The past couple weeks have been a struggle with sleep deprivation and multiple night wakings with our little one.
The baby is cutting four teeth and is obviously feeling some discomfort — most noticeably at night (daytime activities must be exciting enough to distract her). Just last month we were almost sleeping through the night and mom and dad were finally starting to feel normal again. Now we (well, mostly I) am up every two hours to comfort her back to sleep.
Many times the only thing that will calm her is “mommy time” aka boobs. I know she can’t help it, but it’s still so tough dragging myself out of my warm bed for the third time each night. If I let her “cry it out” we risk waking up big sis…not worth it to have two kids up at 3am.
A former work colleague of mine told me about how he used to rock his daughter to sleep in the middle of the night after his wife finished nursing. He told me how exhausting it was, but that he really cherished that hour each night because he knew that all too soon it would be over.
That really stuck with me — and I find that in this situation now, I feel the same. As tired as I am, my heart melts every time I see her toothy grin peeking through the crib bars, so happy to see me.
When I first pick her up and catch a wisp of that sweet baby smell.
The way she feels heavier in my arms as her tummy gets full. Her eyes slowly close.
The way she rests her head on my shoulder while I burp her, utterly content.
In these little moments, when the house is dark and quiet, she needs mommy, only mommy. One day, all too soon, she won’t need mommy as much anymore. I’ll have my sleep back, but I know a part of me will mourn this time, this precious short time that only she and I share.
So, though it might not always be easy, I make every effort to embrace these night wakings.
The next time you’re awake in the wee hours of the morning with your little one, take a moment and just be. Look at them and appreciate this gift of time that you have. Alone, away from the distractions of the daytime world. It might just make the sleep deprivation a little bit more bearable.
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