There is something weird about sleeping all night long for so many nights consecutively. I wake in the morning a bit disoriented. It's light out? Have I overslept? Where are the the children? How did this happen? Then I see the children curled around each other like dogs and Nik suddenly appears with a cup of coffee in hand (How does he know just the moment when I'm waking).
"How did you sleep?"
We both look at each other in slight astonishment and lay back on the pillow together to drink our coffee in silence, hardly believing our luck.
In my mind I silently contrast this to a few years ago when I was regularly jolted awake in the morning by Oliver's piercing screams. Even if I happened to wake before him I was always braced for the screaming. I don't know how to describe what that is like: always waiting for the stressful moment to come. I asked Nik about it once recently. I described that period to him as the most stressful time of my life because the screaming episodes were frequent throughout the day and night. I think I suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome because of it and he barely remembered it. Why is that, I wondered? My only theory is that mothers are supposed to be programmed to understand their children's cry. We are supposed to know a hurt cry from tired cry from a hungry cry. But with Oliver all of his cries sounded like an emergency to me. I remember other parents at that time who spoke of not rushing to pick up their child at every cry but I was never able to do that. I wondered why I had such a hard time adjusting. And then Sam came along and things were different. Every cry wasn't an emergency. I could soothe him from across the room with just the sound of my voice. I could hand him off to Nik or RT and they could soothe him. Right from the very start it was different.
I must admit that part of me is wondering how long this spate of good luck will last. It seems pretty inconceivable to me that we can go to bed every night expecting to sleep until morning. But I'll certainly take it while I can.