Sleeping—both at night and naps—has been a tough issue in our household lately. Edie goes on a napping strike periodically and we’ve been flirting with the practice of sleep training when we’re not desperate enough to do whatever. it. takes. to get her down.
The other day, I finally got Edie to fall asleep with white noise (both a fan and audio of a burbling brook), nursing, rocking, singing and bouncing. It’s exhausting for me so it’s no wonder it usually helps her drift off, too.
I had a million things to do during her nap, from trying to set up our internet to unpacking boxes. Based on her track record of the last week, I knew I had between 10 and 45 minutes to get anything done.
Instead, I sat down in the rocking chair and held her.
Last week, a pregnant friend lost her baby. My heart is breaking for her loss but I know nothing of the deep pain she and her husband must be feeling. The news reminded me once again of how very fortunate my small family is and prompted me to hold Edith just a little while longer.
When Eric and I decided we wanted to have a baby, I was blithely unaware of how common complications are. I figured that I’d track my ovulation for a while, have a lot of sex and then get pregnant. As it turned out, that’s exactly what happened. But many of my friends are trying for families right now, too, and it seems that the ease of our experience is far from the norm.
I hesitate to write this because the last thing I want is to brag about our good luck. I sincerely hope that’s not what anyone reads in this.
Nor is it a morbid entreaty to hug your children because you never know when you might lose them. I believe most mothers and fathers do a terrific job of loving on their kids, and reminding them to do so is condescending.
I’m asking myself why, then, I’m typing. And I don’t precisely know.
The last few days anything makes me weepy. I cry when reading books to Edie at night (I’m looking at you, On the Night You Were Born and The Legend of Sleeping Bear). I shushed Eric because he tried to talk to me during a Google commercial. I bawled when reading this blog about a mother whose baby was diagnosed with lung issues in utero. (Seriously, why do I do this to myself?)
Perhaps chronic sleep deprivation and haywire hormones account for my heart being so near the surface these days. But it could be something more, too, something that my friend’s loss sparked. That something makes me want to nuzzle Edith’s sweet neck. It makes me linger in the nursery and watch her sleep. It makes me rest my hand on her chest to feel her heartbeat. It makes my throat cinch up when I feel the soft skin of her palms.
For now, then, I’ll let that something remain undefined. Call it the ongoing and unsolvable mystery of motherhood. I’ve never felt so fortunate to not be in the know.