...is a rather heartbraking experience for me.
I remember the sleepless nights rocking her, nursing her, barely able to keep my eyes open, and trying to put her into her bed without waking her up (which never happened, it would take 10 tries some nights). I remember giving in to my desire to bring her to bed with me for the entire night. She would snuggle up in the crook of my arm. And there we'd be. Finally sleeping at night. Together.
She took all of her naps on me during the day. Sometimes four a day. Sometimes we napped together.
I remember the voices of my critics in the back of my head telling me she would never be able to sleep without me next to her, or fall asleep on her own, or sleep in her own bed. And I remember worrying that that would be the case.
There were times when I prayed that she would sleep on her own for even ONE nap. And now here we are. She's asleep. I'm here. She didn't need me to help her. She didn't want me to help her. My eyes welled up as I put her down for bed, giving her a million kisses. Not wanting her weight to leave my arms.
I went at her pace. Thinking this wouldn't happen for a little while longer.
She is comfortable with sleep now. Confident without me by her side every moment. But her solid, peaceful presence in my arms is replaced, tonight, with a heaviness in my heart. My baby is becoming a big girl.