My corner of the couch

For the last six months I have lived my life from one corner of my couch.  It started when I went on modified bed rest just after the beginning of my third trimester.  Being on my feet caused me lots of pain and discomfort.  I lived life in my corner of the couch.  I put my feet up in the recliner as much as possible to alleviate pressure.  I played with my daughter from that corner.  I read her books.  I snuggled with her and watched Disney Junior.  I ate meals there.  I napped there.  I got to know that corner of the couch incredibly well.

The night we brought my son home from the hospital, I took him gently out of the car seat.  While I waited for my husband to set up the bouncy seat to put him in while we ate our very, very late dinner, I sat down on the couch.  I realized I was in my spot — in my corner.  I teared up thinking of the months of misery I’d had.  I thought of how much I prayed for him.  I thought of how much I’d loved him in spite of my misery. I thought of the hope I had that one day I’d get to do exactly what I was doing: snuggle with my baby boy.  And here he was.  He was perfect.  He was beautiful and he was more than worth all the months of misery I’d spent in that corner of the couch.  I felt like my journey was complete.

Little did I know it was only about half over.  We soon found that my son was congested thanks to some issues at birth.  He didn’t have a cold, but when he laid flat, he had lots of congestion that made it hard to breathe, which made him cry and kept him awake.  His most comfortable sleeping position was propped on his Boppy.  So, I took up residence on my corner of the couch again and slept beside him in the recliner.  I planned to get him into his Pack and Play bassinet in our room within a couple of weeks.

What is that saying about best laid plans?  As his congestion was resolving, his reflux really started kicking in and again sleeping propped up was most comfortable for him.  Sleeping right beside him was also easier for me for the nights when we were awake all night long.  I only had to get up to change his diaper.  We were both exhausted.  It was rough.  I even began to make the joke in the evening that I was getting ready for recliner instead of getting ready for bed.  Over Easter weekend we even came up with an explanation for our 3-year-old as to why the Easter Bunny left the baskets and hidden eggs in the dining room instead of the living room where I was sleeping.

My corner of the couch where I have spent the last six months of my life.

Finally, as I mentioned in my last blog post, we figured out how to help his reflux.  It’s involved some medicine for him and diet modifications for me.  In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a whole new baby who is much happier and feeling better.  I was able to get him down for naps in his crib.  Last weekend I decided he was ready to sleep in his crib at night.  We’d tried a few times in the past putting him down in his Pack and Play and his crib and those times always ended in him screaming and us back in the living room.  I was pretty sure that he was feeling well enough that we’d be able to make the transition to the crib at night this time.

As I went to bed last Thursday night, I realized it was probably our last night of sleeping on the couch together.  I was excited to think of sleeping in my bed again.  I longed for my bed. Once or twice I cried out of frustration.  Sometimes when I had gone into the bedroom to change clothes or gather laundry, I would look longingly at the bed and think of laying down.  Occasionally I’d lay on the living room floor just to remember what it felt like to lay down.  Having been through all of this, I was surprised that the thought of no longer sleeping on the couch beside him also made me a bit sad.  For six months I’d lived in the corner of this couch.  Six months is a long time.  My journey had been a difficult one, but it’d been a good one because I had my beautiful baby boy. Even though I longed for my bed, I somehow had enjoyed the time Drake and I spent on the couch together at night, even through the tears (both his and mine) and frustration of him not feeling well.  I had enjoyed being able to just open my eyes and see him.

But, I knew the time was right for change.  He was feeling better and he was now moving enough that he’d slide down in his Boppy and wake me up a couple of times at night fussing because he needed to be readjusted.  As we got ready for bed last Friday and I prayed for strength to make it through our first real night of crib “training,” I told my husband about my feelings and how I was a bit sad.  He’d spent the first couple of weeks when he was off work sleeping in the living room with us.  He didn’t fully understand my feelings, but he respected them.

Our first night went well.  I sincerely thought I might miss the couch a little, but being able to sleep in bed again made me glad.  It definitely lessened my feelings of missing the couch. I was happy to feel my bed once again.  I was happy that my little dude was happy in his crib.  Sure, he woke up a bit more often.  He needed some extra snuggles.  Every night since that one, he’s made more and more progress and is getting much closer to sleeping as long in his crib at night as he was in his Boppy on the couch beside me.

As for me, I’m enjoying being in bed again. I miss seeing my little dude the second I open my eyes and look his way.  But, I listen for him.  I hear him.  I love him.  And I know he’s resting better; we both are.  I get the added bonus of opening my eyes to see my husband once again.  We sometimes get to chat a bit before falling asleep at night.  (And some nights we don’t because Drake has kept me up too late.)  I also have had three mornings of still being in bed when Lexiana woke up and getting to snuggle with her for a few minutes in bed with me before getting up for the day.  Precious moments!

I still sit in my corner of the couch.  The Boppy is still in place.  Drake naps in it sometimes and hangs out in it sometimes.  I still sit in that corner of the couch to nurse during the day. But, it’s not totally the same.  I’m not melded to it like I have been for the last six months.  My journey is moving forward.  And for that, I’m grateful.

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