Change and transition can be scary at times—I am not immune to that daunting feeling. I usually feel everything deeply, from times of grief to celebration.

Last night, we moved my daughter into her big-girl room. We thought five months of co-sleeping with her in a bassinet beside us was plenty of time to transition her from the womb to the world. Of course, there is no right or wrong answer here, but we thought it felt right for us. So we made the move.

My mama heart was sad as I lay down at the end of the evening and she wasn’t beside me. There have been many times when I held her hand as she fell back to sleep after a feeding.

I missed her.

I watched the baby monitor intently as she slept in her own room until I, too, drifted off to sleep.

She didn’t make it through the night, which is normal for our little girl—she loves her late-night snacks. So, we were up once together. But all in all, she did a terrific job sleeping by herself.

Definitely a proud mama and papa moment for us.

She is the best part of our world. We truly can’t imagine life without her now. Since the day she was born, my mom would say to me, “Don’t you now wonder how you ever did life without her?”

Quite honestly, I didn’t understand that until now. Because up until recently, I did know how I “did life” without her.

Freedom to jump in my car and run errands at any time of the day. Late nights with my husband, going to the movies, going out to eat, doing anything at all before 7 pm. Showering when I wanted to. Peeing when I needed, instead of holding it forever until she stopped crying and fell asleep. Being able to make coffee, breakfast, dinner. Doing laundry, going for a run. All without interruptions.

I did know life without her. I knew it well. And I missed it.

Motherhood takes something from you. It takes your heart and all your strength. And within the sacrifice blooms something so beautifully unmatched, you couldn’t dream it up if you tried.

It’s raw, real and unlike any other experience life has to offer. Motherhood is wonderful. Full of the wonder of Heaven.

I had a moment with my little girl this morning when she woke up from her first night in her big-girl room.

She lay so still in my arms, I held her close to my heart, she looked up at me and stared and stared into my eyes. She knows me. I know her. And I don’t know how I ever did life without her.

Unmatched moments like these make every part of motherhood worth it all.

You’ll never know until you are a mother, until you get the complete honor to raise a piece of Heaven on Earth. I’ll never be the same again because of her. I am fuller now. Full of tenderness, wisdom and love like no other. She did this for me. I’ll never know how I lived a day apart from her.

Motherhood is special. The transition from being your own person to being responsible for a little life is one of sacrifice, that is for sure. But I have learned that embracing all that motherhood has to offer includes the flood of beautiful feelings that can’t be felt apart from it.