I hear you moving. The quietest sound coming from your bassinet wakes me up. I love having you next to me. A quick peak tells me you're fine, just stirring. Your tiny feet have broken free of your swaddle. I fall back asleep. Next it's a quiet talk, low and guttural. I check the clock, 1:45 AM. Too early. I pop your binky in and close my eyes. Three more times I put your binky back in and attempt sleep.
Now, the chomping. You sound like a dinosaur going at your hand, quite literally saying 'nom, nom, nom' while you chew, suck, slobber. I check the clock. 2:15. I slowly pull myself to a sitting position, reach over the walls of your bassinet where, when we make eye contact, I'm greeted with a sleepy grin. I pull you to me, breathe in the smell of your head, your check, the crook of your neck. This makes it all worth it. The smell and the warmth and the weight of you makes any hour a decent one.
You nurse as we both drift off. I somehow manage to burp you, change sides, burp again and re-swaddle. I kiss your head for the one millionth time, and lay you back in your bassinet. You don't make so much as a peep.
In three hours we'll do it all over again.
Some nights, as I lay there, exhausted and falling asleep, I wonder how I'll do it. I'm so tired that I'm afraid I wont be able or even want to wake up to feed you. But it never happens. Even though its hard to sit up to feed, even though I barely sty awake while you eat, it never frustrates me. I'm never angry and I don't even wish you were still asleep.
Because I know.
I know it wont be much longer that you'll be sleeping beside me. It wont be much longer that we'll get to cuddle, in the darkness of the dead of night. I know it wont be much longer until you don't fit so perfectly against my naked chest, 'til you're sleeping through the night, no longer breastfeeding.
The second time you wake to eat, I don't put you back in your bassinet. Instead, I hold you nestled in my arm, pressed against my chest while we both sleep for a couple more hours. This started out of necessity for sleep on my part, since you would rarely go back to sleep a second time unless you were held, cuddled up against me. Now I'm not sure if it's more for me or for you.
Our nights aren't full of the best sleep. They're short and choppy, sometimes downright restless. But they're our nights and I wouldn't change them for a thing.