To a baby with a flu

Dear baby,

I’m sorry you are so ill. It hurts to see you so dazed, worn out, inactive – well, for you, anyway, which probably means your fever’s making you behave like a normal baby instead of an infant mentalist, but I wouldn’t know.

You latch my breast for moments before gasping for air. You wake up every hour, every two hours to feed again. Little and often is all you can manage right now. I am tired but so are you.

I feel like transported back to your newborn life where you mostly slept or screamed. You demand to be in my arms at all times, hardly content even to be carried on my back.

So I get stressed worrying about the laundry and the dishes and at least a dozen other chores to be done around the house. You are unaware and unbothered about these things. You only know that I must hold you.

I rage against being pinned under your tiny, snuffly, sleeping body. I am trapped by your smallness, by your fragility. I couldn’t do this if I had more than one child to look after…

But I only have you. And I only need find solutions for us today. I stop to look down at your sweet lips and hot forehead. Your closed eyes make you seem to trust me since you’re so at ease with me.

If I would relax I know my peace could transform this moment. So I do.

I sip the rise and fall of you against me. I marvel at how you’ve tripled your weight since being born yet are still so connected to me. My mind tries to wrap itself around this mystery God has given me.

Instead of raging, I rest in your beauty. I kiss your cheek. I draw you closer. I too go to sleep.


[she/her] • writer • unschooler • team Soul Farm • Revillaging podcast • breastfeeding counsellor • Trinidadian in Cornwall

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