The sleeping controversy

Did you know that both Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy slept in the bed with their parents as infants?

They really didn’t. I just made that up. And trust me, I actually looked into their childhood sleeping habits (my husband officially thinks I’m nuts because I like to read about notorious serial killers’ mothers to know what not to do when it comes to child-rearing). Anyway, the way some people react when they find out your baby sleeps in your bed, you would think that such an act truly does create future deviants.

You can guess where this is headed…I’ll admit it: my son has not spent one night in his crib. Was I a diehard proponent of cosleeping before I had my baby? Not really. I thought it was nice to have your baby near you at night. We even bought a cosleeper to attach to our bed, thinking it would be easier on me as far as breastfeeding in the middle of the night. But then nothing went the way we planned. We couldn’t attach the cosleeper on my side because it would be harder for me since I had such a difficult time getting up because of the pain from my section. I quit breastfeeding after nearly two weeks anyway. So up until the other night, Brandon slept on his Boppy Newborn Lounger on our bed. We positioned it between us, kind of further down by our knees. If he would fuss a lot, I would often hold him and sleep with him in the crook of my arm or on my chest. This was working out great for everyone involved until I woke up in the middle of the night the other night and saw he had completely turned sideways on his lounger and the upper half of his body was hanging off it on David’s legs. My heart stopped when I woke up to this–he looked like a little ragdoll. I don’t know how he slept through that because he looked so uncomfortable. Thank god he was okay. He spent the rest of the night in my arms as I stayed wide awake, imagining all of the horrible things that could have happened if I hadn’t discovered him when I did.

So we decided to use the cosleeper. We had tried to put it against the bed not too long ago but it wouldn’t sit flush with the bed so we abandoned that idea. Last night we set it up as a freestanding bassinet in our bedroom. We got ready for bed and put him in it and he seemed quite happy. David and I stood over him in the dark and I cried. The baby eventually fell asleep. Of course I was completely awake in our bed, missing him like crazy. Just as I was about to finally drift off, he made some little fussing noises, nothing huge. But I immediately went to the bassinet and picked him up, brought him back to our bed and cuddled with him. And that is where he remained until this morning.

I know so many people are critical of this. And to them I say, mind your baby, not mine. Brandon is nine weeks old. He has no concept of being “spoiled” yet. He is not clever enough yet at this stage to realize he is sleeping in our bed every night. And he is certainly not old enough to be damaged emotionally in any way by sleeping with his parents in their bed. If he’s still sleeping with us when he leaves for college, now that’s a problem. But for now, I am going to enjoy cuddling with my newborn all night because it’s what I want to do and I’m not hurting anyone. He sleeps better on his side or tummy anyway, pressed up against me with my arms around him, than he does flat on his back in the bassinet.

So I’m not saying this is right for everyone. I am saying while he is this little, I just want him to sleep well at night. And if that means it’s next to me on most nights, then that is fine. Whatever works. And I am fairly certain this will not screw him up for life. So to my critics, as long as we all love our babies, who cares where they sleep?

May 23, 2011. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Brandon growth update

He had his two-month visit at the pediatrician last week. He weighed in at 11 lbs 15 oz and measured 23 1/4 inches long. His head circumference is 16 inches. These measurements put him in the 50-60 percentile, which is great. He is growing like crazy, that is for sure! He has now outgrown most of his newborn clothes and is in 0-3 months and is even able to wear some of his 3 month sizes.

He had some professional pictures taken last week and was such a good boy for the photographer. They should be ready in 3-4 weeks so I’ll post some then.

May 22, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Six-week postpartum checkup

I went back to the doctor a week after my four-week checkup but she was called out to do a section so we had to reschedule for the following week.

I forgot to mention in my last post that by my four-week checkup I had lost all the weight I gained while pregnant. When I had gone to the doctor the week after my section, I had already lost 15 pounds, so I didn’t have too far to go, thank goodness. While this is a huge relief, I still have a long way to go because I had gained weight before I got pregnant. Anyway, when I weighed in at this visit, I had lost a few more pounds. I can’t wait until I can exercise so I can shed some more weight and stop wearing my maternity clothes.

The doctor said the hematoma definitely feels softer than it did before, which is a good sign. She spared me the pap smear again because she could tell I was hurting. We talked about several other things, including exercise. Since I’ve had such a rough recovery, she really wants me to just stick to walking and swimming for a while and to not push myself when doing either activity. She switched my pain meds from Dilaudid to Vicodin, which isn’t as strong, because I told her I was only taking them as needed and alternating them with Aleve. I really, really hate the pain meds because they make me so constipated! Seriously, how do people get addicted to these things?!? As much as they help at times, I just cannot stand that aspect. She also prescribed me birth control pills because I got my period five weeks postpartum.

Tomorrow will mark nine weeks since I had the section. This recovery has turned out to be worse than I ever anticipated. While I do feel things are getting better, I definitely have days where I hurt a lot and feel very discouraged. And I have weeks where I feel like there has not been much improvement at all. I just keep telling myself to be patient but it is so difficult.

The doctor wanted to see me again three to four weeks after that visit so I have an appointment the week after next. I will be so glad when I don’t have to keep going all the time. I am sick to death of being poked and prodded.

May 22, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Respect for single parents

Throughout these last several weeks, it has crossed my mind several times how hard it would be to be a single parent, especially with a newborn.

Last night I was rocking Brandon to sleep and suddenly had to use the bathroom right that minute. There was no holding it in. But he was just in that early stage of sleep where if I moved him, he would wake up. Luckily, I was able to text David (who was in the family room) to come in the bedroom immediately to take over.

Afterward I thought to myself, what would I have done if David hadn’t been around? Would I have pooed on that $900 chair? I can’t definitively answer that. Anyone who has tried to get a fussy newborn to sleep knows that that option wasn’t completely off the table.

May 5, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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