Last night, when Charlotte was wailing the cry of the damned sideways in her crib because she wasn’t ready to go to sleep, I picked her up and rocked her like I always do.  She didn’t want to be fed or changed or anything big, she just wanted to be held until she fell asleep.  Every baby book says not to do this, which is why I stopped reading the baby books.  My almost 17 pound baby girl curled into my chest, held onto my shirt and looked up at me until she fell asleep.  I rocked her past the point of deep sleep, because I realized that one day, sooner than I’d like, she won’t fit in my arms like this anymore.  She won’t need to be rocked to sleep and I will wish upon a thousand stars that I could have this time back.  I kissed her cheeks and stroked her hair and told her how much I love her and how she has made me a better me.  I put her in her crib and went to bed myself,  She slept for 7 hours and woke up at 3 AM, hungry as a hippo.  I didn’t mind getting out of bed this time.  I had already slept for 6 hours and I wanted to see her.  I don’t miss the 5 wake-ups a night but I’m not quite ready to let go of one of our nightly feedings.  I picked her up and let her nurse and I felt her and myself relax and I stayed that way with her for half an hour.  I have learned that 3 AM can be the loneliest hour with a baby, but it can also be the most special time.  It’s lonely when you’ve been awake 3 times already, but when it’s your first wake up and your baby calls out and you know that all she wants is you, it’s beautiful.  Everything is dark and quiet, there are no distractions.  No phones, no TV, no cars, not even a light.  These are the times that I will look back on and miss with all of my heart.  She is only six months, but she is growing so fast.  I want her to grow and thrive, and I look forward to all of the milestones ahead.  But I hold onto these moments tightly.  I want to remember it all.  I want to remember what her body feels like curled into mine and the look on her face when she falls asleep on me.  I want to remember how I feel in these moments, so that when the day comes that she no longer fits in my arms, I’ll have these times that fit into my heart.

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