As I climbed into bed the other night I realized we've slowly altered our nighttime routine. Rather than going to sleep in her own bed, Makenna has begun asking more frequently to start out sleeping in our bed in hopes of a little snuggle with me when I come to bed. She is typically going to sleep around 8:30 and I am ready for sleep by about 10:00. I love the chance to climb into bed and snuggle my daughter. Just looking at her while she sleeps sometimes takes my breath away... I'm in awe of her sweetness and her whole self. I don't mind one bit when she requests this arrangement.
After a few hours of snuggling, I typically have been hoisting myself out of bed. (Very luckily we have a headboard with rails that allows me to use it to roll over and move my ever-increasing belly out of bed.). I wander to the bathroom for the first of the night's trips and holler to Errol that he needs to come to bed. When I was able to stay up later we almost always went to bed at the same time. But now that I'm turning in so early I think he is enjoying some alone time at night. Errol moves Makenna to her own bed and tries to make a place for himself in the bed, taking care not to disturb my body pillow which lays in the center of the bed and any other assortment of pillows I may have in use. (He's a smart guy: after 3 pregnancies he knows better than to make any alterations in the sleeping environment.)
I'm enjoying this little routine but realized that very, very soon we are going to have an entirely different nighttime process. We are going to have a baby! I have been trying to imagine how this little person will alter our lives. I can barely remember back to Makenna's infanthood and the nights that occurred. I remember the first few weeks that breastfeeding was a challenge. I'd have to have the lights on and had to sit up in bed and really concentrate to get it right. Once we got to be a great breastfeeding team, Makenna would be brought to me all diapered and swaddled and she could nurse lying down. This was wonderful as I could doze while she fed. I wonder what this new baby will be like at nighttime. A good nurser? A frequent waker? A great sleeper? (Dare I dream?!) In not that many weeks we will have an abrupt shift in our nighttime routine.
One other thing has changed at night in our house. Now, on my nightstand rests a little coming-home outfit. After an extensive search for just the right thing, I finally stumbled upon the sweetest little outfit. For Makenna and Livia I had gowns from Carters and wanted to do the same for this baby. But I just didn't love the ones that were available. I've done a bit of buying on Ebay for the baby (not that I need anything, but who can resist?) and happened upon a great lot of clothes. In it was an adorable green and white striped outfit with a little grasshopper on the front. And…a matching hat! It is so adorable that I can't bear to put it in a drawer. I keep it right by my bed so I can fall asleep dreaming of a little baby actually wearing it and coming home to us.