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…
My beautiful little bear cub is in upheaval these days. She’s just learned to walk, she’s getting her 9th and 10th tooth and she’s figuring out that she can do a lot of things herself – at least she tries to! Basically there’s a lot happening in her world at the moment. Which leads to her sleeping… Not so well. She fusses and tosses and turns all night, wanting her pacifier, wanting milk, wanting hugs and cuddles. All of which I am happy to give her. But honestly, we’re going on three nights with very little sleep so it would be nice if mr. Hubby could take over some of the time. But no. He’s just lying right there, snoring away! Should I finally succeed in getting bub to sleep, chances are she’ll be woken up again by his wood sawing!
After a very unsatisfying sleep last night and a toddler who woke up at 5 am (!!!) I was beat! We snuggled in bed for a while – Chloe snuggled and I cursed mr-I-haven’t-taken-a-single-night-in-14-months. I was so close to kicking him! (One could argue that maybe I should say something. Something like “why don’t you take your daughter tonight and I’ll go sleep on the couch. Not to be disturbed”, but we all know it’s much more fun being a bitter martyr). Anyway I got up, changed and dressed little miss C and started breakfast.
Standing in the kitchen I could hear him snore. Hoping to wake him up I turned on the juicer – nothing (except for delicious juice). Having fed the monkey her chia oatmeal we ventured back into the bedroom. I let Chloe do the wakening of the semi unconscious daddy – he was not amused – and then I went to get get dressed. “I’m tired” he muttered. Tired? Tired?! This fire spewing dragon here (also known as Mommy) turned sharply and unleashed a small barrage of well-chosen words.
When mr. Hubby left it was with kisses and the promise of chocolate and Pepsi Max upon his return. Mommy: 1 Daddy: 0
Of course we don’t actually keep score, we are , after all, adults. Some of the time anyway. Okay, who am I kidding? Everyone keeps score. Sometimes I’m up and he’s down and sometimes he’s up and I’m down. Rarely are we even.
But we love each other. Even though he can be an idiot and I can be a bitter, annoying martyr.
Thanks for reading my rant.
So in my last post I promised to tell you what happened the other night. If your mind is anything like mine (in the gutter), it’s not what you think.
The thing is we co-sleep, meaning we all sleep in the same bed. Little bub on one side closest to the wall, mama san in the middle and daddy on the outside. That’s been the arrangement ever since our little one was born on a snowy January morning. She sleeps pretty well, both day and night, but still wakes up occasionly looking for her pacifier or just to snuggle closer to mommy. Sometimes she needs to eat and on rare occasions she needs a new nappy. Point is I ALWAYS wake up when she stirrs – even if she doesn’t wake up, but merely fuzzes I wake.
The other night I had crawled into bed next to my sleeping toddler and had fallen fast asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Hubby was (thankfully) still watching a movie in the living room. I woke up around midnight by Hubby carrying little C back to bed! She had apparently woken up, crawled over me and down off the bed and into the living room, where Hubby nearly had a heart attack! All without me waking up. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep that night.
How about you? Where do your little ones sleep?
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