Monday, January 11, 2010

Bittersweet


Mommy teaches me about reading and textures and edumacational stuff.
Daddy teaches me.....

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When we first brought E home, there was the couch. The couch was my friend. We had barely moved all our crap into the new house and the family room had just a couch and lots and lots of boxes. We were living out of suitcases. Nothing was unpacked. I take that back. I'm married to my husband so the 56" TV and the XBOX and the PS3 were also set up.

Just in case the UNPACKING and the BABY PREPARATIONS were not interesting enough, my darling man-thing would also have his 2D first love; the ability to snipe random foul-mouthed 12-year-olds in a WWII setting or rock out while playing a plastic guitar with four buttons and beaming with pride because it's almost like playing the guitar for real, right?

I had the couch and it was nice because I had a C-section and the stairs did not respect that fact. Going up and down them was a very painful and slow process that sounded like this: "ow... ow... ow... shit... ow... ow... ow... FUCK..." And that was one stair. There are 13 of them. Ask me how I know.

On top of that, our bed is high off the ground. Really high. I don't know the technical term for how high it is. If it were a table, I'd call it pub-height but it ain't a table and a pub-height bed just implies things I don't want to condone, so let's just call it waist-ish level. Too high for a postpartum woman still healing from a slice and dice in the midsection.

If I can't comfortably go up the stairs or get into and out of the bed, there was really no sense in going up there at all. Well, maybe except to shower. But only when forced.

The couch and I became good friends. As the day would end and people started to wind down and make their way upstairs for the night (the husband and guests from the baby's birth), the house would settle down and get quiet and I'd be alone with E. I really appreciated that time. I could grab a snack and watch old TiVo shows. I could play on my iPhone and Google stuff like when do babies sleep through the night and will my abs ever work again (the answer is actually "no" to both of those).

Just me and E. I would nurse her and change her diaper. Reunite her right foot with it's tiny rejected baby sock. I could stare at her by the glow of the television, sleeping all cuddled in the crook of my arm and not have to share her or entertain anyone or be bombarded with the noise that was omg the baby is here and she is so precious. Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of those first few days and I wouldn't have a single person or event changed if I could do it over again, but I also enjoyed our time.

After everyone left and Stephen returned to work, I stayed on the couch. E still needed to eat every few hours. Stephen rarely ever made it to bed before midnight. He needed what little rest he got to be able to bring home the paycheck. I, on the other hand, had two simple chores: tend to myself and tend to E. We kissed each other good night and then parted ways. It worked for us.

Eventually, I wanted to move upstairs, into my own bed with Stephen. We took E up with us and she still slept in the crook of my arm, swaddled up tight and basically breathing into my face so I could have subconscious proof in my sleep that she was getting her fair oxygen ration. Some time after that, we slept her between us in a special co-sleeper contraption that had sides we couldn't roll over and onto her. For naps and the time between baby night-night and adult night-night, we had a pack and play that stayed downstairs and kept her close to us. Baby monitor or not, I could not dump her fragile body in some random room upstairs and feel at peace.

More time went by. We got a travel crib thing and put her in that, butted up next to our bed. I was so scared. She felt a million miles away. I had irrational thoughts.

"What if she gets cold?"
"What if she misses the comfort of my arms?"
"What if she wakes up and cries and I don't hear her?"
*Right? Like a foot of distance is too far for my paranoid brain to hear my precious child cry when all it does all night long is monitor for her slightest rustle!*

Even though I could reach my hand out from under my pillow and place it cautiously over her still breathing face, I cried. She was just so far away. I missed her. I didn't miss the wonky neck muscles and sore back from the constant cradling every night but I missed her. I didn't know how I would ever be able to sleep when we moved her on the other side of the headboard wall, into her own room. I was glad we had time and it wouldn't be soon.

Fast forward, through the holidays where E slept in the bed with us and on the floor and in her swing and in her travel crib and in Florida and in Illinois and her sleep routine changed every night. We got back home and it was time. Time to seriously look at moving her to her own room. I really didn't see how five months had came and went and where I expected to see a practically grown up toddler, my precious baby still remained. I agonized over what to do.

I really wanted her to stay in bed with us. I wanted to cuddle her and watch her wake up in the mornings and have the ability to fill her milk-hole with a boob as soon as she started stirring in the middle of the night. I just didn't know if I wanted to still have a three-year-old in bed with us in a few years. It's hard to break the co-sleeping later on. You gotta make the decision kinda early on if you want it to be less painful. I would like to be able to read in bed and have conversations with my husband without waking up the Milk Monster. And then there's that whole sex thing. Don't even roll your eyes. It's important.

I decided in the end that we will try it and see what happens. No promises and no theories and no debating it. We will let E decide. We will put her in the crib, across the universe room from us, and we will see if she sleeps well. If not, we will re-assess at a later date. If she gets up crying all night and seems not-ready-ish, so help me God I will rescue her from that solitary confinement hell and return her to the safety and comfort of our family bed. If she is fine, then we go with the flow. We did our regular nightly routine, bundled her butt up, deposited her in the crib, made the sign of the cross and shut the nursery door.

She slept for 8 hours. Without waking up. Two days in a row.

She hasn't done it since then, but she's been close. I think she's teething though so she has an excuse. She doesn't have too hard a time falling asleep but she sometimes gets chilly in there and we have resorted to putting her to bed with a hat on and legwarmers on her arms that come down past her hands in a glove-like fashion. She hates naps up there but, hey, she's always hated naps that didn't occur (a) at the boob or (b) on the Daddy. I think we're doing ok.

She's growing up so fast. Tonight she has her own room and tomorrow she will want her own car because she has important teenager places to be, thank you very kindly. *sigh*

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Geis Family, November 2009



Well, you're not a nipple but I'm tired so you'll have to do...



Oh wow, I see what you mean. 
Even I want to eat myself up.



I can has banana?
K thnx :)

 

She's too sexy for her parka <3



Mommy wonders why I'm so over-stimulated by bed time.
Ever heard of PASTELS, ma?



Checkmate!
Here's your queen :)



Tell me those eyes don't get your baby maker churnin'.
Hell, I almost want another one...

1 comment:

Kristi said...

Tell me those eyes don't get your baby maker churnin'.

Hell, I almost want another one...


... Be careful what you wish for mommy!!!! <3