I walk around the house, gently swaying back and forth, an upright newborn asleep on my chest.
One hand patting his back to help bring the wind he is so struggling with up, the other holding him close.
Back and forth. To and fro. His little eyes closed, his little head warm against my chest, as he sleeps.
Round and round.
My eyes are heavy with tiredness. From the exhaustion of pregnancy to the relentless night feeding of a growing baby.
Flicking the kettle on, still walking, still swaying. I might not get to the kettle the first time it boils, or the second, or even the third. Little eyes opening wide and mouth even wider as the cries come when I peel him away from me.
How dare I try to lie him in the Moses basket, the SnuzPod, the bed. How dare I try to separate us?
And so we go on.
Walking round. Bouncing.
Sitting with him snuggled to my chest.
Resting in the crook of my arm.
Next to me in bed.
Nestled in the sling.
Crying for my comfort, my smell, my touch.
Always with me. Always near me. Like the umbilical cord is yet to have been severed.
We are tied together
Bonded. The two of us.
Feeding. And feeding. And feeding again. And again. And again. Constantly on, looking for food, looking for comfort, looking to suckle.
Is it night? Is it day?
Snuggling up. Smelling that newborn smell.
Then the feeding. Again and again. Little noises, tiny squeaks, hearing the swallow. Stroking the soft downy hair of his head.
In the middle of the night, there is silence, it is still. The noise and chaos of the day fades away, the tiredness tugs, yet in that moment it doesn’t matter.
There is me and there is him. Complete and utter trust. That tiny rosebud mouth searching for comfort.
Holding him in my arms, breathing in the miracle that is him.
Watching as those wide alert eyes grow heavy and droop. Softly stroking the bridge of his nose to get them to close.
Singing a lullaby. Rocking. Then the feeding, always the feeding.
Is it naptime? Will he be put down? Do I even want to put him down, my last baby, my last newborn?
It’s relentless. The need. Putting yourself last, your sleep requirements, your nutritional needs, your toilet requirements even. Everything is revolving round the 50cm being that is ruling the roost in your house.
The days start to blur into one, is it Tuesday? Or Thursday? Each one the same, yet different.
You watch your crumpled, curled up newborn gradually uncurl, long legs stretching out. Weight going on those chubby cheeks. You move through clothing stages faster than you can keep up, one minute he’s in tiny baby, the next he’s in 0-3 months.
It’s passed in a blink of an eye, surely you only just took that pregnancy test? You only just brought him home? Yet at the same time it’s endless, will you ever sleep again? Will the night be over? Will he always need me SO much?
The answer is no.
They won’t always need you so much. And although at the time it feels like it will never end, it will. You’ll turn around one day and he’ll be three, fiercely independent and demand. Then again and he’ll be six, reading, writing and asking questions that google would struggle to answer.
This is the fourth trimester. All consuming. Completely draining.
But one day he won’t want to snuggle on your chest anymore. And you’ll miss it.