It’s 2 a.m., and I’m tired. He’s been fed, burped, and changed, and is now peacefully asleep on my shoulder. I lay him in his bassinet in hopes of getting at least an hour of sleep before his next feeding.

I get into bed and pull the blanket over me and hear the sound no parent wants to hear at 2 a.m. The sound that can wake any parent out of their slumber.

I wonder how someone so small can have such a big cry.

I get out of bed, pick him up, and lay him on my shoulder yet again. Silence. He is once again fast asleep in my arms, and I make another attempt at getting some shut-eye. I carefully place him in his bassinet and attempt to tiptoe away. Before I can even hop into bed, I hear him fussing.

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At this point, I very well know I’m not getting much sleep tonight. I wrap him in my arms, and repeat the above steps a couple more times throughout the night, now frustrated. Frustrated because he won’t sleep in his own bed. Frustrated because I wonder how we will ever break this habit.

Frustrated because it’s 2 a.m., and I’m tired.

The house is silent and I lie in bed with my whole world wrapped in my arms. The only sound I hear is the sound of his breathing. The only scent I smell is the scent of his newborn skin. The only thing I feel is his little head resting on my chest.

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I look down at him and my frustration turns to sadness. Sadness because one day, he won’t cry out for me in the middle of the night. One day, he won’t need me to console him in my arms until he is fast asleep. One day, he won’t need his mommy to make all of his troubles go away.

And one day comes too soon.

As a new mom, I’m told every day to cherish every moment because time goes by too fast. It wasn’t until I became a mother I understood this saying. It seems like just yesterday I brought my newborn home from the hospital, and today he is seven weeks old. Seven weeks have come and gone.

Seven weeks of the middle of the night feedings. Seven weeks of dirty diaper changes. Seven weeks of newborn cries. Seven weeksand all I have left are the memories and the hundreds of pictures that remain on my phone.

So as I lie here, with tear-filled eyes and a happy heart, I will choose to cherish this moment.

I will cherish the 2 a.m. feedings, no matter how tired I am. I will cherish each and every little cry, no matter how frustrated I am. I will cherish each and every day, for tomorrow, my 7-week-old will be heading off to college.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in these seven short weeks of becoming a mother, it is to cherish each and every moment I am given. For each moment, no matter how tiring or frustrating it may be, is precious.

And it is gone in the blink of an eye.

It’s 2 a.m., and I’m tired. But I am also a mommy, and that is the greatest gift I could ever be given.

Previously published on Odyssey

Rachel Zeko

Rachel is a special needs therapist turned stay-at-home-mom to two little ones. She enjoys being outdoors, chasing around her toddler, and writing about the joys of motherhood.