To sleep, or to Co-Sleep

Sandra fact: I do not function on lack of sleep, as in not at all, not even a little.

Lets begin with how much I love and appreciate my husband.  I do, truly and honestly, appreciate everything he does for our family and for me.  He is the yen to my yang.

That is the sweet, kind way of saying we drive each other crazy.

If he is up I am down, black and white, oil and water, so on and so forth.

Most of our life is a careful balance of give and take that ends up in compromises that work for us.

Co-sleeping has been one of those compromises. {Giving birth in a Birthing Center was another one, we can save that for another blog.  Spoiler alert: my crazy, country ass wanted to give birth in a barn.}

Honestly, I had not thought about this much before I had to.

Here is what I knew and thought going into my first days of being a momma:

 

  1. My sister advocated for co- sleeping after her first baby.

Her legacy of life not going quite to plan is in play again here.  She tried putting her little bundle of joy in a bassinet by the bed to sleep. Two weeks into being a momma the exhaustion over took her and without planning to she fell asleep with baby in the bed. She woke alarmed, the baby was OK.  She was surprised by her actions but took them as a sign to do what came naturally.  From that night forward the baby and, now her little sister, share a bed with their parents.

  1. I knew how to sleep without moving.

As a child I bottled raised rabbits. {I mentioned that I’m a little country, right?} Those baby rabbits slept in my bed to keep warm; I could totally do that with a real baby.

  1. Co-sleeping meant I would not have to leave my bed to feed my baby.

With any luck she would not even wake to nurse. Dude, why would you do it any other way?

My husband, the quiet thinking type, could give you a few reasons why he was against the whole idea. All his reasons came from a place of love and worry. Among other logical things like simple space equations his main concern was that he would roll onto Baby Z during the night. I quickly dismissed this one as he is the lightest sleeper I know, one might not even call it sleeping as much as lying still. So the idea that he would, in his sleep, roll onto our warm, squishy baby seemed a very unlikely scenario to me.

I decided to hit the books.

I was quoting Dr. Sears in my sleep.

Finally, that husband of mine conceded.

He did make sure that we had a crib ready when we brought Baby Z home. He likes to be prepared. {Truth be told I don’t think he was really sold on our tiny fragile baby sharing a sleeping space with two 150 pound steam rollers that could crush her at any moment.}

In the spirit of compromise I will admit that we were both right. He was right that we don’t really all fit on the bed. How would I have known he would need to sleep on the floor just to get some rest? I was right too, though. We did not roll onto her, we did not harm her in any way in our sleep.

My sweet, loving husband slept on the floor for at least the first month. He saw that my inability to function without sleep took precedence as I need to feed our tiny girl.

His act of love and self-sacrifice took a toll on my guilt level and on his sleep.

We eased him back into our bed. Slowly, he started napping with her and then we put the mattress on the ground so we could all sleep together.

Screenshot_2016-03-16-20-02-36-1
Focus on the sweet baby, ignore the mustache {eyeroll:it still isn’t funny}

We have since graduated to having a full-fledged bed, not on the floor, and at 19 months along we all are very happy with our sleeping arrangements.   Turns out that the little I knew, based purely on my instinct was plenty {Confirmed after doing a TON of research} the combo of my instinct and my husband’s push to investigate yielded a process of compromises that made us all safer and happier.

Screenshot_2016-03-16-20-03-25-1

Maybe next we can talk about the compromise that ended up in my junk food loving husband making fair trade, organic bread for our family 😉 ;).

 

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