It was about 5 o'clock this morning when I heard Zoe crying. I was dead asleep and the idea of getting out of my cozy bed was not appealing, not in the least. I was warm. The blankets were molded just right. Everything was optimal.

I lay there for a minute or two thinking about how hard it is to get Zoe to sleep reasonably in the morning, and how if I get up to get her she will likely wake up at 4am the next day.

I thought about letting her just cry it out. Getting her to figure it out on her own...and then she started melting my heart with "Mamamama". I got up. I went to her room and saw, in the dim light, her little face light up and heard her now pathetic "mamamama".

I scooped her up, took her into my room, and nursed her.

The truth is, I love nursing Zoe in the pre-dawn hours. I'm sleepy and groggy, but she nurses like a newborn in those dark, quiet moments. There, with nothing but the sound of her breathing heavy and gulping milk, it's just us. Alone. I can feel her sleepy warm body nestled in the crook of my arm. I can study her little eyelashes, or I can close my eyes and snuggle with her while I meet her most basic need.

I am a sleep training failure with Zoe. I get teased that it is because I've gone soft...and I think that is true. There are so many things I will struggle through with her. So many hurdles that will require me to stand stronger and firmer, but is this that thing? Will this change her into a selfish, unreasonable, unloving child? Will this be an obstacle in her faith development? Will this *really* matter?

I just don't see the value in stressing out so much about it any more. As long as she is getting pretty reasonable sleep, why should I skip these moments...precious moments that will soon pass and I will never get to relive? Why deny that I love the sacrifice? That I cherish these moments far more than even she does?

Zoe is the baby. She is the last baby. She is the baby who God gave us to reveal something special. She is a baby of hope, and promise.

She changed everything I ever thought I believed about being a mother and parenting a child, save one. If I keep loving God and sharing Him with my kids, then I am doing the most important thing.

Sleep will come. Time will pass too quickly.

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