We decide it's not realistic to ban Ella from our bed entirely. Patrick works long hours, so we don't get to bed until midnight, which makes it impossible for us to get up at 5 a.m. We decide that she can come into bed with us at 5 -- but not a minute earlier.
8 p.m. This is my first night putting her down alone, and I pray that she falls asleep easily. Thankfully, she lies down without a fuss and listens to my song, and then I sneak out. I don't know whether she realizes I'm gone, but the only thing I hear on the monitor is heavy breathing that becomes more regular as she drifts off to sleep.
4:45 a.m. I wake up to silence. Ella hasn't stirred all night? Could something have happened to her? I creep into her room and check on her. She's on her side, fast asleep, her pudgy pink face all crinkled up. I quietly get back into bed and fall back asleep until she wakes up at 5:30.