Most hippie/treehugger/attachment parenting parents will rattle off two dozen reasons to justify what is warily viewed by the american society at large as co-sleeping. But one reason that didn't occur to me until earlier this week is this: It's CHEAP.
Yes, cheap as in easy on the bank account. Now that J and I have decided to transition K to her own bed (we actually decided this many moons ago but have finally overcome inertia to do it), I realize that this is an expenisve undertaking. I do worry how we will manage to eat in the next few months. Just a brief list of the buying frenzy below.
1. The mattress - the most important, the most headache. Apparently buying an organic mattress requires either a doctor's prescription or a swiss bank account. We have neither but we managed to find one that didn't require a 20-year payment plan. Considering that most organic mattresses can easily run $1000+, this was an unbelievable find: http://www.piccolinionline.com/natp-mt30.html
2. Bedding - fun to shop for, but my credit card was wincing. The selection for modern children's bedding has really exploded as of late, with exclusive baby bedding designers like Dwell studio and Serena and Lily unveiling a collection of utterly desirable prints at corresponding steep prices. I tried quite valiantly to justify buying this: http://dwellshop.com/b2c/ecom/ecomEnduser/default/default.aspx
I haven't decided on the bed yet as this is a big investment and J is starting to look nervous. Ideally I would love to go bohemian chic and hit my local flea market to find a bed frame that i can refurbish and then upholster a headboard. But who am I kidding - at that rate K won't have a bed until 2015. Another long night of online shopping lies ahead.
As just punishment for my having been shamelessly sentimental about the weaning process, my boobs have decided to make my waking hours utterly miserable. That's right - classic weaning complications, complete with engorgement, plugged ducts and I think even masititis (a few days ago I had fever, chills, nausea and a desire to just lay down and never move a muscle again). At the moment, I've resorted to stuffing my bra with cabbage leaves to shut down the milk factory.
It's been 5 (5!!) days since K has nursed at the ol'e boob. I daresay, she is weaned. And where, pray tell, is my exuberance at this feat? I thought all I wanted to be was free of nursing, especially after K's demands to nurse (and they did turn to very insistent demands) grew more infrequent and inconvenient. And if J and I were going to plan for baby #2, then the nursing would have to end as well. Which is why last Wednesday, while K and I were having grilled cheese and tomato soup at Nordstrom Cafe, I laid out the facts to her.
Me: Do you want to have a baby brother/sister with whom to play and terrorize? K: Yes
Me: Mommy can only have baby if K stops nursing K: (Gazing off into the distance)
Me: So we'll stop nursing from now on, Ok? K: (Still gazing)
Me: (Starting to sweat profusely and getting nervous) Should we go to the toy store? K: Yes
And believe it or not, K didn't demand to be nursed the entire day. And later that night, she came over to me, gave the o'le boobs a pat for good measure, giggled, and then cried on and off for about an hour until she fell asleep. I lay asleep crying far longer because the image of your first born looking at you with unhappy but trusting eyes does funny things to your emotions at 1am. It's almost over. After 4 nights of no one in this household getting to sleep before midnight, K finally dozed off at 11pm. Which is how I came to race downstairs to record these thoughts and feelings before they pass. So much has been felt by mothers the world over with regard to this singular and miraculous bond between mother and child, exhilirating in its purity and strength. Any more I can say will surely sound trite. Nursing K has been such a blessing. I can't count the numbers of prayers made on behalf of wanting K to latch, wanted more milk supply for K, wanting my boobs to just stop being sore for 2 seconds. And at the end of the road, K and I are so much more tightly wound together for it. (why did I add in this last bit?? you'd think i was writing an essay for college admissions. cheeeesy.)