I am awake at four in the morning again, except this time it isn't with a jolt -- what was that noise? did I hear a noise or was it a dream? -- it is to the sound of my baby, rustling in her bed, talking with her little voice. Aaaaoooowwww. Ahhhhehhhhoooooo.
I smile, picturing her mouth as it works out those vowels she "talks" with. I imagine her feet up, where they are almost always when she's on her back, in her hands. I doze in and out as the minutes tick by, hoping that she will just talk herself back to sleep, but unsurprised when her talking turns to fussing turns to crying.
We snuggle into bed while I nurse her. Once she seems fully asleep I return her to her rightful nighttime place, her bed, where she promptly begins to fuss herself awake. I scoop her up and settle in the rocking chair where she falls back to sleep immediately. But when I try to put her into her bed she again fusses, demanding more snuggles and rocking in the chair.
This pattern is repeated several more times.
When it is almost two hours after her sweet noises first woke me, I sigh, but not in frustration just from fatigue, and decide that it is time to change my approach. I tuck her into my arm, cuddle into bed, and let her nurse again. She falls asleep between her daddy and me. A perfect baby sandwich.
Shortly after we are all asleep, it is time for her daddy to get up, so I gingerly transfer her into the warmth of his spot. She and I sleep together the rest of the morning.