-note the dummies I swore I would never use!
Wow, Bonnie and Isla are just over six months now. Flip! In the first few weeks all I heard was “ohhh, they grow up so fast!!!”, “the time will fly!” Etc… Through my sleep deprivation and stresses of having two very ‘refluxy’ unsettled babies, I honestly wasn’t sure how time would fly. I would be exhausted and wonder when my babies would sleep all night, “maybe in another few weeks!” I would hear from people. Well, ‘a few weeks’ in exhausted mum terms is more like ‘a few years’! The days roll into the nights, and when you don’t get any sleep the nights roll into days and it’s all one big endless cycle!
As a mum we can’t just clock off. After a days work of looking after babies you still have the night shift ahead of you. Time was not flying for me, this felt endless!!!
In the first 6 weeks the girls fed every three hours, because I was so adamant on breast feeding I would feed Isla while expressing the other boob for Bonnie (she had a ‘bad latch’ after all the tube feeding in the NICU). Then I would have to feed her afterwards, then by the time that was over I had an hour sleep before I had to start all over again. There was absolutely no concept of time.
Bonnie was a little bigger than Isla, she began to go a little longer between feeds. That’s when things began to get a bit manic! The girls were on completely different sleeping and feeding ‘schedules’, and I was exhausted trying to keep up. They would feed at different times and then sleep at different times, this meant that I honestly did not get a single minute baby free for weeks!!! It was so full on, I used to constantly have a baby hanging off me. And as lovely as it was, we all need a moment to ourselves each day.
Enough was enough… I got out my Gina Ford ‘a contented house with twins book’, and re-read it cover to cover during a night of feeding. I have never read a book that made me feel so stressed out, according to Gina’s sleeping and feeding schedule, my girls should only be waking up once during the night for a feed… What am I doing wrong??? I asked myself!!! That next week I spent more time in the house trying to get the girls into Gina’s routines… And I ‘failed’ miserably at it! The girls and I attend a baby massage group, ran by the lovely Jess of The Daisy Foundation, at the beginning of each class Jess asks each mum how their week has been with their babies, it came to me and I began to rant about how I “never get a minute” and how the girls “have no routine”… I can remember Jess gave me the best advice, it was simple, she told me to “follow the babies’ lead”. And so I did, it was a rough few weeks as the girls were still completely out of sync, but they were the perfect example of how no babies are the same- here I had two babies with the same genetic make up yet they were completely different and had different needs.
I quickly learnt that every 90mins after being awake that the girls seemed to need a nap, if I could begin to time that with each other life should get a bit easier and I should be able to get a few minutes to myself in the day… And so this became a success, and now as the girls are getting older they’re beginning to go a little longer between nap times. But of course, there are days that I can predict when the girls will sleep and feed, and there are days where they have their own ideas!! But finding out from them when they are likely to need a snooze and be hungry, and not following it from a book, meant it was on the terms of Bonnie and Isla, this is what they needed.
I can’t pin point exactly when the girls started to ‘sleep through’, and of course they can have their own ideas some nights. Over Christmas, when the girls were around 17weeks, they got broncolitis and ended up in the hospital (very short stay), when they came out and after a few days when they were feeling much better, it was like magic- their reflux seemed to have completely disappeared, we had no more days of screaming from morning to night, and when they went down at 7pm one night they slept right through until 6am. I woke up a new woman!!
I try not to anticipate the bad after having had a good day or night with the girls, I try to appreciate each moment as it comes because there have been nights that have followed that have been extremely unsettled (the girls are now teething).
Weaning has also begun over the past few weeks, I am trying a mix of purées and baby led weaning, I have been documenting what I have tried with the girls and what they are accepting and what they aren’t, I’m going to dedicate a post to weaning over the next week, they are loving their food. But holy crap, it’s messy!!!
–Making a mess at Sunday lunch