Tuesday, August 5, 2014

In The Night

I lay in the darkness, lost in the velvety blackness of sleep when I hear it.  A soft, kitten like mewl coming from the baby's room.  My eyes are heavy with sleep, but I start to pull towards the surface of consciousness.

Please let her just go back to sleep.  I think to myself.  Why is she still waking up in the night?  She's over a year old, she should be sleeping through the night by now, her sister was.  All the books say she should.  Every article, every blog, every message board, says she should be sleeping through the night right now, that she's waking out of habit, not out of need.  I should let her cry.  That's it I'll just let her cry and she'll learn to go back to sleep.

The soft little cries begin to louden as they grow in urgency.  I hear her getting worked up and I can just imagine the tears beginning to pool in her big brown eyes.  "Mommy," I hear her say and the word pierces the space between us.

I sigh as I shake the last bit of sleep from my body and stand up.  A quick peek at the clock reveals that it is only midnight.  I've only been sleeping an hour.

If I'd known she would have woken up so early I would have just stayed awake.  Or maybe I should have just stayed awake.  Sleeping for an hour then getting up is brutal.  Maybe I'm doing this whole motherhood thing wrong.  Everyone else's kids are champion sleepers.  Or so facebook says.  

I pad into her room and scoop up her sleepy little body and carry her to the glider in the corner.  I lift my shirt and she latches on as I rock her in the moon light.

In the night, in the darkness, she doesn't seem like the big girl I think she is.  She seems very small and very tiny.  I stroke her little back and my hand rests on her small hips.  I can feel her chubby baby fingers stroking my hair.  She might be over one year old, but she's still little, still a baby...my last baby.

I can feel her begin to drift back to sleep.  And I can hear the thoughts creep back in.

You shouldn't have nursed her to sleep.  You should have just rubbed her back like you did the other day.  You're making bad habits.  She'll never sleep through the night if you keep enabling her.  

I gently place her back in her crib and experience a moment of sheer panic as she stirs, but she puts her little head, haloed in shiny brown curls, back down on the crib sheet and goes to sleep.

I tip toe back to bed, and let sleep take me and hold me while it can.


Kristin Faulkenberry said...

I think you are doing whats right for your child. She's only a little over one, who cares.. just do what you want. She's only little once, and think of all the great nutrients you are giving her with your breastmilk-she will be healthier and so will you!

EstheticGoddess said...

Awwww, you poor sleep deprived thing. I remember how hard it was to function normally when the boys were little and one would be waking up during the night. I know I have said this before but I promise you it will pass. It doesn't matter what the books say. All that matters is you are doing what's best for your little girl. They grow in the a blink of the eye. My oldest son turned 26 today. Seems like only yesterday....

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