Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hard

I feel so alone. I keep searching for a blog that mirrors what I'm going through. A woman who is as sleep deprived as me. Who has what seems to be the world's fussiest baby. Who has twins that won't nap--no matter what technique I try.
Are you out there? Talk to me.

Why is this so hard for me and it seems to be so easy for others?
It's been almost 6 months. I am so exhausted. I cry almost daily.
I want to look at my babies and think lovely thoughts but most of the time I'm thinking "please sleep for mommy".
Because when they nap, they are less fussy and then it's magical.

I'm feeling like I'm reaching a breaking point and I'm scared. Chicken is scared.
Last night they woke up early and I was so frustrated I repeatedly kicked the metal bathroom door while peeing. Barefoot. I don't kick things. Ever.
Then I limped out to the couch and opened up the breastaurant and bawled my head off.

I have spent exactly 10 hours away from my twins in 5.5 months. Yes, I've been counting. The hours are that precious.

Some days, when I run across the street to the drugstore, I'm tempted to just keep walking.

I just want to walk until I find a nice, quiet room and sleep and sleep and sleep.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

41 comments:

Laurie said...

(hugs)

(hugs)

(more hugs)


I don't have survival advice... but I would love to extend the offer of Heather and I watching the boys so you can go out. I'm sure they and Ryan would have a ball. I'm serious. Let me know :).

Schroedinger said...

Sorry Puff... so sorry! I can also offer to sit for them. Take them out & stroll them for an hour or two while you nap. Seriously. I can't imagine this level of sleep deprivation, but your body is tellingyou-- DEMANDING from you-- what it needs. Lean on someone to get it. I know you don't like to ask for help, but now is the time.

N said...

I have no advice, and am obviously not in the same situation. But I have much love. And it WILL pass eventually. This will not be a permanent state of affairs. But that is no help to hear while in the midst of it, I know.

glamcookie said...

I'm so sorry. I have only one baby, not twins, but I am totally with you on the sleep deprivation front. I cry fairly frequently and even my wife, who is NEVER ruffled, was in tears a couple of weeks ago. You are not alone in your frustration or your thoughts of escape. I feel guilty when I go to work because it's like an escape. But my wife is a SAHM, so I know she hardly ever gets one.

I sometimes feel like you, too, that everyone seems to paint such a rosy picture - it makes you feel like you're the only one who has a baby that doesn't sleep. Then I wonder if it's because I'm old (40) and a lot of the other mothers are in their 20s/early 30s. My younger self might have handled the sleep dep more easily. Maybe.

Anyway, sorry to hijack your post. You are not alone. Your feelings are not abnormal. All of this will pass. Please God, let it pass. {{{}}}

giggleblue said...

i feel that, in our own ways, we have all faced what you are facing now. and in no way am i trying to trivialize your situation (please don't think that), but in a way to confirm to you that you will make it!

the only thing i can say is that you need to get some rest. if that means taking the babies to a drop in daycare for half days for a week or so, do that. they'll be fine.

you can't be a an awesome mom to them without being an awesome friend to yourself first. please do whatever you need to do to rest. life will look so much better after a good nights rest and a few naps thrown in!

giggleblue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
This Mom said...

Oh how I understand your tears. My twins were hard, didn't sleep through the night until they were almost 10 months old and were just okay at napping. My wife worked 2 jobs until I started working part-time when the babies were 9 months old. She worked a graveyard shift that left me exhausted doing practically every baby shift. I hit that wall quite a few times and asked for help. My sister would come and take them for a couple of hours and sometimes I'd just take a shower and lie down and bask in the quiet. Take offers of help, for you and your boys. Ask for it, if necessary. Trust your instincts and listen to yourself. You know what you need, find a way to make it happen. You must.

tbean said...

Puffer, I know it does not come naturally to you to ask for help. I know you have had to be self-reliant from a very young age and pride yourself on being able to handle everything. But right now, it really, really is okay to reach out for help. Take up these wonderful NYC area bloggers offers. Make more use of hot nanny. Make sure you schedule time out of the house for yourself on a weekly basis. Get pedicures. Go to Starbucks. Bring a magazine to a park bench and read. You need respite. Do I need to come up there and kick you out of the house myself?

cindyhoo2 said...

Oh holy crap, lady, scary stuff. I am going to send your website to a twin-mom with a password protected blog. She had post partum depression and had a rough time. I think she might be just the lady for you to chat with.

I am so sorry this is so so hard.

projectkjetil said...

You've taken a big step, seeking connections with others who have been in your shoes. I hope that you are able to find the support that you need, and that you accept as many respite opportunities as you can. I'm thinking about you and yours.

Dre said...

I have only had one baby at a time, but I remember sobbing in bed when he kept waking up and wanting to bury myself in the mattress. There were days I thought about calling off of work and checking into a motel to sleep all day.

So I imagine half your pain. And the only assvice I have is this... happy mommies = happy babies. You need to think about accepting help from others as doing something for the boys (and Chicken) and not just yourself. You need to be whole to be able to care for your little ones. Take care of yourself.

Melissa said...

oh girl. I know you know that I understand at least half of what you are going through. I see Jackson in Woop Woop in many of your posts. I don't have any answers, although I wish I did for both our sake.

There have been days where I have dreamed that I could be that mother who just leaves and starts a new life without the babe. I know if others knew I had these thoughts would think I was a horrible and ungrateful person, but they honestly don't understand how overwhelming it all is. Having the kind of babies we do takes it's toll.

Thank you for being so honest in your blog post. There aren't a lot of other blogs out there that speak to this side of motherhood Like you said everyone seems to be having such an easy go of things so I'm grateful for you being so open and honest.

Jackie said...

With only one baby, I cannot fathom the true depth of your exhaustion, so I will just repeat (and underscore) what others have said: taking care of yourself by taking a break is so so vital. It sounds like you have people who have offered. Is there any possibility you'd take them up on it? Being "a breaking point" is scary for everyone and you need to be taken care of in order to be there for the boys. Please take care.

addingbaby said...

I just wanted to offer my support in addition to those above. It's so important that you take the time for yourself. You're a great mom, and your health and wellbeing is so essential to your kids' happiness. Go have a great Thai lunch...get a pedi...

We're here for you.

Heather said...

My situation is not exactly like yours, but I have experienced the months of sleep deprivation and difficult newborn/baby times. I remember thinking motherhood must come so much easier for others, because they always made it seem effortless and like everything was so pleasant... and it didn't feel that way for me. (Of course, there were good times. But, back then, there were more hard times.) I remember thinking to myself "What have we done to our lives?? We have ruined our lives with this baby." Please know that things will get better. Hold onto that. It's hard (or maybe it's impossible) to be able to see a way out of the darkness when you're in the thick of it. But try!

I want to echo what others have said: Take the break you need, take the help that is offered, ask for help, give yourself some rest. It may be hard to let yourself do that, but you will be so glad afterwards. Even if you can get away for a several hours a week. Do it. For yourself and for your babies. Don't make elaborate plans during your time away. Just sleep. Take a shower. Sleep some more.

Ellen K. said...

Hi -- I'm the blogger that Cindyhoo mentioned. I have twins from IVF, too. They are beautiful girls, now 20 months old, but the first year was absolute hell and it really got worse from 6 months to 12 months, when we had big-time sleep problems, I was exhausted, and I couldn't get them to nap at the same time for more than 10 minutes. I couldn't think clearly or act decisively, and I did have some really scary thoughts. My husband wondered why I couldn't enjoy the girls. My parents were worried. So I know exactly what you're going through.

And all the sleep training books did not help; they made me feel that I was failing at my job. I obsessively counted the total hours of sleep, compared the number to the so–called averages in some books, and was very rigid about their schedule.

I asked my in-laws to babysit, I tried to take time to relax and meditate, I tried exercise, and it didn't help at all. When they were about 15 months old, I called up my obgyn and said that I needed some help. She got me in immediately. She diagnosed me with severe depression and put me on a low-level antidepressant -- it helped within 5 days. I felt like the edge had been taken off, and I was able to take other steps to help myself, like finding babysitters and easing up on my notions of what motherhood should be like. She said it was PPD, because my depression is entirely in the context of being a mom. She also said that she sees it more in stay-at-home moms, and infertility and multiple birth are other risk factors. I didn't think it could be PPD because it was outside the 1-year mark; the obgyn said that is a totally arbitrary "deadline" and doesn't fit her observations. For most women with PPD, it just gets worse as time goes on but they have a hard time recognizing it.

Also, this isn't much help now, but it did get a LOT better when they dropped that morning nap, which thankfully they did very early, at 13 months. = Suddenly they could nap together, for 2 or 2.5 hours at a time, and it really, REALLY helps.

My blog is password protected, but if you email me at e k u n k e l m a n n @ y a h o o, I can send you the password. And if you would like to talk to another twin mom who has been in this awful place, I'd be very glad to be that person.

Hang in there. You're not a bad mom for feeling this way, and you're not the only one feeling like this.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry Puffer.

Sleep deprivation is a bitch, no lie.

Granted, I don't have twins but I do have five kids 1 to 11 and have dealt with some serious sleep issues. Our one year old does not sleep through the night yet but sharing the burden with my husband has been helpful. That being said, he is gearing up for a year deployment in the middle east and I will be alone with FIVE kids! I am seriously freaking out at the mere thought of it but I suppose I should have known what I was signing up for. Oh yeah, the 3 year old doesn't sleep through the night either so one of us usually sleeps on the floor in his room.

I PROMISE you will get through this, it might seem like an eternity while you're in it but a blink of an eye a few years down the road, just try to hang in there. One day at a time is honestly my motto, I can't think of any other way...

Good luck and we're all pulling for you!

Jen

Two Moms, Two Monkeys said...

Just wanted to drop in and say that I wish I could help you and give you the magic you need to get those boys to sleep. Unfortunately we haven't quite figured it out ourselves.

We are 15 months out now and though we are finally sleeping well, we still have one in our bed that wakes up to nurse throughout the night. I've gotten so much slack for it but I just couldn't take the sleep deprivation any longer so we decided to bring him to bed with us early on.

I know it doesn't compare to what you are going through, as we've always had my mom to help us since they came home. Even 3 people wasn't enough, so I know you have it rough on your own with just the nanny now that chicken is back to work.

I know others have said to ask for help or accept it from others but I'm not even sure you have family or close friends who have offered so I doubt your turning people down. Is there a way to leave the nanny with them for a few hours just so you could go to your room and sleep? Maybe even go for a long walk? At this age they are definitely more manageable, though not easy by any means.

Hope you find a way to get some zzz's soon...twins are hard work, and without sleep can be impossible to handle.

Strawberry said...

I only know what it's like to deal with one difficult baby, but it's HARD and I will never forget it. I have been taken to the point of violence against inanimate objects and screams of frustration. You're not alone, Puffer. Sometimes I think everyone wears rose-colored glasses when thinking about babies and that they have no idea what it's like. And sometimes people get such easy babies and I am SO jealous/resentful.

I truly am sorry about the sleep-deprivation. It's one thing to let one baby cry it out, but you have two to worry about which makes it all that much harder. I can't even imagine.

As others have said, it will not be like this forever. It just feels like it right now. Even though people say things get better at 3 months, at 6 months, at 9 months...it's still hard for a long time...but it does get easier than it was. And I truly hope that time comes soon for you.

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

I'm sorry this is so hard. Can the hot nanny take the guys for a walk while you get a nap? Are there other people you trust to help out while you get a break? Please take good care of yourselves. xo

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

I just thought of two more things: are they sleeping longer when they get formula? What if they get an extra bottle or two per day? Maybe their little bellies will stay full longer and you can get more sleep.

Also, I know you really like your hot nanny, but if I'm remembering right she doesn't have twin experience (or was it that she doesn't have experience w/ fussy babies?). Anyway, would it be worth looking into an agency and seeing if there is a nanny that has more training that might be of more help?

Amy said...

Sleep deprivation is the worse kind of torture. While I don't have twins I have a very difficult baby who didn't sleep well until the last couple months and shes 17 months old. I too have spent very few hours away from my kids and get to a breaking point at times as well. I am definitely the best mom I can be after a little break. Take some time for yourself and try and get a solid stretch of sleep. You'll feel like a totally new human afterwards, promise!! Hang in there, sending you lots of peace and love!!

Angela Gail said...

That sucks! You will survive, but you really need to find a way to get a break. Make it a priority -- it's important for you and for your whole family. When we were in the worst part of sleep hell we found a way for Lyn to spend a night away from home. That might seem nearly impossible to you, but if you call on people for help and support you can make it happen.

Good luck! This too shall pass, but I'm sure it won't pass quickly enough ;)

K J and the kids said...

If only you were alone. Girl twins SUCK ASS ! remember. :)
I am serious. I am not the one who will sit and tell you that twins are so great and "oh my gosh they are just so much fun" It is HARD work. HARD. and the first year sucks but frankly so does the 2nd. The 3rd...not so much, and it seems to get much easier by the age of 4-6 :)

All I can tell you is "this too shall pass"
and as hard as it is...remember that you are NOT doing anything wrong. They are not terrible babies. The books and techniques are not for everyone. and you just have to keep trying until something works for you.
Good luck.

Next in Line said...

I have sat beside the crib thinking that I would rather kick myself repeatedly in the shin with heavy shoes on than get her go to sleep again. I can understand the kicking and I only have one.

Gosh darn you needed twin mom support and you got it. Further proof that twin moms are superheros. They have at least two kids and still find the time and energy to be there for you. I know you are going to the do the same one day for another twin mom when you come out the other side of this and you will most definitely come out the other side of this.

Now is it really wrong to spike their bottles? Maybe just once or twice a day?

golyweg said...

Aww .. this blog came as a suprise to me, and bought tears to my eyes ... because you always seem to be well on top of everything and breezing though it all; maybe that's the problem? Maybe if you make everything look easy, then other people are less inclined to step in? So; the same as everyone else said: ask for help, take it, make getting help a part of your routine, deal with the crisis before it happens.

Sending my love from across the Pond to you and Chicken
Melanie xx

existere said...

Naps can be a real bitch, especially with twins. All I can tell you is what worked for me/us. First, I never try to put an awake baby to sleep. I wait until they are showing signs of being tired. That means there is much less of a struggle - and also teaches me their sleep patterns. I don't remember how many naps they were having at 6 months, but I think 2 or 3 per day.

If my babies struggle for more than a few minutes, I put them back down to play and try again. Mine also nap in the living room with me - they will sleep in their room fine at night and the day time sleeps don't seem to screw them up. I hold one and bounce the other in a bouncy chair - though both used to nap in chairs.

I could then put them down, I suppose, but I relish the time they are sleeping as a time for me to catch up with blogging, etc.

Sleep does beget sleep - i think you wrote that on a previous entry - but also know that TOO MUCH sleep during the day can fuck up the nights. Or at least it can in this house.

We have not tried to implement a routine, but follow the babies' rhythms. We're now having about a 30 minute nap most morning, and a 120 minute nap (oh, I love it) most afternoons.

Seriously happy to talk more to you about this.

Also, about the reaching the edge?? No fucking wonder, my friend. My sleep deprivation this week is so hardcore I've had a migraine since Tuesday. You aren't alone. That being said, if you get any closer to the edge it may be worth chatting to your doctor? PND is a bitch from what I've heard, and better to get treatment early rather than later if that's the case.

Love to you and yours.

Mommies Making Miracles said...

Puffer!! I second Laurie's post. We'd be more that willing to watch the boys while you take time for yourself. You need it! Sleep dep. is the pits thats for sure.... I hope you find help soon and get some well needed & deserved rest.

Anonymous said...

I had only one baby this way - alert and fussy and no napping no matter what we did. I don't think I slept, really slept, for over 6 months. I tried to have him on a 2 nap a day schedule and he would cat-nap for 20 minutes both times. Then, one day at around 6 months old, he began napping for 1 1/2 hours at a time. It was a little while after I started letting him cry/scream a bit before sleeping at night.

I am so sorry you are going through this. It does change, and it will change. Sooner than you know. Good luck.
-JenB

Jess said...

I haven't blogged for a long time (I used to have the PLUMP blog) because I couldn't stand the whining I was doing. I only have a singleton - a son who is so wanted and so loved after the typical dyke TTC drama. Yet there have been many days that I've wished him back into the ether. He's 18mths old and I still haven't slept a longer stretch than 3 hrs since he was born. Mostly he wakes every 1.5 - 2.5hrs. His sleep is increasingly shitty because of a stack of food sensitivities which we just cannot get a handle on. The only way I've survived is to have him in my bed. I certainly don't feel awesome all of the time but mostly I feel pretty ok. I know some people can make co-sleeping with twins work for them, and some who can't. I have friends who take a twin each to bed with them and for them, it's perfect. I also have friends who have sleep trained their twins from birth and that's how they've survived. (They had very prem twins so actually the training was done for them in the NICU.)

Sometimes, when I'm completely grief stricken from exhaustion it's helpful for me to remind myself that sleeping through the night for babies is an insanely western concept - the majority of the world sleeps with their children and wakes to feed multiple times in the night. It's normal.

I also want to echo those who suggest you find some regular time to be alone. One hour, twice a week, sitting in a cafe or a bookshop or walking around the neighbourhood will give you more respite that you realise and though it won't remove the sleep deprivation, it may help you cope with the desperation and despair. I'm a SAHM too but my son is older so I'm able to get quite decent amounts of me time now and the difference in me is AMAZING!


Anyway, I'm not here to tell you what to do, I just wanted to offer some solidarity and support. I hope you find a solution or a compromise that you all can live with.
xo

Bella said...

I'm so sorry. Being a mom is so hard. I think a few more breaks and/or some help would do you wonders. Our moms and are hear to help a lot and it really helps to keep me sane. Could you look into a babysitter or nanny for at least a few hours a week? You really deserve (and need) a break!! ((HUGS))

poppycat said...

Oh sweet puffer. I wish I had more to offer you that my support and friendship. I'm here for you. If I were closer I'd come over and take a crying baby shift over for you so you could get away for a while.

I think many many people experience the same feelings you are but suffer in silence.

I'm thinking of you and wishing you the relief and sleep you need right now.

Anonymous said...

Aussie twin mum here of 10-week old twin boys (ICSI) - I've loved reading your blog from afar seeing how you're going a few months ahead of us. It's heartbreaking to read this post.

You need sleep, as your absolute first priority. Lack of sleep will be affecting everything, including lowering your milk supply. Skip some pumping sessions and sleep instead, if the boys are magically napping at the same time or if someone else can watch them - your supply will appreciate the sleep more than the stimulation at this point I think.

Feed the boys one at a time if you can, in your bed at night, lying down (this has increased my sleep dramatically as I sleep while they feed/sleep. When baby #2 wakes I put #1 back in the cot to sleep, roll over to the other boob and go back to sleep while #2 feeds/sleeps).

Do you have sleep schools there? In Aus they are free, residential places and the first night the nurses completely take over feeds, settling, etc so you can sleep for as long as you need to. During the day you work on the boys' sleep issues with the nurses.

My boys are demand fed, and are on about 8 feeds in 24hrs. During the day, if they are alert and happy after a feed we play for a while until they're tired, but they go back to bed after every feed: so 8 naps/sleep sessions in 24hrs. If it's a bad day it might only be a 30 minute nap, and a string of these during the day (or night) is exhausting. But nothing like what it sounds like you are going through.

All these wonderful people above have offered help so just take it. Don't even give it a second thought if it means you'll get some sleep.

I'm wishing sleepy thoughts to your boys.

Anonymous said...

many hugs to you! i do think you have post partum depression - it can show up at any time. please go see a doctor!!! you sound like a couple of my friends who were diagnosed with this.

SP said...

I am here. My twin girls were born @ 29 weeks and spent 2 months in the NICU. They have been home for a month. I haven't slept more than 3 hours in 24 since my water broke. My ordeal in the hospital was horrific (I have been following your blog for a while, and I didn't get a chance to be on bed rest like you--ouch--but I did spent 4 days in the ICU with pulmonary edema and a cpap machine. 8 days in the hospital w/ all manner of tubes, wires, and fear. Fear. Fear.
After the girls were born, I had to pump every 2 hours (my milk supply story is another long one I will have 2 tell u later if u r interested--I have also been taking domperidone for months) and shuffle back and forth between 2 hosptials until they were both in the same NICU. No sleep there.
Now, my girls are technically 3 weeks old (although they were born 3 months ago) and they sleep a little more during the day, and not at all during the night. My husbqand is a musician, so he works @ night and I am all alone. During the day, he is working non-stop on our construction-site of a new house (we literally live in a construction site, and cannot afford a contractor, etc). The feeding schedule is: one baby wakes up, cries, needs to be changed, fed, patted, snuggled (this takes an hour). Just around the 45 min mark, the other one wakes up, screams for 10-15 mins while I finish feeding baby A and try to console Baby B with an elbow. Then Baby falls asleep, and I start with B. When baby B is finished, I get up to brush my teeth, or pee, or just collapse on the pillow...15 mins later (sometimes 2 mins) Baby A wakes up again to start the cycle over.
To add to the muddle, Baby B REFUSES the bottle. She doesn't just not want it, she screams, kicks, gasps, gurgles, and hisses like exorcist baby until she is exhausted. My other daughter has a bad tummy and ever minute she is awake she is cringing and writhing in discomfort.
I LOVE my daughters. I feel so fiercely in love, it scares me...but I am going crazy. I cry. I try to make deals with newborn babies. I resent my beautiful husband for leaving to go to work. I imagine contraptions that could mechanically feed or burp my babies...I have always been a bad sleeper, but I am sooo deprived of sleep that I am not well. I feel your pain. I am so sorry. I just wait for the days when my daughters can hold up their own heads, and that way feeding them @ the same time will be easier (tandem breastfeeding not an option: a nurse gave me a breast massage that destroyed the milk-making cells in my left breast--it's a goner).
I'm sorry this response is so long, but I do hope it helps u in some way. I am comiserating with you (about this issue) and celebrating with you about having 2 healthy babies, despite the odds.
Gotta go: it's been 10 mins. And baby B is ready to eat. All the best to you and your wife.

Sophia said...

Hi Puff,
I've been quietly reading your blog for the last couple months and it got me through some of the toughest times of my own twin pregnancy including a month-long stay in the hospital for preeclampsia. My twin boys were born June 23 at 34 weeks 3 days. All I can say at this point is thanks for keeping it real. I know you'll get through this difficult period. One of my boys came home from the NICU two days ago and the last two nights were tough to say the least...my husband tried to help but the overnight feedings were basically all me. My other son comes home tomorrow and I'm seriously nervous. Hang in there...you'll look back on this and smile one day. Remember what you went through hoping and wishing for these two bundles. That's what keeps me going.

Anonymous said...

You are not alone. Every parent has felt like they were at the end of their rope at one point. If they tell you different, they are lying. I am speaking from just having one baby at a time, too. They point is, it's okay. Get some meds if you think it might help.

Advice I can offer is that I slept with all my kids in bed with me. Once they started to wake up, I would stick the nipple in and go right back to sleep. You learn to sleep very still so you won't smoosh them. I don't know if you can do it with two but it might be worth a try. Maybe chicken take one and you take the other?

Also, You need a break. Like, seriously. Just a couple of hours. It doesn't have to be every day or even every week. Just a break to be all by yourself. Go to the grocery store or just take a walk. You will feel sooo much better when you return back to mommy duty. I am a totally different mom when I get my breaks.
Hugs,
Christy in KC

insertmetaphor said...

I'm so sorry and I hope you can find some help in whatever form you need.
xo

K said...

I'm coming in late and can't think of a thing to add that another of your commenters hasn't already posted. I am so glad to see so many offers of local support, and I hope the talk of medication didn't turn you off - I am someone a short-term Rx worked wonders for.

I also want to thank you for this post. You led by example and created a space for people to open up about a part of motherhood that I deeply wish there was more support for talking about in a natural, non-pathological way. I was completely blindsided by how terribly, terribly hard parenting my (one) high-needs baby was for the first few months and I felt like some kind of a sociopath who didn't deserve to be a mom. After a few tentative, coded conversations with other parents, I realized I wasn't alone and I made a pact then and there to be honest with my pregnant friends. It's a tough conversation because it's usually the last thing pregnant women can wrap their heads around, but I feel that if planting the seed can spare them any of the scary, isolated feelings I went through, it's worth it. I usually say something like "it's just so much harder than anyone tells you - the kind of hard you may be scared to talk about" and leave it at that until they come to me a few months later... which they all have so far. I've totally gone off on a tangent here, but I wanted to thank you for this post and the amazing conversation it sparked in the comments section. The more we talk about this, the fewer parents will be left feeling alone when they are not.

Sending strength your way...

Celia said...

I think it was also hard because people with low to moderately needy babies were forever telling us THE SPECIAL SECRET TO SOOTHING YOUR BABY. Please, I would like to kick that Happiest Baby on the Block guy. Swings, swaddles, music, change of diet, NOTHING worked. We could not even take him for a walk in the stroller for months, because he screamed so much. It is very very slowly getting better and easier. It was insane and my husband was in tears more than once saying that we had made a terrible mistake and should never have had a baby.

Niki said...

If you look through some of my older posts you can read about my sleep struggles with my 5 month old twin boys. A litle over a month ago I could have written the very same thing about my boys, but a couple of weeks ago something changed. I had to do a lot of difficult work to help my boys sleep, which resulted in more tears from me than from them. I would highly recommend sleep training for your sanity and your boys' happiness. If you haven't read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins by Dr. Marc Weissbluth, I would HIGHLY recommend it. I also read his original book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, which provided a bit more detail.

I struggled with naps for two solid weeks before something just clicked. I used Weissbluth's methods, but also decided to do some of my own things to accomodate my unique boys. Although the book suggests putting them down and waking them together, I didn't do that. I tried for 2 weeks and wanted to rip my hair out. I decided to treat each baby as individuals ... they are genetically different and require different amounts of sleep, different soothing techniques, etc.. so why not accomodate their individual needs. Also, I decided that although most babies their age nap at times x, y and z or are only taking 3 naps a day mine might be different. Once I let go of those things my life became much, much easier. The biggest key to nap succes (IMO) is to watch for their sleepy signs and respond quickly. The 2nd biggest key for me was to understand that some crying is okay (although incredibly hard for mommy). After about a month of sleep training my boys are napping 3x/day (approx. 2 hr morning nap and 2hr afternoon nap along with a short suppertime catnap). They go down for the night between 6:30-7pm, wake for one night feeding, and sleep until 6:30-7am. The biggest key for night sleep is instituting an early bed time that matches their natural biological clock. Here's a link to Weissbluth's blog: http://weissbluthmethod.wordpress.com/ You might find it helpful to watch the videos because he presents case studies. Sleep training is seriously tough work, but in the end you and your children will be much more rested and happy!

As someone who just triumped over the same issues I thought I'd share, so you can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel! Please feel free to email me questions or vent if you need to. Having twins is incredibly difficult and having twins who don't sleep is beyond difficult! Keep at it mommy ... you are doing great!!