Sunday, February 15, 2009

Twilight with Joel

Joel still doesn't sleep through the night. Once in awhile, he'll do it, just to mess with our minds. Generally, though, it's up around 3, then up again around 6 to start the day. Sometimes he'll throw a 10 PM feeding in the mix, too.

I grow weary of this, since I like to sleep, and I especially like my warm bed with the soft, heavy comforter. Getting out of bed to a crabby baby is a departure from dreamland, to say the least. Thankfully, Joel is an "all business" baby...he'll eat, go back to bed, sleep. There's no desire to play and no need to coo at Mommy at the wee hours of the morning. Thank God for that, because Nighttime Mommy is Nothing To Smile At.

Last night, as the room was dark, Joel's soft body was nestled against mine, and the sound of his gulps were all one could hear, I thought to myself, "Thank You, God, that I get to do this."

I've been thinking about Hopkins again because a friend of mine's daughter is at Children's, and they don't know what is wrong with her yet. Pray for Fiona, please.

When Joel was at Hopkins, breastfeeding was difficult, because he got most of his nourishment from bottles. At first, he was tiny and sick and nursing was a lot of work. As he grew stronger, he took to nursing like a champ. Now, he'll take a bottle, but it's not his first choice.

Nursing gives me the chance, three to four times a day (not to mention several times at night), to observe Joel. He's my love. As he eats, his hand touches my cheek, my lips, my hair. He's searching for comfort, for warmth, for me. He'll finish eating, and turn to me, his face a gorgeous smile. "Thanks, Mom," he says. "That's the best."

I'm sure I would have these same feelings if I was sharing a quiet moment with Joel and a bottle. But, every time I see my healthy son nurse, it's a reminder of how far he has come, and how I, his mother, can meet his needs. It's a wake-up call, as Fiona's mother and father wait, hope, and pray. The mere fact that I get to hold my baby is a gift. One that I take lightly all too often.

It's worth getting up for.

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