Here’s a little story I have rarely shared since P was born last year. I’m not really sure why – maybe I thought I’d lose followers? Or that people would think I was a little nuts? (Who am I kidding, if you’ve been here long enough, you already know that I am.)
But just recently, I’ve been wondering if anyone could relate to this. So here goes: do you ever feel like someone you can’t see is around your little one?
I’ve had that feeling before. It was the second night home with baby P. Because I was recovering from a C-section I could not lift her out of her bassinet quite yet, so for the first few nights, we kept the bassinet over on my husband’s side of the bed. When she cried, he’d hand her to me and I’d feed her. (This was when we were still foolishly trying to get her to sleep in her piece of crap poorly-built bassinet that she never did sleep in, which after night 4, became an $80 cat bed – but that’s another story.)
P was crying and crying, and I was going delirious because I had fed her – oh, I dunno – pretty much non-stop for several hours straight. It seemed nothing could console her. And us? We were taking each other’s measurements for straightjackets.
At one point while she was wailing, I was in and out of a sleep/wake state – but she finally stopped crying. I saw her lifted out of her bassinet and being rocked and thought, phew, Greg was able to console her. And then I looked to my right – and saw that Greg was fast asleep next to me.
But she was being rocked.
I saw her, clear as day, in motion.
And she was calm.
This is the point where you might expect I’d say that I jumped up, freaked-the-heck-out, and started screaming, but I was not alarmed. I remember having an immense feeling of gratefulness come over me and I was glad for the help. I felt like all was good. And I fell back asleep, knowing that things were taken care of.
Was I delirious? Yep. Sleep-deprived? You bet. But was I dreaming? I can’t say with any certainty that I was.
If you knew me, you’d say this is pretty uncharacteristic of me to entertain the thought that I may not have dreamed this up. While I wouldn’t consider myself an absolute “non-believer” in that sort of thing, I DO usually think of all other possible explanations first. It’s my sister, who reads tarot cards and who always seems to have these types of experiences, who would tell stories like this while I nod along and offer a bunch of alternative explanations. But something felt different about this particular scenario.
And it didn’t stop there. Just a few months later, I was nursing P in her room. She stopped nursing, looked over my left shoulder, and began smiling and cooing. Sure, babies “coo” at thin air all the time, but this was a back-and-forth exchange. It was unquestionable to me that someone was making her smile. Something came over me that felt so powerful, it actually made my eyes well up with tears. Again, I was not scared. I turned around, and I smiled, too. After a couple of minutes the exchange was over, the feeling was gone, and P went back to nursing happily.
Sometimes I wonder who was making her smile, who rocked her to sleep. Sometimes I am pretty sure I know. And other times, I am reminded of just how exhausted I was during these moments.
But I have one more thought to leave you with, and this one is from about 10 years ago, long before I had my daughter, and it involves one of my oldest best friends: a black cat named Kissle.
There is no question that Kissle was my BOY. He followed me everywhere, and I swear he just knew what kind of mood I was in at all times. He used to sleep on my head. Seriously. My pillow was his bed and his favorite time of day was when I laid down to sleep every night.
One time, in the middle of the night and out of nowhere, he jumped up from his cozy spot on my pillow and stared at the doorway to my room. It was 4 AM. It freaked the hell out of me because I couldn’t see what he was looking at, but he was zeroed in on something.
“Crazy cat,” I thought. “Go back to bed!” I nudged him, tried to break his gaze, but he stayed like that with his eyes fixated on my door for ten minutes. Then, he unlocked his gaze, and settled back down.
The next night, at 4 AM, the same thing happened, and again, I couldn’t break his gaze. It lasted for ten minutes, until he finally settled back in. The next night, he repeated this little ritual. This went on for two weeks straight. I wish there was a point to this story, but I have no explanation. (I tried asking Kissle, but he didn’t know, either.)
I’ve heard of this happening before, especially to new parents within the first weeks home with our babies, and it makes sense because we are sleep-deprived and totally out of our elements. But is it that we are so deliriously tired that we think we see things that don’t exist? Or is it that we are receiving some much-needed help from someone who loves us?
Can anyone else relate to this? People with pets and/or small children, what are your thoughts?