Co-sleeping Blues

13 Apr

Before z-baby was born, we painstakingly picked out the “perfect” pack n’ play/bassinet combo and placed it beside our bed. When we brought him home from the hospital, we would carefully swaddle him every night and place him in it. He woke up every two hours, nearly on cue, to nurse. I would get up with him, nurse him, and then hand him off to sig-o to change his diaper and get him back to sleep. We tag-teamed like pros.

Then when z-baby was almost 7 weeks, a series of events threw us into the world of co-sleeping. First, my gallbladder whacked out and I had to have it removed. Then, that very same day, sig-o got sick with the flu. To complicate matters, we were in the very early stages of what ended up being the swine flu pandemic, and we didn’t want to take any chances with the baby. So I sent sig-o to stay with his mom for a few days.

So here I was, still recovering from the emergency c-section, still recovering from the gallbladder surgery, and alone with a newborn. And barely taking any pain killers for it because of the breastfeeding and my fear that I’d be too drowsy or out of it to care for him.

My mom had come to help and before she left, she had tucked the baby neatly away in the bassinet. But when he woke up, I realized that I couldn’t get him out. I could either 1) bend over or 2) pick up the baby (from the bed, say), but I couldn’t bend over and pick up the baby from the bassinet. After 20 minutes or so of him crying I must have had enough adrenaline or whatever pulsing through me that I just gritted my teeth and hefted him out of there.

I collapsed on the bed with him and it was that day that we finally were able to get the hang of nursing while laying down. And we’ve never looked back. I remember the sheer elation I had that night… just the two of us in a big ole king size bed. Never had to get up to nurse. Slept better than I had for a long time.

Sig-o eventually came home and was like WTH? He had had to sleep in the guest bed for probably the last half of the pregnancy. Partly because I was uncomfortable and wanted to sleep diagonal across the bed, and partly because my (big) dog never wanted to leave my side while I was pregnant and insisted on sleeping diagonally along with me. So it was like a little honeymoon for us after the baby was born and we could sleep in the same bed together. But that day he immediately knew he had been trumped again.

Fast forward two years. We both love co-sleeping and regret not bringing him into the bed earlier. But this kid isn’t seven pounds anymore. And for a kid who is in the low percentiles for both height and weight, he can really take up some real estate in what now feels like a tiny, itsy, bitsy, king size bed.

Two years. Two years that sig-o and I feel like we haven’t been able to just… touch. Sure, we’ve managed to get him down in his crib (also a painstakingly picked-out waste of space) a few times and could sleep in each other’s arms until z-baby woke up wanting to nurse. And a few times we’ve put him off to one side in the bed and hoped he doesn’t fall off. We tried to sidecar the crib, too, but that never worked. Z-baby insists on being sandwiched right in between us. Two years is a long time.

And I’m not even talking about sex. Which is also a huge issue. Between the co-sleeping and just plain old parental exhaustion, it hasn’t been easy. Lately, I’ve literally resorted to setting the alarm for around 3am so we can wake up, grab a quickie while z-baby is fast asleep in the other room, and collapse into bed again… each of us on either side of the bed, not touching. But at 3am, who really cares, right?

Through it all, sig-o has been fine with it. There’s been a little whining every now and then. Even some pouting. But tonight it clearly moved beyond pouting. He’s actually… despondent about it all. He’s mentioned from time to time that he’s ready to start transitioning the baby to his own bed. But I had no idea he felt so dejected, so sad about it.

As I sit in the baby’s nursery writing this, z-baby is asleep in my bed and sig-o is snoring in the guest room on the futon. He refused to go to bed without me tonight. He’s basically waiting on me to… put him to bed. I’m talking about my adult husband here. I mean, I miss him too, but really? I think he’s just overtired and cranky and exasperated (sounds like I’m talking about a toddler, right?). And I get that. And it’s not always easy for me, either.

One day this will all be behind us and we’ll be pining away for the days that z-baby slept sideways between us, toes in his papi’s ribs, head in his momma’s. In the meantime, though, I have a 32 year-old I need to go put to bed.


One Response to “Co-sleeping Blues”


  1. An Evolution « The Vaca Loca - August 7, 2011

    […] enjoyed every minute of it. Then I had to have my gallbladder taken out and we happily fell into co-sleeping, which made the night-time nursing even better. Z-baby loved nursing and was still in that […]

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