Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dear Daughter

As you are laying on my chest curled up in the moby wrap, there are so many things I would like to tell you. This letter is to you in hopes that I can turn some 'negative' elements of the first 5.5 months of our time together into positive ones.

I love breast feeding you.  It took us a long time to get a routine going.  You loved to nurse...all the time and it frightened me when you were younger that you weren't getting enough to eat.  I now, looking back, think you were.  You were simply a slow gainer (and still are) and just enjoyed being comforted on the boob. Now, I enjoy nursing you.  I love how convenient it is.  I love when you play peek-a-boo with daddy while pretending to nurse.  I love laying down beside you at night holding your hand while you nurse your way into a slumber.  Although it took awhile for me to realize it, breastfeeding has worked for us.  We are a success story!  We are very lucky to have doctors that know about breastfeeding and are okay with your slow gain.  They see how happy you are and how much you are thriving and are fine with your slow gain.  Someone has to be small right?  Your chubby cheeks and beautiful blue eyes tell the world that you are doing OK!

I love falling asleep beside you at night.  Although it bothers me to have to go to sleep so EARLY some nights, the truth is, I'm usually pretty tired myself and welcome sleep.  You look forward to this to.  You start to cry and get cranky as soon as we go to mommy's bed and just wait in anticipation for me to lift my shirt so that you can latch on.  As much as I tell myself I will just wait to your asleep and then roll away, we both know that unless I fall asleep, you never get into a deep enough sleep for me to just roll away.  The hormone transfer that happens between us is nothing but pure magic.  You need that hormonal release to fall asleep and the funny thing is...so do I!  The nights that you do sleep in your bassinet for a couple of hours (which are VERY few and far between) I usually am up tossing an turning awaiting the moment for you to come back to bed and latch on so that I can fall asleep too.  Some would say this is a bad habit for us to be getting into and that daddy and I need to teach you to fall asleep on your own.  I argue saying that sleep is a developmental state that you will reach when you are ready.  We celebrate milestones like rolling, walking and talking, but we criticize sleep regressions as if they symbolize a 'bad' baby.  Truth is, sleep regressions and triumphs are as developmentally normal as rolling and crawling.  We need to take the good with the bad.  The beauty of co-sleeping and you comfort nursing is that mommy can just go back to sleep.  No floor walking, rocking, bouncing etc at 3 am.  We can just roll-over and sleep together and we both get rest.  I love waking up to your smiling face and you forcing me to stay in bed longer than I normally would so that you can get the sleep you need while comfort nursing. Our days have become much more relaxing (even though some days I want to scream from feeling like a prisoner to you).

I love how putting you in the wrap is such an easy way to get you to sleep.  There is rarely any fussing.  You look forward to it.  I don't enjoy having to wear you for your entire nap...but sitting on the exercise ball allows me time on the computer to read, watch a movie or do whatever else I want to do. I can't relax on the couch or take a nap..but it does give me permission to just be. Some days I try and lay you down in hopes that you will stay asleep...maybe when you are a bit older your morrow reflex wont wake you up...or you'll have been so comfortable in staying asleep on mommy you will just roll over and fall asleep.  Either way, we can work around your needs.

Truth is buttercup we wanted you so badly in our lives.  We loved you so much and you gave us such a scary start that we are afraid if we are doing things right.  I never want to second guess myself and co-sleeping, baby wearing and breast feeding allow us to never think twice about what we are doing.  You enjoy it and so we know we are meeting your needs.  Life is too short, and given what happened to cousin Tyler's baby, it can be taken away from us all too quickly.  We will hold you for as long as you need and love you with all our might.  Things are definitely not easy for mommy and daddy.  We don't like the lack of time we have for each other and needing to sleep in separate bedrooms,  but we do it because we love you and we are committed to meeting your needs and making your transition into this world as smooth as it can be.  When you are older and are able to understand more ... we may try to encourage you to be more independent.  But right now, you are a baby and are learning so much.  You don't understand what is happening to you just as much as we don't understand it.  You need the comfort and security and we are here to provide that to you.


1 comment:

  1. This post made me want to comment for the first time. It is beautifully written and I can only say: same here. My girl ist nearly 6 months old, we started co-sleeping out of desparation when she was 3 weeks old. My boyfriend moved out and slept on the couch because our bed was too small for three. I am nursing our girl to sleep, for most naps (if she is not in the moby) and am hardly ever able to sneak away. My nights are beginning very soon, I saw my last movie with my boyfriend before she was born.

    I am often told that she has to learn to sleep alone. That we are forming a bad habit here. I disagree: she will sleep alone when she is ready. Until then, I will help her sleep. I like her warm little body beside me, often latched on until I fall asleep. I do not mind being waken every two hours (or every hour, in bad nights), because I hardly wake up and she falls asleep easily again. No rocking, no having to stand up and walk to another room to soothe a crying baby.
    I know the downsides to this, but i can handle them. I know things will change. Not tomorrow or next month, but they will. An until then, I am happy to have my sweet, warm daughter near me an give her what she needs.