When you deeply miss the thing that’s breaking you.

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It’s 2am and I can’t sleep, but that’s not out of the ordinary. Sleep is something that has been hard to come by for almost two years now. But this time, when I roll over or simply just open my eyes, I don’t see my baby next to me. There is no tiny human squeezing my finger, crawling on me in their sleep, insisting they be in my arms while I lay on my back, or sticking their fingers in my mouth (and eyes, and ears, and nose). No tiny human for me to watch as they sleep, or feel breathing, or hear move before they even do.


But it’s no longer safe.


It’s pushing me towards my breaking point and over the edge into postpartum psychosis.


The thing that I have come to love the most about parenting and the bond it infuses with my child, is no longer safe.


I find myself laying in my bed alone, wavering back and forth between the relief my exhaustion feels and the grief in my heart that my baby is no longer sleeping next to me. I can roll, stretch, sneeze, and toot without worry now. I don’t hear things that aren’t there anymore. And most importantly, I can rest my eyes and soul with deeply desired sleep I’ve been needing for so long. And I am. I am grabbing ahold of those things and not letting go because I know how much I need them to get and be well. I’m grabbing ahold of them and not letting go.


While also letting go.


Sometimes we, I, have to let go in order to heal and see what the next right move may be. Letting go of my attachment to co-sleeping and instead sleep training Wilder, absolutely needed to happen for me, my mental health, and Wilder’s safety. But just because we know something needs to happen, doesn’t make it easier to let go.


This has been one of the gifts recovery has given me: the ability to let go and let God (who I like to refer to as my Higher Power and the universe). After a year of co-sleeping, Wilder is asleep in their own room in a crib and hasn’t cried all night. There is relief there too, I can feel it. A deeper sleep for Wilder and more comfort. Wilder know’s Papa might not be right next to them, but that I’m still right there.


Wilder might not be right next to you Papa, but they are still right here.


Here’s to letting go in parenthood and all of the complicated, mixed emotions that may bring.


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  1. Chantelle on November 13, 2021 at 4:14 am

    You are an incredible papa Danny and you should be really bloody proud of yourself. Xx

  2. Elsa on November 13, 2021 at 6:56 am

    This is so beautifully written.

  3. Brittany on November 13, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    After 2.5 years we finally transitioned my daughter to her own bed. It’s amazing how easy the transition is when they know you’ll always be there even if you’re not *right* there. You’re doing great, papa.

    • Jase on November 17, 2021 at 11:04 am

      I’m right there with you. My daughter is 3, adopted from foster care, however in my home since birth. As we bonded through bedsharing, I’m just now transitioning her to her own bed (right next to mine) for my sanity. I’m a single queer parent of 6 kiddos (3 bio 18, 15, 14yrs and 3 foster/adopted 3, 2.5yrs, and 6 weeks old). I understand both the Postpartum side and the just needing to focus on my mental health. Sending love and light to you and Danny. Danny, may you walk strong in your journey with Wilder and may your bond stay strong no matter how hard it gets…I’m so happy you’re strong enough to voice and act on taking mental health breaks. You’re doing great!

  4. Vanessa Cope on November 14, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    I can relate to this so much. You are doing great, Papa!

  5. Selina Berrios on November 14, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Write the book. I Want More.

    Your future endeavors awaits you as a parent and leader for the lgbtq community. You have my vote and support! Bless you and your family!

    -Selina Berrios

    • Danny The Trans Dad on November 14, 2021 at 7:21 pm

      One day, I promise! For now, there will be so much more here. 🙂

  6. Debra Drevenak on November 15, 2021 at 9:02 am

    I have watched sense the begining! LookYou are such a great Dad and not to mention a. Great person ! Every time u go on I try to catch you ! But I never know when I get no notice, love you’s both! Hope in the future we can Meet love that Wilder to pieces! But for now take care lys

  7. Nic on November 15, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Parenthood is one if the most amazing and challenging things there is. My babe is nearly 17 months and still in our bed. I sleep terribly, but dread having to sleep train. You’re stringer than you know!! And you have an amazing community here for you xx

  8. Stefanie Byington on November 16, 2021 at 8:35 am

    You are are an incredible person! I’m sorry for all that you have dealt with now and before. It will always get better!!

  9. Sarah on November 16, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    I so relate to this! Co-sleeping feels so primally right but sleep deprivation is no joke and you have to get sleep to be functionally human. Your kiddo needs you to be stable and functional and it’s not physiologically possible if you aren’t sleeping. Being a parent is beautiful but exhausting! You are doing the best thing for both of you. Hang in there!

  10. Annie on November 16, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    You are doing so amazing. It’s really hard, and you’ve done it just the 2 of you. That’s a lot of oxytocin shared just between you and Wilder and no one else. No one talks about how Oxytocin can drive your anxiety through the sky because the bond between you and your baby is so strong, and you’re so tuned in, you can’t get good sleep and you’re worrying constantly about everything. It’s an attachment parenting catch-22, especially if you’re prone to anxiety and you don’t have a partner to help you out. My postpartum anxiety was pretty gnarly with my youngest child, but I was very fortunate that my provider was aware of my history of anxiety, and she kept checking in with me, and we had a management plan in place to avoid medication, but there were contingencies as well. Knowing that I had support, and we had planned for multiple possibilities helped get me through the worst of it. It started to ease as we transitioned into more independent sleep (a separate bed in our room) and weaned from breastfeeding.

  11. Dianna on November 23, 2021 at 10:08 am

    Thank you for sharing. This helps so many people know they are not alone. You are amazing. I am so glad you were able to get help for yourself. Wilder is lucky to have you for their papa.

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