I'll never forget my reaction when one of my closest friends mentioned to me that her 4-year-old daughter had sneaked into her and her husband's bed during the night. Oh how young and naive I was to scoff at that situation and remark, " I'd never let my child sleep with me". Even now when I think of the conversation, I'm genuinely surprised she didn't respond to my rather ignorant comment with some sort of physical violence towards me or at the very least, a severe tongue lashing.
Miracles really do happen!
For as long as I can remember, I had always wanted to be a mother. To carry my baby for nine months, give birth, love him or her unconditionally and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, it didn't happen quite that easily for me. I was told and believed for many years that I was unable to conceive. This heartbreaking news was delivered to me after three miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies. One of the ectopic pregnancies resulted in having to have one of my fallopian tubes removed. After lots of tears and heartache, I reluctantly accepted that I would never achieve my dream of becoming a mother. I picked myself up and carried on with my life the best I could although the longing for a child never left me.
Frank and I continued to happily co-sleep, breastfeeding continued and I absolutely loved it. I loved being so close to my child and I loved the feeling and the bond between us that developed through breastfeeding. Frank breastfed for 16 months, I then had the incredibly hard task of introducing him to a bottle and powdered milk; which took longer and cost much more than I had anticipated. He wouldn't take the bottle, any bottle, I spent a small fortune on them and acquired a rather impressive collection. Who knew that there were so many different shapes and sizes. Then there were the teets, I was completely out of my comfort zone. Last but not least, the milk, so many different brands, each promising to be even better for my child than the last. As it turns out, Frank favoured the cheapest brand, disappointingly it was the last one which I chose to try. If only I'd have bought it first, I would have still had some money in the bank. At last we had made the breast to bottle transition!
But alas, Frank was still in my bed! Part of the reason was pure exhaustion, I had absolutely no desire to make my life harder or to put myself in a position where I was going to lose even more sleep. So we carried on co-sleeping. Even when his friends would sleep over, they would end up in my bed! It became the place to be! Unfortunately, though there was no room for my partner, who often spent the night on the sofa. It was at that point that I made the decision that Frank should be in his own room and in his own bed. Not only so that I could share mine with my fella but also because at nearly six, it's something that needed to be done. To my surprise, it only took a week to get into the routine and I could see a positive difference in Frank immediately.