For 19 months my son woke up every 2 hours every single night. My daughter will be 1 soon and wakes at least 5 times a night. On a good day I function on about 6 hours of broken sleep, but, usually, I get about 4 hours.
But I don’t complain. It’s hard and I do wish I could get more sleep. But I don’t complain and I don’t spend night after night trying to train my baby to sleep.
Instead I remember I am lucky. Lucky to wake up to a breathing child. Lucky to wake up to any child at all.
Both of my kids are late preterm babies, born before 37 weeks, so they both were more likely to die of SIDS. When my son was born, that freaked me out. Him waking every 2 hours meant he was still alive. When he did sleep through the night, I freaked out.
I don’t mind waking so often at night because it means my daughter is still alive, still happy and healthy. I get to nurse her and snuggle her. I get to hold her and feel her warm little body against my heart.
I am lucky to be woken all night by a small child because not every mom gets to hold and snuggle her baby.
I am lucky because not every mom, whether by choice or circumstances, gets to bring her baby home.
I am lucky because not every mom gets to be woken at night by a baby’s cries.
I am lucky because not every mom gets to listen to her baby sleep and snore.
I am lucky because not every mom gets to listen to her baby breathe.
I am lucky because not every mom gets to feel her baby’s heart beat.
I am lucky because not every mom gets to hold her baby outside of the hospital.
I am lucky because not every mom has a baby who needs them at night.
I get to hold and nurse a living, breathing child with the world at their fingertips every single night. I get nightly assurances that my baby is still there, still alive.
Some may consider many nightly wakings an inconvenience or just plain hard. Working moms, I get it. But I am home with my children every day. Their wellbeing is my job.
I enjoy waking at night because it means my baby is there, my baby is alive, and I have a little soul to nurture.
Sure, I’d love more sleep. But, then again, I am one of the lucky moms.
I am lucky because I get to hold my baby in my arms and not just in my heart.
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