I’ve been a bad blogger lately. It’s partially just being really busy, and partially because things are going on behind the scenes. Nothing major in reality, but they are big in my mind.
The biggest of these is that this weekend we’re transitioning Eli to his own room. To his crib.
It is a milestone, but I imagine that for most parents it’s not that big of a deal. And truly, I don’t want it to be that big of a deal. But I continue to be shrouded in anxiety (though I’m 2 therapy sessions in) and the idea of my baby not sleeping in the room next to me, of being on his own, is terrifying.
And it’s scary because it gets rid of the last tiny measure of control I have had. When he was sleeping next to me, I could keep an eye on him throughout the night. I could make sure he was breathing, which I do, pretty much every night. I could make sure he was on his back and his airway was clear. Basically, I could rest easy (okay, easier) because all the controllable things were controlled.
But this transition takes away all of that.
In his own room, he can do what he wants. He can roll over and sleep on his tummy and I won’t know until he wakes up. He can stick his arms/legs through the slats of his crib and I wouldn’t know unless he cried. He can get his thumb stuck in his pacifier and no one would see. He could stop breathing and I wouldn’t be there to notice.
It’s particularly troubling because he’s gotten really good at rolling from his back to his tummy now and in the process has either forgotten or just decided against rolling back. So over and over I imagine that he groggily rolls over onto his tummy and can’t get back, so he just goes to sleep that way and something terrible happens. And logically know that plenty of babies sleep on their stomach and nothing happens, but I’m not having issues with my rational mind.
I want to let go. I want to be more carefree. But at the same time, I’ve come to realize that this anxiety serves a purpose for me. It makes me feel like I’m preparing, like I’m keeping everyone safe, because I imagine everything that could go wrong and then I take steps so that it doesn’t. Unfortunately, this control comes at the cost of tormenting myself with terrible scenarios of my family being devastated.
Realistically, I know that him sleeping in my room only mitigates a few of the risks. When I’m asleep, it doesn’t matter that he’s a foot away, he may as well be a mile away because I am dead to the world. The reality is, I’m trying to control an uncontrollable situation. And I’m realizing that I can’t and that makes me feel totally vulnerable and scared.
I know that this is going to be the best thing for all of us in the long run. Eli sleeps so much more soundly when it’s quiet than he does with noise. I imagine the first several nights will be a struggle because it’s such a major transition, but eventually, I know it’ll be as normal as him sleeping with us has been, it’s just hard to imagine that right now.
I want my baby to be happy and well-rested, but I also want to keep him safe and close. I’ve come to realize that I can’t reasonably have all of that. And so I worry. Because it seems that it’s the only thing left I really can do.