Wednesday, June 13. I was very emotional that night. I will be again tonight, because this is the third night that both my boys will be sleeping in their rooms and both of them will be in BIG BOY BEDS!
The whole ritual of "bedtime" has suddenly become a reality. After months of paperwork and waiting for David's bed, it arrived on Tuesday. We've been anticipating its arrival for a good part of a year. There were some options for safety beds, and we were glad to find a bed that did not look "medical," from Beds by George, recommended by David's wonderful therapist, Tammy. This was an event that, for many reasons, has made me a very happy mom. Foremost, bedtime in the traditional sense of the word, never really happened until now. It has been quite a journey.
Before the boys arrived, the boys' Granddad and GrandMary gifted us with two beautiful cribs. When I was seven months' pregnant with them, my sister and I were in their nursery, stenciling the walls and preparing their room for when they arrived. I had ideas about my babies snuggling in their side-by-side cribs, but all that changed after David's injury occurred. Instead of bringing them both home, Donnie came home after a much-awaited month and slept right next to me in a co-sleeper. Or next to Jeremy. It depended on who was spending the night with David in the NICU.
The day before David came home, the medical supply company dropped off all the equipment that David would need when he came home. It felt like walking into an ER with no medical knowledge and having to figure it all out in one day. On top of breastfeeding and pumping and traveling to and from the medical center, learning trach care and how to tube feed, we had to rearrange the cribs for all this new equipment.
After David came home, he slept in his crib in our bedroom with nurses by his side. We set up a TV tray so the nurses could chart. Donnie was usually in the bed with me as I was breastfeeding and this was most convenient. After that, it was just me at home with the boys while Jeremy was at work. Donnie started sleeping in the crib while David was on the floor when we started "the program."
As things evolved, the boys spent many nights in our bed. David had a pulse oximeter to alert us if his oxygen level or heart rate were at dangerous levels, but we started to prefer him just sleeping with us instead of having the monitor hooked up and having to go across the house to suction or check on him. It made much more sense to just roll over in the dark for a quick suction. And it wasn't fair to Donnie, so he ended up in bed with us too. I didn't mind it at all though. I felt deprived of all this time with my boys when they were infants. I felt like we were making up for all the distance that is inevitable when your child is in an incubator or a hospital room.
It seems like we have gone through so many different sleeping arrangements that ironically, our bedtime routine has meant pretty much an absence of routine. No longer is that so. And it is a huge deal.
Another reason this is huge is because it is like a final goodbye to the craziness of the Institutes lifestyle that we lived for so long. Both of my children are in their beds tonight. I am loving our new nights of story time and prayers all together and and Jeremy and I kissing our Wittles goodnight at the same time.