Days oozed into woozy nights milk stained clothes, greasy hair. Soft and mushy in all the wrong places. I felt like a giant lactating pillow. Time blurred as everything I ever was, seemed to have disappeared. I was taken over by endless exhaustion. My tears flowed quickly and frequently, while the world slept soundly. The tiny cries, that he didn’t seem to hear, were like jabbing pins into my body. They plunged downwards, into the abyss of my unconsciousness and pulled me up and out.
The nesting instinct which had created a clutter free haven, seemed pointless as I looked around at nappy bags, wipes and baby-grows piling up everywhere. The calm, serene images, I had aspired towards, became grimaces which mocked me and ate away at my ever shrinking self. All the walks I had hoped to take and the people I had wanted to visit were put off for another day. ‘It’s difficult’ they had said. It’s like trying to imagine hunger when your belly is full. My belly had been full.I realised then, what forever meant. Sweet, elusive, refreshing, sleep would now become my life’s goal. Sleeping through the night, sleeping through the night – the mantra about which my world pivoted and swirled, like wet clay on a pottery wheel. I daren’t ask the other mums, had they achieved Nirvana because ‘yes’ meant I was failing somehow. Nobody told me that being a parent, was feeling like I was never good enough. ‘You’ve got the blues’ they would say if I admitted I was sinking. I didn’t.
Then, weeks later, bleary eyed zombie, being drained once again, you looked up at me and smiled. And though you were newborn, so was I.