We have a close relationship, my best friend and I. She held my 5th baby even before my husband. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.
When #5 was born, we were living with family in Texas, getting ready to take off on our overseas adventure. He came a whole month early, which none of us were prepared for, and was born in the hospital as a result (I would have much preferred a homebirth like the others).
However, this also meant that some of our favorite people in the world were able to be near us during that time. And, for the first time, my best friend got to cuddle one of my babies as a newborn (long-distance friendships are hard).
We had a glorious 2-1/2 months together after this, and then our family took off on a long flight to another country.
Across the ocean.
Like any normal baby, #5 cried frequently. We had trouble getting him to sleep. (Baby sleep is apparently hard to come by, who knew?) He spit up on things. He snuggled. He ate. He cried some more.
Most of my babies have been pretty decent sleepers, so I was a bit exhausted being up every couple hours with him for months on end. But I figured… Time change, different part of the world… He’s having trouble adjusting. Part of life.
Then we’d FaceTime Aunt Paula, and his eyes would be glued to her face. He’d lean toward her, totally silent and engrossed in whatever she was saying to him.
So sweet, I thought. But that was about as much weight I put on it.
One particularly rough night, nothing was working. It wasn’t gas, it wasn’t teething, he didn’t need a fresh diaper (cause he’d already had about five), he couldn’t eat any more if he wanted to. We tried walking around with him, patting his back, carrying him all different ways, bouncing him gently, nothing even made a minor change in the screaming.
I had a thought. And quickly started flipping through photos on my iPhone.
When I came to one of my best friend, I turned the screen so he could see it. Immediately the screams stopped. He let out a big sigh (this is a little baby, mind you). He actually cracked a little grin. And then he snuggled in, nursed one last time, and fell asleep.
It couldn’t be that easy.
I chalked it up to a random experiment that happened to work that singular time.
Then he was having problems again, unable to be consoled. Shrugging my shoulders, I thought hey, if it worked once, maybe it will work again. Nothing else was.
For the second time, as soon as he saw her face, he sighed, settled down, and snuggled in for sleep. I was shocked.
I told her, and she couldn’t believe it. Until I sent her photos and videos of it happening.
I never would have thought such a bond could continue across oceans. But that’s exactly what has happened.
This baby loves his Aunt Paula like a second Mommy. And it’s the sweetest thing ever.