One development over here in life with a newborn is the desire to actually do things during the day without said newborn strapped to my body. Things like exercise, shower, and change washer loads. Or carry heavy winter coats up to the attic. This does not mean I am getting more sleep at night and therefore have more energy, but rather that I am adjusting to the lack of sleep and getting bored with all the things I can do on my phone with an infant on top of me or without bending over and annoying the baby in the carrier.
But my darling Bumby will only sleep on me. Or, on a good day, right next to me, pressing his full length into my body. Occasionally he will fall asleep in the car seat or stroller when we are out and about, and actually stay asleep there for another half hour or hour, but that method is mostly reserved for the afternoons (and moments of desperation), and requires me to be already dressed. Although I CAN change my shirt while holding him, it takes a long time. And I have yet to figure out how to shower without setting him down. To the “put the baby down sleepy but awake” crowd — HA. This will get you a full on scream in under three seconds.
All of this means I am working on perfecting a method I have heard referred to as the ooze. Baby falls asleep on top of me. Usually while nursing, so step one is to remove the nipple from his mouth without waking him. This is harder than it sounds. Then I have to wait about 15 minutes, sometimes more, until the sleep is very deep. The trickiest part of the ooze is moving him from on top of me to the warm part of the bed — the part directly underneath me. This I have managed successfully only a handful of times, and if botched requires starting completely over. Also, a grave error is starting this too close to the edge. I am dreading the day he learns to roll over. I guess I will get bedrails then?
Once he is on a non-human surface, I gently, slowly, ooze myself away from him. First my legs, then finger by finger, inch by inch, the rest of me. I end with a hand hovering a millimeter above him. He can sense this, I am convinced. Maybe it radiates a certain amount of warmth. An ill timed dog bark or door slam sets me back to the beginning.
In fact, I am oozing right now. I have already botched it once and had to start over. I have transferred him to the bed, although he is still nursing. Once he is deep enough down, I will adjust the shirt so there’s no skin to skin, then slowly, ever so carefully, ooze away.
My goal here is 30 minutes of sleep without mom-as-mattress. It will probably take me close to 45 minutes — maybe even an hour — of ooze for those 30 minutes. But this is enough for me to change my clothes and work out. A bonus ten minutes of sleep gets me a shower, although frankly, Bumby does not care if I am sweaty for a while and, if well rested, will hang out in his swing for 10 minutes examining his hand.
Don’t even get me started on the tricks employed to get him sleeping at night.