Although one of my pre-momma "nevers" was that I would NEVER let my baby sleep in my bed. HA! It's cute really to think of my reasoning. Anyway...
I've kept my boundaries, but there have been very specific instances where having her sleep in bed with me just has been the best option - even if by "best" I mean a quick fix to shut her up so we can both get a few winks before the next day begins.
The problem is not that she becomes accustomed to the contact. Mostly when she sleeps in my bed, it's with a pillow between us to do my best at (A) not rolling over on her and (B) not using me as a human security blanket. I still have my hand on her - even if it's just on the sole of her foot - something to detect movement. The potential for escape. The danger of falling.
I'm a light sleeper by nature. And a lighter sleeper when she's in my bed. I can hardly close my eyes - even at the peak of exhaustion. I just watch my sweet angel sleeping. Fighting the urge to kiss her face and hands and feet and chubby thighs and dimpled elbows and pseudo-sucking lips and sweet little chin. It kills me. My heart races with love. I convince myself to leave her the hell alone. I close my eyes. Again. And again. And sleep.
I wake when she moves. I move when she wakes. She has the same gravitational pull toward me. Pulling hair, poking eyes. Exploring and loving with touch...and sometimes jaggy nails.
When we were on vacation, she slept in the portacrib when she'd initially go down, but end up nursing off and on all night. It was a terrible habit for me to pull her into bed with me. Sneer, glare, shake your head. I know it was bad. I knew at the time. I had no way to close the door and let her cry it out. We were on vacation for god's sake. Rules get broken on vacation.
That week of her sleeping in bed with me seems to have ruined me more than ruined her. In the wee hours of the morning, I will wake in my bed with a start.
In the foggy mist between sleep and wake - you know, where Peter Pan lives - I pat the bed beside me on the other side of the pillow I'm spooning. SHIT where is she? I pat frantically in the dark. The whole bed. I find the dog, my husband, and 4 trillion pillows. NO BABY. Where is she? Oh no. Did she roll off the bed? Did she get up and crawl away and get into the kitchen cabinets? WHY CAN'T I HEAR HER???
"Well, dumbass" I finally concede to myself, "she's still in her crib where she's safely been all night."
I've gone so far as to ask my husband who had gotten up ass-crack early to head to work - "Have you seen the baby?" Like she might have stopped by for a visit or they'd passed on the road yesterday.
She's seriously like an amputated appendage when she's not with me. A part of me is missing. Yes, I bitch because she's SO dependent on me (take a bottle once in a while for christ's sake!) but I truly miss her during the night, during naps, when her dad's keeping an eye on her.
Eight months ago, I would never have believed anyone who would have told me I'd be up in the middle of the night writing such a thing.
I so love being a Momma. Every bit of it.