When my son was born, I was sure I’d put him in his bassinet on his back with no blankets. I’d been reading about what to do for months.

But he was born at 32 weeks instead of 40.

When I finally got him home after 21 days in the NICU, I couldn’t bear to leave him in his bassinet. I just wanted to hold him…forever. So I pulled him in bed with me. It was easier this way. I could feed him without waking up too much.

But there were nights when I’d wake up in a complete panic, slapping at the pillow and blanket next to me. Searching for his small, round head. Making sure he was still there and not under the covers. He was okay every time, but the panic didn’t stop.

Being a new mother is hard. Harder than you expect. It’s hard to love someone who needs you.

People bought me books they thought would help me. They were sure I should let him cry it out. They were sure I should at least put him in his own bed. “You’re not one of those people, are you?” they said shaking their heads in surprise.

I was a part of everyone, it seemed. I was bit crunchy like the moms who breastfeed their five year olds, though I never breastfed. I was a bit conservative like the moms who dressed their boys in sailor suits for 3 month pictures.

One thing I knew was true. I knew he wouldn’t sleep in my bed forever. I knew it was warm and cozy for both of us. And, I knew I would always be okay with this decision.

The first thing I ever wrote in my parenting reflection notebook was–

He will feel safe at night.