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Sleeping on her own

Last weekend, my husband and I decided that it was time for E to start sleeping in her own room. Since she was born, we had a room in our house dedicated for her, but because she was our first child, and her initial night-feeds required us to wake up several times in the night, we decided that she should sleep with us in our bedroom.

Oh, we had plans: we did up her room, put cheery white-framed pictures of little cute cartoon animals and dinosaurs on the walls, had a set of light blue curtains with teddy bear patterns altered to fit the windows, bought a lovely flower-shaped night light to put on the wall, bought a pink and white fish-shaped rug for the floor, stocked the dressing area with her diapers, wet wipes, cotton wool, lotions, diaper rash cream, etc. I had plans to wall-paper the room and/or paint each wall a different, cool pastel colour, but Hubby thought it was too OTT.  Anyway, it was good that we didn’t do anything more because E never slept in that room. Until last weekend.

For the past year, she was sleeping in a junior bed pushed against our king-sized bed in our bedroom. No problems with that, except that in the night, she would sometimes crawl over my body to snuggle in the little space between Hubby and me. Very endearing. Very cute.

Now, because she was growing older, we decided to let her have a go at sleeping in her own bedroom. We had yet to put together an expandable super single bed we had bought for her , together with a memory foam mattress. I had bought all the cute appropriate bedding to go along with it, but somehow we had never found the time to fix it up. So, E and I, for her first night in her room, slept on our queen-sized bed which had been designated for the guest room. We pushed it against the built-in wardrobe, bought new, bright, polka-dotted sheets and a new pillow for the growing girl and for that first night, I lay with her on the mattress until she had fallen asleep.

She woke up twice that night, unused to her surroundings, I think. She also woke up twice the night after and both nights, I rushed over to her room as soon as I heard her little cry from the parents’ unit of the baby monitor on my bedside table. But last night, she slept soundly throughout: it could also be attributed to the fact that I fell asleep there myself after I had put her to bed, and only went back to sleep with Hubby around midnight. She woke up early in the morning, at 6 a.m. for milk and then went back to sleep, and by that time, I was too weary to move back into my bedroom with Hubby and slept with her until I had to wake up for work.

There’s a strange feeling of emptiness in my bedroom. It surrounds me when I walk into my own bedroom at night and see that she’s no longer sleeping in the junior bed beside me. We haven’t had a chance to dis-assemble the junior bed yet, and it has been pushed against a wall to make for more space. It looks strangely forlorn, with its pretty pink jersey fitted sheet and 2 lone fuchsia pillows, her teddy bear and soft plush elephant, Allie.

I miss my daughter already. And she is sleeping in the room next door. I shudder to think how much more this feeling of loneliness will flood my heart when she grows up and moves away from home.

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