Ella sleeps in a cradle right next to our bed. I love having her near me for the convenience of night feedings, and because...well...I just love having her near me. But we don't co-sleep. I recognize that co-sleeping works wonderfully for some families, but it's just not for us. In fact, I'm deathly afraid of falling asleep with her in the bed and having some horrible accident.
And it appears as though this fear is invading my dreams. Nearly every night, I wake up in a near-panic from a dream--or actually it's more like a nightmare--that I somehow brought Ella into bed with us and then fell asleep and lost her in the blankets. It freaks me out every night...until I look over and see her sleeping calmly in her cradle right next to me.
I think part of the fear stems from the very first night at home when things were less than perfect. My milk was still coming in, we hadn't established a routine yet, and Ella was still figuring out what was day and what was night. We were up fairly often that night (and the next), and I was so exhausted that I just nursed her while sitting up in bed. But I found my eyes starting to close...and I really struggled to stay awake. Okay, I admit it--I probably dozed off for a bit. Thank God nothing bad happened--but I have been very careful to get up out of bed and sit in a chair to nurse her ever since.
Perhaps these reoccurring nightmares will subside in time as Ella begins to sleep through the night, and as I develop more confidence in my parenting abilities. I guess it just goes to show that the worry doesn't stop with the delivery--I now have a whole new set of worries! All I can do is trust that God will give me the strength, confidence, and wisdom that I need at the right times.
Today's blessing is the chance to head into town with my husband and Ella to participate in the Homecoming activities. I know that I'll have a lot of students and colleagues--both current and former--who will be around campus and are anxious to meet Ella, so I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone and introducing them to her.