Whenever I mentioned to people that I would never co-sleep, with my baby, in our bed, some would shake their heads at me. The “just you wait” comment would flow out of their mouth and I would just change the subject. My mind would glimpse to images that I know will never leave my head.
In High School I worked at a day care center in the infant room. I walked in one day to red eyes and sad faces, no one wanting to give me the news. One of my favorite little ones, Brianna, had died the night before. She suffocated while sleeping in bed with her parents. I went to the funeral a few days later and saw that tiny coffin, with her tiny body lying in it. Her face looking peaceful, as if she was just sleeping. Not at all like a simple accident had happened that took her away from this world. I followed everyone to the cemetery where I watched little Brianna’s mother throw her body atop the coffin before it was put into the cold ground, the screams and cries filling the air. That, that right there is what will never leave my mind. Unfortunately, that wasn’t even the last funeral of that nature that I had to attend.
From that day forward I swore I would never let my child sleep in bed with me. And I kept that promise to myself. Rebecca never did and Cora never has.
Trust me, it’s not like it hasn’t crossed my mind. We all get to that point of exhaustion in the middle of the night. Then the next set of problems enters my bedroom. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t put a baby in bed with my Husband. He has been trained to sleep under Humvees, in the middle of the desert with missiles flying over his head. He wakes for nothing. There have been numerous nights when he has accidentally rolled on top of me in his sleep, not having a clue. Some nights he will fling around in his sleep, looking for his gun, yelling at his men, having a PTSD moment in which a baby should not be stuck in the middle of.
So instead I have found myself and my newborn heading to the couch when the times have called for it. I tuck the boppy around my waist, baby tucked in close on top of it, me barely sleeping a wink, just knowing that some nights she needs to be closer to my warmth and heart beat. Wishing for a world where we could curl up with a little one without the fear of hell in the back of our minds. For all those mom’s that rolled their eyes to me, no, I just can’t do it. Sure there are plenty of nights that I get a lot less sleep but co-sleeping just can’t happen in this house.