hi. i didn't co sleep, but an idea i had was kind of a stepping stone to a cot. if you want him close to you, but getting him used to the idea of not being in bed, you could do what i did. i had a pram that was like a bassinette, and i just put my daughter into it beside the bed.
it was nice and cosy for her, i could sleep knowing i could hear straight away if anything was wrong, and i never had a problem with it.
i can't remember exactly how long she slept like that for before moving into a cot, but it was probably for about six months, and then she didn't really mind the cot.
we did have issues when we moved the cot out of our bedroom into the other room, and more trouble when we tried to get her to move into her own bed, BUT we did discover that if we ignored her protests, after a week or two they went away.
so anyway - try that stepping stone of a bassinette or pram right beside your bed. it's a starting point and you'll still have the comfort of knowing he's right beside you, and he'll start learning to let go.
sorry i can't help you on the down there issues, i had a caeserian but take my word for it, i would have preferred a natural birth any day. the hospital botched my daughter's delivery and my insides are mess.
as for custody battles - i've never worried personally, but both my sister in law and best friend have had custody problems. so a few things to think about...
you say you want full custody - does that mean 100% custody or just majority custody?
basically it comes down to what sort of person is your ex? if he's a bastard, just tell the mediation people what he is like and if it goes to court, tell them what he is like. if he's an alright person and dad, maybe think about some kind of joint custody.
unless there is a very good reason, kids need their dads too. even if your ex is a jerk, maybe consider something like one day a fortnight supervised custody - that way you get a break, your child gets to know their dad, but because it's fully supervised, you know they can't hurt your child.
my ex brother in law is a real bastard. he broke his son's leg when he was a baby from shaking the poor kid, but when he dumped his wife when he got his girlfriend pregnant when his son was about 8, he still got part custody of the kids, and believe it or not, it does work.
he doesn't dare hurt the kids coz they would tattle to their mum straight away, and even though he doesn't really do anything with them when they stay there, they love the time there with their thalf siblings and step siblings.
he may be as scummy as they come, but my sister in law's decision to let the kids goe there every second weekend has been what's best for her two kids even though it hurts her to let them go.
my point? unless you are worried this guy is a child abuser, it might be best to let him have part custody - because there is always the risk that your child will later resent you if you don't.
but if there is any reason at all to think he might hurt your child - tell the authorities everything.
just remember one thing, from someone who has seen the pain it causes - never, ever make false allegations to get custody. it destroys innocent lives in ways people never imagine. my best friend is still paying for a false allegation a mother made against her when she was just a child herself.
but anyway, when it comes to disputed custody, it is important to get any agreement in writing and official. my suggestion is as soon as you can, ring legal aid. they can give you general advice and can tell you the next step to take and if you need legal assistance, they may be able to support you for free or refer you to someone you can afford.
one thing i strongly suggest - build yourself a strong network of friends. at this time in your life, no matter what happens, you need support and you need people to talk to.
i thought i could do it alone (most of my closest friends are interstate, my family are jerks and my husband had a breakdown after our daughter was born) but eventually it all became too much and i'm still paying for it now with both my mental and physical shot to pieces.
look after yourself, that is very important. and if you ever need to talk, feel free to email me.