Leave a comment and let us know, or join the discussion on the Medela Singapore Facebook page.