When G was a newborn, and I was nursing her around the clock, I remember thinking to myself that I would probably miss the middle of the night feedings one day. I distinctly recall closing my eyes during one 3 a.m. feeding and and praying a silent prayer, “Lord, help me remember”. I wanted to remember the stillness and pure quiet of that time. How it felt so sacred. So perfect.
My next prayer was probably, “but please God, let her sleep.”
In those wee hours, she just needed momma. No one else. Just me. It’s a heavy burden – being needed like that. It’s precious and dear but, oh, it is hard. Like most new mommas, I had moments where I felt like I may just break under the weight of it all. But now, as she gains more and more independence, I do find myself missing those early hours. Longing for them again, even.
Momma hindsight is a funny that way. You sometimes ache for the tough stuff again because the rawness of it all fades away and you just want one more tender moment of being needed by your baby.
One night last week, G woke up at midnight and just could not be soothed. On the rare occasion that she wakes up in the middle of the night, J usually goes in first to try to lull her back to sleep. That night she just wouldn’t calm down for him, so I went in as backup.
I got her out of her crib and she wrapped her little arms around my neck. I sat down in her rocker, turned ambient radio on pandora, pulled a blanket over us and settled in.
Precious girl. She breathed the biggest sigh – as if she was saying, “finally, you’re here” – and just relaxed into my chest, her head resting on my heart.
Just over a year ago, when I was still pregnant with her, my heartbeat was most of what she heard. And here we were again, that heartbeat soothing her back to sleep. The familiarity of Momma making whatever ailed her okay again.
And so I rocked. And she slept. And I rocked some more. I now try to be so conscious in these moments – because I know how fleeting they are. Will that be the last time she needs me to rock her to sleep? Probably not. But someday it will be the last time and I may not even notice. I want to notice. I want to soak in these moments…because they go exactly as fast as everyone tells you they will.
Lord, help me remember. And thank you for giving me another night of rocking my sweet girl to sleep.
(Thank you also to concealer for allowing me to look like a real person at work the next day after minimal sleep. And coffee. God bless coffee.)