Friday, February 20, 2009

6 months is harder than 6 weeks.

My sister Laurie is my constant supporter - here she is on a day we were
both so tired we couldn't even sit up, giving S his bottle.
Sorry her head is cut off. You can see the whole photo here.

Oh, friends. What can I say? I'm a mama on the edge!

What happened to my nights? Even though I was never sleeping a ton, at least nights used to be manageable. Now, suddenly, both of the boys are waking throughout the night, and I'm not getting any sleep. I've got so many books on sleep on order at the library, they're going to think I'm working on a PhD. I'm considering every perspective on infant sleep - I figure instead of basing my strategy on reputation, I'd better apply the principle of independent investigation of the truth, and find out for myself what tools are there and which ones I'm going to try. Simply responding to my babies is decidedly not working.

I'm just stretched so thin, I don't know what to do. Even if I go to bed right after they do, at 8 or 8:30, I'm so anxious about what's to come that I can't fall asleep. Starting at 11, it's one baby after another. Shoghi still nurses throughout the night, which I used to love. Now, he sucks so hard that it hurts. Is this teething? Is it developmental? By 4 in the morning, he's been nursing for hours, and then he's awake. Even if I resort to trying to fill him up with a bottle, he doesn't necessarily fall back to sleep, and then of course, Max is up, too, and I have both of them, either ready for the day or crying. Sometimes I put them back in their bassinets and listen to them cry, other times I bring them both into the bed, one tucked under each arm, and listen to them cry. I'm just out of energy, and it is so emotionally challenging to do this night after night, I can't even tell you. It's depressing that this is actually harder than when they were tiny, harder than when Shoghi had the terrible reflux/apnea.

Anyway, despite all of these problems, things are still fun sometimes. Max was just 2 days behind Shoghi with rolling to his stomach from his back, and he does it over and over, while Shoghi seems to have forgotten how. Max is scooting forward on his belly, too! Meanwhile, Shoghi has fallen in love with our new swing (thx, Eliz!), and now routinely falls asleep in there for daytime naps by himself. I'm desperate enough that I'm considering having him sleep in the darned thing all night.

Food introductions deserves its own post, but I've been at it for about a month now. I'm going to try to talk about this and my continuing adventure with nursing at another time.

So, although some of the problems from earlier this week are resolved (everything is fine with my credit union - they just hadn't received my change of address), more seems to be unraveling. Somehow I am going to survive this first year, I know. The boys are clearly thriving. I really could have never imagined just how much harder twins is compared to a singleton, but here I am, living it every day. I love these two amazing boys more than anything, so I know we'll get through it for the better. Please send me all of your encouragement and good thoughts, though... I really need them.


  1. Sending my love and encouragement! Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Child worked for us here...I'm sure someone's told you about that one already. Hang in there. I can't believe one year is right around the corner for me and Jenna. I'll send some sleepy juju out to all of you! You're doing great - I wish I was as close as a neighbor, to help you and give you some big supportive hugs! love, love, love, Shen

  2. Oh mama, I'm so sorry it's so tough - and to be dealing with it all on little to no sleep. My heart goes out to you and I send lots of encouragement and love your way!

  3. Luckily bloglines showed all of your sister. No decapitation.

    I totally let Marsh sleep in the swing at night sometimes because he *would* sleep there and sometimes it was too hard being his pacifier and/or holding him constantly.

    You're my hero, dear. One was hard. Can't even imagine two.

  4. I have taken care of more than one child that slept all night in a swing! Nothing wrong with it at all. Much, much love to you!!

    I have also discovered through my own years of independent research that every kid is really freaking different when it comes to sleep, and there is little you can do to change their sleeping nature. But you can tweak it slightly!

    Have you tried a little cereal in a bottle right before bed? According to my mother that's what got us sleeping through the night. If they were older I'd suggest removing wheat, but since you're wheat free anyway and they are still tiny, that's not really an option lol.

    Love you!!! Someday I will come to Portland and stay up with the babies so you guys can sleep the whole night :)

  5. Oh my goodness, I am so with you. I was up at 3:15 yesterday and 2:15 this morning. FOR THE NIGHT. I don't know what this is, but I hope it passes SOON. So.Tired.

  6. Celeste, oh dear, this is SO hard. I only have one but I teach all day and I'm on dorm duty (boarding school) about every other night...We went through a phase of nursing every 45 minutes after midnight and I went nuts. Ferber method failed. The only think that helped (I'm not saying worked, mind) was sleeping in a different room because his crib is in my room (small apartment) so I slept on the couch. I also made myself let him cry. My limit was 10 minutes and usually he'd go back to sleep in 6-8. We still have nights when he's up around 2-3 am and nurses several times before he's up at 7, but we also have many night when he sleeps until 4 or 5, once even until 6:30. I woke up feeling 10 years younger.
    Hang in there. There's a reason sleep deprivation is a form of torture! Can you get a night helper once in a while, just to catch up on your sleep?
    Good luck!

  7. I forgot to add, we're now back in the same room, but it took a few weeks, and we had to do all over again after Christmas vacation.

  8. Thinking of you and hoping this phase passes soon.

  9. this too shall pass dear C. you are a rock of calm and tranquility. even as you write of all of this you emanate a strength and centeredness. if this is the hardest part, after this not a thing will have the capacity to ruffle that calm. call on you inner Finn--sisu all the way :-)

  10. Oh sweetie! Did no one warn you about the six month growth spurt? Uh, it's hell. WAY worse than the six week.

    Or it could be teeth.

    Or an ear ache.

    Or they might just want to watch late night TV.

    I'm not sure what's up with Claire and Ben but I haven't slept in about 5 days and I'm so tired I can barely type.

  11. aaaagh - you're my parenting streetmap celeste. don't tell me this stuff ,P



  12. Hang in there! One piece of advice I hear from a lot of twin moms is, "This too shall pass!"

    Don't forget, "Good Night, Sleep Tight." That's my current favorite...

    Also, how many weeks adjusted age are your boys? They seem so advanced in their development!!