I lay in bed, staring blankly at the ceiling, my back flat on the bed for a change. It has been a long time since I laid in bed like this. I cannot recall at what time in my pregnancy did I stop laying flat on my back, because the doctor said it was bad. The past nights were always nights of me having my back propped on a pillow, as I laid on my side, the baby sleeping soundly in my arms.

Might tonight be the night that would be the first of many nights when I would not have the child in my arms?

I remember the very first night she went to sleep with me, in my hospital bed, faint, tiny, shrill cries echoing through the darkened white halls every now and then. I remember the very first night she went to sleep in our big bed, shielded from the careless big arms of her sleeping father by a pillow laid right in the middle, a clear separation between father and mother with child.

The many nights I had to lie on my side so she could easily reach for me with her tiny mouth, asleep in the middle of the night – her head barely touching halfway my chest. The many nights I laid her on top of my chest, her legs too short to dangle from my side. She used to be swaddled in blankets then. I used to get up every hour or so to change her.

The past weeks she sleeps with her arms around me, sometimes her legs around me too. Most mornings I wake up with a stiff arm, from having her sleep on it the entire night, a heavy head she has.

Now I am lying with my flat back on the bed, my hands together, resting on my abdomen. I could even lay with my stomach flat on the bed if I wanted to. I could wrap my arms and legs around a pillow if I wanted to. I could sleep soundly, thinking that tomorrow, chances are, I will not have a sore arm, or a stiff neck, or an aching back. There is a promise of a good sleep after many months but I find myself wide awake, unable to sleep, crying, looking at the baby sleeping soundly in her crib, one foot away from me, wishing she will wake up and look for me – and I will get up, tell myself she cannot sleep without me next to her, bring her back to sleep on my side, her heavy head resting on my arm, my aching back propped against a pillow, her hands and legs wrapped around me and we would both be drifting off to sleep with a hint of a smile on our peaceful, sleeping faces.

I don’t understand why this has to be this hard.

Three weeks

…baby babe, we’re moving so fast
I try to hang on
Try to hang on!

(A reverberation of Roxette)

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