On Sunday night, I was exhausted. I hadn't gotten a nap for two days, Christian and I had stayed up late both Saturday and Sunday nights {first for Stake Conference, and then to watch the Oscars, which are both very important and absolutely worth missing sleep}, and even though Sunday was my morning to sleep in, Christian had to wake me up to get ready for church.

So by the conclusion of our weekend, I was ready for rest. I was beyond reasonable emotion when, less than an hour after I had fallen asleep, Maggie woke up crying. It was my turn to take care of babies who make noise in the nighttime, so up I got up, left my bed and my sleeping husband, and closed the door behind myself to leave them in peace.

Our policy with crying babes {at least between the hours of 7:30 pm and 6:30 am} is to let them soothe themselves back to sleep. Usually it doesn't take long; there have been early mornings when Max made noise at 4:30, 5:45, and 6:30, and I got up every time, only to have him silent again within five minutes. We often doze on the couch while waiting them out and keeping a droopy eye on the clock.

However, I soon realized that Maggie wasn't going back to sleep quickly. Not only did she not stop crying and make her baby sleep song, but her cries weren't normal; they were the kind that pierced my heart and gave me physical pain. I sat at the top of the stairs and thought about all of the terrible possibilities; the things that my rational brain knew hadn't happened to her, and that my mother-brain imagined in vivid detail. I cried in frustration and exhaustion and confusion.

I went back to where Christian was sleeping and sobbed hysterically. I didn't understand, I didn't know what to do, I couldn't listen to her anymore, I couldn't do nothing, I was afraid of doing the wrong thing, I was worried about her. Christian, being the incredible husband and hero of mine that he is, took charge; he told me to sleep and not worry anymore. My love for him grew three sizes even before I was finished blowing my nose.

It turned out that I couldn't sleep, and I couldn't not worry, but Christian's quiet compassion helped to calm me. I got up again, my mind resolved. I went in to my dear Maggiebaby and held her tight. She put her arms around my neck and clasped fistfuls of my shirt tight in her tiny fists, making small sad baby sounds. We sat down in the glider and I held her against my chest and we rocked and rocked and rocked until she fell -- finally -- asleep.

As we rocked, I tried to remember the last time she had allowed herself to sleep on me. I wondered when she might again. And the word that kept coming to my mind was "goodbye." So before I put her back in bed, where she slept peacefully the rest of the night, I talked to her in my mind.

Goodbye to my little tiny baby, you will soon not be a baby anymore. You are growing up so fast. Goodbye to our time together when you needed me so desperately, and wanted me always more than anyone. Goodbye to the days when I gave everything I had to you and your brother and we just barely got by. Goodbye, my sweetheart newborn, my very first baby, the heart of my heart.

I will be your mama forever {thank you for making me a mama} but you will grow up healthy and happy and strong, and you will not stay my baby. I love you so very much, darling.

*beautiful mother & baby photo by DelaLane Photography


  1. So sad. Now I'm crying for my baby Maggie whose not a baby anymore either!

  2. What a sweet post. Hope she's feeling better.

  3. So sweet. I miss those days when she would sleep on me like that. Lovely post and image...so sweet.