Until a little over 2 weeks ago my daughter slept in my bed, gently wedged between me and a pillow - to keep her safe from rolling off the edge. I know this at least partially drove my husband crazy. I did not turn to him and cuddle as much, we rarely had sex... and our king sized bed was just seeming to get very small.
I had tried several times to put her in her crib... but each time *I* could not do it. She was almost ok with it... *I* was the problem. Before she was born my husband would tell me the stories of his first daughter sleeping in their bed when she was little... and for them it became one of those dreaded issues parents fear where their children insist on sleeping in their bed. My big statement at that time was always "well, not in OUR bed!" Then, I met my daughter and looked into her eyes. The first night home from the hospital she slept (sort of) in her bassinet next to the bed, the next night was the same - but the following night... her restlessness from the 2 previous nights finally came to a head, and my husband and I were up all night simply trying to settle her. We even called the hospital pediatrician to ask their advice - the bozo decided over the phone she *must* be lactose intolerant.. Luckily we did not believe that for a moment. This was at about 7am... and we were all sitting on the bed. My husband drifted off to sleep, and in an amazing break through, my daughter snuggled up beside me and drifted off to sleep as well. Seeing as I was running on about 2 broken hours of sleep in the past 72 hours, plus pain pills that were giving me a hell of a headache - I too drifted off to sleep. Around 10am we all woke up. At that moment I decided if she wanted to sleep that close to me, then she could.
Somewhere between September and now, it became a dependency... for ME. If she was beside me, I knew nothing could hurt her unless it hurt me first. As a child, I *knew* the "boogie man" did not exist... but that did not stop me from leaping 3 feet across the room to jump into my bed... just in case an arm reached out from underneath it to grab me. As an adult I truly do know there is no "boogie man" and the only things that go bump in the night are done by my cats... yet I have felt that having my sweet, perfect, defenseless baby as far away as across the hall in the pitch black of night - was in fact, too far away. I *know* no monster is going to manifest itself out of thin air and grab her before I could come to her rescue... yet still - it is my fear.
And then, barely over 2 weeks ago... it happened. My husband was coming home VERY late because he drove to New Jersey to pick up my step daughter's cousin, who is her best friend, and someone she refers to as her "sister." We were getting her over the weekend because the following day we were going to surprise my step daughter that her cousin was staying over WITH her that night, as her 10th birthday party was the next day. But this left me with a dilemma. I had who knows how many people coming to my house in less than 2 days, and I still had lots of cleaning to do. And it was time for my daughter to go to sleep. I tried to put her to sleep in the bed, but everytime I got up - she got up. So there was her crib... it is amazing how much that thing... no matter how decorated and "cutsey" still looks like a lonely cage to me. But I had no choice. And I knew she slept fine in there during the day... so I did it. Around 10 that night I put her to bed in her crib. My husband got home with my step daughter's cousin and even with all the noise that created, she slept "like a baby." Thankfully I was exhausted enough that night I went right to sleep... and was shocked when I woke up the next morning.. not to hear her crying for mommy.. but to see the sun was up. We had to leave by 10 something I think to get to my step daughter's softball game... and the baby just kept sleeping, until finally.. I HAD to wake HER up. Apparently she really enjoyed her crib.
Those first few nights were amazing, she slept so well... though I must have checked on her a hundred times. Since then she has decided a few times she would rather have her old night time bed back... but now my husband has found he has the gift of settling her in at night. So that's that... my first piece of hundreds of things I will have to "let go of" in her life. I really don't even know how I got going this strong on this issue... I think just because when I just put her in for her nap... she was giving me her "but mommy I want to snuggle with YOU" cry.. probably because her teeth hurt.. and leaving her there her crib looked like a lonely cage again. But now she is sleeping quietly and peacefully. Just like she should.