3:45am The worst sound in the world pulls me out of a wonderfully deep sleep as my husbands alarm goes off. I reluctantly peek one eye open to check the video baby monitor next to my pillow on the night stand to see if our newborn heard it and was stirring.
All seems to be well for now so I squeeze my tired eyes shut again and bury my head back in my pillow eager to fit in as much sleep as I can before its time to get up and go do chores.
5:00am This time the alarm is for me and I jump out of bed like a flash of lightning to slam the snooze button before its makes one more sound and wakes up all the kids. Glancing at the monitor as I literally fall back into bed, I check the black and white screen and see baby is thankfully still sleeping peacefully swaddled and enjoying her air-conditioned nursery, her cherub face peeking out from the fluffy blanket and I say to myself as I do every morning, “I’ll only snooze once today….”
5:43am Oops! I was supposed to start chores at 5:30am! Did it again! How many times did I hit the snooze button? This time, tripping out of the bed I struggle to find that elusive on/off button that I click off as quickly as I can. I grab the baby monitor that somehow ended up under my pillow and take it with me to go out to the barn to milk the cow, all the while watching our newborn on the screen and hoping to get everything done before that first cry pierces the air through the monitor speaker and I am officially out of time to get the animals taken care of with the use of both arms.
With the monitor in one hand and a cup of Kickapoo coffee in the other that my husband made before he left for the gym at 4:00am, I slip on my mucks and walk to the barn spooking a doe out in the sweet corn field as I stumble over rocks, my feet dragging with the weight of the boots that feel so much heavier in the mornings when I am still waking up. These days I never seem to be caught up enough on sleep or energy.
As I set the baby monitor on the seat of the old farmall cub tractor in the doorway of the barn where it still has enough power to reach the house and the picture is still clear, I see baby is still sleeping and I say to myself for the millionth time since she was born almost seven weeks ago, “She is SO cute!”.
Another sip of coffee and I let the cow into her stanchion saying “Thank you” to her as she steps over the gutter, grateful for her waiting for me at the barn door so I didn’t have to go down in the woods much beyond the reach of the baby monitors power to call her up. She greedily eats her grain as I prepare her for milking, the hum of the air conditioner in the nursery coming through the speaker of the monitor, mingling with the sounds of the barn.While the milker pumps away and the bucket fills up with frothy creamy milk I quickly feed and water the 27 laying hens and let them outside, fill up the pigs water and check their feeder and bring Harvey our spring calf a bucket of water and check to see if he has enough grass were he is tied out in the yard to eat all day, checking the monitor as I walk past each time.
I pull the plug, turning the milker off and gently pull the inflation’s off of Prissy as the suction slows down. I dump the milk in buckets to take to the hogs and then its time to wash up the milker and let the cows out of the barn, dusting them with fly repellent on the way out of the door.
Was that a cry through the speaker?
No…She’s still sleeping. When you have babies, you hear phantom cry’s all the time that no one else in the room ever hears that turn out to be nothing but your mind playing tricks on you.
Grabbing my now cold coffee and the ever humming baby monitor, I walk up to the house to wash up. As I walk, I wonder how long I have before the kids are up and I kick off my boots and shut the front door as quietly as I can, the next few minutes all mine.
I wash my hands, warm up my coffee and quickly do little household chores all with the baby monitor in sight and the knowledge that time is running out and baby will be up soon.
My closest friend these days is my video baby monitor. I don’t know how I raised the last two kids without this wonderful amazing helpful beautiful……..FRIEND! I can watch baby smiling in her sleep as I work and that is why I think I love you baby video monitor.
– You thought my closest friend was the pig didn’t you? That’s silly, if it was any of the animals it would be Prissy!