I found the chair on sale at a furniture store on the Eastside. Strolling past birch bunk beds and white washed dressers, I pause to consider the price and design of each rocking chair. Tucked in a corner in the back of the large display room, I sink down in the buttery striped cushions, rocking gently in a natural way. A bonus! Pulling a concealed lever reclines the entire contraption; head back I can snooze, envision holding my first baby in my tired arms.
A carefully orchestrated nursery in my parents’ basement bedroom, painted a gender neutral green. Mid-winter in a chilly basement, as a new mom I dutifully get up every couple of hours to feed my newborn, wearily lower myself into the reclining chair, sturdy in the corner. Freezing, chest uncovered, I shiver uncontrollably in the black hours of the night, hormones swinging hot and cold. I lash out tearfully at my unsuspecting husband, begging for space heaters to warm my weary body.
The chair fits two: a toddler and a newborn baby boy, story time for extra cuddles. It sits comfortably in the newly remodeled bedroom corner, flanked by a large window and floor lamp. We know better now, use it mostly for reading and rocking, not for middle of the night feeds. It’s still the most comfortable place to nurse, cocooned by cushy armrests, a gentle flex of my toes provides the soothing back and forth. I look out the window at our backyard, a hill of our city beyond; I look down and find my two arms full.
It’s wedged at the edge of the baby’s crib, a twin Jenny Lind bed frame lodged against the opposite wall. The two girls share now, eventually the oldest will turn preteen and retreat to the basement bedroom but for now she savors sharing space with her little sister. My youngest baby is almost a baby no more, a few short months and a toddler she’ll be. I savor the early morning and bedtime nursing, rocking gently in the dark quiet room. Occasionally the door bursts open with exclamations from my three year old about treasure maps, from my six year old brandishing school artwork to admire. My baby and I pause for a second, then resume the rocking, suckling. She gazes up at me through long lashes, wrapped in a patterned throw my grandmother crocheted of flowers and hexagons decades ago.