Co-Sleeping

Hello Humans. Sorry for the brief hiatus! We’ve been over here just living life and enjoying family time. We’ve had a busy few weeks with work, Husband’s schoolwork, and just normal family activities.

2 weeks of recap [cue the fast forward music]:

  1. Ran around like a crazy person because I had to go to New York City last minute for work meetings from Sunday-Monday. Came home in total zombie mode late Monday night wondering how I ever used to be able to do trips like this in the past.
  2. Tuesday-Thursday was a blur because I didn’t know what planet I was on, and it was just a disruptive few days because I had chiropractor appointments in the morning which threw my work schedule completely off.
  3. Husband and I took off on Friday to drive down to Quantico to pick up his race bib.

[Press play, proceed at normal speed]

I need to take this moment to be a really proud wife here. Husband raced in the Marine Corps 17.75k this past Saturday. He said, “I just want to finish.” Well, he came in 4th place. FOURTH. When I say things like “I just want to finish” I really mean it. I’m the person that the paramedics are cheering along because I’m about to get taken out of the race because I’m running so slowly.

THEN, as if that wasn’t amazing enough, he went to class from 9am-10:30am after having just come in 4th place. THEN we went to the Marine Corps Museum with his parents. THEN we went to Potomac Mills Mall to get him some new running shoes. THEN we went to my sister and brother-in-law’s with his parents for dinner and came home pretty late. The next morning, Husband got up, finished up some homework, and then attended 5 straight hours of class while I went back to my sister-in-law’s with MC and my in-laws. I cannot even.

It’s really safe to say that we operate at about 1000 mph and are chronic overachievers.

Now that I’ve caught you all up on what we’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks, let’s talk about co-sleeping.

Ah, co-sleeping. A controversial topic of parenthood in the U.S. Why do I say U.S.? Because in Korea, you want to know what co-sleeping is called? It’s called normal. I’m sure in a lot of other cultures and countries it has its varying degrees of controversy or normalcy, but I haven’t quite experienced it like I have here in the States. When you hear someone is co-sleeping, usually the parent whispers it in hushed tones as if they are ashamed, or they are very proud of it and will fight you the way anti-vaxxers fight for their opinions.

MC is almost 20 months old and she sleeps in the bed with me. When she was first born, I had no opinions about co-sleeping, nor did I think I was going to do it. We live in a 1 bedroom condo, so instead of getting a large crib, we just got a pack-n-play and we used that for a while. And by “a while” I mean sporadically, and for a few hours at a time. You know what happened? When MC was 3 months old, I had to go back to work. Which meant I needed to get as much sleep as possible. Which meant those midnight, 2am, and 4am feedings were excruciating. I think the 3rd night we were home with this tiny little thing, I dreaded going to sleep and started crying because I knew I was going to have to get up in a few hours again, my milk had just come in so I was engorged and miserable, and I kept leaking all over the place. I don’t think I’ve ever dreaded something that badly in my entire life, and I’ve gone through basic training. The night before going to basic wasn’t as terrible as that feeling.

Also at 3 months, MC seemed sturdy enough, and I was confident enough to try nursing her while laying down. I wish I could have taken a picture of what I looked like trying to nurse her laying down when she was a few days old. It was comical. I was so uncomfortable because I had contorted my body into a weird position to try to get my chest at her mouth level, and she was so little I didn’t feel comfortable manhandling her little body and face so she could nurse comfortably. So learning that crucial skill was a game changer because it meant that I could just bring her into bed with me and lay down and pretend to get some shut eye. It’s so much more restful than sitting up and nursing her.

Also, yes, I know there will be people who tell me, “Oh my god, that’s so dangerous. What if you rolled on top of her?” First of all, my dear concerned parents, despite rare instances of deep sleep, I rarely am SO tired that I fall into such a deep sleep that I thrash around and move. I’m the type of person that falls asleep in one position, and wakes up in that same position. I’m sure you’ve heard this argument before of “oh, that would never happen to me.” But, you know what was actually concerning/scary? The one time I fell asleep sitting up with MC on my chest. Tell me how that’s not more dangerous than falling asleep peacefully next to your child.

We tried to transition MC to the pack-n-play, but she hated it. She also woke up more frequently when she slept alone, and took twice as long to fall asleep and stay asleep. Out of sheer desperation one night, I just started off the entire night time routine by sleeping with her in the bed. You know what happened? She slept through the night. Which meant I slept through the night. Which meant that next day I felt like I could actually face the world without wanting to cry constantly. So we did it again the next night. She stirred once that night and rooted around until she latched on and nursed and then fell back asleep.

You know what another benefit of co-sleeping is? You get to smell that sweet baby smell right before you fall asleep and right when you wake up. Now that MC is a toddler, sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night, scoots closer to me, and wraps her arm around my arm/neck/hand and cuddles with me. Last night, she had a bad dream and woke up with a yelp. She rolled over so she was facing me, put her sweaty little hand on my face and pushed her nose up to mine and fell asleep. When I tried to pull away, she immediately woke up and put her hand back on my cheek and pressed her nose against mine. I stayed awake just soaking in that moment for at least 30 minutes. It is such a sweet, innocent, bonding moment in the dead of night, and I absolutely cherished every single second of it. Sometimes I stay awake just to hear her little snores. Sometimes she whimpers in her sleep, and now she’s starting to talk in her sleep. She says “no” and “wa wa.” She’s such a little hot potato and no matter what state of consciousness she’s in, she always tries to kick off her covers. Also, since I’m a working mama, I feel like those moments at night are how I get in my special little MC time. Since I often feel like I’m missing out on a lot during the day when I’m at work, I always look forward to our bonding time in the evenings.

You might disagree with me, but I think this is the best thing in the world to wake up next to:

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