The Night Feed in Five Psychological Stages
The thought-process cycle in those desperately shit hours...
Stage 1: Hope
As the baby drifts off to sleep, sandwiched between the soft bunny comforter and the white noise contraption (who doesn't love falling asleep to the sound of an upright fan?) you allow yourself to dream that this could be the night. Tonight will be different.
Stage 2: Denial
You have been asleep for no more than five minutes and he is awake. This cannot be so, you think. You ignore the frantic crying and whack the white noise thingy in a last-ditch attempt to settle him. This is a fruitless exercise, but you have not yet come to terms with the fact that he wants feeding. AGAIN. 'Just go back to sleep' you say quietly (at nobody in particular, while sobbing).
Stage 3: the Stand Off
Now you have established that he is well and truly awake (he is the colour of a beetroot, half the street can hear his screams), you lie perfectly still. Your stillness sends a body language message to your husband: I am asleep. I am not fucking getting up.
You pray he will get up. He doesn't even stir. Marvellous.
Stage 4: Rage
You angrily turn the night light on, accidentally kick said husband in the ribs and declare 'How is he fucking hungry? Why is he being such a dick? This is ridiculous! Fucking RIDICULOUS,' as you whisk the baby out of his cot and commence the feed. While sighing loudly.
If your husband does wake during this stage, he can expect to hear you declare 'never having another one,' 'having another one was a mistake' and/or 'I FUCKING HATE MY LIFE.' If he doesn't wake up you will be so annoyed with his snoring* you will want to punch him in the face. (*Breathing)
Stage 5: Guilt
The baby smiles at you. Between the swearing and the start of divorce proceedings, that little bundle of agitated loudness starts cooing and gurgling. You now feel awful for having blamed him for ruining your life. And calling him a dick. What a terrible mother you are. So, while feeding you whisper 'Shhhh. It's alright. Is that nice? Do you like your milkies? Mummy loves you so much' etc etc.
You then put him back down to sleep, where you have approximately 55 minutes before this cycle of doom starts again ...