Baby Song

Saw with much joy this morning that Flotsam baby Simone is finally home and busy making life… well, busy, for all around her. Which is all very right and proper! Thom Gunn’s poem has kept popping into my head all morning, as the last verse resonated so much with me when Harry was also a tiny newborn. Or at least, a newly-come-home.

Reading Alexa’s post, I had a sudden recollection of quite how bad my own personal baby-meltdown was. It was a horrific shock to me when I rapidly mutated from a sensible, capable adult to a bewildered, shaking mess. I’ve heard it said that the baby blues (not PN Depression mind you. Kettle, Fish, Different.) consist almost purely of sleep deprivation. Given that I only experienced my can’t-recognise-myself lows when Harry came home – a month after his birth – and that the miserable inundation rapidly receded once I’d slept for more than 3 hours a night, I’m inclined to concur.

I used to spend the day firmly wedged in my rocking chair, in varying states of consciousness, with Harry either clamped to, or craning hopefully towards, my nipple. My hair went unwashed for days. I also seem to remember that toilet breaks were alarmingly infrequent and most of my hot drinks (made exclusively by other people. I only managed to get as far as boiling kettles) went cold. The thing is, I can’t for the life of me remember now what he was doing to make life quite so testing. 

And now I come to think of it, given that Harry howled like a burgled banshee last night, for the third night running, perhaps we haven’t moved on quite as far as I think we have.    

From the private ease of Mother’s womb
I fall into the lighted room

Why don’t they simply put me back
Where it is warm and wet and black?

But one thing follows on another
Things were different inside Mother.

Padded and jolly I would ride
The perfect comfort of her inside

They tuck me in a rustling bed
– I lie there, raging, small, and red.

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