Chloe Emily was born at home at 8.20 am on a beautiful January morning. It was snowing. I was exhausted, but wide awake. She was beautiful. My husband was so proud. After an hour and Chloe’s first little feed is went to take a shower. I made hubby strip his shirt and give her skin-to-skin contact. I took a fairly long shower and when I came back out they hadn’t moved and inch! She was asleep on his chest. He was uncomfortable, but didn’t dare move. His eyes were full of unshed tears. He was so proud.
When I became pregnant I had never heard the term ‘co-sleeping’ before. I just knew our little baby girl was going to sleep in our bed. In my arms and on my chest. I just knew. Just like I knew I was going to carry her in a wrap, keep her close. Close enough to always be able to kiss her little head and inhale her sweet baby scent. She spent nearly every minute of the day in that wrap – either with me or with her Daddy. She craved the closeness and she slept a lot. Keeping her close just felt right. It felt natural. Even now at nearly 15 months she still spends time in the wrap nearly every day. We don’t own a stroller and the pram has long since been sold.
We kept her close. We responded to her every need, her every cry, her every cue. We took a lot of heat for our way of doing things. We were cuddling her too much, spoiling her, giving her too much love (!), making her dependent on us. She was 4 weeks old. On the inside I wavered, on the inside I cried. On the outside I stood fast. I did not waver. I knew we were doing what was right for our little girl. I held my ground. Alone, I cried.
I didn’t know the term ‘attachment parenting’. Chloe was 6 months old when I learnt of this type of parenting. When I researched it and joined a Facebook group it felt like coming home.
To be continued…