Friday, March 9, 2012

A Sweaty Palm Confession

Y'all know how I said last week, I am taking the blog to a new level. I am about to get so real with y'all, I am terrified even typing this post.

I made it known last spring that we were co-sleeping. We technically still are. With an almost two year old. Yikes!

There. I said it. My terrified thought: What are y'all thinking about me, RIGHT NOW?

I am sure some are calling me a crazy lady. It's ok, if I wasn't me I would probably be judging me like that too.

The crib that has NEVER been slept in. 
When T first took up residence in our bed, it was because of the nap nanny recall. He not only slept amazingly in the nap nanny, but his reflux virtually disappeared.

And we weren't willing to mess up a good thing with him sleeping so well. We made the adjustment with no date or plan really in place.

This arrangement continued without any issue until this January. One fateful night T decided he needed to roll out of the nap nanny and head butt me in the nose.

I heard a crunch, and ran to the bathroom to see if he had in fact broke my nose. Luckily, I think he just smashed some cartilage.

That night, I told BTB we were done with the nap nanny in the bed. We began letting T sleep between us. What a mistake. I never got any sleep.

For a tiny guy, in a California king bed--he takes up a ton of space. Here is real life for us:

Super bowl weekend BTB went skiing. I decided that weekend T was going into his pack n play. I had to do it sans BTB because he was more hesitant about transitioning him.

First, I had to clean out the pack n play. See, if you don't use those things for sleeping and toddler wrangling, it becomes a pit'o'crap. Once clean, I placed one of T's kindermats in the bottom. I did this because he naps so well on the other we have at daycare, I thought this would provide some familiarity.

Currently, we allow him to fall asleep in our bed. When I come to bed, I put him in the pack n play.

Usually by 5:30-6:00, he wakes up thirsty. Here's my rule: If he's standing, I will let him lay with in the bed with us and drink the bottle. If he cries and continues laying, I just hand him the milk and make him stay in the pack n play.

I'm here to say, this is probably not the best way to transition to his own bed. Actually, at his 15 month appointment our ped said to "rip the bandaid."

We just aren't there, yet. Looking back, we probably should have set a goal for getting him in his room. Hindsight is 20/20, after all.

Once it became evident that we were co-sleeping-hippy folk, we did some research. We found some really amazing articles and research data on the topic. I honestly thought we would find very little help or support, but in fact we did. What a relief for us.

Even having research backing up our choice, we still didn't tell many about our decision. I remember the day I told Megan, and died on the inside telling her.

I just knew I was leaving her house that day to never be invited back. But she looked at me and said something I will never forget. She threw her hands up and said, "Girl, you gotta do what works for y'all-- I don't judge you for that."

After that day, I stopped caring if people knew. We were doing what worked for us. I do pass some of the blame for this situation.

  • First. We've never done this parenting thing before. Had we been old pros when we had T, things may have been different.

  • Second. Our Post Traumatic NICU Syndrome. (I just coined this term. It's not legit.) We left the hospital with a four pounder. We've had to make many adjustments to our life plan because of our circumstances. 

I'm not saying we would ever change it. Because we wouldn't. End of story. We learned how to be the parents we are today because of those NICU doctors and nurses.

I've wondered for a really long time if I would ever actually write this post. The first time I confessed was hard enough, but doing it again a year later--terrified is really the only word that works.

My only hope by publishing this post is the opportunity to help other couples who also may feel embarrassed or unsure about their decision. If you want to argue with me about this decision, please move on. I will not go there with anyone.

If my Blissdom experience taught me anything, I need to be brave enough to write what I need to write about. Plus, I know I have a network of blogger friends that may not agree with our decision, but they will always support me.

Ok. It's out there. Whatcha think? Still love us?


Samantha {Moody Mama} said...

I still love y'all! It works for you guys and from what I can see you have a healthy happy boy and in the end THAT'S what matters :)

Taylor said...

If it works for you, then do it!! And my daughter is 5 and still ends up in bed with me every.single.night. She always slept great in her own room, until about a year and a half ago. She goes to bed great in her own room, but in the middle of the night she ventures downstairs and cuddles up to me. Which leaves my husband moving to the couch because we only have a queen. Not exactly ideal, but they're only little once and someday I'll want to snuggle her and she won't want to! So, don't feel bad at all!

Shelli said...

You have to do what is right for your family. If you try to live by other peoples normals, you won't be happy.

Anonymous said...

I wouldnt choose to co-sleep. But your reasoning makes sense.

I also am pregnant now and might change my mind in 6 months! :)

Cheryl said...

Trying to make the best choices for your child and how they will effect them long term is the hardest part of being a parent.

I feel like every parenting book tells you something different. Just go with your mommy gut.

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

I'm with Megan, you do what you gotta do. Just like I know my 3 year old won't go to Kindergarten in diapers, so I'm not stressing too hard about potty training. T won't sleep in your bed forever and as long as you and BTB are on the same page that's what matters! Hope you feel better after getting it out :)

tiffiney said...

there's NO way we could do that! i'm terrified to hurt hubby is no small man. :) with that being said....i can totally relate on the NICU "upset of plans/normality" so to speak....completely getting that part, really! i think that's a very valid "excuse" ....if you need one. i don't really think you do. he'll be grown and gone at the blink of an eye. enjoy every moment! xoxo
ppl in other countries do this sort of thing all the time....a tribe i studied sleep with their babies in the same hammock! imagine that! our western culture is soooo freakin' obsessed with independence, we've lost the valuable lesson of each other and community... off my soapbox now. last words: good for you!

Meghan said...

Since I am not a mom, I really can't comment on sleeping patterns, but it sounds like you have done what works for you! And I love that you put it all out there, despite what others might think! I love Blissdom for that:)

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I still say, do what you gotta do. I have to trap my wildebeast toddler in her crib to get sleep, so that's where she'll be til she's five. But you already knew that ;)

Missie R said...

I think it is totally great that you shared this!!! And, boy can I relate! We have kids, 13, 11 & 3 (our 3 yr. old a welcome surprise addition :) )....anyway when the 13 & 11 yr. old were small I stressed myself to great lengths to get them to bed at night in their own beds. When baby #3 arrived I like to think I was waaayyy smarter and I realized how very silly it was to stress over bedtime and how fast they grow up. So, therefore, every night the little one falls asleep in our bed I carry her to her bed and before long she's back in our bed. I'm not going to sweat it - I don't care who thinks I'm works for us. I'd much rather have a happy sleeping child in my bed than be up all night fighting her to stay in her bed. Thanks again for keeping your blog true to you!!! :)