02.18.11

Never Say Never

Posted in Monthly at 7:30 pm by Pasha

By Pasha Holiday

Before I had my first child., I was so naive (a statement that will surely be revised in the future to, “Before I had my second child, I was so naive.”) I cannot count how many times I started a sentence with, “I will never,” followed by a statement that I now, as a mother, find ridiculous.

Perfect example: I said I would never be a mother who had her little one out past bedtime. Miss the coveted routine and result in a cranky baby …. NEVER! However, last night, there we were, at a bar (gasp!) having a late dinner (“late” being 8:30 p.m.) as Decker missed his 7:30 bedtime.

One might wonder, were they forced into a late dinner? What was the occasion? Really, truly, there was none. We had an opportunity to eat at Fado for free, it happened to be after 8 p.m. and so we said, “What the heck,” threw caution to the wind and became those parents. Yes, those parents, who not only eat in a pub with their two-month-old, but do so after bedtime. We figured it was very European of us! Decker didn’t cry a bit and by the time the cheesecake came he was sound asleep in his sling.

I said I would never share my bed, that my baby was going to be a solo-sleeper from day one. Before I delivered my new bundle of joy I had the co-sleeper setup so knowingly on my side of the bed. I thought I would want my space, I thought I would want to sleep with my husband alone. And then I had Decker. Now, moving him from my bed, beside me, seems to be unthinkable.

Thing is, I love sleeping with him. I love watching him breathe and twitch, I love snuggling him in the belly nook where he lived for 10 and a half months, and I la la la love the ease of nursing through the night without barely lifting an eyelid. People always ask if I am a zombie in the day, if I am running on zero sleep and all caffeine. For now, I, thankfully, say no. I wake up most mornings feeling pretty darn great. I have slept at least eight hours and sometimes 10! And besides, Decker takes his daytime naps alone … which I think is more than enough “me time” for both of us.

And even though it is self-serving, co-sleeping benefits Decker, too. Co-sleeping babies are more physically stable, including their body temperatures, heart rhythms, and breathing. Co-sleepers have fewer long pauses in breathing than babies who sleep alone. Decker wakes up and can touch his mommy and daddy, talk about security for a newcomer to this bizarre world. He has his warm milk within inches and minutes of his hungry tummy. He is a happy sleeper and wakes every morning with his needs immediately met, resulting in a cooing, smiley baby.

I take pride in my home, the organization and flow, how everything has its place and how it is mostly uncluttered. Before I knew better, I said I would never become inundated with all the baby stuff, that my living room would always look like an adult room, without any signs of baby life. Boy, was a wrong! Nowadays there is a swing in one corner and a cradle in the other. Wicker baskets nestled between chairs catch toys, stuffed animals, Boppy pillows and blankets. During the day there is a play gym and Bumbo on a blanket on the floor and a changing station on the dining room table. I wouldn’t have it any other way because Decker loves each of those things. And after all, at least it is organized baby gear!

Finally, I always said that I would never be the mother who could not bear to leave her child. I thought I would be the mom who wanted to go back to world, who wanted to go out and drink, who wanted to get away from the screaming bag of poop as much as possible. But at two-months, I still can barely leave him for few hours to buy groceries. I hate it when I have to put in four hours away at work. Well, okay, truth be told, it is nice to play the radio in the car and not have it be the cha-cha slide. It is nice to have quiet time or adult conversation. And I am looking forward to a date night alone with Matthew one of these days. But I know I will want to get home to my little man as soon as I can. I miss Decker even when I am at the gym and he is at home with his father.

It is the moments that I miss that I can never get back. I am trying to keep the memories of Decker being so small and young ingrained in my brain. These are the days that will never happen again. He is my first, the most special person in my world. I am unwaveringly in love with all parts of him. That will never change.