Jasmine, every night at one point or another you end up sleeping in our bed. It doesn’t matter how asleep you seem to be when we put you in your crib, the moment your back touches that mattress you are wide awake and nothing but mummy and daddy’s bed will do. I try to stay strong while you kick your legs and flail your arms around whilst making whimpering noises. Ultimately, I always give in. I scoop you up and place you next to me with your head resting on my arm, just how you like it. Immediately you settle and the only noise I can hear now is your sweet breathing sounds.
The truth is, you end up in our bed 1) I am so utterly exhausted and I know it’s the only way I’ll get some sleep and 2) because I feel the need to be as close to you as much as you do me. I grew you in my belly for 9 months and now that you’re here I spend the best part of the day with you in my arms so at night time that extra 50cm between us whilst you’re in your cot seems like half the world away.
I’m so, SO aware of how fast the time is going – I already feel the days slipping away through my fingers and I desperately want to hold on to every precious newborn moment. When you sleep next to me it’s like I’m pressing the pause button – as far as I’m concerned, everything else stops momentarily and I get to soak you up for a little longer. I nestle my nose into your hair and just breathe you in. Your sweet smell, there really is nothing else like it. I watch your chest rise and fall whilst listening to the gentle sound of your breath…in…out…in…out. Suddenly nothing else matters but what’s happening right here and now.
I do worry that I’m being dangerous and putting you at risk by having you in bed with us and it was never my intention to co-sleep. So many people can’t wait to tell me how irresponsible and selfish I’m being. Maybe I am being selfish and irresponsible but it feels like the most natural thing to do – to have my baby close to me.
That moment when you instantly settle the second your skin touches mine, it feels like a magic trick. Even more magical than pulling a rabbit out of a hat or making a scantily clad woman disappear into thin air.
I am always relieved when you do fall asleep in your own bed as I know it’s the safest place for you to be but when you do end up next to me, and you nearly always do, I intend to relish it. I’m sorry if that makes me a terrible mother.