In the spring of 2014 I found out I was pregnant with twins and started documenting my journey in a weekly post. I will be periodically posting these past writings, starting from the beginning. This was written November 17, 2014.
They say babies don’t come with a manual but if you start looking into it, there are actually many to choose from. They all have expert advice on how and what we should be doing as parents and how we can easily “train” our babies to sleep and get on a schedule and things like that. You can also find help on a growing number of apps for your smart phone. I have one that offers little daily teachings. It might remind me to trim my baby’s fingernails or let me know that my baby’s first smile is on its way. These are all very helpful tools but I’m finding real life isn’t quite synching up with the books’ versions of how it all works.
Karson and Lucy are over 6 weeks old and we still can’t seem to graduate them to sleeping in a crib. We’ve tried so many different ways, so many times and they just won’t let us put them down. Yes, I’m still stuck on the couch where I nurse and they snuggle up to me and fall asleep and I remain put.
It’s not so much that I mind being stuck on the couch because it’s really not all that hard of a way to spend the day, cradling two babies. It’s just that I feel like I’m failing in their teaching. At this stage in their young lives, the goal is to put the babies to sleep while they’re drowsy but awake. This is to help them learn to self soothe. I’m not talking about the “cry it out” method but rather preventing them from using certain ways of falling asleep as a crutch that they become dependent on.
The only problem is, putting down two babies awake but drowsy is not as easy as it sounds and no matter how hard I try, no matter of swaddling, shushing, rocking, or singing will make their drowsy eyes fall asleep. It almost always transpires into screaming and we end up back on the couch where I can hold them both and promise them I’m not leaving.
Albert Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. I feel like I am going insane because each time we try again we think it might work, only to be proved wrong. Every once in a while we get small victories and I guess that’s what keeps us going. The other morning I managed to get them both down for a 30 minute nap in which time, I was able to take a quick shower, throw some clothes and makeup on and start a load of laundry.
They say you can’t spoil a newborn and I really do get how special this time is, but eventually we will have to get off this couch. I don’t want to make it harder for them or me by waiting too long. They will need to learn to fall asleep on their own, somewhere other than my breast.
Meanwhile, I’m really starting to see these little guys blossom. I’m there to watch just about every groan, grimace and grunt. At six weeks, it feels like they’ve been with us so long but we’re just getting started. If you would have told me before I was pregnant that I’d be sleeping upright on the couch, away from my husband for over six weeks I would have told you you were crazy. But here I am, And it doesn’t feel crazy. Well maybe it feels a little bit crazy, but for now it’s keeping me from going insane.