It’s 2am and I have gotten up for the midnight feed. These ended sometime ago with BB and my body is very quickly remembering that drowsy 2am “what the hell am I doing up” feeling. I make my way to the kitchen. The house seems so cold and quiet. Once in the kitchen I grab a bottle of expressed milk. I have come to know this milk as liquid gold. Watching Jo express for an hour to only come up with 60 mils I appreciate that heating up too much and wasting it is a quick way to die. I would rather be banned from the PlayStation for life than to waste a drop of breast milk and suffer the wrath.
I heat up the 60 mils and check the temp. I am thinking to myself how does Jo do it? She gets it the perfect temp every time. Mine always feels too hot or too cold. Why are men not born with this ability? I make my way to Jades room and can hear Jade screaming as only little baby’s can at her age. I check the temp of the liquid gold again and pick up Jade and place her in my lap in the rocking chair in her room. I check the temp once more wondering if it’s now too cold???? and then give the bottle to Jade. She takes it willingly and the screaming stops. For a moment all is quiet. I sit and look at her drinking thinking it is the most amazing thing in the world that Jo and I created this little being in my hands. Jade coughs a little and i take the bottle away, did I do something wrong? hmm not sure. I look at the bottle and there is 40 mils left, she must still be hungry. I decide to give her a burp. Well can I just say my daughter would put some serious beer drinkers to shame. She would be at home at any rough and tumble pub from here to the wild west. She lets out an almighty belch that I am sure the neighbours heard and think its me being disgusting. I am impressed and smile at her. I give her the bottle. She takes it with Gusto and proceeds to down the last 40 mils like a chugging champion. I have no idea how to get her to slow down. I am worried that if I take the bottle away she wont start drinking again which used to happen with BB.
I burp her again and she lets out another pearler!! I hope this doesn’t become her claim to fame – Victorian Pub burping champion 2037………
She seems content now. I take her to the change table and change her nappy. This is so much easier when she is asleep or milk drunk as the process takes me about 2 mins. When she is awake it takes me about 10 mins as it is like trying to put an octopus in a string bag. BB is no better. I wrap her up in the blanket and make sure she is nice and secure. I wonder how tight is too tight, once again Jo always gets this perfect and I wonder why I don’t have this natural talent.
Once Jade is in her cot I always stop for a second look. I used to do it with BB and Jade is no different. I wait and watch her little chest rising and lowering. I listen for her little breath in the still night air. I can stand in this position for 10 mins or more. It’s the one thing that takes all my fears away and makes me think everything will be ok. On occasion i will sneak into BB’s room and watch her. I know I am not the only Dad or Mum for that matter that does this, I am sure dads for centuries have been watching their babies sleep with a great sense of satisfaction.
I go back to the kitchen and wash up the bottle ready for it to be sterilised and used again. It’s amazing how much stuff you need just for a 2 am feed. I check the fridge and make sure our bounty (breast milk) is still in there cold and safe. Loosing it or me leaving it out would be a hard thing to explain in the morning. I would rather own up to losing the dog……….
I enjoy the 2am feeds. I know every dear dad does. Not one of us will admit it cause if the mums of the world think we get a kick out of it they will think of another cruel punishment for us like vacuuming or dusting (just kidding). Dear Dads around the world, just like me, cherish the midnight feed. We get to spend special time with our little ones in a quiet world with no one else around. We can say what we want and bond with our beautiful children. We can all at once feel vulnerable as the child we hold in our hands and masters of our own universe.
I know I secretly don’t want the midnight feeds to end. But a good nights sleep for any new parent is another type of gold……………..