Dear Mommy Friends,
My daughter is approaching 5 months and to the shock and confusion of many of you my sweet daughter has never left my sight for more than 30 minutes while awake, she has never had a bottle, and has slept in my bed from the day I brought her home. My kind hearted friends, you try to tell me that I should teach Kaylee to drink from bottles so my husband can do some feedings. "You need alone time," "You could sleep while your husband does a feeding", "You could have your mom watch her for a few hours," some of you say. Many of you don't understand why I choose to bedshare. "Isn't it harder to sleep?" "Doesn't she wake more often?" Don't you want her to sleep through the night?" Many of you ask. You don't understand my lack of need for alone time, you don't understand why I feel no need to rush my daughter into being independent.
This is what you don't know my dear friends. When you spend your life believing that your biggest dream is completely and utterly unattainable and somehow magically that dream comes true, you never ever want to let it go. You spend every morning in awe that you achieved the impossible and you don't want to miss one second of living out your dreams. I know many of you have wanted children your whole life and some of you struggled to conceive so you may have some idea why I feel the way I do. And yet it is so much more complicated than that. I know I was able to achieve my lifelong dream and I wake up everyday beyond grateful to have my daughter, but unlike you my friends, who still feel as if death is so far from reality that it never crosses your mind. I know that I stand much closer to my own demise than I would like.
I know I will likely leave my precious daughter much before either of us is ready. I know there is a chance I will miss her high school graduation, college graduation, her wedding day, her children. I want to spend as much time with her as I can while I am still healthy and very much alive. I want to ensure that my love is ingrained in her soul so that even though she will not remember these days she will remember the way I made her feel. I don't want my husband to give her a bottle even during the wee hours of the morning. I would rather her lay in my arms, feeling the softness of my skin against her skin, breathing the soft scent of my milk, my sleepiness. I want her to feel my hands stroking her hair and I want her drift to sleep to the sound of my heart. She will not remember nursing, but I hope when I pass she will still feel the warmth, love, and nourishment my body provided her. I don't want to go out shopping for the day while she stays with someone else. I want to laugh with her as she plays with her toys and makes her silly faces. I hope when I am gone she will remember the melody that the two of us made when we laughed together. I don't want to transition her to her crib, I would rather sleep with her in my bed,wrapped in my arms, dreaming side by side. I hope when she is older and I am gone she will feel the comfort my arms once provided her as she drifts off to sleep all the way until the sun comes up in the morning.
So dear friends, I know you have my best interest in my mind. I know you are looking out for me and want me to be happy. But you must understand that my daughter makes me happy and I know in my heart that what I am doing is what will bring me the most joy and peace in my life. I do not judge your shopping days away from baby, your alone time, date nights or that you are working hard to make sure baby doesn't disturb your sleep in the night, but our realities are so drastically different. And I appreciate your suggestions, but I don't feel like I am missing out on anything I will regret when my lungs give out and my body can no longer hold the little girl I spent my whole life waiting for.