I groan as I hear Aiden crying out. I always knew a baby would be hard work, but I didn’t know how bad it would actually be. I’d as easier nights as a med student. Or maybe I’m just out of practice.
“Your turn,” Joey says, sleep heavy in his voice.
“I know,” I moan as I throw the duvet back. Swinging my heavy body up, I glance over at the time. Damn, it’s two thirty in the morning. And I have to be up for work in four hours.
Trying not to think about it, I get up and pad to the bedroom door. I spare a glance at my Joey before I go. He’s already fast asleep again. I should be jealous, but I can’t find it in me to be. He’s been running himself ragged since we first brought Aiden home two weeks ago. And it’s finally caught up to him. Thankfully, he is on vacation from work, so at least he can sleep when the baby does.
Although, that doesn’t seem to happen much.
Heading into the nursery, I walk over to the crib and gently pick up my screaming son. He calms a little bit when I pick him up, but not much.
“Shh,” I comfort. “It’s okay. Let’s get you a bottle and then we can both go back to sleep.”
I walk Aiden down to the kitchen and start making a bottle. In the two weeks that he’s been here, I’ve gotten very good at doing things one handed. Aiden is a very tactile child. He always wants to be held and often screams if he doesn’t get his wish. That was an adjustment, having a little squirming baby in my arms all the time.
I rock Aiden back and forth as I wait for his bottle to heat up. He isn’t crying as hard, but he is still whimpering a little. My sleep-deprived brain is thankful for the reprieve.
Finally, the bottle is ready and I take Aiden and the bottle into the living, settling in the recliner. Propping the arm holding Aiden up against the arm of the chair, I start to feed my son.
As Aiden starts sucking on the bottle, I can’t help but stare down as his face, amazed, once again, that this is real. I never thought I would have a child to call my own. But in moments like this, when silence takes over the house, I can’t imagine my life without him. I know Aiden has made me a better person.
Of course, there are times when I’m not sure I can actually do this. I don’t know if I can raise this tiny being to adulthood. Joey certainly thinks we can, despite his own brand of paranoia. But I have more doubts. It just seems like such a huge task. It won’t always be as simple as getting out of bed in the middle of the night and making a bottle with one hand. Aiden will actually need to be taught how to be a man. How do you do that?
I sigh as Aiden stops sucking on the bottle, eyes already starting to close in exhaustion. I gently move him to my shoulder and burp him.
By the time, I put the bottle in the kitchen and take Aiden back upstairs, he’s already asleep in my arms.
I gently lay him back in his crib, watching as he sleeps. I watch his chest to make sure it keeps rising and falling in a predictable pattern. I don’t know how many times I’ve done this in the past two weeks, but it seems like hours upon hours. It comforts me. I’d heard of parents doing that before, but I always thought it was stupid. Until I got Aiden. Now I can’t stop.
I stand there for a few minutes before I head back to my room next door. I’m still not sure I am ready for all of this. But now really isn’t the time to try and figure it out. Now I need to try and get some sleep. I can worry about the rest later.
And that’s Part 21. I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back next week with Part 22. See you then!