At one time in my life, the middle of the night wasn’t anything to dread.
But I’m a new mom, and I’ve discovered that there’s a loneliness that belongs to the middle of the night. At first my baby needed me over and over again, her cries startling against the stillness, shaking me, the only one who can give her what she needs, the one who must navigate the stormy waters alone. Too alone.
She’s been sleeping through the night for a while, but now I’m the one who needs to learn to sleep. Too many thoughts, and tonight they sit heavy upon my chest and keep me awake. Today was like any other day. She’s a good baby, I am told. And I know it. But good babies are still babies, and today, like many other days, she had a spell of crying that I couldn’t diagnose. Sometimes the crying is deep and desperate, and its effect on me is like a punch in the gut. “What’s wrong, baby girl?” She doesn’t have the words to tell me, and my mother’s intuition fails, but eventually we make it through. We always do, of course, but it makes me uneasy. I hope she’s okay. I hope I’m doing okay.
Because what if she’s not? Or what if I’m not? I cannot even formulate these questions without my chest tightening and my hands shaking. I want to throw up. On nights like this I have to get out of bed and shake the words out of my mind and onto a blank page where they can’t haunt me.
This being a mom thing is the scariest thing I have ever done. It has revealed a dark piece of information I was not prepared to deal with: I do not know how to trust God.