I cried yesterday, not just because I didn’t sleep, but because I heard the kids at the table laughing, pancakes being made, our Sunday ritual as I lay in the room with the curtains drawn.
Then suddenly it’s 1am, I can hear the waves of white noise, I can hear a suck swallow, my husband snoring, even the cat’s snoring, suck swallow, and some more snoring.
My eyes are barely open. My toes are now unclenched and I’m looking down at how beautiful she is, still amazed that only days ago she wasn’t in my arms.
There’s just something so tender about mothering in the darkness, when your breasts are sore, your bedside is full and you’re healing and breaking all at once.
Even when the mother in you has lived these nights before, she’s still new and emerging in different ways, with each new babe.
I can hear a faint cry out down the hallway which means my husband gets to sleep properly in one of the kids beds now, what once seemed like a chore.
There’s more snuffling coming from the bassinet, as a layer of sleep is being ripped away.
The familiar thought of ‘how will I do this’ sets in, but these are the days of postpartum.
Raw, brutal, magical, honest.
And I will do this, as I’ve done before, like all mothers do.
I lift up her perfect tiny frame and bring her in close, as the night turns to day,