Calm, Cool and Committed

Three Moms and a Dude

Mama Baby Air‏

on August 11, 2012
I don’t know if you can tell what you’re looking at, but that’s Doodle Bug, my two-year-old, sleeping with his hand on the side of my face. I couldn’t count how many people have referred to bed-sharing as a mistake when talking to me. Not as a judgement. Not as a criticism. Simply sharing a parenting decision they made or wish they had made differently: “bringing our daughter into our marriage bed was a huge mistake – totally ruined our sex life” or “I’m so glad I didn’t make the mistake of letting the kids sleep with me” or “Junior crawled into bed with us when he had the flu last month and now I can’t get him back into his own bed – huge mistake!!”

Every relationship is different and every family makes the best decisions they can given what they know and believe at the time. For us, bed-sharing is not a mistake at all. It’s a way of life and I don’t regret a single night. Well, alright. Maybe I regret the night Doodle Bug woke up and vomited all over me, but every parent has been puked on. I was just lucky enough to get it in the face. While I was asleep. In the grand scheme of things, though, the happy moments far outweigh the gross ones. There’s nothing like the cuddles and kisses throughout the night. My babies used to be a part of me and having them nearby just feels right. I feel complete. Being a working mom, I walk around all day without a vital organ. When I get back home, it gets reattached and I can breathe again. I want to soak up as many moments with my babies as I can before they’re pushing me away to spread their wings.

Sunny is only a month old and a lot of people ask if I plan to bed-share with her, too. Yes. However, I will never be asleep in bed with both Doodle Bug and her. A breastfeeding mother is biologically wired to sleep more lightly in order to keep watch over her infant; a toddler is not. So, how do we do it? Doodle Bug “reads” quietly in my bed while I nurse and rock Sunny to sleep. Once she’s drowsy, I put her in a co-sleeper (bassinet attached to my bed) and then crawl into bed with my toddler. When he’s out, Daddy-O moves him to his floor bed and Sunny gets in the big bed a few hours later when she wakes up to nurse. A perfect system? Nope. The best decision for us with what we know and believe right now? Absolutely.

Here. Let me see if I can explain it better in rhyme.

Doodle Bug

Mama Baby Air

I can barely see your face but i know you’re there

I lay here in the night and just think and stare

Your tiny whimpers dance in the air

Your baby breath rustles my hair

I should get to sleep but I really don’t care

My elbow is tingling from you laying there

I could wiggle free but I wouldn’t dare

This silent moment that you and I share

Flees too fast~ it isn’t fair

Your bitty lips, that tiny pink pair

Pucker and suckle as if milk were there

Your pudgy hand is tangled in my hair

There is a book and a doll under my foot somewhere

You have on one sock but I put on a pair

Not sure if this is your arm or your teddy bear

I’ll have a kinked neck in the morning but now I don’t care

Friends say, “You have a crib. Just put him in there”

But when I’m at work and you’re at daycare,

There’s a void in my arms and a blank in my stare

I rush home to soak up every moment you’ll share

And when the sun sets and you’re breathing dream air

I curl up around you like a mama bear

You do have a nursery down the hall somewhere

And some day soon I’ll sleep here; you’ll sleep there

The walls plastered in posters and rock music in the air

Dirty socks piled on the old rocking chair

My arms will ache for a hug, you’ll say, “Sure, I don’t care”

I’ll smile and thank you but my heart will tear

I’ll wish our moments hadn’t faded away with the air

I want to have savored every moment as a pair

Not losing one chance to sniff your soft baby hair

And at the end of the day, that’s why I bed share

-Mamma Fratelli

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20 responses to “Mama Baby Air‏

  1. Molar Mother says:

    This is my favorite part of your poem — “There’s a void in my arms and a blank in my stare.” It made me teary-eyed.

    I’m honestly impressed by your ability to rhyme, too!!! 🙂

    When I read a couple articles on how to safely bedshare, they say only one adult should be in the bed. How do you and Daddy-O do that?

    Is it weird that I call him Daddy-O, too?

    Good post!

    • Haha, thanks. It’s not hard to rhyme “air.” I’m glad I didn’t call it “Mama Baby Orange”!!
      As for poor Daddy-O (yes, you may call him that), he has long since been relegated to bedroom #2.

      He snores.

      Like a train.

  2. Kristen says:

    I love co-sleeping. I am so glad you do it. Both my daughters sleep with me. One is still nursing, and cosleeping helps me sleep better. Kudos to you for doing it
    It is the sweetest thing to hold your babies while you sleep….it’s heavenly

  3. violetvielma says:

    I love your post and poem so much. We have co-slept with all 3 of ours,but never really had to put up with much negativity about it since both my husband’s,and my own parents and grandparents did the same. We had the most beautiful crib for our first-born,then tried a bassinette,but co-sleeping just worked better for her,and made me much less worried.I am always surprised when i see fighting over this,instead of parents supporting each other.

    • Agreed. We’re the only mammals that I know of who do not sleep with our young. Whatever decisions parents make, you’re right, we need to support one another. On a side note, we bought a nice crib for Doodle Bug and he never used it. For Sunny, the only thing I bought was girl colored clothing & dipes!! 🙂

    • Angela says:

      I agree that moms should support each other even if we do things a little differently!

  4. Hi! I work in the community with new mums (in Scotland), and i’m told to advise against co-sleeping and given literature to hand out warning mums of the dangers of co-sleeping. But I have 2 kids of my own, and I wonder… If it’s so dangerous and wrong to co-sleep, then why is it one of the nicest experiences I have? Why do we all sleep so well, and enjoy it so much? I’m not a “co-sleeper” as such, the kids are put in their beds, but if they want to come through during the night, then they’re more than welcome. Lovely, lovely rhyme 🙂

    K x

    • Hi! Thanks for your comment! Most medical facilities do advise strongly against it. My mother is an Obstetrician and brought home a printout of a power point given during grand rounds. It is 200% anti-bed sharing, citing infant deaths as far back as Biblical times. However, even that presentation acknowledges cardiovascular, emotional, digestive and other benefits. Their ONLY complaint is possible suffocation. Not saying that’s no big deal, but that there is a safe way to do it. So glad to hear from someone on the other side of the “pond”! 🙂

      • Kristen says:

        I did wait until my 2nd baby was 7 months old, and 20 lbs. till I let her sleep with me all night, but due to pregnancy losses after my first child I was extremely paranoid about SIDS. Ask Molar Mom. I loaned her my angel monitor, which monitored baby’s breathing and alarms you if nothing is detected after 20 seconds

      • Molar Mother says:

        I honestly wished they would give fewer SIDS advisories. Every single freaking thing scares me!

  5. Mama F, you forgot to add that this obstetrician co-slept with you and your sibs. Grand Rounds literature was only to let you know what was out there. Some of the best memories of my life are there in that big bed with my cuddly babies. xoxo

  6. Angela says:

    I loved reading this! I personally room-shared for the first 6 months, and even pulled my babies in bed with me on occasion. Even last night I felt the need to reconnect with my son and we had a sleepover on the couch…he is almost 4 and this is the only time he likes to snuggle! Even though I would never bed-share (safety concerns and a need for regular adult cuddle time) I try to be open and supportive of other parenting decisions. I must admit that at time s I have found myself unintentionally judging another mother and I want to snack myself for doing so. I have to remind myself that every mommy is different and that is ok. I loved this piece because it allowed me a peek inside a different parenting approach. I find myself constantly learning and growing as a mother the more I learn and accept other moms!!

  7. Mindy says:

    Sleeping for me is an Olympic event! I’m all over the place…have been since birth! (ask my poor sister who, after being forced to share a bed with me while on vacation, woke to a foot in the face causing a black eye!) anyway… Because of this I don’t bed share all night…. But I totally relate to the feeling of missing a vital
    Organ when being away from my little loves! So since I tend to be a night owl, I let them fall asleep in my bed and when I get sleepy, my peach gets carried off to her big girl bed and the little bird is put in the pack and play in our room! It’s a happy medium for us!! Kids and parents really need to find what works for them!
    Thanks SO much for sharing your heart!
    Much love,
    Min

  8. Co-sleeping works for some families and some it doesn’t. I chose to co-sleep with my first child (Bryce) and ended up somewhat regretting it later on. When I was pregnant with my daughter (Riley) Bryce was almost 2yrs old and it was extremely hard for me to get comfortable. He was scared of being in a crib/pack-n-play so we tried moving him to the toddler bed and all the problems started. He would scream and cry so much that he’d make himself sick and would crawl into my bed in the middle of the night after all of the fussing and fighting.
    I did enjoy having him close to me. I found comfort in knowing he was so close. I wasn’t worried about anything.
    We had Riley in a bassinet next to the bed and moved her into her crib a few months later. We sometimes co-sleep with the kids. I don’t find any harm in it. The only down fall comes to when you want your space and they are not ready to give it to you.

  9. Mea says:

    Love this, Em! It brought a tear to my eye! I guess for me, balance is best. My lil guy goes to sleep in his crib and then when he wakes up (usually early morning) he climbs into bed with us. I love snuggling with him, but I do struggle with the lack of quality sleep when he’s in bed most of the night (health and ability to function), and I miss snuggling with my hubby in the morning…a lot. However, after my c-section, I was in so much pain and the only thing that made me feel better was taking his morning nap with him in our bed. I think this is how we truly bonded, actually. Best time of my life! Being able to be home with him and snuggle in the morning was super soothing!
    Touching post!
    Mea 🙂

  10. Alison says:

    Great post! In most human cultures bed-sharing is the norm. We’ve made it abnormal in Western modern society only. I wonder if in 50 years we will look at the medical advice against bedsharing the same way we look at the mistaken push to switch from breast feeding to formula from the last century.

    • Emily W. says:

      Great post, Em and wonderful point, Alison. I find it disturbing that natural mothering practices that were used for centuries are now so commonly demonized (by medical experts and parents alike). I completely understand that times have changed, society has modernized and mothers are, unfortunately, more often away from baby earlier in life in order to return to work. Bed sharing is not for everyone and that’s okay. I only did it for selfish reasons. It made my life way easier while I was nursing. Just recently my 3 yr old has become “a little afraid of the dark” and has found his way back into my bed (usually in the middle of the night). Part of me loves it, but it also disrupts my sleep and disturbs my hubs. The way I see it is any snuggle time I can get while the kids are little is time I will take.

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