It’s been a looooong time since I last updated this little blog of mine. Many factors have contributed to this: my computer and iPad were stolen during a break-in, being in and out of the house for doctor’s appointments and shopping trips, trying to maintain a home, and, oh, yeah, having twins.
Life with the boys has been a whirlwind of activity. Holy learning curve, Batman! Last week saw their 6-month birthday, and I’m just starting to feel like we’re getting our s together. Again, there are a bunch of reasons life is getting more manageable.
The biggest change in the past couple of months is SLEEP. As in, we’re all getting more of it. We needed a lot of help, though. Up until about 4 months, the boys were pretty good sleepers. I’m still breastfeeding, and they woke up in the night for feeds, maintaining their day schedule of every 3 hours. I didn’t mind this at all, especially because as soon as they were finished eating, they went straight back to sleep. They seemed to understand that it was nighttime. Day time sleep (naps) was a completely different beast. They were inconsistent, sometimes nonexistent, and very rarely synchronized. If they happened, it was in their car seats, on the stroller. The advice of “sleep when they sleep” was laughable: sleep when which one sleeps? How do you sleep when they only sleep in the car? Still, though, I wasn’t complaining. I knew it could be a whole lot worse.
Which, of course, it did.
At Christmas, the boys got sick for the first time with a brutal cough. Just before this, we moved them to separate beds, as they were getting too big to share a playpen and were waking each other up with their flailing arms. This was the point where they were constantly breaking out of their swaddles, so we moved them to GroBags. Lots of changes for two tiny people. Not surprisingly, their sleep took a massive nose-dive. Was it the dreaded 4-month sleep regression, or that huge list of other factors? I was too exhausted to do any detective work, and so at 3:30 in the morning, after a week of the boys alternately waking up every hour to “feed”, I wrote a desperate email to a sleep consultant recommended by a friend. We were all totally miserable.
Then we went to England the next week.
The only thing worse than jet lag is twins with jet lag. Just brutal. There were so many tears from all of us that week.
Arlo adapted after a couple of days, though woke frequently through the nights. Felix, on the other hand, was a total mess. After 3nights of inconsolable shrieking, I gave up on him sleeping in the playpen and brought him into my bed. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough, and continued to shriek every time he was put down. Solution? Boob, of course. I slept without a shirt on and shoved that boob in his mouth every time a peep came out of him. As with anything, it works until it doesn’t. Ugh. He was completely exhausted.
This habit continued when we came home, and couldn’t wait to get started with the sleep consultant.
Upon her suggestions, we separated the boys to start sleep coaching. Since Arlo seemed like the better sleeper, we’d start with Felix. Arlo stayed in our room in the playpen, and for the first time ever, Felix went to bed in the boys’ room in his crib.
I may have shed a little tear.
We’re using a cry it out model with checks every 5 minutes. It’s not easy, I won’t lie, and there have been many (many) moments where I question what we’re doing, what psychological damage I’m causing, and what a terrible mother I am.
But then the most amazing thing started happening: Felix started sleeping. Like, for real sleeping. Consistent, predictable naps, long stretches at nights, waking up just to feed and then sleeping again…
The boys now nap at the same time (hence me being able to update this blog), and it’s a total game changer. The personality change in Felix especially, has been crazy to watch. Feisty Felix is no longer, and is now a chatty, smiley little guy who is active and engaged. He still cries, obviously, but not because he’s exhausted.
So now, since I’m suddenly awash with time, expect more updates here!
-Slightly Less Exhausted Family Van.