Before I even had my first child, a friend shared words of wisdom that would change the way I looked at sleep deprivation as a parent. I had asked her about the challenge of being up with her son overnight, night after night for diaper changes and feedings. She smiled and simply said that she enjoyed the time because it was a quiet time where she had him all to herself.
I remembered those words during my early days as a new mom. In general, my son did pretty well in the sleep department and, to this day, is a great sleeper.
His sister? Well, not so much. She sleeps, yes. But at 18 months, is still up (and me with her) at least once, sometimes twice, a night.
I would be lying if I said that there have been a few times where I’ve hoped for a full night’s rest. It did happen. From months 2 - 4 she surprised me by sleeping 11 to 12 hours straight. A part of me was sad thinking I had lost those overnight snuggles. I even wrote a post about how sometimes, after she drifted to sleep in my arms, I would hesitate putting her in the crib and instead continue to hold her and rock. Just to hold her. Knowing that it would be hours before I would do so again and in those hours, she would grow just a tiny bit more. Always bigger the next time I saw her.
I’m not sure what changed. Month 4 regression? Something else? She started waking again and a small part of me rejoiced for that opportunity for those quiet, middle of the night snuggles again. After all she is my last baby. I know the day will come when I will get this opportunity for the last time. I won’t know it then. It will just happen. As suddenly as she started sleeping through the night as an infant (and then abruptly quit!), she’s sure to surprise me once again when I wake one morning to realize she didn’t cry out for me. That that phase has passed.
For now, I’ll stumble to her when called. She’s a toddler, yes, but still my baby. As is her brother who I also go to if he wakes and calls for me during the night. In between were two angels I’ll never hold. Never snuggle. Never hear their cries. Never kiss away their tears. So, if I’m spoiling my daughter, my baby, by responding and going to her? So be it. I’m tired at times, yes. But grateful, so very grateful I have the opportunity; have 2 beautiful children that can call to me; and that I can respond. I’ll hold them tight and embrace the moment.
They grow up so fast and someday I’ll wish I could go back & rock my babies one more time.