Back when I was still nursing Charlotte, I used to have a reoccurring nightmare that would wake me up in the night. I would dream that I fell asleep while nursing and that Charlotte had fallen off the bed onto the wood floor. I’d wake up with a start, jolting up from my pillow and sputtering where’s the baby? – my heart pounding and breathless. A moment later I’d realize that it was just that darned dream again, and that Charlotte was tucked safely into her crib or bassinet (depending on her age). Phew. Those dreams are one reason I don’t think I’m cut out for co-sleeping.
Last week, Chris put Charlotte to bed, and I listened from the guest room nearby.
“I sleep with Mama,” Charlotte pleaded. “I sleep in the big girl bed.”
The big girl bed would be our bed, if you didn’t guess. Up until that point, Charlotte had only spent one entire night in our bed ever. It was months ago and I can’t remember why. She never asked to sleep with us, and we never invited her. We have a good thing going for us.
For some reason, that night Chris decided to say yes. So he tucked her into our bed, kissed her goodnight and left the door open a crack. Moments later, something made me look up toward the door into the hallway. There was Charlotte smiling at me with her fingers in her mouth through the cracked open doorway. She looked so cute I just had to giggle, and then she came running in wide awake.
Chris likes evening naps, so he decided to fall asleep with her in our bed this time. It worked, and an hour or two later I woke him up and took his place. I kissed her cheek, stroked her soft arm, and listened to her adorable little snore. I fell asleep snuggling my precious little munchkin, and I loved every second of it.
But remember that part I said about not being cut out for co-sleeping? Remember that nightmare I used to have? People, it came true. Only an hour or two later I awoke to the sound of a sudden thud – the sound of something hard hitting wood floor. Before I was even fully awake, I was leaning over the side of the bed and lifting my poor baby off the floor. Chris had come rushing in, and he wouldn’t stop saying oh my god oh my god oh my god. She was crying at this point, and I was rocking her like a newborn. I could feel my heart speeding against her body. Finally, she settled down, and we did, too, and then Chris slept with us so that she couldn’t roll across half a bed and fall out all over again.
The rest of the night was miserable – she kicked and swatted us every five minutes. I had elbows in my mouth and feet in my stomach, but we couldn’t put her back in her crib after she just fell out of our bed, ya know? So we suffered through and woke up the next morning a little extra groggy and a lot more secure in our choice to keep children out of our bed.
Charlotte woke up with this bad boy, but luckily, it doesn’t seem to bother her.