I have diagnosed myself with something I call “twin sleep divergence paranoia.” It is characterized by the anxiety that breeds when one baby is awake while the other is sleeping. It is the fear that when the awake baby finally falls asleep, the asleep one will wake up and they will be on a different schedule for at least the next five years but possible longer. Common symptoms of this disorder are panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, shaky hands, and sweaty armpits.
When we are home, the babies tend to adhere to my schedule quite easily, so my disease goes unnoticed. It mostly flares up when we leave the house during naptime. For example, this upcoming week Vera is in VBS Monday through Friday. This morning (Monday) I woke the babies early from their nap to get in the car and drop her off. Mercy immediately fell asleep in her car seat and continued the nap for our entire car ride and drop off process, while Samuel stayed awake screaming the entire time. When we got home, I fed them and Sam was clearly ready for a nap while Mercy was totally well rested from her snooze in the car. Now I find myself having an episode of aforementioned twin sleep divergence paranoia, obsessively worrying that the entire rest of the day will be off. Twin problems.
Below is the summary for the twin’s twelfth week, when they were 11 weeks old.
Naps were almost perfect. I’m thinking back and I actually don’t think there was even one short nap all week.
Nursing was good. The issue of them not eating much has resolved.
Night Time Sleep:
BIG NEWS. The babies started sleeping through the night! And I don’t mean that 5 hour stretch crap that La Leche League tries to convince you is sleeping through the night. I can remember specifically the first time some mom told me that: “Well, technically, by definition, sleeping through the night is the ability to sleep for five consecutive hours…” MALARKY! If I went to bed at 10pm and woke up at 3am you wouldn’t hear me telling anyone I’d “slept through the night.” Let’s be real. Sleeping through the night is when you put the baby down at bedtime and they don’t wake up until a reasonable hour in the morning (which, by my definition, is at least 6am). In my case, I put the babies down at 6:45/7:00pm and they now sleep until somewhere around their desired wake time (DWT) of 6:15am.
The first night they extended their sleep, I woke up at 3am with boobs as hard as kneecaps. I held off feeding them until 4:30am, but at that point I had to go wake and nurse them. Let’s keep in mind that I have double the milk here. So for all you singleton mothers, if you can remember how your breasts felt the first time your baby slept through the night, DOUBLE IT. Anyway, our bodies are smart little machines and the second night I was able to hold off until 6:15am, when I woke them up for the day. After that they slept until at least 6am each morning until the last morning of the week, when Sam woke at 3am again. I am crossing my fingers that was just a result of our schedule being a little off during the weekend, but we will see what happens tonight and going forward.
It’s actually incredible to me that they slept through this young. Baffling, really. First of all, it was only six weeks ago that I was complaining about their inability to extend the night time stretches, and only two weeks ago they were still waking twice to eat. Secondly, these are my only babies to sleep through the night completely on their own. Both Vera and Abel had to be pushed and prodded to make it through, and both times it involved some crying. I suspect these babies did it easier and younger because a) they are on a more rigid day-time schedule and b) sleeping together from the beginning has made them deeper sleepers – less likely to be woken up from a sleep disruption. Whatever the reason, I’m over the moon about it. I really, really hope it lasts. I haven’t decided how I will handle it if they go back to waking to eat now that I know they are capable of making it through consistently.
Our schedule this week was pretty much the same as last week except that there were no MOTN feedings.
6:15am: DWT, nurse
7:10am: Nap 1
9:15am: Wake, nurse
10:10am: Nap 2
12:15pm: Wake, nurse
1:10pm: Nap 3
3:15pm: Wake, nurse
4:10pm: Nap 4
5:30pm: Wake, nurse
6:45pm: Nurse, then straight to bed by 7pm
Crying for a Diaper Change:
I have never had a baby that cared about having a dirty diaper. To be honest, I thought it was a completely made-up explanation for why a baby might be crying. Nope. I have a baby who hates sitting in poop. It took me a while to catch on but I am fully convinced of it. Sam is a loud pooper, so I know when it happens. I’ll hear him poop and then 30 seconds later he will be crying. He will not stop crying even if I pick him up. So I’ll change his diaper and bam! the crying stops. Immediately. Clearly he does not like having a poopy diaper. He doesn’t care about pee, but I imagine that’s true of all babies with a disposable diaper on – the diaper wicks the liquid away. I’m wondering if this will make him easier to potty train down the road.
I have not given the babies a bottle yet. I am well aware that I missed the window in which it is easy to get babies to drink from one. That’s not to say they’ll never take one, but if I try and they don’t, it’s my own fault.
My other two had been given multiple bottles by this age. It’s different this time around because a) my distaste for pumping has increased with each baby and b) I can’t leave all 4 kids with someone long enough for them to need a bottle. My parent live close by, so by the time my last two were this age, Eddie and I had gotten back into the groove of regular date nights. Now to go on a date, I’d have to drop the older two with my sister and the younger two with my mom. I’m sure it’ll happen at some point, but the stars just haven’t aligned yet.
I have gotten Vertigo about once a year for the last 8 years. The first time I had it I had no idea what Vertigo was so I ignored the dizziness I felt, hopped on the treadmill at LA Fitness, and proceeded to completely eat it in front of the entire gym. I scraped my embarrassed self off the floor and actually DROVE to the doctor, which I think we can all agree is a ridiculously unsafe thing to do when the world spins every time you turn your head. In any case, I’ve since had vertigo numerous times, including this week. Normally I take Mucinex D and it works pretty quickly to drain the fluid in my inner ear (or however it works). Google cautions against taking it while nursing because Pseudoephedrine can decrease milk supply, but I’ve taken it while nursing before and never had a problem. This time I was more hesitant because I’m nursing twins and a decreased milk supply would have a greater impact, so I held off on taking it until I was dry heaving in the sink and completely unable to walk a straight line. Perhaps I waited too long, because the Mucinex was totally ineffective. It’s been 6 days now since the Vertigo started and I still can’t get rid of it. I’ve been to Urgent Care and have taken multiple different types of OTC allergy medicines, and it’s only gotten slightly better. I am taking Dramamine (Meclizine) around the clock which really, really helps with the nausea and dizziness, but I can’t seem to find something that will actually address the problem. It’s super irritating.
Lazy Sunday Cocktails:
Until this year, Eddie worked an early shift and was home every day by the late afternoon. During that time, we had a tradition called “Cocktail Friday” where we would kick of the weekend with a cocktail on our deck while the kids played outside. It was fancy and fun to try out a different recipe each week. With his current job and San Diego traffic, he usually isn’t home until 6:30-6:45pm, which is right at that hectic time where I’m trying to get everyone down for a 7pm bedtime. Between that and my recent pregnancy, Cocktail Friday had sadly come to an end.
In its place, we have just recently started “Lazy Sundays” where we sit in the backyard rockers in the late afternoon and have a drink together. It’s a cheap date and a fun way to wrap up the weekend.