Monday, June 22, 2009

A Moment In Mama-Heaven

They say that parents learn to distinguish one sort of their baby's cry from another. A hungry cry will sound different than a tired cry, scared cry, or irritated cry. So it was disheartening when my babies were born and I remained clueless on the crying front. They all sounded the same to me. I'd shuffle through the list of possibilities in my head, inevitably deciding that hunger was the culprit in most cases, if only to stick a cork in the noisemaker. I finally decided that 'the experts' were full of boohockey on this count. Crying is crying, as far as I ever knew.

Only when the babies got older - like, 12 months older - was I able to notice true differences. I know a whine from a pain. I know a temper tantrum from a stranger danger. Even in the middle of the night, I can now tell if I actually need to haul myself out of the warm cocoon of my cozy bed to attend to a stray cry. Thank goodness.

Lauren cries out in the middle of the night on a fairly regular basis. For 10 or 15 seconds, she'll wail like her blankie's gone missing - which, for all I know could be the case - and I just leave her to it. If I go check on her, she's likely to come fully awake and then I'm left with a grumpy midnight baby. The worst sort. These short crying bursts barely even register on my radar anymore. My body knows I'm not getting up for anything short of a screaming howl, so my brain stays only slightly aware and steers me back to dreamland when no action is warranted.

But when action is warranted, the adrenaline kicks in, shooting me out of bed instantly to save my sweet baby from whatever is causing her harm.

Last night, action was warranted.

Lauren cried out, but it was a screaming, howling, fear-filled cry instead of her usual sleepy wail. I ran to her room and scooped her up; she wrapped her body around mine and held on for dear life. I couldn't have pried her away even if I'd wanted to, which I definitely did not. Once she was clinging so tightly to me, I was in mama-heaven. There's something about being so needed, providing such security for my babies, that takes me away to another place - one where I don't mind being awoken in the middle of the night. A place that smells of baby shampoo and lovey blankies. A place where no lights are needed and we exist only on dimply-handed touches and chubby-armed embraces.

She burrowed into me for several minutes while I calmed and soothed her into sleep. When her arms went limp again, I settled her back into bed, arranged her blankie just within her grasp, and backed away from my tiny angel. She calmly sighed as I made my way out her door.

My time was up in mama-heaven.

I went back to my own abandoned bed thinking that sometimes I need to disregard my cry-radar and go snuggle with Lauren even if she doesn't really need me to. Sometimes I need a little slice of heaven, right smack in the middle of my night.

As long as that little slice doesn't intrude too much into my beauty sleep. A few minutes every few weeks will be fine, thanks.

I wouldn't want to become spoiled.


  1. I love it! Well, I hate having to get up in the middle of the night, but I gobble up that neediness- that absolute protection and comfort they find in Mama/Daddy's arms. Mama-heaven indeed :)

  2. I love it! You always have such a good view on things, I was right there with you up until you really enjoyed your midnight wake-up call.....I should relish in those too, for it won't be long before she's grown and gone *sob sob* Thanks for reminding me to appreciate every bit of parenthood!!

  3. "Mama Heaven" - that's perfect, and I love it!

  4. Enjoyed reading your blog tonight.....I love finding new blogs...Had a little time to blog hop tonight while waiting to go to the hospital and welcome a new grandson tomorrow. This month I am posting about our Disney trip, plus a great giveaway.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?