We're like dogs at my house. We're like a little pack of puppies wriggling and squirming, jockeying to get the most comfortable position every night. I've re-instituted the family bed. I'm not getting any more hours of sleep each night, and I'm still oft-awakened, but I'm greeting each morning happier and more satisfied with the hours that preceded it.
We have always practiced co-sleeping, but when Oliver was about 18 months old we finally (and with MUCH struggling) moved him to his own bed. First this was a mattress on the floor next to our mattress on the floor. Then it was his own bed on the floor of his own room down the hall. Then Sam came along and we never got around to moving him to his own bed and as I have gradually come to the conclusion that he will be my last baby I haven't been in a hurry to move him. I'm not yet ready to be independent.
But bedtime had been kind of a hassle because our routine required me to lay down with each child in turn until he drifted off to sleep. This sometimes stretched out to where I wasn't enjoying it anymore. So, in an effort to both shorten the routine and help Oliver and Sam bond a bit more, I began bringing them both to my bed for book reading. Then we turned out the light, sang a couple of songs and curled up around each other until both were sweetly breathing deeply into sleep. At that point I would extricate myself and watch as they turned and twisted around each other in the warm vacuum that I left.
At first we carried Oliver to his own bed down the hall. But then Nik was away and I just kept him there with me and the three of us made our way towards morning every night. Together. And I started to really look forward to going to sleep each night. And Oliver, who can be quite a non-sleeper, has been sleeping solidly almost every single night. Maybe he is as comforted by our little nest as I am. Or maybe that is just how things will go for now. And later they will go differently. And that is the beauty of learning that the best mothering is by instinct. For me this means doing what feels right regardless of what the books say, what the experts opine or how I imagine my mother might react.
So for right now, anyway, we're sleeping like dogs in our little green house. It's liberating. And deeply satisfying.