I dream about sleeping. When I had my son, though, it was more of a waking dream. Nighttime had became the new daytime, and I trudged around the house in a ponytailed haze, putting milk in the cupboard and cereal in the fridge. My newborn gifted me with so many wonderful things, like a fuller heart, bigger laughs and huge amounts of spit-up. But with all these new gifts, a fulfilling night's sleep wasn't really among them. Seriously, I think the last time I was consistently getting a good amount of sleep was when I was a newborn.
I realized quickly that prolonged shut-eye was one luxury in which I’d no longer be taking part, like watching "Game of Thrones" or seeing my husband. But as the weeks crept on, I felt something new growing in my body, and it isn't just my engorged breasts. I was developing a new mom superpower: I could fall asleep anywhere! Really, I mean anywhere. Here are some of the wackiest ways I've drifted off as a new mom.
1. Date night: My husband’s version of this story goes as follows: "I was telling my wife an amazingly interesting and engaging story about the history of progressive rock and, during the hilarious climax, I turned to find that she had conked right out." I thought he was singing me a lullaby.
2. The doctor’s office: The doctor's office can be boring, but I’m usually able to stay awake. After being ushered back to the cozy checkup room, my son decided to snooze in his carrier. Following his lead, I fell asleep in the chair. When the nurse opened the door, I woke up. I thought I was able to hide the fact that I’d fallen asleep ... until I noticed the drool pool on my chest.
Never sit while listening to the soothing sounds of water running in the background.
3. While the shower was running: I turned on the water and decided to sit on the bed to rest. That was my first mistake; sitting. Never sit while listening to the soothing sounds of water running in the background. I really felt like I was in Hawaii until my husband turned the shower off.
4. The kitchen table: It’s surprisingly comfortable.
5. While pumping: Several times a day, I identified with cows. Hooking my bust up to a breast pump is more awkward than trying to wear two pairs of Spanx under your Lululemons. (Not that I’d know what that’s like. Uh, friends have told me.) Even though I never mastered sleeping standing up, I did become quite adept at napping while hooked up to this whirring contraption doing its manipulations.
6. Mid-conversation: While riding in a car with friends, I remember mumbling something like, “I’m really tired.” The next thing I knew, we had arrived at our destination. Much to the surprise of everyone in the entire car, I’d fallen asleep mid-sentence. Yet another example of how my sparkling conversational skills can’t even keep myself interested.
7. On the floor: The first week my son was home, he did not sleep. Not an hour. I guess he was too excited to catch up on episodes of "Game of Thrones." Still, we both needed some sleep in order build up enough energy to work the remote, so I took him to his baby swing to see if that could lull him to sleep. I laid on the floor in front of the swing and we both caught some zzz's.
8. During any TV show: Pre-baby, my husband and I enjoyed watching our programs together. Post-baby, I enjoyed sleeping through all of them near him.
9. Sitting in bed: It’s true that a bed doesn’t seem like a strange place to fall asleep. Sitting straight up in bed, dozing, holding a colicky newborn is definitely a challenge. A pillow underneath my baby-filled arms helped calm my screaming son, so I learned how to sleep sitting straight up. This has really helped me on airplanes, during boring movies and while my husband is telling stories about progressive rock.
10. Anywhere outside: My husband and I have always enjoyed being outside. On any of these stops to a park, outdoor mall or even in our backyard, my family might find me taking in a quick catnap while my husband and son were taking in the sights. Tip: A diaper bag makes a great pillow.
I still dream about sleeping, but not nearly as often because my little newborn has grown into a little boy. As my baby changed, so did his sleep habits. His slumber became more consistent and I began to dream in my sleep instead of dream about sleeping. My son gifted me so much in his first few months and I’ve tried to keep those precious moments close to my heart: moments of love, connection and laughter. Hopefully, I didn’t sleep through all of them.