I can't be sure because my phone is missing and there is no time to find it or to look at the other clocks in this house. She's awake. And shit, she cannot breathe. I've been here before. Just last week actually. So I feel like a pro. I wrap her in a blanket and open the sliding glass door. I threw that f-ing door open, actually. It's a wonder I didn't break it. I consider leaving her there in the cold dark night to grab Daddy's phone so that I can call 911 if I need to. And then...
"Mama, I meed you." she cries between scary inhales and distress. "I know, baby. Mama is here. This cold air will help you feel better." She grips me. Hard. I have the fingernail bruises still to show for it.
She melts into my body. My embrace. She trusts me. She breathes. Oh, she breathes! My tears are falling fast and furiously hot to my cheeks. She is breathing!
After 10 minutes I take her inside and warm the water. She takes a drink. "Hi, Mama!", she says with a smile as though she is seeing me for the first time tonight. She doesn't know I've been there for hours. That I haven't even slept yet. And that that's OK. I am just overwhelmed that she has come back to me. That she sees me and can talk with me. That she is breathing beautifully.
Beautiful music. In and out. No strain. No pain. No fear.
And then, eye-contact. "Hi. Mama!", again.
She looks to the closed blinds and sips her warm water. "I see da moon, pweese?"
I open the blinds and assume the position on the couch. You know the one. It's the one that makes sure baby is upright. The one that assures you that her airway is open and unobstructed. That one. It's not comfortable for you. But that doesn't matter. And it never will.
"Oh, Hi, Da Moon!", she says. And I breathe a sigh of relief that the moon is on our side tonight. She loves the moon. Thank you, Moon for being here right outside our front window tonight. Thank you clouds for not getting in the way. She needed this.
She takes my breast from my shirt. "I meed milks, mama.", she whispers as she watches the moon. She relaxes into my body. I relax into hers and we drift. Awakened every half hour to the sounds of sickness. But the moon is mercifully still there. As though it was waiting for her to need him again.
And mama was still there. Not really sleeping, of course. Just waiting to assure her that she was safe. That she would be OK. That she would feel better. That there was warmth and peace.
That soon, she would rest again. That soon, we all would.
Come on, Soon. Let this baby sleep.