I know this is supposed to be a review site, of which let’s be honest I don’t even do that at the moment! I always have the intention of writing something when I get home from work but I can never be arsed. I suffer from a severe case of lazyitus. It’s bad; I should probably see a doctor about it.
Anyway, I have been meaning to write about this for a very long time. Along with my birth story should anyone be interested. I also thought it would be good to document this so I can look back in ten years’ time and laugh about it. Or use it to let the twins know what a pair of little buggers they actually were. (I use past tense as I am sure they will turn into lovely young men haha)
They are 2 and a bit now and we are only just getting what I could call a vaguely decent night’s sleep. They wake up ridiculously early, and there are still a lot of whinges and moaning and often we have to get up and pat a little bottom until they nod back off but we are getting long stretches and I have to be completely honest, I never thought this day would come!
I was totally unprepared for their arrival, yes, they were born early, but I mean it in the sense that I didn’t read any books or prepare myself mentally for what was about to happen. I just thought it would be few months of sleepless nights then it would inevitably sort itself out. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We were told by the midwives to feed them as and when they wanted… which was often but they would never drink very much. I didn’t breastfeed, despite trying when the boys were in NICU it just never happened. My milk didn’t come in, and what little droplets did they just didn’t latch on, so I made the decision to use formula. When the health visitor came round we would always mention that they never drank very much in one go but she said that it was fine, they were putting on weight and seemed happy blah blah blah so we just thought it was ok.
In hindsight, it makes sense the more they drink the less times they would wake up for it but we wanted the easy life. Two little people waking up screaming hour after hour, it was so much easier to just thrust a bottle at them and let them fall back asleep. Wouldn’t last forever right?!!!
I remember, one night having to take the boys to A&E as they were vomiting and weak. They were about 5 months old at the time and the nurse said ‘They must be sleeping though now?’ I felt like a complete failure. No nurse, they aren’t even bloody close.
I would get so jealous of my friend’s babies who were sleeping through, or at least allowing their mum and dads the luxury of a few hours uninterrupted sleep. Not us. We had made a rod for our own backs.
Every night we would get some bottles ready, go to bed and pray for a few hours of sleep. It rarely happened; as a result I would get grumpy and angry. Some of the things that came out of my mouth were just horrendous. One night I slammed our bedroom door so hard the door got stuck, Steven and I were in our room and the twins were crying from the nursery over the hall. I seriously thought we were going to have to call the fire brigade?! I mean who even does that. Luckily we managed to get the door open. How Steven has stayed with me through all this is beyond me. What kind of Mum does things like that?! Sleep deprivation is horrendous as I am sure most of you out there know. My problem was that rather than feel sorry for the twins, I would get angry. I mean I obviously wouldn’t hurt them or anything I just couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel and add to that a job I despised at the time it was all just getting too much. Funny that people were always saying how well I was doing, and what a fab mum I was managing it with twins. Little did they know I wasn’t managing at all. I dreaded going to bed as who knew what the night was going to bring.
We tried letting them cry, but I just couldn’t do it, again I was getting angry and annoyed. Mainly, I think with myself as I felt that this was all my doing. We just wanted a quick fix which was to give them milk whenever they screamed for it. 18 months on we thought enough was enough so last September we got the help of a sleep expert. I know everyone has different problems when it comes to their little ones and getting them to sleep. Some are clingy and want to be rocked, some don’t like their cots etc etc. Ours was simply that they were waking up throughout the night wanting milk. The sleep expert’s first piece of advice was to just go cold turkey. Dirty the bottles with mud and say that the bottles are yucky and to put them in the bin. I thought no way is this going to work; usually they see a bottle and start crying for it. But low and behold they turned up their noses at the mucky bottles and even helped us put them in the bin!!
She also said not to give them any milk at all, not even some before bed. They get enough calcium in the day through yoghurt, cheese etc. She also advised for us not to pick them up during the night and distract them when they woke up with a toy. Hahaha, a toy, yeah right..so Thomas wakes up in the night crying for milk and me wafting a teddy bear in his face is supposed to calm him down. Not a fucking chance. Instead, being the good parents we are, we showed them a video on you tube. Baby Bum/ Bob the Train type nonsense. This is the only thing that would calm them down. The first few nights we were showing them the video for an hour a time it was awful, however after a week we saw some improvement.
She also gave us some advice for bedtime and getting them to self settle which has really paid off and they actually look forward to bed time..most of the time. We give them a little snack an hour before bedtime so they won’t wake up hungry during the night, then we head up for a bath and PJ’s. While I bath them, Steven sets up their nursery we have fairy lights on and put cushions and their duvets on the floor so that once they have had their bath we get all snuggly and read them a few stories then put them to bed. We have a slumber buddy and a plug in light that projects moons and stars onto the ceiling. This works now but it took a while. One bad piece of advice the sleep expert gave was to tell me to take them downstairs if they weren’t settling to sleep after half an hour as they obviously weren’t tired. This caused massive problems, with Tom in particular (shock!) he just wanted to go downstairs during story time. He would scream the place down crying to go downstairs or into our bed for his story, it was a nightmare but it has paid off and now our bedtime routine works well for us all. For now anyway.
It all seems a bit of a blur, things were definitely going well until we made the dreadful decision to go away for a couple of nights to Steven’s parent’s caravan. After two awful awful nights we were back to square one. We persevered, I swear without Steven I would not have been able to do it but we have. Kind of.
4 months along, they are sleeping better, they still wake up during the night most nights but it is generally just a whimper or some moaning and we can leave them to sort themselves out. Often, we have to go in and do some bottom patting for a few minutes until they nod back off and sometimes we don’t have to get up at all. Our main problem now is they wake up at around 5am for the day…and that makes it a bloody long day but I will take a 5am start over multiple wake ups, the anger, the grumpiness all round and the thought that I would still be giving my children bottles of milk until they are well into their teens.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. Thanks for taking the time to read this, apologies for the many grammatical errors I get carried away and tend to waffle on but I am glad I have written this down. No-one tells you how fucking horrific it can be…the early days in particular were so so hard. The twins were both colicky babies which didn’t help with my sanity but we are getting there, and they are such funny, happy wee boys and I know I am very lucky to be their mummy.. I just cannot flipping wait for a lie in again. I mean 7am would do.