Before the twins were born, we received a lot of different advice from other parents of multiples. No matter who was giving the advice, one message was consistent: “The first three months will be a blur.”
They weren’t kidding.
The good news is that today marks the twins’ three month birthday! That means that it should be smooth sailing from here! Right? RIGHT??
I may be optimistic, but even I have a tough time believing that.
However, we have started to see signs that our lives are becoming a little less insane.
Early on, it was hard to maintain any semblance of a schedule. Part of that was because we were constantly exhausted, part of that was because we had a variety of relatives cycling through baby-tending duties, and part of that was because newborns don’t always want to adhere to a schedule.
Thanks to a concerted effort on our part, we’ve managed to establish more structure during the day. While we were grateful for all the help we received from our parents, in a way, our home became less chaotic once we were left by ourselves.
Of course, dealing with babies in the daytime is one thing. While you never really want to hear a crying baby, it is far more pleasant to deal with during the day. In the middle of the night, babies’ cries feel much worse.
Thankfully, the nights have been getting better as well. They’re slowly (although much slower than we’d prefer) extending how long they last before their first night-time feeding. Last night, they actually went almost eight hours between feedings.
Unfortunately, that didn’t result in much more sleep for me. I fell victim to the “Crying Baby Conundrum.”
As part of our attempts to extend the twins’ sleep, whenever we hear one of them start to cry, we quickly move to soothe them before they wake up completely. Once a baby wakes up completely, they start to realize, “Hey, you know what? I could go for a bite to eat right about now!” And that’s when the crying begins in earnest.
Often times, the soothing only involves giving the baby a pacifier. The problem is, we can’t be sure how long this solution is going to last. Will the baby start crying again in a minute? Or will it be an hour or longer?
Do we go back to bed, taking the risk that we’ll have to get right back up when the baby begins to cry again? (Let me tell you, there a few feelings worse than having to get up again right after you’ve gotten comfortable.)
Or do we stay in their room and wait, potentially wasting quiet time that could be spent in peaceful, wonderful slumber?
Last night, the Cutlass began to cry around 2 AM. I gave her the pacifier, and went back to bed. All was quiet until 4:15 when she once again made her voice heard.
I tried the pacifier again, and although it didn’t immediately take, eventually she quieted down. But now I wasn’t sure what to do. It had been over six hours since their last feeding, so it seemed likely that one of them would soon be waking up hungry.
I decided to hedge my bet and attempted to sleep on the floor of their room. This isn’t a particularly comfortable setup, especially since the Cutlass occasionally likes to cry out in her sleep.
After drifting in and out of less-than-peaceful sleep, I was finally awakened for good at 5:45. Both babies were stirring, and they were crying with the type of urgency that indicated that feeding time was on hand.
While it was frustrating that I wasted a good hour and a half of time in my bed, this was a step in the right direction. If I have to lose a little bit of sleep while trying to get them to sleep through the night, then that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
With any luck, they’ll last even longer tonight, (eight hours maybe?) and I’ll get to spend the majority of that time in bed.
If they do wake up earlier, I might have to sit them down for a little talk: You guys aren’t newborns anymore. You’re mature three-month-olds. Time to act like it!
I’m sure that will do the trick.