With Sienna and Jonah of course I remember how much I loved the yummy smell of a new baby, touching their soft skin and just watching every part of their tiny little body as they napped on and on all day in my arms, but to be honest, beyond that having newborns was and is kinda exhausting and frankly mostly scary.
They're so fragile. These tiny dependable precious lives miraculously surviving on our (mostly) instinct based care for them. I can't count the bizillion times I used to wake up in the middle of the night with our first two babies, bolt out of bed and stick my finger across their nostrils to feel for air to make sure they were breathing.
Or how about the hundreds of times I laid in bed between feedings wide awake frantically praying that the baby didn't die in the middle of the night, while he or she was overly safely sleeping in their object free cribs with the breathable bumper and SID reducing mobiles. Just me? Eh, well, I'm (was) crazy like that.
But by the time Sebastian rolled around there was some of that, but mostly my fear came from his ability to escape certain death from sibling love.
But now, with Samuel something has changed.
Self preservation? Circumstantial exceptions for survival? Practicality? Reality? Grace from God?
Probably a combination of all, but whatever the reason I've become ok with just relying on those instincts. I was given a gift of this precious life. It's on loan to us, but we're not alone taking care of him and when I suddenly feel at peace with a previously deep rooted fear, I have to think it's an act from above.
To start with, this time I decided I wasn't going to worry about starting patterns to make sleep training easier when we hit 12 weeks. I told myself my focus was going to be and just had to be "one day at a time." That meant I didn't put him down whenever he feel asleep on me. In fact, now I'm not worried about him getting too used to sleeping with me at all.
The secret is that I'm the one who sleeps better with him too.
So on day 3 of his fragile little life I broke one of my biggest rules, over came one of my biggest fears...
I co-slept all night long with my newborn.
I woke up and still do no less than 10 times in between feedings to to do a nostril check. Maybe a few dozen times to pull on his arm to see if he'd respond with a lifely resistance. And while I'm confessing my obsessiveness I should throw in there that I also surrounded him with a barrier of pillows from us to make sure we didn't roll over on him in the middle of the night.
When he woke up to nurse he didn't start wailing or crying. He simple squeaked a little, I rolled over and nursed until we both dozed off peacefully embracing skin to skin.
A few nights later I took away the pillows and slept with him snuggled in the middle of our bed all night long and I'll tell you even with waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse and a few times in between to make sure he's still breathing it was the best sleep I've had in 9 months. The snorts and squeaks that kept me awake from having my other babies in the same room as me didn't happen. Turns out when they sleep near you they don't do that. Who knew? All you co-sleepers out there? Of course you did.
I won't do this forever. I will sleep train eventually. But for now, I'm going to enjoy all the secrets he shares with me while we dream side by side.
And because even I'll draw the line with not taking pictures in the middle of the night, here's a few secrets he told me during our naps today.
It started with a little pillow talk giggle in my ear.
That faded into a soft, loving smile that I'll keep with me all day long.
"Sleeping like a baby"
There's nothing else like it!