I look to my left arm. Rainier is snuggled up in the crook of my elbow. His mouth is open (we call this his “turtle mouth”) and his binky has landed on his chest. Five minutes ago he woke to nurse and I pulled him into bed. I hope to have a few minutes of sleepy cuddles before he is climbing around the bed. Instead, I get my snuggles and then his eyes become soft and droopy and he falls back asleep.
I feel a jab in my right ribs. Ellie Jo is sacked out on Robin’s pillow. Her arms are sprawled over her head and her feet are seeking reassurance that I am still in bed. She joined us, hysterical, in the middle of the night. She couldn’t find her binky in her own bed and her room was so cold that she wet herself the minute she stepped on the cold floor. She will be waking up soon and her enthusiasm for the morning will propel us all up for the day.
I haven’t slept this well in over a month. Through a combination of growth spurt/mobility/roseola episode, Rainier just went through a stretch of waking every 45 min – 1 1/2 hours all night long. I survived on pep talks from Robin and weekly naps when my mom came over to watch my kids. I know, I *know* that sleep stuff comes and goes for these first 2 years of life. I tell myself not to get too attached with any sleep habits because they are almost guaranteed to change in two weeks. But this stretch was TOUGH.
Last night I got full 2-3 hours chunks of sleep. I wake feeling rested, a feeling that is the nectar of motherhood. I drink it in with a contented sigh.*
I am surrounded by peacefully sleeping children.
There is nothing to do but watch little eyelids twitch and listen to quiet breathing. I need nothing else in this moment. I am a mother and these are my babies.
*Robin says that in 5 years I will scoff that I ever felt “rested” after waking every 2 hours all night. I maintain that the feeling is real.