We lie together, your tiny hand clinging to me. Although you are doing your best to fight it you want to fall asleep. You nuzzle against me, searching for one last drink before you drift sweetly back to sleep. Even though I’m exhausted, it’s still enough to make my heart melt. These are the moments I never want to forget. The moments when it is just you and me and all is well with the world. I think back to your early days, we would sit together for hours during the cold winter nights. I would watch you fall asleep in my arms, satisfied and content. I would marvel at your perfect features and trace my finger your body in an attempt to commit it all to memory.
For the first month of your life we were separated and I wasn’t able to cuddle and comfort you through the night. Instead I lay awake, wondering how you were, and praying you were having a peaceful, uneventful night. When I was still in hospital with you, I would sneak down to your bedside during the night. While we were never truly alone together, this was the closest we came. I would sit and watch you sleep. Your favourite position was always on your tummy, with your arms and legs curled up against your body. I would watch the constant dance of your monitors, flickering with each breath and beat of your heart.
I hated leaving you by yourself, I would try to be there with you as much as I could. At night I would curl up in a chair at home, looking at the many photos and videos I had taken of you that day and wonder how you were going. When I went to bed, I would hold on to the blanket I’d wrapped you in that day, and breathe in your scent. Still in the darkness of night, I would begin my journey to be with you. The familiar landmarks would fly by, and the sense of urgency to be with you would grow. It would become unbearable, and only stop once I was in your room and you were in front of me.
Now as you pull away from my chest, giving a contented sigh and wriggle your body around so your back is against my chest, I can sense your eyes are already closed, ready to go back to sleep. I place my arm protectively around your body, and your small finger search for mine. I feel the rise and fall of your chest, and hear the gentle sound of your breathing . I know these moments are will come to an end. All too soon you won’t need me through the night anymore, and already I am starting to mourn the loss of our special time together. In the meantime, I am cherishing every precious moment we spend together, cuddling in the darkness, just you and I.