Waking up these days usually means there are at least three heartbeats in the bed with me. One belongs to me. None belong to my husband. This is mainly because dear Paul has learned that sleeping in our once calm and peaceful martial bed is no longer that.
It typically starts around 12am.
This is when our youngest, currently 7 months old, is starting to stir. He is looking for something to keep him calm. To soothe him. To remind him that he is not alone. He finds what he needs. (Its me). This comes with a little help from me, the person who went to sleep about 30 minutes prior because of laundry or work or chores or simply decompressing. Whatever the reason for my late departure to REM world, it doesn't matter. My child needs me and, well, I need him.
It doesn’t feel long before 3am rolls around and there’s a creaking of a door as our two year old opens his door and speeds into our room like he is being followed by the darkness. With a flash, his larger than life self is snuggled up, practically attached to me. He quickly falls back to sleep. I listen to his breathing pattern and I am soothed back to sleep myself.
...only to wake up abruptly as my 2 year old has begun his star-fishing the bed routine 45 minutes later. (I think I have gotten about 4 bloody noses to date from this child in the middle of the night. He is a bruiser)!
But then, just as I start to lose my cool, my perfect two year old, who has been moving non stop since first foot to my face around 4am, grabs my hand and holds it tight.
For a moment, he is still.
I open my eyes to see that his eyes are shut tight, but he remains holding my hand.
I drift off, again. My last look at the clock showed 4:15am.
Then, it's 5am. My 7 month old needs me again and I wake up to nurse him and notice that my five year old has made his way in without a sound somewhere between 4:15-5am. I hear my husband stirring in the guest room down the hall. His alarm is about to go off since he has an hour commute to work daily. I say a silent prayer that I will get a few moments before the seven year old, the only child we have who has consistently slept by himself, through the night without waking up, energetically arises to greet the day in a way only a child can.
As I turn to try and catch the last bit of shut eye I'll get today, my two year old whispers "Mama." I look at him and he glances back at me and touches my face. I take his hand. He holds it tight.
We stay there. Holding hands. We both "shhhhh" his younger brother who is starting to stir.
For a moment, it is quiet. Still. Peaceful.
The morning dawn peaks through the window, and the new day begins.
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Do you have a similar story? Share you beautiful nights and early mornings with your young children in the comments!
After 4 kids, Cat is excited to share that motherhood is totally crazy, chaotic beautiful exhausting, and perfect. Cat is a cosleeping when necessary, certified doula, certified childbirth educator, and Evidence Based Birth® Instructor. She teaches not only birth classes but also parenting and postpartum classes in the south jersey, collingswood, area. - doula near me, birth class near me, motherhood, sleep -
Cat is the founder of Birth Freely Birth Services. Her passion is empowering women through education and providing them with continuous labor support so they can have the birth they desire!