In the first few weeks of motherhood, you ask a lot of questions and the answer is always the same: “trust your instinct, a mum knows best!”. Clearly not a very helpful reply when you are panicking because your son is not feeding or as some horrible skin condition. It makes you wonder why you even asked in the first place. It makes you want to strangle the person who gave you that ridiculous answer and, most importantly, it sadly makes you reconsider your suitability of being a mum. I know, it makes no sense, but this is how mums feel in the first few weeks and sometimes, you don’t really know where to turn for help and you wonder when this magical maternal instinct will “develop”. Almost 10 months later, I have finally found out the true meaning of it.
Last night I heard a sound through the monitor. A cry, not a loud one or a long one, just a short call for help. Any other night I would have ignored it and go back to sleep. But last night a gut feeling told me there was something about that cry… something worth investigating. I went in “mum mode”, stand up and went into the babies room without even thinking about it or turning the lights on. And there he was, a very small, very cute, but also very hot baby. B had a fever and he needed my help!
After I gave him something to drink, check his temperature, found some Calpol, change his nappy, found a lighter pyjamas and put him back to sleep, my husband asked me if B had been crying for long before I went to check on him. “No, he just cried once” I said, “I just thought I should check and I’m glad I did, poor boy”. My husband looked at me with an expression between surprised and half asleep. It was 2.30AM after all!
I guess that after all this time, I either learned to trust my maternal instinct or I got lucky. Either way, for the first time in 10 months I can honestly say that I was happy to have been woken up in the middle of the night.