Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Til The End of Time

My first night home from the hospital with Luke, I was so confident. He was sleeping well, nursing well, and didn't really cry at all. He was all settled in the bassinet next to our bed, swaddled and sleeping soundly. I remember clicking off the lamp and having a half-second to sigh at the joy of being back in my own bed before he started to WAIL. Honestly, I hadn't even put my head down on the pillow. I picked him up. He didn't want to nurse. He didn't want to snuggle in the bed with me. He just SCREAMED. I had sent Shane to sleep in the guest room, thinking that one of us should be rested in the morning (rookie mistake). He screamed and screamed and screamed. I tried rocking him, my newly post-partum body sore, hurting in places I'd never imagined, skin loose and unfamiliar. He screamed while I was rocking him. I tried putting him in the swing for the first time. In the dark, unfamiliar with the swing, I managed to hit his head on the swing. He screamed louder. I sobbed and wondered to myself if I was really cut out for this, only 48 hours into it and I was already a half step away from breaking my new baby. Finally, in a last ditch attempt, I started to sing to him. The only song I could remember in my tired haze, Hush Little Baby. He started to quiet, but still fussed until I held him tight my chest, walking, swaying, and singing. And walk, sway, and sing we did for hours, the same song on repeat over and over and over, until I was so tired that while (thankfully) standing next to the bed, my knees buckled and I collapsed from exhaustion. I didn't catch myself, but I reached out and gently deposited Luke on the bed before I hit the ground. At this point, obviously, I swallowed my pride and enlisted Shane's help.


I learned my lesson Tommy's first night home from the hospital and made sure that Shane was in the room with us. Except that as Tommy woke up at midnight, I whisked him into the bed, laid him next to me, and had him latched on and nursing before I even realized what happened, before I even fully came out of that dreamy sleep and realized that I had a newborn again. What a difference a kid makes, huh? Except that Tommy is the king of false advertising and the older he got, the worse his sleep became (and still is, thanks for the 3:30 wake up call, TOMMY) and so, hours of walking, swaying, and singing Hush Little Baby became my life again. I've learned more songs since then, but it's always struck me as the truest. Of course, we want to do what we can to make our kids happy, but none of us run out and buy them diamond rings. Yet, even if everything we've done falls apart, we'll still love them 'til the end of time and hope that they know that. I'm probably not ever going to buy my kids a billy goat, but I'll go to the ends of the earth to make them happy.

Sometimes when I'm standing in front of the room teaching, I find myself swaying gently from side to side. I stop and mentally admonish myself that my students must think I'm crazy, that they don't understand the motion that grips you when you become a mother, they don't understand that once you begin swaying, you never stop.

18 comments:

Jeni said...

That is so true! I find myself swaying lots of times when I'm not holding one of my kids. And when someone hands me their baby? The swaying automatically starts, whether the baby is fussy or not.

It's just a sign of the (many) irreversible changes that come with motherhood.

Tristina said...

I sway all the time, even when I don't have Olivia with me. I'll catch myself constantly just swaying and humming softly. Her current favorite is Winnie the Pooh, which I've known by heart since I was very little. All I have to do is hum it and she smiles and stares at me with HUGE eyes.

All the time. Swaying. Humming. It's peaceful in a way. Even for me.

talesfromthehood said...

So true...I don't even notice it anymore (until hubs reminds me). Lately, I've been doing a lot of swaying with the little one...lots of teething wake ups :( boo

Kaycee said...

I swear all I have to do is LOOK at a baby (not even mine!) and I sway. I must rub my daughter's back a lot too because now when she hugs me (especially if I am upset at all) she rubs her little hand on the back of my shoulder. M.E.L.T.S. my heart. :)

Very very true that once you are a mother? You will always be. And always want the best for your kids. And the love, no one can adequately explain the love. It must be experienced.

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

Ahh..the mom sway. I think it never leaves us. :)

Bobbi Janay said...

Such a true post. Our first night home, Ian wouldn't sleep. He wasn't screaming but didn't want to be alone. He laid on Caseys bare chest and dozed with his daddy. I hope I never forget those moments.

keli @ kidnapped by suburbia said...

i triple puffy heart this post. i caught myself swaying in the grocery store checkout line the other day. i was holding some items in my arms, and apparently, my arms thought they were lucy.

my and lucy's song is "you are my sunshine" -- works like a charm when nothing else will. now, it's part of our bedtime routine.

i am going to have to order one of these for her room - http://www.etsy.com/listing/61980834/13-x-19-you-are-my-sunshine

Erin said...

Great post. I sway anytime I am standing still!

pendy said...

Okay, I have to share this: My granddaughter was staying with me a couple of months ago, just before her second birthday. After her nap, we came downstairs and brought some of the 'babies' down. I didn't even realize I was standing, swaying, and patting the bottom of the one I was holding until I noticed her staring at me intently. She then looked down and watched her own hips as she tried to sway, and then started patting her 'baby'. Can I tell you I just melted? Seriously. Not even two and getting into mommy mode! It was the way she was studying and copying my movements that got to me.

You NEVER stop swaying. :)

Lyndsay said...

It was a loooooong time before I was able to stand in a grocery store line without pushing my cart forward and backward constantly.

meganboley.com said...

Love love love. One of my good friends who moved to Indy came back to visit with her new baby. As we stood in the livingroom while other people held the babies, we both noticed we were swaying side to side. I can't stop either. The world will never be still again.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I swayed and walked Jonathan so much with his reflux and ear infections ... I totally understand. We played Diana Krall so much that the moment I hear her voice I now completely crash where I'm standing. :-)

(Love Jeni's comment..I do that too.

Kate at Big City Belly said...

LOVE.

Jenny said...

Beautiful. I love that last line. :)

Darcy said...

I have my little newborn (first one) and totally love reading this. makes me feel like the second one will be like i know what to expect, but it will still all be new and lovely...

Stillmary said...

This is an incredibly well-written, poignant post. I love it!

swonderful said...

this is so beautiful erin. i read it last night on my iphone and starred it on my reader so i could read it again. i do a bounce-and-sway. i look crazy.

Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry said...

LOVE.THIS.