Those first few weeks with a newborn are lovely aren’t they.
You have waited so long for this little person you gladly climb out of bed several times a night to soothe them, feed them and soak up their lovely newborn smell.
Once it has been going on for a few months though you are tired, everyone else has returned to ‘normal’. The excited visitors have all but dried up, no one offers to make you a meal and being brought a cup of tea in bed as you wake up is a distant memory.
That’s when waking up 3/4/5 times a night starts to really hit you. You’re as tired as ever but for some reason people believe you to be better equipped at dealing with it once the baby is doing more than just eating and sleeping and you have done your hair and make up once or twice.
I’ve been laboring under these expectations for over a year. Jasper has never slept a night through.
Until last night.
I knew something was different as I went to bed. He didn’t stir as I went into the room, I even adjusted his blankets but he was flat out. I don’t think he’s ever been flat out.
Jasper is a notoriously light sleeper. Despite what they will tell you about making sure not to be too quiet in the early days and your baby will learn to sleep through anything, this might be the noisiest household of all and Jasper has never got used to it.
Last night though he was really sleeping.
I got into bed and must have nodded off fairly quickly.
Then I was awake and it was getting light I saw. I heard Jasper chatting and reached for him.
He wasn’t there though, not like he usually is, tucked under my arm or peering into my sleeping face.
He was in his cot, he had been in his cot the whole night.
It was strange and I took a few moments to process he had been asleep all night. He hadn’t needed me once.
I am sure anyone with a baby that doesn’t sleep will read this and want to punch me in the face, I would! Because in those exhausting days all you want is a decent nights sleep.
I’ll tell you though, I’ve had one; and it wasn’t all that.
Today I feel sad. I am well aware this could be a complete fluke and that’s both reassuring and worrying.
I’ve longed to go to bed and stay there for hours lost in sleep, I’ve looked forward to Jasper spending a night in his cot, not having to worry about him falling out of my bed or Sam rolling over onto him.
Maybe its something to do with knowing he is my last baby, something to do with saying goodbye to those wonderful, maddening days I cling to coffee and fall asleep with my mouth open watching daytime TV.
I didn’t realize somewhere beyond the hours spent pacing the room, the mornings I’ve woken with a bad neck from sleeping sat up and the pitiful tears I’ve cried in the early hours, I was clinging to those times just me and my baby.
I was clinging to those times that meant he was still my baby.
Those times I could still be a new Mum, the centre of my babies world.
Because now he is more interested in climbing that laying in my arms, because now he is eager to meet new people rather than stare into my face, because he struggles out of my arms to take himself where he wants to go.
Because now he has been asleep all night and hasn’t needed me once.