I’m on my knees on a padded cushion, my hands over and into the crib, rubbing my babies’ back and trying to hum. I’m trying and not just doing, because I am sobbing. My body is shaking and my head is against the bars and I’m letting my tears run and I’m letting my heart race.
In those moments, all you want to do is pick your baby up. You know he will stop crying, you know what will make him stop and there’s a hundred of the same questions flinging through your head, ‘ am i doing this right?’ ‘ should he be crying this much?’
And you can’t pick him up after 20 minutes, because you have read all the books that say ‘to give in, is to erase all the work you’ve done thus far’. It is better to not even start if you are incapable of finishing.
So I hold off and I can feel my heart lurch and my stomach feels sick and I feel sick and I’m not going to eat dinner tonight. My head gets dizzy and I keep patting his bum while he keeps wailing and I don’t know what else to do, I don’t know what else to do.
My heart hurts
but when his cries turn into whimpers, and the whimpers eventually into still shudders,
there is a relief that floods through my entire self and I know, I know I’ve done the right thing. I feel strong and powerful and I feel that I could do it again, I could do it again.
If I had to.
But it’s never as hard as this night.
The first night is the worst. And I make myself believe that they get easier because I’m strong. That my strength is what will break habits before they even begin.
I hate when you cry,
but I love that I hate it.
It means I will react, that I will do, that I will try,
that I will try and be,
the best Mother I can be for you.