Sunrise sends a bright golden glow through a slit at the bottom of the blinds. I see it accidentally, my eyes passing over it as I adjust the baby on my chest. We've been doing a dance since 2:30am. He wakes and cries, I put him to my breast, he drinks. I wait until I can't handle my own exhaustion and discomfort anymore, then I put him beside me and fall back asleep. He cries, I position him, he drinks. I constantly have to reposition him because he loses his latch and the nipple shield gets thrown about so that I can't find it in all my groping for it.
I open my eyes because I have to, not because I want to.
I sit up and sift through the bedding until I find the shield and lay back down. His cries escalate during the search and as I lay him on me he frantically shakes his head back and forth with his mouth open wide around the shield. I don't have to worry for long about what's frustrating him before my milk lets down and pulses towards him. As if on cue, he gratefully closes his mouth and begins swallowing. He reminds me of a little piglet, grunting and feeling around with closed eyes. Tiny fingers knead my loose post-partum skin, encouraging my body to release all the milk it has in store for him.
The baby is asleep on my shoulder now. My chest is wet and his pajamas are damp with a combination of milk, sweat, and mystery liquid. There is dried milk all over his face and his breath is warm and sweet on my face. I put my face closer to his and close my eyes. It's as if we're held in a sacred bubble where everything makes sense and we are safe in each other's love. His presence soothes my soul and gives my mind a point of focus when everything around us feels confusing and distressing.
I kiss his head and fall back asleep for a few more minutes before the dance begins all over again. This time when he's done nursing the sleep has been chased from my eyes and I look back towards the window. The sunrise is beautiful and alluring, and I wonder what it would be like to be somewhere else where I could watch it in all its glory instead of seeing a sliver of it through my blinds. I would love that, but I love this too.
I hear a knock at the door and my blond boy is asking me to make his breakfast.
This time it's me waking the baby. As I lift him from the bed (he won't stay asleep without me) he stiffens his body in an adorable stretch and cracks his eyes open. He squints and blinks and squints and blinks and finally opens his eyes, not because he wants to but because he has to. As he focuses on my face, his eyes widen and start to twinkle. I can't help but laugh as his mouth puckers over and over, forming perfect little Os, while he continues to examine me. I say, "Hi, baby." and his face breaks into a smile that melts the night away.
He's better than watching the sun rise, and to him I am the morning sun.