Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Phantom Baby

I think a mother is created with this unequivocal ability to "tune in" to her baby's cries. I can hear Jack when no one else can. And while his cries may not bother some people, they go straight to my heart. Yesterday Jon asked me how it felt to know that when Jack cries, he's crying for me. I'm sure that unless he's truly hungry, he'd be more than satisfied with his dad, but it is nice to know that you're wanted.
From that very first ultrasound so long ago, I was relieved to learn that we would only have one baby to care for. Eight months later, little did I know, that in addition to Jack, I was also bringing the Phantom Baby home from the hospital. The Phantom Baby always shows up when Jack is on his best behavior. He wakes me up at night, and keeps me on my toes during the day. Sometimes I think I hear Jack cry during a nap. I run upstairs to check on him only to find him sleeping soundly in his bed. I hear a chair squeak in the office next to me, and I'm positive that Jack is somewhere in my office crying for me to get him. I'll wake up in the middle of the night to feed Jack, only to find that the Phantom Baby has struck again... Jack is out cold, not even remotely hungry.
It would seem that the Phantom Baby steals more hours of my sleep than my real baby. I cannot tell you the number of times I've dreamt that I was feeding Jack, only to awake in a panic because I couldn't find him anywhere. How many times have I shaken Jon awake asking him where Jack was? Or the nights I've woken to find myself half-sitting, my arms laying across my belly, rocking my Phantom Baby to sleep. Last week I was afraid that Jack might be getting sick, I dreamt that he was throwing up. I went rushing into his room at 3:30am only to find him perfectly peaceful.
Over 3 months since Jack's arrival, and Phantom Baby is still a figment I'm forced to contend with on a daily basis. Not sure how long this one will last, I just hope he makes his exit before Jack starts walking. I certainly don't want to be chasing two toddlers around the house!

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