Please note: I wrote this about ten months ago now. It’s been sitting in my ‘Drafts’ folder ever since. I’ve done a few touch ups tonight, but it is basically as it sat languishing for these past months. As part of my initiative to stop procrastinating, I made a vow to deal with my draft posts, so, here I am, dealing with one.
I had my first baby the month after I turned 21. I was in my thirties when I had my next ones. And each was easier than the last in terms of sleeping (or not sleeping), nursing, crying, and my general mental health and exhaustion. But it’s been over five years now since I’ve had a newborn baby or infant to care for and I have become accustomed to (mostly) sleeping through the night once again.
But it’s 3:45 am right now and I am up and awake. No, I’m not drunk, thankyouverymuch. One of my sonshines had a low-grade fever all day and it spiked throughout the night. He cried out and because I was up, I heard his faint cry and was able to tend to him quickly and without stumbling around. Had I been fast asleep, he would have come to find me and I still would have taken care of him, but you just know that I would have stubbed my baby toe on the bed post and walked straight into a door (likely leaving some type of bruising on my person.
And while I may be dog tired tomorrow, this is just one night out not enough nights that I will get to cuddle and soothe this sonshine and so it is worth every second of lost sleep. And that’s how I feel about what amounts to years of lost sleep over past twenty years tending to my babies. I wouldn’t trade a single moment of those middle-of-the-night feedings and cuddles and cries. To have missed out on even one night of having my baby sleep on my chest or snuggle into me when feeling sad and feverish would be just about the biggest regret that I could have.
People often get to a point where they feel they are too old to have another baby – they don’t want to start from square one again, don’t want to deal with diapers, nursing, strollers and sleepless nights. And I admit, there are days when I feel that way too, days when I feel too tired or old to handle even the idea of another baby, but then I have a night like tonight and I realize that there’s a whole lot of ‘mothering’ left in this mama and that I would welcome another round of sleepless nights in exchange for the wonderment and absolute joy of holding another one of my magical little being in my arms, for just one more go-around. Call me crazy, but I really would do it all again.
My last baby, just hours after she was born and she and I were alone in our hospital room. Armed only with my iPod Nano, this is me adoring her and her sleepily ignoring me. Also, this is me still not believing that we had a daughter. With four sonshines at home, we were all but positive that we would be adding a fifth son to our family. We couldn’t have been wronger or happier to be wrong.