When my son was born, one of my favorite things to do was to hold him and let him fall asleep on my chest. It was an indescribable feeling that was a mixture of “D’aaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwww!” and “I am a mother bear who will rip the throat out of anyone or anything that ever hurts you”.
If you’ve ever been a new parent, you’ve undoubtedly heard at least fourteen variations on sleeping arrangements for your new baby, including “co-sleeping” where you allow the baby to sleep in the bed with you. This thought TERRIFIED me because he was so itty-bitty and I was afraid he would get lost in the blankets. So instead, he slept in a bassinet next to the bed. That way, we could still fall asleep with him on my chest but I would wake up and put him into his own bed. SAFE!
However, my irrational, newly-maternal, anxiety-ridden brain had other plans for me.
I never once failed to wake up and put him in the bassinet. But I was so tired ALL THE DAMN TIME that I would often do it in a half-sleep stage and fall immediately back to sleep once my body approached anything close to a reclining position. When this happened, my brain decided that wasn’t enough closure and kicked on the anxiety while I was sleeping.
Long story short, I would start to panic in my sleep, thoroughly convinced that my son had rolled off me and was somewhere in the bed. Still not awake, I would start to frantically search the covers. When I didn’t find him (because he was blissfully and SAFELY sleeping away next to me), I would start to panic that he was UNDERNEATH MY HUSBAND OHMYGOD!!!!
Imagine my poor husband, night after night, being woken from a dead sleep by a raving lunatic woman with stress-enhanced strength who was literally shoving him out of the bed in a panic because HE WAS SMOTHERING THE BABY OHMYGOD! WHERE IS HE??? HE’S IN THE BED SOMEWHERE AND I CAN’T FIND HIM AND