My mom came to visit for a week. It was awesome, but I was so busy taking care of the babies and having fun with her that I didn't post.
I was also busy NOT SLEEPING while my mom was here. GH and I decided to use her week-long visit as the time to transition the twins from sleeping in their car seats all night to sleeping in their bed. We'd been putting their car seats right into the co-sleeper next to our bed and had gotten to a point where they were up once a night, usually around 3:00, then sleeping until 6:00 or so. Pretty good. We knew the transition to sleeping in the co-sleeper on their backs would be hard and wanted to do it a) before I went back to work and b) at a time when someone else could help me and GH could sleep in the spare room since we anticipated a difficult time.
Boy, "difficult" doesn't even come close.
The first night, the kids were up every two hours or so. And by "up" I mean "wide awake and screaming." It sucked. I was determined not to feed them more than twice a night, so my mom and I did a lot of bouncing, rocking, etc. to get them back to sleep. Gar. Needless to say, I was a little bleary-eyed and ready to throw in the towel.
But we persevered, with changes along the way. We elevated the crib so that the babies were sleeping at an angle, more like the car seats. We have them in "sleep positioners," foam wedges that surround them and give them an enclosed feeling. We unplugged the nightlight in our room to encourage them to sleep longer/deeper/better. I would love to say that every night things have improved, but they just haven't. We're making sloooooooow progress, but it's frustrating. Last night was the best night so far; I only fed them once, but Maddie had to be rocked to sleep once and at 4:30 we gave in and put them in their car seats until 6:30. But we're getting there. I will be so glad when this transition is over.
We're encouraging them to take naps in their bed, too, just to get them more and more used to sleeping in a bed. And I let Riley sleep half of last night on his side, which our pediatrician says is OK. I think that helped. Like I said, we're getting there, but I must say again:
GOD DAMN THIS PARENTING STUFF IS HARD!
I've been thinking a lot about babies and sleep (surprise, surprise). The more I think about it, the more I realize how much we're asking of them. We want them to sleep 10-12 hours in a row; most adults can't sleep an adult 6-8 hours at a stretch without getting up for some reason. Babies can't adjust the covers, change position (mostly), change the amount of light in the room. But we expect them to just sleep the night away. It's a lot to ask. I try to remember that when I'm bouncing someone on the yoga ball at some ungodly hour. Sigh.
I've also been thinking a lot about resentment and anger. I was prepared for the sacrifices of parenting. I really was. I miss reading, going to the movies, eating out at fancy restaurants, sleeping in, running into the coffee shop on my way to a friend's house (not worth getting the babies out of the car seats . . .), taking my time browsing in stores. But I knew I was going to give that all up for a while. I'll get that stuff back and I'm totally OK with not having it right now. What's blindsided me about being a parent is the anger I can feel towards the babies. I am never without a feeling of deep, deep love for them and I've certainly never felt like harming them. But sometimes they make me so damn mad for things they can't control. I was furious with Maddie for being awake last night at 11:30. Furious! As I bounced her back to sleep, I was loaded with tension that I'm sure she could sense. And with that anger sometimes comes resentment about having to give so much, having to give up so much. Things are just so hard in the middle of the night when I'm tired. I take deep breaths and remind myself of how much I love them, how small a slice of my life this middle-of-the-night stuff is.
I think the transitions--car seat to bed, home to daycare (two trial days this upcoming week), back to work--make it harder. Transitions, change, are hard for anyone and that certainly includes babies.