I am grateful to Mildred Vuyk for allowing me to republish this piece which she has kindly translated to English from her site at: https://www.liefdevaneenmoeder.nl/mama-word-eens-wakker/
Could you wake up for a minute? I know it’s hard for you to open your eyes – we haven’t slept a lot yet tonight. But mama, I kinda need you right now. You see, the thing is, I feel a bit lonely at the moment. I’m laying here in my crib and I’m somewhat cold.
I didn’t mean to cry so I’m sorry I did. I’ve been trying to get your attention by making some noises for a while now but you were in such a deep sleep, you couldn’t hear me. I don’t know how else to get your attention. During the day, I see and hear you all make noises and I see you respond well to each other. You talk to me like that too. And I try very hard but I don’t know how to do that yet. So I cry so you’d listen to me.
Mama, I’m sorry for crying. Like I said, I feel a bit lonely. I just spent nine months inside your belly where I’ve always felt safe. It’s a bit scary to me to be in such a big bed all by myself. I miss your heartbeat, the rushing of your blood, the warmth and the food. I miss your breathing and your hands you put over me to protect me when I still was inside your belly.
So mama, would you please listen to me? I’m calling for you in the only way I’m able to. I feel really alone. I need your warmth and your peace for a moment. I need to know for sure you’re still here. So can I come lay with you for a little while to feel your warmth?
Some cuddles first
Mama, this feels so nice. When I feel you holding me while you gently rock me and when I can smell and feel you, I feel so safe. I can feel your hand on my back and my ear is placed just right on your heart. Mama, this is home to me. Do you remember back when we were always together? I always felt like this back then. Sometimes I miss that time. It was so nice to be close to you.
I hear you softly whisper into my ear “Everything is okay little one, everything is fine”. Your voice is so soft and familiar. You smell good mom. A bit like me and a bit like you.
Mama, will you hold me just a little longer? I’m really tired and I feel so relaxed in your arms. It almost feels like before. I’m going to close my eyes for a little while, okay? Can I please stay with you here a little longer to enjoy your love and your presence?
Can I drink some more?
Mama, since we’re laying like this anyway… I’d like to ask you something. I know, it sounds pretty sad because I can’t talk like you can yet so I’m sorry for crying again. But mama, can I please drink some more? My throat is dry and my tummy is empty and since we’re here anyway… maybe I can have a few more sips? Your milk tastes delicious and is so warm and familiar.
Thanks mom, that’s exactly what I needed. I was really really thirsty. Your finger on my cheek feels great by the way. And you’re smiling at me. Nothing makes me happier than seeing your smile and feeling your presence. I’ll close my eyes again, okay? Please don’t put me away straight away, I really enjoy falling asleep here. This feels really good. Can I stay with you for another hour or so?
My tummy hurts so bad
What is that?! Mama! Can you feel this? Mom? My tummy hurts so bad. What is happening? Please help me mama, I don’t know what’s happening. I’ve never felt anything like this.
Thank you for rubbing my belly mom. It’s late and everyone is asleep. I’m so happy you’re here for me. I don’t know what I’d do without you mama. My tummy already hurts less and when you hold me like that…I feel pretty tired. Maybe I’ll close my eyes again. Please hold me a little longer?
A scary place
You won’t believe this mama! I’m a bit scared. I just woke up and I didn’t know where I was for a second. It was all dark and a little cold again. I know you’re tired mama. But I really missed you, can I please be with you again for a while?
Mama, I can see that you’re tired. There are tears in your eyes and every now and then a tear rolls down your cheek. I’m sorry mama but I feel really strange in this new world. I miss home. I miss always being close to you.
Sometimes I feel a tear fall on my head while you gently rock me. You’re singing me a song so that I can go back to sleep. You softly dry the tears that fell on my head with your hand. That feels nice mom, do that again?
I fall asleep on your chest. You feel so soft, so familiar. There’s nowhere I sleep better than here. My legs are pulled up, just like they were back when I still lived with you. I can hear your heartbeat again and I move along with your breathing.
I will learn soon
Mama, you’re the best place to be. I’m so glad I get to come to you over and over again. I don’t like being unable to just ask either but I’m really happy you listen to me when I call for you.
Soon, I’ll be able to be there for you. Or for my brothers or sisters. Or for my friends in school. You’re teaching me how to take care of someone. You’re teaching me that you listen, even when I can’t ask. You’re teaching me I’m safe, even when sometimes it feels like I’m not. You’re teaching me that you love me, even when you’re very tired. Thank you.
And mama, I love you.
About the author: Mildred Vuyk is passionate about helping mothers listen to their instinct and young child, over the cultural norms. On her website liefdevaneenmoeder.nl, she helps Dutch moms to stay in tune with their child’s needs around sleep.