It's 2:16am. I'm feeding our baby in our dimly lit room. The radio churns out smooth Classic FM and all its jingly adverts; the light's been on all night, and hasn't really been off since our baby's birth 4+ months ago. Another device plays a recording of 'womb sounds', complete with a stranger's heart beat. The swishing swashing of amniotic fluid and an amplified quickened pulse reminds me of listening to our baby's heartbeat from week 12 of this pregnancy: a comforting awesome sound, reassuring new parents that there is indeed a little life growing inside this opaque body.
He seems to like the sound. His gulps have slowed down and his breathing has deepened. He looks asleep but his mouth is still firmly attached to my body. He's brought his little hands up to his face. His eyes are definitely closed.
He's still drinking, but he's surely almost done. The next news bulletin has come on, signalling that we've been up for a while. I want to rush its finale and get back to sleep. But then again, he looks so content and I don't want to move. Perhaps if I just close my eyes for a bit...
...I awake only a few minutes later as little one stirs. A good time to transfer him to his mattress that rests next to ours. I need to get to the bathroom and bin the dirty nappy. I get up and notice a light on in the box room: little one's future bedroom. I see that the soft light is coming from the uncurtained window. I didn't realise that there were street lights there. I go to look and I'm caught in the most magnificent moonlight: the brightest yellow full moon, clouds sweeping across it. I want someone else to see this and I'm about to call out when I remember the time.
Instead. I just stand there, immobilised by the beauty of this huge lunar display. It's so close and imposing; a little stretch and I could reach it. I feel the moon's stare, standing guard over these little children. Sentinel in the silence. I feel true happiness in this quiet moment and so lucky to have given new life to the world, protected by this mighty orb.
Yet, it's not all joy and wonder. It's taken me a while to reflect on the first years of motherhood, in all its light and darkness. For the first time in 2.5 years, I want to write again and explore my metamorphosis into "mummy". I want to share the ups and downs which I was totally underprepared for: pain and eventual joy of breastfeeding; recovery from birth; loneliness & friendship; parenting books and advice; gizmos & gadgets; guilt; pride; being a working mum; what it's like the second time around.
With the super moon behind me, I crawl back into bed.