October 7, 2015

Finding Joy in the Sleepless Nights

It's 1:57 in the morning. Baby boy's cries wander down the hall. I force my tired eyes open and make my way to his room. His squirmy body is always so warm when I scoop him out of his crib. I press him to me, but he won't let me cuddle him just yet. He demands food so I grant him his wish as we settle into the rocking chair. He guzzles down his milk contently while I try to keep myself from nodding off. Sometimes these night feeds are hard. I yearn for more than a 5 hour stretch. What energy I would have if only I could get to that seemingly distant 6 hour stretch. He is blissfully unaware of my struggle as he drowsily eats, cooing in satisfaction.

Eventually, he slowly drops off to sleep, belly full and milk dripping down his chin. Instead of immediately laying him back in his crib, I can't help but hold him a little longer. I stay and stare at his face despite my heavy lids and common sense telling me to get some sleep while I can. I savor the weight of his body on mine and breathe in his sweet milky skin. His little hand clasps my finger and he dreams without worry. I watch as his chest rises and falls with each little breath and soon I hear his baby snores. As much as I ache for a full night of uninterrupted sleep, I realize that I love these quiet, still moments with my little boy. It's just the two of us, rocking without a care during the calm night.

My mind wanders and I'm quickly reminded how fast these first six months have gone by.These moments are fleeting, and I mentally log this night time feeding away into my memories. These sleepless nights may be hard, but oh how they fill my heart until it's bursting at the seams with love. Someday I won't have these moments. Someday he won't rely on me for everything anymore. Someday he will think he's too big to hold mama's hand or to sit on my lap. Someday my boy will rather run and jump and explore instead of snuggling into mom's arms. Those days will have their own moments, but as for now, I am content with my sleepless nights and late night feeds.

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