Sweet Sleep

Yesterday Quinn fell asleep in my arms.  This doesn’t happen during the day very often anymore.  He’s 4 1/2 months old, and loves to be UP – standing with assistance, bouncing, sitting up, throwing himself backward. 

And when it’s time for sleep, he usually fights it HARD.

Very often I’ve had to pace the floor, vigorously bouncing him up and down, holding his baby blanket next to his cheek, waiting and waiting for his fussing to melt down to dreaming.

But last afternoon, after Riley went down for his nap, I swaddled Quinn in his blanket and sat to nurse him.  He has this unique way of eating: Gets off to a good start, stops abruptly to peer up into my face, grins when he sees me watching him, and suddenly goes back to eating.  Sometimes he’ll do this over and over again.

“Mommy!  Look, Mommy!  MAAAMA!  Look at ME!” has already begun.

Every human being wants undivided attention from time to time.

Riley nursed very differently.  Furiously.  If I may be a little frank and open, I have a forceful and overpowering milk letdown.  Sorry for the overabundance of information…  I thought I’d share that just in case a nursing Mama out there is going through the same thing but doesn’t realize it.

A feisty firecracker like Riley will want to eat SO BADLY that when he’s shot in the back of the mouth with the spray from a fire hose and doesn’t know what to do with the tsunami, he’ll flip out, screaming blue murder, shoving away from Mom, and acting like he’s being stung by 20 wasps.  Flailing, shrieking. 

Forget about the sweet Gerber pictures of mothers holding peacefully feeding infants.  More like a tomato-red woman trying very hard not to cry as much as her baby.

Having been through that as my first experience with nursing, I was delighted to find that Quinn settled in to things with more patience and determination.  He seemed to be able to handle the challenge well.  He meets it, however, with his own challenge: I will sleep when I want to, and not a moment sooner, thank you very much!

Yesterday…  He ate and finished, smiling sweetly up at me as if to say “thank you.”  I expected the usual OH-NO-IT’S-NAP-TIME-I’M-FREAKING-OUT; but it didn’t happen.  For old times’ sake, I slipped my finger into Quinn’s mouth for him to suck, tucked Blankie up around his face, and held him close.  He nuzzled up, and fell asleep.

If you’ve ever held a sleeping baby, you know that feeling.  Every chore in the house was tugging at my sleeve, but I wanted nothing more than to sit and bask.  All too soon I won’t be able to coax a snuggle, not even with treats.  Think Riley curls up to sleep on my lap? 

Think again.  (tickle-tickle-tickle-tickle-tickle)

Today I am thankful for the chances I have, especially with nursing, to hold my sleeping baby – to be his safe place, a pillow for his head.  I hope he always feels that way, even when he’s grown.


2 thoughts on “Sweet Sleep

  1. This post made me cry!
    They grow so quickly, thank you for the reminder to slow down and savor every moment as it comes, I too hope my children will always regard me as their safe place.

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