At least, I felt like one yesterday morning. Aria had another night of nonstop waking up, whining, crying, and turning towards me and pawing at me to open up my shirt so she could access the “Breast Cafe.” Evidently, she thinks Momma’s Boobs are open for business 24-7. I was getting pretty upset at the continuous interruptions to my hard-won sleep, until at 6am, my husband and I realized she was so restless because she had pooped, and had been laying in it all night.
It’s been months since Aria pooped at night, so we didn’t even think of it as a possibility. She must have done it right before going to bed. Sigh. I got up, picked her up, and started to go to the changing table when my foot got caught in the laundry hamper immediately beside the bed. And my worst nightmare happened: I tripped and lost my balance and fell forward while holding the baby in my arms. It was weird, time seemed to slow down and I remember actually weighing my options in my head…is it better for me to fall sideways into the dresser or fall forward into the rocking chair? Not like I had a choice, as my momentum was carrying me forward into the rocking chair. I did a little mid-air twist, though, so that I landed against the hard, bony part of my right forearm, cradling the baby against my left side so she wouldn’t get slammed. She didn’t cry or bat an eyelash. Heck, she didn’t even seem to notice.
One thing I learned about myself from this experience: I have always thought of those Moms who are able to shield their babies from earthquakes or oncoming cars, sacrificing themselves in the process, as super-heroic (which they are). I always had a nagging doubt in my mind that I could be one of those Moms – that a) I would have the ability to make a split-second decision to know how to protect my baby; and b) that I would be selfless enough to be willing to let myself get hurt in order to shield my baby from injury. Well, I now know that it is like a reflex. I didn’t think, I just reacted out of some inborn instinct that the baby had to be safe at all costs. So that is good to know about myself – I may be a crappy Mom that doesn’t think to check her baby’s diaper until dawn, but at least I’m willing to knock myself out to keep her from harm. I think that counts for something. Right?