Sharing Sleep

Silas Karl  *  One Day Old  *  In Our Family Bed
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I awake in a hazy fog to a squirming infant next to me. He slowly turns his head from side to side. Rests. Again from side to side. His little paws open and close. Open and close. The ground he covers is almost imperceptible and I realize he is inching towards me only when his body makes contact with mine. Side to side again with is head. One more small burst of movement and the warmth of the wispy hair on the back of his head is in contact with my lips. I breathe warm air onto his scalp and he exhales a deep sigh and is still. Asleep.

I will remember this moment when I am sixty.

Silas has slept in bed with his mama and papa for every one of his 121 nights in this world. We laid him to sleep between us on that first night because, frankly, it was the only thing that made sense. Even the cradle next to the bed was too far away for this tiny little being who only hours before had been inside of me. At four months old all three of us sleep better and longer when we are close together. He can, and does, reach out to reassure himself that I'm still there; ready and willing to care for him regardless of the inconsequential number on the clock. I can, and do, reach out to reassure myself that he's still okay. That he's warm and breathing and at peace.

How and what it means to share sleep is as varied as the number of people who do it, of course. For me, it's a sacred little minute in the yawning hours of life in which I can wake up with my baby nestled in the crook of my arm and feel pure and profound bliss.

6 comments:

  1. so beautiful- I never slept with my monkeys- I could never sleep as well- I've heard of people saying that nursing was easier but I always enjoyed the waking up, sitting in my glider and breathing in the moment.

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  2. He is so precious! We fell asleep with our little ones and then would wake up and place them in their crib.

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  3. So sweet! Our son was with us until he was nearly 4. Of course, most of those years...even from the moment he was born into that very bed...there was little sleep and almost never peace. But, he moved to his own bed when he was ready and I'd wait for him to do so again. :-)

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  4. What a sweet post. It just gave me shivers!

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  5. I do miss having a little wee one to sleep with!

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  6. This is so sweet. I remember thinking the same thing...one day I will miss this moment so intensely, I must remember and appreciate now. We coslept with all 3 for a several years, and they all remember that time as really special. The still talk about it wistfully. I usually still wake up with 1 or 2 in my bed, and sometimes 3!

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